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Old Friday, September 20, 2019
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Default Essay: Globalisation is eliminating the third world culture

The world can be divided along two major lines: developed and underdeveloped. The rich and technological advanced world is hailed as developed world- it includes most part of the Europe, the north America and Austrian continent. with western culture. On the other side, poor and technological backward world is known as underdeveloped- Africa, all of the Asia, and south America. with its own peculiar culture. Now, where does globalization stand? Globalization maintains the relationship between these two developed and underdeveloped parts of world. Globalization is defined as intensification and acceleration of interconnectedness among the states in global politics. It has multifaced manifestations along with changes globalization bring with it. Moreover, there are numerous evidences that globalization is basically a westernization. It means, globalization promotes western interests. Having said that, it is undermining cultural diversity of underdeveloped counties. Culture is an extensive and inclusive term which includes social, tradition and behavioural life. Globalization is spreading western culture in underdeveloped countries in different forms and through multiple channels, which is eliminating their culture. From the ethnic tradition to moral values, globalization oversimplified these ‘western oriented’ values and promoted them as ‘universal’. Technological advancements have further enhanced this globalization process along with its concomitant affects on the culture of third world states. Because of this westernization of global culture, local cultures of Third world are showing resistance to this change and causing an unrest. 9/11 is one of the major manifestations of this resilient attitude. Samuel Huntington, sagaciously, predicted this resistance in late 20th century.

To start with few words on globalization, it is a process which increase the interaction between the actors of existing global world. These actors range from nation-state to non-state actors to individual. In that way, globalization is sparking off transformation not only at global culture level but also at state level and individual levels. The globalization is not a new phenomenon, it started in 16th and 17th century when European powers- Great Britain, France, and Portugal- scaled up their endeavours to bring more world under their sway for economic gains. This is called the first wave of globalization. Later, industrialization forced these colonial powers to further expand their efforts for their drive for more raw materials. It is defined as second wave of globalization. However, present form of globalization emerged in the mid of 20th century with technological advancement in communication.
There is plethora of manifestations of this new wave of globalization. For instance, look at the incident of 9/11, this terrorist attack was carried out by a terrorist group Al Qaida, consisted of terrorists from multiple countries, advance technology was used, attack was planned transnationally, supervised transnationally by Osama Bin Laden sitting in Afghanistan. Moreover, a Multinational firm, now, can hire employees from any country, can manufacture goods at any country with raw material coming from any country, and then transport its end product to any country. Have a look at the IT industry of India providing services beyond national borders. Then there are other environmental groups and flow of money in internal economy are some manifestation of intensive globalization.
It begs a question, to whom does this process of globalization serve? Because, it looks like India is making a lot of money by selling its IT services. However, in fact, globalization is a process which promotes western interest and western values. It was ironically rephrased as McDonalization of Society by a prominent political scientist, Gorge Ritzer. He emphasized that western culture is being imposed on third world in different semblances. This process of cultural transformation was named as ‘Americanization and Westernization of Culture’ in a book, ‘Globalization of World Politics’. Furthermore, one can find a consensus among the major theories of International Relation, that backs the claim that globalization is affecting the culture of third world while promoting western values. In that very regard, realists claim that globalization is furthering the interests of ‘powerful nations’, hence defending only ‘cultures of powerful state’. Similarly, constructivists argue that globalization is specially ‘constructed’ by western states to secure their interest and cultures. Marxists, too, assert that globalization is creating a class conflict on economic lines, this class conflict later redefined by post-Marxists on cultural lines too.
From the above elucidation, it has been clarified that globalization is affecting the culture of underdeveloped countries by promoting western culture. But, before directly going to this question that how is globalization eliminating the culture of underdeveloped countries, it is germane here to understand culture in its whole. Culture is genetic makeup of a civilization; every civilization is recognized by a particular and specific culture. Additionally, Culture is an extensive and inclusive word which is strongly linked to the traditions of social, political, and economic life of any society. Therefore, cultural transformation cannot be understood in separation. A great political Samuel Huntington defined culture in term of moral values, customs and traditions, heritage and history, ethnic values, and religion. In the similar fashion, Jeremy Rifkin, a political scientist, further add environment and legal system of particular community as a part of culture.
