Marine Le Pen shakes the French Establishment.

Nigel Farage crushes Establishment forces, triggering BREXIT.

Donald Trump makes mincemeat of the combined power of the American media and policy elite.

The rise of isolationism. The worship of barriers. The decline of Western internationalism etc.

Some say that these walls shall keep fresh ideas and energies from flowing into the west.

Some say that it is merely a phase and a good thing because if people can’t flee then they will stay and fight, fight bad governments and cultures that breed poverty and despair that is.

And then there are those who advise that we focus on the human lives at the center of this drama, the migrants and the dismembered families, the people in the boats, the human flotsam tossed up by all these cockfights of the powerful and the megalomaniacal.

I think that as usual the world misses the subtle countercurrents that gather in the seams whilst we are focused on the canvas.

There are many Westerners slowly growing disenchanted with the West. In a way that is different from the anomie of the 60s. They are tired of the culture wars because they’ve never really been all that ideological to begin with. They’ve had enough of the drama and pointless circling of old dung. They have become emotionally estranged.

Behold, I give you the phenomenon of “emotional refugees” and “emotional migration”.
These “heart exiles” may not be willing to put their feet to where their heart is yet, but they are detaching from the civic anchors that tie them to the West and as a result are becoming more “globally opportunistic” not less.

In this sense, there is definitely a countercurrent of renewed globalisation amidst all the doom and gloom mongering of a new ultranationalism in the west.

That is about all we can say for now. Will this lead to an export of talent away from the West, in a less imperious way than has been the case in the old “expatriate” model?

Will the internet exarcebate/accelerate the trend? Will it pose new risks for African and other third world interests as better resourced Westerners swoop in looking for greener material and emotional pastures.

We are already seeing a surge of “African startups” managed from New York and London.

Or is this the melting pot of world dreams the likes of John Lennon sang about?

Time will tell.

The idea that new technologies provide us with all the tools we need to literally create “new geographies” has always fascinated me, and I once did a short paper for DLD about it (cf.

Nonetheless, I have always had this nagging feeling that I was missing something, a secret sauce that can make it all very practical. Something that can make it possible to create a “cross-frontier geographic entity” to advance certain economic goals that traditional African countries acting within their normal territories or using the standard inter-national regimes cannot achieve.

At dawn, it came to me. Remember how Adama Barrow was sworn in during the confrontation with Jammeh? That’s the clue: mixing diplomatic real estate with technology and priming it for business!

It may involve some creative re-wiring of the Vienna Convention norms, but the truth is that if the Ghanaian embassy in London in indeed Ghanaian territory, so many fascinating possibilities we have never contemplated become *practical* all of a sudden.

More in due course. All good things come to those who wait.