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One of the major pressing issues of the 21st century is globalization. The process of globalization is inherent to life from aspects such as the formation of life’s self-sustenance to the trans-migration of humans from primitive to the modern world. In other words, globalization is characterized by adjustment and influx. In most cases, globalization is often used positively with emphasis on the opportunities that expanded network offer for sharing of information, as well as access to not only products but jobs, resources, and technology.
However, globalization has its negative aspects that have affected, and will continue to have an effect on the society in different areas.
This paper looks at the issue of globalization and the impact it has on the society. One of the areas of globalization that has a massive effect on the society is technology (Dreher P. 100). Globalization has been made possible by technology such as access to the internet and communication networks. Technological innovations are one of the aspects of globalization.
One of the greatest benefits when it comes to technology is the fact that it has resulted in the creation of one big platform, essential for knowledge and information. Features such as iPads, Laptops along with other technological innovations have led to the affordability and accessibility of education. A great number of books with different information are easily accessible online. Students can also use other technological features such as YouTube in learning new things and accessing to additional course materials.
Also, some of leading universities use an online platform to offer courses at an affordable fee (Gangopadhyay P.
70). Looking at Aristotle’s notion of final cause, I believe the internet as part of the contemporary technological innovation had a massive impact on the lives of people all over the world. According to Aristotle in the final cause, “In investigating the cause of each thing it is always necessary to seek what is most precise (as also in other things): thus man builds because he is a builder, and a builder builds in virtue of his art of building. This last cause then is prior: and so generally.”(Hawkins P. 521).
About this excerpt, one example of the outcome of using the internet is that human beings came up with the thought of turning the world into one global community, where communication will be faster and reliable. This idea led to the innovation in internet technology thus, manufacture of devices that uses the internet such as computers and smartphones all of which are essential features necessary for globalization to occur. Globalization has also raised ethical issues. These concerns correlate directly with the four causes that Aristotle discussed in Physics (Aristotle P. 46). Such issues include exploitation of labor, environmental ethics, a hierarchy of power and political issues (Dreher et al., P. 113).
In relation to exploitation of labor, Mayer argues that every exploitative relationship begins with an initial inequality which makes the taking advantage possible. In such relationship, the rich become richer while the poor fall further behind’ (Mayer p. 617). In modern times, exploitation mostly occurs in underdeveloped countries such as South America, Asia, and Africa. The workers receive low wages but work under poor conditions (Tisdel et al., p. 301). With the globalization of capitalism, there is no way that countries such as China or Bangladesh are going to stop exploitation. For many years, China has been practicing cheap and exploitative labor which has made its economy unstoppable and growing very fast.
The reason for the rapid growth is such that many countries from the West have moved to China searching of discounted labor and cheap products. In essence, Capitalism is about the rich exploiting the poor (Mayer p.608 619). Another effect of globalization is regarding social class and hierarchy of power. These aspects directly recount Plato’s allegory of the cave. In the society today, the upper class or rather the elite are the puppet masters in the cave. They control almost everything that happens in the society from media, the general population to the manner in which people receives information. The rest of the population is the prisoners in the cave who are controlled by whatever measures the elite put forth.
For instance, the youth of today dresses according to how they see celebrity figures dressed regardless of whether it is in an immoral manner or not. They do not care about morality anymore since; their mind is controlled by what they see in their role models or the celebrities. Moreover, apart from the elite, the government, technology, the media and even religion also bound the rest of the society. There is always that figure which is considered ‘superior’in authority such as the military. Such figures often feel like they can control the ‘rest of the society, the prisoners, or according to Plato, ‘the ones they keep chained.’
When one opens his eyes to the shadows of the cave, it becomes clear for him to view the world as it actually is thereby he will be able to reach his destination thus, serve his purpose in life (Hawkins p. 521). Globalization has also become one of the most pressing issues in politics. It impacts various aspects including the nature of the states, an individual’s freedom, obedience, authority, and sovereignty. However, apart from these aspects, Globalization also has an impact on the life of an individual. For Aristotle, a person has the ability to achieve the ‘good of life that is the best possible life that mankind can ever achieve according to his nature of being a unique creature, is only through being part of a political state'(Garver P.112). A person can be a part of a good life by being a good citizen.
One could only be a good citizen, when he takes part in things going on in a state actively such as on issues such as participating in free and fair elections. For Aristotle, this means that the states should be small enough to allow people to have a say in its life, and the manner in which it is run. However, this does not mean that the principle of an excellent state is democracy or good life since the philosopher restricted citizenship only to those individuals who were free from the need so as to survive. So according to him, slaves were not citizens of the state (Garver P. 110-119).
However, Aristotle’s ideas were for the ancient times, in modern times, with the instantaneous coverage of both technology and the media, along with the possibility of having an open participation in the political life, globalism is equally achievable. However, the problem comes in as many states are corrupt, and violate the rights of people. Such acts have resulted to people engaging in dangerous activities such as terrorism with an aim of liberating themselves from such corrupt systems of governance. As an effect of terrorism, many states such as the United States have come up with laws that will assist in catching terrorists. However, these laws such as the Patriot Act, which the congress put in place following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, are in violation of an individual’s rights and humanity such as they have resulted in the potential erosion of civil liberties (Riley P. 2-5).
In environmental ethics, globalization has resulted to the degradation of the environment and depletion of natural resources. As a consequence of achieving globalism, companies have come up that use resources such as trees thus results to deforestation. Moreover, this company’s result in the emission of dangerous gasses to the atmosphere, which has led to issues such as global warming. Moreover, people have a right and need to a fair share of Earth’s resources including a healthy, clean and safe environment. Such basic requires are under threat as a result of the environment’s depletion, and climate change. The degradation of the environment has observable economic and social consequences that impact the capability of individuals, and the community in achieving their potential, as well as expressing their human rights (Mayer p. 608 619).
In conclusion, the last 20 years have experienced interdependence of life on the globe. The global environment as a whole has been affected by land use and changes in the environment that in turn directly affects communities and people. The economic developments in one continent have a direct impact in another. Conflicts which take place in one area provoke reactions and actions from another part of the world, where people all over the world can simultaneously watch from the television or through the internet. Such are the impact that globalization has on the society. Potentially, globalization is a positive aspect but, it requires well-designed rules and better management. Globalization has unconstructive effects and problems but it is here to stay thus, it is upon us to learn the manner in which to reap its benefits. It is possible to realize such benefits only through understanding the impact it has, working with the aim of spreading its benefit as much as possible and working to remedy the problems it causes.
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