The advantages and disadvantages of globalization have been discussed in a vigorous debate. There are those who defend the benefits related to the freedom that this fact brings and those who believe that it is detrimental to the cultural integrity.
Globalization is defined as the means through which certain values, beliefs, ideas, technologies, and precepts of any kind are implemented globally as a reality that transcends all differences that divide human beings.
In this sense, it is usually seen as a way to overcome the limitations that come from religions, political parties, and cultures that are locked in their own mentality.
The consequences of globalization had been warned even before the rise of the Internet. There are effects that had already been seen in historical examples, such as the Roman Empire.
The notion of a new form of Dominium mundi (the “conquest of the world” in Spanish) has recovered in the second half of the twentieth century, although it has been observed much more frequently in the course of the twenty-first century, was purely technological.
Throughout this article, there will be a brief exposition of seven advantages and seven disadvantages of globalization. These are a balance of their contributions and risks to contemporary society.
Likewise, they must be treated as paradoxes in which an advantage can become a disadvantage and vice versa. This will also serve to weigh the aspects inherent to globalization, in which there is a constant exchange of ideas increasingly universal.
Advantages of globalization
1- Market diffusion
About 500 years ago it was unthinkable that sugar and cloves could be bought for cooking at home, both of which were extremely expensive products that did not enter the table if there was no purchasing power or if the government did not allow it.
There were parts of the world where sugar or cloves were not even known since they were not consumed or unknown. The market, therefore, was limited and, incidentally, expensive.
With globalization, the economy flows at a more spontaneous pace, where goods and services can be enjoyed around the world.
Although it is true that some imported products can be somewhat expensive, it cannot be denied that they can be enjoyed in a short time, anywhere and many times at reasonable prices. There are even offers on pages like Amazon or Aliexpress. Globalization, then, does the free market a favor.
2- Great ideological diversification
Without globalization, it is very likely that Marxism would never have reached China and that Japan would have stalled in the feudalism of the Tokugawa Period .
In addition, it is also very likely that Latin America would have known (or known later) the works of Pasteur , the inventions of Edison or the novels of Faulkner . Therefore, globalization is a weapon against scientific, technological, philosophical and even literary backwardness.
3- Transmission of cultural values
Globalization makes it possible to spread cultures that were previously unknown, or of which only a handful of prejudices were known.
Thanks to the Internet you can listen to music from India from Colombia; the same way you can read gauchesque poetry in Finland, or you can see a Kurosawa film in the United States.
In fact, it was this globalization that made George Lucas inspire his Star Wars from a Japanese samurai-themed film.
4- Language exchange
The use of an international language is of old date, a reason why in its history it was spoken Latin, Koine Greek, French, and German.
Currently, the most vivid example is in English, which communicates millions of people around the world, far more than the Chinese do.
With globalization, it is possible for an Italian and a Czech to understand each other in English without the need for Italian to speak Czech and without Czech speaking Italian.
5- Unification of moral values
Previously it was believed that morality was in religion, but lay values proved that a world where respected the beliefs of others as possible.
This is so because, in a globalized world, it is necessary to recognize and accept that people living in distant countries like Rwanda are also human beings and must be treated as such. Ethical ideas, therefore, are universal and apply equally for all, without distinction of any kind.
6- Decreased social tensions
On the basis of the previous point, globalization is the way to reduce the tensions between societies completely dissimilar to each other.
With a more universalized morality, the result is that the rivalries of yesteryear are transformed into friendships, that there may be dialogue and Concord in gentiles that were formerly sworn enemies from time immemorial. This may be the formula for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, for example.
7- Greater human sensitivity
Considering the foregoing advantages, it can be said that globalization makes the world a space where people fight for equality and justice in any place. International tribunals will be the best way to prevent impunity.
Similarly, globalized information in the media creates a consciousness in which, for example, Mexicans can express their solidarity for those killed in the terrorist attacks in Paris.
8. The extent of communication
If there is one aspect in which globalization has become visible, it is that of communication technologies. The emergence and consolidation of social networks and the possibility of real-time contact with any part of the planet have been two of its keys.
This has also affected the perception that the citizen has of the world as a single entity. For the people of the 21st century the Earth is the common house, and much smaller than it was for the humans of the past centuries.
