Transatlantica: globalization, digitalization, democratization?


Credit: The Economist


Europe and North America have already joined into one community, dubbed “Transatlantica” by German management guru Hermann Simon. We may often disagree, but we will never break up, notes John Christian Kornblum. Only this time, the task will not be rebuilding Atlantic security, but rather to define a new sort of “global Atlantic” that can help ensure that Western principles guide the new era of digitalization, he writes for the Foreign Service Journal:

The U.S. National Intelligence Council’s 2004 Global Trends Report, “Mapping the Global Future,” described globalization—a growing interconnectedness reflected in the expanded flows of information, technology, capital, goods, services and people throughout the world—as “an overarching ‘mega-trend,’ a force so ubiquitous that it will substantially shape all the other major trends in the world of 2020.”

Western values now dominate the software of this system, but those values also unnerve leaders in countries such as Russia and China. Freedom of information and civil society challenge the influence of authoritarian regimes as no military alliance could ever do. ….So unless “Transatlantica” finds a new sense of common purpose as a “global Atlantic” to manage the challenges of globalization, we may not be able to ensure that Western values of openness, freedom and tolerance will continue to define the operating system of the digitalized world.

“Mastering these challenges will be as complex and important to the survival of democracy as was winning the Cold War,” Kornblum contends. RTWT

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