Globalization

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The word “globalization” is being spoken all around the world, with pride and desperation, with satisfaction and disappointment, it sounds as a victory hymn, and at times it is heard as a very sad farewell melody. Regardless of the attitudes, people speak a lot about globalization worldwide, and sometimes they go beyond this concept as it often happens with popular and widely used words, which have come to stand for global trends. In any case, globalization is an interchange of various cultures, goods, services, points of view and many other aspects of human culture, and international integration resulting thereafter.

Speaking of the history of this trend appears to be very uneasy. Of course, the majority of people will say that the strongest push towards globalization was given to the human kind in the end of the XIX century when telegraph was invented. Additionally, the Internet rose out of telegraph about a century later and almost at the same time a steam engine became another strong push for globalization processes. Railroads started to be built connecting very distant places with an available and accessible means of transportation. Now travelling was becoming possible for those who could never dream of it, which meant that they started traveling and making international trade, traveling to foreign countries and staying there to live causing higher migration rates.

However, there are always scientists who, for the sake of historic justice, prefer looking right at the root of the phenomena researched. This often brings them even way below the roots, where they try and manage to see things, which hardly often find themselves in the places, where the sun does not shine. In any case, there are scholars who refer to the third millennium BCE as the approximate time when globalization processes started. Other, way more prudent men of science, try to trace the roots of globalization not much further than to the times of voyages to the New World. Nevertheless, strictly speaking, we should limit ourselves to more modern time periods. It is important to outline that globalization started and, from the very start, gained quite an impressive rate, and was only speeding up until the second decade of the XX century. Then there was a serious slow down. This situation is understandable: the wars and isolation of several countries did not favor the development of the trend. Nonetheless, when the wars and the Cold War were over, and the great number of the world’s economies, such as Russia, for example, which had been previously isolated, became more open, the globalization processes regained their speed. Indeed, infrastructural changes and development were giving serious pushes to globalization processes all over the world. For instance, while only a few goods were ever imported before the invention of the railway connection, with the invention of the steam engine and, especially, planes, bringing goods, including food, from one country to another became an everyday practice. If previously people were importing only goods, which were not available in their countries, such as coffee, tea, and gold and so on, nowadays we can hardly find a household where a good number of things present in it, would not be brought from other countries.

Still, there was one more very important set of factors which heavily influenced the development of globalization processes worldwide. Those were so-called neoliberal policies and, of course, integration of economies. There have been numerous attempts to invent, or, rather say, agree on a global currency, including adopting regional currencies. Finally, the European Union ended up going for Euro though by far not all the countries adopted this currency. In any case, modern ways of communication gave a chance for traders to transfer their money and exchange them easily into any of the world’s currencies. This could not have failed to influence the globalization rate. A number of laws and regulations in the field of migration, employment of foreigners and international trades adopted in the end of the XX century gave a strong push to the analyzed processes. Such international organizations, as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and others appeared. In the end of the XX century, China was open for globalization, which heavily changed international arena. In the beginning of the last decade of the second millennium, India was also open to globalization processes, and this caused a great flow of the working force all over the world. Now these two countries – China and India – heavily influence economies of the entire countries worldwide, and it is becoming impossible to neglect this impact. This with all obviousness shows that it is not only physical factors, such as possibility to establish long-distance connections and travel far at a high speed, which influence globalization. Legislative and economic aspects can also make a grand contribution into the process. In fact, not only can but they, as we can see, do it quite effectively.

Globalization is being looked at under different light. Some people find it so nice to be able to travel far in the twinkling of an eye; they enjoy being citizens of the world. However, other persons say that there is no charm in traveling any more. What the use of a trip from Washington to Beijing is if one knows exactly what he is going to see there: just another McDonald’s, with its coke and sandwiches. Thus, the question about why do people travel arises. As for traditional Chinese food, well, there is no need to go that far. It can be eaten just around the corner, much closer than the airport is. People wearing the same clothes, sharing the same ideas, eating similar food of the same trademarks are all over the world. Children, watching the same cartoons and asking their parents to buy them yet another happy meal, are to be found anywhere, but there is a concern if it is good or bad . Well, tastes differ. Moreover, there are certain objective factors, both positive and negative ones. Indeed, it is easier to get certain goods, which, at times, are of life importance. Nevertheless, on the other hand, we know for sure that the fish and caviar, which a couple of centuries ago were available in Russia, in the US and a few other nearby countries, are consumed today globally. This causes the overfishing and, as a result, disappearing certain species, which leads to very unfortunate ecological consequences. Besides, this is just a small example of unfortunate influence of globalization on humankind. The ecology suffers heavily from the results and causes of globalization processes starting with air-pollution and finishing with global hunting for certain species of animals, destroying woods and forests and so on. There is a cultural aspect to it. Indeed, it is truly pleasant to board a plane in New York, and in a few hours worth of flight, find oneself in Siberia or Ireland. Therefore, having landed, a person, who loves seeing new cultures and getting new impressions, may be much disappointed at how similar everything is to what he saw when boarding the plane. Furthermore, what a distress, having stepped on the solid ground and turned on his nice phone to use its GPS function and see where there is the nearest place to have a snack at, the tourist may get a really disappointing phone call on business matters. The latter can be another manifestation of globalization: so-called roaming, whether we like it or not.

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