A criticism of globalization with out aluminum foil
I have to admit that sometimes it’s fun to watch conspiracy theory shows and documentaries on Netflix. The problem arises, however, when these theories become doctrines and affect political life.
That’s what happened to globalization and the whole myth behind it. Opposition to globalization is common today among both right and left politicians for a variety of reasons, from President Trump, who has apparently proposed imprisoning “globalists” like George Soros, to Bernie Sanders, who believes “we must” reject our ‘free trade’ policy in principle. “
The myth of globalization
On the one hand, there are those who focus more on the social aspect of globalization and view it as an ideology. For them, it is an evil plan driven by nebulous, powerful people that results in a lack of national identity, mass immigration, and some form of one world government. That is why they use the term globalism instead. As President Trump said in his speech to the United Nations: “We reject the ideology of globalism and accept the doctrine of patriotism.”
This narrative is also popular in Europe. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban called George Soros an enemy of his country and accused him of helping to host thousands of refugees in Europe. He even passed anti-immigration laws called “Stop Soros”. Despite their different justifications, both approaches completely fail to make sense of globalization.The incoming refugees are not only seen as a threat to national identity, but are also accused of “stealing” jobs from the locals.
The left, no matter how much it stands for the immigrants targeted by anti-globalizationists, is by no means necessarily for globalization. In contrast, they reject economic globalization and call it a “neoliberal” policy promoted by greedy capitalists. For them, globalization is only beneficial to national elites and private corporations; it leads to inequality and, like any capitalist policy, to the exploitation of workers.
Despite their different justifications, both approaches completely fail to make sense of globalization.
Globalization is a result of freedom
Wikipedia defines globalization as “the process of interaction and integration between people, businesses and governments around the world”. In other words, globalization is what happens when people are given the freedom to interact with each other on a global scale. It is a result of freedom, not political violence. So it is wrong to think of it as an ideology rather than a simple process.
Conspiracy theories about George Soros or the New World Order are frankly not even worth commenting on. But what about the more realistic criticism of globalization?
Some are still skeptical of the benefits of globalization. Some believe that only the very rich benefit from it.
Criticism of economic globalization often leads to criticism of the free movement of goods, services, technology and capital. Since 1990, thanks to the resurgence of globalization and the dominance of capitalism, “more than a billion people have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty and the global poverty rate is now lower than it has ever been in recorded history,” according to the World Bank.
More specifically, 736 million people lived on less than $ 1.90 a day in 2015, up from 1.85 billion in 1990. Of course, there are still many problems to be solved, and that’s why the World Bank has set itself the goal of making the global world end poverty by 2030.
But even after this record-breaking decline in poverty, some are still skeptical about the benefits of globalization, because while millions of people can escape poverty, some believe that only the very rich benefit and not everyone reaps the benefits of globalization.
A paper by Branko Milanovic on global inequality offers a great explanation for the winners and losers of globalization between 1988 and 2008.
Indeed, as the figure shows, we find the most significant increases in per capita income at the top of the global income distribution and in the “emerging global middle class”, which comprises more than a third of the world’s population. (…) These two groups – the global top 1% and the emerging market middle class – are indeed the main winners of globalization.
The only exception is the poorest 5% of the population, whose real incomes have remained the same. It is this rise in income at the bottom of the global pyramid that has made it possible to reduce the percentage of the so-called absolute poor (people whose per capita income is less than 1.25 PPP per day) by the World Bank by 44%. to be reduced to 23%. over roughly the same 20 years.
But the biggest losers (other than the poorest 5%), or at least the “non-winners” of globalization, were those between the ages of 75 and 75.
Globalization winners are the world’s top one percent and the middle classes in emerging markets, which make up more than two billion people. Although the real incomes of the poorest five percent of the population have remained the same, the biggest loser is the global upper middle class.
You cannot ignore the lowest global poverty rate ever recorded just because the rich get richer.
To someone who is only aware of robber barons and wealthy oppressors and ignores the most productive people in society, these numbers may seem meaningless. but You cannot ignore the lowest global poverty rate ever recorded just because the rich get richer.
Humanity has lived in poverty for most of its life. The question we have to ask ourselves is not what makes people poor, but what makes them rich. Only now, after thousands of years of dire living conditions and unshakably slow growth, can we see millions escaping poverty under the globalized economy. It’s not a world of angels and saints, but it’s by far the best we’ve ever had.