The Economic Resilience of Democracy

February 29, 2016

If we turn to our military policy, there also we differ from our antagonists. We throw open our city to the world, and never by alien acts exclude foreigners from any opportunity of learning or observing, although the eyes of an enemy may occasionally profit by our liberality; trusting less in system and policy than to the native spirit of our citizens; while in education, where our rivals from their very cradles by a painful discipline seek after manliness, at Athens we live exactly as we please, and yet are just as ready to encounter every legitimate danger.
-Pericles’ Funeral Oration

In this age of terrorism, cybersecurity and globalization, we can become preoccupied with present challenges and assume that the present day requires radically new ideas and practices. We assume the dangers that we face are somehow more perilous than those that have been historically posed to great democracies.

Pericles’ speech was delivered over 2,500 years ago. He first utters the phrase “equal justice to all” and refers to the principle that an open society where ideas and commerce flow freely endeavors to create opportunity for all. These principles have endured and are present around the world today, despite a constant onslaught by oppressive regimes and dangerous individuals.

Democracy and openness are hard to beat. Each new defense threat in history has led to economic advancement in other areas for open societies, making them stronger and more resilient. Government and business have helped to pay for these defenses, and they also benefit from market opportunities and deep research required to develop them. The newest front is cybersecurity, a danger not imagined 2,500 – or even 30 – years ago.

According to CSO, cybersecurity is $75 billion market and is predicted to more than double by 2020. It presents a massive additional cost to businesses and individuals seeking to protect themselves, it takes away funding from other areas of research and advancement, and it has created tension between the business community, government officials and law makers.

Cybersecurity can also be an area of innovation in the field of analytics and other areas of scientific research. Just this month, the White House issued the 2016 Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan.

As in the past, let us hope that technology advancements serve to protect our open society, provide equal justice for all and spur economic advancements.

-Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • This week, the One Columbus team will travel to Chicago to meet with companies and consultants.
  • Next week, our team will attend several events, including the Columbus Chamber’s CEO Insights with Tanny Crane, Experience Columbus’ 2016 Annual Meeting and the Columbus Council on World Affairs’ 2016 International Awards Ceremony.
  • On March 22, the Columbus Region Logistics Council will host an education luncheon, The Internet of Things and Central Ohio Logistics. Learn more and register here.