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Globalization is something that has been with the human race ever since the world has begun. From local to global, we could attribute this to the result of human innovation and technological progress. Globalization from the word global means spreading throughout the world, in other words spreading world-wide. The aims of having a 'globalized community' is to have interdependence of the entire world and its people from each other with concern for the rest of the world at the expense of national self-development and self-interests. Globalization became world-wide popular about 1992, when most people talked about it mainly in the field of economy. But today, it has been spoken of as a fashion word, and it attracts much attention from he academic scholars. The reason is that globalization has been an unstoppable world trend which changes the whole world so greatly that no countries and nations can be separated from it.
But what is globalization? Before answering this question, we have to admit that there is no universal definition about it. This is because the concept of globalization doesn't come into the form at the very beginning in human history. It develops into the present being through a long historical process. Widely speaking, it refers to the exchanges and utilizations among different resources and production factors, and the interactions, conformity and coordination of human activities and their achievement. Therefore, it includes at least two essential factors: firstly, the activity in space must overstep one area or one nation, at the same time it has to show the trend of continuing development. Secondly, the participants should be related to each other, not being isolated.
B, The constitution of globalization¼›
Besides, the constitution of globalization involves many fields of human society, including economy, politics, culture, ideology and so on.. Dating back the history of globalization, it began from the economic expansion, and it was Europeans that lift the curtain of globalization when they established colonies beyond their own counties. And then follow the expansion of culture, civilization, region or ideology, etc.
2 Some main features of globalization and the according reasons of them.
A, Integration of world economy
First of all, globalization is mainly drived by the profit of economy. From the above introduction, we know that globalization started by the expansion of colony, from which colonists gained a lot of money , in other words, they build their treasure by doing so. Therefore , today the integration of world economy is regarded as the foundation, main cause, motivation and symbol of globalization. It is first shown by the internationalization of manufacturing systems. The world production has undergone a historical transformation since the 2oth century, under the influence of development of technology and the promotion of technological revolution as well as the application of mass production factors. Many big companies of developed countries build their companies or factories in overseas countries where they could make full use of the native labor force and other resources by paying lower cost. Whereby the could form huge multinational corporation which greatly promotes international production. Economic integration through trade, migration, capital flows and communication flows has been officially around since 1870. This new concept could noticeably profit if based on D. Ricardo' economic theory of comparative advantage. The latter theory states that each country should produce those products/services, which they can produce/provide with the lowest opportunity cost and total production cost. Hence, allowing all countries to produce and trade in the most efficient way so that the highest attainable welfare for all countries is reached.
Nowadays, multinational coporations have overspreaded among more than160 countries in the world. They take 40 percents of the whole world's total output value; 90 percents of the world market shares, 80 percents international economic trade, 90 percents of the international technological trade. In 1996, the number of the multinational corperations reached over 44000. They invested their capitals to overseas to make s greater profit. With the furthering opening of the market and the expansion of the trade scale, the world manpower and material and technological resources are all absorbed into the world production systems, in which they are interdependent and impartible with each other.
Besides, a huge mount of financial capital move at a high speed in the range of whole word. Since the World War11, drived by the market demands and investing interest, a large mount of money has been use beyond the issuing countries. With the exploration of overseas business and production and development of technologies, financial capital finally broke from the constraintion of national boundaries and practical tools which made become real international citizens. A study shows that the current financial capital market in the world has reached 35000 billion dollars, and the overseas capital reached more than 1000 billion dollars. The sum of international financial capital is not only large in amount but also move at a fast speed. Owing to the modern science and technology, the treasure activity with a huge sum of money can be conducted by a call or whatever fast means. With the huge treasure accumulation high movement of the international financial capital, the pace of the integration of world economy has highly been accelerated.
What's more , the formation of world market also offers a good environment for the integration of world economy. World market refers to place which provides a room for world- wide exchange of products, servers and technologies. It originally started between the 16th century and the 18th century and underwent a fast development in the 19th century, and came into the form in 1970s. The current world market is a veritable global universal market, whose main symbols shown in the way the sharp expansion of the exchange scale, the unification of the market rules and the expansion of market capacity and overseas business.
