SOCI 254 Lecture Notes - Occupy Wall Street, Metric System, Walt Whitman Rostow

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12 Dec 2012
Course
Professor
Globalization
Sept.25.12
- Geography is destiny
- Other argument: today’s differences are due to culture
- Global integration
- Interconnectedness of different countries
- Objectively more communication
- Perceive a universalism
- Economic, social and political activity become stretched over regions,
countries, and continents
- Flows of goods, trade, and services are increased
- Investing becomes easier
- Speeding up of global interactions (transport, goods, trade, etc.)
- Transportation of goods has become very cheap
- Events in distant places impact us
- Boundaries between global affairs become increasingly blurred
- Free circulation of labor
Effects of globalization:
- Society is interdependent
- National governments losing control?
- Nation state does sign away some authority, they still have basic control of
the institution
- Trade agreements (i.e. NAFTA), accept some regulations
- Always winners and losers
Conditions for globalization to occur:
- Need effective communication
- Cheap transport
- Apply international institution regulations
- Universal currency and banking system
- Legal system that makes contracts enforceable
3 views on globalization
1)Neo-Liberal: it supports the idea of a single global market and the
removal of international barriers (which are characteristic of
globalization). Their main argument is that compared to communism,
capitalism has not "collapsed" and has actually brought economic growth.
For instance, progress has been observed in the Millenium Development
Goals.
limitation: you can't know for sure whether economic growth occurred
because or despite globalization.
2)Radical: globalization perpetuates the inequality between the rich elites
and the poor. Globalization is a new form of imperialism which doesn't
"unify" us. On the contrary, it exacerbates deprivation, violence and
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conflicts.
Chomsky gave the example of the militarization of the American-Mexican
border to show that we're actually less "open" than we were before (which
is debatable).
3)New globalism. It recognizes that the geographic scope of trade has
increased, that many parts of the world are now interconnected. However,
the relationships are more complicated than a "rich vs poor" model. There
are many in-betweens. And even those who are worse off (marginalized
and depossessed people) are still less badly off than they were before.
Neo-liberal view:
- Market capitalism has triumphed
- State socialism has collapsed
- Emergence of a single global market, and that is a good thing
- Many advantages to how a free market operates
- social advantage: people will be better off
- guarantees exchange of goods and services, more choice
- import/export allows for a better economy and higher generated income
for individuals
- leads to many more exchanges
- make other economies grow
- volume and quality of things produced is greater
- Development is happening because the major obstacles have been removed
by way of globalization
- Profit from international agreements
- Identify your particular skills (i.e. prominent resource) comparative
advantage theory of economics
- Poverty has gone down in the last few decades
- Progress with the eight millennium goals (because of globalization, or despite
what free markets have done?)
Radical view:
- Poor countries and populations vs. rich countries and populations
- Deepening global inequality
- Trade with capital flows make things worse because they allow for continued
accumulation of privileges in rich countries
- Today’s world in not more globalized than before
- The new world is the triumph of global capitalism
- More conflict, violence, and poverty due to free markets
- This view is presented in a primitive way
Chomsky’s views:
Chomsky made early efforts to critically analyze globalization. He summarized the
process with the phrase "old wine, new bottles," maintaining that the motive of the
élites is the same as always: they seek to isolate the general population from
important decision-making processes, the difference being that the centers of power
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are now transnational corporations and supranational banks. Chomsky argues that
transnational corporate power is "developing its own governing institutions"
reflective of their global reach.[19]
According to Chomsky, a primary ploy has been the co-opting of the global economic
institutions established at the end of World War II, the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and the World Bank, which have increasingly adhered to the "Washington
Consensus", requiring developing countries to adhere to limits on spending and
make structural adjustments that often involve cutbacks in social and welfare
programs. IMF aid and loans are normally contingent upon such reforms. Chomsky
claims that the construction of global institutions and agreements such as the World
Trade Organization, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Multilateral Agreement on
Investment constitute new ways of securing élite privileges while undermining
democracy.[20] Chomsky believes that these austere and neoliberal measures
ensure that poorer countries merely fulfill a service role by providing cheap labor,
raw materials and investment opportunities for the developed world. Additionally,
this means that corporations can threaten to relocate to poorer countries, and
Chomsky sees this as a powerful weapon to keep workers in richer countries in line.
Chomsky takes issue with the terms used in discourse on globalization, beginning
with the term "globalization" itself, which he maintains refers to a corporate-
sponsored economic integration rather than being a general term for things
becoming international. He dislikes the term anti-globalization being used to
describe what he regards as a movement for globalization of social and
environmental justice. Chomsky understands what is popularly called "free trade" as
a "mixture of liberalization and protection designed by the principal architects of
policy in the service of their interests, which happen to be whatever they are in any
particular period."[19] In his writings, Chomsky has drawn attention to globalization
resistance movements. He described Zapatista defiance of NAFTA in his essay "The
Zapatista Uprising." He also criticized the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, and
reported on the activist efforts that led to its defeat. Chomsky's voice was an
important part of the critics who provided the theoretical backbone for the disparate
groups who united for the demonstrations against the World Trade Organization in
Seattle in November 1999.[21]
Transformationalist view:
- Rejects neo and radical views
- Globalization is not seen as a new form of imperialism
- Not global market civilization
- One global system
- Global shift of power relations
- Not true that the power holders of 40 years ago is now today’s power holders
- Transformation going on
- Complex configurations of the world
- Individuals: 4 classes now (elites, middle class, marginal people, lower class)
- Transformed the context of national development
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