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Globalisation aims at setting up unipolar world

Like the waves that lash against the shore and transform the entire global geographical layout over a time period, the forces of globalisation sends cascades of change on the entire world's social setting. This change apparently is not for a better world nor moving towards decency in global economic terms nor into sustainable development considering its horrendous ecological impact, the brutality of wars, the heavy polarisation of economic and ethnic groups, erosion of moral power, callous disregard for life and its diversity, the vehement opposition towards dissent and an unjust one sided world order that delivers grave injustice to the third world. In such environment, the response from what comes off terror groups should not warrant surprise.

More poignant under such circumstances are yesteryear's clecheyed sayings "there's no smoke without fire" and "you need two hands to clap".

The western hegemonic ideology intensifying and the resultant marginalisation of religious/ethnic/economic groups among nations and within nations is making headway contributing increasingly to a rise in numbers of terror groups - war on the part of power wielders seemingly a wayout of effacing such 'deviants'.

Overlooking heterogeneity

Part of the globalisation process itself is to overlook global heterogeneity or diversity and implanting a homogenous world populace that makes hegemonic control far easier. Not surprising then a drive towards a global common language, culture, dress, religion and majoritarian view point.

Taking globalisation to be a recent phenomenon is certainly a mistaken notion for its emergence is well nigh over five centuries old having triggered off from the period of what is called "awakening" in the 14th century. Projected as the dark ages, the period preceeding the 'infamous' awakening was taken to be a period of 'ignorance' - a populist view indeed initiated from the west. True enough the period of awakening introduced man into what he knew not, of scientific growth, development of art, culture, language and industrial growth - all part of the modernity drive.

Misuse of learning

The problem then was the misuse of such learning when modernism set in. For instance the discovery of time followed by the time bomb. Certainly it was in the agenda of modernism to divert heterogeneity into homogeneity. Hence the introduction of the nation state concept as well interalia.

According to Sociologist, Colombo University Dr. Premakumara de Silva this western innovation was into transforming peripheral countries and to this end they worked hard having left their once colonised states. The newly found neo-liberal colonisation through which these forces resorted to subtle manipulation of colonies while remaining in their own territories through the elitist classes within such colonies has been a roving success but not without its accompanying blunders as we witness in what comes off as global chaos.

Nation states were strengthened through hegemonic ideologies. Majoritarian politics undermined minority aspirations - all part of the globalisation process.

This top down globalisation flow operates in several spheres such as economic, political cultural, ecological and so on. A political economy, the politics of democracy, culture, language, religion and society was engineered to efface global diversity into a homogenous force.

According to reputed sociologist/writer, Anthony Giddens globalisation is an intensification of worldwide social relations which links distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events many miles away.

Elitists manipulated

This then reminded the writer how useful the elitist classes in peripheral countries were to these neo-liberal colonialists in shaping the socio/cultural/econ settings in the colonies to suit their taste. Facilitating this process of homogeneity over heterogeneity is the state of the art communication technology of modern times.

The preservation and upholding of the nation state says Dr. Premakumara was detrimental to social diversity within such state giving rise to this writer's belief of a highly centralised administrative process that is a violation of natural law. Social diversity - a natural construct confronts the social construct of centralized majority rule which centralisation is characteristic of globalisation yet does not remain unchallenged. The world in its natural state knew no geographical boundaries and centralised rule. The problem arose then as is the case with everything else when man interfered with what was natural. The irony today is the acceptance of social constructs as natural and the belief that it should remain that way - a thought giving rise to global chaos as the marginalised steadily finds its way into destabilising the status quo. This then is not to disown such constructs coming off man provided it is engineered into social development upholding equity human dignity and social justice.

Scholars thus argue that globalisation instead of homogenizing the human collectivity fragments, revitalizes and hybrids it. The prevalence of the kind of globalisation with vested interests ignoring into to the concept of social development is far removed from sustainable globalisation and is what impressed on this writer most.

Listening to Dr. Premakumara one is compelled into believing that globalisation has failed to achieve whatever is social equity. Instead, the heavy disparity between classes is conspicuous with the few that own resources steadily expanding such and a newly emerging middle class thriving on the war and political economies. "Not for them the bother over identities. Being evolved into global citizens, they move from country to country. They have houses both at home and abroad. Equipped with all kinds of luxuries, they have no time to be conscious of ethnicity nor race nor caste. Many of them are into foreign financial reserves, send their children for studies abroad. Many of them have even married into other nationalities.

Thus only the marginalised are more vulnerable to be ethnicised. Even politicians conveniently overlook problems relating to their poverty and play on their ethnic sentiments to be in power," he said.

What once was a problem of class when the clarion call was Danapathi Bangaveva - (Down with the capitalist) today has undergone face change. The leanings are more on ethnic/racial/religious lines and the call to protect their own respective kindred regardless of the home's empty larder. Facilitating such is the early globalisation's attempt into nation state introduction. Upholding majority will, territorial integrity and sovereignty are much favoured by politicians to keep the working class off all financial anxieties. Class politics are thus submerged by emerging ethno nationalism.

"We must address the economic disparities which globalisation cleverly undermines. So globalisation must start from below. There should be political movements which can bring the voices of increasingly marginalised groups to the centre. The class politics rapidly generated by global forces has been out of focus because ideological blunders cannot see economic inadequacies," he said. Dr. Premakumara regretfully noted how some political parties that vehemently espoused the economic deprivation of marginalised groups talking in terms of ethno nationalism. They have abandoned class politics switching over to ethno politics. The forces of globalisation have contributed to ethnocentric tendencies - a sure way into power and affluence.

Culture commodified

Globalisation has significantly even commodified culture. Cultural practices and festivals though believed to disappear is coming on with greater vigour where the sellable aspect of culture is seen in the form of dance art schools, mask dancing and ayurvedic treatment in hotels, restaurants labelled after whatever is indigenous and so on. The village audience is now replaced by the organised, sophisticated upward mobile middle class.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Sri Lanka
Kapruka -

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