Ene og alene inspireret af med-punditokrat Bjørnskovs glimrende post om tidligere tiders globalisering tænkte jeg det på sin plads at bringe et førstehånds vidnesbyrd om de fantastiske fremskridt globaliseringsbølgen medførte i 1800 tallet, i form af et uddrag fra første udgaven af The Economist fra 1843. Uddraget viser dog desværre, at man heller ikke dengang værdsatte de mekanismer, som bragte uhørt velstand til mennesker, der end ikke kunne have drømt derom.
IT is one of the most melancholy reflections of the present day, that while wealth and capital have been rapidly increasing, while science and art have been working the most surprising miracles in aid of the human family, and while morality, intelligence, and civilization have been rapidly extending on all hands;that at this time, the great material interests of the higher and middle classes, and the physical condition of the labouring and industrial classes, are more and more marked by characters of uncertainty and insecurity.
In vain has the hand of ART (led on and guided by a complete glare of SCIENCE, aided by INDUSTRY of unsurpassed intelligence and perseverance, nurtured and fertilized by CAPITAL almost without limit) developed the resources of the human mind and the material creation in a manner which has at once astonished and exalted the world;in vain have all parts of the earth been brought nearer and nearer to us;our Indian territory within forty days' journey, the great American continent within ten days' sail, our continental neighbours and every part of our own country separated only by a brief space of a few hours;
in vain the producers and consumers of the whole world, the administrators of mutual wants, the encouragers of mutual industries, have been brought in easy and close collision and contact, and thus facilitated the supply of every want, and the demand for every exertion of human skill and industry;in vain do we acknowledge all these unequalled and undoubted elements of national prosperity: for at this moment the whole countryevery interest without exception,
the owner and occupier of the soil, the explorer of our great mineral world, the manufacturer who gives form, shape, and utility to the produce of nature, the artisan, the labourer of every description, the merchant and shipowner (the great links of exchange), and the capitalist who facilitates the operations of all,
every one of these interests stand at this moment CONFESSEDLY in a condition of the most unprecedented depression, anxiety, and uneasiness. And what rather adds to this anomaly than in any way accounts for it, is, that our population has been rapidly increasing, not only in numbers, but also in great skill and productive ability.
But while Art, Science, Intelligence and Enterprise have been thus engaged the last half century in behalf of our country and the human race, in what manner has legislation been occupied?
[…]navigation laws, hostile tariffs, prohibition of English manufactures, were resorted to by other governments, each in a way according to the notions they had of their own interests, in imitation of, or opposition to, the policy of England, each country inflicting on itself as much mischief and injury as England had done by similar policy
[…]It was thus while Art, Science, Capital, Commercial Enterprise, and Labour were eagerly demanding a greater arena to multiply and extend their benefits to ALL, that legislation, ignorance, and prejudice associated with short-sighted selfishness, were actively engaged in frustrating all these nobler efforts and designs.
The Economist har i øvrigt fået ny chefredaktør, som er kommet glimrende fra start med en forfriskende kritik af "soft paternalism" eller "libertarian paternalism", som tilhængerne deraf selv ynder at kalde dette begreb, hvor statens tvang er erstattet med selv samme institutions opmuntrende skub i den "rigtige" retning.