Globalisation, Multiculturalism And Diversity – Part 1 Globalisation

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Globalisation, Diversity and Multiculturalism


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This is part of a series of articles, to read the others please use the links below.






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Governments are Rarely Proactive

Our governments are too scared to actually work towards dealing with the central issues of globalisation, multiculturalism and diversity.  A friend of mine, Gwynne Thomas, worked in the Civil Service under Thatcher in the 1970’s and sat in on many cabinet meetings. He once said to me that the sewage system in London needed major repairs but no government would deal with this issue until they had to. Even though warnings from experts said that they should act on it before it got a lot worse, it was left for someone else to deal with at a later date, at a far greater cost. Gwynne added  “Companies wouldn’t be able to be run as governments do, they’d go bust”.

We’ve come to expect our governments, to kick the problem cans up the road until eventually someone else will have to deal with them. They are essentially reactive organisations, when really we need them to be proactive. Dealing with issues, even important ones are secondary a lot of the time to spinning things so as to keep themselves in power. The issues of Globalisation, Diversity and Multiculturalism are difficult ones and outside of a couple of statements about how multiculturalism has failed and how we have to become one big happy society, very little has ever been done. Actions as they say speaks louder than words, but if you don’t want to upset people it’s better to stay quiet. So these issues were being surreptitiously kicked up the road when Brexit kind of kicked them back at the government, if not somewhat obliquely. but of course, we all know, it won’t be long before we’ll hear them clanging up the road again. But one of these Brexit ricochets caused me to write this.

Where I’m heading with this

I’m going to tell you where I’m headed now so you don’t jump to conclusions, because even the mention of multiculturalism tends to get people worrying that there’ll be an oncoming racist tirade or the opposite, a celebration of it, or even worse than that a logical debate on the subject, because let’s face it, most people don’t really know about this subject in any depth.  What I’m aiming for is something on the lines of this last option. I’d prefer to get people to stop talking about multiculturalism, diversity and globalisation as either great or awful things, but instead to actually take on board some of the complex issues around them. If they did this they’d see that they are all systems that are currently failing and need to be approached with caution, understanding, and a desire to actually do something about them. Even if this means simply putting our heads together to try working out what might be best in the long run, rather than just celebrating or criticising them blindly.

It was something on these lines which made me start writing this. I was watching a Ted talk in which one of the lecturers from the London School of Economics (LSE) explained why he thought the Remainers lost Brexit.[1] His main point was that those who voted to Leave had not understood the positive aspects of globalisation and mass-immigration. If only they, the remain camp, had explained it more clearly to the Leave camp, then they would have seen the error of their ways and not voted for Brexit. At the end of it the audience stood up, applauded and cheered. I can’t tell you how angry it made me feel, to me it looked like a moment of mass delusion (and given I wasn’t part of it I found it difficult to appreciate – normally I’m quite happy to be a part of a bit of mass delusion). It reminded me of a moment in one of Milan Kundera’s books when a crowd was cheering at a May Day Parade. Kundera said it filled him with revulsion because to him they were embroiled in a mass moment of Kitsch, a word he said meant “the denial of shit”. “The brotherhood of man on earth will be possible only on a basis of kitsch.”And so with this crowd, a group I would have presumed were generally quite intelligent, their fervor  showed that they truly believed that globalisation, mass immigration and diversity were without any doubt the way forward.

In this article I will try to guide you through what I see as a more realistic view, I’ll try my best to include both the positive and negative aspects of globalisation, and in a later piece I will also cover diversity and multiculturalism. So if you are interested in these subjects, and let’s face it they are at the heart of our political world right now, then please come along with me for a while.




Globalisation is it Just a Phase We’re Going Through?

Let’s start with a premise, everything comes to pass, globalisation is coming and it too will develop in to something else in time, but anyway it’s coming…. Oh, it’s here, or is it? Well that depends on what you mean by “Globalisation”.