Globalization, no matter as a phenomenon or an economic trend, deeply affects every country in the world. Economies of every country are becoming more related. They infiltrate, influence and depend on each other more and more. Globalization has become an inevitable fact and trend that will not change with people's will. It brings challenge as well as opportunity to each country. Every country are active to get into the way of globalization by adjusting their economic and diplomatic polices.
B, Integration of world culture;
Culture and economy interdependently support each other, because they often develop hand in hand. With the global application of production factors, global capital flows and the formation of world market, different cultures from various nations and areas are surely to exchange, conflict and integrate each other in the range of globe. The conflict and collision of different cultures help to speed up the metabolism of a new culture and form a mechanism for developing the superior and weeding out the inferior and initiate the ideological trend of parochial nationalism and cultural hegemony but cannot result in the homogeny and unification of the cultures, which is bound to result in a harmonious situation through such conflict and integration and finally reaches a state where balance is kept. The reason for this phenomenon lies in that the cultures reserved through a long history reflect the thought, ideology, ways of thinking and living of humans. They bear some unusual values and the existence of themselves has certain special meaning. It is of the same importance to keep cultures in diversity as we do to different biology, because the diversity of culture lays an essential foundation for the sustainable and sound development of human society. People with the competence thinking rationally and reflections are surely to realize that the ruin of the diversity of culture means to the ruin of our human's spiritual home and the cultural resources , which could push human beings to an abyss of unsustainable existence and development. Therefore, it is vital important for us to carefully protect our cultures in diversity as we do to animals and plants and keep them from ruin.
The integration of global culture refers to different cultures coexist and intergrow harmoniously under the same sky. As an important content and symbol of globalization, culture is the magnification of the integration of globalization in all directions. Geographically speaking, it includes the conformity of the west and east cultures; seeing from national perspective, it includes the integration of the cultures of both native and foreign areas; considering form different levels, it includes the integration of both individual and collective cultures, and folk and official as well as academic cultures; viewing from the essence of culture it includes the integration of the scientific culture and the literary culture; from the connotation of culture perspective it also includes those aspects on sense of value, ways of thinking, structure of knowledge in different counties and areas. All these aspects provide a vital foundation for the integration of global culture, and it also serve as an important precondition of the realization of economic globalization. However, Globalization is sword with two blades. For one thing, it helped to highlight a nation's culture, draw on the srength of other cultures and contribute the cultural diversity. For another, some small countries' native culture are being challenged. Their distinctive cultures are driven towards extinction. For them, to preserve national identity is a must. Anyhow, it is an unavoidable for a country to take part in globalization. or else, it will be kicked out of world competition sooner or later. So, what merits our special attention is how to keep and promote native culture under globalization. The priority is to enhance the cultural awareness of native people, make them cherish and glory in one's country's culture. When the native people take initiative to protect and promote their own culture, no matter what influence globalization exerts, native culture will not be replaced. Inclusion, globalization has given rise to a greater sense of nationalism in many countries and therefore has helped people to realise and protect their own national identity including their culture from these outside forces. Therefore although globalization is changing the way a lot of us behave/eat/dress and even speak it has also helped to highlight aspects of our own cultures.
C, Intergrowth of world ecology;
Human activity is an exchange of material, energy, and information process with the natural world which can result in intensive ecological effects. With the speeding up of the integration of world economy, human's production scale and consuming ability are largely expanded and increased, which has seriously affected the ecological environment on the earth and it has greatly changed the world from it's content to it's magnification. ecological integration refers to the intergrowth of human and nature to reach a common prosperity in the same ecological system. And it also means that the whole human's existence and future development deeply rely on the quality of our ecological environment. However, the improvement of the environment condition requires our human being to raise our consciousness of protecting it and demands our common efforts to reserve it. As an important part of the globalization, the intergrowth of world ecology is mainly shown by the flowing aspects:
Firstly, human beings and all living things coexist on the same planet, in other words , we share the same living space. We are just a part of this world, and existence and development deeply rely on the other parts of the world. People from different nations and areas are interdependent each other, and the world is our common home for all of us. We all have the obligation to take care of the ecological environment so as to get the room for a better future development. Although we are born to have the right to make full use our space and land where we live and belong to, we have no right infiltrate that of others, not mention to the ruin of the whole ecological space that belong to all human beings.
