While Friedman may have provided a plausible explanation as to why the rush to join the globalization bandwagon, he, however, fails to explain the politics behind such policy actions of nation-states. That the more powerful, developed nation-states which have more resources at their disposal to turn international economic policies that influence domestic macroeconomic policies to their favor is lost in the author's discussion. He is keen to caution that caution is utmost necessary for governments to take into consideration not so much as whether to globalize but how nation-states undertake the transition process to respond accordingly to the vagaries of globalization (163).
The author makes a clear case emphasizing the importance of the role of government in the era of globalization, which appears to be a very strong position for a free-market advocate. The elements of an effective state in the age of globalization are characterized by transparency, efficiency, and a lean bureaucracy (159). But while the author acknowledges the crucial role of government in providing an economic environment that satisfies the appetite of Friedman's so called "herd" for "stability, predictability, transparency" and to "protect its private property" (172), he does not conceal his belief in the predominance of the power...
In what he calls the process of "globalution," the Herd and the Supermarkets can impose changes in domestic policies that do not conform to international standards, changes which local political powers are not able to instigate. With such power, the author aptly recognizes that the nebulous "the Electronic Herd and the Supermarkets are fast becoming two of the most intimidating, coercive, intrusive forces in the world today" (169) all in the name of democratization. While these faceless power brokers are seen to introduce values such as transparency to curb corruption, the main assumption is that apart from their profit objectives, the Herd is value-free and is not subject to the wiles of human nature that is easily corruptible. As the recent global financial crisis that wracked the U.S. revealed the corruption and the lack of accountability among these heralded heroes of globalization -- the market forces represented by the Herd and the Supermarkets -- the world reels from the ripples of the global crisis and brings into question the fundamentals of the global capitalist system, which serves as the hinge of this new international order. Friedman is notable for his advocacy, if we can call it that, for globalization and his attempts to draw up most realistic strategies to maneuver in this new international political and economic landscape is admirable. But his defense of globalization, however, seems amusing now that there is an apparent reconfiguration in the balance of power in the world scene as the U.S., a power which he believed to remain in the years to come, is challenged by nations such as Russia, Iran, Germany (the emerging leader of the European combine), and China. While his thesis of the new world system may have been true in the five years following the publication of this second edition, the author may well reconsider yet another reconfiguration in the world geopolitical and economic system as the underpinnings of the global capitalist system is brought into question.
Friedman, Thomas. "Plugging into the System." The Lexus and the Olive Tree. New York: Anchor Books,…
3. While globalization has the power to bring different countries together, it also involves a degree of cultural imperialism as the more powerful nations take full advantage of the opportunities presented while smaller nations find themselves treated more markets than as sources for goods. It is interesting, though, that many groups in the more powerful nations see globalization as a threat to their old way of life and as a
Lexus and the Olive Tree" by Thomas L. Friedman. Book Review of "The Lexus and the Olive Tree," by Thomas L. Friedman We begin our essay on this highly informative yet brilliantly written magnum opus with a certain reflection on the title of the book, "The Lexus and the Olive Tree." The Lexus in the book title offers a great deal of priceless smattering on the technological advancement that the constant
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