Magazine article Reason

Globalization versus Imperialim

Magazine article Reason

Globalization versus Imperialim

Article excerpt

Globalization, some say, is a form of imperialism. Along with the supposed invasiveness of American culture--via Hollywood movies, McDonald hamburgers, and Coca Cola products--globalization is seen by some as the equivalent of international aggression.

A similar charge was made some years ago at a United Nations conference in Vienna; representatives of some nondemocratic nations complained that the idea of human rights was intrusive and imperialistic and thus threatened the sovereignty of their countries. Some serious political thinkers still object to the very notion of universal ethical and political principles, as if human beings as such didn't share some basic attributes that imply certain guidelines for how they should live.

To charge that globalization is imperialistic is like claiming that liberating slaves imposes a particular lifestyle on the former slaves. Globalization, in its principled application, frees trade. Barriers are removed and restraint on trade is abolished, both the opposite of any kind of imposed imperialism.

The idea that economic principles are culturally relative confuses highly variable human practices with ones that are uniform across all borders. The production and exchange of goods and services are universal. The political contingencies of various societies, born often of power, not reason, distort such universality by imposing arbitrary impediments. Slavery, the subjugation of women, and the prohibition of wealth transfer from parents to offspring are examples of conditions not natural to human life--rather they are artifacts of ideologies. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.