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  • Sanskriti Sinha

Globalization

"Globalization is incredibly effective but also so far incredibly unjust."

Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organization


Today, the nations around the globe are interconnected to an extent never achieved before. The awareness of the social issues, positive developments, cultural achievements, diverse beliefs, fascinating ideologies and interesting inventions originating in numerous parts of our international society has never been this incredible before. The spread of ideas, systems and culture, and the sharing of economy, development, and products started at the end of World War 2 and has now reached a level of utmost fascination. This "growing interdependence of the world's economies, cultures, and populations, brought about by cross-border trade in goods and services, technology, and flows of investment, people, and information" is what is defined as 'Globalization'.


Globalization is broadly categorized into three types, that are economic globalization, political globalization and cultural globalization:

  1. Economic globalization, the primary kind of globalization, refers to the conduct of economic activity between various countries. In other words, it is the interdependence and interrelations of the world economy. This form of globalization includes the trade of goods, such as manufactured or agricultural products, and services, such as labour. It also counts the financial side of the trade, that is the monetary payment from the buying country to the selling country, technically known as International Capital Flows.

The mentioned form of globalization has grown astronomically over the years with the development of science and technology making transportation and communication transactions much more convenient. Economic globalization has brought about various new trends. Capitalism has become more common and with that the dependence on markets has increased, making it more civilian-involved instead of government-involved as it originally was. Furthermore, Multinational Corporations (MNCs), which are the prominent driving force of economic globalization, have formed branches in other countries at even higher levels.

  1. Political globalization refers to the involvement of the entire global society in politics. This includes governmental bodies such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), and international policies. Political globalization also includes the spread of democracy across society, as more countries have left behind their former regimes and formed their kinds of democracy, such as India, Brazil and Russia.

  2. Cultural globalization refers to the transmission of values, lifestyles, traditions, and products belonging to specific national communities throughout the international society. This occurs due to the communicative convenience of the internet, the greater reach of media, the improved technology of transportation and the increased access to diverse foods, arts and products.


The concept of globalization triggers quite an argument:

  1. The argument 'for', mentions:

    1. Globalization has brought the extended society exponentially closer. As mentioned earlier, knowledge of diversity and other countries has increased remarkably. Respect for other cultures, sharing of ideas and access to international opportunities has grown astronomically. Humanity is no longer a bunch of separated cliques with false guesses for each other, it is now a relatively close-knit family.

    2. Although the use of labour from low-wage nations is often understandably frowned upon, the unfortunate bitter truth of the situation is that those labourers benefit much more from having that job than not having it at all. For example, if an international production company suddenly decided that they were going to manufacture their products locally, an Indian working for that company would lose their job and the fact of the matter is that such jobs provide an income to a significant part of the population. Nevertheless, the working conditions of such employees should indeed have no place in a developed world which is why globalization is still in dire need of improvement.

    3. Global economic growth has improved immensely as production has grown to much higher levels. This is because we have now begun the use of our global resources. To elaborate, in the early years of goods production, first-world nations would manufacture and sell products in the first-world itself. However, today, countries depend on low-wage nations such as Brazil, Vietnam, China and India for their manufacturing.

This lowers the cost of production and advances output. For instance, the t-shirt you are wearing right now has most likely been produced globally. The cotton for your t-shirt would have been sourced from the fields of Uganda. The blank t-shirt then would have been shipped across the oceans to Europe or the United States for printing. After which, the product would have been shipped to India. And only after all that travel, would it have been dropped off at your home.

  1. The argument 'against', states:

    1. Cultural globalization has caused diversity to decrease as most traditional regimes and beliefs are interpreted per the learning nation. For illustration, the Chinese food you order from your nearby Chinese eatery is completely different from the original. It has been tailored to match the Indian tongue which has caused its regional differences and the subtle aspects that separate each spice, each sauce, from the different regions in China to be overlooked. The cuisine is no longer distinguished by its specific origin in China, it is merely generalized as 'Chinese'; and in some cases, it may just be labelled as 'East-Asian' or worse, just 'Asian'.

    2. While globalization has brought about splendid economic growth and a humongous increase in wealth, the distribution of this wealth has been quite disproportionate. According to a study by Oxfam, an organization "fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice", a whopping 77% of the entire national wealth is held by the top sole 1% (by wealth) of India. Furthermore, another source states that a minute 1.1% of the world, which happens to fall in the wealth range of over 1 million dollars, have a gigantic global share of 45.8%. Whereas, 55% of the total adult population gets a relatively minuscule share of 1.3%.

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