Nationalism in developing nations


Developing countries should not grow weary of the global economy. Globalization has been the force pulling developing countries upward for the past two decades, and eventually it will accomplish the feat in full as long as their governments leave well alone.

Jeffrey E. Garten published an essay in the Wall Street Journal this week called The Dangers of Turning Inward, in which he argues that although most countries claim that their current protectionist policies are temporary, many of these policies will be difficult to reverse after the recession.

It is not only the actual tariffs in India, Argentina, and Brazil that are hurting their development into economic powerhouses, but the illusionary mindset which can turn a temporary policy into a long-term failure to re-cooperate with the world market. “It is a frame of mind that casts doubt on the very assumption that we live in a single international market, and that relatively open borders are a virtue."

Millions of people in developing countries will be moving from the countryside to cities such as Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, and Shanghai in search of careers, housing, and education. Globalization was the major force behind this movement, and only through increased trade and cooperation can these people find their means to live. “It will be globalization that opens the world to them, allowing international agencies to pump in capital, multinational companies to help supply technology and management, and Western universities to transfer knowledge."

Hopefully governments will not lose faith in the world market economy, for every country’s cooperation will eventually save us from the current mess. From the EU to the US to Argentina, every country should value the free-market, and not expect to rely on nationalism for long term growth.