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Globalization

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The Effects of Globalization Globalization is a process which has been underway for hundreds of years. The world has slowly gotten smaller and smaller, figuratively, with the advancements of technology and the branching out of many nations to dominate and control the rest of the world. There are, of course, negative and positive affects that globalization has brought to this world. Two different authors, Amartya Sen and William Robinson, have both written on opposing views of globalization and how our world has been affected by it, where one writes of the imminent war and the other of the beauties of globalization. Though this world would be very different without globalization, some parts of globalization are very unnecessary and can cause many problems for the world as a whole. Amartya Sen views globalization as a great thing. She refers to it as “global Westernization,” that globalization is a gift from Western civilizations to bring the countries up to a higher living standard, as well as make their political system better. Besides this, a lot of the things we have, we wouldn't without globalization. Robinson on the other hand, has a completely different view; that globalization is going to ruin the world as we know it. He believes globalization will, if it hasn't already, start a new world war. One that will really be a global war that involves all people from all around the world. “Globalization is often seen as global Westernization.”[i] Sen starts out her argument with this sentence, which can be easily agreed, as the Western civilizations are seen as the dominate civilizations. She goes on to say, “Those who take an upbeat view of globalization see it as a marvelous contribution of Western civilization to the world... And now the great achievements of the West are spreading to the world.”[ii] However, this can be seen as both good and bad. Since the West has a higher standard of living, the West can share with the rest of the world to try and bring all countries up to par with them. On the same note, this is possibly forcing the views of Western civilization onto the rest of the world. Many parts of the world think of the United States as a joke because of the type of society we are living in. Many countries do not want to be “up to par” with the Western civilizations. Sometimes that democracy is not the right answer. In the 18th century, Colonial America had an uprising and didn't want to be part of Great Britain anymore. Britain was making laws that governed over America, and the people of America saw that these laws did not help them, as they were laws made for Great Britain that were in affect in America. Being in a different part of the world, the American people had different necessities compared to those of the British people. This could be viewed as a small scale globalization; first, the British came to the new world and forced their views onto the natives, and if they did not comply, they were killed. Then as colonies formed, trade between the Americas and Great Britain was natural, with exporting and importing of goods. Great Britain then over governed the American people and there was a revolution so that the Americans could set up a nation built by them and for them, for their needs. If one were to look at the world today, the United States and the United Kingdom, among others, are trying do something similar to this. Looking back over the past decade, we can see the war in the Middle East. The United States stepped in to try and bring democracy to the area, however this did not worked and caused more problems among nations. The United States is trying to force their own views onto the rest of the world, however, we saw how that worked with Great Britain and the Americas, but as it goes, history repeats itself. “...the conflict bound up with capitalist globalisation is truly world war: it involves all peoples around the world, and none can escape involvement. Calling the current state of affairs a world war is a dramatic statement, intended to underscore the extent to which I believe humanity is entering a period that could well rival the colonial depredations of past centuries.”[iii] Robinson talks of an imminent world war, caused by globalization and the people pushing towards it. If this is looked at along with Sen's views, global Westernization is causing a world war. As I was saying before, the war in the Middle East the United States was getting involved in shows how Western cultures are forcing views onto other nations. The United States was not involved in the war, but decided they should intervene anyways and try and bring democracy to more places. “The paradox of the demise of dictatorships, 'democratic transitions' and the spread of 'democracy' around the world is explained by new forms of social control, and the misuse of the concept of democracy, the original meaning of which, the power (cratos) of the people (demos), has been disconfigured beyond recognition.”[iv] So the “democracy” that the United States, among other countries, are spreading, isn't really democracy. As Robinson puts it, the United States is closer to a “polyarchy,”[v] which is a system run by a small group of elected officials. For many countries, this polyarchy may not be best. Many countries have already corrupt governments, but putting make up on that government and dressing it up all fancy isn't going to change anything. Globalization has its benefits and its downfalls. We must compare these benefits and downfalls so we can decide what is really best for our world. Globalization is imminent, however, as we have been moving towards it for hundreds of years, we are a closer society as a whole then we ever have been in the past. It is easier for people to travel back and forth between countries, to buy things from other countries, to gain citizenship in other countries and many other things like this. We must decide where to draw the line of globalization, sharing cultures, to an extent, and trading goods are great things that can come from globalization, however forcing views, causing wars and destroying whole cultures are the bad things that can come from globalization.
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[i] Amartya Sen, How to Judge Globalism (Boston: John Wiley & Sons 2002), 16
[ii] Ibid. 16
[iii] William Robinson, Globalization: Nine Theses on Epoch (Boston: John Wiley & Sons 2002) 23
[iv] Ibid. 23
[v] Ibid. 25

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