The Pros And Cons Of Globalization

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Arising from such debates about Western hegemony and the relative strength of the local is the question of whether or not Globalization is seen as a generally positive or generally negative phenomenon. On the positive side, there are scholars, such as Kenichi Ohmae (1990, 1995; in Block, 2004, p. 25), who not only argue that global market forces and transactional corporations run the world today and that the nation state and labour unions have become obsolete as structures of social organisation, but that these developments are a mark of progress. More typical of scholars, however, is a more sceptical and even negative stance. Eric Hobsbawm (1994; in Block, 2004, p. 25) and Paul Smith (1997; in Block, 2004, p. 25) make the point that Globalization is really the traditional capitalism of economic imperialism and international hierarchies, which has been transformed by the use of new technologies and a clearer than ever distinction between industrially-based and service-based economies. Elsewhere, Gray (1998; in Block, 2004, p. 26) discusses the results of this combination of the old philosophy and new means. He sees the new globalized economy in the form of the Washington Consensus2 as fundamentally destructive, leading above all to the dismantling of the welfare state, which so characterised the economically advanced countries in the world over the second half of the twentieth century. Meanwhile, Ritzer (1996, 1998; in Block, 2004, p. 26) is equally dystopic as he

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