Globalisation as a Process

What exactly globalisation is, well that’s something we can only touch on a little here, as there are many interpretations, but in terms of its more literal definition, at least, it’s a process that’s been around for millennia. Humans have travelled around the world, traded with others, taken ideas from those they’ve come across, sometimes conquered, sometimes killed and sometimes lived and developed with them. Ultimately they caused changes to each other’s cultures, sometimes mutually and sometimes not.

Recent High Octane Globalisation

As telecommunications, travel systems and trading systems, including such things as refrigerated shipping and e-commerce, have developed over the last century and particularly in the last 50 years, the process of globalisation has intensified.

Globalisation as a Policy

One of the other significant definitions of globalisation is to see it as a political / moral ethos.  Again there are many variations of this but I will focus on what appears to me to be one of the most popular. In this version there is an aim to bring about a fairer world in which there is a redress in the balance of wealth between developed and developing countries. The theory is that through free trade deals, use of technology and fair policies between these trading countries, more wealth will be distributed to developing countries too, in turn these countries will become more stable, more educated, more democratic, more likely to lower their population levels, be healthier and happier. It’s a kind of socialism for the world. Given so much wealth is held within the developed world, and even there, only a small number of people hold the most wealth it seems only fair that it should be shared out a bit more evenly. Rather than seizing this wealth, as is often the format for most revolutions, it can be transferred via trade over time. It’s a seductive theory but, well yes, there are quite a few buts. But firstly let’s take a closer look at the moral argument for globalisation.


The Moral Case for Globalisation


Globalisation usually focuses on the economic issues involved but for many people it is the development of previously very underprivileged societies that is the most important aspect of it. The result of this is that there should be a shift of power away from developed countries to the rest of the world and it is the desire to avoid this at all costs that underlies many critics’ view, and influences the policies of those countries who feel they will have a lot to lose. For many supporters of political globalisation such policies are profoundly immoral especially as they exclude third-world aspirations. One of the main arguments behind the resistance to globalisation is that there are many more losers than winners as a result of it, but in many ways that is open to interpretation. For instance, whilst it is accepted that millions of jobs have been created in developing countries, the conditions for those workers are seen as not acceptable within a modern society. But to the workers who have escaped from the alternative, back-breaking agricultural life they had before, this is seen as an opportunity to find genuine prosperity, and to gain their desire for wealth and freedom. Some ask why can’t they have the future they want just because the developed world won’t adjust rapidly enough to permit it?

For those in developed countries, the pro-globalists argue that whilst it is possible to opt out of globalisation, the price may not be just an economic one, this is because the process to repress globalisation leads to an extension of the powers of the state and a loss of individual freedom via ever more regulation, legislation, and the criminalisation of natural economic activity between different countries. After all it was the politicisation of routine decisions that was such an issue in the Brexit vote. The protectionism that the EU, China, the USA and many other countries require, encourages a fundamental undermining of democratic rights. Essentially the extension of state power required to eliminate the cross-border choice offered by globalisation can be seen as anti-democratic.

It is also often argued that free trade must concede precedence to more elevated values.  But helping billions of people out of poverty, offering choice and the facility for personal development, whilst encouraging democracy all around the world, this is what the liberal market economy has to offer. [2]


I’m sure most pro-globalists would say there’s a lot more to the positives of it than I have covered, but hopefully that gives you the gist of it.



The Case Against Globalisation


In many ways the case for globalisation is unarguably good, however when one starts to look at it in practice one comes up against many issues. The counter arguments often that follow these criticisms tend to be that if we dealt with these issues then we could make it work, but the underlying theme that undermines globalisation is “Self-interest V’s The Common Good” and unless a way to change the hearts and minds of those controlling many countries around the world can be found, that’s not likely to happen. Even using carrot type motivators won’t always work. For instance, people from the West may see democracy as a motivating factor, but many countries have not chosen to go that way.


Prosperity, Democracy and Human Rights


One of the central aims of globalisation is the idea that poorer countries can prosper because of the input of foreign capital and technology. By spreading prosperity, it creates the conditions in which democracy and human rights may develop. But so far this has had very mixed results in many countries. Where multinational corporations were previously restricted to commercial activities they have become increasingly influential with regards political decisions. Many think there is a threat of corporations ruling the world because they are gaining so much power. Within the developed world it is taken for granted that lobbying is big business, mainly done by big business. It is no secret that many developing countries are more susceptible to corruption and therefore the hope that democracy will become more prevalent has been dashed somewhat.

