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This emphasis on technology is especially important to Benetti, who pays consideration to the fact that this force is very much a symptom of the inevitability of trade liberalization. Namely, it has the effect of inherently driving certain commercial interactions which will thereafter have an inescapable bearing on the interactions of nations. As Benetti describes it, "the introduction of the technology factor as an element favorable to business itself, brings about the possibility to interpret the cyclic phenomena linked to business itself, such as the learning, development, and imitation-lag of certain product typologies actually inter-linked by technological factors." (20)
Naturally, the claimed expectation is that participating nations on the receiving end of this development will experience a diversification of the trade market, an expansion of the labor market and a greater access to products, services, ideas and innovations theretofore not seen. For many developing nations, this will be their first leap into a free-market consumer economy. This transition implicates the conditions of the Cold War, where conflict of ideology and divided occupation throughout the globe had induced a dicey geopolitical scheme. The challenges and disadvantages produced by the conflict between schemes remain in play as globalization proceeds, especially in the Third World. As Benetti phrases it, "particularly significant was the competition between USA and USSR, developed after World War II, for a tighter control of the social and economic policies of weaker countries" (24)
With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the consequent alteration of U.S. objectives, many of the smaller nations previously occupied would now fall into a vacuum of power, leadership and direction. To some extent, globalization seeks to correct this condition, but in many ways only further instigates its inequalities. This underscores Benetti's assertion that "from a historic point-of-view it seems important to point out how a certain ideological and political vision of the differences between national social systems has conditioned the development of many contemporary countries in a decisive way." (24) Perhaps most importantly now, the postured relationship between the United States and many developing nations remains highly conflictive and underscored by a history of exploitation and abuse. This reinforces a skepticism of globalization that is accompanies by all the relevant disadvantages also produced by the relationships.
So is this demonstrated by what we may perhaps take as the key point in Benetti's discussion. Namely, the idea that economic growth inherently produces the types of advancements that raise living standards, improve governmental orientation and protect human rights is increasingly being fed with evidence to the contrary. As Benetti denotes, "the well being and satisfaction of the citizens of a country is not only linked to commercial success, but to human and environmental variables that implicate a more complex vision of economy and economic policies." (24)
This is a point which has been overlooked or intentionally bypassed by many of globalization's most highly benefited advocates. Such parties will make the argument that this process will induce a gradual improvement of orientation that begins in the private realm. Accordingly, Benetti indicates that advocates have argued, "international competition thus challenges the firms to re-evaluate their corporate and international marketing strategies." (17)
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to this process is the inherent tendency of capitalist markets to behave competitively. Until it is executed with proper enforcement of international standards in environmental regulations, labor conditions and corporate restraint, Benetti shows that globalization will continue to bear the same destructive implications as did the incarnations of imperialism which came before it with colonialism and nation building. Benetti's text is an essentially valuable discussion, but ultimately, comes off as somewhat outdated. From 2004, its relative optimism is perhaps to be seen as a bit naive in light of the challenges which have only intensified in the face of global recession. With economic pitfalls landing most squarely on the shoulders on the developing nations that have proceeded to engage in free trade, it is evident that this system has long been unequal as a result of historically intertwined conditions and cultural inequalities. Progress in this area will be made, Benetti does seem to argue, only when the historical inequalities which have governed these relationships have been removed.
Benetti, R. (2004). Survival of the…[continue]
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