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Defining Globalism

JonKatz posted more than 12 years ago | from the the-biggest-idea-in-the-world dept.

Technology 657

(Third of a series). Globalism is the biggest idea in the world right now. The French call it Mondialisation, the Germans say Globalisiening and throughout much of Latin America, it's called globalizacion. WTO talks and demos are underway in Japan this week. Even though globalism has many humanist advocates, much of what we used to call the political left hates it. So do religious fundamentalists and extremists like the Taliban, who equate it with godlessness and blashphemy. I've been writing about it for years, and got more than 2,000 responses and e-mails about it from some columns here last week, but you know what? I still couldn't tell you exactly what it is. "It's the biggest evil facing the world," e-mailed JDRow. "It's the only hope the world really has," messaged a professor from Amherst. Neither could say what it was. Can you?

Sometimes things are easier to grasp by defining what they're not. The e-mail and posts last week were about equally divided (apart from the usual flaming yahoos) over whether globalism marks corporate evil or global modernization. Most were agreed that globalization isn't about buying computers and TV set. It's about what sociologists like Anthony Giddens of the London School of Economics call living in a "runaway world," a period of enormous transformation, affecting almost every aspect of life from technology to how government functions to employment to personal values. Globalization is spreading all over the world, yet nobody is in charge of it, and there isn't even much consensus about what it is, an economic system or an ideology.

Generally speaking, globalization today is a Western idea (although other, earlier cultures took some shots at it), fueled most recently by technology's forging of a global economy. It's a powerful offshoot of capitalism and popular culture, yet it's being debated in almost every country, and it's become almost impossible to hear a major political speech that doesn't mention it.

The subject arouses strong emotions. Directly or not, globalism is at the root of the terrorist attacks on September 11, and the resulting conflict between the United States and Islamic fundamentalists, who are articulate and open about their hatred of the changes sweeping their cultures. Every business is obsessed with it.

It's getting hard to find academics and other members of the intelligentsia who don't mistrust it, equating it, somewhat justifiably, with corporatism and the rise of the multinationals. Surely, there are more reasons to mistrust the multinational corporations who advance globalization than I could possibly list here.

But globalization is an elusive notion. Skeptics argue that it's a highly exploitive western force and profit center that represents business as usual for corporatists exploiting new worker pools and marketing possibilities, and for despoiling the rest of the environment.

Some economists argue that globalization is an old idea, similar to the way world economies operated centures ago, from the Romans to the Venetians. Those civilizations didn't have an e-economy and the Net, of course, and couldn't transfer cash all over the planet in seconds.

And there are clear differences. Globalization seems to erode the longtime primacy of the nation-state, already undercut by networked computing, which changes the potency of boundaries and enables people, businesses and banks to talk directly to one another rather than through surrogates. It also undermines dogmas, both political and religious, some of which greatly fear environments that permit the free flow of ideas. It's hard to preach a monotheistic view of the world if all sorts of ideas are available to your kids online and via TV, music and film. And the new global electronic economy -- involving fund managers, banks, corporations and millions of individual investors -- can transfer vast sums of capital from one part of the world to another in seconds, quickly stabilizing or de-stabilizing economies, as has happened recently in Asia.

Electronic information has also fueled globalism and its consequences. The World Trade Center attacks were a global, not a local event. When Nelson Mandela was released from a South African jail, he was watched by the entire world. So is the American bombing campaign against the Taliban. This kind of internationally-transmitted imagery doesn't just provide external information, but affects the internal politics and reality of our lives -- our family and religious values, our perceptions about the world. When hundreds of teenagers stormed the Berlin Wall and began to tear it down, the first thing many of them did was run to music stores and buy the videos they'd been secretly -- and illegally -- watching on MTV. And "Baywatch" remains the most popular show in Iran, to the despair of the religious leaders running the country.

Primitive cultures like the one running Afghanistan don't accept the inevitability of globalism. Most other governments do, perhaps the primary reason the Arab world isn't actively resisting the much-resented United States in its new war. Countries that don't want to join in may end up like Afghanistan, beset by tribal conflicts, cut off from capital development and economic opportunity. Would investment from multi-nationals help or harm a country like Afghanistan, where one kid after another says in TV interviews that the only available job opportunities involve shooting people?

Whether it's a good witch or not, globalism is much too big and pervasive an idea to go away. For all the media hysteria about bio-terrorism and other dangers, it seems probable that the United States will ultimately destroy the Taliban government, and the first such conflict of the 21st century will be over. What isn't as clear is whether this will mark the beginning of a war or the end. Or whether anybody will ever come up with a widely-accepted definition of what globalization really is.

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Feline Poop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558500)

Fuck you all you LambdaMOOer motherfuckers!

Defining crap (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558501)

Crap == katz.

Nuff said.

DUH (1)

W.B. Yeats (236617) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558513)

It's global govenment -- meaning the whole globe. With global government, the world doesn't have to contend with democracy causing problems for commerce.


