Friday, December 4, 2009

Modern Globalization VS. Ancient Globalization

In our class about globalization, we talked a lot about transnational corporations (TNC). The existence of those corporations has brought about many problems that contradicted the idea of globalization. I remember we mentioned that a larger gap occurred between global north countries and global south countries because the regulations and policies established by the TNC have made the rich countries richer and the poorer countries poorer. Globalization in this case has lost its purpose.
It then occurred to me that globalization nowadays is really more about differentiation. If one wants to argue that the pervasive of the culture and language and the increasing of economic dimension and so on have proved globalization to be true, I would say, why not look at the history of our past? If those are the criteria of globalization, then I believe it already existed centuries ago. Back into those times, there were already immigrants moving all over the world. In China, for example, people would wear western suit, use western pens, and travel to western countries. In western countries, there were Chinese restaurants in all places (Although they didn’t have a unified brand name such as McDonald’s, the number of overall Chinese restaurants could even be more than that of McDonald’s franchises). People would also deposit their money in foreign banks, and this activity of capital export has been seen as a main characteristic of capitalized society by then. What’s more, people were free to move from one country to another without passports, unlike today when passport is a must. People at that time also had their own ideologies which are no less diversified than now... …What globalization really brings us today are more conflicts than similarities. Cultural exchanges should have promoted understandings but it also generates conflicts in people’s ideologies. Nationalism has been manifested because people nowadays care about their identities more than anytime. Then there are immigration rules, there are customs, and finally there are weapons.
All in all, I just feel that people should have been getting closer to each other under globalization but we end up getting further. There’s no need to mention how high-tech has created this gap because it’s so obvious. Other than that, everything people do today seems to be based on economical interest and with the incentives of interest people will do whatever they want. I can’t imagine what else this modern globalization will bring us.

1 comment:

  1. While globalization has brought us a better understanding of world-wide culture, you are right that it has also brought conflict with it. I wouldn't necessarily say that this is a bad or new thing though. Like you said, people have always been and will always be in conflict with someone in the interest of defining their identity. What modern globalization does offer is the shift from prejudice of trivial things like nationality or race to legitimate choices such as philosophy. At least we now have a choice in our antagonists for a much more legitimate reason.