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September 28, 2006

"Cultural Transmission" or "Cultural Imperialism"?

As we read through Watson's and Barboza's claims about McDonald's and its cultural impact, we have to keep in mind that what we western readers consider normal such as "clean" bathrooms, standing in lines, and service with a smile, are our cultural norms-not universal human standards of behavior. As Watson describes in his essay some cultures actually interpret a smile not as a friendly gesture, but rather one of open deceit. Furthermore, others argue that our western notions of "clean" and "fresh" are marketing inventions to sell products with pretty fragrences that do little to protect us from harmful bacteria.

In making our norms standard in other countries, we are shaping those cultures in some way. In what ways might these changes be examples of effective marketing and harmless consequences of cultural interaction? In what ways might these changes be another form of western power deciding what is "civilized" behavior and imposing it on others to sell products? I would argue that Watson and Barboza present examples of both.


September 27, 2006

Is McDonald's really that bad?

Looking at the "McDonald's in Hong Kong" article I started to wonder if the idea of McDonald's being all over the world is such a bad idea. Watson talks about how in Hong Kong "transnational is the local." So having McDonald's in this community would seem to fit quite nicely. He also tells us how the restroom quality in McDonald's is far above many of it's competing companies. This increases profit and brings more and more customers just because of the quality of their restrooms. Shouldn't all restrooms be clean anyway? It just isn't healthy any other way. In addition to that Watson says that McDonald's is "an oasis, a family rest station, in what is perceived to be an inhospitable urban environment." How can that negatively affect a local culture? Finally, it is mentioned that employees are trained to serve others with a smile on their face. Now, maybe this is just my western approach talking, but who would honestly rather be helped with anything but a smile. I think everyone can do better with a smile. So, is McDonald's really as bad as we percieve it to be, or do people really have a reason to complain about this global giant taking over the world???

What is all the fuss about?

I just got done reading that article assigned, "When Golden Arches Are Too Red, White, and Blue" I've got to admit, its kind of sad how some of those people react by attacking McDonald's restaurants to fight American dominance. McDonald's is a franchise company, meaning an individual buys the basically the name and the product. That individual runs the store. These people that are attacking these places of business are really attacking the livelyhood of one of their own countryment. Some of the facts listed throughout the article show that there is an enourmous demand for McDonald's products. I guess I totally don't understand what point these lunatics are trying to make when they destroy our companies overseas, because many of their countrymen (and probably themselves included) buy our products, they aren't forced to buy them. I hope this makes sense to all of you, I'm willing to explain more in depth if you need it.

September 24, 2006

Globalization is Westernization, no really.

Many of the pro-globalization articles contend that Globalization isn't Westernization, but based on the driving forces behind American Foriegn policy, that isn't true. In 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed and the United States became the world's only Superpower, Dick Cheney, the then Secretary of Defense under George H. W. Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld, who had known eachother from previous administrations including Nixon, began to worry about nuclear proliferation and sustaining America as the world's sole superpower. Together with other neo-conservatives, they formed the think tank (a research institute or informal group providing advice and ideas on any aspect of future planning and strategy - for example issues of policy, commerce, and military interest - and are often associated with military laboratories, corporations, academia, or other institutions [thank you dictionary.com!] ) the Project for the New American Century (www.newamerican century.org) in 1997 of which "Scooter" Libby, Jeb Bush, and Paul Wolfowitz are also a part of. The PNAC's fundamental propositions are to establish military and economic dominace throughout the world and "such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle".

The PNAC also advocates "a policy of military strength and moral clarity" which includes:
-A significant increase of US military spending.
-Strengthening ties with US allies and challenging regimes hostile to US interests and values.
-Promoting the cause of political and economic freedom outside the US.
-Preserving and extending an international order friendly to US security, prosperity and principles
and proposes to control the new "international commons" of space and "cyberspace" to pave the way for the creation of the U.S. Space Forces (This sounds so made-up, but go to their website and look it up for yourself)
The PNAC operates "from the belief that America should seek to preserve and extend its position of global leadership by maintaining the preeminence of U.S. military forces."

Essentially, the PNAC wants to establish "American Style Free Markets" across the world as well as strengthen our military precence by setting up numberous military bases all over the world. This has already been happening as evidenced by the War in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. The PNAC specifies the Middle East, specifically Iraq and Iran, as places to establish these markets.

