What are the Important Criticisms Against the Globalisation? – Explained!

1. Impact on Daily Life:

East or West, globalisation requires sacrifice of human life in order to feel buoyant and it obtains it through biodegradation. More and more of regulation is passed on to machine.

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Since human labour cannot keep pace with the speed, human labour is devalued. To survive, they have to fasten the speed and adapt their bodies to the new regime.

The human beings have to work harder and travel further. This speed is robbing human beings as well as nature of their reproduction time and increases their exhaustion. Increasing travel contributes to air pollution. Everyone ‘always feels rushed’. Most rushed of the rushed are working mothers.

Global unemployment is increasing, living costs are increasing, time- period for household activities is declining leading to increased expenditure on food and appliances. Acquisition of these new necessities results into borrowing ahead of savings. Communities are breaking down. Personal isolation is growing resulting into aggression and depression. Meeting deadlines lead to fatigue and stress and many diseases.

2. The War on the Atmosphere:

To stay alive and well people need not only Roti, Kapra and Makan (bread, clothes, and shelter) but also oxygen and clean air. In 1999 about 1.4 billion urban residents were breathing polluted air. Asthma is on increase not only in the west, also in the east, south, and North.

Air pollution comprises of ground-level ozone, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide, benzene, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide. Increasing the speed of production and deregulating trade and labour conditions means the overall quantity of emissions must increase, together with the use of electricity and transportation.

Most of the polluting by-products of electricity result from combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) in converting thermal energy into electrical energy – North America 64%, Middle East 88%, Far East and Oceania 73%, 48% in Western Europe, and 67% in Eastern Europe get electricity through fossil fuel. More electricity means more electromagnetic pollution and radiation.

Since 1970, the “global fleet”- the cars, trucks, buses and scooters on the world’s roads- has been growing at the rate of about 16 million vehicles per year (by 2025 there will be over 1 billion vehicles in use worldwide). Air pollution from motor vehicles threatens the health of 1/3 of world’s urban population. Now the South is the new growth center for automobiles. Commercial transportation is growing faster than cars.

International trade agreements and environmental regulations are more and more in conflict, but trade agreements win out. Air transport uses 47 times more energy than sea transportation. South sells its life conditions together with the energy of its labour to the North in order to survive in a global economy, while the west lives abundantly from Southern as well as Northern biological resources, while sending its waste to the south.

3. The War on the land, Sea, and other Conditions of Life:

First, globalisation is leading to global warming with its rising temperatures and climatic instability. If green-house gas emissions are not cut, average temperatures on earth will rise from 1.6 to 6.3 degree F within this century.

Ocean levels and disease-carrying vectors will increase. Many species may become extinct. One third of habitable land may be reclaimed by ocean water. The last 25 years have seen resurgence in infectious diseases. Second, ozone layer is thinning predominantly by chlorine ions released from CFS. Use of CFS leads to skin cancer and skin ageing.

Third, water has suffered from chemical plants, household consumption and from the agricultural (pesticides) and petroleum (being toxic and explosive) industries. Increased use of water and falling water tables are matter of serious concern. Fourth, in order to increase food production, use of DDT Methyl Parathion and PCB (Chlorinated biphenyls) is being made.

This results into many ill effects on our reproductive capacities (of males) and intelligence. Fifth, genetically modified food is becoming the rule rather than exception. Biotech companies claim that genetic engineering technology will help feed the world. But it may cause toxic effects on human body.

Also, once genetically engineered organisms are released into the environment, there is no way to contain or recall them. In brief, genetic pollution from genetically engineered organisms released into the environment may breed new animal and plant disease, contribute new sources of cancer and develop novel disease epidemics. The need for increased productivity leads to (i) reduction in the number of small farms (ii) increase in the amount of pesticides and fertilizers and (iii) loss of control of world’s food supply to MNCs.

4. Health Cuts and Corporate Wealth:

Auto-immune diseases are increasing and spending on health in particular and social provision for human needs in general has been cut across the board. Corporate taxes have been reduced while taxes on middle and working classes have increased.

Countries, with universal public health care programs earlier, are moving toward higher citizen contributions, tightly budgeted medical care and encouragement of private sector health coverage. Expenditure on old-age pensions, benefit payments have been cut, private pensions are encouraged and the retirement age has been increased.

5. Education and the Cost of Children:

Disparity of income is on an increase not only in the South but the North as well. Self-interest is the behavioural pattern due to disparity. Unemployment benefits have been cut. The duration of employment or total contribution necessary to receive full benefits have been increased.

