What is Globalization?
What is globalization? Since the 1970’s, globalization has sharply accelerated its momentum towards a single-world society. The conventional autonomy of local societies was not eliminated, but “set aside” as common directions and options were implemented through the uniformity of practice. Even the trend in business, as well as government, is towards globalization. In his book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas L. Friedman suggests that globalization is a forceful ongoing process of merging of the world’s markets through the application of new technology. The impetus is free-market capitalism, but it is not restricted to this idea.
What is globalization in business? Numerous industries including automotive, telecommunications, and refreshments are merging into one global marketplace. The manner in which these businesses conduct their day-to-day transactions is significantly altered by technology. Industries such as Mercedes-Benz, AT&T, and Coca Cola are staking out more territory on the global landscape. But the deepest roots of globalization are found in the financial institutions of The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Other financial trends toward globalization include the introduction of the Euro, the “dollarization” of certain Latin American currency, and the proposal for a new North American currency, the Amero.
Herbert G. Grubel’s article, The Case for the Amero: The Economics and Politics of a North American Monetary Union, provides an excellent example of this currency alternative. Yet globalization is not simply about the money. This merging process has transformed the world through mass communications, increased ease of travel, the Internet, popular culture, and the increasingly widespread use of English as an international language. Countries involved in this process progress, while third world countries are left behind.
What is globalization in cultures? Advocates of globalization insist that free trade and free markets don’t weaken or spoil other cultures, they improve them. Proponents explain that trade cultivates wealth. Wealth frees the world’s poorest people from the daily struggle for survival, and allows them to embrace, celebrate, and share the art, music, crafts, and literature that might otherwise have been sacrificed to poverty.
Opponents of globalization express great concern that the “mega-store” effect is occurring on a global level. The anti-globalization groups argue that the playing field isn’t level. Since free trade is partial to larger economies, the predominant western influence suppresses the cultures and traditions of the under-developed nations. Both sides generally agree that subsidies, tariffs, and other protectionist policies by well-developed countries against goods commonly produced in the third world (textiles, for example) stifle both culture and economic growth in the poorer nations.
Slowly and methodically institutions such as the United Nations, World Health Organization, and World Trade Organization are acquiring dominance. A global system of governing through multinational companies extends its interests on a formal and personal level. This is why it is crucial to evaluate the structures of cultures. It is imperative that consideration be given to any monolith, which subordinates -- or in most cases dismisses -- equality, then boasts about its good intentions. Nations and governments will not thrive if they accept an autonomous system in which the affluent and powerful execute a New World Order agenda.
The Bible speaks of material exchange and meeting the needs of others. The apostle Paul expressed God’s equal provision for all those in need. “Of course, I don't mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help them. Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it. In this way, everyone's needs will be met. Do you remember what the Scriptures say about this? "Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough" (2 Corinthians 8:13-15).
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