Decentralized Globalization and the Power of Individuals
“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.” — Robert H. Goddard
Following the emergence of the media culture (radio, television and, recently, the Internet), a new idea was born, a new basis for coexistence — globalization.
What is globalization?
Globalization is the process of world integration into a single global social, political, financial, economic and informational space driven by technology. It is a gradual transformation of the world into a single ecosystem, where movement of capitals, goods and services is unhindered, where ideas and their initiators get about freely and without borders, stimulating the development of modern institutions and improving the mechanisms of their interaction.
Globalization process gathers and applies positive world experience in all major sectors of public life, including the economy, state and legal relations, culture and ethics.
There are many opinions around the world regarding the pros and cons of globalization, and they all diverge greatly. Many people welcome this new stage of development of modern civilization, but at the same time there is a good deal of organizations, and even states, that perceive this inevitable process negatively.
Some people consider globalization to be a process towards formation of a compassionate, just and highly developed world civilization that will ensure universal peace and security, while others argue that this will entail unemployment, inflation and other socio-economic issues that will fuel conflicts and lead to total chaos in the world.
Today there are numerous global issues that cannot be resolved by any one country acting alone. Lack of agreement in solving these issues leads to the emergence of new problems that affect globalization processes:
- Despite the expansion of trade, increasing flows of capital, goods and services, the level of poverty in the world is not diminishing, but on the contrary, the gap between the rich and the poor deepens.
- There are significant sociocultural and economic conflicts between states in the struggle for supremacy in the world.
- Economic disputes between countries, rising global debt and financial market instability create vulnerabilities that lead to global financial crises. The world has already suffered major challenges in 1998 and 2007–2008, and now the storm clouds are gathering for the next crisis.
- Environmental issues are more global in nature than ever and pose direct threat to the future of human civilization, but somehow world leaders manage to ignore these vital issues and keep failing to join forces to deal with them.
- Demographic shifts, increasing migration flows associated with legal and economic inequality in the world are growing in scale.
- The global information space has a strong influence on people’s minds, which has some positive effects, but undermines our freedom of thought.
- Also, information war and terrorism are among the most destructive phenomena of the modern world and pose a global scale threat.
Nevertheless, these problems can be solved, and with all the controversy around globalization, it is as objectively inevitable as was the industrial revolution, the creation of market economy, the emergence of the Internet and smartphones.
Therefore, the main task today is to turn globalization into a positive process that will lead to universal progress and prosperity of humanity, and not the domination of the privileged ones.
This can be achieved by means of the blockchain technology, which makes it possible to decentralize the globalization process and help people regain control over their own future.
Blockchain technology as a driver of globalization
The democratizing potential of blockchain technology may be the key to a new stage of transformation of society. This technology can help us protect our own data from loss, theft, or unauthorized use, be it money, documents, real estate, intellectual property, or the right to vote.
In 2011 the World Economic Forum released a report relating to the personal data economy.
“Personal data is becoming a new economic “asset class”, a valuable resource for the 21st century that will touch all aspects of society.”
Today banks and insurance companies, telecoms and social networks, governments and tech giants — all monetize our identities and trade our personal data among each other. Transactions history, travel, browsing and property information — everything has a price, but the real owners of that data do not get a penny of it.
Blockchain can change that. The technology will help us better protect our identities, rights and values. Our personal data will belong exclusively to us and even become a resource that we can monetize ourselves. Transfer, storage and management of data will no longer be under the authority of influential intermediaries such as banks, governments and mega-corporations. It will occur directly, with proper transparency, security and privacy of data, through cryptography and smart contracts, cooperation and consensus among people.
The eventual ubiquity of blockchain technology will completely decentralize the global social, political, financial, economic and informational processes. Blockchain technology will help billions of people overcome poverty and protect them from global financial crisis. It will ensure stable social and financial growth of every individual through providing direct access to the global economy and enabling active participation in it.
But most importantly, blockchain technology will open borders between states and expand our capabilities without violating our privacy or forcing us to sacrifice our individual autonomy.
Globalization and individualization
Decentralized globalization should be perceived and viewed as a process aimed at expanding the possibilities of human self-realization by means of advanced technologies. This process will help people transition to new information environment that encourages cooperation and requires a new understanding of the world.
An individual’s new understanding of their part in the globalization process expands the goals and meanings of their actions, as well as the responsibility for choices and the influence of their decisions on the development of the world. This versatile synergistic process leads to the universal development of society through the potential of an individual, their self-realization and collaboration with others.
In order to achieve the most effective model of sustainable development, it is necessary to put personal data back into the hands of its owners and help people regain control over their identities, so they could form a genuine public opinion to be able to influence the decisions of global importance.
“Think globally, act locally.” — David Brower
Decentralization will become an effective tool for protecting vital values, like freedom and social equality, self-determination and social security. Blockchain technology will play a crucial role in establishing consensus between individuals and will ensure the balanced development of society and nature.
Human rights and equality of participation in solving both local and global problems will be guaranteed by technologies that cannot be bribed, deceived or incapacitated. This will allow people to achieve higher results of collective and individual activity.
Decentralized society is not a social utopia, but a real project of the future of globalization.
Globalization and individualization are not opposing processes, but the basis of coevolution and prosperity of humanity.
In the decentralized world there is no central point of power, it belongs to each and every one individually. Self-organized people collaborate and complement each other in the decentralized global network. The boundaries of national economies are no longer essential and together form the global digital economy — a new vector of cooperative development, enabled by innovative technologies and agreed rules of international relations and trade.
The new global financial system will have the capacity to process incredible amounts of information in mere seconds and without compromising security. The system will ensure significant growth in volumes and full liberalization of cross-border movements of goods, services and capital.
Investment processes will no longer be complicated or limited by borders, and investors will be able to move their funds freely to wherever there are attractive opportunities or their investment is needed the most.
Industries will become more global as companies will be able to operate in different parts of the world without the need to create a business system in each country where they are represented.
Individual human needs will also no longer be limited to regions and countries. People will be able to buy better and cheaper goods from anywhere in the world, choose which services to use without having to consider their geolocation.
Living in Africa, a person will be able to get an education at universities located in Europe and North America, while any resident of China will be able to get a consultation at a medical centre located in Israel. Finding business partners or even a life partner on the other end of the world will not present a big problem either.
Despite the crises, risks and anti-globalization sentiments of various social movements, humanity is moving steadily towards global unity. This path is difficult and full of challenges we have yet to overcome.
Blockchain technology can certainly lead to socio-economic change in the world, while decentralized globalization can help people regain control over their own future, create opportunities for self-improvement without borders, as well as fundamentally change the economic landscape of the world.
However, today’s technological advances alone are not enough to achieve global unity and form a healthy decentralized society. It is necessary to encourage the development of people’s self-consciousness and worldview in the conditions of rapid diffusion of technology, new ideas and the emergence of new structures of social interaction. We have to help an individual navigate in the present and overcome the fear of the future. People need to understand the capabilities of blockchain technology and what approach should be taken to realize its global purpose — learn how to use it as widely and efficiently as electricity and the Internet.