Globalism is not the problem: Government is (5, Insightful)

informed (463532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558612)

Globalism is never a problem for anyone -- it allows competition to level the paying field for even the poorest nations as long as they have the people who want to work for it.
Where globalism, capitalism, and "Big Business" get ugly is when the government (any government) intervenes in any way: whether its a subsidy, a tariff, an embargo, even a bailout (a la airlines). The minute a government steals from the citizens in order to help a business, the system falls apart. Those who worked hard to make their business profitable get hurt for their smarts (Look at the airline industry, there are numerous airlines HIRING right now, and some of which who are still profitable). Instead, our government takes the biggest ones, with the worst track record of profitability, and bail them out, hurting the little guy who was making it work.
Big Business will always fail with no government intervention, eventually. 10 smaller companies in a co-op situation will always do better in the long run if they have the competitive edge and no sanctions to hurt them or subsidies to help the Big Business competition.
It's evident that totally free trade can "save the world." It's more evident that our country will never allow it. Sanctions against Iraq destroyed that country (NOT Saddam Hussein as the media and government portrays as the culprit). Sanctions and subsidies destroyed the wheat crop in Columbia, then destroyed the coffee crop. What was left? Coca. Now our government intervenes to destroy that crop.
In order to have a peaceful society, we need to get government ENTIRELY out of free trade. Let businesses and people deal with whomever they want, bar none. I can understand if government may want to limit arms sales, but other than that, I can see no reason to ever limit or subsidies trade or business of any kind. In a totally free economy, there will always be winners and losers. Unfortunately, government intervention makes losers into smaller losers, and the winners into big losers. Tell them to stay out, and you'll see happy people all over the world, able to buy and sell their wares at prices that they deem proper.
We believe that without the government, prices would skyrocket (they wouldn't, supply and demand and competition prevent that), or we'd have shortages (again, suppy and demand and competition would help), or we'd see our economy fail because other countries do it cheaper (they do, and better, sometimes its even our unions that make our businesses unprofitable, not necessarily our business tactics).

Re:Globalism is not the problem: Government is (1)

Kengineer (246142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558650)

I could not agree more. Free Trade is the way to go. It's too bad the US government is so closely tied to industry, but campaign donations have to come from somewhere I guess. gr.

JonKatz article Defining Globalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558649)

should be retitled "Defining Stupidity".

Dubayuh's "war on terrorism" should be
retitled to "war for oil in the Caspian Sea
region" and "gas pipelines in Afghanistan".

Third in series? (1, Offtopic)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558515)

Third in series??

Last article states [] (Last of two parts) as the first three words.

And how is this article not the same as the past two? I'm not seeing any new info (nor proof or links for that matter) that I have already read in the past two...

Re:Third in series? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558532)

damn! beat me to the punch!!

Obviously, this is just a little more ego-masturbation from the maligned Katz.

Re:Third in series? (2, Funny)

Chundra (189402) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558554)

Third. The French call it troisième, the Germans say drittes, and throughout much of Latin America, it's called tercer.

Re:Third in series? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558633)

And how is this article not the same as the past two? I'm not seeing any new info (nor proof or links for that matter) that I have already read in the past two...

oh god, you read katz' articles?!?
i figured everyone just read the first paragraph, realized it was tripe, and stopped reading

ps - moderators: this is not a troll. come on, you know its true. search your feelings

spelling incorrect (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558518)

I'm quite German, and I don't call it `Globalisiening', but `Globalisierung' ;-)

Globalism defined (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558519)

#include <stdio.h>

int i;

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
for (;;) bomb_taliban()

Note: i is global.

Re:Globalism defined (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558660)

I don't think bomb_taliban() in defined in stdio.h maybe this would be better

#include <stblib.h>
#include <gps.h>
#include <arsenal.h>
#include <mil.h>

void main(void){
arsenal bomb(US_ARS);
mil US(MIL_US);
gpos taliban = gpsLoc(LOC_AFGANISTAN,SEC_TALIBAN);
while (1){

Re:Globalism defined (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558689)

$ gcc -o bomb_taliban bomb_tailban.c
/tmp/ccPeMzHF.o: In function `main'
/tmp/ccPeMzHF.o(.text+0x8): undefined reference to `bomb_taliban'
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status

It's also... (3, Funny)

Calle Ballz (238584) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558520)

lobalizationgay in piglatin

Re:It's also... (1)

red_dragon (1761) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558580)

Redneck: Globalizashun
Elmer Fudd: Gwobawization
Swedish Chef: Glubeleezeshun
1337: g|0b4|1s4710n

The Dialectizer [] doesn't have 1337 yet, though.

Parlez vous Francais? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558521)

The French call it Mondialisation, the Germans say Globalisiening and throughout much of Latin America, it's called globalizacion.

It has lots of different names, that proves it's biggest idea in the world.

Or it suggests that people in different countries speak different languages.

Or something.


andres32a (448314) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558524)

The main problem with Globalism is that everyone has their own idea of what it means. And most people tend to use the word as something that names what they like or dislike. In consequence, most people have an inmediate, non-analitical, and almost violent reaction towards the word "GLOBALIZATION". (At least JonKatz seems to...)

There is something that can be said about Globalism... Dont trust anyones definition on that word, specially when their definition is full of generalizations...

Having said that it can be argued either way if Multinationals have hijacked or not globalism. But you see, this is totally relative to the multinational at hand.

Investors from different countries tend to behave in different ways, frequently reflecting the different kinds of capitalist systems they come from. The most striking differences among foreign direct investors in the U.S. economy are found between West European and Japanese entities. Investments by the former are heavily concentrated in manufacturing and R investments by the latter are more evenly split between manufacturing and R&D facilities on the one hand and distribution networks on the other.

The bottom line is that international organizations today are fundamentally political, not legal or judicial, entities and will remain so into the policy-relevant future. Their staffs, moreover, will long be composed of foreign nationals dedicated to pursuing their own countries' interests. These organizations are certainly capable of fostering significant degrees of international cooperation in the technology field and others, but as is the case with issues involving globalization, interdependence, and cooperation, member states will constantly struggle to secure the best possible terms of cooperation. National representatives will continue to battle over questions such as: Who pays? Who benefits? Who benefits the most? Who is in charge?

