People around the globe are more connected to each other than ever before. Information and money too flow more quickly than ever before. Goods and services produced in one part of the world are increasingly available in all parts of the world. International communication is commonplace. This phenomenon has been titled “globalization.” The era of globalization is fast becoming the preferred term for describing the current times. Because we are thoughtful people concerned about world affairs, our job is to pick up “globalization,” examine it from all sides, dissect it, figure out what makes it tick, and then nurture and promote the good parts and mitigate or slow down the bad parts.
Globalization is much like fire. Fire itself is neither good nor bad. Used properly, it can cook food, sterilize equipment, form iron, and heat our homes. Used carelessly, fire can destroy lives, towns, and forests in an instant. Globalization can be incredibly empowering and incredibly coercive. It can democratize opportunity and democratize panic. It makes the whales bigger and the minnows stronger. It leaves you behind faster and faster, and it catches up on you faster and faster. While it is homogenizing cultures, it is also enabling people to share their unique individuality farther and wider. Globalization has dangers and an ugly dark side. But it can also bring tremendous opportunities and benefits. Just as capitalism requires a network of governing systems to keep it from devouring societies, globalization requires vigilance and the rule of law. The term “globalization” was first coined in the 1980s, but the concept stretches back decades, and even centuries, if you count the trading empires built by Spain, Portugal, Britain, and Holland. Some would say the world was as globalized 100 years ago as it is today, with international trade and migration. But the 1930s depression put paid to that. Nation-states drew back into their shells on realizing that international markets...
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