'Globalization Beyond Americanization' - Live Dialogue

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Yusuf Progler

Rajab 22, 1424 2003-09-19

by Yusuf Progler


Globalization Beyond Americanization.



Guest Name:

Yusuf Progler



Start Date/Time:

Friday, September 19, 2003 12:00 ET

End Date/Time:

Friday, September 19, 2003 1:00 ET

Posted Questions and Responses




we have been hearing less from globalizing forces since the events of sept 11. do you that the globalization phenomana is tapering off as result of american parochilsim and wanting to do things alone without the consensus of the larger world community. this can be especially noted in the warss the america is waging which is causing the world to resort to nationalism and other local oriented reaction as a response to these american polcies


Salam and thanks for the question. You are right to a certain extent, about the American government's current policies of going it alone, acting like a rogue state. But in many ways that is not new, it just seems more pronounced in the past couple of years. As to globalization tapering off, several points can be made. One could argue, for example, that it is precisely because of globalization that the world community is more aware of and resisting American military and economic hegemony. At the same time, the cultural products so often associated with globalization as a form of Americanization, such as movies and junk food, are tapering off. Perhaps such things were just a fad, something new, but as people wake up to the ill effects of consumerism and when they realize how redundant and banal American movies are, they will turn elsewhere. On the economic front, the globalization of American style business practices, via the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, which are controlled by the US despite being international organizations, are coming under heavy fire, again, paradoxically, because of globalization. So it's a two way street: some waves of globalization are ebbing and others are flowing.




What do you mean "Globalization Beyond Americanization", is the title trying to imply something?


The title is a way to get us rethinking the simplistic notions of globalization being Americanization, which is endlessly, and often fruitlessly, debated. In a way, framing a discussion in terms of going "beyond" Americanization, is way to encourage thinking about globalization as a complex topic. Many of those who say globalization is Americanization miss the positive aspects of globalization - with our without America. On the other hand, those who say globalization is not Americanization often rest their case at that and don't really look at the other aspects of globalization. I prefer to see it as a complex issue, ever evolving. For example, one could say that if globalization is Americanization, then the Americans were the first to be globalized and/or Americanized. You see the point? So what I think we need is a better understanding of both, because globalization seems like it will be around for a while, even if the Americans keep on their present path of xenophobia and unilateral isolationism. What do you think? Let me also go back for a minute the first question, which seems related. Aslam made the point the as the Americans become more unilateral in pushing their agendas abroad, people are retreating into nationalism. That assumes that nationalism is a bad thing. I think, if we mean by nationalism, a racist and exclusivist ideology, as in South Africa under apartheid or zionist Israel, then yes we can do without it. But if nationalism means protecting the interests and cultures of different peoples, then maybe that is not such a bad thing. A lot of people are worried today about sinister global forces, but at the same time we are all taking advantage of some of the benefits of globalization, such as the ability to communicate with people in regions far away from one's own. Again, it's a mixed bag, so the title of the topic was inteneded to make that point, and hopefully stimulate dialogue.

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