Globalization and Privatization
Globalization and Privatization
Writing the World: On Globalization is a compilation of thesis, autobiographies, poems, accounts, and artwork that perceive globalization as an international trade of art and concepts. Writing the World concentrates on the genuine cultural consequences of globalization – the chances it creates to acquire new elements of different cultures. In their article, Rothenberg, and Wandee noted that virtual barriers or “fences” were a fundamental element of capitalism. These barriers were erected to safeguard assets from potential robbers. However, the application of these fences has become increasingly disadvantageous to the majority. A fresh inquisition of the globalization phenomenon has commenced because of the losers and victims on the other side of the virtual fences. The losers represent real citizens that have been denied access to learning institutions, healthcare facilities, offices, and personal property (Rothenberg, and Wandee 67). All these fences are interlinked. While the real ones are made of tangible material such as wire, virtual ones comprise of economic and social regulations and sanctions tailored to channel benefits such as riches and resources into the control of a few. Rothenberg and Wandee noted “…a virtual fence goes up around schools in Zambia when an education “user fee” is introduced on the advice of the World Bank” (Rothenberg, and Wandee 195). However, these elements perceived as intimidating confrontations are frequently constructive moments. Most of the innovations and trials in unconventional ways of restructuring societies seek to criticize current models. Other new opportunities or “windows” are showing up as well, silent conspiracies to recover privatized property and resources for public consumption. In spite all the efforts to adopt elements of privatization, it emerges that certain types of property are difficult to own. These elements include musical composition, natural resources, electricity, and concepts (Rothenberg, and Wandee 45). Such things are impossible to contain as they keep breaking out of the restrictions or barriers created around them. Such intangible items posses an innate opposition to restriction, an inclination to escape, to merge, coalesce, and escape at the first opportunity.
Rothenberg and Wandee’s inclusion of Naomi’s article improved the legitimacy and quality of their publication. This is because Naomi Klein has written widely on the topic of globalization, anti-globalization and the consequences of the phenomenon on developed and developing countries. The diversity of the examples used in the book was also quite graphic and detailed, allowing the reader to have a clear glimpse of the lifestyles of those who benefited and suffered at the hand of globalization. For instance, international organizations represented one of the major actors that promoted increased globalization by imposing their ideologies on dependent states. Rothenberg and Wandee noted that hidden coercion was at play between different actors in the international system. This coercion came in the form of “…a fence that goes up around the very idea of democracy when Argentina is told it wont get an International Monetary Fund loan unless it further reduces social spending” (Rothenberg, and Wandee 196). These efforts to restrict public reach and power form the initial stages of a globalized community (Rothenberg, and Wandee 103).
One of the significant aspects of globalization, privatization, has taken root and advanced at a greater pace than the rest of the elements. Fundamentally, privatization involves transferring the authority and ownership of assets from a public entity or entities into private ones. Thanks to globalization, more and more aspects of the world that were once considered “free and public” are increasingly been transformed into privatized property. In most cases, these privatized versions are exploited for profit at the expense of the public. Globalization has hastened and empowered the privatization process such that it is currently invading products that are not “for sale”. The futile attempts to take over health, education, scientific inventions, and concepts, represent the extent of globalization.
Alone Together by Sherry Turkle
Alone Together is an analytical publication that investigates the role played by mobile devices and information technology in eroding the conventional methods of communication and social contact. Over a period of three decades, the topic of technological substitutions has transitioned from speculative research into a reality. Teenagers and college students spend an enormous amount of time on Facebook and Twitter. Parents, teachers, and other mature people use their money, time seeking entertainment, and work on the Internet. Turkle’s famous example of the comparison between a robot dog, AIBO and a biological one sums up the thesis of her argument. In the example, the girl discovers that “AIBO is infinitely understanding if you don’t want to play with it. It will never get sick and need to be put to sleep” (Turkle 245). The popularity of technological substitutions has influenced almost all areas of life from medicine, to entertainment to family life.
One of the apparent consequences of over-depending on technological substitutes is the erosion of human contact and association as the basic mode of communication. Human beings prefer to text a friend rather than call them since voice conversations have grown uncomfortable and meaningless (Turkle 226). Turkle noted that human beings admired specific aspects in robots, aspects that were obviously absent in face-to-face contact with fellow humans. In a way, humans prefer robots since they can receive the most accurate for of emotion or expression without reciprocating. Once more, Turkle points towards a society that deliberately desires an experience without overexposing themselves in a way that she defines as “traumatic” (Turkle 178). The list of examples also includes decaffeinated coffee, warfare without casualties and non-alcoholic beers. The erosion of all forms of reality and authenticity has ensured that the resultant society expects a polished and perfect version of everything. The author’s personal experience with the children at the Darwin exhibition in which aliveness was discarded in favor of aesthetic perfection and creativity is an ideal demonstration of the current state of the society. She note that “…in the children’s reactions to the inert but alive Galapagos tortoise, the idea of original had no place” (Turkle 266).
According to Turkle and Lacan, society was bent on creating “sanitized interpersonal relationships” that would weed out any aberrations or “toxic people” (Turkle 203). This futile effort serves to increase the apprehension of encountering and coexisting with another human being. The initial understanding of technology was that it would be a necessary aspect that would enhance communication and transport (Turkle 279). However, advancement in science has transformed it into a human substitute that threatens to dissolve the fundamental qualities that make a human being unique. It is imperative to draw a line defining the extent to which human-robot relationships can go.
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Rothenberg, David, and Wandee J. Pryor. Writing the World: On Globalization. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2005. Print.
Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. 2011. Print.
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