You can't except organizations that are created for the purpose of making money (and the goverments sponsored by them) to behave otherwise. What you can hope for is that competition created by "globalization" will give consumers better products and that the free flow of technology and information within the "global village" will give people more an more choices.

"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."

Rich Cook.

Open Letter to Jon Katz (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558525)

Jon, do you think anyone cares ag\bout what you have to say. I know there are some here who pity you but no one likes you and you have no friends. So, what is keeping you from walking out into the sea, or into on-coming traffic? There are thousands of lonely, angst ridden teenage boy virgins is lamer heaven. They are waiting for you. Please take some time to think about this, and be honest with yourself.

Re:Open Letter to Jon Katz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558552)

Have you Signed the petition [] to fire katz?!?!

Re:Open Letter to Jon Katz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558614)

79 signatures just a moment ago. wow. thats nearly 1e-17 % of readers. way to go fuckwits.

Re:Open Letter to Jon Katz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558684)

Actually, if you consider that most /bots have multiple accounts, most trolls have fscking hundreds of accounts, most other /. members don't even visit /. anymore, then the figure is probably closer to 80%

Sigh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558526)

Does Katz actually get paid for this nonsense?
Does anyone REALLY give a shit about what Katz has to say?
Who the fuck do you think you are Katz? A liberal version of William F. Buckley?
Your tired, overly complex, inane drivel make about as much sense as David Lynch on crack.
Go away.

Re:Sigh (1)

W.B. Yeats (236617) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558543)

Here here!

However... I think the Bill Buckley bit is rather thin as an analogy.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558561)

I'm not saying he's William F. Buckley-like, I'm saying he wants to be considered a great "thinker" of our time, when he's considered (outside of the little world known as Slashdot) about as great a thinker as Pauly Shore.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558627)

It's not here, here. It's hear, hear.

Globalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558527)

For a single business Globalization is the act of getting the product out all over the world.

For those who think it is evil, it is the replacement of the "mom and pop" type store.

Heh... taliban gov't is already gone... (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558530)

...United States will ultimately destroy the Taliban government.

Already done [] . Happened this morning.

It means the US has taken over the world (2, Insightful)

Suicyco (88284) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558534)

At least thats what it means to me when I hear it. We are basically talking about US-centric ideology and economy. It means that things like this invasion of Afghanistan should be accepted by the rest of the world, because sooner or later it may happen to them. Forget that nations have their own sovereign right to determine their own internal affairs. They only have that right insofar as the US does not feel the need to interfere. And this does not apply equally across the board. Would we allow France to bomb our cities because we are harboring a political fugitive they are seeking? Would we allow Russia to arm and finance groups in America that advocate overthrowing the US government? Yet that seems perfectly acceptable for the US to do in other countries. Of course when the US does it, its not called "state sponsored terrorism".

Re:It means the US has taken over the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558591)

Afghanistan has no official government to work with on any sort of extradition. If the Taliban were "official", they'd be considered a hostile enemy anyway simply because Al Qaeda runs the Taliban more than vice versa. So if it were France, and not Afghanistan, it would be quite easy to work with the French government in capturing/extraditing terrorists (or, at least, the French would prosecute/hunt them down themselves).

Re:It means the US has taken over the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558666)

If we were not doing what we are doing, we would, in fact, have tacitly allowed just what you said the US would not want to do, i.e., allowing an outside entity to bomb US cities without reprisal, which is exactly what happened on Sept. 11.

Re:It means the US has taken over the world (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558671)

There you go guys mixing completely diferent matters. One thing has nothing to do with the other. You may agree or not with the attacks against Afghanistan ( I do ), but its idea is not new, and it happens all the time. Lybya, Iraq, Yugouslavia were hit by the US. But other countries do the same as well. Like Lebanon and other arab countries by Israel. Or Tchechnya by Russia. This has nothing to do with Globalization, it is called WAR and it is as old as humans.

"globalisierung" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558537)

I hate to nitpick but the Germans say "Globalisierung".

42! (1)

spellcheckur (253528) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558542)

I thought [] had taken care of globalization for us...

So much for the Thumb. I've got to get Marvin to come fix this thing.

Katz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558545)

A Katz article on Trolling Tuesday. Man, they're just asking for it.

What Globalization Is... (3, Insightful)

jsonic (458317) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558546)

Neither could say what it was. Can you?

Globalization can be classified as a polarizing issue. Often seen in politics, it is simply an issue that one can use to easily separate people into two groups; those for, and those against.

Somewhere in the middle exists a rational argument, but either sides probably aren't interested in hearing it.

Investment (1)

Richard_Feynman (536056) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558547)

Would investment from multi-nationals help or harm a country like Afghanistan, where one kid after another says in TV interviews that the only available job opportunities involve shooting people? I think that is a moot question when the Taliban is concerned. Multinational investment for them is made up of drug money or terrorist funds. I am not sure that the squabbling northern alliance is going to be any better or worse. The truth lies in the statement about the only job opportunities being those of shooting people. There is not much in Afghanistan except drugs and anger. It is not going to get any better in the foreseeable future either.

Globalism defined (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558548)

It is something for all the kooks (on both sides) to foam at the mouth about.

Globalism, or Americanism? (1)

salutmongars (531383) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558549)

I haven't read the message, cause its to damn long and I'm too damn lazy, but the only thing I could say is that I really don't miss Mick and BayWatch, and if globalism means its diffusion all around the world, well I prefer to look for another planet right now...