Secondly, the ecological resources are possessed by all human beings. It includes such factors as air, water, sunshine, land, temperature and so on, which are absolutely indispensable for people to live on this planet, which also change the people's activities and enable them to make a large amount of achievement by taking advantage of them. Seeing from the present condition, the serious pollution of environment is caused by people partially persrue economic growth and leading a consuming lifestyle , but concerning the pollution-maker, it is some individual coporations who make huge profit at the cost of environment that are main responsible for such matter. As people's environmental protection consciousness gradually raise, they begin to take actions to fight against pollution, defend and maintain their environmental right, and ask to punish those who contribute to environmental pollution. Their behaviors lead to the formatiom of a trend of environmental protection.
Thirdly, the global resources are shared by people around the word. Humans as a part of living things, we cannot do without consuming different resources offered by the nature. However, the resources on the earth are not inexhaustible, besides they belong to everybody, so they should be allotted fairly among people of different areas and generations. Therefore, any country and any generation shouldn't meet its own interest at the cost of that of other countries and generations. We don't have the right to impair the interest and potential development of others or our future generation. People's idea about sharing resources among areas and generations leads to the raising consciousness of defending their right in sharing the common resources in the range of globe, which helps to lay a theoretical basis for the application of a sustainable development.
At the fourth place, human beings are confronted with the same problems and disasters. We have no choices but to live in the same ecological environment on this planet. We are faced with the same disasters as severe air pollution, deterioration of water quality, desertification, acid rain, ozone hole, etc. All these problems have seriously affected people's living environment and their life quality. According to the study of the World Health Centre and American Disease Controlling Centre, each year, air pollution has made a negative effect on people's heath of about 4-5 billion, and 40% of the world population's deaths are caused by air pollution and other environmental problems. Their conclusion is that human's activities improper behaviors on the earth are ruining themselves.
At the fifth place, all human beings are responsible for the ecological environment. Human could do nothing without the support of earth, which provides essential materials for us. Since many of environmental problems that the earth facing are caused by human activities, thus to resolve such issues, it needs the common efforts of all people around the world. As a member of the world society, we have the full reasons to take part in the social activities to protect our common ecological environment, to keep the global ecology in balance and to beautify our common homeland.
D, Mutual recognition of people in the world;
Men are the center and main part in the process of globalization, so the development of globalization is out of men's sense of global view and the increase of their mutual understanding each other in certain degree. However, on the other hand, the essence and magnification of globalization stimulate men's practice and enhance the mutual recognition and understanding. In other words, people's mutual recognition around the world can both be regarded the cause and precondition of globalization as well as the content and magnification of it. These two aspects are interdependent and mutual reliant in the process of globalization.
But what does people's mutual recognition refer to? It means that people's mutual understanding and recognition of different countries and areas air highly increased. The interaction of their sense of value and way of thinking are also strengthened. The reason for this firstly is due to the expansion of the communication scale and the acceleration of human source exchange. Today's world is a widely opened society, with more and more people participating in such activities in business, economic trade, cultural exchange, and touring, etc, which take place in different countries and regions. The all-direction exchanges and interaction are sure to strengthen a better communication and understanding.
However, Globalization itself is a process that is completely ,uncertain and keep changing, which make it hard for people to come to consist in views of globalization because of different knowledge background, even we have had lots of consistent conclusion. Difference in knowledge and value orientation may cause different ideology, even inside of capitalism and socialism. All that difference come out all kinds of globalization theories with different ideology. Theory comes from real world and will serve the real world, so those different globalization theories will also affect the globalization's natural progress. That's the ideological problem during the process of globalization, itself or implied. But such ideology difference doesn't hold the main trend of mutual complementation by frequent contact under the help of modern communication tools.
