Why is globalisation so disdained?



From what I can tell via the definition of the word on Google, globalisation seems like a fairly reasonable course of action.

Trade makes everyone better off in the long run, and it isn't as if we can just pretend that we don't live on a planet anyways, right?

So then my question is, why do so many people seem to hate globalisation?

Is it because of the potential short-term economic pains? Some other reason?


Posted 2018-05-15T11:51:12.573

Reputation: 1 338


Comments are not for extended discussion. The conversation about the connotations of the terms "Globalism" and "Globalisation" has been moved to chat.

– Philipp – 2018-05-16T08:06:06.927

14Globalism is not generally disdained. The particular words "globalism" and "globalists" are mostly used by the alt-right, nationalists and some others on the right. Those in support are more likely to use works like "free trade" or "internationalism". People on the left who are critical of free trade are called "globalization critics" rather than "globalism critics". – Tor Klingberg – 2018-05-15T13:32:46.540

3"why do so many people seem to hate Globalisation?" Source? – Mast – 2018-05-17T15:24:13.247

1@Mast I think at this point you can look at the Community answer for sources on that... haha – Onyz – 2018-05-17T15:44:22.233

Comments deleted. If you would like to discuss the Globalism/Globalisation topic further, please use the provided chatroom. – Philipp – 2018-05-18T07:47:10.293

Isn't re-editing a post to bring it up to the front page a form of engaging in political discussion? – Mozibur Ullah – 2018-05-21T22:56:26.493

4I cannot answer the question due to low reputation. My answer (which I don't see covered elsewhere) is very simple: globalization is really a new name for imperialism; or more correctly, corporate imperialism. (It might help to think of imperialism as an early form of globalization.) The other approach is internationalization. What characterizes globalization is an authoritarian imposition from one, onto many; whereas internationalization brings together peers: it is more democratic. If someone with sufficient rep wants to take this comment and turn it into an answer, sure go ahead. – None – 2018-05-22T19:00:15.923

9"Trade makes everyone better off in the long run" - not true. You seem to be conflating aggregate, overall with "everyone." There are certainly people who lose out in globalization. That may be outweighed, even in a large way, by the winners, but that would certainly refute the "everyone" claim. – PoloHoleSet – 2018-05-31T21:44:18.380



There are critics of globalization both on the progressive and on the conservative side of the political spectrum.

One of the most relevant progressive anti-globalization NGOs is the European Attac. The main concern from the left-wing perspective is not globalization in theory but rather the way it is currently being implemented in practice: with a focus on economic interests instead of social and environmental interests. The current approach to globalization allows large international corporations to form which can then use their dominant market position in an exploitive manner. Among their issues are things like:

  • Tax avoidance by using base erosion and profit shifting to offshore tax havens.
  • Circumventing inconvenient employment and environmental protection laws by moving production to countries with laxer laws. This might lead to a competition of which country can lower these the most. The problem is that the gains of cheaper goods are evenly spread, but the adverse effects are concentrated on certain people and industries.
  • Lowering national consumer protection standards under the pretext of international trade agreements (one of the most criticized part of the TTIP agreement)
  • Using their dominant market position to exploit developing countries (aka Neocolonialism)
  • Unless accompanied by serious economic reforms, immigration just hurts the working poor and benefits wealthy capital owners.
  • Eat Local! Some environmental advocates disdain globalism, because if everyone ate mostly local foods, the global environmental footprint would be lower.
  • Lose of cultural diversity: unique local businesses and restaurants getting displaced by the mono-culture of global chains

But there are also globalization critics among the conservative. Among the reasons why conservatives dislike globalization are:

  • Importing products from other countries instead of producing them domestically hurts the domestic economy and results in more unemployment (anti-globalist counter-measure: Protectionism).
  • Globalization is also pro-immigration, which many conservatives are opposed to for economic reasons ("foreigners take our jobs!") or cultural reasons ("I feel like a stranger in my own country!"). Some social science research on diversity comes to the conclusion that diversity leads to lack of social trust, collective violence, and civic disintegration.
  • National Defense is often a right wing priority. A country may have industries that are prioritized in the national interest, its defense, or a competitive advantage, which globalization can threaten through a number of ways. For example, weapons technology can spread globally, or the flow of raw elements for wartime production can be threatened or halted if not controlled domestically. For this reason, many argue for limiting globalization's impact on the economy with protectionist policies for industries in the national defense.

Anti-authoritarian reasons for people not to like globalization are

  • Globalization empowers big national and super national governmental organizations that many anti-authoritarians don't like. A local government might make laws that make sense for their community (eg different definition of public indecency, more/less religion in public sphere, different spending priorities) that aren't universally agreed upon by global majorities. These anti-authoritarians want local, not global governing bodies to have power and authority. This anti-authoritarian localism can be seen in criticism of the UN, EU, and even the US federal government. A global monopoly government leads to tyranny from which there is no escape, as it is impossible to live on another planet. Monopolies never provide the best service as it is not in their interest to do so.

