Kathleen Kanet sends these thoughts about globalization that she wrote in 2003. Unfortunately, they seem as pertinent today as they were nine years ago.
Globalization refers to the process in which goods, services, and capital move more freely within and among nations. Obviously this process of globalization has been going on for a very long time. International trade is not new to our age! But as globalization advances, national boundaries become more and more porous and less and less relevant. Many corporations that have gained control of market and trade have become richer than many countries.
Trade in goods in most cases has been arranged so that the rich can get richer, and this process ignores the needs of the poor, helping to make them even poorer. Restrictions through structural adjustment programs demanded by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have contributed to the process. Even though the gross national product may increase in many countries and corporations’ incomes increase, the rich are still getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
Certainly, globalization is here to stay! In a positive way it points to the Oneness we do have with all in the world. Yet, can different values be infused into the way decisions are made so that more people can be included to share the resources? What would motivate us to do so? What skills would it take? Is this a spiritual question? Should we demand a spiritual response from politicians, from corporations? Can human needs be factored into the bottom line?
What is the bottom line for each of us? Do we believe that we have enough resources to support all the people in the world? Is it a question of distribution? How much is enough? How much should we consume? What about the question of sustainability? Do we care enough to worry about the next generations? Do we see that our sustainability is related to everybody else’s in the world? Who is thinking about this? What will you do?