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If globalization is to succeed, it must succeed for poor and rich alike. It must deliver rights no less than riches. It must provide social justice and equity no less than economic prosperity and enhanced communication. ~ Kofi Annan
If you think in terms of people divided up into countries, you won't follow me. The idea of countries is going by the boards. Young people are getting wonderfully uprooted and they're too strong to get sucked into this 'country' crap. ~ Buckminster Fuller

Globalization is the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture.

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  • Let's discuss the world. To answer the question, "is globalisation possible without God", the simple answer is "yes". Globalisation is after all itself a code word, a mask, for not using the C-word, capitalism. Globalisation is basically the latest phase of expanding capitalism. This not something which is neutral, this is a capitalism that has its rules: it has its economic rules, it has its political rules, it has its cultural rules and it has its military rules. It is a system. At the heart of this system is the United States of America, the world's only existing empire today. The first time in the history of humanity that you have just had a single empire, so dominant, whose military budget is higher than the military budgets of the next 15 countries put together, and whose military-industrial complex itself is the eleventh largest economic entity in the world. This is the reality we live in, and this is the reality which confronts us in different ways.
  • If globalization is to succeed, it must succeed for poor and rich alike. It must deliver rights no less than riches. It must provide social justice and equity no less than economic prosperity and enhanced communication.
    • Kofi Annan, A Globalization That Will Benefit You; Awake! magazine, May 22, 2002.


  • On globalization’s parallel track, demarcated by markets rather than territorial boundaries, corporations and firms have displaced nation-states as the key players on the international scene. They more often use the political institutions created by nation-states to work their will than they are used by those states to enact sovereign political objectives. Even philanthropies such as the Clinton Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and the Ford Foundation have become weighty actors in the international marketplace, boasting an economic clout that many nation-states cannot begin to exercise.


  • Traditional nationalism cannot survive the fissioning of the atom. One world or none.
    • Stuart Chase, quoted in Pennsylvania Technology, Vol. 1, No. 3, 1990, p. 11
  • The dominant propaganda systems have appropriated the term "globalization" to refer to the specific version of international economic integration that they favor, which privileges the rights of investors and lenders, those of people being incidental. In accord with this usage, those who favor a different form of international integration, which privileges the rights of human beings, become "anti-globalist." ... Take the World Social Forum, called "anti-globalization" in the propaganda system—which happens to include the media, the educated classes, etc., with rare exceptions. The WSF is a paradigm example of globalization. It is a gathering of huge numbers of people from all over the world, from just about every corner of life one can think of, apart from the extremely narrow, highly privileged elites who meet at the competing World Economic Forum, and are called "pro-globalization" by the propaganda system. An observer watching this farce from Mars would collapse in hysterical laughter at the antics of the educated classes.


  • Globalization makes it impossible for modern societies to collapse in isolation, as did Easter Island and the Greenland Norse in the past. Any society in turmoil today, no matter how remote...can cause trouble for prosperous societies on other continents, and is also subject to their influence (whether helpful or destabilizing). For the first time in history, we face the risk of a global decline. But we also are the first to enjoy the opportunity of learning quickly from developments in societies anywhere else in the world today, and from what has unfolded in societies at any time in the past.
    • Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005), (Prologue)


  • If you think in terms of people divided up into countries, you won't follow me. The idea of countries is going by the boards. Young people are getting wonderfully uprooted and they're too strong to get sucked into this 'country' crap.
  • Is that never before in the history of the world have so many people been able to learn about so many other people’s lives, products and ideas.
    • Thomas L. Friedman, explains about internet. Cited in Awake! 2002, 5/22; article: Globalization—The Hopes and the Fears.
  • Today, no country can ever truly cut itself off from the global media or from external sources of information; trends that start in one corner of the world are rapidly replicated thousands of miles away... A country trying to opt out of the global economy by cutting itself off from external trade and capital flows will still have to deal with the fact that the expectations of its population are shaped by their awareness of living standards and cultural products emerging from the outside world.
    • Francis Fukuyama, cited in: Thomas L. Friedman (2000). The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization. p. 67



  • 'Globalization' is a horrible term, in the sense that it encompasses all kinds of things; it's used very widely and vaguely.
  • Projects to stop the spread of AIDS have tried to establish protective boundaries … by requiring HIV tests in order to cross national boundaries. The boundaries of nation-states, however, are increasingly permeable by all kinds of flows. Nothing can bring back the hygienic shields of colonial boundaries. The age of globalization is the age of universal contagion.
  • Simplifying a great deal, one could argue that postmodernist discourses appeal primarily to the winners in the processes of globalization and fundamentalist discourses to the losers.


