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Globalisation or Americanisation?

Mar 22,2018 - Last updated at Mar 22,2018

Globalisation has emerged disguising its identity at times as internationalisation and, at less often times, as Americanisation representing a vision of a central super power to be taken for granted as a leading intercontinental model, while subordinating other nations and cultures to American hegemony holding out promises of economic reform and improvement.

The term is marked by ambiguousness, but it may be commonly defined as a form of Western hegemony, attained by the power of military action and the market. It has crept into the world staggering with an array of affluent vocabularies, such as democracy, liberalisation, coexistence, humanisation, modernisation and economic progression, in an attempt of putting an end to tyranny, dictatorship, backwardness, evanescence, extremism, fundamentalism and barbarism, so to speak!

Many countries, particularly those of the so-called third-world, have accepted the World Trade Organisation (WTO) standards related to economic liberalisation as the fruit of hopes related to prosperity pinned on globalisation. But some have looked askance at it. The reason is that exposure to a foreign, powerful culture will negatively influence their national, cultural identity, threatening the values they have had for centuries. Thus, they take a fear-marked stance towards this pro-western phenomenon. Their fear has grown even greater because WTO economic liberalisation has ironically generated greater poverty instead of economic dynamism and democratic reform.

Despite such efforts, these countries have failed to diversify their exports towards manufactured goods, as did other developing countries. Divided by political tensions, they have been denied the “advantages” of globalisation. Instead of enjoying the benefits of foreign investments, they have become open markets for a whole set of glowing American products ranging from Coke Cola, Pepsi Cola through Burger King, Macdonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Hardees, Popeyes, Papa Jones, Starbucks, doughnuts, Max Factor, Ford, GMC, Cadillac, Microsoft and Apple as example of the glowing “Buick” American market icons, serving the interests of a single power, that of the USA.

Some countries have their own national needs that determine their rejection of globalisation. While some, as a matter of fact, have embraced the new blessings of a global culture and have unconditionally accepted it, others have been trying to maintain a balance between their cultural, national identity and heritage, on the one hand, and cultural globalisation, on the other, to eventually discard.

Globalisation is essentially an American practice whose profits have been reaped only by the select few, being a set of promises that have not been fulfilled, that most countries have chosen to embrace, taking it to be a model for democracy and development, though they have not benefitted from it in spite of their attempts to integrate their economies into world economy, that economic reforms in these countries have been stifled by political tensions and transitions, and they have failed to steer globalisation to create better opportunities for their societies.

In sum, globalisation has failed to create more jobs for the workforce either, and, thus, it has not settled the exasperating problems of unemployment and poverty. Nor has it improved peoples’ living conditions. Instead, it has paved an “imperialistic” path for the domination of American values, political and otherwise, worldwide.

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