An interconnected world

The butterfly effect is a concept belonging to chaos theory referring to a notion of time relating to the initial conditions within a system. The idea is that, given certain initial circumstances in said chaotic system, the slightest variation in conditions can cause the system to evolve in radically different ways. globe-86244_640Thus, a small initial disturbance can generate a significantly greater effect in the medium or long term, thanks to a process of amplification.

I mention this because the spring of 2013 was stained with blood following the collapse of a warehouse engaged in textile manufacturing in Bangladesh. The tragic outcome was more than a thousand dead and many injured.

We at the CIV have always understood and defended the view, specifically in our editorials, that Europe’s primary mission is to be a model of the promotion,  awareness and recognition of basic democratic values. Such values are inseparable from a total respect for human rights in the political, economic and social sense.

It is undeniable that the political tradition resulting from the colonial period led to double standards being applied. Practices which were seen as unacceptable in a European nation were common in the colonies. However, it is also true that we have evolved sufficiently since then to appreciate that the global village in which we now live, in this the twenty-first century, precludes the practice abroad of that which is seen as unacceptable at home.

For this reason, the deaths in Bangladesh are questioning us. Europe’s projection abroad, which is political, but which is evidently commercial and economic, must be informed by and based on the values of justice, equality and freedom that we wish to be identified with. Therefore, we need to realise that Europe’s quantitatively minority position in the world can only become accepted qualitatively if we develop a unique, determined way of being, behaving and interacting.

Europe and the big European companies have already lost the race for the lowest quote and the cheapest prices. Instead, it is by exporting a particular
concept of Europe, also in the commercial field, that we will stand out and gain supporters and admirers of the European cause.

The brands and businesses involved in the events in Bangladesh, whether
directly or indirectly, as well as other European organizations with similar
practices in Asia and elsewhere, would do well to understand that our challenge
is quality, excellence and the recognition of the rights and duties of everyone with whom we work.

With such a contribution we will truly be able to export Europe, and rather than finding ourselves at the centre of the world we will find ourselves at the centre of global democracy. It is a position where we should remain.

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