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Globalization: General Discussion

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Tony Birch, Ph.D.Person was signed in when posted
08:30 AM ET (US)
Thanks for posting! Yes, globalization will not solve the world's problems. In fact i t will introduce many more. Among the most significant problems now, IMHO, is that democracy and free markets are on trial. Totalitarian regimes, with corrupt, and/or controlled economies and state ideologies have found a way to survive, and even "thrive." I would agree we need to respect other cultures as long as their major practices exist within what Donaldson calls the "moral free space" -- i.e., ways of life that efficient, meaningful, and supportive of core human capacities for good. For example, Japan scores "low" on "equality" for women, according to the World Economic Forum, but but this may be a misleading way of trying to judge another culture (see my blog On the other hand (as philosophers), we should not hesitate to judge practices in cultures that clearly violate basic human freedoms, such as the thought control practices of the Chinese government.
Hilton Hunte
10:23 PM ET (US)
Global consciousness is a reality in the 21st century that is inevitable. The world has become a global village due to technoloogy, transportation, communication, mass communication and so many other influences.Globalization will not solve all of the world's problems but it is an attempt to improve living conditions.There is no perfect system,the critics are here to stay and they can help to initiate and drive reforms.We need to respect other peoples culture and religion in spite of the global consciounsess.
  Messages 18-17 deleted by author 08-24-2006 08:45 PM
09:21 AM ET (US)
RE: Kapil posts 14,15.

14: Democracy is often called tyranny of the minorty. More than 30 countries joined the invasion. World opinion was, in fact against "unilateral action by the U.S. and its allies" see

But this way of saying it makes no sense. There cannot be UNIlateralism by ALLIES. UNIlateralism means by ONE country. The miliatary action against Iraq was approved by MANY countries -- although it may not have been the majority.

People say "the U.N. did not endorse the Invasion." The truth is: The Security Council did not endorse the Invasion. As I point out in my course, the Security Council is entirely without legitimacy as a model for world Government.

I agree that "world opinion" is important. That is why countries need to ELECT representatives to a World government. Virtually NONE do so at the present time.

As I said, the Iraq issue represents the failure of the U.N. to be meaningful.

15: An EXCELLENT point and one oft repeated in discussions of Globalization. I will have to include this idea in my course, since I pay almost no attention to it.
09:20 AM ET (US)
One of the reason the multinationals are looked at with suspicion is that erstwhile colonial started out as traders. In some the colonies the colonial power was exercised by a commercial entity THE COMPANY.
09:17 AM ET (US)
If it is not unilateralism then its tyranny of the minority. Policing for a new government is a not an issue. How many joined the invasion? Invasion of Iraq exemplifies the disregard world opinion. The issue of UN rules is incidental to the disregard for world opinion by supposedly democartic countries.
04:12 PM ET (US)
RE: post 11 by Kapil

I am only going to remark on point 4. I can't agree to that! No, I don't see Bush as a unilateralist. More than 30 countries have joined forces in the Iraq international police effort. The Iraq situation represents the failure of the U.N. to enforce its own rules. It's just more evidence that the U.N. is unworkable. I think this is the real historical legacy of Iraq.
04:07 PM ET (US)
RE: post 10 by Kapil.

Yes, an excellent point. I once said to one of my Bulgarian students (all of whom spoke English): "you are a member of the world cultural elite because of your education" (which was based on the American system).

The hatred of McDonald's is quite irrational and is not related to its actual products, which, as you say, are local in nature. Obviously, the anti-McDonald's movement is based on something deeper.

Most of India's GDP is based on services? I have not looked it up, but I doubt it. The U.S. has only recently reached the mark of services being the largest single sector of the GDP. I believe it is over 50%. I think Krugman's discussion of this in Pop Internationalism is a good one.
03:35 PM ET (US)
1.Doha round is proving that WTO is nolonger the forte of USA and the WEST. The tough stance of the developing countries agricultural subsidies is a testimony to this fact. This has come about with China, with its increasing clout in international trade, joining the WTO.