According to Wikipedia: "The PNAC recommends the forward redeployment of US forces at new strategically placed permanent military bases in Southeast Europe and Southeast Asia. Permanent bases ease the strain on US forces, allowing readiness to be maintained and the carrier fleet to be reduced. Furthermore the military should be enlarged, equipped and restructured for the "constabulary" roles associated with shaping the security in critical regions of the world."

Further:
"A line frequently quoted by critics from [the PNAC report] Rebuilding America's Defenses famously refers to the possibility of a "catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor".[6] This quote appears in Chapter V, entitled "Creating Tomorrow's Dominant Force", which discusses the perceived need for the Department of Defense to "move more aggressively to experiment with new technologies and operational concepts�.[7] The full quote is as follows: "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.""

On Janurary 29th 1998, the PNAC sent a latter to Bill Clinton "...turn your Administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. Although we are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater. We believe the U.S. has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf. In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.
We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. or its allies, you will be acting in the most fundamental national security interests of the country. If we accept a course of weakness and drift, we put our interests and our future at risk."

Think Tanks, the military, the weapons industry, and congress come together to form what was coined by Eisenhower as "The Military Industrial Complex" , which together play a pivitol, if the major source, for the direction of our American Foriegn Policy. None of this is made up or conspiracy theroy-ish. All one has to do is visit the PNAC's website and do some digging.

So essentially, the driving force behind our foriegn policy. And, by definition, a Global Free Market would not leave room for American supremacy, yet our own foreign policy is being guided by an agenda that seeks to tighten the U.S.'s grip on the world and fend off Asia. This directly ties into the "McWorld vs Jihad" idea that in reaction to the big, impersonal, money-driven, identitylessness of Americanism, there is an equal reaction by those who fall into the "Jihad" category of responding to it by trying desperatly to retain their own seperate identity and not be consumed in American culture and American products (I assume those cultures don't want their heroes to be used in the way that some Americans venerate our culture's heroes, the way a car salesman puts on a beard and top hat and has some kind of sale on Lincoln's birthday). To assume that another culture would not be "commercialized" is an uninformed one. Look at how we treat Christmas. I am by no means defending anything Jihadis do, but I got the distinct impression that most people in class missed one of the major points of the article, namely that "McWorld and Jihad" are equally evil, whereas Jihad's is much more upfront and violent, McWorld's is more subtle but more consuming. I'm considering going into the unacknowledged evils of our lack of self (lack of identity, which is hugely important and constantly discussed in philosophy) and the culture we live in completely perpetuated by money (that reduces people to walking around with a big "Hollister" across their chests, I mean in that case you've become a billboard for a company for the sake of buying an image), but I'll save that, I think because I'm pushing my bedtime limits here. An example of the interplay of "Jihad" and "McWorld" goes back to the 1970's when MI6 and the CIA became uncomfortable with the relationship of Iran’s prime minister, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh and Communist Tudeh Party when Iran decided to nationalize it's oil. What resulted was Operation Ajax in which the CIA and MI6 sponcered a C'oup D'etat and put in a new Shah, (Imam) Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomein, who turned out to be extremely anti-American. This new Iran began aggressive militarization, and in responce the U.S. capitalized on American ally Saddam Huessien's discomfort with their militarized neighbor and desire to gain Iran's oil rich lands. That began the bloody Iran-Iraq War, and that's when the U.S. gave Saddam all those weapons we later claimed he had (but the shelf life of them all had already expired about 8 years prior to the latest invasion). During the war, Saddam became threatening to the U.S. because he was unsuccessful in gaining oil in Iran, so he began to invade Kuwait, causing the Gulf War. In responce, the U.S. established a permanent military base in Saudi Arabia, the very action that lead Osama Bin Laden to sponcer terrorism (clash of civilizations/mcworld vs jihad dynamic). The Americanization process continues when on October 9th, 2001 U.S. Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin meets with the Pakistani oil minister Usman Aminduddin to discuss a gas pipeline project from Turkmenistan, across Afghanistan to Pakistan is revived “in view of recent geopolitical developments� (9/11). December 27, 2002, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan agree to building the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, a $3.2 billion dollar project that would require an indefinite foreign military presence in Afghanistan.


I strayed big time, but the point is, now you can see how despite the claims that Globalization isn't Westernization, it really is according to our current foreign policy.