There is also the issue of defining what is meant by democracy, some countries are labelled as such but do not live up to the levels of democracy experienced in many western societies.


The Decline of National Democracies

Ironically as globalisation takes hold many democracies become hollowed out. In other words, trade agreements lead to national borders being broken down, or areas of law within a nation no longer being part of the national parliament’s remit. Political globalization could therefore be a contradiction in terms… “Many scholars such as Jens Bartelson would agree with the idea that globalization poses a threat to the democratic state [because] it undermines the essential requirements of state autonomy, patriotism and national identity (Bartelson 2004)… Nation states may have in the past been in complete control of their markets, exchange rates and capital. Now, trans-national companies are becoming increasingly imperative to the economy, and the state is becoming obsolete. This supports the argument that globalization is reducing the power of democracy and the state, resulting in hollow democracy” [3]

“While in the 1980s and 1990s more and more states became nominally democratic and it has become a virtual taboo to espouse any other political system, there have been severe declines in the number of political party members in attendance at party conferences, and in voter turn-out in most established democracies. Anticipating the electorate at large, democratic theorists had already become increasingly disillusioned with representative democracy, calling it ‘thin’ or ‘procedural’ democracy (Pateman 1970) [4]


The Decline of International Democracies

“Even in the international community, globalization has increased the cleavage between the developed countries from the north and the developing countries from the south. In international organizations such as the United Nations it is commonly witnessed that the elite wealthy countries always have the final say in conflicts or important issues that are discussed, which ends up swaying the domestic politics of less developed countries to their favour (Samir 1996).” [5]

Towards World Democracy

Some Pro-Globalisation proponents, such as David Held, do not see this as a bad thing but instead see national government as a negative entity and would prefer a world government. They see “that economic expansion and development should be the first phase of democratic globalization, which is to be followed by a phase of building global political institutions… . This would, in their view, bypass nation-states, corporate oligopolies, ideological Non-governmental organizations (NGO), political cults and mafias…. [For them] Democratic globalization would create a world confederation [that] would not supersede the authority of the State governments but rather complement it, as both the States and the world authority would have power within their sphere of competence… Former Canadian Senator Douglas RocheO.C., viewed globalization as inevitable and advocated creating institutions such as a directly elected United Nations Parliamentary Assembly to exercise oversight over unelected international bodies”.[6]

On the other hand, John Dewey, (1859-1952) the leading philosopher representative of American pragmatism declared ’The Great Community in the sense of free and full intercommunication’ will only work through trans-local associations that feed into the intimate unions. ‘Democracy must begin at home’. ‘Fraternity, liberty and equality isolated from communal life are hopeless.[7]


Economic Development Does Not Always Lead to Democracy

The experience of some countries that have developed over the last 40 years as a more direct result of globalisation have not all become more democratic. In fact, some such as Singapore have become quite restrictive in terms of freedom of speech and even though  “It is rated as one of the “most global” places on the A.T. Kearny/Foreign Policy Magazine Globalization Index, it has remained resolutely semi-authoritarian for the past 30 years and shows few signs of greater democratization… [Likewise] In Asia, for example, the diversity of political regimes has largely kept democracy and human rights off the table in the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).[For some,] Globalization can also hand authoritarian regimes an edge. Regimes that accede to economic reforms most often allow openings they are confident they can control. If the immediate impact is an improved economy, greater access to modern technology and goods the regime’s popular legitimacy may be strengthened by the perception that it has delivered (or at least permitted) the improvements. Ironically, globalization can thus extend the longevity of the regime, at least in the short run… Globalization has also helped sustain authoritarian regimes by feeding nationalism in some non-Western states. During the Asian economic crisis, anti-Western sentiments flared even in countries well on the road to democracy, such as Thailand, when catastrophic drops in currency values were popularly attributed to manipulation by Western traders. In more authoritarian countries such as Malaysia, leaders turned this new nationalism to their advantage by salting their political platforms with anti-Western (and anti-globalization) rhetoric and portraying themselves as national champions.”[8]

