The Importance Of Change To Adapt To The New Challenges Set By Globalization

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Thomas Friedman in his article “It’s a Flat World, After All” emphasizes on one main point which is technology. Throughout his article he mentions how technology has taken over the world, how technology made Bangalore, Beijing and Boston neighbors overnight. Friedman also mentions how the most populous countries India and China have geniuses each day racing so that they can have a better standard of living for themselves. The author makes a noteworthy point by mentioning that one must broaden their skills, one must adapt to the technological advancements, one must digitize their business, communication and administration since the world is now appearing to be flat, transparent. He goes on to tell us that main reason behind the world becoming flat is the “10 Flatteners”, the breakdown of Berlin Wall, Netscape being set open, the workflow, outsourcing, offshoring, open sourcing, insourcing, supply-chaining and informing. The Netscape connected people to people and the workflow connected applications to applications added Friedman. Together Netscape and workflow led to the creation of the later 6 flatteners according to the author.

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According to James Forsyth in his article Theresa May’s new third way “the new divide in politics is not between two sides rather it is between nationalists and globalists”. Furthermore, James notes that the new third way is designed for an era that is specific to a nationalist vs a globalist. May wants everyone to be a part of globalization without considering the social status of the person, informs Forsyth. May’s attitude toward the issues is such that she is capable to stand up to the issues the nation is facing and at the same time work on policies that will make Brexit Britain a leader in free trade and make it globally successful. Forsyth also finds it noteworthy to mention that the British Political System gives more priority to trending issues unlike other governments who prioritize. In addition, James points out that May is trying to save globalization rather than fight it, a common misunderstanding people have built against May. Forsyth emphasizes that May’s focus on how to tackle issues in the near future will fix the issues be it by education reforms, industrial strategy or changes to corporate governance.

Michele Gelfand in his article “Here’s the science behind the Brexit vote and Trump’s rise” very well starts off by posing questions related to the article to the readers. She goes on to include facts from his research that show the main wall between humans is Cultural and not financial status, or physical location of one. She emphasizes that each culture has its own set of predefined rules taught children. Furthermore, new rules are formed each day and adaptation to the rules to socialize is what holds the wall and keeps people together. Gelfand points out that the cultures have been further classified into two categories: tight and loose cultures each with its own advantages and drawbacks. She says that tight cultures have “strong norms and little tolerance for deviance, while loose cultures are the opposite. Gelfand makes a noteworthy point by saying that the classification of cultures isn’t optional rather a considerable amount of factors helps classify the strength of each culture, and the factors are natural disasters, health related issues, food scarcity or manmade technological upgrades. She emphasizes that the countries that have such factors tend to be more strong norms and vice versa. The author mentions that advantages of one norm are drawbacks to the other and the other way round. The threats that decide whether one is adapting to a strong norm or a loose one often changes depending on whether the threat is near the corner or rather it is vanishing. The public often elects leaders that promise to bring a tighter social order should they sense the threat.

Huntington’s Clash of Civilization thesis states that main reason behind future conflicts in the human race would be mainly because of one’s cultural and religious identities. Having read all the three articles, I found the articles by Friedman and Gelfand to be convincing and clear to the point. Gelfand’s article talks about how Culture is divided and how different groups react to their social rules. It also explains how in a given situation can one’s cultural norms change given the amount on insecurity the people have. Friedman’s article talks about how the technological advancements opened the doors to opportunities to not only the deserving people but also to the countries. All three articles have a common link connecting them which is Change. Friedman says that one must adapt to the changes and broaden their abilities in order to be a part of this fast moving world. May says that change is necessary so that one is not left behind. Gelfland points out that change is subjective to threats one can see coming. Each article has a different point of view explaining Globalization but either directly or indirectly the authors emphasize on adaptation, they emphasize on change.

The single policy that would improve the quality of life for those who identify themselves from being left out of Globalization would be to promote free international trade and reduce barriers that stop international trade be it imposing a reduction on taxes. It is high time that the leaders of first world countries stop and help the developing countries grow, provide the inventions that would be helpful not to a country but to the entire human race. The world is at a phase where pollution and trying to maximize money has over taken the predefined set of human norms: help humans, grow together. We have forgotten that together we can achieve numerous things but alone we are not capable enough to survive for a long time despite the inventions or money we have. Promoting free trade will help eradicate the fear of threat to countries that are observing strong norms and will help them adapt loose norms. Gelfand’s article mentions that loose norms are more innovative, less ethnocentric and are welcome to new ideas. 

16 August 2021

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