Thanks Quartz
Thanks Quartz

As I tangentially mentioned yesterday, we’re seeing a lot of big claim happening in the world. Namely:

  • ISIS/ISIL/IS/IC and their desire to restore the caliphate of old.
  • Scotland, and the apparent desire of the Scots to dis-unite the Kingdom à la Mel Gibson (the latter day Mel Gibson, with all the prejudice and the drunkenness).
  • Russian and the Crimea (although that’s come and gone).
  • Russian and the parts of Eastern Ukraine that aren’t the Crimea (although that’s not really the official russian party-line)
  • Those Senkaku/Diaoyu-Dao islands in the South China Sea
  • The South China Sea in general
  • Palestine
  • Somaliland
  • The oil-rich region of Abyei (between Sudan and South Sudan)
  • Kashmir
  • Tibet

And those are just the ones that are currently a bit newsworthy. The Greeks will still hail Constantinople as their City; Taiwan is still an awkward conversation; the Falkland Islands will come up every time an Argentinian president feels like she needs to deflect attention from herself; et cetera and backwards into history.

Which is why I think it’s worth sharing this time-lapse video/vimeo clip of European statehood over the last 1000 years.

As a sort of general reminder that territorial land claims should be treated with a bit more skepticism and a bit less nationalism – especially given that today’s successful nationalistic movement is the seed for tomorrow’s fight by the nationalistic movement of the loser.

The paradigm needs to shift. And if I’m looking for a model, I’d say that the UK’s offer to Scotland of greater autonomy in exchange for staying in the union…sounds like a good one.

There’s a rule about business deals – something about how the best deals are the ones where everyone walks away a bit dissatisfied, but everyone also walks away better off.

It’s this extremist “I must get EVERYTHING” attitude that needs a time-out. Is my feeling.

Check out that clip. It’s pretty awesome.

Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and the corporate life in general. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at