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Globalisation is good for individuals but bad for humanity

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Globalisation is good for individuals but bad for humanity
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    Globalisation is good for individuals but bad for humanity. While Globalisation may have many beneficial traits that have improved economical, social and political aspects of life here on Earth, I believe it still remains a detrimental operating method when applied to humanity as a whole. Globalisation itself is rife with international exploitation and promotes unfair practice in many ways. The term globalisation refers to a modern phenomenon based on the connection of nations, cultures or businesses, often through economic activity (Archibugi & Iammarino 2002). Specifically it refers to these groups becoming interdependent with one another on a global scale and therefore having more of a potential impact when decisions or actions are carried out (Crane & Matten 2007). Much can be said to refute or support the statement that globalisation is bad for humanity and beneficial to individuals but a lot of the ethical theories concerning this topic do seem to support the claim. It is important to acknowledge that humanity can suffer through the impact of globalis ation because if we don‟t things will  become worse for the planet as a whole and leave only certain individuals to benefit.   It is well known that globalisation is the cause of many “ethical problems for the manager of the multinational corporation” (Velasquez 2000, p. 343). The way that they choose to react to this potential for injustice seems to be largely dependent on the ethical principles that can be applied to the situation. Ethical relativism is one theory that has perhaps been a contributor to the failings of globalisation in the business world and the multinational managers implementing this theory aren‟t even fully responsible as this contemporary approach is one that has been approved since the early 1970‟s (Velasquez 2000). Ethical relativism asks that to consider whether something is right or wrong one simply needs to apply the cultural norms of the society that the situation is taking place. However having no universally acceptable moral standards has meant that when managers try to deal with internal problems involving workers from different cultural backgrounds, relativist theory wants them to simply apply the norms of the local culture. Valsquez (2000) asks us to consider how American and Muslim cultures approach sexual discrimination differently to one another. If the people of these cultures were to find themselves in the same work environment and an issue such as this had to be dealt with it would be considerably difficult to do so using ethical relativism. In terms of globalisation this would mean that while the business itself  might not suffer the relations of the people in the work place and indeed of those two cultures would not be able to achieve any sort of mutual understanding and progress forward together. Globalisation has long been accused of lengthening the gap between the well-off and more disadvantaged nations. A point often but forward is the noticeable expansion globalisation offers to the western world. Multinational corporations move into countries where there are no labor unions or where the business is largely privatised and then make economic decisions based on their own interests. This is the case in many capitalist economies where globalisation exists. The „Marx‟s theory of surplus value‟ as discussed by Pa rker and Pearson (2005) emphasis es this by pointing out “when a capitalist makes a profit, they are essentially stealing value which is produced by labou r” . It is quite simple to realise that whilst globalisation like this does create jobs, it also takes away the potential for local production of goods to be made by workers at a fair price. This can create animosity and resentment between people who lose their job because their company decides to manufacture its product offshore and the workers who then take on these jobs for a fraction of the former employees wages. It also encourages unhealthy competition for factories and manufacturers to decrease their wages or costs in order to poach a multinational corporations business (Shaw, Barry and Sansbury 2009). Within this type of society there is no sense of co-operation or togetherness, it is merely every man for themselves and that is a scenario that does not stand to benefit humanity in the short or long term. The more sinister side of globalisation is evident when examining multinational corporations treatment of workers in various countries, particularly developing nations. Violations of basic human rights seem to be ignored as economic importance and political power takes precedence in a lot of cases. Sneaker and apparel corporation „Nike‟ are a perfect example of how humanity has suffered at the hand of globalisation. Below-average wages and poor working conditions plagued their Indonesian manufacturing plants, while child labour crimes were uncovered in their factories in Pakistan (Locke 2002). The theory of Kantian ethics directly disagrees with this sort of behavior as Kant argues that cutting costs to maximize profits through cheap labour is not a moral or ethical way for a company to act (Baron 1987).    