In simplified terms, globalization is equated with the global market, something that is not run by a particular person or persons, but by the global economy. In a broader sense, it is a multifaceted process which includes: politics, culture, environment, economics, religion, and ideology that constantly reshape the world while "deepening global connections" (Steger, p.18). While globalization encapsulates all of these social processes, capitalism and globalization are intrinsically tied. There are many different ideologies concerning the varying aspects of globalism, stemming from where one sits on the wide spectrum of globalization.
The ideology of a ‘global civil society’ is a society with an “impulse toward altruistic giving and sharing; the refusal of inequality, violence, and oppression” (Keane p. 29). In an ideal world there would be no violence, no exploitation, no poverty; but in our turbo-capitalistic world this notion is impossible because loose international policies have essential given “modern capitalist firms… unlimited grazing rights” (Keane p. 29). Areas such as sub-Saharan Africa that are not deemed ‘profitable’ are virtually ignored by the global corporations that are responsible for spreading the global economy. If the ideology of global civil society refers to the “contemporary thickening and stretching of networks of socio-economic institutions across borders to all four corners of the earth” (Kean p. 23), I guess turbo-capitalistic investors never got that memo.
Neo-Liberals have adopted a thinly veiled idea of the “spread of democracy” that only pertains to world economics, assuming that this change won’t have any effect on the preservation of cultural identity. Countries such as "France and Canada and Third World nations like Malaysia have fought hard to restrict imports of foreign films, books and magazines to protect their own heritage" (www.newint.org... They believe that mainly American produced programming leaves little left for the local media and fear Disneyfication over diversity. As an American I don’t have a strong sense of cultural identity because I’ve been exposed to different cultures my entire life – my mother only became an American citizen about 12 years ago. It’s not only from my family that I have a sense of cultural identity, but through the images and information that mass media presents. Mass media is a factor of globalization because this technological innovation has the ability to spread globalism faster and easier. The Internet has essential broken the invisible barrier that once existed between various countries and their cultures. The valuable tool is also helpful for the spread of the antiglobalist movement because it provides for the “shared information and… similar critiques of neoliberalism” (Ayres p. 19). People or groups that wish to reform or ratify the neoliberal agenda are now able to communicate and band together in ways that were impossible even twenty years ago.
According to Jeffrey Ayres in his article, “Framing Collective Action Against Neoliberalism: The Case of the “Anti-Globalization” Movement”, the driving force of this movement is “over people’s interpretations and understandings of the supposed benefits of neoliberal economic policies” (Ayers p. 11). Through the use of modern technology, these opponents have produced a transnational collection of “action frames” and “master frames” which help identify problems and offer solutions to the inequities that currently exist in certain international neoliberal policies. Antiglobalists have some strong ideas on the spread of globalism and its’ implications. Two prominent groups that challenge current forms of globalism are Particularist protectionists and Universalist protectionists.
Particularist protectionists range from Pat Buchanan to Osama Bin Laden. It’s hard to imagine these two people as being in the same category, but in general they share the same belief in cultural preservation and ‘economic nationalism’ (Steger p.117). Pat Buchanan may have organized a non-violent demonstration against the WTO in 1999, but Osama Bin Laden organized a radical jihad in 2001 that claimed the lives of about 3,000 people. The measures that certain groups will go through to challenge the spread of globalization is dependent upon their place on the spectrum of antiglobalists. Universalist protectionists may share the belief that globalization should be challenged; they believe that it can and must be done through the current system in place.
Individuals such as Ralph Nader have advocated global people’s rights through an “international alliance of egalitarian forces” (Steger p.120) that promote globalization from below by the people rather than from above by corporations.
Before I started this class, I had no idea what the World Trade Organization or NAFTA was or why they were even necessary. I am ashamed to admit I knew nothing of business on a global or even national level. Throughout this course, I have developed and redeveloped my ideas of what globalization means. As I near the end, the only thing that becomes clear is that I have barely scraped the tip of the ‘global’ iceberg. Now that I have the basic building blocks and knowing that there is so much more I’ve left to learn to fully understand the dynamic nature of globalization, I have become inspired to the extent that I have the latest book by Thomas Friedman on my Christmas wish list. One thing I know about globalization is that it is ever-changing so I must keep up with new developments in globalization just as I would keep up with the latest developments in technology.
Globalism has produced a global society of instant gratification and I guess that makes me hard to see how global equality and social justice can truly be achieved when it will take time and great effort by global citizens for these events to transpire. I think that we needed to win over the hearts and minds of those in the Middle East in our “War on Terror”, which unfortunately was not done, and after reading more information about globalism it seems like globalists need to adopt this viewpoint as well. Globalization is dependent upon a strong and structured government and it’s hard to draw “democracy” from globalization when its advances have only ignited more political instability in places such as Iraq that are attempting democracy for the first time.
I consider myself a ‘conventional realist’ and I think that if globalization continues with its’ current international policies, it will not remain successful. I agree with the ideology of globalism, but I don’t know how well it works in practice. That being said, I’m not sure how convinced I am that the alliance of egalitarian forces would ever become an eventuality. Whether or not it will become fully realized, I think it’s imperative for the ‘global civil society’ to remain active in discussions of neo-liberalism.