Thursday, April 2, 2009

A G20 Glimmer

I was surprised or perhaps astonished to see the leaders of the world's 20 most industrialised nations getting together and actually forming the outline of an agreement on how to move forward. It might taken as an indication of how serious the situation seems to be that countries as far apart politically as Indonesia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, China, France and the US and all the countries in between could start trying to work together. The details have to be announced or perhaps worked out and no doubt critics will tear the details apart, as they should. Nevertheless we see disparate ideas and ideologies working together across the globe and that's a first.
I've never been much of a fan of globalization, nor of the apparent need for constant growth that motivates the industrialised world, but my fears about globalization caught fire when I saw the inexorable spread of economic chaos across the interconnected economies of the entire planet. It seemed like globalization had in effect come home to roost. It would be a good thing if globalization were for once to work for ordinary people and keep us at peace and at least trying to work things out.
It seems too that the G20 have put the G8 to bed, and from here on out the Euro-centric talks between the most industrialised will be less important than talks that include the spectrum of nations and nowadays that means Japan China and Indonesia will be carrying more weight than ever before. Perhaps we might learn to enjoy the novel sensation for us, of not having to police the world. It seems a long way to go but perhaps this G20 summit really was historic. In 6 months when they follow up perhaps we shall learn it was a damp squib.

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