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Globalization In The Philippines Essay, Research Paper

Economic Globalization is something that has been with the human race ever since the world has begun. From local to global, we could attribute this to the result of human innovation and technological progress. Globalization from the word global means spreading throughout the world, in other words spreading world-wide. The aims of having a ‘globalized community’ is to have interdependence of the entire world and its people from each other with concern for the rest of the world at the expense of national self-development and self-interests.

Specialists say that globalization refers to the increasing integration of economics around the world, particularly through trade and financial flows. This integration of economics is concerned more on the inclusion of people of all races on an equal basis in a world-wide view of living in a shared global community. But we should also put into consideration that it could also refer to the movement of people from which we could extract labor, knowledge from the ever increasing advancements in science and technology, cultural, political and environmental dimensions of globalization. With globalization in hand, there would be an extension beyond national borders of the same market forces that have operated for centuries at all levels of human economic activity. We could no longer say that economic trade, progress, and chances of one to having to share something with the world is limited to just national and local borders. In globalizing the world, it would mean taking on some risks and chances of either winning or losing in a world where there is more competition in the field of economic growth and progress.

Globalization creates both winners and losers. This is a view shared by many, but not all, theorists and commentators. There are many trends of thought regarding exactly who the winners and losers may be as well as what may be considered a prize or a punishment. An example is that some may sight the availability if McDonalds fast food throughout the Philippines an enrichment and some may see it as an unwelcome and unsavory invasion of what we have as our own, Jollibee. Comparison between these opinions paints an interesting picture of what Globalization is, what certain parties want it to be seen as and what kind of world it could create. Anthony Giddens says “Globalization, some argue, creates a world of winners and losers, a few on the fast track to prosperity, the majority condemned to a life of misery and despair.” This is a view shared by many theorists, however positive Globalists, perhaps naively, claim Globalization will lead to winnings for all and extreme pessimists exist who see ‘Globalization’ as the path to mass ruin and exploitation and as a vague buzzword umbrella from under which Governments may defend unjust or unpopular policies.

But what exactly do we mean by a ‘process of Globalization’ and does it mean the same thing to different people? The statement that I have said in the previous paragraph is a defined and universally accepted reading of the term and yet there are many differing views as to what ‘Globalization’ entails. ‘Globalization’ is a process said to affect several different aspects of the social world, mainly economics both global and local, global and local politics and global and local culture. And these are the things which i would be elaborating more on in this paper.

There are various definitions of what ‘Globalization’ is, and the effect it has on the world. Globalists believe Globalization is a real and evident process. They argue that examples of a significant shift in the geography of social relations can be seen in terms of economics, culture and politics. For example is the effect of the US economy’s down turn had on the share prices of British companies who trade and deal largely within US markets. We can see that international trade and investment has increased in recent years with many companies having bases and influence in many different countries. The most effective of which is through global media participation as what we see in CNN. Culturally we can see everyday examples of what Globalists would call Globalization. In the Philippines, we eat McDonalds and Sushi, wear Issey Miyake perfume, watch Dream Works films and play Sony Playstation games. Though, politically nation states do not hold ultimate power over all policies and all behavior as a whole. Political concerns may have be affected by globalization but not to the same effect as economics would have. Globalization allows the dogged pursuit of free and open trade, where nation boundaries do not stand in the pathway of Capitalism but where, through freer and less rigidly controlled capital and goods traffic, unwanted trades such as illegal drugs are also allowed to prosper freely.

Traditionalists would argue that the term ‘Globalization’ itself is merely a buzzword to describe a process that has occurred throughout history. In particular, they argue, the passage of goods and capital across national boundaries has happened for centuries, bringing with it the spread of different cultures and knowledge. Examples of this can be found like tobacco, paper, religion and medical beliefs and techniques. In the 19th century open trading and liberal economics relations were the norm and ‘Globalization’ can be seen as an expansion of those ideals. Traditionalists are also ready to point out that not all economic and social activity has been handed over to global channels Traditionalists believe that there is still scope for national politics, for self-government of nation states and for national governments to not lose post-war welfare states in the pursuit of a globalized society.

