Is the current globalization a new issue?

GlobalizationToday, I would like to talk about an article I read last week. It was written by Isidoro Moreno Navarro, professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at University of Seville. He has dedicated a considerable part of his life studying Andalusian culture in depth. Among his interests as a researcher, we must stress his works about the current process of globalization.

The mentioned article defended the idea that globalization phenomenon isn’t a new issue. On the contrary, it has been previously present almost three more times throughout the history. When I read this first part of the exposition, I got out of a picture. In the past, how could it be possible? What were those attempts?

The first attempt was based on monotheistic religions especially Christianity and Islam. Every layman knows that religious institutions have been often closely connected with political institutions. From this point of view, not only every village should be converted into the “true faith”, but also every person’s lifestyle ought to be adapted into the canonical rules. The author of this essay shows Religion as a tool in the hands of the political power.

The following effort to globalize consisted of the model of the nation- state. As we know, it has become the dominant form of state organization. Except from Antarctica, there is no centimeter on Earth which is not part of a nation-state. Therefore, this attempt has been completely successful.

The third one was represented by socialist ideology. It was about the dictatorship of the proletariat, a state in which the working class has control of political power. It was presented as the only possible alternative opposed to liberal capitalism and also acceptable for every village.

Finally, the current process of globalization, the globalization of markets in which every material or immaterial good is considered as merchandise with the purpose of being sold in the “free market”. We could say that it began about 20 years ago and was based on capitalism’s logic. In Isidoro’s words, this is the most powerful and inhumane attempt because its only objective is to make the biggest benefits without considering cultural, social or ecological effects.

Do you agree with this position? Are globalization’s disadvantages more relevant than its benefits? Do nationalisms constitute a response to the current globalization? I would be very grateful if you would let me know your opinions on this topic.


Sources| “Globalización, mercado, cultura e identidad”, en Moreno Felíu, P. (comp.) Entre las Gracias y el Molino Satánico. Lecturas de antropología económica, pp. 485-514. Madrid, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, 2004.

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Pilar Gómez Escacena

Double degree in Business Administration and Law at Pablo de Olavide University (Sevilla). Read Full

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