Globalization With Culture Imperialism And Cinema Cultural Studies Essay

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If colonialism is/was seen as the conquest of the west over the rest of the world, now, some say, the old colonial era is dead. Colonial areas are now free and independent countries. Yet, on the ruins of the traditional colonial empire has emerged a new, subtler, and perhaps more influential kind of imperialism. If we account for the most high-ranking alteration or shift that has taken place all over the world after the decline of the old western empires, we would say that the dramatic development of the past half-century has been the sturdy progress of globalization. There is no doubt that globalization is one of the most challenging expansion in the world history where the industrial nations retain substantial weight in what is referred to as the developing areas. Fred Dallmays writes:

In a new Copernican revolution , the Eurocentric world view of the past-colonialism-has been replaced or at least challenged by the rise of a global arena in which non-western cultures and societies are increasingly active participants in shaping the future of the world. (Beyond Orientalsism, ix)

Much as colonialism, globalization as new form of imperialism allows the powerful nations to operate any where around the globe without any limits.

Traditional imperialism has involved the direct political control of one nation over another area, thus enabling the colonial authority to run all aspects of the domestic life of the protectorate. Globalization, which is seen as the other face of the same coin- imperialism, is more difficult to describe and hence to analyse. Nowadays, every one may have his own definition for the term "globalization"; however, most critics define it as the impact of advanced nations on developing areas at all levels: economic, cultural, educational, etc. Globalization as new form of imperialism differs from traditional means of dominance in the sense that it does not involve direct political control, leaving substantial leeway to the developing nations. It is similar, nevertheless, in some aspects of dominance by the advanced nation over the developing one. We can safely say that globalization is a planned policy of advanced nations to maintain their influence in developing countries. It is simply a continuity and repetition, in Foucault's phrase, of all discursive practices so as to keep the native throughout his life subordinate and submissive to the civilized nations. Within this view, Fred Dallmay asserts that

Europe or the west has attended to approach other cultures from a superior intellectual and political vantage, that is, from the perspective of a master spectator able to construct a model of the other best suited to purposes of domination and domestication. (Beyond Orientalism, xv)

From this, we can say that the concept of absolute freedom that underlies the rational for globalization is the same notion used to justify slavery and the practices of colonial expansion. It is equally based on the belief that the strong should be free to exercise his strength without moral or legal limitations that protect the weak. In this sense, globalization does not stand for equality, end of struggles or freedom, but represents the ongoing confrontation between the powerful and the weak, between the civilized and the inferior, between "I" and the "other". Simon During argues:

[G]lobalization represents not so much the end of ethnic and colonialist struggles as a force through which these struggles are continually re-articulated and replace, and through which the transitivity of like colonizer-colonized, central-global are continually proved. ("Postcolonialism and Globalization", 46)

It is clearly apparent that globalization and colonialism are seen as birds of the some feather and, thus, flock together. The era of globalization is another period in which imperialism is rejuvenated and recuperate its strength. It is true that the colonial era is going to be echoed and remembered in the era of globalization.

Globalization is a negative influence, just as colonialism itself had many negative effects in several areas; it has accentuated larger the gap between the advanced and non-advanced countries. In its theory, globalization is meant to promote the relationship between the first world and the third world and makes it equal. In practice, however, it has rather served to deprive the poor of his properties and deepen his poverty and starvation. Its goal to eradicate the great divide between the East/Other and the West is no more than a pretext to express or make the poor nations open their doors to the free-market. Globalization has become a threat to the poor rather an opportunity for global action to abolish poverty and create a world based on solidarity and peace. H.G. Gadamer writes:

The human solidarity that I envisage is not a global uniformity but a unity in diversity. We must learn to appropriate and tolerate pluralities, multiplicities cultural differences. The hegemony or unchangeable power of a single nation-as we now have with just one singe superpower- is dangerous for humanity, it would go against human freedom[…] Unity and diversity, and not uniformity or hegemony-that is the heritage of Europe. such unity in diversity has to be extended to the whole world-to include Japan-China-India and also Muslim cultures. Every culture, every people has something distinctive to offer for the solidarity and welfare of humanity.

(Beyond Orientalism, xii)

If Gadamer theorizes for solidarity and welfare of humanity, the west perhaps did not understand what is meant by the word humanity and, thus, they worked to keep welfare just for the white man. It is no surprise that the relations between advanced industrial nations and developing countries in many aspects are unequal. What is more is that the influence of the advanced industrial nations has continued beyond the period of traditional colonialism and is one of the basic facts of economic, political and social life of the developing world.

