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     Volume 2 Issue 146 | December 6 , 2009|


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Globalisation: The Global Revolution

KH. Asef Safa Kabir

BY definition, globalisation is the process through which the world is becoming more unified and smaller. It's one of the most debatable issues in modern history, over which different theorists hold different contrasting opinions. Factually speaking, globalisation is a very composite concept as it has cultural, economic and political dimensions. Cultural globalisation means how different cultures are intermingling with each other and how we are becoming the part of a unified global culture; economic globalisation means the interdependence between different economies of the world through free-trade, whereas political globalisation means how different nations are politically and ideologically influencing each other. However, these are nothing but some theoretical perspectives that define globalisation.

Beyond theories globalisation is not merely a hypothetical concept that we study in the books. In today's world, globalisation is virtually everywhere. It's all around us. It impacts our personality, our occupation, our entertainment, our education and all other aspects of our life. Today we even carry globalisation in our pockets. I think here I must provide a concrete example. The cell phone I use is a Nokia 5610 Music Express phone. As we all know, Nokia is a Finnish corporation. Many components of my 5610 phone are made in Hungary; those components are assembled in China where Nokia has its Asian production base, I got to know about the phone through Indian media, and I am a Bangladeshi man craving the phone. I think if globalisation hadn't facilitated free-trade, I might not have been able to afford the phone. My precious phone (which is a gift of globalisation) enables me to communicate with my friends around the world and I also navigate the World Wide Web through it. Metaphorically speaking, the phone represents the world to me. Such is the power of globalisation. It has made the world so small that I can even carry in my pocket.

Undeniably, there are countless fruits of globalisation that we relish. First of all, globalisation has created a well-organized 'Global Village' where international connectivity and cooperation are generating countless new possibilities. It's destined to lead us towards the illuminated threshold of a borderless world, where isolated racial and religious identities will be replaced by a common global identity. Additionally, it's enabling us to be more conscious and sensitive by facilitating education, information and the resultant awareness. It's progressively linking diverse civilizations to establish standard norms among cultures. From the economic perspective, globalisation is gradually establishing a dynamically competitive global business environment, which is imperative for the growth of international trade. Moreover, it's helping businesses to extend their utilities to the distant corners of the world. Globalisation also benefits consumers because consumers now have more alternatives in terms of price, quality and value. Finally, globalisation is alleviating poverty because free trade and economic interactions will ultimately lead countries towards self-sufficiency and more equitable labor distribution.

Now the question is: “can globalisation solve all of our predicaments?” Is it the magical genie of The Arabian Nights that has all the solutions in its magic box? Perhaps, this magical genie can sometimes turn into a monster.

Proponents of anti-globalisation claim that globalisation is responsible for the proliferation of alien cultures. They also claim that it's responsible for the exploitation of impoverished countries by the richer ones and it can also increase labor abuse if labor laws are not well implemented by all countries.

Environmentalists have underscored the negative impacts of globalisation as one of the root causes of environmental pollution, because global enterprises have often been accused of maintaining poor environmental standards. Yet at a deeper level, some proponents of anti-globalisation allege that globalisation is actually 'westernization' in disguise, which implies that a few dominant cultures are trying to impose their values on weaker cultures in the name of globalisation. Under the light of this allegation these people often ask thought provoking questions, like: 'Is it cultural globalisation or cultural invasion?' 'Is it economic globalisation or neo-colonialism by MNCs?' 'Is it political globalisation or geopolitical influence by mighty nations?' I optimistically hope that the affirmative outcomes of globalisation will someday answer these intriguing questions and clear the clouds. I think collectively we all are the members of a unified global society irrespective of our individual national, religious and ethnic identities. Perhaps, globalisation is as important for us as the process of 'socialization' is important for all members of a society. There are some crucial institutions that drive the process of globalisation, like mass media, free-trade and global political policies. If there are limitations or favoritism in these institutions that control globalisation, the process of globalisation can never be constructive. I think in the word “globalisation” the letter 'I' stands for I as an 'Individual'. As an individual, 'I' am an inevitable part of the process of globalisation. In at the end of the day, I (as an individual) must decide whether I'm going to adopt the positive aspects or the negative aspects of globalisation. I personally believe the benefits of globalisation outweigh its costs, because globalisation has been able to create a world where we can be global in values without traveling the globe.

(Student of NSU)



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