Side effects of globalisation emerging worldwide

The world is becoming an increasingly perilous place, engulfed in political and economic turmoil.

An inexorable wave of populist anger is sweeping across the globe, especially in the West.

There are palpable parallels between Brexit (Britain's exit from the European Union) and the "demagogic Trump" phenomenon surrounding the support for United States presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The root cause is globalisation, which is a double-edged sword, producing both winners and losers.

One dire repercussion of globalisation is that it has sharpened the income divide between the working class and privileged elites.

Another is the surge in uncontrolled immigration, which has incited vitriolic sentiments behind thinly veiled racism and xenophobia, as well as the prevalence of terrorism.

The common people are livid and disaffected with their governments, and are casting anti-establishment votes to show their displeasure.

The electorate no longer votes by rationale, but by visceral emotions.

The people no longer vote for the solidarity and welfare of society as a whole, but for self-serving interests.

Unfortunately, there is no place for a monolithic society in a globalised world dominated by a technological and social media revolution.

Yet, a pluralistic and egalitarian society is hard to achieve.

We should seek comfort that our little red dot is such a place.

Lee Ser Lin (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2016, with the headline 'Side effects of globalisation emerging worldwide'. Print Edition | Subscribe