A degree in colouring in
At school my favourite subject was Geography. I loved pouring over maps. A good atlas would keep me happy for hours. Fast forward and after a somewhat circuitous route, I read Geography at Salford University. Actually I majored in Geography, minored in Statistics, and left university with a very rare “Third class Bachelors Degree”. With Honours!
Back then I couldn’t see the point of jumping 4 feet high over a two foot fence. Besides, I had spent most of the final two years of university on very much a part time basis, as I was already working pretty much full time.
So another General Election has been and gone and it made me realise we each see the same world in a different way.
It’s just about dividing the world up by who controls or rules a specific area of land. These maps denote the boundary of a land’s internal laws. You fall either inside or outside an area. You must either stay inside these boundaries (Like the former East Germany) or you must remain outside until allowed to enter. (Like most countries today). One area can trade with another on favourable terms or refuse to trade with another due to sanctions. One area can declare war against another area if they fall out or trespass. Some political areas join with others and then try to gang up or bully smaller political areas. It’s all about the maintenance of political power. The whole of the United Kingdom just isn’t painted pink and France is not covered in the finest orange.
It’s just about dividing the world up by the dominant religion in an area. These boundaries just don’t align with political boundaries. If they did all atlases could be smaller as religious maps and political maps could share the same page. Customs, laws and political ideologies overlapping have been the root cause of trouble for hundreds of thousands of years. Both within countries and between countries. I guess it always will.
Now these make sense. It’s land or sea. Plain or mountain. River or lake. Desert or glacier. It’s the only true view of the earth. It’s what the world looks like. It’s the view we enjoy from an aircraft window seat. It must look better still as an astronaut.
How does Google or Apple or Snap or Land Rover map the world? Well these businesses are global. Their consumers are everywhere. I guess there is an iPhone on every continent and in every country. I’m sure a Land Rover Defender has driven everywhere in it’s 60 year history.
Global businesses are, well, global. Global is larger than any single political area. Some global businesses have more customers than many religions have followers. They play the political and tax systems because they can reside anywhere they choose on the planet. Politics has become an ugly, ugly business. With the advent of the internet joining the world up, closing boundaries and building walls has become less relevant today.
This global view is also the most beautiful. It’s a planet packed with nature. Packed with other Earth species who don’t fall out over opinions. They are simply prey and predator, not for power but for survival.
Despite our divisions through political ideologies and religious ideologies, let’s remember we have just the one planet. As global investors, any individual areas political result doesn’t change things for very long.