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David Witwer

Dr. Wehrli


September 16, 2009

Redefining Friedman’s Globalization: A Critique of the 1.0-3.0 Schema

In 2006 Milton Friedman’s wildly popular The World is Flat exploded onto the literary

scene, giving the world a well-written and optimistic look at the existence and increasing pace of

the globalization phenomenon. Central to his thesis was the subcategorization of the changing

natureof the trend; he specifically named three phases which globalization has undergone:

Globalization 1.0, which “was about countries and muscles.” (Friedman 9); Globalization 2.0, in

which multinational companies outsourced and expanded across the oceans to create a global

economy; and Globalization 3.0, in which the most important force for change in the world was

that of individuals, not countries or companies. This, however, is a reductionist way of looking at

the history of the manner in which the world has become 'smaller', or more interconnected and

united. By giving his stages the concrete-sounding names that he does, Friedman suggests that,

as each new phase of globalization comes along, the old one is eradicated, that there is an abrupt

end to the old with the rise of the new. But this is not so. Rather, the world is a layering of his

three types, and all three coexist today, with the flaws of each old system gradually being

remedied by each new one. Globalization 1.0 is better seen as “Imperialistic Globalization”,

which changes culture by means of force to benefit a powerful body. Globalization 2.0 is better

seen as “Corporate Globalization”, which does the same, but by using economic tools as opposed

to force. Globalization 3.0 is better seen as “Individualistic Globalization”, which globalizes

They are 'Individualist'. and all are given equal voice in their respective forums (Boli. they are comprised of people from many nations. Organized criminal groups are simply taking advantage of the new medium for law-breaking. Instead. the power of individuals en masse. has become more modernized. Finally. abuse will occur. They are unlimited by border. or. they are 'Universalist'. meaning that they are united by purpose. as opposed to governments and corporations. and it yields strong evidence. or by creed. allowing the world to check and balance itself. Where there is a new mode for unlawful behavior. in other words. and which are run by a handful of people in power (Boli. by language. Thomas). etc). promoting a sense of community. which seek to meld a group of individuals into an identifiable group (such as 'Americans'. creating a more intermixed global culture. as a result of the same increasing ease of communication and cross-border operation that so aids INGOs. just as when the first phone lines were hacked by . This redefinition of globalization is a more accurate representation of Friedman's Globalization 1. and they facilitate communication of opinions and the spread of ideas. INGOs have their darker side. Nonetheless. The best evidence for the increasing power of the coalition of the small. from the materials read so far is the examination of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). they unite people across the globe.0-3. are governed by the will of individuals.0 schema. and far more effective. But this cannot be an argument against world progress. Thomas). meaning that they are comprised of individuals. INGOs are fantastic examples of Individualistic Globalization because of their total freedom from affiliation with both political entities and the all-consuming drive for profit. by analysis of the arguments for and against globalization from this new perspective. more efficient.through communication. As Mittelman points out. 'Chinese'. global organized crime. They form watchdog groups to support human rights. not by place. as to the enriching powers of the trend.

specifically. in his speech on “Terrorism. and Vietnam.pioneering individuals. it will be proportionately harder for criminals to operate. and Capitalism”. Probably the loudest voice of opposition is the one that claims globalization is unfettered capitalism. the guise of equal opportunity trade. setting them up as combating forces in the world. and the great invisible hand governing global markets and crushing the poor under its giant thumb. Globalization. GATT. In Vietnam and Taiwan. China. so too are flaws in international laws taken advantage of. effectively equated globalization to capitalism and democracy to that which it opposes. in some cases. even college. but in the end all the opposition falls into one of two camps: either their arguments are fundamentally flawed. factories pay much better than local jobs and in the past few decades people who had previously lived lives of menial labor in mud and squalor have taken up good jobs in factories and sent their children to school and. letting untold wealth come pouring in to what had before been an impoverished and financially parched wasteland. Corporate Globalization does good in the world as well. An example of such a misguided opinion is that which argues globalization solidifies the hold of the rich over that of the poor by using such tools as the WTO. Many have argued against globalization. As the world becomes better adjusted to maneuvering globally. opening up factories for multinational companies was like bursting a dam. India. the free market at its worst. such as Taiwan. In many cases. This is . or they have not accounted for the changing nature of globalization and fail to see its progression of phases that check abuse. something which just a generation beforehand would have been no more than a dream (Norberg). even some of them rationally. and the lowering of international tariffs for poor countries in order to inundate their markets with foreign goods and leech money from them like blood (Ellwood 43-41). Michael Parenti.