The benefits are also for companies, which can streamline all their processes and increase their sales . Or for researchers and students, who can connect with each other and access new knowledge immediately.
On the other hand, communication and the global use of electronic devices has created a whole new social and economic framework. Thanks to him, new professions have appeared that can be developed anywhere in the globe.
9. Disappearance of economic borders
The free movement of goods and capital has generated some positive aspects for the global economy, although they have not always been reflected in the population. That the same products can be consumed in different countries with the same characteristics is one of the symbols of commercial globalization which one of the types of globalization .
As in any process, there are advances and setbacks, and perhaps the economic aspect is one of the most conflictive. At present, there are two opposite trends: that of further globalizing the economy and the return to protectionism. Two prominent examples of the latter are the policies of the Trump Administration, in the United States, or the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.It should be clarified that the defenders of these restrictions are not contrary to globalization, in general, but only to the factors that they consider to harm them. Therefore, with the increase of import tariffs on products from some countries and the reduction of exports, some believe that deglobalization has begun .
10. Extension of human rights
Nor has the dissemination of the values ??and rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations Organization (UN) ceased to grow.
Signed in 1948, this declaration has been completed with agreements and protocols until the International Charter of Human Rights is formed. Globalization works here in two main ways: as a diffuser of these rights and as an instrument of control against their violations.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are a key piece for the extension of these rights, as are professionals of journalism, medicine and others who alert the rest of the world when there is a violation at some point in the world. In this sense, the implication of the public opinions of developed countries is a new and very important phenomenon.
10. Cheaper and more diversified consumption
Surprisingly, only recently have efforts been made to quantify the welfare benefits of trade to consumers. Broda and Weinstein (2006) estimated that the variety of imported products increased four-fold in the United States over the period from 1972 to 2001, benefiting consumers in the “preference for diversity” models. An important body of literature, summarized by Costinot and Rodriguez-Clare (2014), develops qualitative models to quantify welfare effects of policy changes, such as lowering tariff barriers. It shows that trade brings benefits in terms of well-being, even if they are modest.
Another approach links trade data to domestic price data and estimates reduced-form equations with instrumental variables. Auer and Fischer (2011) and Auer, Degen and Fischer (2013) have shown that imports from low-wage countries have slowed the rise in producer prices in both the United States and Europe. According to Amiti, Dai, Feenstra and Romalis (2017), the trade shock due to China reduced the US manufactured price index by 7.6% between 2000 and 2006. Two-thirds of this effect is attributable to China’s decline in its own import tariffs, favoring access to cheaper intermediate goods and allowing Chinese companies to gain market share in the United States.
For France, Carluccio, Gautier and Guilloux-Nefussi (2018) used data on detailed imports at the product level to analyze the impact of imports of consumer goods on the French CPI. Imports from low-wage countries reduced French inflation by 0.15 percentage points per year between 1995 and 2017. This effect is due to substitutions for cheaper imported goods and lower domestic prices. induced by competition from imports.
Disadvantages of globalization
1- Threat to local and national economies
It has been criticized that globalization is a way for larger economies to impose themselves on smaller economies.
Although there is a free market all over the world, this does not mean that developed countries do not find the means to take advantage of this situation to wage trade wars and to use the battlefields of developing countries or underdeveloped countries.
2- Imposition of foreign ideas
This is a controversial point since it was globalization that allowed many countries to leave the nineteenth century. The Arab Spring could not have been achieved without the power of the Internet.
But countries such as those that host Islamic culture sometimes prefer to refrain from using Western fashion, and in several regions of Latin America, models of thought are sought that are not Eurocentric, but those coming from Asia.
5. Transculturalization: cultural contamination?
This disadvantage is strictly linked to the previous one. While it is true that in the twenty-first-century countries like Japan export their culture to levels they had never imagined in the Meiji Period , it is also true that Latin American populations adopt cultural precepts and set aside their own.
This is also a polemic point in which national identity is put on the table. In fact, the Japanese talk about the dilemma of “modernization versus Westernization”.
