Brexit! A bolt of painful irony hit as soon as I began this review of The Rise and Fall of Nations: Ten Rules of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma. Both my books, SuperPower? and SuperEconomies, which share a tiny lineage with Ruchir’s far more seminal works, are predicated on the irresistible and irreversible wave of globalisation. But Brexit has put a violent question mark on, if not fully repudiated, this phenomenon that has reshaped the world.
Brexit shows that the burgeoning flow of capital, technology and people across our planet could freeze in a nativist thrall. And Ruchir may have been prescient about this abrupt brake, since it is implicit in the “basic principles that underlie all the (ten) rules. The first is impermanence.... Trends in globalisation have ebbed and flowed ever since Genghis Khan secured commerce along the Silk Road in the twelfth century”.