Given that people all around the world have greater access to information it makes sense to believe that in time people who do not have democracy will see it as something to aim for, especially as “International businesses demand an increase in democracy. In order for businesses to grow, peace and stability must be entrenched in all potential investment countries. Subsequently, as democratic countries scarcely ever fight with each other, there is an increase in the demand for a democratic form of government.” [9]

But in the meantime not only can we see that this doesn’t always follow in any immediate way but some cultures are inherently anti-democratic. Some Islamic countries follow certain doctrines that suggest only God’s law is legitimate and any amount of petition by members of society is not relevant. To believe that those countries will gently transform is not realistic, and as we have seen with the Arab Spring, not many of those countries that fought off their previous shackles have found themselves re-invented as democratic states.  Indeed, one could argue that countries such as Turkey have become less democratic recently.

So, the theory is great, and in time, I mean maybe in a few centuries the world will be one big set of democracies, but so far it has not occurred in many parts of the developing world and isn’t likely to before the globalisation era is no more.


The rich get richer, the poor get exploited further


One of the central advantages of globalisation is supposed to be the increase in wealth within the developing world. However, this has become a murky area and is one of the main areas of criticism by anti-globalists. The general complaint about globalization is that it has made the rich richer while making the non-rich poorer.  The IMF reported that estimates suggest that almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just 1 percent of its population, amounting to $110 trillion—65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population (Fuentes Nieva and Galasso 2014) While a third of the total wealth in the United States is held by 1 percent of the population. In most countries with available data, the share held by the 1 percent wealthiest population is rising at the expense of the bottom 90 percent population.[10]

A report by the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) entitled, “The Scorecard on Globalization, 1980-2000: Twenty Years of Diminished Progress cast serious doubts on the ability of economic globalization to promote the kind of growth seen as crucial to raising income and living standards throughout the world The “Scorecard” concluded that the last 20 years have shown a very clear decline in progress as compared with the previous two decades… the poorest countries went from a small positive GDP growth to declining per capita GDP in the second period. In other words, the developing nations experienced better economic results between 1960 to 1980 than in the following two decades. This slowdown adversely affected the world’s living standards including life expectancy, infant mortality and educational growth. Whilst globalization couldn’t be proven to be fully responsible for “the deterioration in performance” there was a very strong prima facie case that could be made that some structural and policy changes implemented during that period were at least partly responsible.

Globalization has led to exploitation of prisoners, child workers and essentially modern day slaves who are forced to work in inhumane conditions, in which safety standards are ignored to produce cheap goods. It smacks more of the era of colonialism and slavery than any new world order worthy of any so called progressive’s vote. Whilst as mentioned earlier, these people may be grateful for these opportunities it does mean that not only are they put at great risk but the developed countries labour forces are unable to compete with them, this, understandably, causes resentments, which ultimately can lead to more protectionist stances as well as leading to tensions between countries. It’s also worth noting that instead of uniting workers around the world it is dividing them, instead of encouraging universalism there is more nationalism.

For large multi-national corporations, the benefits are huge when opening up markets and finding cheaper places to base their businesses (both in terms of cheap labour and tax havens) they can also exploit people who are only too grateful to be exploited. And as scholars such as Peter Drucker argue, globalization cripples even more those who are less fortunate… small companies and even nationally large ones cannot compete with multinational ones.

So Between 1960 and 1998, inequality worsened both internationally and within countries even though this was a period of rapid growth in global trade and investment. Therefore, one can say that so far globalisation has not yet borne its promise of wide-spread mutual growth and benefit.

