The “umbilical cord” of international trade

Despite its remote geographic position New Zealand is entangled in international trade and British imperial politics, Colin Ross notes.

The interchangeably ‘American’ character of the city of Auckland suggests to Ross the extent to which New Zealand is an interdependent part of world economy rather than a self-sufficient, remote island of bliss. At the moment of writing this mainly means that New Zealand’s agriculture is hit hard by the Depression. The political dependency on Great Britain is to New Zealand's disadvantage as well, Ross argues, citing disproportionately high defense spending and New Zealand’s colonial administration in Samoa, which Ross pronounces to be a failure.  

In his view, a globalized world does not necessarily imply such entanglements. In this case they are rather the consequences of New Zealand’s misguided internationalism. This nation would do better, Ross argues, to use its geographic position, too remote even for Japanese invasion, to lead “an ideal, placid life” occasionally interrupted by earthquakes [p. 93]. After his return, Ross would in a similar manner advertise a more autarkic model of economy for Germany. There, he argued that the concept of a world economy, seen against the background of Asia’s inevitable emancipation, is a chimera.1

Joachim Schätz

Colin Ross. [Excerpt from] Abschied in Auckland. In: Haha Whenua - das Land, das ich gesucht. Mit Kind und Kegel durch die Südsee. 4. Aufl. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus; 1933; 91–3.

Topic: Weltverkehr
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30


1 Colin Ross. Die Fiktion der Weltwirtschaft. Zeitschrift für Geopolitik. 1931 Jul;Jg. 8, 2. Halbband(H. 7); 562–6. See Library.

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