Globalisation in 1929 there were no passenger flights linking

Globalisation is a word that contains much ambiguity.
Wetherly and Otter who mention political, social and economic aspects underline
the ambiguity of it. “The process by which it is argued that the world has
become more integrated….an increase in flows across boundaries… not only
economic flows of trade and investment in the form of multinational
companies…also the transmission and mixing of cultural influences, migration
and increased communication”. (Wetherly and Otter, 2014). Moreover, not only
does the lexical meaning vary often, but also the general opinion on
globalisation’s effects. To underline the varying views on globalisation,
(Johnson and Turner, 2003) stated that the term is a “frequently over-used term
that came to mean all that was good or bad in the world economy”. Here, Johnson
and Turner solidify the fact that globalisation is a word that has no clear,
single definition.

Globalisation is a topic that sprouts multiple areas,
such as technological, economic, political, and emigrational. Beginning with
the technological advances of globalisation, David Needle uses General Motors
as an example. “When General Motors expanded its operations into Europe through
the acquisition of Open in Germany in 1929 there were no passenger flights
linking the two countries” (Needle, 2010). With the global advances in
technology, the different teams are now in 24-hour communications with each
other boosts the productivity of the business, which previous forms of
communication being letter or telegraph. This is further supported by
(Castells, 1996) who believed that “the globalization of markets has only been
made possible in the late twentieth century by dramatic change in
transportation and communications technologies, for information, people, goods
and services”. Moving onto the economic aspect of globalisation and David
Needle portrays economic globalisation as a “Modern phenomenon”. (Needle, 2010).
 To exemplify how trade has grown in
recent history (Dicken, 2007) stated “From 1950 to 2000 there was an increase
in the international trade of merchandise 20-fold”. The previous 50 years
before the growth of trade was only 6-fold. This growth is supported by the
technological advances that occurred from 1950-2000, which made it easier for
national companies to trade more efficiently across the globe. The growth of
foreign direct investment (FDI) is another indicator of how economic
globalisation has affected in recent times. From 1990-2000 “outflows of FDI
rose from US$200 billion to US$1200 billion” (United Nations, 2004). This
subsequently leads to the growth of MNC’s (Multi National Corporations).

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Often, there is three approaches towards the effects
of globalisation. Firstly, there is the neo-classical view that is a
pro-globalisation view. Secondly, there is the Marxist/Socialist view that is
negative towards the idea of globalisation. Finally, there is the structuralist
view that is the middle ground between the two former arguments that believes
globalisation is positive, but does need to be regulated. (Wetherly and Otter,

Beginning with the neo-classical approach, this is the
most liberal of the three ideologies. The core values of neo-classicalism is
the freedom of trade with no or very little tariffs that encourage trade
through competition. The World Bank, who are a neo-classical organisation,
said, “Global integration in the flow of goods, services, capital and labour
also brings enormous benefits. It promotes competition and efficiency.” (World
Bank, 1989). This ideology was adopted and embraced in countries such as US,
under the leadership Regan, and was paralleled in the UK under Thatcher, both
of whom embraced free market economics. (Johnson and Turner, 2003). This led to
reductions in the role of state and the growth of privatisation. Consequently,
with two major countries in terms of political and economic influence, many
other countries on an international scale subsequently followed suit and
adopted an open market, neo-classical approach. This ideology creates gateways
for different countries to begin easy, tariff free trading which provides many
new opportunities for expansive trade deals across the globe. Although this
approach may lead to greater economic growth, quite often it leads to the
working class of countries like UK under Thatcher from 1979-1990, to be left
out of the prosperity and undercut by importing cheaper materials/goods from
lower labour-costing countries. Furthermore, it entrenches the polarising gap
between the elites or the upper classes of countries, further away from the
struggling working class. An example where Thatcher’s neoclassical approach was
detrimental to the working classes was the closure of coalmines in the 1980’s. “Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
attempted to close many pits and privatise what was left of the industry.”
(Waldron, 2017). Thatcher realised that the price of extracting coal in the UK
was significantly more expensive than importing it from other suppliers. Consequently,
this caused a social and political crisis with ‘illegal strikes’ taking place.
“In 1984 when plans were put forward to close 20 pits, NUM president Arthur
Scargill declared an ‘illegal’ strike, because the move had not been out to a
vote of members.” This is an example of how Thatcher’s neoclassical policy
negatively affected the working class and caused mass unemployment in places
such as South Wales and South Yorkshire where the local economy was heavily
influenced by the coal industry. Grimethorpe in South Yorkshire exemplifies the
negative impact of these closures. Previously a coalmining dependent area, in
1994 it was declared the poorest settlement in the UK.  Thatcher’s closure and privatisation of the
coalmines practically ended the industry in the UK, with only 6 mines left in
2009. In 1983, preceding the strikes, there were 174.

One man who severely opposed the capitalistic nature
of neo-classicalism was Karl Marx. John Gray wrote, “Marx understood how
capitalism destroys its own social base – the middle-class way of life.” (BBC
News, 2011). The socialist approach is in essence, that globalisation is
self-destructive and is only beneficial for the elitist and bourgeoisie groups,
not the proletariat. A central Marxist idea that “growth, rather than being
combined and even, can be combined and uneven, providing the conditions for a
socialist revolution where the workers would seize control” (Wetherly and
Otter, 2014). The Miner’s Strike of 1984 can be linked across to this Marxist
theory. Due to neoclassical approach by Thatcher, it inspired the working class
to react negatively in the hope to take back some control in order regain their
employment security and livelihood.


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