What is Globalization?
Globalization is a difficult term to describe. This is probably because there are so many aspects to it. The simplest definition of globalization according to me is the spreading and homogenizing of cultures. For those that have read H.G.Wells science fiction novel ‘The Time Machine’ where an inventor travels thousands of years into the future only to discover that humans have evolved to look similar. The same thing is slowly happening today.
It would appear that globalization is an inevitable process. It is more of a side effect of the human evolution process. Ever since man was born or created he has been on the move. The reasons were basic survival and we still move for some of the same reasons even today. As humans developed and their understanding of their surrounding and nature improved they began to settle down. This to development of culture, religions and societies. As they got more comfortable the need to move was eliminated. It was replaced by the need for more space to expand and inhabit. This led to the development of weapons, armies and navies and war. This was also a kind of globalization because the conquerors then imposed their culture and religion on their new subjects. The best example of this is the Roman Empire. It built temples and encouraged the people of from the newly conquered territories to convert and follow their ways. Once the emperor Constantine declared Christianity and made it the official religion it began to spread and soon became one of the most prominent religions.
The pace of globalization only improved with an improvement in the means of transportation. This mean t we could travel farther and more safely. This led to discovery of new territories like Africa, Australia and the Americas. Here too the conquerors imposed their cultures and today only a few pockets of the original inhabitants and their cultures survive.
Globalization is not all bad though. It has reduced poverty worldwide. It has allowed the sharing of technology, wealth and understanding among nations (the societies of today). This in turn has promoted world peace as understanding between nations increased. It has raised the life expectancy of humans. It has opened the world to better understanding and communication among people. Teenagers and young adults now communicate with people from all over the world. Movies and TV shows is probably the best example of globalization. People from various countries either buy or download movies and shows and watch them even though the stories depict stories and places that are now part of their daily lives.
Accordingly, globalization is not only something that will concern and threaten us in the future, but something that is taking place in the present and to which we must first open our eyes.