Fringe arguments which can not be attributed to any mainstream political direction:

  • Freeman Dyson once formulated a theory that genetically isolated villages might in fact have favorable condition to breed unique, highly intelligent geniuses. The freedom of movement facilitated by globalism would prevent this genetic isolation from occuring.

Note: Many of the facts presented in these reasons are disputed by pro-globalization advocates. Politics StackExchange answers are about describing real world political opinions, not arguing which opinions are correct.


Posted 2018-05-15T11:51:12.573

Reputation: 55 858

13I turned this into a community wiki answer so others can add more reasons. Please make sure that they are arguments which are actually used by a non-negligible part of a relevant political direction. Do not add arguments because they are relevant to you personally. – Philipp – 2018-05-15T13:14:47.907

9@Philipp - your last edit - it's neither left nor right argument. It's a lower class populist argument and as such is used by populists playing to working class from BOTH sides (in US, both Trump and Saunders used same exact arguments, just dressed somewhat differently, but boiling down to same bullet point) – user4012 – 2018-05-15T14:42:59.887

6Please note that this is not a discussion forum. Please use comments only to talk about how the answer could be improved. Do not use them for political discussions. – Philipp – 2018-05-15T19:20:15.537

17@Philipp One of the key arguments of Brexit (as the EU is seen as a step towards globalisation) is the ability for people to directly lobby/appeal to their politicians, where-as the relocation of key decision making to, say, Brussels, means only those that can afford international travel costs can directly lobby (read: transnational corporations' lobbyists), disempowering local involvement. Wasn't sure if this 'counts' so left as a comment. – SSight3 – 2018-05-15T19:53:43.233

7@Philipp Additional points; moving goods from one side of the globe (EG China to America, roughly 3,000-5,000 miles) costs in terms of oil/pollution (takes longer to complete a delivery by sea. If by plane, even more fuel is burnt). From a security standpoint, it means your country is dependent on another country that could pull the rug from under you at any time. – SSight3 – 2018-05-15T19:58:43.143

Please remove the Brexit disinfo above. This is inflammatory rhetoric and wrong. – Sentinel – 2018-05-15T21:00:18.323

1@Sentinel I see no mentions of "Brexit", nor any in the edit history. Which part do you mean? – pipe – 2018-05-16T11:09:41.133

3@SSight3 I tried to convey the brexit/EU argument when I added the last conservative reason, but feel free to edit it if you want to make that more clear. I think your "eat local" for environmental reasons is a great liberal reason and the "we need to be able to provide for ourselves in wartime" is a great conservative reason. I think you should find some articles describing them in more depth and add both. – lazarusL – 2018-05-16T13:15:03.547

1Immigration doesn't hurt "the working poor" on net, though. Because it is disproportionately helpful to working poor immigrants. – Obie 2.0 – 2018-05-16T22:06:34.707

5@Obie2.0 many of the "facts" in these reasons are heavily disputed by pro-globalization advocates. This answer just catalogs the reasons people use, it doesn't pass judgement or claim that these reasons are coherent, ethical, or factually accurate. – lazarusL – 2018-05-17T13:29:49.183

@lazarusL I wonder if that "warning" might be something to include in the answer, though. It kind of looks as if these points were something there's a consensus about, or no valid counter-arguments - which certainly isn't true. – Luaan – 2018-05-17T15:16:02.570

@Luaan I agree. Added :) – lazarusL – 2018-05-17T15:25:10.453

Generic "Nationalism" is also a great reason. People believe that their national identity, language etc. is important. – Sulthan – 2018-05-21T13:35:26.237

@Sulthan That's conservative reason number 2. – Philipp – 2018-05-21T17:07:24.013

@BenVoigt Anthony is definitely mocking conservatives, but a healthy fear of unnecessary or radical change is an important foundation of conservative thought. – lazarusL – 2018-05-22T13:03:12.273

2@lazarusL: Also, it's important not to confuse desire to avoid predictable effects of certain changes with fear of change itself. – Ben Voigt – 2018-05-22T13:08:04.083

Wow this is a good answer. Thank you for writing! +1 (or +10 if I could) – user541686 – 2018-05-23T08:12:29.047


The main practical problem with globalism is implied right there in your question:

Trade makes everyone better off in the long run, and it isn't as if we can just pretend that we don't live on a planet anyways, right?

