- August 29, 2012
- Posted by: essay
- Category: Free essays
Globalization became one of the most influential forces, determining the further process on our planet on the whole. Today it affects all spheres of the public life, including economy, policy, social sphere, culture, ecology, and safety. Undoubtedly, globalization possesses both positive and negative aspects. However many of its opponents and supporters treat the globalization, it is necessary to acknowledge that it has already obviously changed the world system, opening new possibilities and generating new problems, risks, and dangers.
One of the basic problems is related to the question of who benefits from globalization. Actually, basic part of advantages is obtained by rich countries or individuals. Some opponents of globalization discuss the possibility of global convergence of profits, arguing that the economy of poor states develops at a faster pace, than that of rich ones. But in fact, this tendency is characteristic only for a small group of countries in South-East Asia, while the least developed countries have much lower rates of growth, than the rich states. Their benefits from globalization are minimal (Faiola, 2009).
The second problem is related to the potential regional or global instability, caused by interdependence of national economies at global level. Thus, local economic vibrations or crises in one country can have regional or even global consequences. Such possibility carries not only theoretical character, but also becomes very real, which is confirmed by the global financial crisis (Faiola, 2009).
The third circle of problems generated by globalization is caused by fear, that the control over the economy of certain countries can pass from sovereign governments to the strongest states, multinational or global corporations and international organizations (Rosenberg, 2002). By this reason, globalization can cause a feeling of helplessness in national leaders, and antipathy in electorate.
Globalization, unlike global processes preceding it (for example, industrialization), is passed consciously, and the society realizes that it is dealing now with a certain process. But this awareness causes an illusion that the process can be somehow controlled (Giddens, 1990). These illusions are connected with the most negative consequences of globalization ”“ with the attempts of poor countries to make rich ones share, and also with inability of rich countries to undertake anything, that would satisfy poor ones. Though reproaches are addressed to the governments of the developed countries of the world, in fact, they can’t control the whole process (Faiola, 2009).
Meanwhile, some aspects of globalization seem presenting a threat to the values, which made globalization possible. For instance, transnational corporations have already become a nightmare of futurists. By their economic power largest TNC can fully compete with national states. Thus, the Japanese corporation “Mitsubishi” yields to only 21 countries in the world by the volume of produced goods. At the same time, apart from 30 states, 10 TNC are among 40 biggest world producers. Unlike the developed countries, TNCs have a complicated hierarchical structure of management; and they can freely dispose enormous resources and, consequently, be much more effective, than the states, especially on short time intervals and for the decision of local tasks. Naturally, there exist some fears concerning safety and morality of such tasks (Friedman, 2005).
A separate problem is also presented by the system of international relations, which has formed nowadays. There’s no personified (e.g. organization) or depersonified (law) authority, acknowledged by all the participants of the process. The international law is only named a law, but it rather includes norms, which are easily ignored by self-centered states. In order to demand anything from the developed countries, the governments of poor countries should agree with the relativity of sovereignty principle. But that’s just what does not take place, because everybody knows that the source of poverty of these countries is in 90% represented by their governments, and the fight against poverty should actually start with the removal of those governments (Friedman, 2005). However, it’s still impossible to imagine global government and global state without borders, as it’s required by the global scenario. All the supernational (or international) structures, which can be created instead of UNO, will threaten the sovereignty of national states.
On the other hand, the subjects of international relations are governments, which are too egoistical organizations, while the problems they try to manage have over-national character. International cooperation will not manage to soften the effects of globalization, if governments keep on focusing on themselves.
A number of sociocultural distortions is also related to the processes of globalization. Informational exchange among social systems in frames of communication processes leads, as a rule, to differentiation and integration of the systems, to their mutual enrichment. The opposite situation happens, when not simply informational exchange, but intervention of the systems take place, which actually means “parasitic transplantation” of whole fractions of one system into another. A similar danger is carried by the phenomenon of international migration, which is connected with globalization to a large extent. It’s important, that not the fact of mass shifting of habitants of one country to another country, but the process of transference of other cultural standards and types of behavior (in scales, not adopted by the culture) is a disintegrating aspect in frames of a social system (Berger, 1997).
In some specified sense, migration is a benefit brought by globalization. It exercises the human right to freedom of movement and is a pre-condition of mobility at labour market. But migration is also one of the reasons for clash of civilizations. The inflow of population from another cultural areal leads to the erosion of society’s values, to the revival of racism, neo-Nazi, and hostility to foreigners (Huntington, 1996).
