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Is Globalization inevitable?

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Globalization—the process through which an increasingly free flow of ideas, people, goods, services, and capital leads to the integration of economies and societies—has brought rising prosperity to the countries that have participated. It has boosted incomes and helped raise living standards in many parts of the world, partly by making sophisticated technologies available to less advanced countries. Since 1960, for example, life expectancy in India has risen by more than 20 years, and illiteracy in Korea has gone from nearly 30 percent to almost zero. These improvements are due to a number of factors, but it is unlikely that they could have occurred without globalization. In addition, greater integration has promoted human freedom by spreading information and increasing choices.  (Aninat)

Globalization will be the biggest transformation that humankind will ever experience. There is no reason to oppose it. Globalization will continue the path of merging people together into larger and larger entities. This has been the path of humankind since the beginning to end: small families, extended families, tribes, nations, empires, and finally to one world government. Each point along the way is a dramatic increase in population numbers compared to the previous type of civilization.

As human populations grow and technology increases, it is easier to hop on a plane and fly across the world, you can drive in your car hundreds of miles into the neighboring nation, and you can shift your resources (money, family, materials, etc.) across the entire planet. This has made it easy for immigrants to invade First-World nations. In addition, no nation can have a high level of prosperity by isolating herself from the world. Natural resources are distributed around the globe so powerful nations seek to exploit and transfer them to themselves. Free trade and free markets dictate that labor and products freely move across borders to eliminate inefficiency in the system. Half of the world’s produce is grown in China; many things that are packaged in the USA are manufactured overseas.

If there were a restriction on the flow of natural resources, labor, products, goods, and services across borders, there would be an accompanying decline in standard of living for all nations. This is due to much inefficiency such as economies of scale, non-competitive labor wages, lower output of products and services, and so forth.

One of the ironies of the recent success of India and China is the fear that… success in these two countries comes at the expense of the United States. These fears are fundamentally wrong and, even worse, dangerous. They are wrong because the world is not a zero-sum struggle… but rather is a positive-sum opportunity in which improving technologies and skills can raise living standards around the world.

—Jeffrey D. Sachs, The End of Poverty, 2005

The melding of economies, cultures, peoples, nations, is inevitable. It’s a melting pot of races and cultures. It’s already starting and evolution will mean the extinction of those not fit to reproduce.

Globalization has various aspects that affect the world in several different ways. Below is a list of the beneficial results:

*Industrial (alias trans-nationalization)

1. Emergence of worldwide production markets and broader access to a range of foreign products for consumers and companies.

* Financial

1. Emergence of worldwide financial markets and better access to external financing for corporate, national and sub-national borrowers.

2. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization are examples of global financial systems.

* Economic

1. Realization of a global common market, based on the freedom of exchange of goods and capital.

2. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), European Union (EU), North American Union (NAU) of Canada-United States-Mexico, the Trans-Atlantic free market and free trade agreement between Europe and the United States, the continuous push for free trade at the Asia-Pacific Summit from both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, the entire Western world is pushing for more economic integration of the globe.

Asia-Pacific Economic Summit (APEC): http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2008/11/23/bush_promotes_free_trade_at_asia_pacific_summit_in_peru/

USA-Europe free market: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=59713

3. NAFTA Super Highway (a system of freeways that will link Mexico, Canada, and the USA together for trucks and cars to drive freely across the continent).


4. Amero as the new currency for the NAU, Euro as the new currency for the EU

5. The decreasing value of local currencies such as the Mexican peso, American dollar, British pound, etc.

* Political

1. Political globalization is the creation of a world government which regulates the relationships among nations and guarantees the rights arising from social and economic globalization. The United States has enjoyed a position of power among the world powers; in part because of its strong and wealthy economy. With the influence of globalization and with the help of the United States’ own economy, China has experience some tremendous growth within the past decade. If China continues to grow at the rate projected by the trends, then it is very likely that in the next twenty years, there will be a major reallocation of power among the world leaders. China will have enough wealth, industry, and technology to rival the United States for the position of leading world power.

2. The European Union (EU) and North American Union (NAU) of Canada-United States-Mexico are not only economic entities but also political ones as well.

* Informational

1. Increase in information flow between geographically remote locations, via the Internet, TV, music, movies, …

* Cultural

1. Growth of cross-cultural contacts, friendships, relationships. American and European males marry mail-order brides from the Phillipines, India, Russia, China, and so forth.