  • "Makes everyone better off in the long run" sounds nice, but it's not accurate. It makes an average member of population - and population as a whole - better off (let's assume that this argument is fully accurate for now).

    However, in the short run - or sometimes even long run - it can hurt specific segments of population. There are various possibilities, but the most obvious are the people who were employed in high-labor-cost-high-cost-of-living areas, who lose their jobs in favor of those living in low-cost-of-living-and-low-labor-cost areas.

    Let's say you're a manager, and the cost to employ a worker to do task X is $40/hr in country X, and $7/hr in country Y, and the cost of shifting supply chain to accommodate differences between X and Y is $3; and your business employs 1000 workers.

    Basic economics dictate that moving the production from country X to country Y will save you $30,000/hr net savings, making it $62M/year saving in labor cost. As your fiduciary duty to shareholders (as well as your basic greed at wanting to be paid a bonus for saving $62M to the company), you're highly motivated to move production from country X to country Y, assuming the move requires investments lower than anticipated savings using standard capital allocation finance.

    This process is colloquially known in Western countries as "outsourcing" (technically speaking, "offshoring"), and results in the following 3 consequences:

    1. Country Y now has 1000 more workers employed. That's good for those 1000 people

    2. You can sell your product at lower price, resulting in more purchasing power for ALL your consumers. That is good for your consumers - which is - on a bumper sticker level - what economists mean when they talk about globalization being "better for everyone".

    3. However, country X now has 1000 unemployed workers. They could in theory find jobs in another business - but EVERY business like yours is moving jobs to cheaper countries, so instead of hiring those 1000 workers from country X they instead fire even more workers (plus, even more jobs are lost due to automation, due to poor timing between the two trends).

    As you can see, the workers who lost the well paying, stable jobs in country X aren't "better off" - yes, they in theory have better purchasing power as everything is cheaper. But they have no income at all (or much, much lower income) so their net purchasing power is drastically lower, despite somewhat lower prices - and their overall cost of living is still very high (neither medicine nor housing nor education nor services are cheaper).

    In general terms, while the overall economy isn't necessarily a zero-sum game, job allocation can be a zero-sum game especially locally. So someone wins and someone else loses.

  • A second big problem is perception.

    I'm pretty good at economics, and I understand how an un-intuitive idea (moving jobs elsewhere) can lead to better average outcome due to more rational use of resources. But not everyone's got the benefit of enough skills/knowledge/background, and the idea is un-intuitive. Basic human psychology doesn't help (your brain sees immediate downside but not longer term upside, your brain sees localized downside but not abstract theoretical upside). So, plenty of people don't see globalism in the same rosy way as you describe.


Posted 2018-05-15T11:51:12.573

Reputation: 84 347

Lots of comments deleted. Please keep the comments relevant to the question. – Philipp – 2018-05-15T19:23:30.180


Good answer, though the part regarding long-term benefit might benefit from a brief discussion of comparative advantage (which is the usual reason given for why trade is seen as a long-term benefit in the first place.)

– reirab – 2018-05-15T20:28:19.953


The downside of free movement of goods globally is that it drives competition of production that in turn leads to loss of jobs locally where production costs are high. This is especially true in industries that rely on manual labor where employer salaries contribute a large part of the total costs. The upside is of course cheaper goods.

The people who oppose globalism and drive for protectionist economic politics are often those who are affected. The problem is that the gains of cheaper goods are evenly spread, but the adverse effects are concentrated on certain people and industries.


Posted 2018-05-15T11:51:12.573

Reputation: 1 621

1It is my understand that per economic theory, the adverse effects would be temporary growing pains associated with all forms of sudden access to trade. Am I misinformed, or is the claim that the temporary adverse effects are seen as unacceptable? – Onyz – 2018-05-15T14:10:24.633

1That is opinion based and some people see it that way while others don't. – Communisty – 2018-05-15T15:58:54.273

8Onyz -- as JM Keynes said, "...this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task, if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us, that when the storm is long past, the ocean is flat again." Economic theory does predict that the adverse effects will be temporary, but economic history shows the derangement easily outlasts the lifetime of the individual worker; the US rust belt has still never recovered from the 1970s/80s manufacturing flight. – Tiercelet – 2018-05-15T17:13:40.443

2@Onyz They will not be resolved automatically. The stable situation, with free trade, will be when the cost of labour and living are more-or-less equal everywhere. That means (probably; extrapolating) China will rise up in quality-of-life and the USA will drop down until they are matched. How many Americans do you think are in favour of that? Oh and initially some Americans will have to move to China in order to survive, to decrease their cost of living. – user253751 – 2018-05-16T01:49:08.467

1@immibis global trade and competition leads to cheaper products that are the increase in quality-of-life. Sure in USA it will drop relative to others but not absolutely (on average). Do you see /have you seen Americans moving to China with that in mind? – Communisty – 2018-05-16T09:39:49.797

