Making Globalization Good: The Moral Challenges of Global Capitalism

Making Globalization Good: The Moral Challenges of Global Capitalism

Making Globalization Good: The Moral Challenges of Global Capitalism

Making Globalization Good: The Moral Challenges of Global Capitalism

Synopsis

How can we develop a global economic architecture which is efficient, morally acceptable, geographically inclusive, and sustainable over time? If global capitalism is to be both economically viable and socially acceptable, each of its four constituent institutions must be both technically competent and buttressed by a strong moral ethos. Leading thinkers in international business and ethics identify the pressing moral issues which global capitalism must answer.

Excerpt

By hrh the Prince of Wales

I am delighted to have the opportunity to write a foreword to this timely collection of essays by some of the world's leading thinkers on economic and social issues, judiciously edited by Professor Dunning, looking at some of the problems and moral dangers associated with the growth of market capitalism and globalization.

It has seemed to me from the start of the process, following the collapse of Communism and opening-up of many economies to so-called free markets in the early 1990s, that there were some real risks associated with the rapid and headlong race of countries towards market economics. When I addressed the World Economic Forum at Davos in February 1992, I said: 'It is one thing … to have brought the cold war to an end. It is quite another to bring about the adjustments necessary to convert that success into a better life for all the people concerned.' Above all, I was concerned that there were, in my view, inherent dangers in the potential for inhumane application of market principles in countries and communities without the developed institutions and checks and balances needed to protect people and whole communities from the harsh and untoward effects of unfettered market capitalism.

The last ten years, during which global business has expanded to proportions unimaginable during the cold war, have at the same time seen all too many examples of the negative impacts of the development of a global market. the rapid drift of people en masse from the land to urban slums, rising youth unemployment, environmental degradation, and the apparent willingness of some big corporations to 'gamble with Nature' are all fundamental issues that beg for business and political leaders with longer-term views and an understanding of both value and values. the global economic system in which companies operate, and in which many people and communities appear powerless to stop the pace of change, cannot exist in a moral vacuum devoid of consideration for the effects of corporate actions, respect for people, concern for long-term sustainability, and even, dare I say it, a sense of the intangible, spiritual dimension so important to human lives.

For example, in many rural economics in the developing world—often the product of centuries of social development, sustainable husbandry, and organic community—the growing involvement of multinational food concerns and the consequent commercially driven pressure for growing yields and intensification of production are threatening to create a dangerous imbalance in society and its delicate interaction with Nature. Even such an apparently innocuous process as cultivating warm-water prawns for developed world markets is causing widespread environmental problems. the large areas of mangrove swamp that have

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