As discussed by Crane & Matten (2007) the non-consequentialist theory known as Ethics of Duties, developed predominantly by Immanuel Kant, raises the argument that human beings use ration to make their decisions and therefore can be considered moral beings who know the difference between right and wrong. Kant subsequently developed a framework called the Categorical Imperative, made up of three different conditions by which every moral issue could be tested. The first condition is based on the theory that an action should reflect everyone‟s principle beliefs (Crane & Matten 2007). Nike‟s treatment of workers in the earlier examples would certainly not be consistent with the beliefs of many human beings and therefore supports the claim that globalisation in this case seems to only benefit the individual. It is imperative that this sort of immoral behavior be eradicated from globalisation to allow humanity to move forward and create an equal workforce for everyone. Focusing our attention on the effects of globalis ation that aren‟t related to the economy still produces some negative drawbacks. Multinational corporations have been under attack for some time over their lack of accountability in regards to environmental destruction. Rather than working together democratically to reach decisions on what is best for the planet big business seems to be able to manipulate rules and regulations in order to suit their own needs. Banerjee (2008) raises the instance of the 1992 environmental summit at Rio, in which non-government organisations demands were ignored to usher in a code of conduct that was developed by a council made up of multinational corporations. Humanity will only see more detriment if these corporations have nothing to answer to when they are killing the planet. Globalisation is also a major cause of the erosion of indigenous communities around the world, particularly those who live in areas that have a high resource-value (Blench 2001). The case of the Jabiluka uranium mine development that was approved by the Australian government is just one example of globalisation moving in to a world heritage listed area in order to create economic profit. The mine would sit in a location rightfully owned by the Absrcinal people, many of who had openly objected to the project. Their objections were largely ignored due to the nature of the project and also the parties involved who stood to benefit greatly (Banerjee 2000).  The fear that continued globalisation could cause the eradication of regional diversity and therefore kill off native cultures to make way for more western traditions to be implemented is very real. If the trend keeps going towards this homogenised way of life then this would be detrimental for humanity from a historical point of view. We would lose a lot of unique aspects of various cultures and natural parts of the world purely to make manufacturing and economic profitability simpler (Kalantzis & Cope 2006). Unfairly forcing people to change their views and beliefs just to make it that little bit easier for profit mongers to make a dollar is not an appropriate way for humanity to act.  Although globalisation was never created in order to level the playing field between the rich and the poor nations, it doesn‟t seem to be doing enough to combat the problems caused by the economic greed that is inherit in its system. Globalisation brings with it the risk that economical figures will be more focused on than the real world problems that are attached. If some of these multinational corporations were to collapse then the effect would ripple through many different countries, some of which would struggle to find their way back as well as others due to their economic situation. The creation of globalisation has in- turn created centers of power that don‟t have humanities best interests at heart. If that is the direction the world is heading then it is the individual who will suffer, all in the name of money and power.  REFERENCES  Archibugi, D & Iammarino, S 2002, „The Globalization of Technological Innovation: Definition and Evidence‟, vol. 9 no. 1, pp. 98 –  122. Banerjee, S 2000, „Whose Land Is It Anyway ? National Interest, Indigenous Stakeholders, and Colonial Discourses; The Case of the Jabiluka Uranium Mine‟, vol. 13 no. 1, pp. 3  –  38. Banerjee, S 2008, „Corporate Social Responsibility: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly‟, Journal of Critical Sociology, vol. 34 no. 1, pp. 51  –  79. Baron, M 1987, „Kantian Ethics and Supererogation‟, The Journal of Philosophy  , vol. 84 no. 5, pp. 237  –  262. Blench, R 2001, „Globalisation and Policies Towards Cultural Diversity‟, Natural Resource Perspectives , vol. 70 no. 1, pp. 1  –  4. Crane, A & Matten, D 2007, „Business Ethics: A European Perspective‟, 2 nd  Edn, Oxford University Press, New York, USA, pp. 86  –  121. Kalantzis, M & Cope, B 2006, „On Globalisation and Diversity‟, Computers and Composition , vol. 23 no. 1, pp. 402  –  411. Locke, R 2002, „The Promise and Perils of Globalization: The Case of Nike‟, Massachusetts institute of Technology, pp. 2  –  39. Parker, M and Pearson, G 2005, „Capitalism and its Regulation: A dialogue on Business and Ethics‟, Journal of Business Ethics , vol. 60 no. 1, pp. 91  –  101. Shaw, W Barry, V and Sansbury, G 2009, „Moral Issues in Business‟. 1 st  Edition, Cengage Learning, South Melbourne, Victoria, pp. 386  –  409. Valsquez , M 2000, „Globalization and the Failures of Ethics‟,  Business Ethics Quarterly  , vol. 10 no. 1, pp. 343  –  352.
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