Globalized Political Culture
Globalized political culture is a composed phenomenon that is accompanied by economic and social globalization. Despite having a number of positive implications, this trend presumes limited freedoms of particular nations. What makes the things even worse is that economic, political and social freedoms of various states are reduced unequally. The wealthy and influential states tend to control the developing and third-world countries. Consequently, the phenomenon of globalization tends to separate the nations in spite of the idea of international unity supposed to cultivate. To succeed with this task, it is necessary to develop the remedies of separation. In this regard, one should refer to Karl Marx’s (1844) supposition that money is “the universal agent of separation” (p. 61). The scholar’s rationale is the following one. Since money enables most kinds of interaction between individuals it means that capital connects humans to their communities. In this way, money becomes a major binding organ (Marx, 1844). Simultaneously, this premise implies that money is the universal part of separation among people. Linking this idea to globalization, it is natural to assume that globalized political culture is subordinated to further division of nations through such global institutes as the IMF and the World Bank. This paper argues that globalization is the remedy to assure that economic, social, and political separation caused by the people’s greed for capital; therefore, it is appropriate to elaborate the solutions that can help lessening the negative implications of globalization.
The Modern Relations of the Capitalists and Workers through the Lens of Performance of the IMF and the World Bank
As it is known, the IMF and the World Bank were created to address some world-wide economic issues that had emerged during the Great Recession after the World War I. Later, they were reinforced by the World War II. Within the time, these international institutions gained power on the world stage. It enabled the major shareholders to increase their control over important economic, political, and cultural processes. As a result, the IMF and the World Bank became the remedies that had served to fasten economic and political globalization with the purpose to enrich their shareholders.
Identifying the nations that have the greatest influence in the world, it is necessary to clarify the following fact. Every state is obligated to pay the fee to the IMF that is commensurable with its size and development (Thym, n. d.). In accordance with the financial contribution, nations obtain voting rights. The corresponding geopolitical power is distributed as following. The USA has 20, 6 % of votes; the EU – 24, 5%; entire Europe – 30, 4%; Asia – 9, 9%; Latin America – 7, 2%; and the rest of the world – 31, 9% (Thym, n. d.). By lending money to the states that are in need, the countries who own this capital obtain power over the borrowers. Striving to comprehend how money acts as the agent of separation, one should refer to Marx’s rationale. The scholar states that capital is “the governing power over labor and its products” (Marx, 1844, p. 11). To increase the power over labor, the IMF and the World Bank tend to make the labor and products from the third world cheaper. It simultaneously suggests the growth of power of capital that is borrowed to developing states. Considering that the capitalist’s “power is the purchasing power of this capital” (Marx, 1844, p. 11), it becomes understandable as follows. In the first place, the discussed organizations perform to enhance purchasing power of tmajor shareholders. The sections below are aimed at explaining the ambiguity of corresponding processes and discuss the negative implications of the globalized political culture.
The Political Globalization Is Ambivalent Tendency
The complexity of political globalization is that it is characterized with positive and negative trends. Thus, it can not be completely approved or reproached. Specifically, detecting the pros of the globalized political culture one should name the following ones. Firstly, it increases states’ accessibility to international support. Besides, limiting the freedoms of countries, this world-wide trend inhibits the likelihood of overdeveloped nationalism. Furthermore, it encourages the formation of international alliances that are mutually beneficial for all involved parties. In particular, the fruitful cooperation engages the exchange of experience and sets common goals, for example, the protection of global ecology. Moreover, it promotes a peaceful resolution of conflicts of interests between different states and encourages transparency in international relations being aimed to assure the global peace. Without a doubt, the above-mentioned advantages are significant and serve to improve the life of different nations.
At the same time, globalization has a number of cons. For instance, political one decreases the sovereignty of states. In this regard, the more influential countries tend to impose certain conditions on the less powerful ones. This negative trend opposes the principles of democracy that the global community strives to promote. Besides, countries may inhibit the development of each other. It complicates cooperation and achievement of common goals. In addition, political globalization may negatively affect the domestic economies of particular nations. Moreover, unwillingness of one or several states to support ecological programs or maintain peace also has an adverse action towards the rest of the world. Finally, the maintenance of the global order is quite costly. The money that is spent for this purpose could have been spent for economic and cultural development of poor countries or nature preservation. Given the above-mentioned positive and negative outcomes of political globalization, one can rightfully deduce the following fact. It is a dubious trend that cannot be totally avoided. Nonetheless, despite a number of beneficial outcomes, it is possible and necessary to lessen the adverse implications of political globalization using money as the agent to relate and, vice versa, separate nations.
The Negative Implications of Political Globalization
The IMF and the World Bank impose Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) on the developing states that receive financial support from this international organization. SAPs contribute to the increase of geopolitical and economic inequality among the nations. In particular, these programs engage developing countries to direct their economies mostly towards export, which should help reducing their debts. Nevertheless, in fact, they serve to exhaust these states. This process is accompanied with the devaluation of the native currencies. The approach towards depreciation of native money is executed in compliance with the stated by Marx idea that capitalists’ power increases with the purchasing power of their capital. In other words, when the currencies of borrowers are devaluated, the ones of leading voters of the IMF are appreciated. As a result, their purchasing power grows.
An alternative to export-oriented economies is disadvantageous import. Specifically, countries are forced to accept imported goods that are wicked for local economy. For example, “the IMF forced Haiti to open its market to imported, highly subsidized US rice at the same time it prohibited Haiti from subsidizing its own farmers” (Global Exchange, 2011). It is not surprising that unfavorable import contributes to further deterioration of domestic economies instead of supporting their improvement.