Taking into account the existing demographic tendencies, the scope of migration becomes a problem Number 1 for the developed countries. According to the data of the UNO High Commissioner for Refugees, in the middle of 1980s the amount of refugees made 30-40 million; and in the middle of 1990s international organizations estimated the number of people, residing out of their motherland, in about 70-85 million, apart from 16 million refugees and not taking into consideration the high number of illegal migrants (Rosenberg, 2002).
The deepening gap between the countries of the North and the South constantly whips up the population to economic migration. Erosion of lands, shortage of drinking-water, worsening of climate conditions force the population of the poorest countries to ecological migration. While economic migration exceeded political one at the end of the 20th century, ecological migration threatens to surpass economic one at the beginning of the 21st century (Faiola, 2009).
The culture of any society answers the processes of system interference (the actions of which strengthen direct interventions of more developed or less developed cultures) painfully. The conditions of the mutual understanding become more complicated; the vital world of the society tests overloads. These processes are connected with the loss of cultural identity, softening of traditionally established cultural models, and high degree of aggression and disintegration. When the facilities of culture’s rational moderation appear insufficient, cultural tradition collapses under the pressure of innovations. As compensation, more primitive structures of social organization revive from archaic past of the culture (Friedman, 2005). And the collapse of traditions means the loss of vital orientations, psychological overloads of personality, and its marginalization.
Another specific answer to strong, but less developed civilizations on the intervention of other cultures during the process of globalization is terrorism. The political effect of terrorism repeatedly increases a reaction on it in mass media. The media-effect of public threat, which is the purpose of terrorists, is actually created by mass media, but not by a terrorist action. Therefore, terrorism should also be examined in the context of development and state of communicative global community. The flush of terrorism diagnoses a serious illness of this society, which mostly arises because of unwillingness or inability of cultures or countries to reach a consensus and peaceful coexistence (Huntington, 1996).
The next potentially dangerous phenomenon, connected with globalization, is global pop-culture, which, meeting resistance everywhere, systematically conquers countries of the world. Critics on “Holywoodization” of the world is provoked by the energy, with which transnational pop-industry pushes and implants global cultural and artistic standards and tastes. The cultural products of this “making a fool” industry are justly associated with simplification of the whole cultural landscape, cultivation of pied and superficial art, with toughening of senses and loss of depth (Berger, 1997).
Globalization, to an extent, in which it translates general standards and images, averages the level and deepens the crisis of traditional culture. The mass culture can slowly substitute the real art (theater, opera, ballet, literature) with show-business and TV entertainments. Commercialization of culture destroys its own system of functioning rules and distorts the culture itself (Friedman, 2005).
Summing up the mentioned dangers and disadvantages of globalization, we can fix the following negative aspects of this process:
Â· Ecological degradation is caused by unlimited industrial activity of multinational corporations, whose only purpose is the increase of incomes.
Â· Along with achievement of a certain level of poverty diminishing, new considerable economic disproportions between rich and poor are formed in many regions.
Â· Providing population with basic necessaries is no more a priority, because a large number of countries is busy, creating the mode of favor for foreign investments in different spheres of industry, bringing a profit to the foreign markets, and forget about the needs of their own population.
Â· Globalization contributes much to the removal of state control over international financial flows. Sudden overflowing of capital from one country to another stipulated the collapse of a number of currencies, in particular in South-East Asia.
Â· Technological progress, aggravated by the capital exports to regions on the South with low production inputs, caused the growth of unemployment in the North.
Â· Globalization popularized the culture of consuming. Consumering gave birth to materialism; people give preference to what have, but not to the fundamental human values.
Â· Global culture substitutes local cultures and distorts identities.
Â· In the systems of education preference is given to technical and administrative skills. In accordance with the requirements of market, traditional academic disciplines are ignored.
Â· In spite of the fact that the boom of information technologies caused the growth of information, its considerable part is unavailing and senseless.
Â· Double standards exist in the aspect of human rights defence, while it’s an instrument of foreign policy of governments.
Â· Globalization internationalized criminality.
Â· Spreading of diseases takes place much more swiftly in the conditions of globalization.
Thus, the problem of globalization effects appears practically insoluble. Speed of progress is so high today, that patriarchal societies simply cannot adapt. As such transmitters make the majority of planet’s population, patriarchal revolution (like Russian revolution in 1917, or German in 1933) seems practically inevitable in future. And that could be not the most dangerous prognosis.
However, speaking about globalization, it is important to make an effort and overcome one-sidedness of present approaches, and as far as possible synthesize different approaches, meaning that globalization is a result of a complex of innovative factors, Â which cause a fundamental civilization turn in history of humanity.