FIRST INVESTIGATED by Canadian scholar Marshall McLuhan in 1964 and then further explored during the 1970s, globalization is the process by which world populations become increasingly interconnected, both culturally and economically. Proponents consider it a positive process in the long run, though short-term globalization can cause dire effects in specific populations. Anti-globalization is globalization's antithesis: The globalization process from the left-wing perspective is often perceived as alienating, as creating standardization throughout the globe and reinforcing economic inequalities between developed and underdeveloped countries.
Advanced capitalism, enhanced by technological developments such as the internet and electronic business transactions, is seen as stretching social, political, and economic activities across the borders of communities, nations, and continents. The process of globalization increases the stream of trade, investment, migration, and cultural communication. Global connections and circulation of goods, ideas, capital, and people have deepened the impact of distant events on everyday life. Thus, globalization entails two related phenomena: the development of a global economy and the rise of a global culture.
Critics of globalization point out that the new global economy involves a discrepancy between a huge displacement of production workers, often to developing countries where labor is cheaper, child labor can be exploited, and workers' rights may be nonexistent. Big corporations assign the material tasks of producing their goods to third world contractors whose only aim is to send back the order on time and preferably under budget, no matter how many underpaid hours their workers put in. Meanwhile the corporations' headquarters, where all the marketing strategies and the commercial directives are issued and where the well-paid jobs are, firmly remain in the West. Far left anti-globalization forces have theorized that large corporations, which are accountable only to their shareholders, are perceived to have replaced governments and effectively become global entities unto...