Friday's gonna be hell... (5, Funny)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558557)

Globalism means I'll be dodging rubber bullets and tear gas on my way to work Friday.
The major Ottawa bus routes (Transitway) come within 100m of the conference center where the G20/IMF summit is held.

Info: Global Democracy Ottawa []

Globalism (4, Funny)

thesparkle (174382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558560)

" Neither could say what it was. Can you?"

It is either a floor cleaner or a dessert topping.

Don't worry, it's both!

Globalization mean GM can open a plant in Mexico (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558564)

But the UAW can't organize them. It means the
creation of the "guest worker". Someone who
is not a citizen, but is someone who is sponsored
by a corporation who can not vote, can not join a union, and can be sent home if the company
finds his behavior unmutual. Globalization is
the end of the small business man, and the
dominance of Mcdonaldsmicrosofttoyotanokia.
Globalization is Al Gore and George Bush
and Tony Blair and Zhang Zimen. Same puppet,
just different sponors withing the global elite.
Globalization is one size fits all. And if you
don't like it, you're an "America Firster". What's wrong with "America First"????

Concerns (5, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558569)

My big concern about globalism is that it doesn't define the end-user as a global citizen but as a global consumer.

Also, why doesn't it show a myriad of global companies instead of today's fewer and fewer multinational companies?

The recent dotcom era went in this direction but soon became suffocated by these few majors.

When the concept of globalism will make abstraction of this centralism we might switch to an era of global equity but this will only occur if the press frees itself from the economical interests that endanger its objectivity and favors the actual monolithic global model.

"Interconnection" (2)

Logic Bomb (122875) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558572)

"Interconnection". That's all globalism/globalization is. Everything else is circumstantial, meaning it depends on the particular implementation or course of history or time-space continuum you happen to live in or whatever. ;-) So no, it is by no means inevitable. Presumably, one could find an island (physical or metaphorical) that allows total isolation from the rest of humanity. It is, however, worthwhile to note that known human history shows a trend vastly in the opposite direction.

Who's the most global? (4, Informative)

tcd004 (134130) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558573)

I work for a magazine called foreign policy. [] Late last year we did a very interesting set of rankings [] that rated how "global" different countries are. We worked with AT Kearney to develop a system to measure and compare things like, # of secure interent hosts, amount of foreign direct investment, # of long distance telephone calls. The results of the study were interesting and suprinsing. This year we'll be publsishing the same report in January.

Jon Jon Jon (0, Offtopic)

tssm0n0 (200200) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558574)

Well, I made it about 2 lines into this article. It's nice to know that Jon's not even trying to make an article look interesting anymore so I don't feel as bad when I stop reading after 3 minutes.

Re:Jon Jon Jon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558605)

Wow. It took you 3 minutes to read 2 lines?

Re:Jon Jon Jon (1)

LoadStar (532607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558616)

Well, I made it about 2 lines into this article. It's nice to know that Jon's not even trying to make an article look interesting anymore so I don't feel as bad when I stop reading after 3 minutes.

It takes you 3 minutes to read 2 lines? Wow. Either you read Slashdot on one of those 42" Plasma monitors at an unrealistically high resolution, or you really have to brush up on those reading skills.

Re:Jon Jon Jon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558653)

-1 redundant

It's ... (2)

MartinG (52587) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558575)

standardisation and centralisation of policy for reasons of convenience, all at the expense of diversity, freedom of choice and (therefore) long term darwin-style improvement of policy.

Amherest (2, Funny)

dawg (18967) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558576)

Don't trust professors from that "Amherest College." It's no good. Neither is Amherst.

- Williams '01

Jon Katz is a fag (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558577)

Jon, You suck

Globalization to a geek... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558581)

Question. What is globalization to a geek?

This has puzzled me from the start.

Why is this a slashdot article? This has nothing to do with technology, nor do we care about it.

The only politics that is posted is terrorism and war. This isn't either. This shouldn't be here.

Post-Colonial (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558582)

Globalization is the continuation of what seems to be the historically unavoidable forward march of 'western' colonization. Evil or not, elites make decisions behind closed doors about the direction of world cultures for the sake of capital trade. This used to be enforced by weapons and brutality, now it's enforced by governments who share in the idea that corporations and their trade will benefit the world. Weather or not they are correct, this will probably form a new form of feudalism where kings and queens will be corporate entities and peasants will be the workers under them.

People are against it because they are not consulted and corporations sponsored by governments have never proven themselves to be compassionate beyond their theory that any job, no matter how exploitative, is better for progress than no job.

Re:Post-Colonial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558683)

I agree, but not quiet...

The thing missing here is that it's now enforced by governments wby using information and technology to control trade.

That's why it's on /. and that's why traditional mulitnationals don't like open source and anti dmca type stuff.

It's also why EU appears to be getting policies which reflect US ones, because it's driven by politics which are driven by gobalised corporations.

the scariest thing (5, Insightful)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558583)

The thing that really scares me about globalization is the homogenization that follows. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some extremist or religious nut. But every nation being different is what makes it so interesting. Once there are McDonalds on every corner, and the whole world shops at The Gap, this place will be so boring it will drive me mad. On the other hand, if you go too far protecting your national identity, you end up like the french, with their laws preventing social dilution at the expense of personal freedom, or like the Taliban, so scared that people will see western ways and abandon their twisted interpretation of religion that allows them to keep control. It really is a fine line.

... (4, Insightful)

Acheon (122246) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558584)

Globalism is, among other things, the only way for local markets to keep expanding. Since there is nothing left beyond the world for now, I guess this is the last phase until the end of the old world and probably the beginning of a new middle age.