The richer countries get poorer too

Poverty has declined in many countries, but is on the rise in advanced economies. In many Economically More Developed Countries, poverty—measured in terms of the share of population living below a pre-defined poverty line—has declined, despite rising income inequality in some. In contrast, recent data suggest that poverty has risen in advanced countries since the 1990s (OECD 2011). Another method of measuring inequality among the bottom 90 percent—grew in most advanced economies over the period between 1980 and 2011 (Autor 2014), particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom.[11] Trade Agreements – Both the NAFTA and the South Korean Korus trade agreements might have been good for Wall Street and the multi-national corporations but they eliminated jobs in America and expanded the US’s trade deficit. The free movement of labour, especially low skilled labour has had a detrimental effect on some sections of some societies in developed countries, and whilst it is arguable as to whether wages have been reduced because of this process the social effects of pitting workers from one country against those from another has seen a rise in Nationalistic sympathies as well anti-globalisation sentiments. On the other hand,  Bhagwati contends that there is a lack of evidence that that globalization has not adversely affected wages and working conditions in the United States. Or that multinationals encourage violations of workers’ rights by poor countries seeking to attract these companies. [12]

As developed countries start to feel the pressure of competition from developing countries the level of capital within their own country may decrease. Now whether these countries can no longer afford their welfare bills, or they choose to spend their money on other things (e.g. war, weapons, expensive and often overspend / corrupt? infrastructure developments) The effect within the developed world is increased pressure on social welfare schemes and pensions due to deficits, job losses, and the other economic ramifications of globalization. The groups that least benefit from globalization are the working-classes in the advanced countries of the West but is it possible for governments to help them move in to a new arena via job creation, tax reform and prepare them to face the changes that civilizations often have to. After all, only a century ago, most Americans earned their living in agriculture. However, as happens so often, such policies are not invoked which allows developed countries to create barriers against the developing ones.[13] Even so, jobs that are created in developing companies often result in a loss of jobs in developed ones. According to conservative estimates by Robert Scott of the Economic Policy Institute, after granting China a” most favoured nation” status 3.2 million jobs, including 2.4 million manufacturing jobs were drained away from the USA.  During this period and even today China has ignored trade rules and WTO laws recklessly. On top of currency manipulation, they subsidize and provided funding for their state owned companies, and as previously alluded to, use workforces comprised of prisoners, child workers and essentially modern day slaves (a charge that supporters of globalisation often side step by demanding that low skilled workers in developed countries must accept the reality of competition and move on to newer pastures). They also steal the West’s technologies, sell counterfeit versions of products developed in the West, and impose tariffs and other barriers anytime they want. Meanwhile the West does nothing to stop them. Therefore, should China be on the USA’s most favoured nation list, and should the USA be taxing their exports until they stop these illegal activities? In other words, the spirit of globalisation, or at least the altruistic part of it does not seem to follow through to all the nations. If in response to this some kind of policing through sanctions and tariffs is brought about that might bring about an end to such unfair practices. Of course, unfair practices seem to cut both ways, for example, one of the problems is that the big G20 countries have added more than 1,200 restrictive export and import measures since 2008, also for instance around 161 countries have value added taxes (VATs) on imports which are as high as 21.6% in Europe, whereas the U.S. does not have VAT so currently there is not a level playing field on which countries can do business. This in itself is not a criticism of the theory of globalisation, however it does highlight that the practical difficulties, the problems of motivating leaders and their peoples to create a fairer situation.

One can also see that the 1997 Asian financial crisis was caused by the financial markets pumping massive amounts of capital and then withdrawing it quickly. Given the economies of those countries involved in the crisis, namely Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines – were all fundamentally sound and had embraced free trade, the crisis was largely due to hasty and impulsive financial liberalization, under foreign pressure This allowed free international flows of short-term capital without adequate attention to the potentially potent downside. It wasn’t so much that it was a deliberate attack by the developed nations (allegedly) but that these countries were thrown to the wolves has some validity.