4- Extinction of minority languages
Languages have disappeared for centuries and many of them have only limited data. However, since the twentieth century many neologisms have been imported from the English-speaking world that penetrate other languages, such as Spanish, from which even Spanglish comes .
On the other hand, minority languages disappear faster with globalization, since their communities, unable to use them abroad, abandon them for a more spoken language, such as English.
5. Universal morality: a danger to religions?
In a globalized world, the moral is for the Vietnamese as well as for the Panamanians: the one based on the human rights subscribed to the UN.
However, neither Vietnamese nor Panamanians have been brought up in the same religions, so one wonders whether globalization is really a means of sweeping the boundaries between Christianity and Eastern creeds, or whether it is a way of securing them through multiculturalism, in which both beliefs must be respected.
6- Tolerance, but for convenience
Taking into account that with globalization comes to a more universal morality, it remains to know if the reduction of social tensions is sincere or is only made as a formalism that can be easily broken with feigned pacts between the parties concerned.
It is not to sew and to sing, nor to tell them that they are brothers, is to disarticulate one by one the motives that led them to fight in the past.
7- Neo-imperialism and neocolonialism
With a more global morality, economy, ideas and precepts, a new form of imperialism and colonialism can come from countries that are capable of producing all those beliefs, such as China and the United States.
On the other hand, less affluent nations and cultures with less creative contributions must conform to the fact of consuming and accepting them, because that is the tendency and must be accepted under penalty of being outside the international circle.
8. Loss of national identity
There are also those who see a danger of loss of national identity, as societies increasingly resemble each other, with the same cultural tastes, fashions, etc.
The debate may need to be placed on whether these national identities are static or if they have always been evolving. In this second case, the problem would be more uniformity than in transformation. More than the change, what worries is that this change takes all countries to the same place, to the same lifestyle.
But this process is not new. For example, a resident of New York may have more in common with one from London than with someone from the rural area of ??his own country. And that happened centuries ago. Thus, the fear of the loss of national identity is not only to believe that one’s roots are abandoned, but that the way of life from one country to another is not differentiated.
A resident of New York may have more in common with one from London than with someone from his own country
However, in the political arena there is no shortage of those who have raised their flags as an element of differentiation, appealing to the primary emotions of the sense of belonging. This is the case of the right-wing nationalisms in the countries of Eastern Europe and others closer, such as the Italian case.
9.Increase in unemployment in developed countries
One of the aspects most criticized by the detractors of economic globalization is the flight of national companies to countries where production costs are lower. This relocation has had two pernicious consequences. On the one hand, with the disappearance of jobs, unemployment has increased in developed countries and labor costs are reduced. On the other hand, jobs have been precarious and rights that were part of the so-called welfare state have been lost.
10. Concentration of capital in large multinationals
One of the consequences of the previous point is that inequalities have grown. Increasing their profits and their chances of competing, the big multinationals are the big winners of this economic globalization model. On the contrary, small national companies and self-employed professionals have seen their income decrease and as a consequence be affected by an economic imbalance. For their part, workers have lost purchasing power.
As the process progresses, in many countries national flags have been raised again that make suspect that, perhaps, humanity is not yet prepared to achieve it
From a global perspective, you can see how this concentration of capital in a few hands also impoverished countries. Many nations have a lower gross domestic product than the turnover of large companies, which puts their states in a position of inferiority . Especially those who are in the process of development. That is why there are many who see fewer advantages and more disadvantages of globalization.
11. Company relocation
Some companies, especially multinationals, move their production centers to developing countries where labor and raw materials are much more profitable for the company. This causes unemployment to increase in developed countries in favor of emerging countries and, in addition, the employment generated is often precarious.
12. Market dominance by multinationals .
The economic globalization allows free trade but not all companies have the ability to achieve this , the end result is that large multinationals always win against small businesses locally.
13. Bad thing circulate quickly
Globalization also facilitates the rapid circulation of bad things: diseases (epidemics of AIDS, avian flu, tuberculosis, malaria, etc.). international terrorism also finds what it seeks.
In summary, one could say that globalization is an irreversible process, but it remains to be seen how it develops. As the process progresses, in many countries, national flags have been raised again, suggesting that, perhaps, humanity is not yet ready to achieve it.