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In terms of Singer's work, although his solutions are not practical in the sense of Paehlke's work, his call for a change in the political system does make sense. Political leaders should be called away from their isolated mentality and use their power to effect the changes necessary for a better world.
Both authors recognize that globalization cannot be denied, and that some aspects related to the phenomenon are beneficial while others are not. Neither author uses either the benefits or costs as reasons to either diminish or elevate the status of globalization, and it appears that both have a realistic grasp of the concept. Both authors also call for equity and fairness, while they differ somewhat in how specifically to achieve this.
I agree with both authors that globalization is a force that cannot be wished away or denied. Furthermore it is undeniable that the phenomenon has some benefits, but also some major problems, as is always the case when integrating any number of different human beings. I do not think that globalization necessarily has to be a negative phenomenon. Indeed, on an individual level, meeting people from across the world while sitting at my computer has proved tremendously exciting.
While the issues addressed by especially Singer tend to be general aspects related to the concept of globalization rather than what can be done about specific issues by specific individuals, I do find that Singer's concept of fairness strikes a chord with me. There is nothing that can be done about globalization. Rather than wish for its non-existence then, we could accept it for what it is: a natural by-product of the Information Age. Therefore it is important to treat all persons of all nations with the respect they deserve.
This then could be part of the ethical foundations mentioned in Singer's conclusion. Ethics span all areas of life - business, friendship, and all other human relations. As mentioned by Paehlke, human relations are primarily important in the success of the globalization process. A formal code of ethics could then be drawn up especially to suit the globalization phenomenon. Thus each individual could choose the ethical system most important to him or her. When personal ethics are in line with the issues of fairness set out by governments, these can give rise to a greater amount of fairness throughout the world. All individuals have the right to be treated with respect in terms of self-worth. Self-worth can only be achieved when there is an inner sense of satisfaction. Thus the code of ethics should include the minimum requirements suggested by Paehlke.
Furthermore there is the question of individual similarity and difference. Globalization has emphasized that all human beings are essentially the same in terms of hopes, dreams and desires. Yet there are also fundamental differences that may have fallen by the way side as the world rushed to integrate itself mostly economically. The fact that human beings differ in terms of culture, race and many other factors should be celebrated rather than ignored. Only then can true respect and fairness ensue. Thus it should firstly be recognized that another person's perception of fairness can be different from one's own. At the same time an effort should be made to find the difference and celebrate it rather than let misunderstanding cloud all judgement in favor of the other individual.
Basically the two books come down to the fact that globalization is a phenomenon that should not be ignored, but that should be used in favor of all involved. As human beings we have the power to celebrate each other's talents with fairness and respect. These have become buzzwords in our culture. We should celebrate difference and variety in human beings. When more of this can be evident on an individual level, perhaps more fairness will become evident in the way that governments implement rules and regulations for foreign trade.
Modern communication is a wonderful thing. It should be celebrated by accepting that globalization is an opportunity rather than a hindrance.
Paehlke, Robert C. Democracy's Dilemma: Environment, Social Equity, and the Global Economy. New York, 2003.
Singer, Peter. One World.…[continue]
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