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Matthew Yglesias

We’ll Miss Globalization When It’s Gone

The war in Ukraine is accelerating a decline in world trade that has been going on for the last decade.

Those were the days.

Those were the days.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

At the dawn of the 20th century, Norman Angell famously (or infamously) predicted that the era of global commercial integration had made great power conflict so costly and destructive as to be unthinkable.

A few years later, the outbreak of World War I proved him right about the cost and destruction, but wrong about being unthinkable. The Great War ended the first era of globalization, and it took generations to rebuild the level of worldwide integration that pertained before the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.