Don't get me wrong. Globalism in itself is the negation of any kind of territorialism being used as forms of abuse -- the fall of barriers. But those barriers still want to survive on their own ; if they're going to disappear, they may try not to go down alone and take a part of the world with them.

Therefore, any side-effect of globalism should not be attributed to itself. It is rather an opportunity to get rid of systems that do not have any use anymore, that will crash anyway on their own, and that can blow us with them if we do nothing. If we're going to globalize anyway, let's not do it half-assed.


correct me if I'm wrong... (2, Insightful)

apow (412294) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558586)

Globalization is one of the finest things that can happen to human race, if it's done the right way. It means a world without barriers, but since human stupidity makes ppl try to push their own ideas down other ppl throats, that's what is going to happen. Furthermore, it's interesting how globalization is always shown connected with world economy, instead of being defined as a massive cultural exchange. Of course... the greedy capitalists out there have a focus on this matter just a 'little diferent' than we do :)

Katz Accurate as Always (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558587)

The WTO is meeting in Qatar (Middle East) not Japan (Far East). The amazing thing about Katz's writing style is that he is almost as innacurate as he is sophmoric.

Globalization Vs Americanization ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558588)

Can anyone attempt to illuminate the differences between 'Globalization' and 'Americanization' ?

Some are finding it hard to separate the two, and that may be why Globalization is getting a bad rap.

self evident saying???? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558589)

>Globalism is the biggest idea in the world right now.

anyone else think that is just funny?

money and lawyers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558596)

Call me a cynic if you like but to me globalisation means whatever the man with most money and the best lawyers want it to mean at the time.

I knew all along... (3, Funny)

mikeage (119105) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558599)

globalization is what JonKatz (tm) is/was/will be against. What more do we need to know?

Of course, I thought it was one of the following:
a. jocks
b. columbine
c. censorship
d. hollywood
e. republicans
f. religion
g. me
h. democrats
i. microsoft
j. short articles
k. cowboyneal
l. all of the above
m. all of the above and then some

+1 True
-50 moderator didn't like it)

Globalisiening??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558600)

Actually, we Germans call it "Globalisierung".


Re:Globalisiening??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558619)

Dang! Forgot to log in..


Greed Theory (2, Interesting)

wren337 (182018) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558606)

Globalization is, to me, the process whereby third world countries are modernized (using crushing WTO/World Bank debt) until they are suitable for use as cheap labour.

History has shown, however, that eventually the labourors will demand better conditions, either through gradual reform or revolution. So while the short term goal is exploitation, the changes put in place to facilitate that exploitation will lead to improved living conditions.

Globalism == The trend towards a world culture (1)

IdocsMiko (534405) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558607)

Globalism is the ongoing trend towards a single world culture, including a common set of values, a common economy, and a common set of laws. As globalism continues, we'll get the good, the bad, and the ugly of cultures from around the world all mixed together.

An example: the suit [] . You know (and probably hate) the kind of outfit I'm talking about: matching pants and jacket, a stiff shirt, a tie. It's gone through a lot of different variations, but it's recognized the world over as the official uniform of "business". Happily, it's not the way all business must be transacted anymore, but it's still a common symbol of "business". Somehow this distinctly European invention is now worn in China, Africa, South America and occasionally even in Silicon Valley.

Proponents of globalism say that it's a good thing because it spreads good values around the world, e.g. democracy. Opponents say it's a bad thing because it spreads bad things around the world, e.g. powerful, corrupt corporations.

On balance, I think globalism is a positive trend. Democracy is more popular now than it has even been in the history of the world, and this is due in large part to the spread of capitalism and democratic thought. I acknowledge the problems and hope we'll continue to resolve them, but I don't think the solution lies in artificially compartmentalizing the world in the hope that each compartment magically solves its own problems.

It's just Trade (1)

Kengineer (246142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558615)

Globalization is nothing but Trade, taken to its most extreme. Trade is still good, even though it seems to be out of control. The fact is, that Tiawanese factories are much more efficient at mass-producing electronic products than US factories, where the cost of labor has risen a bit higher. As a result, the US, with a more educated workforce, focuses more on designing and servicing products which are sold worldwide, leaving other nations to persue their particular fortes. It's a good thing, since specialization means greater production, and less scarcity, on a worldwide scale. Joe Midwestern Farmer, who can barely make ends meet and must take a job manning telephones on a support team, well he may not like it. But you can't argue with results. He can go to Best Buy and buy cheap electronics that would have cost a great deal more if they were produced domesticly. The world can achieve more when it works together, and there's nothing wrong with outsourcing whole industries to nations who are in a position to do it better.

- Kengineer

Take the best of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558617)

Globalisation has some good points and some bad points. We should take advantage of it while supporting the underdeveloped countries.

And hey, I'm politically left..

See also:

fuck jon katz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558618)

I don't consider this a troll or an abuse of /. resources. It is me voicing my opinion as a member of the /. community. This is what I believe: Jon Katz is the root cause of globalism: People want to get the fuck out of America to get away from his stupid ass!

German (2, Informative)

4im (181450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558625)

the Germans say Globalisiening

Dear John Katz,
can't you please look up your stuff a little bit better? It's Globalisierung. Not that difficult, is it? I guess /. needs not only a spell checker, but a decent translator? Don't tell my your OCR software mistook "ru" for "ni". It's christmas soon, so let's write up something for your wishlist for Santa Claus.

It's all about control (1)

graybeard (114823) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558626)

The typical flavor of Liberalism today is Statism: they hate the fact that there are institutions beyond their control. But what kind of body could control the multi-nationals? Only a "one-world" type of governmental agency. I'd rather take my chances with many companies and many governments duking it out with each other.