2. Advent of new categories of consciousness and identities such as Globalism – which embodies cultural diffusion, the desire to consume and enjoy foreign products and ideas, adopt new technology and practices, and participate in a “world culture.” People become world citizens.

* Ecological

1. The advent of global environmental challenges that cannot be solved without international cooperation, such as climate change, global warming, cross-boundary water and air pollution, over-fishing of the ocean, and the spread of invasive species.

2. Many factories are built in developing countries where they can pollute freely.

* Social

1. The achievement of free circulation by people of all nations

* Transportation

1. Fewer and fewer European cars on European roads each year (the same can also be said about American cars on American roads). More cars are made in Asia, Latin America, and so forth by outsourcing. Ford has factories in Mexico now.

2. The death of distance through the incorporation of technology to decrease travel time. Airplanes and boats can take you around the world in a short period of time.

* Greater international cultural exchange

1. Spreading of multiculturalism, and better individual access to cultural diversity (e.g. through the export of Hollywood and Bollywood movies).

2. However, the imported culture can easily supplant the local culture, causing reduction in diversity through hybridization or even assimilation.

3. The most prominent form of this is Westernization, but Sinicization of cultures has taken place over most of Asia for many centuries.

* Greater international travel and tourism

1. Greater immigration, including illegal immigration

2. Spread of local consumer products (e.g. food) to other countries (often adapted to their culture)

3. World-wide fads and pop culture such as Pokémon, Sudoku, Numa Numa, Origami, Idol series, YouTube, Orkut, Facebook, and MySpace.

4. World-wide sporting events such as FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games.

5. Formation or development of a set of universal values

* Technical/legal

1. Development of a global telecommunications infrastructure and greater trans-border data flow, using such technologies as the Internet, communication satellites, submarine fiber optic cable, and wireless telephones

2. Increase in the number of standards applied globally; e.g. copyright laws, patents and world trade agreements.

3. The push by many advocates for an international criminal court and international justice movements.

One powerful source has blown down cultural boundaries around the entire world. What is this influential tool? It is the Internet and its endless margin of discovery. With the Internet people can easily access someone half way across the world. They could converse with someone living a completely different lifestyle yet still have something in common, the Internet. If language is a barrier then a website like Flickr, a photo sharing site, lets people from Singapore and Germany alike communicate without words. The Internet in essence makes the world a smaller place. Someone in America can be eating Japanese noodles for lunch while someone in Sydney Australia is eating classic Italian meatballs. One classic culture aspect is food. India is known for their curry and exotic spices. Paris is known for its smelly cheeses. America is known for its burgers and fries. McDonalds was once an American favorite with its cheery mascot, Ronald, red and yellow theme, and greasy fast food. Now it is a global enterprise with 31,000 locations worldwide with locations in Kuwait, Egypt, and Malta. This restaurant is just one example of food going big on the global scale. Meditation has been a sacred practice for centuries in Indian culture. It calms the body and helps one connect to their inner being while shying away from their conditioned self. Before globalization, Americans did not meditate or crunch their bodies into knots on a yoga mat. After globalization this is a common practice, it is even considered a chic way to keep your body in shape. Some people are even traveling to India to get the full experience themselves. Another common practice brought about by globalization would be Chinese symbol tattoos. These specific tattoos are a huge hit with today’s younger generation and are quickly becoming the norm. With the melding of cultures using another countries language in ones body art is now considered normal. Culture is defined as patterns of human activity and the symbols that give these activities significance. Culture is what people eat, how they dress, beliefs they hold, and activities they practice. Globalization has joined different cultures and made it into something different. As Erla Zwingle, from the National Geographic article titled “Globalization” states, “When cultures receive outside influences, they ignore some and adopt others, and then almost immediately start to transform them.” (Wikipedia)

It is inevitable that cultures will clash, as with the Amerindians and Iberians (Spain, Portugal, Italy). The strongest culture will always win. Race is irrelevant in a borderless world where even a small amount of miscegenation combined over thousands of years will gradually lead to complete racial assimilation. Globalization means the “death” of the European and Asian race, but the birth of a new mixed-race, just like how the Latinos/Hispanics were created 400 years ago by European explorers (White men) and Amerindian women in Latin America. The Amerindian race is–for all practical purposes–extinct due to racial assimilation, disease, colonization, loss of culture, loss of sovereign territory, etc.