What is more, the IMF encourages maintaining unsustainable environmental policies by the developing states. In other words, enrichment is valued above environmental responsibility. As a result, the states that borrow money and implement financial programs imposed by the IMF and the World Bank experience a rapid liquidation of resources. For instance, the World Bank promotes “the use of genetically modified seeds in the third world” (Chomsky, 2000). Besides, it encourages “more migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs (less developed countries)” (Chomsky, 2000). These are only few examples of the ways in which the discussed financial institutions engage the further financial separation through money being subordinated to the purpose of acquiring greater geo-political power.
Apart from that, the IMF promotes labor flexibility that, in practice, suggests maintaining unbeneficial labor policies, for instance, minimal wages, weakened power of trade unions, and limited worker’s bargaining power (Chomsky, 2000). One should consider the following example. “In Haiti, the government was told to eliminate a statute in their labor code that mandated increases in the minimum wage when inflation exceeded 10 percent” (Global Exchange, 2011). Besides, labor flexibility supports freezing wages by allowing businesses to choose the area with the cheapest labor force (Global Exchange, 2011). Undoubtedly, these trends are largely disadvantageous for the local economies of developing states. Thus, the economic growth of such states is decreased in spite of the opposite expectations that are set by SAPs.
To make the matters worse, these programs force local governments to reduce investments in social sectors (education, healthcare, and other services). Simultaneously, SAPs require increasing taxes. It is a necessary step aimed at finding money to pay the debts. Besides, the IMF encourages the transition of “public sector enterprises, such as utility companies and public transport” (Chomsky, 2000) to private ownership. Undoubtedly, this change of ownership decreases the creation of positive externalities. The reason is that private enterprises are not interested in assuring good life-quality to those who can not afford paying it.
In addition, the states that implement SAPs are supposed to adhere to the principles of financial liberalization. In particular, they are imposed with the freedom of capital transition in and out of a country (it occurs as a result of the limited means of the government’s control). In other words, “the IMF routinely pushes countries to deregulate financial systems” (Global Exchange, 2011). In these conditions, foreign individuals, banks, and/or corporations significantly expand their rights in terms of running business operations on the territory of the state that has debts (Chomsky, 2000). As a result, the domestic economies of borrowers suffer even greater burdens. Their value on the world stage is being constantly reduced. The next section will introduce the possible ways of taming the above-discussed negative outcomes of globalization.
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The Solutions to Reduce the Negative Impacts of the IMF and the World Bank
Given a significant separation caused by borrowed capital and globalized political culture, it is important to implement the following recommendations. First and foremost, developing countries should consider using inner resources for growing native economies instead of borrowing money from the World Bank. It presumes detecting existing and plausible profitable industries, creating appropriate development plans, and attracting private investors that do not set the standards that may significantly deteriorate the native economy.
Besides, understanding that economic growth suggests well-elaborated trading relations needed for realizing the potential of profitable industries, it is recommended to cooperate with other developing states. Making alliances with the similar-level economies can be the first step for economic boost. At the very least, it is safer in terms of corresponding risks. In this case, the economic growth may not occur rapidly. However, it can be moderate and stable.
Furthermore, it is important to take into account the authority of the IMF on the world stage. In particular, the intangible asset of this organization is that its credit of trust (collaboration/lending money) is the indicator of the relative stability and profitability of the state-associates. Therefore, even though the IMF is not a part of the international rating system, its favor to the particular country serves as the green light for international partners and investors. It informs that it is relatively safe to deal with this state. To construct economy without the help of the IMF and the World Bank, this idea should be dispelled. The reason is that it reduces the options for developing states that do not want to borrow money and implement the programs SAPs. What is more, it is appropriate to explore and verify feasibility of seeking the financial assistance of the IMF and the World Bank. Being armed with the appropriate statistics may enhance the chances to set more fair conditions of development either with or without some help from these organizations.
Summing up the above-mentioned it is necessary to emphasize the following fact. Globalized political culture is an ambiguous trend with debatable pros and cons. In particular, it tends to separate the countries even despite the commonly known idea of unity. Having a number of positive and negative effects, this complex issue can hardly be completely resolved. However, its adverse implications can be tamed. It is detected that foreseen by Karl Marx idea about money working as the agent of separation can be illustrated in the performance of such modern financial institutions as the IMF and the World Bank. Specifically, striving to enhance purchasing power of their capital the main shareholders attempt to impose devastating conditions on the native economies of the states that borrow money from the World Bank. Forcing upon developing states SAPs cause depreciation of native currencies, freeze of wages, deterioration of poverty, and worsened social protection. Besides, they tend to deteriorate the environmental situation within the borders of the countries that implement SAPs. In addition, the forced orientation towards export and destruction of local financial policies contribute to the fact that these economies are exhausted in favor of the capital’s owners. Providing effective solutions of this composed problem, it is recommended to develop native profitable industries with the affordable means. Moreover, one should consider enhancing international collaboration especially with the states that have a similar level of economic development. Furthermore, the opinion of the IMF and the World Bank should be stopped from being used as an assessment. It is advised to conduct studies with the aim to acquire fresh and valid statistical data that can characterize the magnitude of help and losses caused by these organizations. These measures should help lessening political, economic, and cultural separation being reinforced by globalization.