American Globalization Cannot ContinueWednesday, April 23, 2008 By Alex Vermeychik
The world outside this nation’s borders is vastly different from what the average American experiences on a daily basis. He/she does not experience the massive lunch breaks of France, nor the five calls to prayer of the Muslim culture. Yet an American can take solace in the rising amount of his own culture found abroad. It is most visible in America’s most cherished form of culture: materialism. One must not fear, there is an increasing abundance of the comforts of eating in KFC and shopping at the Gap for the American population to experience on foreign soil. One can thank the modern trend of relatively rapid globalization of both the economy and the culture that adheres to it for this “Westernization.” Globalization is not a new concept to the world. It has existed since this continent was colonized. Yet the past decades have seen an unimaginable rise in the rate of this phenomenon. The most successful of companies have become international and utilize the most efficient paths of outsourcing and importing in order to increase profit. While globalization has facilitated the rise of free trade around the world, it has too presented its fair share of overriding flaws. This recent trend has been classified by many as an updated version of colonialism. The very nations that once served as colonies of the European superpowers in centuries past are now being exploited by the huge corporations of today’s superpowers. Such countries are locked in a cycle of feeding their natural resources to these superpowers and in turn, are not able to build their own economies to accommodate the actual manufacture of goods. Residents of these “colonies” also fair to complain that local employment cannot compete with those jobs presented by the international giants. They outsource positions to nations that require no minimum wage, but the wages they do pay are significantly higher than the average pay from a local company. This process stuns any growth that local economies may try to achieve. Then there are, of course, the moral implications of globalization. To what extent should Western nations be able to impose their own beliefs and practices on the lesser-developed nations of the world? Should we dress the native tribes of Africa in Nike tee shirts? Should we force the growth of cholesterol-related health issues in Japan by bombarding them with fast food chains? The globalization of the world economy carries along with it the cultural domination of the West. We attempt to force our way of life onto others without proving that our way of life is the only right way of life. When aspects of a foreign culture are placed within one that cannot yet facilitate them, the culture in question suffers a collapse. Cultural structures that are introduced to staples of the modern world but that have no proper place for them yet will not be able to use the imports in safe and effective ways. While immense globalization is a vital process of these modern times, there must be a more active search for methods to bring its great benefits to the nations that have been exploited for much too long of a time now. It would be nice as well if scenes of centuries old monuments weren’t accentuated with golden arches.