World Supply Chain Was Fragile Even Before The Pandemic Or The Ukraine War

Oz Zeren
5 min readJun 24, 2022
One jolt to a place like this can send the world 50 years back (Creative Commons)
One jolt to a place like this can send the world 50 years back (Creative Commons)

There’s a lot of talk about how fragile the supply chain is today, but it was never any different.

Our entire planet is integrated like a giant factory. Energy, resources, and products flow in all directions. Only through this frantic activity that the entire world participates in, we are able to have and keep our lifestyle and comforts today. From computers to food.

This is so because it’s difficult to produce and maintain the products that we use. Even for the most simple product, a large part of the world’s industry and its supply chain must take part in order to bring that product to us and to make it affordable.

We have to have it this way because otherwise, we would have to go decades back in regard to our living standards, maybe fifty years or more, if we decided that every country should be entirely self-sufficient. And many, many countries would never be able to be entirely self-sufficient because it’s impossible to create and maintain some industries that are needed for some products — from high-tier electronics to heavy industry — if a country is smaller than a certain size.

So, in a ‘de-globalized’ world, the countries that decide to be entirely self-sufficient would need to accept going back 50 years, and many countries would have to accept going back, even more, maybe 100–150 years, losing certain technologies and amenities that we are used to today. Including life-saving ones.

This means that an entirely isolated world in which each isolated country maintains its own isolated industry is not possible. So the supply chain will need to keep existing, and it will be vulnerable.

But this doesn’t mean that it should be this vulnerable.

The current supply chain is so vulnerable that any war, catastrophe, or major crisis in any part of the world can easily break it. And if it doesn’t break the chain, it can hamper the chain so much and create an economic crisis anywhere in the world, and maybe the entire world.

Take the example of the tsunami that was caused by an earthquake in South East Asia a few years back: The tsunami destroyed half of one hard disk factory in the region and affected another. These two hard…

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Oz Zeren

Writing for a better future. I work in Tech. I like Philosophy, History, Computers, Gaming, the Internet. I’m excited about the Creator Economy, Web 3.0, DAOs.