Globalization is synonymous with prosperity in World History. As the trend of globalisation continues, a plethora of problems arise. Invasions, famines and plagues happen to redirect the world to its natural state. The damage done can vary from the severe damage of property to the extinction of the entire species. After the end of a wave, a vacuum appears and a bigger globalization wave takes its place which tries to integrate the world in a different way, yet again.
The cycle of globalization
The silk-route was the pathway to connect the west and east. Trade flourished between China and the European countries. There were cultural interactions along the silk road. The aftermath of this globalization is as follows –
The Bubonic plague appeared on the maps of Europe. The virus travelled from China along the silk-route and finally ended in Crimea. The disease spread like wildfire and consumed everyone in its path. 30-60% of the Europe’s population was dead. There was a vacuum created in every field.
The Lords and the merchants paid better wages. This led to the formation of a new Middle class which led to the Renaissance, the golden age of Europe.
To continue the economic growth, the sailors explored the world in search of new markets. This led to the colonisation of colonies and the rise of imperialism.The cycle of globalisation was renewed. This led to the WW1 and WW2.
The world is more secure than ever. In the last two decades, a steep decrease in the crime rate has been observed. Extreme Poverty has decreased from 55% (1940) to 10 % (2016). People are more conscious about Climate Change. However, this is just one side of the coin.
The society is more polarised than ever. The biggest example is the year 2016 itself. Brexit and Trump are the disasters that showed the world that society is divided. The peace index has been decreasing. I believe that a divided society is the initial backlash of globalisation.
We live in interesting times where how you talk about a religion determines your political identity. Say good things about Hinduism, you are a privileged Savarna who endorses Hindutva. Say bad things about Hinduism, and you are the crusader for social justice or a Naxalite. Say good things about Islam, and you establish yourself as a liberal. Say bad things about Islam, and you are a Nazi. Endorse Christianity, and you can be a Presidential candidate in America. Make fun of Christianity, and you will be viewed as having a rational and scientific temperament. Around the world, propelled by ideas of social justice, cultural studies are increasingly becoming less about understanding cultures and more about judging, condemning and changing cultures.
We live in times where media, the supposed medium to present facts to the people is acting selectively. People don’t know whom to believe anymore. This distrust is increasing. Mainstream media is trying to manipulate the truth. It presents conclusions before learning the entire truth. It acts as a conduit for corporate houses. Its propaganda is based mainly on people’s fear and creates confusion by deliberate misinformation to act according to its masters’ views. “Perception is reality”. This military idiom is the best to describe the above situation. The one who has the biggest voice in the room is the most heard and defines the opinions and bias of the people. Earlier social media was the small child in the news business and was an absolute pushover. As years passed, it has grown astronomically. The power of Social media is providing anonymity to the user. But if the voice isn’t loud enough who is going to notice it? The truth will exist but it will get mired in the flurry of information. And by the time people change their opinion and act according to it, there will be a new thing on the place toppling the old one.
The political thoughts are borrowed from other countries and their researchers who ideas are quite in contrast with ours. Our idea of communism or capitalism is quite different from its parent roots. But the ones borrowing these political thoughts don’t seem to understand that. The JNU, Intolerance row, Freedom of speech debates, all of these debates are byproducts of those borrowed thoughts. Those borrowed thoughts arose due to lack of indigenous research and they are distorting the history to support their arguments. You can argue with me that we are studying science and borrowing is acceptable. But that only subscribes to technology which is universally same. Political science, however, is characterised by the human behavior. Human behavior is very peculiar. The same set of humans placed in similar scenarios but under a different social situation would react completely different.
To break this cycle of globalisation, we need to preserve our ideas of politics and culture, but should also adhere to social reforms. Societies aren’t perfect. They need to upgrade themselves over time. We need to stop living in the echo chambers of social media. I don’t want to paint a dystopian view of the world, but we need to be conscious of this world more than ever. Liberalisation and conservation needs to be balanced. We need to reinvent the same ideas so that we don’t fall into the same traps again.
– Srikar Maturi