Sachs’ “The Age of Globalization”
“One day there will be no borders, no borders, no flags and no countries and the only passport will be the heart” – Carlos Santana
GLOBALIZATION, a term that was born a century ago, has become the epitome of that century. Its first application was in economics when the flows of goods and services, capital and labor from different economies were integrated into what is called a global market. Today globalization is applicable to a variety of other references, including global culture, global society, global community, global ideas, global beliefs, global citizenship, and global education.
Origins. The origin of the term could begin with the late Canadian media and communication theorist Marshall McLuhan when he called the world a “global village” in 1964 – a single community connected by telecommunications. “As a result, people believed that cultural globalization will lead to a dazzling market in which countries with all economic opportunities are represented and in which the more fortunate countries come to the aid of the less fortunate with humanitarian efforts.” The mining or dismantling trade barriers, free movement of capital and labor, and technology transfer would contribute to the globalization of markets.
Sachs’ “The Age of Globalization”. Thanks to Dr. Higino Ables, the former Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the University of Los Baños, who is always an authentic educator, who introduced me to the book “The Ages of Globalization” of his Kindle collection from June 2020 by Jeoffrey D. Sachs. Sachs is a renowned economist and expert on sustainable development. Sachs’ very engaging account of how we humans came to be as such today leaves me with mixed feelings about our human history. How did we come to such a state over time to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century – challenges that include global diseases like this current pandemic? When I read Sachs I expect some clue as to how best to face this pandemic that has disrupted the normal lives we knew for the past eighteen months.
How human societies began. Sachs’ captivating account of our evolution brings us to what we are today – modern Homo sapiens – “anatomically similar and related to the great apes, but characterized by a more sophisticated brain and a resulting ability to articulate language and abstract reasoning” . Sachs takes us through a series of “seven distinct waves of technological and institutional change, beginning with the time when human biological ancestors began to walk on two legs, the original colonization of the planet by early modern humans through long-distance wandering.” After the Paleolithic (70,000 to 10,000 BC) came the Neolithic (10,000 to 3000 BC) when migrations “of modern people across the planet from Africa to Europe and Asia saw the birth of permanent settlements in scattered villages”. “About 11,000 years ago” saw “the advent of agriculture, which is viewed as the Neolithic revolution”. Sachs then leads us into the third age, the Equestrian Age, in which “the horse played a key role for at least 5000 years”. [and] vital role in the development of Eurasia by providing unparalleled transportation services, horsepower for agriculture, strong military capabilities, rapid communications and the ability to rule large areas in a unified state. The domestication of the horse around 5500 years ago explains the rise of the first Eurasian empires. ”
The later epochs. The Classical Age (1000 BC to 1500 AD) “moved civilizations that were so dynamic that they set a standard of performance that has since been celebrated as the Classical Age.” During this time our “greatest traditions of wisdom, the great philosophies of life as taught by Plato and Aristotle, Confucius, the Buddha and other sages” emerged. “Many of the great world religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism” also have their beginnings during this time. “The great empires of that time – Assyria, Persia, Greece, Rome, India, China, and later the Ottoman and Mongol empires – vied with unprecedented ambition for fame, faith, wealth and power.” Then came “a crucial moment in the Human History ”, the sixth era – The Ocean Age (1500 to 1800). I remember our history teacher all too well, a French nun who delighted us with stories of ocean-going ships that circumnavigated the world – Christopher Columbus ‘and Amerigus Vespucci’s trip to America and Vasco da Gama’s birth of a new route to India, the Columbus’ Trip added. Unite two continents, so to speak – the Old World (Africa, Asia and Europe) and the New World (America).
The last two centuries. Sachs’ Tour de Force takes us into the world we know, the industrial age (1800 to 2000), and describes the peace and “continental transformation” that ruled Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. Next comes the digital age of this century, which offers us a new perspective on the advancing globalization processes based on digital technologies. Sachs emphasizes the need for new methods of international governance and cooperation in order to avoid conflicts and to achieve economic, social and ecological goals in terms of sustainable development. “Sachs informs us even more about the” advantages that globalization has for improving the human situation and at the same time brings undisputed threats “like this pandemic. See Kindle’s introduction to the famous book by Sachs. As pointed out in the preface, “human history has always been on a global scale”.
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