As the fuzzy state of world economy continuous, the debate over globalization becomes more extreme. With enthusiastic supporters counting its virtues on one side and equally enthusiastic critics on the other. Edwin Locke stands in the supporter’s side. In his article “Anti-Globalization: The Left’s Violent Assault on Global Prosperity” Locke praises globalization and presents it as the best choice. He seems willfully blind to the damages globalization can lead to. He refuses all the arguments pointed out by the anti-globalization protestors and calls them nihilists.
However, Even if some of the protestor’s arguments are somehow removed from the reality, they offered some points that need full attention. Locke’s arguments shows only one side of the truth which is not enough to draw a general conclusion about globalization. He conceals the downsides of globalization by using logical fallacies trying to make globalization seem better than what it really is. Locke starts by pointing to globalization as a model that brings prosperity to all those involved.
He says ” every country becomes more prosperous the more it invests in producing and exporting what it does best (in terms of quality, cost, uniqueness, etc. ), and importing goods and services that other countries can produce more efficiently”(Locke). At first glance, the logic underlying this claim seems intuitively convincing. But, it leaves out some important facts, The free trade model involves outsourcing; big firms, seeking to decrease production costs, which is the same goal Locke praises, migrate its jobs overseas to those countries where they can find low cost labor.
The jobs created in one country go to another leaving those inside the rich country jobless. It is true that getting to buy cheaper T-shirts is a good thing. But only if one still has his job which provides him enough money to buy the shirt. Up till now, Most of the job migration happens in the manufacturer sector and low level jobs where people earn just enough livings and have no other skills to replace their lost jobs. Globalization might bring prosperity but the question is prosperity for whom? It offers opportunities but it also has a big ugly side.
Data affirm this ugly side “The Mckinsey Global Institute estimates that the volume of offshore outsourcing will increase by 30 to 40 percent a year for the next five years. Forrester Research estimates that 3. 3 million white collar jobs will move overseas by 2015”. (Drezner). IBM’s announcement that it plans to outsource 3,000 jobs overseas this year (Drezner) seems to be just the start to shifting jobs offshore not only in the manufacturer sector but also in hi-tech competitive ones. The model this is leading too is astonishing. People in rich countries will be competing for only a few high skilled jobs.
While people in other low skilled or routine jobs will lose their jobs and won’t be able to replace it. This will leave the country with few very rich people and a lot of really poor ones. Locke then tried to refute the anti-globalization argument that says that multinational corporations are becoming excessively powerful that they threat the smaller nations. He says “Governments have the power of physical coercion (the gun); corporations do not; they have only the dollar”. In fact, the economic control is of equal if not more power than that of the gun.
The threat meant here is obviously the economic not the gun threat. We can find lots of examples of how powerful the dollar can be. Countries give out their sovereignty under economic pressure. One recent example is Libya, which under economic ban was forced to obey orders and undergo actions they will not do if they were economically stronger. In fact, economic control is a shorter road to political control. By getting poor nations to belong economically to rich ones, the wealthy countries can then go as far as they want in dominating the poor nations’ political and even social outcome.
Besides, “The world’s 225 richest individuals have a combined wealth equal to the annual income of half of humanity. The three richest people in the world have assets that exceed the combined gross domestic product of 48 countries. “(Barlow). Which means the world is already in a state where corporations that is richer than countries exist. All the circumstances required for economical control scenario is already present. The globalization system will only help in bringing this scenario to life. It should come of no surprise, then, that poor nations blinded by short term profits give up their environment.
They willingly cut off their green forests and kill their wild animals to let a foreign firm build their factory which is the same factory that causes even more destruction to the environment when it starts to work. The fact that the U. S economy grow at the expenses of the environment does not mean that by destroying other nation’s environment they will get to have a prosperous economy that resembles that of the U. S . Globalization won’t affect the economy of the small nations, all the profits of the firms built in a poor nation are sent oversees.
It is not likely to bring them any long term profits. Besides, new technologies and management skills are clearly missing in the poor nations and in these circumstances, building a new firm in their land and making use of their labor will never make their economy resemble that of the U. S. Locke in this argument made a weak analogy between the U. S and third world countries when he said ” By what right do we deprive poor, destitute people in other countries from trying to create prosperity in the same way that we did, which is the only way possible? and the “way” he meant is by destructing the environment.
Although he claims that this way is what brought prosperity to the U. S economy that does not necessarily mean that it will bring the same prosperity to other nations’ economy. At the end of his article, Locke, Instead of introducing a new logical reason to why globalization is good for the globe, he starts personal attacks on anti-globalization protestors and frames them as a completely hysterical group trying to gain revenge because globalization will bring prosperity that their system could not bring. Furious over the fact that their envisioned utopia has collapsed in ruins, the leftists now seek only destruction.
They want to annihilate the system that has produced the very prosperity, happiness and freedom that their system could not produce. ” (Locke). Beside the fact that globalization did not yet prove to bring prosperity. Insulting the protestors does not affect the truth or even the falsity of their claims. Their claims stand on its own. To be refuted one needs logical reasons not psychological explanation of their actions. This is clearly an ad hominem fallacy where one attacks the people instead of attacking their arguments.
Until globalization proves to be really good or really bad, the hysterical debate won’t stop. Globalization might offer opportunities that seem promising. However, we cannot blind ourselves to its downsides. Locke stands as a cheerleader to globalization and takes an extreme point of view that is clearly too far from being accurate. Some points that the anti-globalization posed like the environmental and economical control perspective needs full attention. Outsourcing, economical control and environmental perspectives needs to be faced instead of concealed.