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The Drive to a Sustainable World : 'Global Nation' Not Nations
11. April 2020 at 22:42
Often when I come across phrases like – "it's for our citizens alone", "the economy has been nationalized", "let's indigenize it", and the likes, I have always thought it worthwhile, after all, the citizens' get to enjoy the economic and social dividends that stem out from such nationalistic movements.

Recently after a second thought, probably on my meditative nerve, I realized that first, this very act (Nationalization) produces unintended consequences that are more harmful than the targeted problems it was intended to solve; and the second and most important − that the world we are living in today requires more than national, ethnic, and geographical interest if we - humans will succeed in our quest to solve earth very own fundamental problems and make our planet sustainable.

The first. Most nationalistic movements around the world today such as economic nationalization and indigenization produce unintended consequences that are more harmful than the targeted problems itself. Some of these consequences include unemployment, dwindling social life, and impingement of foreign investments. For example, in 1972 the Nigerian government engaged in what can be termed the greatest drawback to her economy as the then government announced the indigenization of her economy, withdrawing all foreign ownership of industries and businesses and placing the sole right of ownership to only Nigerian citizens. Many thought this movement to be ideal, on the pretext that the foreigners were exploiting us and were in control of strategic positions in our economy. But the other side of it was that the movement resulted in a massive loss of jobs as most companies had to close down. Worst still, the high-class citizens that took charge of major industries had not the financial prowess to advance them, and even where finance was not a problem, technical know-how became an issue. During this period, there was unarguably a retrogression in both the social and economic life of our citizens. It was not until early in the year 2003 when the 4th republic democratic government through its privatization policy allowed foreign-owned telecommunication companies to start operation in Nigeria that her citizens started to have a feeling of what modern telecommunication experience was. Today, these foreign-owned companies have provided thousands of scholarships and jobs for our citizens. As a matter of fact, most of the economic and social challenges faced by people in Nigeria and around the world today take root from poor political decisions taken by policymakers under the pretext of nationalistic interest.

This is not in any way to say that the love for one's country is bad or making decisions for the benefit of one's nation is evil. But when this is done just for the benefit of a tiny national fragment without taking into cognizance its effect on the global scale, or when it is done at the expense of a more general global goal, then the world is not going to be a very nice place to live in. In recent times, Britain has been on the verge of exiting the European Union (EU) probably because of certain national interests. This proofs the possibility that a country like Nigeria may one day pull out of the Pan-African Union (AU), and worst still, the possibility of the United States pulling out of the United Nations (UN). If this trend continues, there is a clear indication that one day the more advanced countries will be found wanting in supranational organizations thereby leaving the less developed nations to survive on their own. It is crystal clear that the world cannot progress when the less developed countries are left with the burden of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps or the burden to lead the frontiers of global missions simply because the more developed countries are only interested in their welfare and as such shows little or no concern about the less developed ones or in the more general global quest.

In September 2015, the United Nations (UN) launched 17 global goals that gear towards ensuring the health, safety, and future of our planet in the next 15 years. An intrinsic part of these goals is the climate action and quality education goals. One would agree with me that we can never achieve our climate action goal if countries with the newest technology in clean energy decides to nationalize it for their use alone and still allow people in other parts of the world to use unclean technology that causes harm to our planet. Neither can we achieve our quality education goal if countries and non-profit organizations that have invested greatly in the provision of quality education for Africa and its young scholars decide to shift focus and overlook the needy African society that is hungry for quality education, perhaps due to nationalistic reasons.

 It is therefore imperative to note that it is inter-connections between countries in this vehicle, empathy for one another, and selfless interest from world leaders who are the drivers of this our great vehicle − the earth, that will prove the success of our journey to a sustainable world. It is clear that what will make our dreams for a better world to come true is mutual aid for one another, a common heart for a common goal irrespective of nationality. it is, therefore 'global nation' and not nations that will uncover the solutions to earth's very own fundamental problems, because the former is uniting nations, giving them the opportunity to see themselves as one sharing some common bonds and constitute a unique community. While the latter is only a hindrance to our common goal in today's globalized world.

However, with the timing immigration crisis, overpopulation and unemployment issues, most countries are on the verge of taking decisions that fosters nationalism on the sole claim of protecting the interest of their citizens. And this is exactly what we need to stop, we must look for other ways to solve these issues, because if we succeed in making our nation the best and most economically developed, yet some 795 million people around the world do not have enough to eat, with more than 20% of the world population not having access to electricity, and millions of others jobless, then we cannot boast of a better and sustainable world. Therefore, we all must start to believe in one global world, having in mind that our decision as a nation will always have an effect outside our geographical territory. We have to give people a chance to bring in new ideas and make impacts in our societies irrespective of their nationality, else we kill innovation, we must stop believing in our might and progress as a nation and start believing in our strength and progress as a 'global nation'. We have to stop seeing our world as entities but as a whole - that is fighting towards a common goal - to make our planet sustainable, which undoubtedly is our greatest asset.

So, if you ask me the question whether nationalism is an asset in this current globalized world, I will have to disagree abruptly; because extreme nationalism is a concept conceived in greed and selfishness and is born to create disunity among nations, impair economic growth, and other consequences that hinder global progress.  

Cite This Article As: Chukwudike Ukeje. "The Drive to a Sustainable World : 'Global Nation' Not Nations ." International Youth Journal, 11. April 2020.

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