“The West, in effect is using international institutions, military power, and economic resources to run the world in ways that will maintain Western predominance, protect Western interest, and promote Western political and economic values,� (p.41-42

, “ Most important, the efforts of the West to promote its values of democracy and liberalism as universal values, to maintain its military predominance and to advance its economic interests engendered countering responses from other civilizations,� (p.39).

“Levels of inequality in the U.S. resemble those of Latin American countries more than those of any European society. Yet such direct consequences of the free market have not weakened support for it. It remains the sacred cow of American politics and has become identified with America’s claim to be a model for a universal civilization,� (p.23)

my teacher was saying that in america/ we look to our reason/law for spirituality, confidence/definition of who we are as westerners, and in russia they look to beauty and art. they revere poets and writers and give them the idealogical power that we give to politics/etc. i thought youd like that as well.

September 20, 2006

Two basic principles of global ethics

In Kung's essay, he talks about the two basic principles of global ethics. "Every human being must be treated humanely. What you wish done to yourself, do to others" (p.47) Kung then says that these two priciples should be unconditionally existing in all of life, culture, family, communities, races, nations, and religion. The idea of a worldwide ethic policy seems kind of strange at first, but I think that in theory it is a great idea. However, on the other hand by having this world policy cultures will lose their uniqueness and over time the world will become one great big uniform culture. This would also have its positive and negative effects, but as other authors have said in previous essay, there will be no universal civilization. So, I have two questions.

Do we have a global ethic system today? Do nations and cultures share some kind of ethic idea? if so, what?

If we do have a global ethic system, do we need more principles to base the world's ethics on?
If we don't have a global ethic system, is it possible to put one into place? if so, what?

The Family Ruiner

Watch TV Land any night of the week and you will find a whole new world. With a lineup of shows like Leave It To Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show that display close knit families who have sit down dinners and spend quality time together. Back then family was very important, mothers commonly stayed home and raised the kids while dad worked a forty hour work week and spent the rest of his time playing catch with his kids in the back yard. Today, everything is different. Work weeks are upwards of 50 hours a week, sometimes more. Most families have dual incomes and the kids are left at daycare. You would be lucky to find a family that has a sit down dinner with everyone there more than once a week, and its almost unheard of to regularly spend quality time together as a family. What do we have to thank for this? Globalization. It has sped up our world so much that we don't have time to sit back and relax. Granted inflation of goods and products has risen faster than wages, which has caused us to work more hours, but that too is related to globalism. The U.S. has found people to do the work for less, therefore, to compete with the global market we too must work for less. As family life diminishes who is going to teach their kids the basic lessons of life?

September 15, 2006

Is globalization going to sacrifice our sacred cow?

I was wondering what everyone thought of this idea. I read in one of my economics books that our economic system is just a delayed version of communism. What this theory says is that the markets start out free, and over time, companies merge and begin to monopolize the entire market. Eventually the entire market becomes "owned" by a couple or a single super company. The market has sort of turned itself into a comercial communism. This would be the sacrifiece of the sacred American cow. My question is, with companies able to do business faster and farther in this globalization age, is our sacred cow headed to the alter at a faster rate? Or is this theory defunct and our economic system is not in jeopardy?

World Conflict

I am agree with Samuel P. Huntington's assertion that global conflict is basic and fundemental. I think too often global powers are the root of much of this conflict. As more countries enter the global playing filed, the more resources are needed to meet their needs. I think the growing conflict for resources is a characteristic of globaliazation. It is often in one country's best interest to support conflict between other powers. Often this is to keep the price low on important goods, in most cases fuel and raw materials. I know it is in the United States' best interest to maintain conflict in the middle east. Conflic tin the middles east lowers oil prices- a comodity that we are very attached to. It is scary to think of te conflicts that nations with be able to wage as they enter the global playing field

September 14, 2006

Global Ethics

Globalization at it's finest. 6,500 people from every possible religion got together to write a declaration on a global ethic. To think this is even possible is crazy. With the extremes in religious beliefs and all the fighting and bloodshed between different religions I can't image something this significant to successfully happen. I think it is the start of something huge. I may be ignorant, but I had never heard of this happening before I read about it in The Globalization Reader, so I would think it may be having that much of an effect on the world, but I also think its just the beginning. If the UN and other worldwide organizations continue to pursue this I could see it leading to the entire world under one global set of laws. How scary is that?