the Europeans in China. Their natural right to property was heinously violated. Yet this does not necessarily mean that it is a good thing. benefiting both itself and the company. often cite such very offensive incidences as the expulsion of indigenous Indonesian populations of the Amugme and Kamoro peoples by the multinational mining corporation Freeport and the government of Indonesia itself. often on a much larger scale. Events such as this were not out of the ordinary in the heyday of Imperialistic Globalization. In all cases. but it may still be said that such 'abuses' will necessarily become less frequent as Corporate Globalization slowly gives way to Individualistic Globalization. A look at history shows that offenses like Freeport's have been occurring for centuries. In this case. and made worse by the violent enforcement of the transaction by Indonesian military (Abrash). unprotested. the rightful inhabitants of the land were not given a choice in the matter. Rather it is a trend. However. the rich and powerful from across the seas take gross advantage of the poor and weak in a land. too. and the plunder of Africa are but a few comparable examples. The Spanish in the New World.wrong. the government of Indonesia gave the lands of these people to Freeport for economic use. there is enforcement today of the ideals of basic . because of the global community being developed by Individualistic Globalization. This is evidenced by the very fact that such abuses are being made known. It is impossible to deny that these actions were horribly wrong. such as those who argue it leads to the exploitation of the poor and the destruction of the land. like the shifting tectonic plates or the change in a literary movement. Dissenters of globalization. and also even in that of Corporate Globalization. globalization is not a political philosophy. However. but rarely do they benefit mankind. that humans notice and name. both on the part of Freeport and on that of the Indonesian government. Tornadoes and tsunamis are natural phenomena. nor is it rooted in Adam Smith. and also by the fact that they seem so atrocious today.

watchdog NGOs. But Individualistic Globalization took steps via the United Nations. While it is true that globalization spread Western culture. destroy what had been Chinese for centuries? The answer to both these questions is no. McDonald's. Is this death a result of Individualistic and Corporate Globalization? Did an increased desire for Western culture because of its abundance. and community movements. It seemed as if the Chinese culture was dying in Hong Kong (Watson). the Chinese culture is not dying. So much so. Their act was one of Imperialistic Globalization. The first is simply a wrong question. and also Corporate Globalization. A more apt argument against Individualistic Globalization. but instead because it is somewhat true. mostly in the form of movies. combined with the corporate drive for profit that spread it. such actions to protect human rights and halt exploitation by companies and corrupt governments. for example. as the government of Indonesia forcibly removed the Papuans from their lands to increase its wealth. or which had served as social gathering locales for generations were going out of business. as Freeport took advantage of the holes in Indonesia's political system. not because it is dangerous or bad. to the disapproval of . that the stores which had thrived by serving snack foods to hungry Chinese. and violations of the enormity of Freeport's do not go unchallenged and uncriticized (Abrash 433). is the one that speaks of a world totally fused into one culture. can be expected to be more successful as the ripples of shock spread throughout the global forum and individuals rally against them. a world in which all tradition and heritage is lost to the overpowering might of globalization and the perversion of a culture into material for the markets.human rights. in reality. to right these wrongs (Abrash 433-5). In Hong Kong. In the future. the fast-food restaurant that has become in many respects a symbol for the West. has become wildly popular among youth. in fact. which have dominated international markets for years (Cowen).

Although it must be acknowledged that they still exist there. for instance. and moreso every day. and so it is an example of a major area of the world that participates in the global forum of discussion and ideas. yet which still remains distinct from the Westernization that so many critics of globalization bemoan. an equalizer of opportunity. But the Middle East cannot be called a democratic part of the world. They are adapting to new influences and creating new customs in the same way that they created the old customs to begin with. has globalized in its own way. This is part of the culture. although his definitions of the three major component parts of globalization were slightly off. adamantly separate from the influences of the West. although in a different manner than what that is normally considered to be. Instead. culture. The Middle East. the world is becoming increasingly equal on that account. In many areas. the export of Western culture is not to be a permanent trend. It are becoming more accepting of other cultures and viewpoints (Kurzman 356). follows money. and all the evidence to the fact. Western influences in the Middle East are mostly repulsed. Milton Friedman. For the second question. even without much Western cultural influence. It participates in global markets. and often violently. Not even all cultures are affected in the same way Hong Kong's has been with McDonald's. and if what Friedman. clearly. got one important thing right: there is now. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are examples (Kurzman 353). says is true. the Middle East has still moved to globalize.many cultural protectionists in those foreign countries. other cultures are not being wiped out. what he refers to as the “flat-world platform”. Nonetheless. and of . Its countries are lead by people who have studied overseas and seen the world (Kurzman 354). has countries which are members of the United Nations. of wealth. they are being changed. women do not have equal rights. and is absolutely central to the global economy.

Companies. but as Individualistic Globalization puts these odious offenses on the radar of the world. such as criminal organizations. Governments. can vastly enrich. China. Taiwan. looking for good will and thereby higher profits will maintain ethics. the oil sheiks. . and neither are markets. and the strife they support will die away. equality. Vietnam. if seen be the many.and inevitably not all will play out as planned. nonetheless. but.a vision that all the world's ills will be cured by the development of cross-border coalitions promoting reason. the poverty they feed on will diminish. Both grow and develop. the world as a whole. There are abuses of the system. and many other industrializing nations can boast the same. they will be challenged. and governmental corruption. and human rights-. Cultures are not threatened by this freedom of expression. The Middle East. facing international pressure for IGOs and INGOs will bend to the collective will or break under its weight. Finally. this is an optimistic vision-. corporate immorality. without it. Given. would be lacking the Dubais. the cracks outlaws slip through will be filled. culturally and financially.voice that is globalization. dancing to the same tune. and the major cities that it possesses today. it is a vision with enough truth that.