On April 5, four Hillman Entrepreneurs from MC joined UMD students and many others at the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center at the University of Maryland College Park for an event called “Nationalism Vs. Globalism.” The event was co-sponsored by the Steamboat Institute and the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets at UMD Robert H. Smith School of Business.
My Hillman classmates and I had the pleasure to attend this event which is part of a nationwide debate tour with Nigel Farage and Vicente Fox. The event gave all attendees the opportunity to learn about critical issues through reasoned and respectful debate. We heard Farage’s and Fox’s points of views on the matters of Nationalism and Globalism respectively.
The debate opened with general remarks from Farage and Fox. Farage focused his central point on the European Union by saying that it is an “anti-democratic monster that is crushing democracy, ruining nations and taking away liberty.” In his general remarks, Farage encouraged the audience to not be frightened by “Brexit” (the prospective withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union) or the election of Donald Trump, two events that shocked the global order in 2016. He said that people want to live in a nation state where “liberty and democracy is an environment in which they can express their heartfelt opinions but equally respect the other side to have their views.” Moreover, Farage mentioned the points of being selective with the people who move into the country and the idea of controlling the borders.
In his general remarks, Fox focused on how globalization, technology, democracy, and freedom are the reason for such tremendous peak in development and progress. He was even amazed by the growth that has occurred in humans for the past 30 years and how humans continue to progress substantially. He said that humans today live longer than they did have a century ago and that they have more knowledge due to education being present in the remote areas of the world. Fox also made about a point about the middle class by saying that it is the dominant class around the world and that income increased substantially in those nations used to called poor. He said that progress is limited and yet we are going to see a lot of greatness in the years to come. Fox asked a question that challenged the audience to think about progress. The question was “Why should we destroy, disrupt the way we have proven to be successful for a new adventure that some called nationalism, conservatism and go back to the original idea of being a nation-state and forget about we have built?”
In his points for defending nationalism, Farage said that “nations do best when they put their interests first,” while Fox said, “everyone wins when nations work together,” to defend his point of view in globalism. Moreover, Farage explained the reason why the UK exited the European Union by saying that a “nation state cannot become part of such organization because you must obey the laws they make, their courts are supreme to yours and they control who lives in your country.” Meanwhile, Fox explained how billions of people have gotten out of poverty due to globalism in recent decades.
Besides Brexit and the European Union, Fox and Farage discussed immigration, border protection, and trade. Farage said that the idea of building a wall along the border between the USA and Mexico is a way of keeping terrorist out and bringing in the good people through a selective system. Farage’s point of view about trade was that all nations states are open to trade but firmly. Meanwhile, Fox said that no wall would keep children from jumping to progress. He said that the best way to stop illegal immigration is by helping to develop those countries where people come from. He said that by having open trade with nations is a dream of working together. Fox also mentioned that competitiveness is the key to make the poor rich and have prosperity.
The debate ended with a great round of applause and the moderator Mary Kissel, an editorial board member at The Wall Street Journal, giving the final remarks.
At this event, I learned a lot about nationalism and globalism. I align more with Vicente Fox’s points about globalism. Coming from a country which is considered the most dangerous in the entire world and where progress is not hoped because of government corruption, I believe there is still hope for undeveloped countries. One big reason why people move out of their countries is that they do not see progress, they do not see development. Imagine if we all dream together about working together for a nation, it would be incredible. This debate touched a lot of points in which I can personally relate too. Not only was I emotional by the speaker’s arguments, but because of the reality of living in a nation-state versus living in a place where I am valued, and my opinions are respected. This debate was amazing.
More about this event, including a recording of the opening remarks can be found here.