An Examination Of The Rationalizing Force Of Globalization And The Parochial Forces That Rise As A Result Of Its Diffusion Into The Third World.

1954 words - 8 pages

In Mumbai, there is a McDonald's restaurant which doesn't serve beef. If Ray Kroc were told in 1954 that there would be a McDonald's in India which served no hamburgers, he would likely laugh in their face. Indeed, it is probably equally puzzling to the Indians who queue up there every day. However, this is the nature of 21st century society. McDonald's didn't open up a franchise to sell hamburgers in India, they set it up to sell anything in India, because the golden arches are a more important tool of attraction than any single dish. McDonald's, from atop their pedestal at the head of globalized culture and international recognition, can go anywhere and everywhere and be received with open arms. But is this trend to the benefit or detriment to the receiving culture?In the Middle East, Sheiks drive Range Rovers to their pilgrimage. Luxury hotels now tower over the Kaaba of Mecca. Osama Bin Laden himself expressed his disgust at the changing nature of his homeland of Saudi Arabia. He lashed out at the West due to what he saw as a domineering alien culture which was now imposing itself on even the institutions and proclivities that he found most sacred-those of a religious nature. Mystic reverence and simplicity was replaced with bombast and complexity. The enigmatic world of Islam which was so adored by bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda allies was being supplanted, at least in their eyes, by a coldly rational world of profit and efficiency that is western neoliberalism.The question of whether the rationalizing system of western capitalism which has become firmly rooted in every area of the world is a fundamentally progressive or regressive is far too nuanced a debate to go into detail. The true question is whether this global cultural force will lead to disaster and destruction before it leads to any sort of unified world or peaceful balance. To argue in a Luddite fashion for a return to the pre-mechanized societies of the third world, though some would argue their way of life is more harmonious, borders on absurdity. However, the spread of globalization is tied directly with the flow of investment, which is rapid and occurs constantly. With it comes the cultural gentrifying element which has given birth to the global frictions we see today-the radical Islamic scares in Europe, the insurgency in Afghanistan, the conflict in Gaza, the frictions of Lebanon, and many more. Although each of these conflicts deserves to be approached in their own right, they are all symptoms of a universal tension between cultures. My position is that, due to the fundamental contradictions and cultural differences between western globalized culture and the cultures it colonizes, continuing on the current course will lead to disaster.It's appropriate to dissect what really constitutes "globalized culture", besides the visual indications of Coca-Cola logos, golden arches, and Hollywood movies. The more fundamental change that globalization induces in the human psyche is...

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