By: Mina Sherif Samy – Group A weekends
Globalization Supporting Comparative Advantage in Economies
Globalization is a process fueled by, and resulting in, increasing cross-border flows of goods, services, money, people, information, and culture (Held et al. 1999:16). Stephen Kobrin (1997:147-148) describes globalization as driven not by foreign trade and investment but by increasing technological scale and information flows. Sometimes it appears loosely associated with neo-liberalism and with technocratic solutions to economic development and reform (Evans 1997). But the term is also linked to cross-border advocacy networks and organizations defending human rights, the environment, women's rights and world peace (Sikkink 1998). The environmental movement, in particular, has raised the banner of globalism in its struggle for a clean planet, as in its "Think Global, Act Local" slogan. Thus, globalization is often constructed as an impersonal and inevitable force in order to justify certain policies or behaviors.
Globalization," has been defined in a variety of alternative ways including:
An economic orientation of globalization being "the growing economic interdependence of countries worldwide through the increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services and of international capital flows, and also through the more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology." (World Economic Outlook 1997)
Globalization also describes a world environment in which much freer international movement of goods, capital, people, information and ideas is making global market forces more important in the daily lives of the world's people relative to nation state political forces. But, the economic processes of globalization are not new. The period 1870-1914 was a time of very rapidly increasing free movement of goods, capital and people as the technology of the telegraph and the steamship made international communication and transportation much faster, easier and cheaper. This extraordinary period of growth in the global economy was interrupted by the two World Wars and the Cold War, but with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the primary alternative to "market capitalism" also disappeared. Nation states worldwide began to open their economies to international goods, services, practices and ideas, to privatize the means of production that for years had been government owned.
Some believe that words are very important when addressing globalization. The corporate media have claimed many words such as "democracy," "freedom," and even "justice" to define globalization. Another is to begin with the word, "democracy," and call the movement against globalization "The Democracy Movement." For centuries, globalization has increasingly knitted together the world and created unity out of great diversity. Coca-Cola, Disney and McDonald's symbolize the process, along with Sony, Shell Oil and IBM. They are powerful companies that drive globalization forward, creating new laws, new business practices, new ways to eat and drinking, new hopes and dreams.
Suppose that a spokesperson for the Democracy Movement stated that a great deal of information is revealed. We are not opposed to democracy in fact we welcome it, and see a movement away from globalization as a movement toward democracy. Corporate media people, having claimed the word, would have a difficult time explaining why police were beating protesters who claim to represent a Democracy Movement. There are some leftists who are repulsed by it, but this is because it has been used to define fascism, right wing dictators and all manners of undemocratic things. By allowing corporate media to use the negative "anti-globalization," and accepting it will not get us far. They imply that we are only against, and have no alternative. Calling it "The Democracy Movement" already implies an...