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Reaction to Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities by G. B. Madison and Globalization or Humanization: A Question of Priorities in Human Development by Oliva Blanchette

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Essay Preview: Reaction to Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities by G. B. Madison and Globalization or Humanization: A Question of Priorities in Human Development by Oliva Blanchette

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The two articles dealt with the concept of globalization but took different turns. Madison's article went into the effects of globalization on the economy and at the same time gave focus on the effects on the culture and democracy. On the other hand, Blanchette's article went through the effects of globalization and it is being controlled by several hundred corporations. Both presented positive and negative effects of globalization and how it is affecting the lives of people. Both also gave different points of view of how globalization started and how is affecting the make-up of our future, not only the economic sense but on the cultural sense as well.

But Before getting into the details of both articles, I would like to comment on how both articles were written. Madison's article was a little bit more difficult to comprehend. He used concepts and words that are not familiar to common language. This resulted to some struggle on the reader while he is trying to process the points and thoughts presented on the article. This is especially true on the initial parts of the article. However, when Madison got the second part of the article, his points became a little bit clearer. This went through until has completed the discussion on "Globalization and Democracy". On the other hand, Blanchette's article was more straightforward. He laid the down the foundation of his points and slowly moved through to define his arguments about globalization. He also used concrete examples that led to an easier understanding of the article. However, on noticeable flaw of this article is the lack of solution to the problem. Madison was successful in this aspect. Blanchette only gave out his arguments and points, and he did this well, but in the end of the article, he was not able to give a solution to the problem or any recommendations as to how he should we go about to counter the negative effects of globalization.

Now let me go into the details of both articles, starting with Madison's.

Madison made several strong points on his article and I strongly agree with one of his first points - that globalization causes social and economic transformation. (Both authors agree with this fact. Blanchette also made this point very clear in his article and used the automobile manufacturing and assembly as his example. I will be going into this in later paragraphs.) This is very evident on many events and even on the way of living of people. For example, in the old days when cottage industries were still very prominent, handicrafts were made locally from harvesting of the raw materials to the application of the vanish. However, this practice changed as globalization happened. Some of the raw materials are now being purchased overseas, made and assembled locally and shipped again to another country to have the final finishing. This reality is also evident on the way people live. Prior to much globalization, families used to eat together in one table with home-cooked meals. (I remember my grandmother who always wants the family to eat together at night.) However, with the advent of globalization in today's society, this all changed. Families are now purchasing from fast food chains or buying ready to eat meals - products that were introduced to our country by the West. And it is also very true that whether we are aware of it or not, we are part of globalization and it seems that we can never get away from it.

I also agree with Madison's point that globalization has a negative impact on the national sovereignty. Participating in the global economy requires countries to decide alongside the popular, world-wide decision, sometimes even to the point of losing its own independence and / or uniqueness as a country. Globalization sets aside a country's mentality of "me" and "our" and replaced it with "we" and "us", pertaining to the rest of the world. The Philippines is not spared from this reality. We often here politicians and policy makers uttering phrases such as "if we continue with this new law, we will lose valuable investments", meaning, the policy has to be eradicated, no matter how useful to the country and its people, simply because it will hurt the investments coming. I am not saying, though, that investments and the entry of globalization are bad. However, it is still a reality that policies and laws, which can be viewed as symbols of a country's independence, are being adjusted to prevent hurting the inflow of globalization. This is also connected to Madison's point of view on the effects of globalization on democracy.

One of the most noticeable characteristic of this author, though, is his being sort of a "racist" or has a tendency to think of the culture of developed countries as superior. There are statements in his article that manifests his thinking that the Western culture is more civilized than that of the Asian culture. He used phrases such as "and in fact does have - some civilizing effects" or "altogether more desirable state of affairs". And the unfortunate thing here is that he is talking about some cultural aspects of Asians that are only found in Asian countries - similar to what we refer as "sa Pilipinas lang mayroong ganyan". What he was trying to say is that one of the effects of globalization is to homogenize the culture of the world, meaning, the differences between cultures, things that make each one unique against the other, is fast becoming a thing of the past. And I agree with him. Globalization is in fact causing cultures to lose its identity and most cultures are fast becoming "one" with the world. Further, it is also true that because of the economic activity and power of some countries / cultures, they are becoming more dominant and the ones with less economic activity or under-developed countries are receding in terms of influence to this "global homogenization of culture". However, to say or imply that the Western culture, which seems to be the dominant culture in today's reality, is superior or "civilizing" is quite unfair. I would rather accept terms or phrases such as "fast adapting to the Western way of living". This is the just way of saying it.

Another evidence of this characteristic of Madison is when he described the root cause of the Asian crisis - where he said that the blame should only be placed on the hands of the economic and political actors of the countries in question. What Madison is saying here is that the Asian economic crisis resulted from some economies not being fully "capitalist" or free-market oriented and that the decline of these economies were a result of investors pulling out in because they did not see economic stability on these countries or in his own words, "the

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