From Self-Sufficiency To Specialization

Dr. Michael LaitmanWith each passing day we feel more and more that we live in a very complex and interdependent world. This is why we speak of the law that affects us all that binds us all together, and this law is called the mutual guarantee.

At first glance this law seems to pertain more to governments or large corporations. But does it also apply to the regular Joe? It turns out that it does, and from year to year we feel this truth more acutely. For example, if there’s a malfunction in one of the European or American banks, its consequences are felt in all countries, and especially in, say, China, which sells all the things it manufactures there. And this, in turn, impacts half the world. In other words, we have become so thoroughly bound by commerce, economy, and finance that we perceive these things as a threat to our existence. Indeed, they determine the availability of food, clothes, energy to supply residential heating, the function of international pharmaceutical companies, and so forth.

Today there isn’t a single country in the world that satisfies all its needs, whereas even 100 years ago all countries were almost fully self-sufficient. It all changed when India became a British colony, and the English decided that it would be easier to import fruits and vegetables from India via the Suez Canal, rather than grow the produce themselves. Instead they began to develop their industry. With time people began to realize that specialization—where everyone manufactures only certain goods —was the way to go.

In contrast, in the past, every individual factory would manufacture absolutely everything, starting with the smallest bolt and ending with the complete machine and all its components (motor, electrical wiring, etc.). Moreover, the same plant also utilized small generators to supply electricity. All these processes took place in the same location. But then began the division of labor: one plant manufactured bolts, another screws, another yet electrical components, and so on. And today every automaker receives their supplies from many different countries.

In recent years this trend was taken even further. Instead of developing the auto industry on their own land, Japan began to build their factories in Europe and America, its target markets. Japan continues to manage the production from afar; what’s more, instead of managing them directly, Japan is doing it via their representatives, which are hired right there on location.

Thus, everything became so mixed together that you can no longer tell who’s producing what. One country’s territory contains factories and gas stations that actually belong to another country. There are corporations with owners in several countries, each of which has its share. The economies of many countries have foreign investors , and the local governments don’t interfere since it’s advantageous to them. Their citizens get jobs, and everybody is happy.

And we thought that everything would continue developing in this direction…
From KabTV’s “A New Life” Episode #5, 1/2/12

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