If the concept of globalization was about the accessibility of goods, services, human resources, information and technology without borders, it was entirely meaningful only when meshed together with the concepts of freedom, human rights, egalitarian and inclusive development. When the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989, the arisen wish was that not only had the Cold War ended but also the walls separating countries in terms of values were destroyed.
For this reason, the prospect of creating a combination of values in the name of a brighter future was prioritized through strengthened international institutions. The past 30 years left behind a heavy experience of insincerity for values that need to be strengthened in the name of humanity.
The leading countries of the world have been unable to put forward a common stance, sincere cooperation, togetherness, a plan to counter hunger and poverty, a fight against terrorism, solutions for climate change, inclusive health care facilities and inclusive development under the umbrella of international institutions and associations, especially the United Nations.
Countries claiming to be the cradle of democracy have not been successful in protecting the values gained from the concept and together, we have witnessed the eerie rise of populism and right-wing extremists.
Countries that are far from democracy, on the other hand, have hardly taken any action in this regard. More painfully, due to their role in the world economy and energy supply, and thanks to special privileges they provide some leading countries, they have not received proper pressure about establishing democracies and protecting human rights. This is why the concept of so-called globalization was empty, being limited to only the dimensions of the trade of goods, services and capital movements. Worse, on a regional scale, countries have focused on resurrecting the walls between one another. We can now hear the footsteps of a new Cold War.
The coronavirus pandemic came along during this sad, pessimistic situation. At a time when these same countries’ international institutions and organizations were experiencing a lack of cooperation, the pandemic caused a disruption in terms of adherence to values and respectability of institutions. A disturbance from which a new awakening and togetherness is urgently needed for us to recover. We have an arduous and crucial period ahead of us, where we have to again seriously tackle and embrace values and institutions for the present and future of the world.
From now on, if countries, instead of being questioned as to whether they are democratic or autocratic, would be described according to concepts such pragmatic or scattered in terms of global problems or sharp-stable or soft-unstable, and if we devalue or make meaningless the whole of values that must be emphasized for the future of the world, we would carry out the worst for future generations. This would be a lost world for the Z and Alpha generations.
Turkey, in this regard, is executing and will execute its fight against the coronavirus, prioritizing a common set of values and strengthening unity and solidarity, first at national, then on an international scale, in the cherishing of humanitarian values. After the global fight against the virus is over, Turkey will have missions more important than ever in the name of universal values, for humanity, and for a hopeful future.
Capitalism’s war with humanism
The 20th century passed as a rather harsh conflict among scientists in the field of economics in terms of different approaches to economic theory. The neoclassical school and the neoliberal approach, which continues today, defend a market economy run with the private sector in full competition and with the idea that there should never be a public intervention in the economy, and that private property and capital accumulation should be prioritized.
The neoclassical school and neoliberal understanding have a micro-based view that prioritizes the interests of companies and individuals rather than focusing on macro issues concerning the country's economy or the world economy. This is why it was heavily criticized for its inadequacy as it had had no suggestions for a solution during the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918 and 1919, the Great Depression of 1929 or the 2008 global financial crisis.
John Maynard Keynes' approach, on the other hand, has a point of view that focuses on macro issues concerning a country's economy or the whole of the world economy, advocating that “public intervention in the economy” is inevitable to solve national and global problems.
The Keynesian approach stands out as a more humanist approach, with many of its dimensions focused on the expectations and problems of the whole society. The main political, economic and social changes and conflicts that took place during the 20th century have started to accelerate, deepen and reach such complexity in the 21st century that it is not possible for economic theory to produce solutions with stereotypical approaches, and the pressure on it to produce solutions will increase even more.
We are moving toward a new era where the economic approaches now put people at their center, where the principle of let man live so long as the state lives is being formed. If capitalism, on the other hand, would exist as an economic-political ideology, a model, it has to reshape itself with humanism. A new world must emerge that prioritizes social profit rather than "market profit," prioritizing production, employment, added value, exports and fair income distribution, not financial speculation. A state must produce the highest quality service for its citizens in matters such as health, education, essential goods and services, justice and freedom. Economic losses can somehow be compensated. But if the EU, which is seen as the cradle of civilization, and especially the U.S., which is viewed as the cradle of wild capitalism, do not change their priorities to focus on humanism, it will be really difficult to compensate for the sociopolitical price of this.