Now, lets come to the question which was raised earlier that is globalization really eliminating the culture of developing nations or is it just a hype? Yes, globalization is undermining the culture of third world as explained below. It takes one to yet another question of how is globalization making this endeavour and what are the forces behind this? Let’s answer these questions with factual data from global world. But it is pertinent to understand one more thing here before answering the aforementioned questions. Having put this stance that globalization is eliminating the culture of third world, it raises a question that whose culture is filling that gap? Not to mince the words here, western culture is the answer as alluded above. Therefore, globalization and western culture are very closely related terms. Elimination of third world culture cannot be discussed alone without discussing western culture along with globalization
To start with, globalization is sponsoring the liberal order of western countries. Liberal order is dominated by economic priorities. It, knowingly or intentionally, undermines cultural values of third world. For example, people of developing countries are more concerned about their social cohesion between families and friends. But it has been transforming since the wave of industrialization hit the developing countries. Economic forces are weakening the social cohesion which is once hailed as a major cultural value. People enjoys Star Buck as a status symbol, however, people used to gather on tea because of their social relations.
Moreover, globalization is pushing the third world into a world of wage-earning world. Where, money transcends existing cultural values. For instance, women are being encouraged under this wave of globalization to earn money to fulfil the demands of this material world. In that regard, globalization is a double-edged sword, it is not only encouraging them to earn which is against the family values but it also forcing them to earn to meet the material needs which are constructed in that way.
Furthermore, every society and ethnic community has some peculiar ethnic values which are depicted in their traditions. Forces of globalization are endorsing a cosmopolitan culture which is in fact a western culture. In the guise of liberalism and tolerance, ethnic cultures are being dissolved into global western culture. It is depicted in clothing of formal events at national, regional and global levels. Does clothing reflect tolerance? If yes, why is it in western style? What is wrong with salwar kameez of Pakistan, Longi of Bangladesh? What about the African dresses or may be South American’s in the UNGA? Notwithstanding Arabic dress of Saudi Arabia, rest of the world is following western dress. It is evident to this fact that, globalization is eliminating culture of poor nations.

In addition to above, secularism is being transferred to third world countries which consider religion as their main driving force. With the mass media and social media, globalization belittles the religious values. It is yet again in the favour of western culture, because, religion is one of the major hurdles in their way towards unquestioned exploitation of third world. For example, religion played important role in the independence of Pakistan. Similarly, it is considered as part and parcel of Indonesia. Is globalization not attacking culture of third world by spreading secularism and agonistic thoughts? For obvious reason, yes, it is, because as we have seen that religion is one of the fundamentals of any culture.
Besides, globalization only backs democratic political system. Forces in globalization consider rest of authoritarian system as a reason for the destitute condition of third world. However, democracy is not suitable for a country with uneducated people. These European states when started democratic political system, they gave voting rights to only elites of their communities or professors of universities. Therefore, every community has its own political system best suited for this and it depends on their culture. For example, Malaysia being a Muslim and authoritarian state overcame economic issues and far better than number of democratic states.
Likewise, linguistic ethics are also a part of culture of a society. Globalization, unfortunately, endorsing only English or few other languages of powerful nations, and hence undermining this very part of the culture of third world. For instance, in south Asia, especially in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, people feel proud speaking English. Why? Does English language show intellectual level? Obviously no, but this linguistic culture of western has been imposed on third world through globalization.
Similarly, a wave of feminism is emerging in third world with globalization as a major promoter. Although, there is no denying the fact that women should be given rights in equality with men, yet there is some division of responsibilities in the developing world. Globalization is declaring the whole third world as patriarchal or misogynist. It is disturbing the family system of developing countries. Feminism is being promoted through mass media and publications via communication technology in globalized world.