  • The problems and possibilities associated with the emergence of a global consumerist ethos is one with which scholars have only just begun to come to grips.For much of the past century, beginning with Thorstein Veblen’s investigation of conspicuous consumption in 1899, anxieties about commodity culture were treated as national or Western rather than global concerns. They have been explored in articles and books on a dizzying array of themes and topics, and from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Attempts to make analytic sense of the impact and significance of consumerism on modern cultures have been complicated from the outset by normative considerations – either of a moralizing character or by concerns about consumerism as a form of social control – as well as by the role played by consumerism in the rise of ‘mass’ societies. When these long-standing anxieties about consumption and consumerism are set against the space of the entire globe, coming to clear conclusions about its impact on global and local social relations is made even more difficult. The idea of consumerism as a form of social control, for example, blends easily into existing discourses of economic and cultural imperialism; what is described as ‘Americanism’ is often the threat of a consumer culture associated with US society. 7 Expressed more structurally, the addition of new global communication technologies and the increasing role of techno-scientific inquiry (labelled R&D) in the production of goods, have intersected with and altered practices of production and exchange, further multiplying the difficulties of accounting for consumption and consumerism in the world today.
  • The processes associated with globalization have created hitherto unimaginable opportunities for cultural forms and practices to travel far beyond the indigenous sites and spaces in which they were first conceived and produced. While there have always been cultural movements and flows from one space to another, the intensity and extensity of contemporary intersections of the global and the local have forced scholars to look closely at the myriad ways in which culture is consumed – used up, made sense of, embraced, and explored. Examining this first sense of cultural ‘consumption’ takes up the difficult questions of cultural diversity and authenticity that have shaped much of the discussion around culture in/and globalization. For example, by looking at implications of the transformation of older cultural forms and the creation of new forms of global-local culture such as global literatures and world music, we can see the meaning and effects of social change on people’s identity and subjectivity.
  • Ibid, xi
  • Nineteenth-century cosmopolitanism (rather than imperialism) framed another discourse on global culture and cultural consumption. Johann W. Von Goethe’s(1749–1832) discussion in the late 1820s on Weltliteratur or ‘world literature’(reproduced in this volume) 10 has become an important point of reference in many discussions of ‘world’ or ‘global culture’. His brief comments on world literature draw attention to the substantial literary and cultural interchanges already taking place in Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century. These include translations of significant works, including Goethe’s own writings, into major European languages, and the existence of journals across the continent devoted to reviewing foreign works of literature. For Goethe, these literary exchanges do not bring about a homogenization of culture – a consistent worry whenever ‘culture’and the ‘global’ are placed in relation to one another. On the contrary, for him, Weltliteratur promises to create greater opportunities for mutual understanding and tolerance, with both spiritual and material benefits for all. Goethe points, ,to the importance of cultural borrowing and interchange to the vitality of cultural life – a point stressed by many theorists of globalization and culture today. The differences, however, are stark. The world literature that Goethe envisions remained tied to a system of nations, each of which expressed its specific national characteristics through its literature. He also expresses anxiety about the emergenceof a mass culture – the culture of the ‘crowd’ – which must be contained by the activity of ‘serious’ and ‘intellectual’ individuals around the world. In the concept of Weltliteratur are framed many of the problems and challenges in conceptualizing global culture: the role of national culture and its relationship to a universal, ‘world’ Introduction xiii Intro-Vol-3 culture; the status of elite versus mass cultures; and even the relationship of culture to economic and social institutions and structures.
  • Ibid, xii-xiii.