Globalists generally fall into two categories which are those who are Pessimists and those who are Optimists. Pessimists, whose views will be explored later, and Optimists, who suggest, in terms of cultural globalization, that the world is moving towards a ‘global community’ and in terms of economic globalization, that the rich people of the world can only benefit from globalization, that what globalization brings to them, although it is not the full western lifestyle with all the trimmings and privileges, that it is better than current and past conditions. As I see it, only the West who predominantly belong to the first world countries control and take advantage of globalization for they have the means, wealth, and access to do whatever that is that they want. They could just try and experiment on third world countries and retreat back to their own countries if ever business is bad. Like for example when they invest in the Philippines, they would have a bigger chance of surviving for labor is cheap and that still in a bigger chance that their produce will be far better of than ours. Without liberalization that goes hand in hand with globalization, taxes would be on a level basis and that the only problem of investors in our country would be how to compete with local products.

However, the Optimists or Positive Globalizers have a clear and positive take on what Globalization is and what affect it will have on the organizations and citizens of the world. Optimists concentrate on the possible benefits of Globalization. They suggest that Globalization offers an improved quality of life, living standards and a chance to bring people together through improved connectivity throughout the world. The Internet is one medium through which many theorists see stretched social relations and opportunities for sharing of cultures and understanding between different nations making us all ‘world citizens’. We should also be thankful to new technology for physical place no longer gets in the way when creating a community. Huge worldwide telephone networks, offering both landlines and mobile telephone coverage, vast satellite television coverage, the Internet and Digital Radio for example, provide world wide easy, cheap and accessible communication. I would argue that it is na?ve to assume that every person world wide has access to all or any of the technologies listed above. i would say that the notion of the ‘Global Village’ is an idea that has had a recent resurgence due to the new possibilities of the Internet. In fact AOL’s current advertising campaign advertises their service as a ‘Digital Community’, a strikingly phrase that connotes something worldwide. To use the notion of global and digital communities to sell a product suggests how popular the idea of the ‘Global Village’ is and that widespread western belief in such a possibility exists.

Some say that global communication makes for a better world, but this could be seen as na?ve. The growth in ownership, development and use of communications technology in global communications is occurring alongside huge increases in global inequalities. Not every citizen of the world has access to or knowledge of communications technology so the playing field is already in a non-level playing field. Pessimists believe that rather than equalizing, the growth of global communications and cultural flows has exacerbated divisions between the Information Rich and the Information Poor, who lack electricity, hardware, software or knowledge. The way media power is owned has a dramatic effect on how information is controlled and how the media’s power is used. Several companies dominate an increasingly homogenized media. With such a small elite controlling the mass media and therefore a huge percentage of the information spread, a limited and dominant group is mediating messages and therefore a predominantly white male Capitalist view of the world is being perpetuated.

When viewing the impacts of Globalization, how those impacted are categorized in terms of winning and losing, depends on the ideological position of the viewer or theorist. This is because one person’s cultural enrichment is another’s cultural dilution or pillaging. To some the arrival of McDonalds in some countries meant more choice to sample food from another culture, to some it was seen as yet another example of USA trying to dominate the world and forcing its cultural symbols in place of existing symbols, a type of edible Trojan Horse.

Economically, Pessimist Globalists would argue that the Optimists claims of a better world for all simply do not add up. There is only so much money in the world the more it is spread the less each person’s share will be.

