Is Globalization Foolish? by James Jaeger
Watching the late Richard Nixon interview with Brian Lamb (of C-SPAN) prompted me to write this. Lamb asked Nixon what he felt about globalization. Nixon basically said that 'we live in a world of fast communications where as soon as someone knows about something everybody knows about it; where 20% of the a large corporation's income comes from other countries around the world and this figure is growing rapidly, so if that income is off, or the region is in a recession, we get sick as well. Therefore, globalization is here and we have to deal with it and become more (implying 100%) globalized, ostensibly so we can keep any country from getting sick because we're all strong and united.'
When I heard these words from the man who was supposed to have opened up China, I nearly puked. How naive. We started something that if 20% get sick, all get sick, so the "solution" is to subject 100% of everyone to 100% of everyone else in the hopes that we will all be strong enough to all fight off getting sick together and going off to hell in a hand basket together. Please, only an idiot-criminal like Nixon could possibly think up "logic" like this. Or not?
I thought humans were the beings that designed their future -- not the beings that were cornered by their future. Well to listen to Nixon, and most contemporary politicians-big businessmen, you might think that globalization was the only scenario that makes sense, and the only scenario that's inevitable because it makes sense. Well does it make sense?
Seems to me that just because society's drifting or, steaming, towards some unprecedented future that doesn't make it the best way to go. Remember the Titanic? It was steaming full ahead towards some unprecedented future too -- at the bottom of a black sea. Need human society find itself in a much worse situation having failed to consider the full consequences of what's been made popular, globalization, by a few idiots, bankers, greedy-businessmen and Nixon-like politicians? I hope not.
Here's where I see the problem of globalization starts -- with what we mean by the word itself. When Nixon referred to the word he was motivated to say that because we all talk to each other now, and because we partially trade with each other, we are partially globalized already -- thus the rest of globalization must be good too and thus the only solution to being partially globalized is to become fully globalized. This makes about as much sense as Nixon's presidency. Here's why:
We have at least three elements going on in the ill-defined word of "globalization."
- the act of universal communication;
- the act of universal trade;
- the act of universal corporate situs;
- the act of excessively commingled ownership.
Since 1 does not equal 2 does not equal 3 does not equal 4 does not equal 1, lets see what they DO contribute severally to the globalization equation.
If globalization means everyone gets to talk and visit with everyone else in the world easily and cost-effectively, then this flavor of globalization is healthy.
If globalization means that everyone person and company in the world gets to trade with every other person and company upon a reasonable and fair exchange rate, then this flavor of globalization is also healthy.
If globalization means that every company in the world gets to splinter for the purpose of forming income-producing clones of itself in every other country so it can economize and thus "make money," then this flavor of globalization is deleterious.
If globalization means that every company in the world gets to consolidate for the purpose of cross collateralizing its risks with other such companies (and the public, if government sanctioned) so it can escape competition and/or "make more money," then this flavor of globalization is deleterious.
Unfortunately, the third and fourth flavors of globalization are what's ALSO happening thanks to the money-crazed psychopaths that run certain aspects of the corporate world at this time, and as abetted by the lapdog government-banking cartels to whom they vomit endless soft money and debt service, respectively. Why is this flavor so sour? In a phrase, it violates several major principles of universal security: the proper balance of redundancy, diversity and autonomy.
Redundancy, in a universe where entropy is increasing, is not only necessary, it is vital. Entropy, the degree of disorder in a system (or world or universe), is always increasing, thus it takes energy and a proper balance of redundant systems to fight it and to out grow it in new and diverse ways, ways that sometimes need to be cultivated in isolation. The disorder in the world system is increasing, thus this entropy is best fought, not with centralized organization, such as a world corporation or a world government (same difference), but with redundant independent systems and moderate diversity. If this were not true, nature would not have distributed intelligence over 6 billion diverse human beings but instead would have created one huge person with one huge brain.
When you have the largest corporations spread all over the planet in an attempt to "make more money" by such things as "hiring cheaper labor" (the design goals of NAFTA and GATT), you severely violate the principle of redundancy because in essence each corporation ends up owning each other corporation thus each corporation has diluted, to that degree, its operations (i.e., energy) all over the planet, if by no other reason than its situs has been spread all over the planet. Then the international currency markets and the international trade that is owned by international stockholders makes it almost impossible for one region, or one huge corporation to "get sick" without infecting all the rest of the regions and corporations in the world's financial system. Because of this, any advantages to globalization are inevitably wiped out by regional uncertainty, regional recessions, regional depressions and regional financial catastrophes, which will probably escalate to a global financial catastrophe yet to come.
The CEOs and Boards of the major corporations that thought they were doing their stockholders a great service (of "making money") by opening offices abroad are probably due for a rude awakening. We can already see the IMF/World Bank system beginning to melt down because of its negative global (and selfish) effects, and as it crumbles, you will probably see the Federal Reserve System in America "catch cold" and then the Bank of England start vomiting a little blood.
In light of this, certain aspects of globalization are a serious liability to the world because they ignore the protection of redundancy, ignore the effects of entropy and ignore the benefits of diversity.
So in summary, if you mean by globalization that every person gets to communicate with, visit and create products in their own country to trade with every other person upon a fair exchange rate, then globalization is great. No one is saying that international trade is bad, that one country or one region's corporations shouldn't trade with another region's. But why does an "American" corporation have to have its manufacturing operations situs in 20 different countries? That's stupid and short-sited IMO. If globalization means that every major corporation evaporates from its country of organization to chase the dollar in the skies of cheap foreign labor while it attempts to hedge its risks in the cross-collateralization of other such players, then globalization is yet another instrument of entropy and to that degree is foolish.
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