It is a small world after all. Globalization is that great process that started perhaps with Mr. Marco Polo, but has since regained its prestige after a short stint of protectionism following the great depression. It sure is great, isn’t it? I mean who doesn’t like globalization? Well a bunch of hippies in Seattle, lay-abouts and activists without focus, but they hardly count. If you’re down with the Red, White and Blue, you have to be down with the N-A-F-T-A; if you ask me. This is something that transcends partisan politics; I mean it was that crazy, high hippy president Clinton that finally put together full integration of North America. Globalization puts the “free” in “freedom”; and if you don’t feel good about that, go back to the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot. Although, I have noticed before in my life that sometimes things are a little more complicated than they may first appear—especially the pretty complicated things.
It’s true that a certain amount of things have been freed up by the current manifestations of globalization, but perhaps some things that shouldn’t have been freed were, while others that needed to were not. Labor rights movements in the U.S. actually began in the early parts of the 19th century and continued through the Civil War. It was an extremely difficult time in the history of the U.S., but through all the turmoil, pain and destruction came very important protections for workers.
The movement of business and production around the world as sponsored by globalization has reversed necessary gains made during these times and subjected workers from other nations to pre-labor rights conditions from U.S. firms. This formerly restricted activity has been freed up and it should not have been.
Interestingly enough, the movement of people is one of the things that has not been freed up by the promises of global connection in the processes of globalization. In fact, in lieu of recent conflicts between various countries and ideologies, the movement of people has become tighter and less fluid; even though now it is needed more than ever.
Perhaps the liberalization of former barriers that closed one another off from each other have not exactly been as free as they seem. One should approach free internet advertising with similar caution. Of course if has its merits, just as globalization does, but an honest examination must be done carefully in order to fully recognize what is truly free and what is simply a means to an ends for someone else.