New narrative needed locally and globally

Letters to the Editor

New narrative needed locally and globally

Thursday, July 18, 2019

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Dear Editor,

Some 54 per cent of citizens in democracies believe their voice doesn't have an impact on political decisions. Sixty-four per cent think their Government doesn't act in their interest. Democracy Perception Index 2018, a survey conducted by Dalia Research Alliance of Democracies and Rasmussen Global, revealed this data.

Human beings view the world with a narrative, and for decades the majority of the world believed that the world would become a more globalised and liberal democracy to improve the quality of life for everyone. A lot of people no longer believe in that story and it's causing social and political upheaval, both globally and locally. Locally, particularly, inequality has increased and a lot of people are living in subhuman conditions.

The election of US President Donald Trump, the yellow vest movement in France, Brexit in Europe, and the many government corruption scandals in Jamaica and the Caribbean are manifestation of people's dissatisfaction with the present political architecture.

The increase in exclusive nationalism is ironic, because to solve our local problems such as unemployment and poverty requires global collaboration. To create jobs in our economy we need to either increase foreign investment, increase tourism, or increase exports; increasing our influence in the international community is prudent.

The first country in history was Egypt (3100 BC). Besides political considerations, management of the Nile, which was vital for the survival of its populace, was only possible under a nation instead of separate tribes. Today's problems, such as climate change, nuclear weapons proliferation, and technological disruption, cannot be solved by any one country. For example, the ethics of artificial intelligence in warfare needs to be agreed upon by all nations. Artificial intelligence has the potential to be more destructive than nuclear war.

The future political order must be global but will only occur after a global catastrophe. The irony is that the people and nations who currently benefit the least from the current international and local order will continue to suffer. We cannot go back to the 1950s with exclusive nationalism, but need to advance inclusive nationalism — from nationalism for three million to internationalism for eight billion people.

As Independence Day draws near, we must have national dialogue that's not parochial, but which must be meaningful with the intent to fight for implementation of progressive policies.

Brian Ellis Plummer

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