@immibis If you have any sources for that, or studies suggesting that, I think it would make a great addition to one of the existing answers. – Onyz – 2018-05-16T11:56:16.180

1@Immibis - What will happen is that everyone's quality of life will rise, but it will rise faster for some than others. This has already happened - how do you think China got where it is? – Obie 2.0 – 2018-05-16T22:08:46.010

1@Tiercelet The tricky bit is we don't really know how that would work on a free market. There's plenty of power groups that have huge interest in prolonging unemployment and reducing employment in general. E.g. unions can achieve an increase in wages by excluding others from being eligible for the job in question; weirdly, almost noone is bothered by this. And by wage fixing, price fixing and minimum wage policies, they make it impossible for those industries to stay profitable - while at the same time, high rates of taxation prevent the accumulation of capital that could offset that. – Luaan – 2018-05-17T15:26:48.773

2Right, because corporations should be allowed to use market tactics to determine prices, but not workers. When workers collectively bargain for the best market rate of their labor, they are "hurting" the economy. And when the government needs to collect taxes, that's also the reason we're poor. But somehow the company that can hire and fire people with only regard to their profit, and who pay people what "the market says they're worth" rather than based on their value, those people are fundamentally fair and using the market correctly. – Anthony – 2018-05-20T09:24:16.490

@Communisty I'm sure the increasing growth of people with multiple jobs that can only, barely, keep their economy running in the countries that are loosing jobs agree with you. Using averages doesn't really work in real life and the people who are screwed don't care about it -- your increased income, doesn't help me when my income drops. – Clearer – 2018-05-22T06:44:24.180

@Clearer A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members. -Gandhi. – Communisty – 2018-05-22T10:14:25.177


Others have addressed the economic and social aspects fairly well, so I won't repeat them except to throw in a Trump quote which sums it up:

"A nation without borders is not a nation."

Anyone who agrees with this sentiment, and likes their country and wants to preserve it, would therefore want "borders" in a meaningful sense. And even your question implies that globalization and "borders" are somewhat opposed concerns.

Moving on, the third argument against globalization (complementing economic and social) is governmental. Up until this point in civilization on earth, no single Power has governed the entire world. While a tyranny may exist in one place, prosperity may exist in another. Genocide here, peace there. And it has often happened in history that the power of a tyrant, or a corrupt state, is checked or overthrown by another sovereign state. (Think North and South Korea, Nazi Germany, etc.)

Ancient Rome I think is an instructive example of this argument. The empire had a really long run. At its peak, to travel from Rome itself to a place not ruled by it would take weeks or months. And Rome was ruled for hundreds of years by a series of debauched tyrant Emperors, each seemingly worse than the last, punctuated by only a few "good" ones. This continued until finally the corruption of Rome was so complete that the capital city became vulnerable to outside threat.

But what happens if a single power dominates the world, and becomes a tyranny or a genocidal state, with no outside equal to check it?

George Orwell envisioned in 1984 a world governed jointly by three more or less cooperating super-powers who use a false, perpetual war between them to "use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living"; who control all communication, historical records, education, and thereby remove even the will of people to rebel against them; who dominate and enslave all humanity. Of course, 1984 is a work of fiction, but it is mentioned with interesting frequency in the American media of all political stripes.

The Internet seems to confirm that the late influential billionaire David Rockefeller wrote this in his autobiography:

For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.

And he is rumored, but it appears not proven, to have said this as well in private:

We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march toward a world government.... The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.

You can find a dozen sources or more for the second quote, none of them particularly reputable, by putting part of the quote in Google. Let's just assume for my argument that both quotes are fake; for my point it doesn't actually matter, because both serve to illustrate why people are so concerned with globalization.

The concern is, simply, that unchecked globalization will lead to the effective and collective loss of sovereignty of the nations, to be replaced by a supranational, unelected, and unaccountable Power that will be almost impossible to displace.

Rockefeller himself denied having an "elected" world government as a goal, but the question was, why is globalization disdained. The "Illuminati" type conspiracy theories out there, even assuming they are pure fantasy, show you why. As does the fictional "1984". As does the example of ancient Rome. It is a fear that, if a Power arises that effectively rules the entire world, there may be no going back, and there may be no way to stop the emergence and total corruption of a global state.

An early draft of the Declaration of Independence says:

But when a long train of abuses & usurpations, begun at a distinguished period, & pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to subject them to arbitrary power, it is their [mankind's] right, it is their duty, to throw off such government & to provide new guards for their future security.

If unchecked globalization is a road that leads eventually to unprecedented tyranny, the same philosophy that gave rise to the Declaration would therefore stand opposed to it.