Communication globalization along with feminism, spreading moral degradation and spiritual emptiness of western life in third world culture. To exemplify, pornography via internet has ingrained in societies of third world. The industry started in west has found its root in third world too especially in China and India. Is it really not affecting the culture of developing countries? From Africa to sub-continent, global voices have been heard to legalized this porn industry.
As mentioned above that economic fronts cannot be separated from a culture. Let’s have a look on the force of economic globalization which is affecting culture of third world. With advanced agricultural practices in west world and thanks to trade liberalism, food has been imported at lower cost to the third world. It adds to the woes of farmers, they have to suffer heavily and hence it is creating rural and urban divide. Agriculture as part and parcel of third world is being replaced by industrialization hence depriving third world of their tradition of earning livelihood. besides, skilled worker in agriculture are becoming un skilled for mechanical industry. Globalization is the key player again.
Moreover, legal culture has been imposed on third world in the guise of international law through globalization. International law only gives safeguard to powerful nations. Every community has its own legal culture suitable to that very community. The Human rights regimes as promoted by western countries are making inroads in developing countries. Western human rights are taken by globalization as universal. For example, moratorium on death penalty is imposed by global forces. However, legislation is a sole right of a cultural-community as per its own need and requirements.

Jeremy Riftkin was right in his estimation while defining culture when he added environment in it. Undoubtedly, globalization is threating the cultural milieu of third world too. For example, chemical was dumbed by a swiss country in Ivory Coast, Africa. It caused a sever air or water pollution which compelled people to leave their villages leaving their heritage and home town behind. Similarly, water pollution cause fishery to go and ensued into the loss of the legacy of the practice of earning livelihood besides biodegradation of cultural heritage (Source: UNESCO)
In addition to above, capitalism under globalization promotes consumerism which opposes by lifestyle of most of the underdeveloped countries. Moderate life style is part of the culture of developing countries which is under threat because of globalization. People adopt luxuries of developed countries which is bring segregation to societies and therefore depriving developing countries of its life style
Moreover, community values are preferable than the individuality in culture of underdeveloped states. Globalization is endorsing individualism as western value. Hence, it is challenging community values of living together, social welfare etc.
Last but not the least, pop culture under globalization is severely affecting the art culture of third world. For instance, film industry like Hollywood is dominating the world. People in third world prefer to watch these movies which is undermining local film and stage industry. Through this industry, globalized and western idea of human rights or democracy are posited as universal. Hence, creating a youth who belittles their own culture.
As, it has been explicitly verified by the above argument that culture of third world is under threat. This is also evidence from number of situations which have evolved as a resistance to this wave of globalization. Had globalization not undermined the culture of underdeveloped countries, people would have not resisted against it to save their culture. It is globalization that is denying pluralism and cultural diversity of developing states.
Terrorism is one of the major setbacks to globalization in defence of Islamic culture in the present era. In 1992, Fukuyama, a theorist, on the end of the cold war, gave his thesis named as “End of History” which clearly declared western values as universal values. It means that now there will be only one culture in the world and that is western culture. However, Samuel Huntington, rightly, gave an anti-thesis with “Clash of Civilization” in which he predicts that there will be clash among civilization on the basis of cultural lines. As defined above, civilization is itself a major depiction of a culture. The incident of 9/11 fulfilled his prediction.