I want 15 minutes of my life back - The Hans Kung Experience

So I read "A Global Ethic as a Foundation for Global Society," by Hans Kung. I believe it is the sixth part of our friendly Globalization Reader. I couldn't help but nearly regurgitate my dinner while I read what this person wrote. Sure, it's a cute idea: let's all focus on our similarities rather than our differences. Can't we all just get along? Well, as thousands of years of history have taught us, the answer is blatantly, "NO."

I seriously felt as though I was back in kindergarten reading a rosy story about how the oxen ate grass out of the cow's yard. There was polite debate, as the cow conscientiously allowed the oxen to continue to chew, for sharing is caring, and all is good in the Hundred Acre Wood. After all, they're both animals, right?

It's difficult for me to believe that any such system as a global ethic could ever be produced. The very creation of many of the world's religions occurred only because of differences within the others. How are two completely opposite peoples expected to throw away hundreds of main beliefs and only grasp two or three "core" values, just so the other guy won't step across their fence? It is preposterous. Even if it ever got close at all, the uneasy courtesy would be exceptionally uncomfortable and only lead to an international uneasiness of greater magnitude than the Cold War itself.

Perspectives in Globalization

Does anyone else feel like their brains are being pulled in many different directions as they try to make sense of the seven readings/prospectives thus far? I have been amazed at the ability of the writers to convince me in one essay that I love globalization and in the next, that is devastating. Coming into this class without a definite "perspective of Globalization" of my own I have read each essay with an open mind and I have been fascinated by all of the facts, stats, and examples each writer uses.

While learning the different perspectives on the issue, I have found the differences in style and presentation of the issue of globalization very interesting. Most of the readings tend to interact more with the reader by asking rhetorical questions or agreeing with the presumed questions of the reader. For example, in How to Judge Globalism, Amartya Sen asks the reader, " But if this the right battleground in the first place? I would argue that it is not. "(p. 18) By involving the reader, the author is reaching for a challenge to their point to prove themselves right. Some of the readings, such as Jihad vs. McWorld use thick language that almost seems to show off to the readers to prove that they are an authority in the issue of Globalization and they are credible. I also found it very interesting that some readings accepted the one side of the issue but then persuaded the reader to their side while the other readings didn't have any doubt in their claims. Bold statements such as, "Civilization identity will be increasingly important in the future, and the world will be shaped in large measure by the interactions among seven or eight major civilizations..." (p.37) emphasized the impact of the writing and the emphasis on their belief. I found Hans Kung's format very interesting. His claims were bulleted, discussed, and then responded to with great enthusiasm (often using exclamation points). I found each piece of reading very persuasive with the different types of writing, I was just amazed at how they could make very bold and non conventional themes seem very reasonable and backed with ample evidence.

So, If you're looking for a break in discussing the actual issue of Globalization or just found it fascinating, like myself, I would love to discuss the writing style, comparative perspectives, or persuasive elements!

Globalization and Capitalism




Of the readings, I've come to see that the focus is often on how capitalism is extending its influence throughout the world. It may seem pleasant to some to think that globalization is helping democratize the world, which consequently could result in greater personal liberty. However, like John Gray says, "A global free market presupposes that economic modernization means the same thing everywhere," (p.24) Basically, he is exerting that democracy in other parts of the world will not yield such positive results as it those here in the U.S., since each region will have its own interpretation of democracy/capitalism that could result in belittling personal freedoms instead of extending them. Also, it may in fact hurt the country, such as it happened in Palestine, who held free elections and elected a terrorist group called Hamas. My point is that the focus of globalization, especially with Americans, should be to spread the benefits of technology and medicine to improve the lives of people, not the spread of ideological principals such as democracy and capitalism, since people should be allowed some sovereignty over their nations’ course instead being pressured to fit a “western� ideal. I think that by having a more “laid back� approach people will come to embrace those ideologies more than having them punch on to them.


Globalization and Capitalism--the same thing????

I've been seeing a lot of ideas that present globalization as another word for capitalism. I personally don't see globalization as synonomous with capitalism. Yes, the free markets of capitalism are a prominent force of the change that pushes and perhaps even accelerates globalization, but so too is technology. (I admit that it is hard to separate the commercial push of technology, which links it strongly to capitalism).

I guess my point is that we have to be careful about limiting our discussion of globalization just to that of capitalism. I think that Amartya Sen makes a good point in his essay "How to Judge Globalism" when he states that it is NOT the free market (i.e. capitalism) that needs to be revised but rather the inequity of the global institutions that arrange and distribute the benefits of capitalism (such as World Trade Organization, World Bank, World Health Organization ect.)

