Recently I've begun to wonder if maybe globalization, the word, is merely an euphemism for something a bit more sinister. "Globalization" as a word isn't as offensive as the effects it is having around the world. Globalization is a process. Some schools of thought propose that it is an ungoverned process, the results rather than the cause of changes centered on technology and trade. The changes are primarily economic but to that end, there are also political, cultural, and yes technological changes necessary to grease the ways for this economic transition.
I tend to see globalization as something not quite as recent as some suggest. We tend to think of globalization as a process that got its start around the time of Ronald Reagan's trade policy revisions. But the process that globalization represents has much deeper roots.
Certainly the British Empire was bent on world trade and on shaping the politics and culture of the world in such a way as to set England up as the hegemonic head of trade and banking. Britain's East India Company was a financial force with immense world power backed up by Britain's merchant fleet and her navy. The British Empire failed to sustain its hegemony.
Before that, there were the Spanish, the French, the Dutch, the Portuguese. All sought wealth through world hegemony. All failed to sustain it.
Even the Roman Empire sought the same goal two thousand years ago. It failed.
But all of these imperial powers sought the same goal, wealth through control of the world's trade. The legacy of this goal reaches even further back in time, further back than the Caesars of Rome and Constantinople. And this legacy has links in recent history as well. In the Twentieth Century the empires of Germany, Italy, and Japan fought the empires of Britain, the United States, and Communist Russia. Germany nearly succeeded, but it was the United States which emerged as the victor.
The Cold War masked over this victory. For decades we Americans saw ourselves as vulnerable, as the weak victim struggling to survive against the power of the Communist threat. We feared Russia. We feared China. We even feared Cuba and when it came right down to it, we feared Nicaragua. We feared that our economic hegemony, our enormous wealth, would fall into the hands of the Communist proletariat. We even feared Hollywood.
The Cold War is over now and it was that sea change that brought on the tidal wave of globalization. Suddenly the powers of finance found themselves in full control, masters of the codependent working classes. The time was at hand for the wealthy to take command. Technology had finally conquered the obstacles of time, distance, language barriers, communications, propaganda, even armed resistance. The goal of the wealthy through the ages was finally within reach.
While all of this is quite obviously true and while it is clear that the wealthy are organized, it is amazing that globalization's enablers, the workers, the scientists, the technicians, the politicians, the military forces, all continue to deny that there is indeed a hegemonic power at the top that is guiding this process. The word "globalization" is euphemistic. The real term is in its most recent negative form is "fascism."
Globalization is the managed transition from a world of nations and sovereignty, governments, religions, and cultures, to a world of open borders and enormous wealth for the few through world trade.