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Globalisation and the New Realities

Globalisation and the New Realities

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Published by AB-
The book Globalisation and the New Realities, by Mahathir Mohamad relates to the problematic that developing nations, specifically middle income countries, are faced when treating globalization and when opening their border under the flag of neo-liberalization. Essay by Aram Barra.
The book Globalisation and the New Realities, by Mahathir Mohamad relates to the problematic that developing nations, specifically middle income countries, are faced when treating globalization and when opening their border under the flag of neo-liberalization. Essay by Aram Barra.

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Published by: AB- on Nov 03, 2007
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03/10/2011

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The book “Globalisation and the New Realities” byMahathir Mohamad
The book 
Globalisation and the New Realities
, by Mahathir Mohamad relates to the problematic that developing nations, specifically middle income countries, are faced whentreating globalization and when opening their border under the flag of neo-liberalization.He presents twenty speeches through which one can measure the qualitative progress of hisideas through different historic processes. It is interesting to note that we organized hisspeeches in a descendent fashion, going from the most updated to some of his first speecheswhen regarding globalization. Through this, the reader is able to see the evolution of theauthor’s thought. A main turn point in his discourse is without a doubt the crisis thatMalaysia saw through 1998-1999. Nevertheless, it is important to tackle some background information before weanalyze his ideas and standpoint regarding the subject. Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamadwas born in 1925 and is the former Prime Minister of Malaysia. He held the post from1981 to 2003 during which he was credited for engineering Malaysia's rapid modernizationand promoting "Asian values". He was also criticized for his autocratic style and allowingextensive cronyism to occur under his watch.
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Throughout this book, Mohamad understand globalization as the process by whichall countries of the world come together to form one entity. It evidently tackles free flow of capital although people and other things “may not flow so freely”. Nevertheless, the author finds one first problem with such ideal and it is that although the market “is interested onlyin making profits” it cares not “for the wellbeing of society”. It is thus that he proposes thatglobalization puts on a different mask through regularization; one that is human and is not“absolutely free nor purely market driven”.The author believes that globalization is nothing but the new religion that rich-developed countries are imposing on the rest of the world to continue its dominance over 
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Perdona Leadership Foundation. Profile of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. 2006. 13 de 07 de 2007<http://www.perdana.org.my/portal/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=37&Itemid=42>.
 
 poor-developing countries. On that regard, he says that free trade became “sacrosanctthrough the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World TradeOrganization (TWO)”. The idea has been sold for the past two decades by announcing thatglobalization will enrich us all, which has rather 
de facto
turned the poor-developingcountries into the new colonies of the European nations and the United States.Mohamad believes that globalization can be good, as said before, when putting ahuman mask to it. It does not mean changing the way in which things work, it is just toaccommodate and adapt certain rules and restrictions in order to protect the less developed.The main argument given by the author is the idea of having a leveled game for all players.Also, education plays a great role. In order to participate in the development of informationtechnology and other applications, Mohamad proposes that mass education is provided bythe government. An example of this, specifically in Malaysia, was when he changed thenational plan inserting much more sciences and mathematics at a preparatory level in order to prepare adolescents to pursue engineering careers.In order for developing and middle income countries to progress and achieve a better quality of life, the author proposes to be pragmatic. “This does not mean that theends justify the means” says Mohamad. Nevertheless, he believes that governments and people in general must focus on results and true objectives that societies must achieve.Being able to “quick adjust to changing circumstances” is an ability that has to beincorporated in the decision making process and in the drafting process. In words of theauthor himself: “we must do what works […] when something no longer works for us, wemust go to other strategies, policies and measures –quickly”.Mohamad bases most of his discourse regarding globalization on answering to twoquestions posed by Nelson Mandela which cite: “Is globalisation only to benefit the powerful and the financers, speculators, investors and traders? Does it offer nothing to menand women and children ravaged by the violence of poverty?” On that regard, the author foresees that the very rich and the very empowered to be the biggest winners in the game,while the very poor and the much disempowered are the biggest losers.Moreover, the author declares that if you’re not part of the solution, then you shouldget out of the way and not be part of the problem. On that note, he believes that the
 
 progress that is needed will only come from national and individual initiatives and actions.Also, pragmatism is a very important tool for these solutions to be functional.Mohamad forecasts five central challenges for developing nations when dealingwith globalization:1.Independence, regarding the thinking process generated within every nationrather that accepting and importing ideologies and ways of thought.2.Truth, by pursuing hard facts within every nation or groups of nationsinstead of simply admitting nonsense.3.Fairness and justice in the sense that all countries are entitled to a votewithin international organizations and the right to be heard. Thereafter,developing nations much fight for those rights to be fulfilled and respected.4.Mutual benefit, relating to the ideal of maximizing the number of winnersand minimizing the number of losers in order to prevent future problematicand violence.5.Creating a more compassionate and caring world under the logic that inorder for less countries to duffer hunger and poverty, globalization must betackled through a human understanding and not just allow the free forces of the market to enact.In order to tackle these five challenges Mohamad also proposes five strategies to pursue solutions:
The principle of rationality.
The principle of readiness.
The principle of representation.
The principle of responsibility.
The principle of self-determination.In all, the author proposes that developing nations empower themselves, think themselves, ensure to have the will and wherewithal to decide their own destiny; “noliberalization, no globalisation without representation”.Furthermore, he believes that developing countries have been left behind throughseveral revolutionary processes such as the industrial revolution, the mass productiontechniques and now the information revolution. In order to avoid be left behind forever,

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