Multi-national companies aren't swashbuckling rapists; they comply with the laws of the countries in which they operate. Sometimes those laws don't conform to the anti-globalist (AG) agenda. Are the people in those countries too stupid to see they are being exploited? Or are they taking advantage of an opportunity for economic development? The AGs have decided that they know better; this is hubris.

Globalization is not bad (2)

atrowe (209484) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558628)

Globalization is the natural progression of the age in which we are living. We have the ability to communicate with anyone on earth in a matter of seconds, and modern jetliners and bullet trains allow for face-to-face contact in a matter of hours. This is the first time in human history that it has been possible for corporations to maintain well organized presences on multiple continents. Globalization is nothing more than the natural expansion of existing commerce.

Furthermore, it takes an enormous amount of time and resources for a corporation to become globalized. All businesses start out as a small mom-and-pop shop, and either expand or fail. Today's globalized corporations are merely the most sucessful of the previous generation's small town shops, and you don't become a huge multinational conglomerate by screwing over your customers. Companies like Wal-Mart, Montsano, and Coca Cola got where they are today by offering superior products and services than their competitors. Years of hard work got them where they are today, not some government Trilateral Commission conspiracy. It's free-market economy at it's finest, nothing more.

Globalism (0)

Sharadin (241129) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558629)

Globalism==one country && one people && no culture. I would say this is a very good thing.

Globalisiening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558630)

As far as I know the correct German term is "Globalisierung" :-) For a native speaker the former expression would sound like Global-easy-ning, which does not seem to be a valid and understandable noun.

What globalization is... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558632)

A collection of many cultures, beliefs, economic systems and governments under the scope and control of Disney.

So when the computer industry ask you AGAIN, where do you want to go (hell they really don't know), tell them .......some disney ride or attraction.

Next year they will present you with a program that makes it possible. Buy our product and we'll give you a free ticket to Disney.

Even though you are already there. :)


Not quite correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558635)

As a german I usually do not say "Globalisiening" - in fact the only situation I could imagine saying "Globalisiening" is when I am stoned...
The correct word is "Globalisierung". But, on the other hand, wtf...

Re:Not quite correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558657)

ha ha....Katz was trying to be all 'global' and can't even get that fscking right! What a great journalist! Let me only went to babelfish right?

Problems with Globalism (5, Insightful)

remande (31154) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558637)

I understand globalism as a tendancy towards fewer and larger soveriegn governments. I see two problems with the concept. One is a problem with the theory, one is a problem with the way it is currently practiced.

The first problem (the one with the theory) is an attempt to homogenize culture. Face it, most people like their culture, no matter what it is. Culture is usually not prescribed by the government, but is certainly influenced by it. On the other hand, cultural homogenization may be inevitable--more influenced by cheap transportation and communication than any political actions.

The second problem has to do with the way globalization is being done. I am a US citizen, and consider having a say in my government to be a divine right. Current globalization efforts include, IMHO, the UN, the WTO, and the EU. These agencies, these super-governments (for lack of a better term) don't answer to people, they answer to governments. This removes the person further from the government imposing laws on him or her. I don't swear allegiance to the UN, I am not permitted to help elect its members, why should I answer to it? Why should my country's business laws be prescribed by the WTO, when I have no opportunity to vote the bums out?

This looks like a pure power steal. Global agencies are not directly accountable to people. If they were, if I could protest their policies peacefully at the ballot box rather than violently at protests (the only option we now have), I would have more patience with them.

Excuse me.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558639)

The French call it Mondialisation, the Germans say Globalisiening and throughout much of Latin America, it's called globalizacion.

Can I also have that in Dutch, Hebrew and Outer-Mongolian please?

Eventual extension of capitalism (1)

rberton (456041) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558641)

In order for capitalism to survive there must be monopoly. In order for monopoly to survive there must be globalism. In order for business to grow it has to grow somewhere.

This coming world conflict has to do with masses of laborers having their rights removed by large multi-nationals. It's already happening here. It's the only way that a multi-national can survive and continue to grow.

In short. Globalism will be short lived.

Different meanings (1)

Betcour (50623) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558642)

There are different feelings about it because it means different things. There's economic globalization, political globalization, military globalization, information glabalization etc...

Those whose power relies on misinformation or lack of information (hello Talibans, China & North Korea) hate information globalization. People on the left hate economic globalization because corporations use it as a way to escape the law (abuse worker or pollute where it is legal or tolerated). etc etc etc...

In the end globalization can be the greatest or the worst thing depending of how it is made. If it gives big corporations gaining more power, cultures distruction and uniformisation, then it is a horrible thing. If it means education and cultural growth, then it is good. It is all what we do of it. And right now, it just seems to benefit Coca Cola, Microsoft and Sony more than the poor kids in Manila.

globalism considered harmful (1)

majcher (26219) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558643)

...if you're not very, very careful. (Of course, by "you", I don't mean you, but whichever bunch of old white men happen to be in power this year.) In the simplest case, globalism can be defined thusly:
  • Free movement of goods and services across borders maximizes economic efficiency, and therefore human well-being.
  • With a few basic ground rules, such as respect for private property and equal access to markets, liberal capitalism is essentially self-regulating.
  • Above all, markets should be transparent and porous, and prices should be set by private supply and demand.

All of this supposedly maximizes material well-being, of rich countries and of poor ones. This is, naturally, an extremely naive view. First is the issue of a global political democracy itself. (I am a US citizen, not a citizen of NAFTA.) Simple globalism removes from the compass of democratic deliberation key questions of self-governance.