Similarly, Benjamin Babar, another political scientist, wrote a thesis: “McWorld vs Jihad”. In which, he declared McWorld as western culture and Jihad- Jihad is not specific to Islamic resistance only- as resistance against it. Rising extremism and hatred against western culture is one of the reasons that globalization is promoting it and undermining cultural values of third world. Itifadah in Egpt, Revolution in Iran in 1979, and Arab spring are some of the exemplifications. Moreover, violence against the conferences of WTO and IMF is also out of this hatred against globalization. Through, globalization, western culture is being speeded up in contrast to the cultural values of third world
Beside these factual resistances, there are other reasons which speak volume of the indirect affects of globalization on culture. For example, the sorry state of developing countries is itself reflection of this fact. Because, their legal and political systems are not made according to their own cultures as mentioned above in case of relationship between democracy and educated people, therefore, its hinder progress. For example, Asian crisis, though, always remembered as economic crisis, but it had multiple cultural disturbances too. Like countries borrowed from IMF on its condition of social austerity, therefore, stopped social welfare in Asian states. Hence, social welfare which was a part of the mores of the culture of Asian states came under threat.
After such a detailed discussion on the arguments that globalization is eliminating culture of underdeveloped countries, an important question hit one’s mind that why is globalization eliminating the culture of third world? It has been explained above along with arguments. However, few more lines are dedicated to answer this question. One of the major reasons behind this transformation is western culture. Western culture being dominated and superior is being, unknowingly, adopted by third world. Or sometimes, developing states have to adopt it just to against economic benefits from developed countries.
Other reasons may include characteristics of globalization being uneven and asymmetrical. For instance, OECD countries when compared to sub-Sahara Africa, it clarifies the uneven nature of globalization which is only benefiting western and developed states. Moreover, economic stability of western countries is yet another reason. It is a fact that, economic rich nations’ culture inevitably establishes its dominance. Furthermore, hegemonic superiority of West allows them to formulate rule and regulations that only maintain their superiority. Globalization is one of the creations of western countries. In the last, colonial period has also certain effects which maintained their retention in the form of neo-colonialism. Global world politics is so complex that it is difficult for third world countries to escape untouched.
Nevertheless, there are certain way out if adopted, could bring pluralism and would maintain cultural diversity.
Firstly, the UNGA should play its role being hailed as world’s parliament. The UNGA should pass resolution and encourage the UNSA towards New international Order. A New Economic Order was demanded by third world in 1979. On this basis, a new international order should be formulated to accommodate cultural diversity. It must have provisions which safeguard cultures of third world.
Secondly, the legal constitutions of international institutions like ILO and IMF etc should be amended in line with the cultural demands of third world. For example, IMF conditionality ought not to adopt austerity measure regarding social welfare, which is imperative to cultural needs of third world
Thirdly, International Network for Cultural Diversity (INCD) suggested that regionalism should be strengthened on the lines of similar cultures like EU in Europe. This regional organization would act as an advocate for the cultural safety of that region.
Fourthly, INCD also recommended that governments should not enter into agreements with each other states which constraint cultural values of that nation. Moreover, any treaty or international document ought not to be signed which encroach upon culture.
Fifthly, and lastly, every country should put concerted efforts to promote its arts, culture, film and Tv. It is one of the most feasible way to sponsor the culture of any nation or community.
To conclude, there is no denying the fact that globalization is eliminating the culture of underdeveloped countries. This cultural gap is being filled by western culture. Globalization being promoter of western culture, has become the only force behind this undermining of the culture of the third world. If there had no globalization, this transformation would have considered as impossible. Culture is itself a combination of the number of terms from tradition to habits to legal and political choices to moral values. Globalization is hitting every aspect of culture in one way or the other. The cultural values of third world is either considered as out dated and old fashioned or it is being taken as cause of the problems of third world. Therefore, these are being replaced by western values, mistakenly, considered then universal. Globalization has just oversimplified western culture as universal. It is further evident from the protests against global events like conference of international institutions and emerging hatred against western culture. Because, globalization is diminishing those culture which are in return showing resistance to it as predicted in “Clash of Civilization” thesis. However, globalization can possibly be managed to accommodate pluralism. Cultural diversity, if maintained, would resolve this global unrest. There is a need of hour to adopt this maxim in life which states that “think globally and act locally”.
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