Easter Island Quote Analysis

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The relationships within and between societies, as well as their interactions with the environment, have undergone major shifts since globalization emerged several centuries ago. This process brought about both positive and negative changes; however, its negative impacts are more historically prominent, as it brought about an era of disease pandemics, the mass exploitation of natural resources, and global warming. To better understand these issues, one may study how globalization in history bears a resemblance to the closely linked society of Easter Island, whose clans collectively depleted their resources and consequently destroyed their society. A similarly close economic system also made it possible for the 14th century’s Black Death to…show more content…
Such a comparison between Easter Island and Earth is drawn in Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, in which Diamond predicts Earth’s future if it overexploits its resources as Easter Island did. Similar to the role of countries in a globalized world, “different territories [on Easter Island] were endowed with valuable resources,” so the clans survived by “[integrating] … economically and politically.” Resources were thus distributed amongst the clans, which often went toward the process of building statues; the clans became increasingly competitive in this activity, “requiring more wood, rope, and food” to accommodate the increasingly larger statues. The competition-based relationship amongst the clans, maintained by the exchanging of resources to continue building statues, accelerated deforestation and a drop in wild animal populations. A diminished food supply followed, leading to a population decline, civil unrest, and the eventual collapse of Easter Island’s society no later than the 18th century. Looking back at the roots of Easter Island’s collapse, one is able to see a small-scale reflection of one of globalization’s negative effects: the competition for wealth, which is made easier by the goods circulated by globalization, coincides with an increased consumption of resources;…show more content…
The process stimulated a worldwide industrialization competition that drew its power from the exchange and consumption of resources, the consequences of which are reminiscent of Easter Island’s collapse. Furthermore, globalized trade provided opportunities for the plague and influenza to infect an incredible number of people. Such consequences of globalization have destabilized society and established a culture of paranoia, which technological advances have failed to overcome. So although globalization is praised for having created a closer and more interdependent global community, it is this very connection that brought about environmental and physical suffering throughout
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