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By Danilo J. Anton

Publication via Anton, Danilo J.

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Sample text

The information revolution will probably also result in increasing diversification of expressed points of view and approaches. This diversification effect is critical. In fact, it may be the most effective antidote to the forces of uniformity that are coming into play in the globalized world. The complex processes of globalization have promoted the development of a mainstream standardized culture that includes not only widespread homogenization of production and consumption systems and patterns, but also greater cultural uniformity, including expression codes, attitudes, and beliefs.

These industries are called maquiladoras and are common in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, and, with slight modifications, in some countries of East Asia and North Africa. Often, when the whole economic activity becomes uneconomical in the developed country, the entire productive process can be transferred to the partner country. Many metallurgical, textile, and electronics industries, among others, have been transferred in this way. Similar arrangements are being made in relation to agricultural activities (some Californian crops have been transferred to Brazil, Chile, and Mexico), forestry (the Canadian forest industry is having trouble competing with counterparts in Brazil and Chile), and aquaculture (shrimp farms have been established in Ecuador and the Philippines).

In a culturally uniform, “happy” world, the birth of new ideas would be impossible. Diversity is life; uniformity, therefore, is synonymous with death. Globalization began about 500 years ago with the conquest of America by the empires of Europe. Whereas other ‘‘global” empires — such as the Chinese, Incas, and Romans — predated this period, it was the European empires that first opened global markets, reoriented local production, and altered cultures and natural environments to a degree and depth never dreamt of by Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan.

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