A Response to Globalization (Part One)

This thing called globalization is a blessing for some and curse for others. Globalization occurs when people, companies and governments interact so they can trade internationally and make investments. They trade things such as worldviews, products and ideas and other aspects of culture. Information technology helps out the trade a lot. To put it simple, globalization is trade that affects the entire world.

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Some scholars see globalization as a recent thing – originating in modern times, while others say it started long before Columbus met the “First Nations People”. But people (and later corporations) have been buying and selling with each other for thousands of years over great distances such as the Silk Road which linked China and Europe. Nevertheless, the present wave of globalization is farther, deeper, and cheaper. In a way, globalization, is an international industrial and financial business structure.

 

Technology is the force behind globalization. It has made the world smaller for business and personal use. Information technology, in particular, has dramatically transformed economic life by providing new tools for pursuing economic opportunities. Innovations have become smaller in size, more efficient and often more affordable; vehicles have tended to become larger and faster, as well as becoming more environmentally friendly and cheaper to run.

 

There is much controversy about globalization though. Persons who support it argue that it allows poor countries and their citizens to develop economically and raise their standards of living, while those who do not support it claim that it has benefited multinational corporations in the Western world at the expense of local enterprises, local cultures, and common people.

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For me, globalization in and of itself, is not a good or bad thing, but good/beneficial/positive and bad/unwanted/negative can result from it. What persons should do is seek to “spiritualize” and humanize globalization. 

 

Hey, I think that although technological progress, economic developments, and material prosperity has been beneficial, globalization has not fully answered the ultimate question of why human beings are really here. Instead, globalization fosters an “it’s all about the money” kind of culture. In a way money has become the people’s god. People are defining their lives by material and economic endowment, and capital is valued above all else. The love of money has caused lots of global injustices at the expense of human dignity and spiritual endowments. Spiritual riches of the heart are not given much value.

 

Jesus said, “Life does not consist in the abundance of one’s possession.” (Luke 12: 15). There is more to life than obtaining material things. I am not saying that people should reject their material nature and the desire for some level of material fulfilment. What I am saying is that persons direct their lives to something beyond money. Money does “answereth all things” (Ecclesiastes 10: 19), so we need money, but money should not be the end.  No, it should be the means to the end. The end in this case is the cultivation of spiritual riches such as brotherly love, kindness, patience, sharing and selflessness.

 

Globalization brings people together – it causes new relationships to develop among people – it connects people. And indeed, persons must learn to see themselves as been connected with each other – part of one global family. This interconnectedness must be grounded in God and love for one’s neighbour. Here one looks out for the interests of others both on a global and a local level. Persons should be oriented towards loving one’s neighbour. This will lead to a civilization of love.

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As I said, globalization has benefits, but these benefits are not being experienced universally. Unique cultures and traditions are being lost, diseases spread easier worldwide, and many people are losing their jobs. Overall, the rich is getting richer and the poor getting poorer. This calls for measures to make globalization more humane. Perhaps these measures could include higher tax from the rich to help the poor, providing safety nets for the poor, proper welfare systems or providing persons with the capabilities to negotiate the challenges of globalization. We must work so that the entire globe can enjoy globalization.

 

Of course I have no great knowledge of economics, but whatever the solution may be, something must be done. As long as money remains the end all; as long as the gap between rich and poor widens, as long as people continue to be marginalized, then the good fruits of globalization will never be reaped.

 

What I am saying overall then, is that the best response to globalization is not to reject it but to humanize and spiritualize it. It should be more about the well-being of people rather than making money – challenging people to become more interested in the human and spiritual assets of the global community than in the financial and material portfolio of its individual members. This will lead to a spiritual and humane globalization without marginalization.

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