What do you all think about this? Is there a way we can make the "sacred cow" feed the world, or as another student suggested cure AIDS? In other words, Is there a way that the free market can be used to push the limits of humanity rather than fall to the weaknesses of its instinct?

Feel free to let me know if you think I'm completely beef-biased or if you think my hopes are naive.
awaiting your replies...

September 13, 2006

Jihad vs. McWorld

I know that we talked about this in class, but I just find it so ironic and even amusing, that the Jihad are so strongly opposed to the thought of interdependence. I feel that Barber makes a great point stating that the Jihad aren't as opposed to interdependence as they think they are. He paint's a great picture in one's mind on page 34, the story of Admira and Bosko. When he points out that they were on their way to the "safe" McWorld in jeans and sneakers, and were eventually snipered down by Jihads most likely wearing the same thing, everything is put into perspective for me.

What is everyone's opinion on the fact that there are so many cultures opposed to this "globalization" concept, but on the other hand, they use it in their everyday lives. Off the top of my head I can't really think of any specific cultures or examples, so if anyone has any examples I'd greatly appreciate it.

My sacred freakin' cow man

So we finally come down to it. Yes, I've read plenty of arguments and statements regarding the downright evils of capitialism and the free market, but the most recent essay by John Gray was one of the first I have read that ties directly to Globalization. I understand that the free market has fatal flaws, just as any other econoimc system. The essay brought those to light very well. So, I was going to ask this question: "What other system works better? Not only that, give me a country that uses this system effectively."

Problem with that is how you judge "working better", because it could be just as easy to say Norway's socialist system is better purely becuase it does not exploit workers and outsource as aggressively as other countries. Problem again: Norway's system uses big aspects of the worldwide free market, so whats up with that? Problem again...etc, etc. To many ways to define a government's role, econoimic system, and all that jazz. Most coutries use a hybrid anyways.

So I'm just putting it out there: Why can't everyone just look at Irelands worst to stand-alone first rise in economic might in Western Europe and realize this is how it has to be done. Mid 90's the unemployment was 15 or so percent, no GDP growth, the welfare sysyem was broke. They tore apart the existing socialist framework and government controlled economy and ushered in their very own form of capitialism. In no more than 10 years, Ireland moved from some of the worst GDP per capita in Europe to first. Not only first, hands down first. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants now apply for citizenship, becuase the jobs are good and the unemployment rate is 4.3%...as close to perfect as you can get. GDP is growing at an astounding 7%. Only 10% of the country is below the poverty line; thats 2% better than the United States. I could go on forever.

Anywho, just tear it apart I need to be put in my place about equality and all that.

September 9, 2006

All those "bad" things

We keep on discussing the ways corperations "abuse" their power when manipulating the forces of worldwide globalization, but I don't think we are seeing the whole story. If one buys into the idea of "Americanizaion", the way the United States is leading globalization and the incredible influence our corperations have over others, then we have to look directly at the source.

The 14th Amendment. More specificly, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company.

In this landmark case, corperations became people. This is the offical statement by the court when the question was posed:

"The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of opinion that it does."

This simple three-line statement changed the course of history. As people in the eyes of the law, corperations could now sue and be sued, but, more importantly, have very specific protections from federal goverment intrusions into free trade, and, ultimately, globalization.

So, asuming the current trend is "Americanization" and it is United States buisness that is powering this international trend, without this court case, where is the world? Would another country simply have stepped into the void? Does another country of our economic might have a similar legal case that protects it's corperations? Or, is the United States, once again, the ones who must change in order to save the world from the "misuse" of globalization?

September 8, 2006

Americanization?

Americanization?

“Unlike the Cold War system, globalization has its own dominant culture, which is why it tends to be homogenizing to a certain degree. In previous eras this sort of cultural homogenization happened on a regional scale—the Romanization of Western Europe and the Mediterranean world, the Islamification of Central Asia, North Africa, Europe and the Middle East by the Arabs and later the Ottomans, of the Russification of Eastern and Central Europe and parts of Eurasia under the Soviets. Culturally speaking, globalization has tended to involve the spread (for better and for worse) of Americanization—from Big Macs to iMacs to Mickey Mouse.�
(pg. 9, Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization)

In this passage from the Lexus and the Olive Tree, Friedman claims that globalization is largely Americanization. In a Capitalist country that advertised freedom and was known as a “Melting Pot� of cultures, it seems that the United States has been the seed of modern globalization.