Posted 2018-05-15T11:51:12.573

Reputation: 1 380

1Re:"It is a fear...". Use of the word "fear" is not appropriate. It is used by people to de-legitimize other people's views. Identifying 'risks' and then building a path forward or taking a position that mitigates those risks has nothing to do with fear. Quite the opposite. It is a non-emotional proven successful practice used by those who prefer to ensure the best possibility for achieving a successful outcome. – Dunk – 2018-05-21T20:47:30.010

5Fear is good. Fear keeps us out of trouble. Globalization is disdained, at least in part, because of the fear that a new global state would be corrupted almost instantly and absolutely. That's not a 'risk' that is 'mitigated'. A fear like that can't be quantified or qualified. That doesn't make it wrong, but I don't see any realistic approach to a global state that enters into the realm of risk management. Once the global state is created, all bets are off. – wberry – 2018-05-21T23:00:13.957

Fear is good 'in the moment'. It helps people get out of trouble, usually without putting much thought into why they are doing what they are doing. Thus, the reason a particular side of the political spectrum has chosen to use the word to disparage the opposing view. They are implying lack of rational thought. However, people are not built to stay in a perpetual state of a strong emotion over the long term.Thus, over time this initial 'fear' simply turns into a concern that can be rationally evaluated for its risk level and desirability... – Dunk – 2018-05-29T20:12:49.777

1...If the concern is determined to truly be a risk then taking steps or holding a view opposed the formation of a global state is certainly a mitigation. My main point is that it is not 'fear' that causes people to oppose the formation of a global government. It is a rational decision based on not desiring an outcome that the person does not believe is beneficial. Using the word 'fear' implies the person gave no rational thought to deciding on their view and is merely a condescending word that is actually a lie in almost all cases of its usage. – Dunk – 2018-05-29T20:15:20.957


Update for 2020

With the COVID-19 epidemic currently killing lots of people in part due to market disruption (e.g. manufacturing of medical supplies) and causing lots of supply chain disruption in non-essential industries (insert toilet paper line joke) this answer takes on a tragic rather than speculative tone. Hopefully we do better going forward.

Original Answer

Because networks are fragile, and humans are poor (insanely overly optimistic) planners. How many major construction projects finish on time and under budget? Software projects? Product launches?

If there is a commodity that you are dependent on, and you are unable to produce it domestically, then you are vulnerable to a disruption in it's supply.

Let's table any talk of exploitation, unequal partner dynamics, domestic job loss, etc. as they are frequently present but not really central to the real problem.

Consider the case of the US and oil. US produces oil domestically, but not nearly enough to meet it's energy needs. US could theoretically produce sufficient oil domestically, but doing so would require a decade-long lead time to create the necessary infrastructure. US is therefore vulnerable to a disruption in the oil supply, for any reason at all.

Contrast with the case of the US and food (like energy, an essential commodity). US is the number one exporter of food in the world, US can easily feed it's population, etc.

Now certainly autarky is a failed strategy (case study: India). But if globalization means "elimination of all redundant domestic industry to optimize", and that is in fact what it seems to mean (e.g. The Lexus and the Olive Tree), then it courts disaster. It may not seem so at first, but eventually it works out that way. US needs China for manufacturing, China needs e.g. Argentina for food, etc. Everybody needs everybody else, so nobody strong-arms anyone too badly.

But what happens when you remove a node from the graph?

The system may be robust enough to handle losing a major player (i.e. sufficient global diversity for others to pick up the slack). But what happens if a pandemic sweeps westward across Asia, nailing China/Korea/Russia/maybe some of Europe?

What happens if another World War (or even a regional one) disrupts global shipping that all of these links rely on?

Crop blight in US?

Peak oil?

Solar flare?

Long winter from nuclear explosion/volcanic eruption?

I would argue that there is insufficient redundancy in regions of individual countries, much less the global trade network. Insurance is a waste of money right up until you need it.

Jared Smith

Posted 2018-05-15T11:51:12.573

Reputation: 7 181

2How does this answer a question of "why is it so disdained"? Are there a measurable amount of populace who disdain globalization *because of fragility risk*? – user4012 – 2018-05-18T14:29:43.103

2@user4012 there's a surface-level question here of "why don't people like it" that I'm not sure is answerable. I interpreted the question behind the question as "what is there not to like?" or maybe "why wouldn't people be onboard with globalization?" (backed by the OP stating that globalization seems a reasonable course of action) and I've answered it to the best of my abilities. As to your question, my answer is "I certainly hope so!" – Jared Smith – 2018-05-18T14:41:04.073


@user4012 Lol, I thought I was making a philosophical/academic point, then I stumbled across this tidbit of history.