The communication and understanding between people in different region are transformed via the way of information exchange. Under the help of the modern communication technology and the increase of the input information, people can have a better international view toward the world. Nowadays, we have entered a society of knowledge economy, the main feature of such society is shown by taking information technology as the essential technology, and treating information industry as the leading industry. By the end of 1998,over 100 million computers had put into use by internet, and more than 500 million people become net citizens, the main page of internet amounted to over 130 million with the sharply increasing trend by 100 thousand pages and 20 million new words around the world each year. As for other communication means, such newspapers, it increases 5 times as fast as the previous year, and list will go on. The highly developed communication technology and information industry has facilitated the communication of people around the world and provided a sound precondition for a better interaction.
People's mutual recognition is firstly shown by the increase of the level of people's recognition of the present mutual understanding. Before the modern times, owing to the backwardness of communication means, people of different counties and nations were isolated from each other, so communication between people in sun situation seldom happened, not mention to mutual understanding. Nowadays, people of different areas can get contact with each other in a more direct way, under the help of modern communication technology, by a close intercourse. The popularization and attachment to the education of the world history and world geography greatly strengthen people's understanding of the world theoretically. At the same time, the modern technology of media and the development of traffic tools has shortened the distance of people in different areas and deepened the communication between people living far away.
People's mutual recognition is also shown by the emulation and assimilation of their way of thinking and behaving. For example, people tend to pursue a more proper and sound lifestyle. They are likely to leading a life in which they could realize their value. In the production field, the industry means begins to mode from extensive form into intensive form in order to reach a more environmental growth and a sustainable development. In the way thinking, people are likely to change from a closed way to a more open way, from reserved manner to a more original manner, and unilateral to multilateral.
Besides, people's mutual recognition is also shown in the way of infiltration and assimilation of people's sense of value. The sense of value is the essential part of human culture as well as the guidance of people's action. The trend of globalization can be accepted by the people around the world, because they share some common concepts such as in culture, politics, way of economic development and especially in the way of thinking. It's hard to imagine if people don't share the simmilar ideology on these aspects, what the world be like.
In conclusion, with the rapid development of globalization, we are living in a global village, and it has allowed a better communication flow amongst More Developed Countries (MDC's) and Less Developed Countries (LDC's). It has enabled trade to grow, capital and education flows to increase and a better allocation of resources to be met around the world. There are many gains from globalization for companies around the world, some Multi-National Enterprises (MNE's) that locate themselves in LDC's bring along growth and development, like for example employment, technology knowledge, profit reinvestment among other factors to host countries.
Nevertheless, there are several negative aspects about globalization as well. For instance, MDC's have a tendency to profit from globalization in various ways when negotiating with LDC's. MNE's that go to LDC's for example, gain from cheaper labor force, cheaper land and tax rates. In the end however, some MNE's end up negatively affecting the host country's economy by taking all profits back home, socially, by polluting the environment and finally also politically by paying bribes to the local governments to reduce tax rates or other fees.
In spite of its controversial position in different regions, some countries like the Asian tigers or the Asian New Industrial Countries (NIC's) have gained incredibly from globalization in the past 30 years. Other continents however, have proved themselves not yet ready for such a change. An example of the latter is Africa and South America, where due to different factors like corruption, low education level, weak political policies and poor transport infrastructure globalization hasn't been able to benefit them in a high rate like in Asian. It is therefore up to each county to decide and control Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and gain from it or not.
Summing all of the above, globalization is a long time process of in the human's history. Though we couldn't give a definite definition to it, observing from it main constitutions and the features of them, we can have a overall idea about it. It features is firstly shown in the economic field, because the globalization is basis on the development economy which provide the essential precondition for globalization. Then follows the feature in culture. Culture is the carrier of any human civilization, therefore it is another important constitution of globalization. Just like the integration of world economy, people can also benefit from the integration by learning from each other. However, while we bear the diversity of different cultures we should also keep our nationalism. We also talked about the intergrowth of global ecology, because ecological system is very vital for human beings' existence. It provides the basic material for our life, in other words, without the support of ecology, we can do nothing. While we are enjoying various resources that the nature offers to us, we also have to bear the obligations to preserve it from ruin. At last this paper also mentioned the mutual recognition of people involved in the globalization, because this is another precondition of globalization, as well as an important factor for mutual understanding. With the mutual recognition and understanding globalization can be achieved and can have a better development. It is true that there may be some negative effects of globalization, however, with it's more merits , we have to admit that the trend of this tide will continue.