Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 03:03:49 PM EST
The diary discusses the negative aspects of globalization:
The impact of the phenomenon Globalization is so pervasive and important in all spheres of the human interrelations nowadays that the whole process can be regarded as a new kind of transformation in the history similar to the transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, from the Middle Ages to Renaissance, and from Renaissance to industrial capitalism. The professors David Held and Anthony McGrew argue that "Globalization, in short, can be thought of as the widening, intensifying, speeding up, and growing impact of world-wide interconnectedness."1 However, another definition, based on causes of the process, formulates the term as the mixture of economic, financial, and political events that shift the power of shaping the human development beyond the grasp of the nation state. This very shift creates insecurity and conflicts and hinders the progress, although it simultaneously promotes democracy, liberty, and equality. Two major long-term problems are the rise of global crime and the negative effects of Globalization on the environment.
The rise of global crime deserves special attention because the process totally contradicts to the concepts of security and peace that are so vital in the modern understanding of liberty and democracy. The scale of some law violations is really immense and is indeed facilitated by the world-wide interconnectedness. Moises Naim, an editor of Foreign Policy, concludes that
"the illegal trade in drugs, arms, intellectual property, people, and money is booming. Like the war on terrorism, the fight to control these illicit markets pits governments against agile, stateless, and resourceful networks empowered by globalization. Governments will continue to lose these wars until they adopt new strategies to deal with a larger, unprecedented struggle that now shapes the world as much as confrontations between nation-states once did."2
The crime networks are stronger than the governments because they "pioneer" in a millieu
more prone to "remunerate" the most capable competitors. Free trade liberalization, financial freedom, fading of state borders, corruption and many other factors hinder successful governmental interference and alleviate the networks. If there is a conflict, there is also a need for arms. And the conflicts, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America, happen due to the fight between local elites and paramilitary groups over key resources like oil, diamonds, rubber, copper. Are not these resources essential for the global industry? This very same industry shifts the production to low-paid workers and children (North Africa, East Asia, and Latin America) in order to remain competitive under the Globalization.
Not only does Globalization sharpens the rich-poor gap and foster global crime and conflicts, but also "scars" the global environment irreversibly. The depletion of vital components, necessary for the equilibrium between nature and men, like the tropical forests, the animal diversity, and clean water can not be substituted with any advances created by the Globalization process. The fragile environment rather loses the battle with the global consumer who does not think in a longer perspective. After all, poverty and environmental problems are implicitly connected to each other:
"Lord May, a former chief scientific adviser to the Government, warned that there is mounting scientific evidence to show that global warming is the biggest single threat to the world today - especially developing countries. The latest study reveals for instance that the rise in man-made greenhouse gases may already be responsible for an increase in drought conditions and risk of famine in eastern Africa. Britain's most senior independent scientist has warned that global warming threatens to ruin the international initiative to lift Africa out of poverty."3
The poverty, the environmental change, the rise of global crime are not born by Globalization per se, but fostered and alleviated by it. The process creates global problems and at the same time there are no global solutions. Governments and institutions that are capable to resolve these sensitive issues do not feel obliged to do it, as the problems are global and not in their competence. Or the efforts done are rather cosmetic and short-term based. What do abstract terms like liberty, world democracy and global progress mean when men are starving, children at 10 are fighting, the clean water is scarce, and crime is frightening us all?
2.Five Wars of Globalization
3.Climate Change "Could Ruin Drive to Eradicate Poverty"