Globalisation – a flawed ideology

28 08 2007

The Nation has an interesting article on an ex-IBM executive in the US who is questioning the economics and politics of unbridled “free” trade.

Take a look here:  The Establishment rethinks Globalization.

John Ralston Saul has a related book entitled The Collapse of Globalism.  He’s a Canadian author and intellectual and the book describes well the rise and fall of what we commonly know as Globalisation.

Here’s a short passage to give a little taste:

“While the true believers continue to insist – sometimes enthusiastically, but more often angrily these days – on global inevitabilities, you will hear, if you listen carefully, a rising babble of contradictory sounds.  A growing number of nation-state leaders – along with the more interesting businessmen, have changed their vocabulary, gradually weeding out the global assumptions.  The new discourse is more complex, sibylline, less grandiose.  Much of it is built around the idea of citizens and society…..

….it is again respectable to admit that the era preceding Globalisation was one of the most successful in history for both social reform and economic growth.  Why, apart from an ideological sweep, should we ever have dismissed it as a failure when we could have weeded out its weaknesses and built on its accomplishments?”

 Image source: globalisation-tibet-nike-woman by flickr user exposedplanet under creative commons licence




2 responses

5 09 2007
John Feeney

This is a good sign. It should be interesting to watch how language changes with regard to globalization.

This is an interesting line at the end of the article:

“Some older CEOs and board members at least listen to him sympathetically. ‘They have grandchildren,’ he says. ‘They wonder too what’s going to happen to our grandchildren.'”

Concern for their children or grandchildren may be one thing that wakes these folks up a bit. Of course it can be extended to issues of environmental impact as well.

6 09 2007

Quite true. When I think of economic determinism I can’t help but think how topsy- turvy we have gotten things.

On a society’s particular policy direction, surely it is better to all agree on where we wish to go and then decide the best road to get us there. Instead, we appear to take the approach:

“Hey, look at this road here. It’s made of brand new low-friction technology. It’s an eight lane superhighway! It’s got to lead somewhere pretty good. In fact, I don’t think we should bother looking into other routes.”
– and then find out where it leads.

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