In American history we can see how Capitalism has been a great influence in the promotion of globalization. People flocked to the United States seeking freedom and a better life. Bringing cultures together in a free environment may have caused tension, but also motivated individuals to make money, invent new tools for efficiency, and move up the ranks of Capitalism. As people competed in the market, the economy grew and the image of America was enhanced. Currently, the internet and easy world communication would bring the world together. People are able to capitalize on the opportunity to remain in their own country but target the world market.

In America we can have a Greek, Chinese, “American�, and a Turkish restaurant on the same city block. As the United States becomes more diverse, globalization will move across the world, transforming cultures and countries. In Conclusion, I do not believe that globalization is largely Americanization. I feel that globalization transformed the United States at a faster rate and is therefore the icon of globalization.

meh?

I've noticed a lot of people saying that they agree with globalization, but i'm not sure if they understand all the consequences of it. So I guess my question is for all of the people who say they agree with globalization. Do you agree with millions in Asia being forced to work for next to nothing a day? Do you agree with the family who has for several generations supported themselves with their own farm being forced to give it up because of a corporation suffocating them into doing so? Do you agree with NAFTA which polls have shown that the majority of the population in the U.S. and Canada oppose (little poll results from mexico)? Just a few questions to ponder.

There are other options.

I saw the comment about how big businesses may be forced to outsource, and I don't really think that many businesses are hurting for money. The reasons other companies outsource is that they can pay their workers low wages and sell their products for quite a bit of money in the US and all over the world. I don't know of too many companies/corporations that aren't making much of a profit off of what they sell. I think that the main reason for outsourcing is obviously to maximize profits. The general managers have so much power AND money that they can decide to do whatever they want to bring in more money for themselves. They don't care who they hurt in the long run, as long as they're becoming more successful. There are so many other options that companies could take before they have to move their companies overseas or to Mexico. I am more on a liberal view of this issue. I stand more for the people then for the business owners. That's why I don't really like the idea of outsourcing even though I know I am saving a lot of money in the long run because of cheaper prices. Thinking about the individuals that put my buy together though, makes me feel bad knowing the horrible conditions they're working in and how little they are paid.

Globular westy stuff

It can be said that we are living in an increasingly diverse world full of communication that unites the world under a similar culture. The basis of this culture is of a Capitalistic and an overall western influence. As a result of continuing expansion and assimilation of western culture and business, many regions of people have lost their identities as belonging to a particular culture. With the constant exposure of several cutlures, many question their beliefs and their relevancy toward the modern lifestyle. As a result, many are allowed the opportunity to compete with people globally for a higher standard of living. Globalization brings an increase in wealth. A peanut is neither a pea nor a nut.

i love glabalization mf's!

I think that globalization in today's world is at times a very beneficial thing, especially when you look at it in the big picture of things. However, it can also be a very difficult thing to deal with when looking at it from the individual's perspective. This is especially seen in things like job outsourcing. It can be a good thing for big companies because they make a bigger profit, but it's not good for the individual employees who may lose their jobs. This is why i love globalization, because it is just so interesting.

September 7, 2006

Globalization

i never thought about the how big business might be forced to outsource that is an interesting point.

Effects of Globalization

As explained in "The Globalization Reader," globalization has made the world "more vulnerable to economic swings, environmental degradation, and epidemics." It is very easy to see this first hand by looking at occurances that happen all over the world and how they effect us here at home. Political decisions, weather catastrophes, wars, and many other things, no matter where they happen, seem to effect our economy and even our gas prices.

Without globalization would our perception of or reaction to atrocities differ?

Globalization: Nothing New?

Students: I wonder what else this new system will bring?
Me: No. It’s nothing that we haven't read in our history books before.

S Didn't the article say that it was a new system that evolved from the Post-Cold War world?
M: It did, but didn't they teach you that not everything you read is true?

S: Ok, I'll bite. If we've seen it before then what is it?
M: Simple, Colonialism. But faster, much faster.

S: Colonialism? It's nothing like colonialism.
M: The subjugation of one culture by another for profit? Sounds like colonialism to me.

S: This isn't colonialism; countries aren't being invaded for profit, governments overthrown to subjugate a people.
M: Ok, fair enough. This Global Colonialism isn't being led by generals capturing less developed nations, nor are new flags flying. Its quiet, this Global Colonialism isn't being reported on the front page, but rather as mundane blurbs in the business section.

