To what extent is Globalization inevitable?

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jpgwolf37 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If one defines globalization as the move toward having a more interconnected, interdependent world, then the rapid advancement of technological innovations over the last five hundred years, though not inevitable, would certainly be hard to reverse. Many people add positive or negative connotations to the word globalization, imbuing it with positive associations, like the ease of communication, travel, and cheaply manufactured goods, or with negative associations, such as the off-shoring of jobs, increasingly fierce competition for resources, cyber-theft and terrorism. While those are certainly important consequences of globalization, it is important not to forget that politicians and business leaders are generally the ones who dictate how globalization happens, how fair trade deals are to workers, and who wins or loses in this increasingly leveled playing field.

More than anything, advanced communications technologies and the lower cost of air and sea transport have made it easier to send information, money, services and goods around the world. So long as human civilization prizes these modes of communication and transport, and protect and maintains the infrastructure that supports it, the world will become even more traversable and feel even smaller.

However, just because these developments have happened and continue to happen does not mean that they were destined to happen, or that some catastrophic event could not plunge us back into a fragmented, disorderly world. A nuclear war, global pandemic or severe climate event could conceivably take down our power and communication systems, and lead to a second dark age. History teaches us that even the most advanced, enlightened civilizations can collapse if those in charge fail to take their responsibilities seriously, or become so arrogant as to assume that the world order they and their ancestors have created is indestructible. For evidence of this phenomenon, please see: every other civilization that has proceeded us.