Saturday, November 3, 2007

Globalization. What is it?


We've all heard of it. But what is globalization exactly?

Well, one definition is that globalization is the tendency of commerce, the exchange and development of ideas, and political structures to move from being focused and based at the local and the national levels to being focused and based on the multinational and the global levels.

You've seen it. If you're absorbing the news, you see it every day - in countless ways.

Nowadays there is a tremendous movement away from political power centered in the nation-state, toward power in supra-national organizations. Perhaps we are even headed for a one-world government.

It is time for serious open discussion of this process. It makes no sense to stick our national head in the sand and pretend the nation-state, including the nation-state of the United States of America, is not in danger of turning over its power to others - ultimately losing control over its own laws and destiny.

What's the process of globalization? It takes many forms. Often times it starts with a desire to eliminate trade barriers and to stimulate the free movement of goods across national boundaries. You've heard the "free trade" mantra.

Take Europe, for instance. The Treaty of Paris in 1951 created the European Coal and Steel Community among six European nations. This was followed in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, establishing the European Economic Community, which by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 became the European Community, which is known now as one of the pillars of the European Union.

You know about the European Union, which has created a supra-national monetary system in much of Europe. Their unit of currency we hear so much about these days is the Euro.

The European Union seeks to transfer many powers of the nation-states in Europe to itself. It developed, and member state representatives signed, a European Constitution, although as yet it is still unratified.

Is the United States immune from globalization - immune from the tendency to transfer its powers outside of itself to other supra-national organizations? No, not at all.

Is the United States at risk of losing its national sovereignty? Yes, but more on this later . . .

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