S: Sorry, I still don't believe that globalization is just a faster form of colonialism.
M: Fair enough, let’s move away from the notion of a colony being owned by a country. Let’s take the example of India in the 19th century. India, though technically a colony of the Crown of England, was run by a company. The East India Trading Company controlled the lives of the people be controlling the jobs.

S: So, countries aren't colonizing each other?
M: Right, Companies are. Large multinational companies are beginning to buy the world little by little, and taking control of people’s lives. Instead of using armies to take over the land from the people, they companies are using their American Dollars to talk for them.

S: Why?
M: Profit, new markets, investors wanting bigger returns. The companies don't care about the cultures that they're buying away from people, just that their investors are happy.

S: Why do people let them do it?
M: Again, money. Coca-Cola is polluting on of the main water ways with a bottling plant in India. People can't fight back though. By being one of the largest providers of jobs, people have to submit to the company to be able to feed their families.

S: Wow, that sounds bad.
M: Gets worse. Languages are being steadily erased too. Take computer tech support. If you call now you're technician is in India, guess who has to learn another language. In order to do business now, you have to know English.

S: So then, if this is simply colonialism on a faster scale, and not a new system at all, then what's next?
M: Simple, but it depends on what the people choose. Either it will end with revolution like the last time, or if no one thinks to stop it then we get a different outcome.

One Nation, One Language, One Religion, One People.

Globalization=Reality

I think that globalization is a reality, whether posotive or negative. Globalization is driven by powerful nations and the powerful countries that operate within them. Globalization is driven by free market economic practices. I think that the same ideals that have made American manufacturing companies so succesful in the past are now forcing them to outsource. In the past, a company's bottom line was driven by a strong domestic work-force. I think a more skilled, overseas labor force is now taking replacing the domestic one.
I listened to a lot of public radio this past summer while at work. I heard Thomas Friedman speak two or three times about his book "The World Is Flat." I think that Thomas Friedman feels that globalization is a very strong and persuasive reality. I think the most interesting thing about globalization is what we as a nation and a powerful consumer force can do to preserve our own domestic work force. I don't think Thomas Friedman is debating the validity of blobalization but rather, the ways in which people and societies need to adapt to be successful in the future.
I have heard Thomas Friedman speak to the fact that it is impossible to outsource creativity and pure innovation. I think these are important values of the American economy and it would be interesting to discuss this idea in the course.

Globalization

I find it really interesting that ever since the Roman's were in control of most of Europe the world has been forming a world culture. Sure from time to time some countries have withdrawn themselves from the world and have not been influnced by the world culture; but when they become part of the society again they seem to quickly mold to the dominate culture of the time. I also find it interesting how easliy the world is able to shift from one culture to another. Such as right now, America used to be the dominant culture becasue we are the dominant super power, but now the world culture is starting to reflect the new rising powers of China and Japan. For example Hello Kitty came from Japan, the ever popular American film industry is getting their ideas from popular Japanese films such as The Grudge, Pokeman and Yogo. Japan's technology is used everyday by everyone and the a majority of the products bought are made in China becasue America has outsourced their jobs. Also every major city has a China town that brings the chinese culture even closer to the people of other cultures. But like every super power that has passed through history even superpower is overtaken by another and the world culture changes again to reflect the new super power.

Do we need Globalization?

Is Globaization really a good thing? It almost seems like its really destroying alot of pure things left in the world. Sure we have extreme situations where countries are in poverty and "globailzation" can save them. But is that really globalization? Are some places better off with their simple way of life and simple societies. Does everyone need 100 nuclear war heads? Does everyone need to stay in this race for 1st place?


D. Bell

Globalization Out of Control?

"I would say that in 2000 we understand as much about how today's systm of globalization is going to work as we understood about how the Cold War system was going to work in 1946 - the year Winston Churchill gave his speech warning that an "Iron Curtain" was coming down, cutting off the Soviet zone of influence from Western Europe."
-The Lexis and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization
by Thomas L. Friedman

I thought that this was an interesting look at things. Even with all of the technology that we have, we still can't tell what will happen in the future. After WWII, nobody even thought anything about a Cold War. It kind of makes you wonder at the rate that globalization is taking off, is this really going to be better down the road? Right now gas prices are soaring to meet the world demand. Global warming is another issue many people are concerned about now. So, I guess I am wondering if all of this globalization is hurting us or helping us? Right now it seems that things aren't looking so good. We have to ask ourselves, are we going to stop it? Maybe we do need our fences and walls sometimes. The author mentions the scene in A Few Good Men. Consider that maybe walls provide some protection and preserve our cultures. Now, I think globalization is a great thing, but at this rate the world will be overun in the years to come. So, is globalization out of control or is this ok? Also, do we need "walls" sometimes to provide some control and stability?

