Commanding Heights presents a powerful and gripping view on the rise of globalization in the aftermath of the First World War. While ideas on globalization were already espoused in the work and teachings of David Ricardo, it was not until the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich von Hayek that the world slowly began to realize the changing political and economic landscape. With Marxism and Communism slowly taking root in Russia, the unbridled economic prosperity that the United States and Europe were taking would soon come to a standstill and pave the way for the next evolution for globalization.
This battle for supremacy, oftentimes referred to as the Cold War, had deeper economic underpinnings that was the result of the failure of the respective economic policies that the actors had taken. The overachieving economies of the West had begun to reveal their weaknesses and could no longer sustain the economic growth that had propelled the capitalist ideas of Keynes and von Hayek to academic dogma. On the other side, the communist model had failed miserably and there was no socio-economic equity that resulted instead the economic depression that it sought to avert had become widespread in these countries. The reluctance of these countries to admit their failures and the steadfast paved the way for a new type of economic theory in the form of free-market capitalism.
According to the video the impact of globalization can be understood by examining the effects that it has had on the world. The first and more obvious effect that is attributed to globalization is the market-oriented aspect or quite simply put the economic benefits. While there have been numerous discussion regarding the true economic impact of globalization on the world economy, it is clear that globalization has united all of the world economies and created a single world market for every country to be able to participate in. The increase in trade between countries and the speed by which new technologies can be acquired erases previous advantages that other countries possessed in the manufacture of goods and can be said to have leveled the economic playing field to encourage the entry of new comers. The overall effect of this is the creation of more jobs and the increase in overall market productivity for the countries involved. A single country which previously could only trade with its neighboring countries can now market its goods internationally and increase its income and promote economic growth. Globalization can therefore be said to provide a larger market for economies to encourage their growth by providing access to newer markets that were previously inaccessible due to geographical and political restrictions.
Culturally, globalization is said to have a positive effect as it has facilitated a greater international cultural exchange and promoted cultural diversity. “Globalization,” according to Anthony Giddens, “has created quite an impact on multicultural relations that by exposing and infusing new cultures into established ones a new culture is created that can be shared by all people over the world ”. The cultural effect of globalization is that it creates a positive atmosphere for different cultures and races to intermingle. The previous differences in culture due to social misunderstandings which result in bloodshed and violence can in theory be resolved in the advent of globalization through the creation of a new “global” culture that can be shared commonly by all people all over the world.
Finally, the other profound benefits that can be attributed to globalization are the following: The percentage of children in the labor force has fallen from 24% in 1960 to 10% in 2000 due to the access of capitalists and industries to more sources of labor, life expectancy and infant immortality has been reduced significantly by the rapid exchange of technology and medical research, Democracy has increased dramatically from almost no nation with universal suffrage in 1900 to 62.5% of all nations in 2000 because of the exchange of ideas and the collapse of physical and cultural borders.
It can hardly be said now, after examining all of the positive benefits that Globalization has given to us that Globalization is simply just a bad idea. There will always be two sides to every coin and people will manage to see at least just one side of it. The concept of Globalization has not been spared from that. The major criticisms on Globalization when analyzed can actually be attributed to other factors and not simply Globalization itself (e.g. global terrorism which is rooted in something else, free trade problems). In the final analysis, there is simply so much more that that Globalization has offered and still has to offer that it is premature to outright dismiss or judge it as bad. From what has been shown in this discourse, Globalization is a good thing for not only for the select countries which can capitalize on it but for the other countries as well.
In conclusion, Globalization is best characterized as a bridge that connects people and cultures together. People have better access to medical technology, goods and other relevant services which elevates the standard of living on a global scale. Globalization also encourages interaction between people and thus creates an atmosphere that cultivates the spirit of global cooperation. A world without boundaries, a world of peace and prosperity where everyone is granted an equal opportunity to shape the world into a better place to live in for all of mankind.