Nationalists declare that Native Americans should return to Asia and leave the Americas to its original fauna, Japanese should cross back to continental Asia and leave Japan to the Ainu, and Southeast Asians should move north and restore the Negrito. The Brahmin should leave India for Europe. Anglo-Saxons should return to Jutland and leave Britannia to the Britons. Celtic Britons should return to France and leave Caledonia to the Picts, and the Franks should return to the forests of Germania, and so on endlessly. Humans have been migrating all over the globe for hundreds of thousands of years. Why force everyone to return to his or her “homeland?” Throughout history, all humans are immigrants.

Globalization is erasing borders and transforming humankind into a one world government. Nationalists will fight back and conflict will occur, violence and death will be common, but in reality no culture really “dies,” all cultures and peoples are integrated into a bigger and better culture. Race will cease to exist. Assimilation will be common. I consider myself to be a world citizen. Everyone is human, there is no such thing as race. Race has always been mercurial, are Latinos a race? Are Indians (from India) a race since a majority of them contain White Aryan/European male Y-chromosome M17 genetic markers from a White conquest thousands of years ago (Brahmin, upper-class light-skinned Indians)?

Globalization continues, nations disappear, cultures disappear and transform, all people will be altered, races change and die, and new races and cultures are born.

Worldwide statistics strongly support globalization:

From 1981 to 2001, according to World Bank figures, the number of people living on $1 a day or less declined from 1.5 billion to 1.1 billion in absolute terms. At the same time, the world population increased, so in percentage terms the number of such people in developing nations declined from 40% to 20% of the population with the greatest improvements occurring in economies rapidly reducing barriers to trade and investment.

The percentage of people living on less than $2 a day has decreased greatly in areas affected by globalization, whereas poverty rates in other areas have remained largely stagnant. In East-Asia, including China, the percentage has decreased by 50.1% compared to a 2.2% increase in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Income inequality for the world as a whole is diminishing. Due to definitional issues and data availability, there is disagreement with regards to the pace of the decline in extreme poverty. As noted below, there are others disputing this. The economist Xavier Sala-i-Martin in a 2007 analysis argues that this is incorrect, income inequality for the world as a whole has diminished. Regardless of who is right about the past trend in income inequality, it has been argued that improving absolute poverty is more important than relative inequality.

Life expectancy has almost doubled in the developing world since World War II and is starting to close the gap between itself and the developed world where the improvement has been smaller. Even in Sub-Saharan Africa, the least developed region, life expectancy increased from 30 years before World War II to about a peak of about 50 years before the AIDS pandemic and other diseases started to force it down to the current level of 47 years. Infant mortality has decreased in every developing region of the world.

Democracy has increased dramatically from there being almost no nations with universal suffrage in 1900 to 62.5% of all nations having it in 2000.

Feminism has made advances in areas such as Bangladesh through providing women with jobs and economic safety.

The proportion of the world’s population living in countries where per-capita food supplies are less than 2,200 calories (9,200 kilojoules) per day decreased from 56% in the mid-1960s to below 10% by the 1990s.

Between 1950 and 1999, global literacy increased from 52% to 81% of the world. Women made up much of the gap: female literacy as a percentage of male literacy has increased from 59% in 1970 to 80% in 2000.

The percentage of children in the labor force has fallen from 24% in 1960 to 10% in 2000.

There are increasing trends in the use of electric power, cars, radios, and telephones per capita, as well as a growing proportion of the population with access to clean water.

•  The book The Improving State of the World also finds evidence for that these, and other, measures of human well-being has improved and that globalization is part of the explanation. It also responds to arguments that environmental impact will limit the progress.

Although critics of globalization complain of Westernization, a 2005 UNESCO report showed that cultural exchange is becoming mutual. In 2002, China was the third largest exporter of cultural goods, after the UK and US. Between 1994 and 2002, both North America’s and the European Union’s shares of cultural exports declined, while Asia’s cultural exports grew to surpass North America.


MLA style citation:

Aninat, Eduardo. “Surmounting the Challenges of Globalization.” Finance & Development 39 (2002). International Monetary Fund (IMF). 1 Mar. 2002. International Monetary Fund. 2 Jan. 2009 <http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2002/03/aninat.htm>.

“Globalization.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 2 January 2009, at 11:47 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 2 Jan. 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalization>.

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