Small Yet Influential; Quality Control.

Being a strong supporter of globalization, free trade, and international monetary management organizations, I don’t often express the small yet influential things that may change one’s mind on the subject matter to a more protectionist, pro-centrally governed side. We all reap the benefits of outsourcing everyday; simply, we enjoy low prices and a high supply of goods so that there are little to no shortages, and efficient service with respectably relatively low prices. That’s all great and wonderful, so my question is, are you (if so, how) negatively effected by outsourcing (and only outsourcing)? I’m trying to get a feel for what all of you folks, in whatever fields you comprehend most, feel about individual items on a personal level.

I have had a problem that occurs just about thrice a week for the last six months. I’m a master mechanic at a bike shop and once outsourcing boomed, all bicycles from every major manufacturer in the world is now made in China and Taiwan (with an exception of Bianchi, specific Trek bikes, and Cannondale). I have to deal with angry customers and poorly made bikes day after day because they are all made in China, and the more expensive junk machines are made in Taiwan. The problem is hiring people for whatever minimum they will work for, and the fact that they have poor machinery to work with; the living conditions don’t provide the incentive to do quality work. Even though I do understand that the companies are out to maximize profits, which in that motive of greed alone does maximum efficiency reside, and the citizens of China and Taiwan just want to maximize their earnings and take whatever jobs are offered, but I’m still negatively effected by outsourcing due to lack of quality control and since this negativity is abundant in my present line of work, it’s pretty aggravating. I might get a retort saying that American bikes are only good because the only ones available now-a-days runs for a minimum of $1500, but trust me when I say that the quality is relatively poor to the price and I think in any specialize field where quality control is a true issue, outsourcing may run into some serious bugs and problems in the future. Allow me to reiterate that this isn't just bicycles, cyclery is just an example and that this is a problem in many markets in many economies globally.

tossed about?

"Government officials could attribute their country's economic woes to the onslaught of globalization, business leaders justified downsizing of their companies as necessary to prepare for globalization, environmentalists lamented the destructive impact of unrestrained globalization, and advocates for indigenous peoples blamed the threatened dissapearance of small cultures on relentless globalization."

-Lechner and Boli (General Introduction)

It seems that they are saying that the word is used a lot to have something to blame on. Globalization is the scapegoat of the twenty-first century. Got a problem blame it on globalization. In my opinion globalization is helping the world not hurting. When people toss the word about as a way to get critics off their back, or to take a stab at reducing the speed of globalization, it gets redundant.

So I pose this question to you EnglishC 1015, is it the scapegoat or does it help, and do you think that tossing the word around is warranted?

September 6, 2006

Hey "That" guy

I like how you describe "globalization" as humanity's feeble effort to understand where it is headed. The way humans interact socially, technologically, economically, and pollitically is ocurring so quickly that we aren't even able to keep up with the research and "labeling" of it. Your presentation of globalization as an entity evolving on its own casts it in a new light, a light that limits the power of humans to fully understand its nature. I don't know exactly where I am trying to go with this point beyond the fact that I feel your description helped me to better understand how we humans try to study and dissect something in order to feel we have it under control when really sometimes all we are doing is trying to "catch" something by throwing words at it.

September 5, 2006

"globalization" a cliche?

Hello everyone. I thought it might be helpful to start off these blog adventures with a thoughtful exploration of the word "globalization" and how it is used. When reading through Lechner and Boli's general introduction to our text, The Globalization Reader, I was drawn to their description of the concept's use as nearing that of a cliche. See quote below.

"At the end of the twentieth century, globalization became an all-purpose catchword in public and scholarly debate...As different parties used the term in highly disparate ways and the concept itself became a global symbol, its meaning became inflated. Globalization risked becoming a global cliche" (1).

In what ways have you heard "globalization" discussed? Was it presented as a positive or negative concept? Based on your knowledge of the topic, how do you feel about globalization?