2. World Bank has unduly got a negetive image its influence on Economic policy is minimal as its project funding is rarely tied with conditionalities. Anyway after the debt crisis of Latin American countries developing countries have increasing been using " Equity" route to raise foreign exchanage resources, thereby reducing there dependence on WB.

3. The writ of IMF runs in a country only if it gets itself into deep foreign exchange deficits on the current account. If the country can make sure that it wont need the IMF again it can flout IMF conditionalities.

4. More than these three agencies its the kind of "unilateralism" that Bush administration showed in Iraq that can be a future route of domination in a unipolar world.
Edited 09-24-2005 03:36 PM
03:11 PM ET (US)
 Global monoculture: More than the US film industry its the western education system that was extended to the colonies of European countries in 1800 and the first half of 1900 that has paved the way for infusion of modern/western culture. People who are educated in a " colonial " language are more more westernised/ modern and its these elite sections in the developing world who have a taste for Hollywood film industry. Cultural values are so deeply ingrained that even McDonalds has to "localise" its products. For e.g. McDonalds can not dare to dream of serving beef in its Indian restaurants. This leads me to think that whats becoming a common thread arround the world is an industrial or information age lifestyle, with core values of local cultures staying mostly untouched. The fast food is in response to hectic urban/industrial or post industrial life which is now extending to the developing countries. China has substantial part of its GDP coming from manufacturing (industrial age) while India has most of its GDP coming in from services (post industrial age, its hypothesized that India has bypassed the industrial age).
Edited 09-24-2005 03:16 PM
06:35 AM ET (US)
Re: point 1. I quite agree with the first sentence. As for Chernobyl, it's possible it helped paved the way for Glasnost -- a change within the USSR -- but as you suggested in the first sentence, it probably also contributed to the feeling that "we are all in this together."

2. Yes. And this is one reason that people in developing countries often subscribe to what I call the conspiracy theory of Globalizaton. If you look at the charts in the introduction, you see why. On the other hand, trade is the ONLY way wealth is going to be generated in the 3rd world. It's been proven that closed economies simply cannot compare to those who encourage trade (N. Korea vs. S. Korea).
08:51 PM ET (US)
1. The excessive pollution and environmental dangers posed by the industrial era have added to the global consciousness. I wonder to what extent did Chernobyl disaster of early 1980 lead to Glasnost and Perestroika in the erstwhile USSR, opening to gates to the present phase of fast globalisation.

2. Its intersting to note that the developing countries have more percentage of their GDP coming from exports as compared to the developing countries. Is my analysis correct? If yes does this not run counter to economic rationale for globalisation. Are the developing countries more at risk due to this over dependence on foreign markets?
  Messages 7-6 deleted by author between 12-23-2004 10:45 AM and 01-24-2005 08:02 AM
Tony Birch, Ph.D.Person was signed in when posted
11:46 AM ET (US)
Many visitors from around the world come here get information about Globalization. For more information, see my free course on Globalization at This discussion space allows people taking the course to express their views on questions asked in the course modules. You can also use this space to introduce yourself. Why are you interested in Globalizaiton? What country do you come from?
Edited 01-19-2005 10:53 PM
Tony Birch, Ph.D.Person was signed in when posted
10:58 PM ET (US)
Onthink, your's is a message of hope! Let us hope that we can indeed form a better world civilization for mankind! I also hope that there will be diversity and exerimentation -- so there will not really be a "monoculture."

As for Bush vs. Clinton, bear in mind that the forces of Globalization are greater than individuals. Bush inherited a war, started by the terrorists, under the Clinton administration. Clinton helped expand markets, thereby reducing poverty. Bush is trying to expand freedom. (One can argue about whether he is doing a good job of it! But, from the historical point of view Bush is just the pawn of larger forces; as long as there continues to be more democracy and freedom in the world, the current trends of Globalization are intact.)
Edited 07-26-2004 10:59 PM
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