Globalization simply means “the worldwide movement towards economic, financial, trade and communications integration”, (Business Dictionary, 2013). It is the establishment of closer contacts among human societies (i.e. countries) across the globe. Different theorists have different definitions of what globalization is. However, Waters gives a more general definition of what globalization is. “Globalization is a social process in which the constraints of geography on economic, political, social and cultural arrangements recede, in which people become increasingly aware that they are receding and in which people act accordingly” (Waters, 2001). Globalization recently has been accelerated by use of telephone services, computers and the internet, ocean ships and real-time capital flows.
Marxism is a system of economic and political thinking which was developed by Karl Marx, a 19th century political and economic philosopher, along with Friedrich Engels. According to Carl Marx and Engel, (1964), “expansion of markets and the greater flow of goods and services would be the form capitalist society would take as it developed”. Marx in his prediction, he saw two primary classes, the capitalists, or those who own the means of production and the proletariat, modern day wage laborers who have to sell their Labour power in order to survive. As Marx tried to understand the struggle between these two classes and their positions in society, he came up with the theory of lass struggle. These classes always clash, with the proletariat taking over the means of production for themselves and it lead to communism. However, Marx wrote extensively on capitalism, and in order for us to understand if his predictions came true, we must examine his views in the modern day globalization. This category of thinkers is the one so referred to as the Marxism.
In his manifesto, Karl Marx alluded that local small enterprises would be wiped out by large multinational enterprises through imperialist capitalism. This would then result into loss of local culture and eventually the rise of a singular, anonymous corporate culture with slight variations between different countries. For instance, anyone looking at the Coca-Cola Company, and visiting any country, it is hard to argue with Karl Marx’s words. In many countries, other than in Atlanta, Georgia, the mother country of the Coca-Cola Company, small soft drink companies have died either died or reduced their operations over time. Multinational companies have even gone as far as branding their products to fit local situations and tastes in order to compete with local companies. The ultimate result of this is quitting of local entrepreneurs from the market, hence meaning that locals get impoverished due to them not having the means of production.
Capitalism maximizes the use of raw materials and energy because the more this flows, i.e. from extraction through the sale of the final products, the higher the chances of generating profits. By focusing on minimizing the use of Labour, the system promotes more use of energy and technologies that are capital intensive. All this translates into faster use of nonrenewable resources and more wastes dumped into the environment. This has been happening for a very long time now, but not to the degree we are experiencing it now. Politicians all over the world, economists, environmentalists, policy makers, academicians and even activists are all alarmed by these non-sustainable waste patterns and the impending devastating consequences of climate change.
Cultural integration is a situation in which one culture willingly or unwillingly turns to learn about the ideas of other cultures in production or in consumption aspects. Equally, it can be defined as a situation where by tangible and intangible aspects of life becomes more the same. Tangible aspects of life refer to the aspects of technology in the society like computers, TV, cars and airplanes whereas intangible culture include the norms and values in the society like how people behave, what they eat etc. With increased cultural integration, the spirit of communism has died globally; instead we are living in a world of individualism. People are now fighting for their own personal satisfaction with total disregard of their next neighbors. This has led to negative effects in society like corruption, financial scandals etc., all in the pretext of satisfying individual egocentric needs in society.
As briefly alluded in the above discussion, the consequences of globalization are many and most of them are inclined towards negating life in this planet.
BusinessDictionary.com - Online Business Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://BUSINESSdictionary.com
Kutting, Gabriela (2004). Globalization and the environment: greening global political economy. Suny series in global politics. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press.
Marx on Globalization. (2011). London: Lawrence and Wishart.
United Nations (2010). Principles for Responsible Investment, Universal Ownership Why environmental externalities matter to institutional investors. United Nations.
Waters, M. (2001). Globalization. London: Routledge.