Thomas Friedman is one of the most successful and influential columnists in America who has contributed a lot in the field of globalization. His views, analysis and profound thoughts have illustrated the technological force that has reshaped the world along with its effects on people and countries. His books, theories and concepts such as the discussion on the flattening of the world have gained attention from the people. Globalization has shrunk the world and its people very close to one another.
This connectivity and transformation in this era is referred to as the concept of flat world. The world has become very competitive. India and China are developing faster than ever before and America would find it difficult to cope with it later. Knowledge is being connected from all over the world and distances and geography is not an issue anymore. India and Beijing are producing geniuses and innovation is taking place without emigration.
Some of the levelers of the world have been the fall of the Berlin wall, the access to global interface by Microsoft Windows, the public access to Netscape made browsing much easier along with its other benefits, further more the dotcom bubble lead to investment in telecommunications cable and undersea cables, making communication cost effective, efficient and much more convenient. Then outsourcing and off shoring has become common. These developments and growth has increased communications and networking like never before.
Friedman says that a parallel to today’s time in the history would be the era of 1957 because that was the time when America and Russia were competing to put a sputnik satellite in the space. At that time it was difficult to compete with America but today the challenge that America faces is that all other countries also possess the resources and capability and they can compete with America directly. At that time communist countries Russian, China and South Korea were issues of interest and today capitalist states China, India and Korea are a matter of concern.
At that time building a strong state was a challenge and today building a strong individual have become a critical issue. And it requires the same level of efforts and energy to meet these challenges. Global village was a term popularized by its association with Marshall McLuhan. This concept states that how electrical technology has brought everyone together. It has speeded the process of transferring information and the speed has heightened human responsibility and awareness.
Today this term is more referred to the usage of internet and the web. It has reduced physical distances and made the world as a global community. Where as Friedman’s concept of the flattened world has been discussed in his book that analysis the globalization in contrast with the 21st century. It sees the world as playing field where all the players have equal chances and opportunity. Today all the countries, technologies, companies and politics have converged in order to compete in the global market.
He has defined several “levelers” as the reason behind this flatness. India is one of the countries that had no infrastructure and facilities previously but with the opportunities it had and the talent it has grown at a remarkable level. The globalization we have today has surpassed the globalization we had before, today the world has shrunk from large to tiny. He believes that America need to buckle down in this flat world or the future of American kids would be of intense competition especially from countries such as China and India.