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Globalization vs. the entities called Countries Print E-mail

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 00:00

Written by Barry Marcus

All of the hype that surrounds globalization would suggest that we should now be citizens of the globe rather than citizens of individual nation states.

In his 1995 book, The End of the Nation State, Kenichi Omae presented convincing evidence to support the notion that the political structures and entities called countries have become outmoded and do not reflect the economic realities of the world. 

Quite simply, capital moves freely around the world. The volume of global capital flows increases dramatically every year. Although most countries still cling to their national currencies, moving money around the world can happen with ease. Most nations now allow for an unrestricted flow of currencies. An entire industry has grown out of foreign exchange that facilitates the free flow of goods from one place to another. 

While capital has an almost unrestricted ability to travel, the people that live in the various countries of the world are denied that same freedom. Every country has its own laws and policies regarding the freedom to travel. The most developed countries often have the most restrictive policies about who may enter. Most countries are on guard against illegal immigration. 

Moving freely from one country to another is not that simple. Certain regional communities have lifted restrictions for their citizens within the region. The European Union is one example. A French citizen may move to Germany, Spain or the UK without a problem, but relocating to the United States is an entirely different story. 

True globalization implies not only free-trade and the free movement of capital, but the ability of each person to live wherever they choose. In spite of globalization, national borders are still in place. Entry into countries is restricted. The developed world often has the most severe restrictions on entry, contradicting the view that the world has become a global village. 

Although the free movement of people may be an ideal of globalization, the consequences could be far reaching. Does the developed world want a large influx of people seeking a better life? The United States coped with a fairly unrestricted immigration policy until little over a hundred years ago. This did not cause major problems and the US was still able to become the largest economic power on earth. Perhaps the fears of governments and citizens should be put aside in pursuit of the ideal of global citizenship.


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