Eric Hobsbawm, the Marxist historian, at the end of his rather elaborate essay on the fall of Communism in 1989 asks the question: Whether or in which of its forms, Marxism, the intellectual justification and inspiration of communism, would continue remainsa matter of debate. Clearly, if Marx would live on as a major thinker, which could hardly be doubted, none of the versions of Marxism were likely to do so in their original forms(The age of extremes 563).
This is the mistake Indian Marxists also make even now. The two Communist parties of India and many others outside the parties also call themselves Marxists even now. It is these people who have not come to terms with globalisation. Neither are they openly anti-globalists. Nor are they openly for globalisation. Only the West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee says:
‘None can stop globalisation. This nis the objective factor and we have to accept it.But it needs caution and we cant accept globalisation at the cost of our self-reliance”. cThis confusion only holds up major economic reforms in India. Nor for that matter the globalisation is clearly explained by apologists for economic reforms, except in a vague way. Globalisation is much more than technological revolution and the integration of the world economy. There is a role for national governments to intervene and protect their cultures and economic well-being of the poorer sections.
Globalisation, yes. Mass poverty, no!
Globalisation, left unregulated ,would lead to ext5reme poverty to persist in many areas of the world. In China, India, Latin America and More so in Africa extreme poverty persists,HIV/AIDS and many vaccine curable diseases are threatening the lives of the poor. So, clearly, the G-8 and other rich countries are seized with how to tackle the extreme poverty in the time of fast globalising world.In six southern African countries, more than 10 million hungry people, after the failure of their crops are provided massive humanitarian aid by way of food by UN World Food Programme. by the way there are pockets of extreme poverty even in the USA,the most developed country and the poverty rate is as much as 13 per cent, says Arjun Sengupta, UN Intepdent expert on Human Rights and a member of the Rajya Sabha.
Globalisation, yes. Americanisation, no!
Protecting local culture acquires a new urgencyThere is a close link with globalisation and its impact on national cultures. First, globalisation is not Americanisation. After the fall of Communism, America emerged as the sole superpower. So, American military, economic and cultural power is dominating and even to some extent destroying national cultures and ethos’s and ways of life. This is a real threat. This is not realised by the Americans, policy makers and thinkers. Hollywood films and Yankee culture, fast food and even the way of dress, behaviour and speech manners are adopted blindly by educated Indians after short visits to American shores for jobs etc. This is now realised and Unesco recently had come out with a warning and a policy to protect national cultures, cinema, media etc.
Globalisation and international terrorism
Yes, globalisation has integrated the world. But this integration also had caused much political and social instability in many parts of the world. More so in the Arab Muslim world. There is a perceived injustice. Hence the 11/9 outrage and also the London Bombing. The terrorists of today are educated and motivated. As a result there is the American interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq with untold consequences. In a technology-driven globalisation, international terrorism also is benefiting by the new technologies of communications and faster logistics. Another danger is the nuclear proliferation. Iran poses the new threats, as perceived. Also the North Korean nuclear threats along with the other major countries supplying missile technologies, China to Pakistan, the world today is no less a safe world. There are more wars, more loss of lives and more uncertainties of the future. May be this is one ld. There are more wars, more loss of lives and more uncertainties of the future. May be this; oiuiweu7ye9yui\ do the ironies of the globalisation process which was seen as a great gain for mankind and yet marked with so many uncertainties.
Globalisation and environment
Not long ago in Montreal there was this meet of 150 countries to start formal talks on mandatory reducations in green house gas emissions beyond 2012.The US refused to join the talks! lobal warming is now a real threat. But the world’s biggest economy, the biggest pollutor, refuses to follow any self-restraint. When the US finally agreed for a watered down resolution, even this partial victory was greeted by environment activists who cheered and some even cried. What is the sensitivity of the Indian people to climate change and environment dgradation? What is the sensitiivty of our political class, political leaders?
The world had seen as never before such large scale migration of people in search of better livelihood. India is a leading migrating generation today!
In each major European country, UK, France and Germany there is the heavy concentration of foreign, minority Muslim labour. The integration or difficulties in integration with the local native communities is giving rise to much tension, violence and a breeding ground for the rise of international terrorism. In Russia, there is now in excess of 10 per cent of foreign migrant ls about and this is causing tensions.