Presumption Often Promulgated by Scholars Essay

  • Length: 10 pages
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  • Subject: Economics
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #43906482

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They goal for globalization is to increase material wealth and the distribution of goods and services through a more international division of labor and then, in turn, a process in which regional cultures integrate through communication, transportation and trade. The overall theory is that if countries are tied together cooperatively economically, they will not have needed to become political enemies (Smith 2007). Notice the continuum here -- globalization, like modernization, is a process, but a process that insists movement from A to B. is not only desirable, but necessary to become part of the Global Club. While this is primarily an economic determinant, nothing exists in a vacuum. Therefore, economics drive technological, social, cultural, political, and even biological factors. And, with this exchange of paradigms, there is transnational circulation of ideas, languages, popular culture, and communication through acculturation. Typically, we see the movement of globalization moving into the developing world as it struggles to become part of the developed world (Croucher 2004, 10).

Globalization has other, rather impactful consequences to the idea of development -- it has brought the issue of sustainability to the forefront, particularly in the development of the concept of sustainability. Moving towards sustainability is also a social challenge that entails both international and national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism (Adams 2006). The modern era, in fact, brought another period of escalating growth, what some call "a great acceleration ... A surge in the human enterprise that has emphatically stamped humanity as a global geophysical force" (Robin 2008). What followed is another exponential growth pattern of human consumption, unchecked birth rates in most of the developing world, a scarcity of water and food in many areas of the world. While there is an increasing push towards recycling, protecting the environment, and going free within the modern business, situations like the Copenhagen Conference illustrate just how contentious the issue of sustainability has become. For much of the world, though, ecological economics now seeks to close the gap between ecology and more traditional economics. This, however, requires societies in all parts of the world to commit to recycling, lessening of their carbon footprints and, at the very least, more attention and investment in green energy and building processes (Kay 2002).

Colonialism, Post-Colonialism and Development- To understand the manner in which certain countries fell upon the divergent sides of the development perspective we must look back at a bit of world history. Economics seemed to rule, and European influence was predominant because feudalism evolved into industrial capitalism, and thus the control of vast resources and wealth. This wealth allowed the transference of technology that combined with the colonialism and exploration of the New World starting in the 1500s to create a system of super states that could dominate all other nations. These super states, of course, needed fuel to exist and grow -- and that fuel was the process of colonization. Colonizing other countries, or Imperialism, is defined as the policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations; manifest destiny is the idea that God gave a nation the right to practice this (Osterhammel 2005). Without certain circumstances, though, this trend towards industrialization and the control of technology could not have happened. Environmental factors, for instance, allowed societies to develop near the great river valleys of the world (Nile, Tigris/Euphrates), but also, through again, a series of geological factors, included raw materials that contributed to the technological advancement of societies. These early civilizations then, had the advantage of early urbanization and organization, turning into the great Middle Eastern civilizations, then Greece, Rome, Byzantium, and finally the European powers (Cain & Hopkins 2001).

Of course, to become dominant globally, one needed a steady supply of capital. For the great European powers this capital was supplied through the labor and products of colonies (e.g. The British colonies in India; France and the Dutch in Africa; Spain in South America and Asia).The circle was almost complete; the mother country gained in technology which allowed them better warships and military supplies; the colonies supplied cheap labor and either raw materials or finished goods at an exemplary price; the mother country sent advisors and their own colonists, which in turn changed the culture and atmosphere as well. Great Britain is perhaps the best example of overt imperialism that almost required more than just military might to succeed. Indeed, much of the ideas surrounding the savage, underdeveloped countries, and the "white man's burden" originated because of the British. Beginning in the late 16th century, Great Britain began amassing dominions colonies, protectorates, mandates, and other territories ruled or administered by London's Parliament. By the mid-19th century, for instance, the British Empire had influence on almost 1/2 billion people and 1/4 of the total global population and economy. As a result, its political, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, it was often said that "the sun never sets on the British Empire" because its span across the globe ensured that the sun was always shining on at least one of its numerous territories (Hodge 2008).

This pattern continued throughout the 19th century, and, when combined with the kinship of most of Europe's leaders resulted in numerous squabbles that would eventually result in World War I and the beginning of the decline of European dominance. Still, there is no mistaking that European culture (especially religion) in the spread of European ideals and culture worldwide. This did have an ironic effect though; as revolutionary fever and an unwillingness to continue on without self-rule ultimately contributed to Europe's ebb as a global power. And yet, it would take a post-colonial view of development to change some of the views of hierarchy when focusing on statecraft in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The whole picture of globalism tends to refer to the theories that see modern life as a series of very complex webs, almost string theory, that tie together most all of modern life. The term "postcolonial" is multidimensional -- literature, cinema, history, critical theory, sociology, anthropology, political science, cultural studies, and even the arts. Indeed, under the rubric of post-colonial studies, we also find interest on the manner in which dispersed ethnic populations help us understand the culture of slavery, racism, war, and even nationalist content. This sub-discipline of post-colonial studies is known as "diaspora studies" carries with it, though, the connotation of forced resettlements, the negativity of capitalism and industrialization, and even the reaction of more contemporary Marxist theory (Bartlovich & Mannur (eds.) 2001). Post-colonialism is a modern academic area that focuses mainly on the analysis and reaction to the political, social, and cultural legacy of colonialism. The ultimate goal of such studies is, of course, to help understand what the residual effects of colonialism were on culture. It is not just about saving cultures from the ravages of being subsumed by another culture, but how once the colonial power has left, what ways academia might offer in learning how to move beyond subjugation towards not only a place of mutual respect, but of cultural dynamism. Too, the way in which the developed world moves to a new paradigm of interpreting the colonial world, to refuse to impart a preconceived hierarchy of determinism on what was typically a non-Caucasian population in which colonial power held such control over artistic and intellectual thought that the entire notion of the "other" must be redefined (Desai & Nair 2005). There are some scholarly definitions, though, that say post colonialism can also be seen as a linear progression of colonialism, even though different or new relationships about power and the control of knowledge are in place.

Indeed, the idea of development equaling modernization may be seen by some as a tool for decolonialization in the 1930-50 era. Terms like demographic transitions with lowering of birthrate with higher survival rates in infancy, economic improvement because of increased access to transportation, and the variables that began to grow in industry, mass communication, and for the West, access to more goods that would translate into cash. These ideas, though, formed a template to manage the world during the Cold War. Opportunities were abundant to move Western technology into the developing world simply for the promise of being on the NATO/U.S. side of the equation. Even U.S. President Harry Truman, in his 1949 inaugural address, formed the basis for U.S. policy by declaring the old imperialism dead, no more colonizer vs. colony, and the economic benefits of a war against poverty and an approach to leverage these ideas to, in essence, control development through the bribery of modernization -- or "a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement of underdeveloped areas" (Truman 1949).

Does this imply that development towards modernization also equals social change? For modernization theorists, new technology is often…

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