Thursday, September 20, 2007

Carlos Fuentez on Globalisation

I'm reading the book by the renowned Mexican Novelist Carlos Fuentez titles "This I believe - an A to Z of a Life". While the normal review will be done after I finish reading, I found this chapter on Globalisation very interesting and thought provoking. My thoughts on some of these were in line with the author, even before I read his ideas and opinion on some of these. Here are some points.. written in italics are from the book.

Having lived through the four eras ( note : he talks of the 4 major turning points in 20th century - revolution and fascism, World war, guerrilla movements and unrest in Latin America and globalisation) , I can now state that globalisation is the name of a power system. Just like the holy spirit, it has no boundaries, just like Mount Everest, it is there. But like Latin God Janus, it has 2 faces. The good face is that of technical and scientific progress, the accessibility to and dissemination of information, the universalisation of the concept of human rights etc.. But it has another, less attractive side. The sheer speed of technological progress leaves behind - perhaps forever - those countries , that aer unable to keep up with the pace.

I would like to add here; it leaves behind large number of people across world ,also within the same country, if the development and progress there off are not distributed appropriately. Which is why the 'state' has a very definite role to play.

Free trade increases the advantages to be gained by massive, competitive corporations ( which are very few) and crushes small and medium industries. As a result of this, globalisation widens the gap between rich and poor, both internationally and within the nation.

I tend to agree with the initial part, however the story of widening the gap between rich and poor are the arguments of the "Anti-globalisation" team. From what I have seen, it had brought in better living standards to a large section of people and the absolute number of people living below poverty line has decreased ( in India) if we go by the statistics. May be the rich have become richer, many poor has become better off. While, it has to be seen how it turns out to be on a longer run. India is relatively new entrant into this race and have reaped more benefit as of today.

Can the political world resume control over the anarchy of the markets ? Does the state have a role in the globalised world ? There are. It can. It does. ....what is most necessary is a state that can regulate and set standards.

I'm not sure if this is entirely true. While I agree with the role of the state, it is often seen ( at least in the developed world) that the state consists of people who serve the interest of the industry houses ( either directly , or by proxy). In such cases, the regulation will have no meaning.

Effective participation in the global arena can only begin with sound governing n the local arena.

All the developed states embarking Globalisation are already at an advanced stage of this. It is the developing countries like India , who need to work at this.

The first era of globalisation took place, during the age of discovery, the days of circumnavigation of the globe... global process of conquest, colonisation and mercantile rivalry.

Hmm..interesting point. But the trade was always there. We had Arabs and Mongols were doing business with India, even before the Portuguese and the Spanish team.

We can not fall into the trap of attributing terrorism to a historical hatred of the US, to the corruption and inefficiency of Islamic States, and much less to the clash of cultures. No: we should agree that the deepest of conflict in our world aer instability, illegality, poverty , exclusion and in general terms, the absence of a new legality for a new reality.

Very well said. If you look at any of the conflict across world, it is always between the haves and have not. Ethnicity , religion , culture, language etc are only the external face of the issue.
Exclusion , very powerful word. And this will determine the future of globalisation.

A new legality for a new reality !! I would be interested in discussing and listening to this further...

There are many more interesting points discussed and I picked up some of them which I found interesting... More on this later..

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