Opinion — Globalization and Change

There has been an effort on behalf of some to initiate a global agenda in the United States. After all, we are part of the world, and we are all brothers and sisters. Global barriers are breaking down, and there is an effort for people to consider themselves citizens of the world, rather than a particular nation.  

I believe the term is economics of agglomeration (linkages), as we are all linked together through any number of avenues — transportation, international trade, development activities, real estate, and relationships of economy. One big happy global family. People of the world unite!

In practice, this is a little tricky, as there are levels of tension that arise. The introduction of change, in this case, could sometimes can be brutal. Think about how sitting in your house in Downingtown or Pottstown, and somehow globalization swoops down to touch you.  

I believe the biggest tension arises from the fact that different nations have different values, and sometimes there are conflicts with established norms in a particular country. Different nations with long established norms tend to show repulsion to collective norms, which are defused internationally in a homogenized form. People have lived a certain way they lived for years, and now need help from the rest of the world to define their new norms and customs.

Recently, in Texas, there has been an attempt to try to convince Muslims in the area to not seek help in the courts, but rather turn to the mosque for the solution to their culture-related problems.  Sharia law would be used to rectify an issue that would come about between Muslims. It is common in the Middle East to have the issues settled in a religious context, if everyone is of the same religion. I was watching as a Muslim woman was on TV urged people in the audience to not assimilate.  

Since America is one big melting pot and a living laboratory of human relations, it is hard to understand the kind of reasoning that preaches to “not fit in.” It is the peer pressure that causes many people to abandon foreign ways, unless it is an improvement to society. Then Americans embrace and improvise and the practice becomes “americanized.”

I remember in The Godfather movie, there is a scene in the beginning where people are asking for the Don’s help.  He asks one guy, “Why have you never come to me before?” and the answer was not too startling. He said he “did not want to get in trouble,” and wanted to “fit in.”

With the ongoing process of globalization, many newcomers gravitate to cities and bring their attitudes and customs with them.  In Germany, they are having problems with people utilizing the public restroom facilities in a manner that others in Germany are unaccustomed to. The result is a health dilemma. Some of the companies cleaning the rest facilities have had to hire Germans to clean up, because others find nothing wrong with the mess that is created. That is extreme but I wanted to make a point.

I believe that the constant exposure to the new ways have made cities more accustomed to different practices, because everyone is closer. Out in the rural areas, the customs and these thoughts seem out of place. Globalization is the driver of this divide. People in the rural areas have become increasingly aware of the issue, as they surf the internet. Somehow the traditional ways of America are under attack as being representative of a “white supremacy” nation, when in actuality it is a something foreign to people, because they are not exposed to a particular practice.

Cities, with a higher per capita income strata, in most cases comprise the top one fifth of the wage-earning population which has become known as the costal elite. Cities in California, New York and Pennsylvania etc. have been more liberal in their thinking than the rural areas. This can be seen in the results of the last election, where the rural areas voted approximately 85percent one way and the cities voted 85 percent the other way.

I believe there is a tendency in the news media to embrace new realities that might not be in sync with the rural areas. It appears that the people in the rural areas are unwilling to vocalize what they want, because of fear of being labeled white supremacists or racists. Recently, I myself have been branded as a racist on social media… which I feel is kind of a stretch because of my history of civil rights work and the fact that I am married to an Afro-American woman. This accounts for the skewed poling numbers in the past elections and recently taken polls. Much of this reminds me of the Nixon’s silent majority.

In rural communities, for the most part, globalization represents the American worker competing with global workers who do not have the same work and wage rules as the United States. This represents a decrease in the standard living for the blue-collar workers, as well as an intractable proposition to change the nature of culture in America. 

Can America adapt to a global standardization of culture? Is a nationalist economic and cultural policy good for America, versus the Globalization universal standard? Because we are a nation of immigrants, and were never a colonial empire, it is hard to say how this will turn out. Every immigrant grouping has gone through prejudices, and discrimination, whether it was the cross burnings on my grandparents’ farm, or having my other grandfather being made to feel awkward because he was an illegal alien. The one thing they all had in common was their desire to assimilate… this no longer seems the case. It is the resident population that is asked to take less, and asked to change their ways, which represents a significant change for the past.