The education of children is also suffering from cutbacks. It has forced upon educational institutions to find alternative sources of support. Education for profit has become big business. Educational curricula are meant to cater to the needs and desires of global economy.

6. Feminisation of Poverty:

Three specific constituencies lose apart from effects on general health, pensions and education. Farmers lose because globalisation enhances the concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands. Small businesses are being forced by larger corporations who are able to undercut smaller, local competitors. And, labor loses when production relocates to countries where labor is cheaper. The World Bank reports that 200 million more people are licing in absolute poverty (less than $1 per day) than in 1987 – remarkable considering China’s economic progress.

7. The Source of Profit:

The mainstream twenty-first century views profit being produced by technology, entrepreneurship and clever investment. But technology of itself produces no value. In fact, value depends on natural matter and energy. No technology will feed any one at its own. Technology without human or natural energy would be nothing. The assets of the 200 richest people in the world are greater than the combined income of the 20billion-plus people at the bottom of the pyramid.

8. The Prime Directive:

Global capital has a dual tendency to concentrate control and ownership while reaching ever further in the quest for materials and markets. Gandhi championed the theory that production and consumption both be localised. The resources used for production have to be produced within a given locality or a designated region. Localised production means the protection of environmental needs is built into production process itself.

9. Undermining Nation-State:

Globalisation represents “the end of national history.” “State has to adapt and adjust to forces which it cannot control but must respond to.”Even regulators from the most powerful countries have been put under great pressure to facilitate the rise of supra-territoriality.” Primarily technology driven globalisation has weakened the nation-state. Strategic potential of ‘transborder companies’ is growing as they are able to

i. Export jobs,

ii. Produce through division of labor in different parts of the world,

iii. Play-off countries or locations against one another, and

iv. Determine for themselves their investment site, production site, tax site and resident site.

10. There is only Modest Growth in Wealth:

“The high percentage of new trade is merely movements inside transnational,” only ‘a matter of shipping and tax planning’ writes Saul All this is not a revival of capitalism, but ‘a decline into consumerism’. His fear of ‘first really synchronised world recession and risks of implosion’ has come true in 2007-08. Global corporations control 33% of world exports.

11. Global economics has been used to weaken government, discourage taxes both on the corporations and on the top bracket of earners, force deregulation and, curiously enough to strengthen private sector technocracies in large corporations to the advantage of real capitalists and entrepreneurs.” If the corporations don’t like the tax system in a place, they move their money out and run their local subsidiary on debt. According to The Financial Times Report 2004, the UK operations of 20 major non-oil companies with a turnover of almost Pound 100 billion “had managed to organize a total loss of Pound 700 million”.

12. A look at the data provided by WTO shows that despite removal of systemic biases against trade and the dismantling of barriers the developing countries and least developed countries have not been benefited. India’s merchandise trade increased only by 0.5% over two decades – from 0.5% in 1983 to 1% in 2006. In 1948, soon after the conclusion of GATT, India’s share was 2.2%.

If China and South Asia (which opened since 1978 and 1960s) are excluded the total share of world merchandise trade for Mexico, South and Central America, Middle East, Africa and Asia (excluding Japan) was 27.1% in 1948, 19.8% in 1983 and 19.6% in 2006. Even the World Bank data also suggest the same conclusion. Advances made by some developing countries are because of their individual efforts to cut costs and increase global competitiveness on the export front, rather than globalisation-induced liberalisation per se.

13. Globalisation Affects Unemployment:

Global unemployment, according to ILO 2006 Survey rose to record high in 2005 in spite of continued economic growth. Most notably affected are those between 15 and 24 years of age. According to ILO, about half of the world’s 2.85 billion workers are subsisting on less than $2 a day poverty line – the same as a decade ago. With the onset of recession in the global economy the situation is further worsened.

14. Present globalisation in the context of NAFTA and the EU can be best summed up as “continental globalisation” or emergence of “global regions.”

15. Globalisation is an ideology promoted by the West to overcome their own problem; rather they threw the problems over developing nations. The long boom came to an end in the 1970s, the push for profitability amid stagnation of economies (growth of global GDP fell from 4.9% in 1950-73 to 3% in 1973-89, a drop of 39%), with the help of the World Bank and the IMF the US and the other centre economies to resubordinate the economies of the South through pro-market structural adjustment policies.

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