Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mini-blog: Moises Naim seems confused on whether he's optimistic or pessimistic about the future of globalization!

The current issue of the magazine Foreign Policy has an opinion piece by the editor, Moises Naim, on globalization. Here is a link to the article on the magazine's website:

 While tendentious and not particularly novel or interesting, it is gratifying that Naim repeats some of the cliches that I was trying to debunk in a previous post on globalization, at the very least to show that I wasn't criticizing a straw man. Here is his bottom line on the future of globalization: "Globalization is such a diverse, broad-based, and potent force that not even today's massive economic crash will dramatically slow it down or permanently reverse it. Love it or hate it, globalization is here to stay." Now, Naim, at least in part, wants to act as a cheerleader for globalization, and, in so doing, I believe downplays the serious dangers that it faces. Indeed, in a later section of the piece, he admits that the fact that people are wrongly blaming globalization for the current financial crisis, does indeed pose serious risks for the whole enterprise. He writes: "... the gap between the need for collective action [to reinforce trends towards globalization] at the global level and the ability of the international community to satisfy that need is the most dangerous deficit facing humanity." That sounds pretty serious to me, and seems to difficult to reconcile with his earlier, uber-optimistic epistle. Perhaps the earlier statement represents wishful thinking and the latter his more measured and sober judgement on the very real challenges facing the future of our globalized world? Just a mini-thought, and a mini-question, to end this mini-blog, on a mini-spring-like day in Ottawa.

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