  • David Rowe argues that, contrary to what might have been expected, international sport does not contribute to a process of ‘comprehensive globalization’– by which he understands a process through which global forces dissipate local differences until the latter are all but lost. Widely-watched televised mega-sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup or the Olympics, which are sponsored by global consumer brands (Adidas, Nike, McDonalds, Budweiser, etc.), might suggest that sport is ‘globalization’s most attentive handmaiden’. Rowe notes, however, that in these cases, the local cannot be so easily written out of the picture. In the case of sports, the nation remains an essential touchstone and symbolic register: even if everyone is watching the World Cup, they are usually cheering for their own national team. ‘Sport’s dependency on the nation’, Rowe argues, ‘always reinserts the restrictive framework of modernity into the fluid workings of post modernity. In doing so – in a highly emotional manner – sport operates as a perpetual reminder of the social limits to the reconfiguration of endlessly mutable identities and identifications’..
  • Ibid, xvii-xviii.
  • However, it is not just ideas, representations, ideologies, and styles that are globalized: in other words, it is not just content that is globalized. The globalization of content is the obvious part of the process. It is easy to see when an element of content comes from elsewhere across the globe (cultural consumption in the first sense of the concept as discussed above). By comparison, except when there are obvious border-crossing clashes, it is strangely much harder to see when literary, artistic, and musical forms are globalized. Usually they emerge slowly, subtly and hegemonically. The literary form of the novel, for example – an extended prose fictional narrative, printed and bound, to be read privately – can now be foundeverywhere in the world, with its greatest moment of globalization coming in the nineteenth century. This was linked to a slow world-historical change in the dominant mode of communication as script gave way to print, and print-capitalism generalized the reach of the novel as a consumerable commodity. The same can be said for novel genres: romance, comedy, detective-fiction, magical realism, and so on. As content, magical realism, for example, was used as a means of resistance to globalization and imperialism; by contrast, as form the genre was itself part of a globalizing counter-response to realism in Latin America and Southeast Asia linked back to a magical realist visual art movement in Weimar German.
    More generally again, it was part of the globalized spread of a literary form called ‘the novel’.Music went through the same process, though later and more unevenly. At the level of musical form, different notation systems were slowly globalized across the world with the five-line staff system rising to partial dominance in the nineteenth century. In 1939, and then confirmed by the International Organization for Standardization in 1955, an international conference recommended a global standardization of pitch with the note A to be tuned to 440 Hz. This had parallels to the earlier process of globalizing time through agreement on the prime meridian,but it remains more contentious because of issues as basic as local histories of use and questions about what temperature at which the standard should be measured.The establishment of globalized genres of music – classical, rock-and-roll, jazz,samba, and so on – developed in the twentieth century, and music was distributed on changing media of recording that waxed and waned in their dominance. At the leading edge, commercially-produced tapes, records and compact discs as albums, gave way to self-burned CD compilations, and, most recently, to web-based music management programmes such as iTunes.
    Linked back to content, we are now long past the point where the simple fact of cultural influence or borrowing raises eyebrows. We are used to living in a world where ‘hip hop is mixed up with samba’, as the Los Angeles’ group the Black Eyed Peas sing in ‘Mas Que Nada’, their update of the song by Brazilian pianist Sergio Mendes. More than that, fashion in the forms of distribution has entered the global scene. Will-i-am, leader of the Black-Eyed Peas, has said that the group’s latest studio release on iTunes, The END (2009), is more a continuing ‘diary’ of music rather than an album of music. ‘There is no album any more.’ This is hyperbole for effect of course, just as it was for writers such as John Barth and Walter Benjamin in saying that ‘the novel is dead’, or Roland Barthes in analytically describing the‘death of the author’. The difference now is that those phrases are globally accessible at the touch of button through internet search engines such as
  • Ibid, xix



  • Consider the death of Princess Diana. This accident involved an English citizen, with an Egyptian boyfriend, crashed in a French tunnel, driving a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian, who was drunk on Scotch whiskey, followed closely by Italian paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles, and finally treated with Brazilian medicines by an American doctor. In this case, even leaving aside the fame of the victims, a mere neighborhood canvass would hardly have completed the forensic picture, as it might have a generation before.


  • Globalization is not in itself a folly: It has enriched the world scientifically and culturally and benefited many people economically as well.
    • Amartya Sen, "Ten theses on globalization." New Perspectives Quarterly 18.4 (2001): 9-9.

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