Globalization implies the opening of local and nationalistic perspectives to give us the option of becoming an interconnected and interdependent world. By becoming dependent on others, we become susceptible to their social, political, and economical values. A benefit from globalization is that we can open our phone and communicate with someone with France. We can also order clothes from a company in China. Although many positives can be drawn from globalization, numerous people argue that it has inconvenient effects as well.
The sources I have been presented show two different perspectives on globalization. The first source implies that “globalization has had undesirable effects on our world”. When the source talks about corporate greed, it is mentioning the transnational corporations that outsource to different countries to reduce costs. When the corporations outsource, they usually disregard environmental and worker’s health and safety regulations. This leads us into the environmental degradation the source talks about. The environmental degradation refers to the transnationals polluting the land, air, and resources. The source also claims that social injustice has been an effect of globalization. It is referring to the start of historical globalization where the natives were victims of the eurocentric views of the Europeans. Lastly, the first source talks about racism as an undesirable effect of globalization. The source could be talking about the slave trade in the 17-1800s where Africans were not seen as less compared the Europeans. The second source is where Wayne Ellwood talks about how globalization can “be a positive force for change if we come to recognize the common thread of humanity that ties us together.” This “thread” Wayne speaks about are the forces of globalization. These forces are trade, transportation, communication technologies, and the media. These four forces have tied the world together to make it seem like we are all living together in a small community.
The effects of globalization has affected numerous people across the globe positively by making the world into one small town. Goods that were only found in specific places can now be found in various place across the globe. We can see examples of these in the Silk Road where many prized goods like silk and peppercorn were exchanged between Europe and Asia. The Silk Road was also where the Indo-Arabic system spread in both continents. The system was introduced to Italy which spread to the rest of Europe and today, it is used around the world. Globalization has also enabled people to communicate easier with improved communication technologies. It has given people a sense of a virtual community. People can easily interact with peers across the world with the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger on a touchscreen. This is much easier than sending a letter that will take 2 weeks to a month to arrive. Globalization has also made travelling easier! We can now voyage anywhere in the world with a plane.
Evidence that globalization has changed many lives around the globe negatively is the ship breaking industry of Bangladesh. As the demand for more products to be delivered efficiently, more companies started retiring their old, smaller ships. These ships would proceed to be sent to a shipbreaking dock where parts would be disassembled and sold. It is a good economic decision for the corporations but it has lead harsh working conditions for workers and disregard for the environment. The workers must work around 12 hours a day being paid only around 30 cents and hour. They have to carry sharp metal with their bare hands as well. Shipbreaking also release dangerous elements like mercury into the water. Environmentalists believe this can kill many people who get their bathing and drinking water from a nearby shipbreaking dock. Children are also popular for working in this field as the youngest workers start at 8 years old.
Globalization has clearly had a negative impact for a lot of people around the world. Even though transnationals and governments have promised to reduce the negative effects of globalization, almost nothing has been done because we still see workers facing health and safety hazards during work, pollution is getting worse, and social injustice is still happening. Corporate greed has created an outcome of terrible events like the Bangladesh building collapsing and killing almost 1000 workers. We should embrace globalization to an extent where we do not put the environment and workers at risk. I believe we should embrace the view of the first source where it says “globalization has been positive”, but we must also keep in mind that globalization has created genocides around the world. The negative effects of globalization greatly outweigh the positives.
The environment gets destroyed due to the lack of strong regulations in less developed countries. Transnational corporations that outsource to these countries have no interest in listening to the regulations. This leads to them dumping their waste into the ocean, or onto nearby lakes or streams. These water sources are often used for drinking water and bathing. Chemicals in the water can include harmful chemicals that are often fatal if consumed. It also kills any life living in the water. These corporations also release gases in the air like carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and many more gases that harm our bodies. These gases also contribute to the greenhouse effect which traps the sun’s heat in the atmosphere causing global warming. We can see examples of these in the Maquiladoras along the Mexico and the U.S Border. Most chemicals are just dumped into nearby streams and lakes that connect to the Pacific or Atlantic ocean. These chemicals make their way to the oceans and start to kill the sea life. This is important because if we don’t stop this now, we are at risk of possibly disrupting the food chain in the sea and destroying the land.
One terrible negative effect of globalization is imperialism. Imperialism is when a country wants to gain more power so it looks to other parts of the world to colonize and control. This has led to the slave trade, First Nations in North America being treated unfairly, and many genocides. When Christopher Columbus came to the Americas, his goal was to find gold and spices to obtain status and power. Because of his eurocentric views, he completely wiped out the Aztec culture along with other cultures. He would take the Indigenous peoples who survived his conquests and make them slaves in European colonies. This practice led to the slave trade in the 1600s to the 1800s. The slave trade was a big business in the British Empire. Africans would often try to capture other Africans to sell them to Europeans in exchange for weapons.
The Africans sold would then be sent over to the Americas to do labour intensive work like picking fruit or cotton. Many historians claim that this is why racism is still a big issue in society today as African-Americans would like to exact revenge. First Nations also received similar treatment. The French and British had come on their land with the same intentions Christopher Columbus had. They did not see First Nations as equals to them. They took their land and resources and gave them little to survive with. To this day, First Nations of Canada are still trying to obtain land their ancestors lived on over 200 years ago. All 3 of these tragic events can be traced back to globalization. Without globalization, all 3 of these events never happen and they do not become victims of social injustice and racism.
Corporate greed has led to many terrible results like outsourcing. These corporations that outsource have no regards for worker’s health and safety regulations. They are just in third-world countries to get the corporate bottom line; profit. A couple years ago, the Canadian company Joe Fresh was caught up in a tragic event. A Bangladesh sweatshop where they produced Joe Fresh clothing had collapsed. The building was 9 storeys high, 4 storeys above its limit. After being called out for what happened, Joe Fresh tried to distance themselves from the event by claiming that the building was under a ban list. This banlist says that no Joe Fresh clothing can be produced here. Instead of trying to improve things, Joe Fresh kept distancing themselves from the event. This goes to show that corporations do not mind the safety and health of their workers. Shipbreaking is also dangerous as it can cause death as well. The workers that are inside using the tool that cuts the metal only wear a hat as protection for their eyes. There is about 1 worker that dies every 2 weeks in the shipping industry. That number is currently rising at an alarming rate. This is important because safety equipment could be the difference between life or death of the workers. These workers do not even get insurance or any of the benefits we get from jobs in developed countries. We must work change this situation.
I have come to a conclusion that globalization has created much more harm for people than good. As source number one stated, “globalization has had undesirable effects on our world, causing environmental degradation, corporate greed, social injustice, and racism.” I have chosen to go against globalization because it has caused many issues like global warming, racism, social injustice, job loss, and much more. So should we really believe that change “is not such a bad thing” as Wayne Elwood said? Or should we instead just reverse the changes by embracing nationalism?