The initial theories surrounding globalisation sounded promising from the outset. The theories suggested that the global world order should stand in solidarity to ease diplomatic tensions so to avoid future world wars. With that, nations welcomed trade treaties with their neighbours to avoid economic downturns both domestically and abroad. Negotiating with your world partners allowed strict enforcement on international law, where crime knew no borders under Interpol and the Human Rights Watch. Many well-established organisations, from the United Nations to the European Union, garnered exceptional reputations from world leaders.
These components that came with globalisation are portrayed as essential and awe-inspiring to allow all countries to prosper side-by-side. Sadly, as many now realise this isn’t the case, these tenets become mired in publicised scandals that coincide with negative consequences of globalisation.
An international refugee crisis, a global pandemic and stark inequalities between the world’s classes has thrust globalisation under glaring scrutiny. If its foundations were all positive, then why has so many of its endeavours failed so abysmally to reach egalitarianism? With globalisation comes widespread poverty, partnerships with hostile authoritarian regimes and full-scale military assaults on the world’s suffering through a covert network of arms agreements.
What the press cover, beholden to an international news media, is frankly the opposite to globalisation’s criticisms. It promotes the idea of deregulated trade deals that supposedly enable international growth, a global status quo on what the west fear are belligerent nations and an “inspiring” international capitalist system rife with opportunity. Now that globalisation has been fully enacted after decades of relationship-building, its gross misgivings have been exposed for all to see.
Another failure on the shoulders of globalisation ideologues is the impact of American hegemony. The self-proclaimed land of the free has imposed harsh militarisation zones on disputed territories across the globe. The US interventionist approach has polluted the social, economic and political structures of the Middle East. America pledges to protect freedom and liberation in countries under totalitarianism, but instead a narcissistic culture prevails. The most powerful country in the world’s reliance on oil and trade means their whole infrastructure is based on an alliance with a socially unrest Arab Gulf. The deployment of troops in these regions presents the opportunity for America to keep a watchful eye on instability, for the sole purpose of keeping their country on the road.
With America in charge the entire western world follows behind, remaining defiant on military expansionism for their own shared goals. The western military contribute to excessive pauperisation in other nations whilst their own citizens struggle to make ends meet under a constant cycle of gross capitalism. The leadership of globalisation enjoy opulence whilst their poorest of demographics watch on with false hope.
Scepticism of globalisation has enabled an anti-establishment fervour across the globe to become a considerable force against traditional norms. The year of 2016 welcomed a searing rebuke on the acts of globalisation, with the vote for Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US president. The lower-classes, apoplectic at age-old institutions not adhering to their needs, voted to upend political structures. With Trump and Brexit came the support for economic protectionism, the unravelling of long-held trade deals and the part dismantling of a capitalist-friendly EU.
To counter a right-wing zealot in Trump, left-wing populism thrived to protect the working-class from the establishment order. Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn led his party to their highest vote share since 2001 on a far-left socialist platform that appealed to the left-behind. In 2017, a far-left populist in France’s first runoff elections for president grabbed a plethora of votes from the two main parties that had governed France for decades. Eurosceptics, both on the left and right, were given significant platforms when they were once side-lined to the political fringes.
As questions regarding the impact of capitalism become more nuanced, questions on the role of globalisation and the new world order follow. The issue of human rights, illegal arms deals, military occupations and deregulated international free markets are at the forefront of conversations around societal change. World leaders pandering to the powerful globalisation system must rethink their strategy, particularly when citizens have a lot of questions they want answered.