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Globalization

February 17, 2012

There has been a thought troubling me for the past few days. A particular word – globalization.

Wikipedia defines this word as “the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity.”

I cannot quite remember how I defined this word when I wrote a paper about this. But I was 21 and regarded the world with a stronger tint of rose on my glasses. Globalization, at that time, meant that things could change.

No man is an island and no country can be either. So opening up trade only meant more money would pour in, more jobs created, more cultural exchange happening and such. This belief perhaps is indicative why economy was never my major in college.

Standing in the middle of one of the worst recessions the world has seen, I wonder what kind of an impact globalization has created on us. I’m still not completely against globalization. How long would you want to continue with limited trade? As business grows, you always look for a bigger market.

But when arguments about stuff like FDI in retail come about, I wonder where exactly did the meaning get twisted?

A very famous literary critic once said “Globalisation destroys the familiarity of everyday objects and worse threatens the traditional technological forms that make them.”

That is the very situation that we face them. The problem of this destroying process is not just an emotional one. When it comes to business, emotions are not even brought inside the room. It is the thought that these traditional technological forms have been embedded in our cultural identities in an intricate manner.

A weaver here is not merely a weaver. But his entire cultural identity is based on the fact that he is a weaver. His religion, his standing in society and more. Globalization poured in more money, created new roads and hence blurred some of this identity… sometimes, for the good. It creates an opportunity for more uniform economic and social standing.

But after that uniform platform is created, where a guy who weaves, a guy who farms, a guy who makes shoes are all standing on the same line, the big guy comes to play.

The big guy who has more money than all these little people put together. So now he opens a bigger store with shoes, clothes and farm products.

In an ideal world, this is supposed to enhance everybody’s lives. Everyone is expected to have more value for their products as their market expands and hence demand increases.

But in the world of Globalization, it is a guy who comes from a place with better facilities, bringing his ideas into a different place. He has more money, money sways practices and ergo, the manner of doing things changes to his way.

This is where the balance tips and mind splits into two directions.

One says that there are more jobs and possibilities. The guy who can do right will go on to make it big.

The other says no matter how much the little guy tries, he simply cannot compete with the richer guy. He does sell and buy products from that rich guy but the terms are being dictated by the richer guy. So how exactly is this supposed to be benefit the receiving country if all they will ever be doing is receiving?

Competition increases to a level where the smaller guy has to eventually fold, thereby destroying some part of that culture and tradition. We do evolve into something else. But does this create a sense of uniform culture? Sort of a Darwinian “the strongest survives”? Or will this result in a medley of various cultures and create a new organism?

 

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