In Ha-Joon Chang’s book “BAD SAMARITANS” the idea of developed countries with good intentions causing major problems is brought to light. Firstly, he believes that poor countries can get rich only by doing pretty much the exact opposite of what they are told by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization (these organisations, are, he says, the bad Samaritans). Whilst they preach certain policies, history shows that the developed countries became rich by following the opposite policies. So whilst supporters of free trade point towards the British as the pioneers of open markets, London only lowered tariffs during the mid-19th century after it had firmly established its lead over its rivals. Similarly, the U.S. tariffs continued to be high throughout its industrialisation. So why, should today’s poor nations be required to develop differently? Whilst he acknowledges that protectionism may not automatically create economic development, he contends that “Free trade economists have to explain how free trade can be an explanation for the economic success of today’s rich countries, when it simply had not been practiced very much before they became rich.”[14] He also points out that the mass unemployment and sub-par growth that occurred in countries such as Mexico and Ivory Coast occurred after their governments, under pressure from the “bad Samaritans,” lowered barriers that were sheltering their industries.

Chang witnessed the South Korean miracle of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. and as he notes, they avoided free-market values, instead setting up high barriers so as to protect its young industries, such as steel and car manufacturing, whilst offering subsidies to help promising firms develop. Other countries, such as Japan and Taiwan, also developed in similar ways.

Chang’s main point seems to be that it is essential to nurture manufacturers with long periods of protection and subsidies, such as the 30 years Toyota got in Japan. It is important for these countries to learn to walk before they can run, and that means starting with education and health. Chang cites India’s experience in the 1950s and ’60s as a revealing example; Even now it is still paying the price for the government’s excessive investment in steel plants, fancy hospitals and universities instead of elementary schools and small clinics. In order to develop countries, they need well-educated talented populations, and mostly incorruptible civil servants. Poor training and low ethical standards among government officials in developing countries are a reason enough to avoid privatising state enterprises that will require effective regulation. “Privatization sometimes works well, but can be a recipe for disaster, especially in developing countries that lack the necessary regulatory capabilities,” he writes. Well, if such governments can’t regulate properly, how can they successfully oversee the creation of world-class auto industries?[15]

There have been many studies, often there is no definitive evidence of an overall pattern and indeed the effects vary greatly in different areas of the world. One can be confident though that there is no clear evidence that globalisation will automatically create winners, or losers for that matter.


Globalisation, Consumerism, Resentment and Environmental Issues

The intensification of a consumerist world is no doubt going to lead to expectations of inclusion within this world by many people in developing countries “Exclusion is no longer simply about the inability to satisfy basic human needs in terms of food, clothing, shelter, health care and education for large numbers of people. It is much more complicated. For the consumption patterns and lifestyles of the rich associated with globalization have powerful demonstration effects. People everywhere, even the poor and the excluded, are exposed to these consumption possibility frontiers because the electronic media has spread the consumerist message far and wide. This creates both expectations and aspirations. But the simple fact of life is that those who do not have the incomes cannot buy goods and services in the market. Thus, when the paradise of consumerism is unattainable, which is the case for common people, it only creates frustration or alienation. The reaction of people who experience such exclusion differs. Some seek short cuts to the consumerist paradise through drugs, crime or violence. Some seek refuge in ethnic identities, cultural chauvinism or religious fundamentalism. Such assertion of traditional or indigenous values is often the only thing that poor people can assert for it brings an identity and meaning to their lives. These outcomes have obvious political consequences”[16]

But besides these political ramifications one can’t help but notice the elephant in the room, there simply is not enough resources ion the world to provide all 7 billion people with at least a basically decent lifestyle let alone a mediocre materialistic one. Perhaps if the world’s population decreases coupled with more environmentally friendly ways to create products as well as power them there could be a more homogeneous quality of life, but given it could take centuries to bring the population down to sustainable levels, unless billions of us are wiped out due to plague, natural disaster or a third world war, I can’t see globalisation getting to its fullest objectives for a very long time. Therefore, given globalisation is a transitional stage, as I had mentioned earlier, all stages are, it is possible that we are more likely to see a different period that comes in to dominance before globalisation ever reaches its political aims. For instance, a world of robots and automation would shatter the constructs of our economic systems. If there were far less jobs and therefore far less wages, could there still be the same kind of consumerism when people can’t pay for items as they no longer earn wages. Whatever way it goes, population reduction should be just as big an objective as globalisation (even if it seen as a by-product of globalisation). But as it stands now, globalisation is at odds with protecting the environment.