Naive globalism creates a bias against the mixed economy. If you believe that laissez-faire is really optimal, this is a constructive bias. But the entire history of capitalism is littered with counter-examples. Market economies have unfortunate tendencies to financial panics that spill over into purchasing-power collapses and serious (and avoidable) depressions. Unregulated capitalism yields monopolies, gouges consumers, fails to invest adequately in public goods, and produces socially intolerable distributions of income and wealth.

Simple globalism undermines the project of the mixed economy in many ways. It punishes nations that elect policies of high wages and generous social benefits. It pulls capital into corners of the globe where there is less regulation, which in turn makes it harder for the advanced nations to police their capital markets and social standards.

the real issuesseem to be these: What are the proper terms of engagement between a national, democratic polity and a global economy? As international institutions necessarily replace national ones, to whom are these institutions democratically accountable, and what substantive policies should they pursue?

Answer those questions, and you will have a successful career in international politics ahead of you.

Truth of Globalism (1)

Cesaro (78578) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558645)

Globalism in its pure form is us realizing what and who we are. It is overcoming the petty squabbles between cultures and nation states. It is realizing that we are one race, and realizing the commonality of that one race. Common problems, common solutions. It is not about business. Business is simply a tag-a-long. When we all realize we are of one race... shouldn't businesses work on a global level? That is just common sense.

Just like everything else that is a good and pure ideal though, globalism has been convoluted. Companies look over the positive aspects and future ramifications of it and use it as a means to get cheap labour in Indonesia for making their Mickey Mouse (TM) wallets, and their Kobe Bryant (TM) shoes.

It is another great idea, and incredible concept that has been derailed by our non-evolved sense of humanity.

People say Globalism is bad. I say people are bad.

Suck it, Katz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2558646)

Suck it long, and suck it hard.

Different Kinds of Globalization (1)

sgreathouse (183303) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558647)

There are different kinds of globalization:

Economic globalization increases the economic equality of societies (e.g., USA vs. Bangladesh) while increasing economic inequality overall by providing more opportunities to exploit workers and making it easier for a small number of people to become grossly rich. It is difficult to enforce laws against multinational corporations (e.g., Yahoo versus France) because they can hide across internation boundaries or even have other countries actively protect them.

Political globalization stabilizes world politics at the cost of local power, and can, therefore, alienate people even while it is saving them from war. If power centralizes into the wrong hands (e.g., a corporation focused on financial gain and not the welfare of citizens, or an oppressive regime) you get an Orwellian (i.e., "1984") nightmare. Political globalization makes it easier for companies to make money, but harder for them to hide from the law.

Cultural globalization makes people more tolerant of each other and different points of view (thus decreasing global conflict), but threatens local cultures with extinction, which is why religious extremists hate it.

The Lexus and the Olive Tree (1)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558648)

Thomas Freidman, a NYTimes columnist, gives a pretty good explanation of globalization in his book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree.
I'm just about to finish reading the book and can attest that he has neatly defined everything I had hunches about regarding where the world is headed and what globalization means. He has a complete world view which neatly explains all the things Jon Katz mentioned and more.
To give you an idea of the credibility of the book, he essentially predicted the 9/11 attacks in the book as a product of globalization.
He might be a tad optimistic for me and I sometimes take issue with his writing style but he seems to be mostly right on and writes very very clearly.
A recommended read!

P.S. I do not have any vested interest in the book, nor am I a relative of Thomas Freidman

Globalisiening??? (0)

maryesme (236403) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558658)

I hate it when people use foreign words without verifying or even trying to understand. The word should read "Globalisierung". I don't expect everyone to know German, but those who don't, shouldn't use German words without checking and re-checking; they just come out looking stupid. (Which is how I'll look if any spelling or grammatical mistakes have escaped me in this message.)

Globalization without rules == Corporate Heaven (1)

DVega (211997) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558662)

I think if we want globalization to suceed and make a better world, them we have to apply the same rules to the world that the ones in the industrial countries.

  • A central goverment who collects Earnings Tax worldwide and then invest on poor regions to improve living standards
  • Free and open migration from one country to another. This ensures that no region will be rich and other poor. Because people can migrate.

This rules are similar to the ones that applies inside any country. If we really want a global market, then these rules will protect countries and promote a balanced development.

A definition? (1)

DullTrev (533249) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558667)

I think the whole debate about globalisation has suffered, as is implied in the article, from people using the term to describe different things. To me, globalisation is the creation and growth of sytems that allow communication (both physical and digital) around the world in shorter and shorter periods.

What most people seem to talk about when they say globalisation is in fact how capitalism (and in particular large companies) use this new tool. Now, the entire reason for the existance of companies is to make money for their owners, whether it be privately owned, or owned by shareholders. Traditionally, the methods used to make money have been limited by regulation and legislation. The problems have only come about when there is no body that can regulate the companies effectively, or where that body is controlled more by the companies than democratic bodies. This is not to say that companies or capitalism is bad or wrong, simply that they are reacting to a situation that is new in ways that were unexpected by many people.

Is globalisation intrinsically bad? I'd have to say no. Is it intrinsically good? Again, no. Globalisation is as good or as bad as we make it. If we want to try and build a safer, calmer world, I believe we need to start off by allowing a democratic body (i.e. one whose members are made up of elected officials elected specifically for that post) to begin to build a more effective framework of regulation and legislation. Unfortunately, I can't see this happening anytime soon, because it would be a political nightmare to sign a country, and the companies within a country, up to any international framework - European states often have different priorities in this area than the US.

