Globalization: Anachronism, Community, and the Aim towards a Sustainable Era

by on December 16th, 2005

Why is it that in the age of Globalization, the term “inter-national relations” is rather anachronistic?

Inter-national invariably means experiences and commodities exchanged between nations are a reality second to the reality of national sovereignty itself. For something inter-national to exist, the nation with which this ‘inter’ must occur must be the principle denominator. In the era of Globalization, the exchange of experiences and commodities are not inter-national, but transnational.

The itinerant Swede visiting Portugal to experience the silky baritone of fado music is bringing his Swedish national identity to interact with an identity distinct from Sweden or any other nation: namely, a distinctly Portuguese identity, found in its completeness nowhere other than Portugal.

In the era of Globalization, inter-national exchanges in a distinctly national sense are no longer prominent. One need not go to Portugal to listen to Fado, nor does it require for one to be Swedish or more to the point to be itinerant, to appreciate the music.

It is enough for any one living in Singapore to walk down to a local CD store, and by browsing the ‘World Music’ section in the neat rows of music aisles, one would invariably find Portugal’s musical namesake, tastefully wrapped in a glossed cardboard package, manufactured in China, and assembled for display in Hong Kong. Inter-national exchanges are irrelevant therefore, in the era of Globalization: Indeed, an anachronism.

In what ways, if any, has Globalization affected traditional notions of Community?

The traditional notion of community was localized in all its trappings. The Arab Bedouin content in his tent with his three wives knew little of date-rape and pickup lines.

The Ukrainian peasant girl knew little about Levis and tank tops: instead of carrying a chanel designer handbag jiggling with glossy accouterments, she carried a sack of grain.

Globalization has changed all that. Now the Arab dresses like a cosmopolitan citizen, and frequents disco bars. The Ukrainian girl despises the traditional limitations of her roots, and would throw a vicious temper at her mother when the latter refuses to let her daughter go to an opposite gender sleepover party.

The modern consumer’s identity is one of rebellion: he rebels against the norms of former tradition, viewing it as antique and vintage, as something laughable; she views it as repressive, crude, and a symbol of historical gender inequity.

The traditional notions of community are thus fast disappearing under the weight of incipient Globalization.

The Direction towards Sustainability

At once, the need for change is imperative in this incipient Globalization.

The current economic model is unsustainable due to serious shortcomings in its human considerations and profound lack of attention and ineptitude at a Microengineering level.

Neoliberal Economics believes in a cryptic and suspiciously absurd ‘trickle-down’ model. The flaw of this model is that hierarchical trickle-down requires immense mobilization of resources where each managing hierarchy must be equally capable of applying theory into practice, and the top leadership must be understood to be thoroughly cognizant and eminently judicious in its understanding of the subtler and microcosmic needs of lower echelons in society, essentially to the level of individual, human interactions; which at the moment it is not.

In its grandiose, sprawling, theories, Neoliberalism has removed itself from all types of micro-thinking. It is a failure of perception itself and cannot discern the consequences of its action and the agitations and negative externalities it creates at the individual level.

Neoliberal Economics does not realize, that social commodification eventually leads to total decadence, throttling originality, creativity, and in its ostentatious attempt at creating a pervasive homogeneous clump , it ends up feeding grass-roots movement connected closer to a reality, and passions made of stronger stuff that would eventually over time take full advantage of structural deficits created by Neoliberalism’s incompetent economic principles and endanger the fate of the Global Order to grave uncertainties and dangerously unpredictable social outcomes.

Neoliberalism’s policy of Social Darwinism is crudely applied, and cuts off abruptly and dogmatically the healthy practice of a degree of social welfare requisite to maintaining order within the human reality of Capitalism.

Finally, unheeding and uncompassionate commodification of human experience will lead to an unprecedented level of Universal jadedness, creating very disturbing organic phenomena such as chauvinism, psychological complexities, lack of open communication, and banishment of freethinking.

A sustainable New World Order’s policy system must be crafted therefore I am convinced; by a compassionate and enlightened leadership body arising from the mauled remnants of contemporary generations.

This enlightened group of young men and women must approach problems organically and fine-tune Microengineering to an art-form, strengthening communities and empowering suburbia more and relying on unsustainable and degrading urbanization less. This new leadership must have the power, poise, persuasion and discipline to turn the force of greed into a powerful and transforming compassion spearheaded by a vital, spiritual aggression whose singular premise would be the unpolluted improvement and accelerated spiritual growth and interconnectedness of the human race.

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Alexander Rai