Globalization is a phenomenon that is creating so much debate in the 21st century. Although it is more pronounced now than in the past, thanks to technological developments and policy, it is, however, an old phenomenon that existed thousands of years ago. For instance, historical evidence shows that people used to travel a long distance to buy and sell goods. Additionally, corporations and people invested in other countries in ancient times. However, with increased innovation in technology and corporation between countries, globalization is becoming a real force that everyone must reckon with in the 21st century. Therefore, this essay is going to explain the meaning of globalization. Additionally, the discussion below will demonstrate why globalization is a good thing for this century despite having various shortcomings. In so doing, a balance will have to be made between the good and the bad that globalization brings forth.
More often than not, globalization is associated with trade between countries, increased corporation between or among states and interaction of people of different countries. Scholars argue that the concept is more of an economic than a social, cultural or political aspect. In this regard, one can define globalization as a free flow of people, services or goods across the world in a manner that can best be described as integrated and seamless (Fukuyama, 2014). In addition to that, the movement allows for the exchange of culture and ideas. Some factors have facilitated globalization, which includes but are not limited to policies, internet, improved communication, and accessibility as a result of improved transport industry. Policy makers, scholars, and economists have tried to figure out the place of globalization as far as the 21st century is concerned. In particular, it is still disputed whether globalization is good or bad for this century. However, there is increasing evidence that suggests globalization is good and not otherwise.
Why Globalization is good for the 21st Century
To start with trade, the concept enables free trade between nations. There are various ways that economist and policy makers have been able to do this effectively, that is, by reducing trade barriers. The barriers may include value-added taxes or tariffs. It is also possible for two or more countries to introduce subsidies between them to facilitate movement of goods or services. Moreover, the free trade will likely create more jobs, foster worldwide economic growth, reduce prices for consumers and encourage competitiveness in both local and foreign companies (Martell, 2016). In so doing, globalization act in a positive way in promoting free trade between two or more countries, and in effect, a good phenomenon for the 21st century.
In addition to that, globalization offers poor countries or rather developing countries opportunity to develop. Firstly, there is an infusion of technology and foreign capital essential for economic growth, especially, for poor nations. Moreover, there is the spread of prosperity from developed to developing countries, which in turn helps in creating an environment that may spread good virtues such as respect for human rights and democracy (Martell, 2016). Considering all these good attributes that globalization brings and promises to encourage in this century, it becomes prudent to argue that the phenomenon is good for the century. Another thing that makes globalization a good thing for the century is that it offers a global market for consumers and corporations in providing or accessing goods from all over the world. Moreover, there is increasingly rising of multinational companies in developing countries as a result of globalization. The result of this is the creation of jobs for the majority of citizens of those countries and in effect, acting as a way of getting rid of poverty. On the other hand, there is also the movement of labor from one country to another which may be useful, especially, in developing countries that are still in need of highly skilled manpower to steer economic growth (Martell, 2016). Additionally, for developed countries, like the United States of America with a shortage of labor, such a movement can serve well to fill the shortage.
Furthermore, globalization is good in the 21st century as it enhances speedy travel and quick flow of information, in particular, through the use of the internet. Also, there is improved mass communication globally, something that has a social value. For instance, people all over the world are becoming more tolerant and open to each other unlike in the past, where living in other parts of the world was to make a person be seen as alien (Najam, Runnalls, and Halle, 2016). In addition to that, globalization can encourage cultural intermingling between people in addition to making it possible for people from different countries to learn different cultures. As the world continues to change so fast, there is the need for countries to embrace sharing of various things. Globalization has enabled this and will be a good thing should it continue in this century. For instance, as a result of shared financial interests, states and companies are coming out as advocates of solving ecological problems. Moreover, developing countries rely on developed countries in use of certain technology, for instance, shared use of IP address. On the other hand, globalization is an important factor that makes it possible for different countries to agree on trade agreements, for instance, NAFTA or The TPP (Najam, Runnalls, and Halle, 2016). It is with this regard that makes globalization good for the century.
Lastly, one good thing about globalization is a reduction of wars between nations. Historical documents reveal that the history of the world has been marked by countless wars, between or among states. For instance, the 19th and 20th century is notorious for colonial wars, either by colonialist in a bid to scramble for colonies or by the oppressed fighting for independence. Moreover, the twentieth century is going down in history as the century that experienced two major world wars. The role of globalization since the end of the Second World War and the fights for independence has been to make the world a peaceful place for every country to conduct their affairs without interference. Moreover, the creation of international bodies such as the United Nations is helping in acting as a watchdog against aggression or invasion from one country to another (Najam, Runnalls, and Halle, 2016). Thus, this is another reason that is convincing enough to make a person argue that globalization is good for this century.
Why Globalization is bad for the 21st Century
On the other hand, there are various shortcomings that result from globalization, making it appear bad for the century. To start with, multi-national corporations, critics argue that these companies are developing ways of avoiding to pay taxes in other countries. In addition to that, there are also those who argue that the corporations offer unfair wages and do not put much concern on the environment. Other injustices that come with these corporations include ecological damage and misuse of natural resources (Simas et al., 2014). Moreover, the corporations are increasingly becoming political, and in effect, playing a major role in determining major political decisions. It is worrying that this is happening and should it continue in to happen in this century, they may be a force to reckon with as far as ruling the world is concerned, and in effect, negatively interfering with democracy. Furthermore, globalization has been linked to the fast spread of communicable diseases and other worrying diseases such as HIV/AIDS. The ease with which people travel across the globe as result of globalization is facilitating transmission of these diseases in all corners of the world. Lastly, there is a cry over mutual benefits that globalization need to bring between nations, that is, developed countries are becoming more developed at the expense of developing countries (Simas et al., 2014). For instance, investors rip more as compared to what the business does to nature and workers in foreign countries. Considering all these, it is not worth for globalization to be pursued by any country for it appears as a bad thing for this century.
The concept of globalization is more of an economic than a political, social or cultural thing. Looking at the in-depth analysis of the idea, it comes with both benefits and disadvantages that continue to shape people and empires of the world. Therefore, it is right to argue that the phenomenon can either be good or bad, necessitating a struck in balance of whether it is a good or bad thing for this century. As discussed above, enhancing speed in communication, traveling and cultural exchanges are some of the good things that must be embraced in this century which can also be enhanced by the same phenomenon. Other benefits of the concept include but are not limited to promoting free trade, encouraging the infusion of technology in developing countries that promote economic growth and creating a world market. On the other hand, multinational corporations are using and may continue to use globalization as a way of promoting social injustices in other countries. It is clear from the discussion above that although globalization has bad elements, it is good for the 21st century.
Aas, K.F., 2013. Globalization and crime. SAGE Publications Limited.
Fukuyama, F., 2014. Political order and political decay: From the industrial revolution to the globalization of democracy. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Martell, L., 2016. The sociology of globalization. John Wiley " Sons.
Najam, A., Runnalls, D. and Halle, M., 2016. Environment and Globalization: Five Propositions (2010). The Globalization and Environment Reader, p.94.
Simas, M.S., Golsteijn, L., Huijbregts, M.A., Wood, R. and Hertwich, E.G., 2014. The “Bad Labor” footprint: quantifying the social impacts of globalization. Sustainability, 6(11), pp.7514-7540.