Now, if we consider the relationship between globalization and post-colonial studies, we find that it is extremely complicated. Globalization remains a term used primarily to describe contemporary western experience. It is a concept that has now been used to describe almost every aspect of contemporary life, from the complicated contemporary capitalism, to the rise of organizations and corporations, to the threat posed by the global culture to the local cultures and traditions, to the communication revolution introduced by new technologies. In this sense, it is claimed that globalization has made it possible to imagine the world as a single "villagized world", or as a global space linked by a wide array of technological, economic, social and cultural forces. Theorists claim that "we were living at home, but now we live every where". If globalization stands for the intensification of cultural, economic and political dominance and exploitation, post-colonial studies focus on the experiences and practices of non-western countries, especially as they relate to the western economic and cultural imperialism. In "Post-Colonialism and Globalization", Simon During states that

In affirming a dialectical relation between post-

colonialism and globalization, it becomes more

too difficult either to claim intellectual radicall-

ness and subversion while preparing the way

for a happy globalization, as reconciliatory post-

colonialist do, or to make claims for the strict

autonomy and continuity of identities rooted in

pre-colonial parts as some indigenous groups do.


Yet, there is a sense in which these concepts occupy roughly the same conceptual ground. The fact that post-colonial theorists address issues and themes raised by globalization seems to stem from the challenge that it poses to the broad theoretical framework of post-colonial studies. The characteristic concerns of post-colonial studies have been defined in relation to the complicated legacies of 19th an 20th centuries imperialism and colonialism. Globalization, however, has its roots in the European projects of imperialism; it names a set of contemporary transformations that have directly undermined some of the animating concepts of postcolonial studies, such as place, identity, the nation, and the very modes of resistance associated with these concepts. Globalization, thus, follows the same steps of colonialism though in a more sophisticated way. Along with other critics, Simon During defines "globalization in terms of speed, communication technologies and so on radically underestimate globalization's capacity not so much to preserve but to rekindle colonial struggles."("Post-Colonialism and Globalization, 36).

Regardless of all criticism, globalization will remain a profound and ongoing process occurring in every economic, political and cultural aspects of current world. The world as one place is becoming smaller and smaller due to globalization which attempts to control and standardize the world. Upon this, one can wonder to what degree does globalization intensify the convergence of local cultures and societies? Nowadays, many people wonder if globalization will have an end or not. In fact, one cannot be optimistic about an immediate end to globalization in any sphere, and perhaps in the third world. The invasion of globalization into the third world seems like a resurgence or revival of the white man's invasion during the colonial era. Accordingly, postcolonial societies seem to recognize globalization as much as the white man's culture. Hence, living in a place occupied by both side (I and Other) is to live, as Homi Bhabha writes:

More around temporality than about historicity:

a form of living that is more complex "community";

more symbolic than "society"; more connotative

than "country"; less patriotic than patrie more

more rhetorical than the reason of the state; more

methodological than ideology; less homogeneous

than hegemony; less centered than tan the citizen;

more collective than "the Subject"; more psychic

than civility; more hybrid in the articulation of

cultural differences and identifications than can

be represented in any hierarchical or binary

structuring of social antagonism.

(The location of Culture, 140)

If some claim that the beauty of globalization is that it can free people and reduce poverty which colonialism has left as a heritage for the natives, we can say that it is only anther frame of disseminating western and dominant model of life.

To change the dominance of the West over the East/Other to a more equitable arrangement in an increasingly interdependent world would be possible only when an adequate understanding of globalization in its many facets is achieved and when one understands globalization as recto to colonialism's verso. Now, it becomes clear that the relationship between the Self and the Other will persist at any moment of history. The question that raises itself here is whether this relation is vital to the process of human civilization, or should we close the doors and the windows so that the civilized Other cannot penetrate or invade our surroundings. No matter how one try to affirm the existence of his culture at the expense of another, there will remain a strong affinity between them as Frants Fanon states:

The aim of this society was therefore to affirm the

existence of an African culture, to evaluate this

culture on the plan of distinct nations and to reveal

the internal motive forces of each of their national

cultures. But at the same time this society fulfilled

another need: the need to exist side by side with the

European cultural society, which threatened to tran-

sform itself into a universal cultural society. There

was therefore at the bottom of this decision the

anxiety to be present at the universal trysting place

full armed, with a culture spring from the very heart

of the African continent.

(The Wretched of the Earth, 253)