Saturday, 8 December 2012

Globalization: The good or the bad?

I am seeing a common theme throughout the 3 waves of globalization; slavery. In the 1970s small and isolated communities were exposed to globalization and many didn’t survive due to larger powers overtaking them. Then in the 1850s slavery was once again a factor due to the rise of industrialization. Now with the increase in so-called ‘Americanization’ the US is seen as a dominant super-power with a grip on all other nations.

I have trouble understanding how the US is such a culturally diverse nation, but at the same time, controls the countries where these cultures arise – many of which are in great poverty and disadvantage (or slavery) as a consequence. Without slavery in the world - and by slavery an example could be Asian sweat shops - Americanization would be nothing because this current trend of globalization relies on maintaining a power difference between the rich and the poor in order to maintain the current economy. It does seem ridiculous and conflicting that this nation, so rich in cultural diversity, is basically helping to wipe out these very cultures in other parts of the world because they cannot afford to support themselves in relation to the rich ‘American standards’.

How can we be Global Citizens if we, as part of this wealthy, Western vision of the world, are contributing to the destruction of poorer parts of the globe? It seems to me to be an inevitable loophole because although we may not support globalization, we need to buy things in order to survive and the things we buy are all part of the industrial dilemma where the rich become richer and the poor become poorer.

At the same time, without globalization the disadvantaged countries would be even more disadvantaged because the industrialization that accompanies globalization does provide work for the poor, although the working conditions are usually horrific and inadequate.

So the question arises: Is globalization good or bad? It ruins the environment, makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, but it does provide jobs for the otherwise unemployable.

I honestly don’t have a good answer for this one…

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