My new article on Linkedin “China and the Impact of Cross-Border Capitalism”
All over the world, China is buying, building, and operating strategic assets. In Israel, for example, it now owns Tnuva, the largest and most powerful producer and marketer of dairy products. China is also building two new harbors, and is already operating one of them, as well as the new metropolitan railway system in the center of the country. The same process is happening in many countries in Latin America, where China is in fierce competition against the US.
Cross-border capitalism, where wealthy and powerful countries use their revenues to generate more wealth and increase their influence in other countries, may create conflicts and tensions, but I don’t think we can avoid it. The question is not whether it is right or wrong, whether we can or should stop it, but how countries should conduct themselves in this situation, which is here to stay.
On the one hand, it is human nature to want to use whatever surplus proceeds I have to increase my wealth and my power. We should not be so naive as to think that countries have any altruistic motives when it comes to business and power. On the other hand, it is not necessarily bad that rich countries are buying assets and building large infrastructure projects in countries where they themselves would likely not have been able to carry out otherwise.
Just as capitalism helps build economies within countries, cross-border capitalism can help build the global economy. And since capitalist countries naturally want to take over anything they put their hands on, it is up to the host countries to restrain their ability to get their way. As long as the line between economic contribution to a country and economic occupation of it is kept, I see more good than harm in cross-border capitalism.
As a rule, I see the mingling of cultures and ethnicities as a positive development. After all, the world is going toward increased connection and global unity, in synchrony with all of reality. We may not like the ideas of unity or connection, but it is only because egoism governs us. Nevertheless, this trajectory is irreversible and in the end, positive, as it strengthens everyone involved.
We can come to unity in one of two ways: voluntarily or involuntarily. The economic “takeover” is more in line with the voluntary way. It is certainly better than military conflicts, occupations and counter occupations, and occasional annihilation of nations and ethnic groups, which had been humanity’s way until World War II exposed its cost with today’s nuclear technologies.
Either way, the days of the nation-state are ending. The whole concept of sovereignty exposes itself as nothing more than a fight over territory, a flag, and an anthem. It is absolute selfishness, and regular people get no benefits from battles over sovereignty. In the end, everyone exploits them.
As the world moves toward collective governance, though still with egoistic motivations, new rules will gradually emerge. While there is no doubt that countries will try to achieve global governance, as this is human nature, there is no other way to begin this process; without selfish motivation, no country will lift a finger to help another country. At the same time, we should be very careful not to let any one country become the sole ruler of the world.
To achieve this, we need to integrate education toward collaboration into the process of global mingling. We all need this education, children and grownups alike, since none of us have ever lived in a world where everyone depends on everyone else, and is therefore responsible for everyone else.
Therefore, first we must learn about the necessity to maintain mutual responsibility. Then, we will begin to see how mutual responsibility and interdependence lead to mutual concern for one another.
Once we start developing positive feelings toward each other, we will transcend our selfish nature and a new network of relationships among us will manifest, based on care and empathy. In this network, there will be no borders, regulations, or monitoring since our care for one another will guide us toward helping others rather than harming or otherwise exploiting them. In that state, cross-border capitalism will be obsolete since there will be neither borders nor capitalism, but a new, care-based economy.