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Globalization and Poverty - Essay Example

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Two volatile contradictions simultaneously intersperse in the world today: (1) the competition among highly industrialized capitalist nation-states, and (2) the ill effects of globalization on developing and underdeveloped societies, or the North-South divide…
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Globalization and Poverty
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Download file to see previous pages The political and military repercussions of this schism can significantly change the complexion and direction of inter-capitalist competition.
The end of the Cold War and the powerful wave of Globalization vastly reconfigured the world order. We have seen the end of the old colonial world and the rise of Islamic militancy in the mid-90s. Post-Cold War globalization served to unleash many pent-up social contradictions previously held hostage by the Cold War, like racial and ethnic clashes both within the North and South alike. The most profound changes, however, are in the economic realm.
Globalization-the accelerated expansion and heightened contradictions of international capitalism-is bound to intensify even more within the decade. (Hirst & Thompson, 2000) Vicious international competition among highly industrialized capitalist nation-states animates the world order. Economic globalization was mainly corporate-led. Incessant retooling of knowledge-based or high-tech corporations, including the mighty armaments industry and the rest of the multinational corporations in industrialized countries, keeps on accelerating the pace of globalization even more. Big corporate interests are more and more taking over the foreign policy directions of their respective governments.
Alongside globalization is the concept of "neoliberalism". Neoliberalism has the same essence as the classic liberal economics. The latter was in vogue between the Industrial Revolution around the early 1900s and Keynesian economics around the 1930s Great Depression. Laissez faire ("free competition", to some) is at the core of both classical liberalism and neoliberalism. Laissez faire oppose Keynesian solutions that require vigorous state economic intervention. (Fischer 2003).
Neoliberalism, ironically, is forced to adopt Keynesian solutions through the active manipulation of interest rates to keep inflation at bay. Furthermore, the US government as well as the Western European states actively subsidize their agricultural sectors, and even intervene politically in rearranging trade and financial mechanisms in their favor. These totally negate whatever "liberalism" or "free competition" there is in neoliberalism.
Revolution in Productive Forces, Trade Wars, Uncertainties in the World Financial System

The Second Word War and the military requirements of the Cold War ironically kicked off the revolution in science and technology, specifically in the fields of electronic computing, communications, air and space transport, biological warfare, and nuclear technology. Capitalist production techniques immensely benefited from these developments. The technological race seethes with greater intensity. A war over the control and monopoly of knowledge-intensive capital-especially information-communications-technology (ICT) and biotechnology-still rages among capitalist firms and nation-states. New, better, and increasingly cheaper commodities now flood the world market. The fight to open up more markets is the order of the day, not only to realize greater profits, but to stave off the increasing pressures of capitalist overproduction. (Robertson, 2003)
Quite predictably, protectionist trade wars erupted between the large markets in northern America, Europe, and Asia. In an effort to secure commodity markets, tariff-cutting regional free trade associations sprouted along the continents, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the European ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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