The socio-economic phenomenon of Globalization has had some of the most far-reaching effects on humanity. Most would say that these are of tremendous importance given the fact that it puts the people of the world in the most advantageous position. Globalization opens up to an ample number of opportunities.
It leads to exchanges of ideas, opinions, knowledge, people and the latest forms of technology. The international civil society which is also a result of globalization aims to preserve and protect the notion of democracy and ensures that the violators of human rights all over the globe are persecuted. This makes the world a much more peaceful and secure place for all the “Global citizens” of the world to reside in. The very evident positive aspects of globalization cannot be missed and I am not here to prove that these are false. But what I do intend to do is perhaps present to you another perspective or the flip side to Globalization.
Every phenomenon has its own unique beginning and this holds true for Globalization as well. The all-encompassing win for democracy and the intensity with which it began to influence different spheres of the world can be known by browsing some the world’s most scholarly articles such as Francis Fukuyama's “End of History” (1989) where the author argues that the history of the battle between different ideologies followed in the world majorly that between capitalism and communism has come to an end with the rest of the world embracing democratic and capitalistic values and international systems of free trade and Human rights. The various waves of democratization (Huntington, 1991) occurred when many east European nations and Asian countries such as Philippines, South Korea and India accepted democratic values and followed codes of conduct laid down by democratic institutions belonging to the international world order.
The immediate effect was the “McDonaldization” and the “coca-colonization” of the world. The introduction of international fast food chains like McDonald’s, Starbucks coffee and outlets of Giant technologies like Apple meant that the rest of the world had an equal access to consumer goods originated in the west. While the consumer culture was welcomed in many parts of the world, it was also a source of tension in certain circumstances this was mostly because it was the globalizer’s effort to standardize the world. This was mainly done to create a sense of homogeneity because globalization looks at the world as a highly profit-driven market where ideas are blatantly sold to endorse and export the western lifestyle to the world. It involves being insensitive to other cultures, beliefs and traditions with its aim of imposing the value systems and standards of the west. One consumer good after another, model after model, stylish clothes of expensive clothing brands made by the toil of Bangladeshi workers in Hazardous conditions in crumbling factories, these are the goods that determine our happiness because they make a particular kind of a statement. And before we realize it, we are stuck in this never-ending loop of acquiring the “best of everything”.
Free trade is propagated as a theory that is suitable to the needs of all. It lowers tariffs and import and export restrictions in order to encourage economic growth. But is Free trade necessarily Fair trade? In the fuss of all the mega-development, Free trade marginalizes small-scale producers. It does not provide for farmers or factory workers, and artists with wages to sustain living standards. One classic example can be seen in a region of Vidarbha in Maharashtra in India. With the introduction of free-market policies, the cotton grown known as “white gold” has been reduced to a cash crop with no worth because the government has withdrawn support and subsidies to the agricultural farmers and left them to compete with the farmers in the United States and the European Union who are heavily protected by trade restrictions and provided with billion dollar subsidies. (Dionne Bunsha).
We’re in dire need of an all-inclusive growth and development process and more importantly progress not for a few but for all. The will of a country to choose its own pattern of development at its own pace is rare. An environment of mutual recognition and peaceful coexistence of all nations can only be achieved when manipulation and false promises for a better future are done away with. Now that is what should be a component of the “borderless world”.