– Jared Smith – 2019-02-15T15:10:31.837

Why go so far? Collapse of Western Roman empire illustrates your point perfectly (they basically collapsed in large part because their network went haywire due to other root causes) – user4012 – 2019-02-15T15:14:32.483

@user4012 mostly because the bronze age collapse happened so fast, literally in the course of a lifetime. The Roman collapse IIRC drug out over a couple of centuries. Things can go south that quickly. – Jared Smith – 2019-02-15T15:16:59.717


Economically, Globalization means capital mobility. This implies that capital can move production to a place with cheaper labor, which facilitates international division of labor, but also reduces the labor share of income.

Thus many places have winners (e.g., urban population in China who are now busy building stuff) and losers (e.g., European and US workers).

Winners celebrate quietly, losers protest loudly.


Posted 2018-05-15T11:51:12.573

Reputation: 627

3This definition relies on dubious implicit assumptions: no disruption ever to global shipping, no issues with national security, no or trivial information asymmetries, etc. – Jared Smith – 2018-05-17T16:46:21.980

2The long and the short of it is this: When Ford moves a plant from Detroit to China, its labour costs go down, but the dollars received in China are then purchased with newly printed Yuan and re-invested back into financial instruments that help drive consumer credit growth back in the US, so that consumers may continue to buy the cars. This is because China is happy with more domestic employment, and because Ford can lobby the US govt. This has been the economic model. This is why we are in a financial crisis. – Sentinel – 2018-05-17T20:18:41.553


First of all globalization makes people on average better off, but there are plenty of losers. For example unskilled workers in US have lower salaries with globalization because huge supply of unskilled workers around the world.

Other than that there are 2 related problems:

  • loss of sovereignty: For example EU was sold to people as a free trade union, but today it mandates countries how many illegal immigrants they must accept, that they can not exclude children living outside of a country from welfare payments...

  • corruption: It is much easier to bribe few politicians in Washington/Brussels than every politicians in every state/EU country

So globalization in above cases means more corruption, and possibly forced political decisions that 70-80% of the people in one state/EU country do not want.


Posted 2018-05-15T11:51:12.573

Reputation: 833

How can e.g. the EU force decisions that "70-80% of the state" does not want? There still must be a majority decision. – sleske – 2018-12-20T10:14:01.553

I said state, not states. Meaning that Germany and France can make decision for Sweden even if most of people in Sweden do not want it. – NoSenseEtAl – 2018-12-21T05:40:46.150

1Ah, yes, that makes sense, thanks. I submitted an edit to clarify, hope you don't mind. – sleske – 2018-12-21T07:36:15.640


Besides the economic issues that the other answers describe well are the cultural issues. Like with any modernization, elements from the past are diminished, lost, forgotten, and people will be lament this. When cultures mix there is a fear from both sides of each group losing a part of their identity, or that some piece of their culture will not be passed on. Individualistic persons may not feel threatened, but Terror Management Theory would suggest a real existential fear for those who place value in family and cultural tradition.

This is often more acutely felt by those who are older and have memory of how things used to be. Every generation people will bemoan what is lost through time and globalization is one of many drivers of change


Posted 2018-05-15T11:51:12.573

Reputation: 813

3While I agree lots of people fell that way I don't know how to classifiy this as bad or good since all cultures are chimera of previous cultures and the fate of any actual culture is to mix or fade way – jean – 2018-05-16T20:51:26.343

This line of thought suggests that that a curve of cultural threat might be measured by population change per unit of time, perhaps with some other factors thrown in. (One such factor would be the additional anxiety felt by immigrants as strangers in a strange land. Another factor would be the general cultural advantages of immigration, e.g. cuisine). Presumably if 100% of a population changed, the cultural threat would be nil, therefore the threat rate presumably peaks somewhere in the middle. Perhaps there's an optimal minimum. – agc – 2018-05-17T06:37:42.820

1@agc I think the peak is when you start feeling "they're everywhere" - which really only means "you're meeting them regularly". I wouldn't be too surprised if that was with as little as 5-10% - assuming the immigrants are easy to pick up (especially if they're visibly different). But there's probably so many variables there's little point of trying a real analysis - different immigrant "groups" are very differently tolerated by different people. – Luaan – 2018-05-17T15:30:11.523


That's a good and complex question.

In addition to great answers already given, it is also worth looking at who feels strongly about globalisation, and who benefits or doesn't benefit from it.

The criticism is largely the same on both the left and the right, namely that ordinary people suffer too many of the disadvantages of globalisation and reap too few of the profits. Especially compared to corporations and the very rich, so there is a question of unfair distribution. Or in metaphorical terms: You moved with your family to a bigger house, that's good. But your room is the same size as it was before and you have more chores to do now. Yes, here and there you enjoy the benefits of a bigger living or dining room, but compare to the added chores and the fact that someone else moved up from one small room to three big ones, you feel short-changed.