Cultural Imperialism is one theory behind what Globalization is and what it’s principle players’ motives are. Cultural goods are seen as flowing to the rest of the world from America or the West as a whole, cultivating Western or US values in those recipient nations and paving the way for even more goods to arrive therefore more capital to flow back to US or West as a whole. Cultural flows are seen as imbalanced where dominant cultures like the US culture overpowers more vulnerable cultures like ours, the Philippines. An example of Cultural Imperialism is that we, the Filipinos, are so into the trend of how the West is living their lives, so what happens is that we live accordingly with how they live. We Filipinos live in a world wherein almost everything that we have and use is basically of a foreign name and brand. We could not really say that we are not being nationalistic but it is just how the world goes. The Philippines do not have the mans of providing its own people with quality produced items and so we depend of others to provide them for us. We could not simply just deny the fact that we cannot provide ourselves with what we need and there is no other choice but to use foreign made products even though the money goes out to the investors who hold these products which we use. And it depends solely to the user and the choice of the buyer for what he is really after for is the quality of produce and of material of simply which our nation can’t produce. Whether it be good or bad for our country, it is a living fact for we cannot put behind the right of choice of every person to get whatever product he wishes to have.

It is clear that there are both winners and losers from the process described as Globalization. Broadly speaking, at the present time Globalization is of great benefit to Western Governments and Companies who are able to exploit the cheaper labor and resource opportunities of the less developed world while maintaining the flow of their own countries goods across the world. Economically these parties are winners, however with less work being fielded towards the more expensive workforce of their own countries these Government’s and companies could be accused of shooting themselves in the foot as the economy of their own countries will suffer due to more unemployment. Workers in less developed countries could be seen as winning as, although mainly gutter-level, sweat shop jobs, the new employment opportunities offered by Western companies are still ‘better than nothing’ in the long run however, the long hours in terrible conditions plays havoc on the workers health and keeps them in a position of poor pay with no time to look for another job and no opportunities outside of the sweat shops.

National identity as some would say will be at lost when globalization is ongoing. Indeed, that national identity could be lost but in our world today, it really is inevitable. Could we say that we are still in our purest state of national identity’ We simply cannot for we have changed. We have to face it that the world is at a constant change and we could do nothing about it. But even without globalization, national identity would always be changing. The effect of globalization in the context of national identity, in my opinion, would only be that it would lead to a better identity. With the mixing of cultures, the bad traits could be eliminated and the good could be retained and could even be improved on. Lastly, the loss of self-identity does not connote any negative effect and so what is wrong if self-identity is lost? Above all, loss of national identity doesn’t create a monster out of us. We cannot also say that globalization can destroy our morals and ethics for if one is in the will of doing good, having and standing by good principles, no one could actually break that code of morals and ethics of his. In other words, it all depends on the person. And this is one of the things that a country should live up to… self-interests would be given up at the expense of national self-development.

The Philippines being a third world country doesn’t really mean it would lose in a globalized community. Entering into a true and genuine global community could in fact help rise the economy of the Philippines. The Philippines can just try its luck in globalization where in it could use its labor force in helping bring in some money inside the country’s national borders. Of course, evolving into a globalized community does not guarantee instant success. Everything that we go through in this world could only lead us to two things. These two things could either be good or bad. And this is the risk of getting into a challenge of which the outcome could either just make us or break us. We could not really say whether the Philippines would benefit or not from globalization. This is because we would only be able to answer this by the time we are in a global community already after which, we would be able to say if it is beneficial to us or not.

In conclusion, every nation’s development concerns involve a global dimension. The world is fast becoming one global village. People are citizens of the world as they are of their own nation. No longer can a country turn inward and isolate itself, content to move at its own pace without being in touch with the rest of the world. Today, economic interdependence binds otherwise ideologically separate nation-states together. The exigencies of trade reconcile even the most bitter enemies. And even the most obstinate nationalism must give way to economic and political cooperation. This global context redefines nationalism and national interest which could lead to the loss of self-identity. But in the other hand, any country pursuing growth and prosperity must discover that it must do so within the global scheme of things. It must seek out areas of interaction and cooperation, first with its closest neighbors, then within the region, and eventually with the rest of the world… if it aims to get anywhere.

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