Has The West Turned On Globalisation Or Is It The Other Way Around?

Has The West Turned On Globalisation Or Is It The Other Way Around?
After World War II, the world experienced enormous growth driven by rampant consumerism and the growth of faith in free enterprise. The fall of the Soviet-led communist bloc further strengthened faith in the Western-led system. But in recent years, there has been a backlash against globalisation from within the Western world itself. The reason for the resentment seems to be the emergence of other markets of the world, which have been threatening Western interests in globalisation. These developments can be further confirmed by keeping in view the rising share of Japan in the car market, the dominance of Chinese manufactured products, and a wave of terrorism in the West. Apart from this, the response from the West has been pathetic in the form of a rise in trade tariffs, trying to stop China’s emergence through a resort to nationalism and following stricter immigration policies in an attempt to curb the terrorirst threat.

In short, globalisation is biting the West from every side and it will keep doing so as long as there remains a Western double-standard in approaching the world. Globalisation will go on garnering a generally negative response from the West until it gets back into the game.

From a historical perspective, people have been trading goods for almost as they have been around. As trade networks grew more long-distance and complex, a very important intellectual force in shaping Western attitudes was the political economist Adam Smith, from whose work Western policy-makers learned over time to exploit the nature of globalisation. The second and third waves of globalisation followed the Second World War, shifting balances of power in the world. In the 21st century, things appear very different from how they would have in Adam Smith’s time.

Japan, for instance, needs no introduction in the car industry, as it is the main supplier of cars in the world market. According to experts, the reasons behind Japan's rise in the car market are fuel efficiency and affordability. In 2005, the Economist reported that the market share of Nissan and Honda in the car market was more than the big three companies of the US, and also beat the other Western companies in the market. The facts pointed out by the Economist suggest to audiences that the fruits of globalisation are no longer going entirely to the West – in fact, the ongoing wave of globalisation could be totally playing into the hands of Asian countries.

Cutting a long story short, the West failed to learn from Ibn Khaldun that their "three-generational period" is over. It is now time for Asian countries to rise to dominance of the world markets.

In 2010 Barack Obama, former president of the United States, greeted his Chinese counterpart with a bow at a summit in Washington. That bow was discussed from different angles. One part was a hint towards the decline of the West. Similarly, Arvind Subramanian wrote in his book Eclipse about the gesture and hinted towards the decline of the Western world. To deter this downward slide of Western influence in a globalised world, the US political context responded with Trumpism and the launch of a trade war with China.

An influx of terrorism on Western soil in an ever more globalised world has pushed its policies to go harder on immigration. There is no denying the fact that after 9/11 the West has opted for harsher immigration policies and also started a War on Terror. Fear and resentment have become major driving forces of Western policy, both domestically and abroad.

In a nutshell, the West needs to be patient because globalisation boomed on their soil for a long time – and perhaps now it is time to show some grace when it is no more favouring their interests alone, as it once used to.