There are of course many attempts to reach ecological targets through International agreements, but mostly they are below expectations, and often not followed through with. Even so multinational corporations and both developed and developing countries are often accused of a lack of concern for the environment, mismanagement of natural resources, and ecological damage. So on one hand more countries are collaborating with environmental agendas, but on the other more of them than ever before are involved in greater amounts damage to the environment.

Cultural Cross Fertilisation

One of the other big positives cited by pro-globalists is the idea of cultural intermingling because of greater interaction. In a limited way this is true, but this is nothing new, and whilst most countries tend to get drip fed the new world culture of materialism, American Cinema, sexualisation, and other generally shallow cultural facets, mainly aimed to push people in to greater roles as consumers, one only has to look at the lack of two way cross pollination of cultural ideas via the internet, or even in real lives, within multicultural societies the lack of interaction between different groups to any great depth to realise that there’s not very much two way cultural cross fertilisation occurring. It could also be said that Globalisation in terms of different cultures mixing together is a double edged sword an extreme illustration of a negative aspect could be the spread of disease is greatly enabled due to prolific world travel. I will be dealing more with this issue in the next part of this series.


Globalisation is happening, well at least in its primary guise, but the political, high aspiration, version, well, for now at least, is not really going to plan and so far, has produced a mixed set of results. On top of that its aims seem highly unrealistic given the scale of poverty throughout the world, population size, ecological resources and time scale before other economic systems begin to take over. Meanwhile instead of wealth being distributed more fairly and democracy becoming more common, the richest people in the richest countries have got richer, while the poorer people in both the richer and poorer countries have got poorer too and are now biting at the bit of anti-globalisation rhetoric. On top of this Deconstructionists, post-Modernists and Marxists assert that “values” rather than economics should provide the foundation for human society.  So whilst Globalisation will limp on and it will have an effect, but as with most political theories, reality bares hardly any resemblance.

[1] You can see the video here


[2] (Paraphrased from




[4] Bessette 1980; Cohen and Rogers 1983; Barber 1984).





[7] From 2007-8 Introduction: Democracy and the Possibility of a Global Public Sphere  by Martin Albrow and Marlies Glasius













[14] Ha-Joon Chang’s “BAD SAMARITANS”



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4 thoughts on “Globalisation, Multiculturalism and Diversity – Part 1 Globalisation

  1. Patou Soult

September 4, 2016 at 8:11 AM

It is a good break down of the main political-socio-economic issues, including the all important ones such as sustainability of the finite resources and biodiversity loss due to human overpopulation/consumption aspirations. Very much looking forward to part 2 of your excellent essay, hoping it will also cover such issues as the coming environmental refugee crisis linked to the rapid desertification of the Southern Hemisphere, as accidental globalization. Great work!


  1. Simon1a

September 4, 2016 at 10:50 AM

Thank you
I have a feeling part 2 will end up being very long (I have over 20,000 words of notes) I will try to include your suggestions though. Thank you ?


  1. Michael Black

September 5, 2016 at 5:08 PM

HI Simon, a thought-provoking overview. Yes it’s true that Governments address current problems and scarcely face up to tthe future. That is partly because today’s worries have to be faced to survive, either in business or Government, whereas the future is distant and uncertain. Anyway by then one will have retired if still alive! One key aspect not mentioned is the increasing pace .of scientific advance which changes the picture radically. I seem to remember that in 1940 President Roosevelt asked a group of scientists to forecast future developments and of the six major advances named… missing were jet propulsion, long-range rocketry, space travel, computer science and [I think] nuclear weapons. Unfortunately I have never been able to check out this briefing.

Every decade, Science: in computing, communication, engineering, medicine, biology, etc, etc changes our world so
it is very difficult indeed to plan very far ahead. What does not ever seems to change is our human behaviour… violence, greed, sefishness and stupidity whether nuclear rivalry or local conflicts.

Is not that what all the religions are about?


  1. Simon1a

September 5, 2016 at 5:42 PM

Hi Michael,
Thank you for reading the article. I did try to touch on future developments when I mentioned automation as I believe that will be the next major change.
As you say, at the heart of our problems is us.
Thanks again
Best wishes



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