Opinion: The Great Disruption
Updated 07:30, 03-Jan-2019
Gordon Brown
Editor's note: Gordon Brown is the former prime minister and chancellor of the exchequer of the United Kingdom, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and chair of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. The video was first published by Project Syndicate. The article reflects the author's views, and not necessarily those of CGTN.
2018 to me is a turning point that we are not recognizing as a turning point.
We are dealing with a long term, fundamental, underlying problem about how we manage globalization and make it work.
I think we've got to be aware that if we cannot reform our international institutions and show the way forward for managing globalization in this multipolar world in a better way, then we face the prospect that 2018 has indeed been a turning point.
That the trade wars and the currency wars, the Chinese and American issues, are not simply about that, they're about what sort of global order are we going to have in the future.
I would say, having looked at this, yes, we're dealing with huge transformations.
The Washington Consensus, which has been dominant for 30 or 40 years, does not even work for Washington. Free trade without fair trade, a free for all in trade, has millions of losers and not simply gainers.
But the social contract that was underpinning the Washington Consensus has also broken down,because wages no longer guarantee people a decent income. And poverty among children, particularly in working families, is about two-thirds of poverty in most countries in the West.
But the response to the Washington Consensus failure is the interest in protectionism.
And yet, we must know that it's self-defeating, and we must get that argument across. Now my point is this, unless we can find a way of managing the global order better, then not only will we have exactly the same problems that we've got of economic discontent, cultural pessimism, and anti-politic sentiment, but we will also see a splintering of the global order.
If the Washington Consensus won't do, if protectionism is out, and if we don't want to see a division between the East and West that is of a permanent nature fracturing the rules order from 1945, then we have got a pretty convincing case about how, issue by issue, our international order can be rebuilt to accommodate the needs of the different parts of the world, to update to the new economy that I'm talking about, but also to deal with the fundamental problems that still exist, whether it be climate change, whether they be financial stability, whether they be trade or whether they be growth.
Copyright: Project Syndicate
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