The Meaning of Globalization: From Ulrich Beck’s Vision to the Rise of Anti-Globalization (2)

In fact, the rise of globalization is connected with certain historical factors – at the beginning it started its elementary development in the Age of Discovery in the fifteenth century. After that, the eighteenth-century Industrial Revolution caused the growth of commercialism, facilitating the beginning of Western colonialism. With the dominant capitalism developed, colonialism was then superseded by the upsurge of the wave of national independent movement and democratization across Asia and Africa. Despite the changes, world economy was still controlled by Western powers, especially by the United States – “neoliberalism” brought us a seriously imbalanced distribution of wealth and resources not only in capitalist states but in the former colonies of the West. Although the “developed” states have got huge economic interest from the development, the “global market” is keeping its pace to further evolve, conforming to the principle of the so-called “profit maximization”. Since then, countries in different regions have been set to play different roles in the market: the “developed” are responsible for designing the products and services, and the “developing” in charge of selling their labour and resources for manufacturing. Globalization, as we can see, lets all people play their “appropriate” roles in serving the market. The core question is still here: who makes the whole thing “unavoidable”?

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)