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Environmental Studies 4

Updated on August 29, 2011

Here is the fourth response for my Environmental Studies class.

Judging from Paul Hawken’s The WTO: Inside, Outside, All Around the World, and Thomas Friedman’s Politics for the Age of Globalization, it appears some do not understand that globalization necessitates liberty.

Globalization is essentially the disintegration of state and national borders via individuals’ increasing potential to interact with others beyond those borders. Furthermore, divided individuals can only interact if they are not restricted by the borders’ creators. Thus, globalization requires liberty. However, Hawken muddles globalization with the World Trade Organization (WTO), and Friedman believes globalization requires expanding government paternalism, both of which oppose globalization’s liberty component.

Hawken’s mistake is clearest when he describes the United States filed complaint with the WTO regarding the European Union’s (EU) acceptance of independent Caribbean farmers’ bananas, but refusal of Chiquita Brands International’s. The WTO decided the EU was biased towards the independent farmers, and forced the EU to also accept Chiquita. This is not globalization, for businesses were utilizing the government’s monopoly on violence to force products upon individuals. Additionally, the EU’s restriction of Chiquita bananas also contradicts globalization. Globalization demands grocers independently choose what products to sell.

Friedman argues, globalization requires the government “to equip each [individual], and… society at large” (256). When the government assumes this responsibility it invariably violates rights and corrupts accountability. For example, Friedman proposes government loans for starting personal businesses. Firstly, this requires redistributing wealth, which necessitates thievery. Secondly, unlike a bank, the government can steal more money. Therefore, the government has no interest in restricting loans. Consequently, several unqualified individuals would receive loans. Furthermore, there would be prolonged low interest payment plans; thus, the hassle is limited if the business fails. Essentially, these loans depreciate personal responsibility.

Hawken must realize that globalization fosters freedom not oppression, while Friedman must learn that some of his recommendations hinder globalization.

Friedman, Thomas. “Politics for the Age of Globalization.” Environment an

Interdisciplinary Anthology. Ed. Glenn Adelson, James Engell, Brent Ranalli, and

K.P. Van Anglen. 1st ed. New Haven: Yale University Press. 251-261.

Hawken, Paul. “The WTO: Inside, Outside, All Around the World.” Environment an

Interdisciplinary Anthology. Ed. Glenn Adelson, James Engell, Brent Ranalli, and

K.P. Van Anglen. 1st ed. New Haven: Yale University Press. 261-268.


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    • lasker profile image

      lasker 6 years ago from Dhaka

      Nice writing.