But we musn't forget the oppurtunities that globalisation offers us - not just for trade, but in cultural areas, religious areas, and so on. We should push globalisation forward, but shouldn't be surprised that it produces problems we need to deal with.

Just my two pennorth worth, anyway...

Self-Determination vs Corporatization (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558670)

Globalization is the quasi-religious faith in the wisdom of the market taken to it's next level. We (and the rest of the world) are slowly handing over control of our culture, environment, laws, and markets to a spiderweb of treaties and economic "carrot & stick" threats.

Democratic governments are no more special in such a system than any dictatorship. Don't want to allow certain trade goods into your country? Sorry, can't say no or you risk economic isolation. What if your culture is opposed to blatant displays of sexuality? Tough, the market will choose your culture. Want to vote to change environmental rules in an industry? Nope, we're bound by treaties, so much for the voice of the people.

Granted trade agreements and economic treaties have existed before but we've never bound ourselves so thoroughly to an intricate system as this. It is no wonder that the British voters are reluctant to jump into the European Union. They can vote for their government but they'd have no voice in Brussels.

Economic growth has to have a point, it should not be an end to itself, something people seem to have forgotten. We are a very comfortable (aka spoiled) people already, why are we now allowing ourselves to be plugged into this? Unless you are a corporate boss you ultimately have more to lose from this than to gain.

What globalism is not (3, Funny)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558672)

This page intentionally left blank

obviously (4, Funny)

bindo (82607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558673)

And "Baywatch" remains the most popular show in Iran, to the despair of the religious leaders running the country.

Any leader who's country's most popular show is bayatch should be in despair about his people...


I haven't been able to nail it down (5, Funny)

truesaer (135079) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558675)

Well, I consider myself to be pretty far left, but I don't understand the big deal about globalism. It just seems like an excuse for some people to riot. Perhaps I just don't understand seems like people are upset that loans to poor countries aren't being forgiven. Since they were loans and not gives, that seems like its expected.

I'm sure its much more complicated than that, but whatever their message is it isn't getting out. Protestors in seattle just looked like hooligans.

Look to history (1)

f00zbll (526151) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558677)

Defining "globalization" in many ways is like defining poetry. For a couple thousand years now, people have been debating what constitutes poetry. Probably best description or answer is "I'll tell you when I see it."

Behind all of it is the idea of "connecting". NO, I don't mean plugging your monitor into the video port. It's the idea two living creatures come to an agreement. It can be as simple as a dog licking an owners hand after getting a treat. The owner and dog agree they have affection for each other. On a global scale, connection means a million different things. It's people playing games across the world at the same time, business men teleconferencing, instant messaging, watching a soccer game and everything else. What scares people (myself included) is all the geographical, linguistic and political barrier begin to dissintegrate rapidly. What people are afraid of is loosing the sense of self vs connecting to the world. Before 1960's, Americans chose to down play their foriegn heritage and adopt a common culture. Transpose this scenario on a global scale, and you can see why so many people are terrified. What makes life interesting is differences between people. Not everyone is ready to learn 8 languages, or adopt one global language. Nor is everyone ready for international cuisine. As Lao-Tzsu said, "The only thing certain is change."

Globalism is not "inevitable" (1)

shepard (2304) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558678)

Primitive cultures like the one running Afghanistan don't accept the inevitability of globalism. Most other governments do, perhaps the primary reason the Arab world isn't actively resisting the much-resented United States in its new war. Countries that don't want to join in may end up like Afghanistan, beset by tribal conflicts, cut off from capital development and economic opportunity. Would investment from multi-nationals help or harm a country like Afghanistan, where one kid after another says in TV interviews that the only available job opportunities involve shooting people?

After an entire article citing how many believe that Globalism is a danger to the way the world _exists_, you then go on to say that Globalism is "inevitable" and only "primitive nations" would ever think of avoiding it??

Globalism is the eradication of local boundaries. Globalism is the idea that local culture and local influences are irrelevant. For something to become an influence under Globalism, it must pass through the well-established channels of business and boardrooms. Globalism is the idea that your region's customs should be.. no.. will be the same as every other region on the planet after it has taken its full effect. Globalism is the idea that what matters there matters everywhere and vice versa.

Globalism is only inevitable if corporations should be allowed to do whatever they please. It runs directly against the ideas that a tight-nit band of people should be able to determine the flow of their own lives. Instead, they must surrender that notion to a large bureaucracy bent on gaining, you guessed it, more cash.

And then there's the total immorality present in the best ways to get cash. And then we remember how much power corporations already have. And then we start to think, just like Katz, that Globalization is completely inevitable.

We shouldn't give up so easily.

I am not sure what Globalism is.... (1)

rootbeertapper (536274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558680)

but if a professor from Amherst thinks it's a good thing, then I know is EVIL!

Pick one (3, Insightful)

LazyDawg (519783) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558685)

Globalism is:

1. Putting all your eggs in one basket.

2. Trying for harmony when everyone sings the same tune.

3. Letting everyone make the same mistakes, all at once.

4. Making sure the free market never decides anything.

5. Saying "Businesses have been a discriminated minority for too long."

6. Trying to disprove the myth that humanity doesn't scale.

damn it Cats (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558688)

Why do I come each week and see the headlines - "cats discovers the nature of humanity" "cats named to oprah book club"

damn you Cats, have the good courtesy to die!!

It's very easily defined. (2, Insightful)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 12 years ago | (#2558690)

It is the consolidation of global power into fewer and fewer hands.

If there is any one lesson that mankind should have learned from its history, it is that power corrupts.

More power == more corruption.
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