Posted 2018-05-15T11:51:12.573

Reputation: 2 310


Define "Globalization".

Presently, and I mean since approximately the Western Thatcher/Reagan era, it means the deindustrialization of Western nations in favor of financial services, while manufacturing is taken up by exporter nations, particularly Asian ones, so that dollar-a-day Asian labour can present the illusion of low CPI, while asset price inflation and associated Western consumer debt continues to drive the debt bubble that allows Asian central banks to print new currency to purchase their own dollar trade surpluses and reinvest those dollars back into the US.


So what is not to love?

Same story applies to the Middle East. Exporters can only sell oil in dollars, which results in current account dollar surpluses, which they don't mind as long as that paper can be swapped for hardware.

I would say globalization is now on ice because of the financial crisis and continuing state support via Quantitative Easing of the private sector. Dollar liquidity globally is now expected to fall as QE converts to Quantitive Tightening, and as liquidity falls,central banks around the world have less to buy, less to print, and less to demand with. This reflects on the US as less ability to reinvest. So prognosis? Reversal of globalization and soon to arrive Financial Crisis 2. This time apocalyptic. The magnitude of the bubbles and subsequent crises can also be viewed as a consequence of globalization.


Posted 2018-05-15T11:51:12.573

Reputation: 394

6I think there is a point here about how globalisation shifts the real economy away from Western countries, leaving only a "fake" financial economy which looks real but is actually just a huge bubble built on nothing, which is obviously very bad for Western countries. It's quite hard to understand it though. – user253751 – 2018-05-16T01:52:59.593

2@immibis Yes globalization is a reagan/thatcher era project aimed at handing power to transnational corporations, who naturally replace high cost labour with low cost labour, leaving the Western world with a white collar administrative economy and a parasitic financial services sector. But that is the tip of the iceberg. The underlying driver of that is central bank activity at exporter nations. Asian/opec exporters accumulate dollar surpluses.These must be converted to domestic currency.So the central banks print to prevent domestic inflation.The Nixon shock initiated all that. – Sentinel – 2018-05-16T06:29:04.250

@immibis When Nixon defaulted on gold backing of the dollar, exporter nations were left holding huge surpluses of dollars that were suddenly only paper. Unemployment would have caused widespread social unrest and political turmoil, as these states are/were socialist and or dictatorships. So they reinvested the dollars back into the US to prop up demand.For the first time, exchange rates became floating and this was in the 60s/70s.They discovered that they needed to print money to buy the dollar surpluses, to devalue local currency to keep exports cheap. – Sentinel – 2018-05-16T06:36:53.267

@immibis So this cycle has been going on since then. Building up an ever greater debt mountain as Fed reserve printed dollars recirculate via exporter nations back into instruments such as equity, fanny Mae, Freddie mac etc. Until the house of cards started to creak in 2007. Since then QE is propping everything up. But this is not sustainable. When it goes down, it will go down catastrophically. I see hope in new tech like crypto being able to act as a replacement infrastructure, to avoid an apocalyptic scenario. – Sentinel – 2018-05-16T06:42:49.997

@immibis Finally, all the states in the Middle East that are not in alignment with the Sunni-US petrodollar exclusivity agreements are targeted militarily. It can be said that the collapse of Iraq,Libya,Syria , the rise of Sunni backed Islamic extremism and the demonisation of Shia Iran are all artifacts of globalization in this sense. – Sentinel – 2018-05-16T06:53:25.783

But, a dollar only ever was worth what you can buy with it. – nomen – 2018-05-18T18:05:05.817

@nomen Truism. A diamond is only worth what you can buy with it. And a Picasso is only worth what you can buy with what you would pay for it – Sentinel – 2018-05-19T23:38:04.567

The amount of cash circulating in an economy needs to keep up with demographic trends. Keeping the dollar tied to gold simply meant that holding cash meant earning risk free profits. – nomen – 2018-05-20T22:50:45.447

@nomen Unsupported. Most domestic 'cash' is bank credit in a fractional reserve banking system. Consumer bank credit is in effect backed by paper cash. The US defaulted on gold because its administration blew it all on Vietnam. – Sentinel – 2018-05-21T04:01:09.633

Gold wasn't a loan. The US didn't "default" on gold. It switched to fractional reserve banking to keep up with its new role as economic leader of the free world, and for use as a reserve currency worldwide. Without increasing the supply of money for other central banks to use, we could not be the reserve currency DUE TO SCARCITY RENT. – nomen – 2018-05-21T15:02:14.507

