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Critique of Globalization

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Critique of Globalization

Critique of Globalization

The outline of globalization that I have given so far is one particular interpretation of the series of changes that have affected the world during the last quarter century. In essence that version of events seems to suggest that these changes are the result of the application of the fruits of science. According to this interpretation these developments in technology when applied as they have been result in changes that redound to the benefit of all mankind. The countries of the former Third World and regions like the Caribbean are better off since they are now part of an integrated world economy and generally are more likely to benefit from greater foreign investment and increased trade and market size [Elaborate: argument of the Liberals and political right. Defend capitalism and the efficacy of the market in creating wealth and reducing poverty].

[Other side of the argument] Gray in a very recent work argues that the attempt to establish a global economy in its present form is doomed to failure. He suggests that the neo-liberal idea of a market unencumbered by social forces is an aberration. All economies he tells us are governed by the imperative of satisfying human want. Where this principle is abandoned as under laissez faire capitalism, then the human misery that results usually expresses itself in social and political instability. In order to prevent this the state usually intervenes to manage the economy. This has meant the interference of govt. in the form of subsidies, tariffs and controls of one sort or another in order to ensure that certain basic needs of the populace are met. Gray argues that the idea of a global free market is a utopia. It represents an attempt to impose free markets on the socially embedded economies of the countries of the world. The various components of globalization, he tells us, contradict each other. As an example of this he points to the contradiction between democracy and the idea of the free market. Democratic political institutions that are a part of the globalization package are invariably in conflict with the idea of a free market since it allows the mass of the population to bring pressure to bear on the government to intervene in the market when it does not satisfy their needs. At the same time the state is under pressure from the international institutions not to intervene in the market. This means that there are contradictions in the system that ensures social and political instability.

Other contradictions are inherent to the system. One such is that the new technologies on which globalization is based itself fuels political and social instability. This it does by placing constraints on the attainment of full levels of employment. Information technologies in particular, he points out, have caused fundamental alterations in the nature of the job market. The globalization of production and marketing Gray suggests transmits these economic uncertainties throughout the entire world- a recent case in point is the issue of shipping of American jobs overseas that has emerged as a part of the USA P residential debate. Thus at the same time that economic insecurities caused by the new technologies are rife, economic policies that restrain the state from intervening to alleviate or remove these are imposed. Have a look at Gray and see if his arguments could account for the instability and crisis that that is taking place in the USA and threatening to spread to the rest of the global economy.

The critics further left in the political spectrum critique the globalization thesis in different terms. They argue that far from representing the fruits of a neutral science that will benefit all mankind, the present system is an expression of science being applied in the interest of capitalism. Kumar is a good book to read in this regard since you can get from it a good outline of the scientific dimensions of the globalization thesis as well as the arguments of the ideological Left against it. Preston is also good in this regard. Basically, writers with a Marxist orientation suggest that the changes in the world we have being examining in fact represent the use of science and technology to ensure the extraction of surplus value from wider areas of the world. One such school of thought has put forward what is known as the global reconstruction of capitalism thesis. This suggests that the developments we have outlined simply represent the reconstruction of the world’s social and economic systems for purposes of more efficient exploitation by capitalism. According to these theorists, far from representing an improvement for the Third World and the Caribbean region the global changes in the last quarter of the 20th century have resulted in what is termed the dependent integration and semi detachment of the Third World within it.

They argue that

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