Globalization: A New Form of Colonization
After the Second World War, a decolonization process took place - for previously slaved and colonized nations - supposedly ending almost four centuries of slavery and exploitation. It was followed by the end of the cold war and the beginning of a new era: Globalization. Although there is no exact definition of the word globalization, some experts believe that “the process of globalization not only includes opening up of world trade, development of advanced means of communication, internationalization of financial markets, growing importance of MNC’s, population migrations and more generally increased mobility of persons, goods, capital, data and ideas but also infections, diseases and pollution” (Goyal 1). There are several positive aspects of globalization; these include the exchange of culture, values and beliefs between nations, the openness of border, communication, and circulation between nations. However, globalization has many negative impacts on developing countries, varying from the cultural, economical, social, environmental, to the political sectors; thus, widening the gap between the developed and under-developed countries. As Philippe Legrain explains it in his article “Cultural Globalization Is Not Americanization”, globalization has some positive impacts on cultures around the world. He states, “Globalization not only increases individual freedom, but also revitalizes cultures and cultural artifacts through foreign influences, technologies, and markets”(Legrain 516). Indeed globalization has increased personal freedom, and has allowed communication between nations. For instance, before the globalization era, in most countries around the world, people didn’t have the means to communicate and travel. Globalization came along establishing series of effective communication and circulation channels, leading to the signing of diplomatic treaties, thus, allowing millions of people around the world to express themselves, travel, and exchange information. However, the existing form of globalization – “market driven globalization” - has a hidden side of westernization. It is a tool used by western countries to spread capitalism and the western culture as the acceptable way to behave while undermining other cultures and even using propaganda to dilute certain cultures, beliefs and ideology. As Legrain also explains, “market-driven globalization doesn’t want diversity...Its enemies are national habits, local brands and distinctive regional tastes” (Legrain 515). For instance, I grew up in Dakar the capital of Senegal, West Africa. Growing up, my friends and I – just like the majority of the people – watched Western media such as MTV, CNN, Cartoon Network, among several Western mainstream media. Our role models were mainly U.S. rappers and TV actors, which we regarded as the essence of the western culture. There was only one Senegalese TV channel, which, due to lack of resources, broadcasted a few hours a day. As a result, I barely learned anythingabout my country’s rich culture while I grew up, I instead learned the real name of the rapper 50 Cent and could even recite you the lines of some of his songs. Meanwhile, most of my friends in college in the U.S. have no idea of where Senegal is situated on the world map; some of them can’t even tell if Africa is a country or a continent. Is this a fair form of cultural exchange? Absolutely not! The information is flowing in only one direction. The existing form of globalization is a form of cultural imperialism. The West imposes its point of view to the third world, and then undermines theirs, in return. For instance, a citizen from the western world doesn’t need a visa to travel to third world countries, while citizen in the third world are often refused visa to travel due to lack of funds. The negative impacts of globalization on developing countries do not only limit themselves to the cultural aspect, but also sphere to...
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