1@nomen Total nonsense. The US straight up defaulted. Consult the history books. No one disputes this. This is just plain historical fact, as plain as they come.And yes, the gold was owed. – Sentinel – 2018-05-21T18:04:49.557

@nomen It sounds like what you two are saying is that gold was deflating (each piece of gold was becoming able to buy more stuff) and they couldn't have a non-deflationary currency without untying it from gold. That seems plausible. It also seems like they straight up defaulted, by telling people they could exchange their gold into dollars later, and then reneging on the deal. Let's not forget the part where it was illegal for anyone other than the government to own gold. – user253751 – 2018-05-22T06:30:16.703

1@immibis Well the problem for Nixon (see Nixon shock) was that according to the Bretton-Woods agreement, the dollar was backed by a certain amount of gold, and every other country in the arrangement had a fixed exchange rate with the dollar. Hence the phrase about the dollar "as good as gold". Unfortunately, the US spent its gold on wars. When France and I think UK demanded their gold, suspecting the US no longer had enough gold to back its paper, Nixon simply said no (after long consultation with the Fed). Since then, exporter nations propped up the system as described above. – Sentinel – 2018-05-22T06:41:47.530


There are probably many reasons as cited above as to why people hate globalization.

Here in the United States, globalization has hollowed out rural America and even some semi-rural parts of America like where I currently live, but not for much longer.

Rural economies can rarely muster economies of scale that enable globally competitive enterprises. Rural communities generally lack the capital, expertise, global supply chains and cheap transportation costs that are the building blocks of successful global production and distribution.

In a global economy characterized by over-capacity, over-production and mobile capital, localized rural economies can't compete with the low cost of commoditized products distributed by finely tuned global supply chains and cheap transportation.

In the part of the United States I live in (my last week here), when RCA, Campbell Soup and other manufacturing companies left, it all went downhill and it has never been back since. Yes, the healthcare system with cartel hospitals here and there have been touted as recovering the local economy, but its not true.

Macys is gone, certain malls, dead, most strip malls, dead, nothing but weeds growing in the parking lot and a couple of Rite-Aids.

Pre-globalization and cheap transport, local bakeries imported bulk flour and baked bread that was lower in cost than loaves shipped in from afar. The local bakeries held the competitive price advantage, and so local bakeries could pay local labor and local taxes that then supported the rest of the local economy.

But in today's economy, commoditized bread can be delivered to rural communities at prices local bakeries cannot match.

The same holds true for virtually all globally tradable goods-- foods, clothing, etc. The only economic sectors with a toehold in rural communities are corporate farms, the occasional small specialty corporate factory making non-commoditized components and non-tradable services such as hair salons, motels, thrift shops, cafes, etc.

Proponents of globalization claim the few hundred dollars in annual household savings generated by shipping in commoditized goods are so beneficial nothing else matters. But if the cost of these paltry, essentially meaningless savings is the destruction of the local economy except for a handful of global corporate outposts and jumble shops, was this trade-off a good deal for rural communities?

For six years now I have had to get in a car and drive at least 20 minutes away in any direction for anything, including a locally owned cafe with wifi. Not good. A truly sustainable community should have a decent coffee shop within a favorable walking distance or bicycle riding distance in every direction.

Proponents of globalization overlook the intrinsic value of local control and local capital. Once control of the local economy has been ceded to global corporations, the community has lost control of its destiny: the global corporation has only one goal and reason to exist: to increase capital and maximize profits by any means available.

So instead of Carla's Cafe, you have Dunkin Donuts, or Wawa; instead of a locally owned bike shop that does repairs and takes special orders for good quality bikes like Linus, we have try your luck with cheap-o bicycles at Wal-Mart.

Now of course, most of you reading this from major cities already have all this and take it for granted, but in rural, semi-rural and suburban communities, they do not.

Globalization has offered up the shoddy baubles of cheap goods at Walmart and Amazon at the cost of hollowing out local economies everywhere. Those urban areas that specialize in globalized distribution, software, design and data attract mountains of global capital that then distort the cost structure to the point that only the already-wealthy can afford to live there.

The value of local control and local capital far exceed the pathetic "savings" reaped from shoddy commoditized goods. At some point we might recognize this and act on it and if we live somewhere that has not recognized it for the past 30 years, we move to a place that has recognized it and acted on it.


Posted 2018-05-15T11:51:12.573

Reputation: 181

Re "Wawa, instead of a locally owned": what is "Wawa"? – agc – 2020-03-29T14:11:17.100

1@agc, its a popular convenience store in the Philadelphia area. I have heard it be described similar to Buckees if thats more familiar. – Daniel – 2020-03-30T14:48:04.433