"Nothing is more insidious than the liberal fain of equality between people who are demonstrably and desperately unequal…American liberalism, in other words, remade itself to fulfill the task that social democracy fulfilled elsewhere. It became a progressive force, absorbing yet dampening the leftward impulse of socialism…a liberalism quite at home with racism and class exploitation, yet one which responded when necessary to political pressure (as in the granting of female suffrage). Liberalism expanded into a bipolar role of co-opting any progressive urge among the multiracial working class while also viciously repressing that same force when it organized too much of a challenge to the power of capital or the liberal state."
There are many countries that perceive the United States of America as an example of imperialism. There are many cultures that adamantly resist western culture, western practices, and western ideals. They are enraged and repulsed by the thought of assimilating things, cultural objects, or systems from the west. Generally speaking, there are two sides to the debate regarding globalization. The debate is simple: one argument is that globalization is good; the other argument is the globalization is detrimental. Smith eloquently argues and fervently demonstrates the path and the agenda of American imperialism and the role of globalization in American imperialism. The End Game of Globalization tracks the course and final trajectory of America's plan of globalization. The paper provides a context within which to consider and evaluate Smith's opus, as well as provide a brief summary of the themes, points, and methods.
America is a country that has and continues to create a distinctive and well-known history. America is not a very old country; American culture is an amalgamation of old cultures and new. One of the greatest exports of the United States of America is American culture -- from music, to food, to English. It is a country that adamantly seeks to diffuse its influence around the world with respect to culture as well as with respect to politics and economics. Experts, theorists, and professionals across many fields of study have contemplated, written, and spoken about globalization -- what it is and what the effects of it are. Importantly, before readers and researchers assess or evaluate the impacts of globalization, time should be spent simply discovering the full range of the affects in the first place. Professionals in areas such as government, music, sociology, marketing, and average citizens alike use the term globalization with great frequency without knowledge of or consensus of its definition. How can we then chart and categorize the impacts of globalization when we do not agree to what it means? How can we counteract and/or anticipate negative affects of globalization without clearly defining it?
While the world has changed because of globalization, the definition of globalization has changed as well. Globalization is a term of increasing use and popularity that refers to the growing global nature of relationships. The usage of this word has increased particularly within the last two to three decades. Globalization generally means describes how "people become more able -- physically, legally, linguistically, culturally and psychologically -- to engage with each other wherever on earth they might be. In this usage, globalization refers to a shift in the nature of social space."[footnoteRef:0] Globalization refers to global relationships of cultures, individuals, and primarily relates to global economic activity. Globalization is a shift in the dimensionality and experience of interaction socially, spatially, politically, and economically. "Four main definitions have led into this cul-de-sac: globalization as internationalisation; globalization as liberalisation; globalization as universalisation; and globalization as westernisation."[footnoteRef:1] Globalization is not inherently negative; the consequences are partially a product of the intentions behind the agencies of globalization, and in this case, the primary agent is the United States of America. [0: J.A. Scholte. 2008. Defining Globalization. The World Economy, 1471 -- 1502. Blackwell Publishing Limited: Oxford; Malden.] [1: Scholte, 2008.]
Smith is a geographer. This work could be classified as an exercise in human geography, which is a sub-field within the discipline of geography. While classical geography is a science with focus upon the physical features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth, human geography is a social science that studies the activities of humanity including the population, issues of health, politics, economics, history, and culture allowing for a greater spectrum of thought regarding theories and methodologies.
A significant portion of the book serves as a history lesson from a modern and pluralistic perspective, importantly a perspective that contains but does not prioritize, the American perspective. In the early chapters of the book, Smith states that while the term globalization was formally introduced to the American people and subsequently the world in the 1980s, the agenda and plan of globalization has been in the United States political and military imagination (and reality) for far more many years than the general public has been lead to believe. According to Smith, Americanized globalization has been on the proverbial to-do list of the American government since perhaps the mid to late 19th century and definitively at the turn of and early years of the 20th century. Now, in the 21st century, as aforementioned, it is a fact of life that could not be easily overturned or reversed at this point, as we plunge forward into the second decade.
But except in moments of crisis (both world wars certainly qualified), stated U.S. ambition was to displace the vulgarities of geopolitical contest -- the "old diplomacy" -- in favor of power wielded through the market. Geo-economic power supplanted geopolitical power. The blossoming of capitalist globalization in the 1980s represented a third stab at enforcing geo-economic over geopolitical power, and the Iraq war represents a continuity more than a break with that ambition. It represents the triumphant endgame of globalization. At the same time it exposes more directly than ever the contradictions inherent in this new globalism. The good news is that a predacious U.S. globalism is destined to failure -- endgame in a less triumphant sense. The bad news is that the costs of that failure could be horrendous.
There are three American presidencies upon which Smith focuses specifically and/or references as he discusses the histories of other countries and times. The presidencies in question are those of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and George W. Bush. The actions and policies taken or made, respectively, firmly cemented the imperialist agenda of globalization as well as propelled into the end game situation with events that include the neo-conservative response to the attacks on September 11, 2011, as well as the wars in Iraq and on terror. Smith characterizes these three presidents with terms such as "empire builders." (2005) He writes of how, during the administration of Bush, the civil rights and liberties guaranteed to the American people in writing, were continuously eroded and revoked; how Bush would public address hold countries in contempt that did not follow or abide by American laws; or how Americans who organize in protest against the administration were subject to political and newly lawful (Patriot Act) surveillance as well as subject to preemptive arrests. (2005) Smith draws logical and shocking parallels between the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during WWII during Wilson's administration, and the existence of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in operation since the Bush administration.
As one of the author's quoted on the back cover of the book aptly states: whatever one's politics or position, whether or not a reader agrees with Smith, one cannot deny the successful structure, presentation, and delivery of his arguments. Whether a reader agrees or disagrees, this book provides every reader with a substantial amount to consider. It is a book that causes readers to evaluate many aspects of history, particularly American readers. Americans are a patriotic people, though that patriotism shows itself in different ways; some people so patriotism by following their government -- some show patriotism by questioning it, just as the founding members of American government did with the government of England.
Smith exposes and deconstructs some of the most fundamental doctrines and philosophies that govern American politics and that have done so for in excess of a century. In doing so, the paradoxes and contradictions of these doctrines expose themselves. As a result, there is room for Smith to argue and demonstrate how the American government is not innocent and is not out to do what is best for the world with regard to globalization. Globalization from the perspective of the American government is an opportunity, strategy, and method of essentially taking over the world and remaking it in the image of the United States.
Globalization in the 21st century is a fact of life. Many aspects of the lives of people around the world are affected by globalization economically, politically, socially, culturally, technologically, and otherwise. Culture is relative. Cultural viewpoints are relative. Globalization as part of the longstanding imperialist agenda of the United States does not acknowledge or respect the diversity and relativity of world…