Globalization: angel or devil?

Essay by giovannita1980 March 2004

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The word globalization is a mine field these days. On one hand, globalization is such a new word that it is not even included in some dictionaries. But in general terms, globalization can be defined as a raising in cross-border transaction of goods, services, technologies, financial flows, direct investments, labor migrations, information and cultural flows. On the other hand, it is used to mean economic globalization which should be preceded by globalization of social programs and human rights, according to anti-globalization groups, its biggest enemies. But even if many people regard it as a negative process, globalization has brought many benefits in the technological, cultural and economical spheres.

Technological benefits are perhaps the most evident. We cannot ignore the substantial improvements in life standards that are undoubtedly linked to technology, especially to the Information and Telecommunication Technologies (ITC) which have shortened distances among peoples and blurred borders between countries.

Internet is the best example of this, because not only does it make our lives easier in many ways, it facilitates the quick spread of information as well, which can even save lives: medical advances, for instance, would have probably remained unknown on a global level without the world wide web. In fact, Internet has changed our lives in such a profound way, that many people cannot even spend a weekend out of town without checking their e-mail accounts or chatting with their long-distance friends. And this is just a very shallow aspect of the net. Think about the quantum leap that means being operated on by a doctor who remotely controls a surgical robot, thanks to all this fascinating technology which is very much related to the globalization era.

But the benefits of globalization are not only of a technological nature. Culture has not escaped from this phenomenon. Although...