October 15, 2008
The financial collapse we are seeing all around us may prove to be an economic 9/11. That was a security crisis, with security implications. This is an economic crisis, but its social and security implications are potentially just as severe.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
In our world, economic strength is power, and until the dust settles from this crisis, we don’t know where the power will lie. The international landscape may change radically, and that will mean new risks and new threats.
Any student of history knows that economic turmoil creates instability. Just think back to the Great Depression of the 1930s, which created the conditions for the resurgence of fascism that culminated in the Second World War. In the public imagination, economic failure is twinned with political failure. Dictators and fundamentalists use deprivation to their advantage, tapping into frustration to spark violence and secure loyalty. We see the consequences of economic insecurity all over the world, from Afghanistan, to Pakistan, to the poorer parts of our own country. Here in the UK, fundamentalists prey on men and women alienated by widening inequality.