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?

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    Globalism 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". Commented May 15, 2018 at 13:32
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    Comments are not for extended discussion. The conversation about the connotations of the terms "Globalism" and "Globalisation" has been moved to chat.
    – Philipp
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 8:06
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    "why do so many people seem to hate Globalisation?" Source?
    – Mast
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 15:24
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    I 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.
    – user12171
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 19:00
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    "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. Commented May 31, 2018 at 21:44

12 Answers 12


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.

  • 13
    I 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
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 13:14
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    @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
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 14:42
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    Please 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
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 19:20
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    @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. Commented May 15, 2018 at 19:53
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    @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. Commented May 15, 2018 at 19:58

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 a statistically 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.

  • Lots of comments deleted. Please keep the comments relevant to the question.
    – Philipp
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 19:23
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    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
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 20:28
  • @user4012 I mean if you have no money and no job that's hardly just a perception error or illusion that's a tangible problem if not addressed. Also it kinda ignores the elephant in the room of why jobs can be performed cheaper. Like "lower cost of living" usually means lower standard of living, less alternatives and awful work conditions. So the favor that you are doing to the 1000 newly employed is as little as you need to and not meant to change the situation in these countries otherwise the profit would return to normal.
    – haxor789
    Commented Feb 7, 2023 at 12:48

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.

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    It 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
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 14:10
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    That is opinion based and some people see it that way while others don't.
    – Communisty
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 15:58
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    Onyz -- 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
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 17:13
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    @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. Commented May 16, 2018 at 1:49
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    Right, 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
    Commented May 20, 2018 at 9:24

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.

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    Re:"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
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 20:47
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    Fear 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
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 23:00
  • 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
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 20:12
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    ...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
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 20:15

Update for 2022

With the war in Ukraine currently simultaneously causing both an increased global demand for fuel and a reduction in supply from sanctions against Russia as an aggressor nation we still have not only not learned the lesson contained in my original answer here but aren't even talking about it.

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.

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    How 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
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 14:29
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    @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!" Commented May 18, 2018 at 14:41
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    @user4012 Lol, I thought I was making a philosophical/academic point, then I stumbled across this tidbit of history. Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 15:10
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    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
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 15:14
  • @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. Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 15:16

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.

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    This definition relies on dubious implicit assumptions: no disruption ever to global shipping, no issues with national security, no or trivial information asymmetries, etc. Commented May 17, 2018 at 16:46
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    The 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
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 20:18

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.

  • 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
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 10:14
  • 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. Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 5:40
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    Ah, yes, that makes sense, thanks. I submitted an edit to clarify, hope you don't mind.
    – sleske
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 7:36

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

  • 3
    While 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
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 20:51
  • 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
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 6:37
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    @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
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 15:30

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.


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.

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    I 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. Commented May 16, 2018 at 1:52
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    @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
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 6:29
  • @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
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 6:36
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    @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
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 18:04
  • 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
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 6:41

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.

  • Re "Wawa, instead of a locally owned": what is "Wawa"?
    – agc
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 14:11
  • 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
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 14:48

The problem is that it's not "one globalization" but that there's a whole lot of things getting globalized and different groups have different bones to pick with different facets of that, so that you can end up with a lot of criticism but for very different reasons. But that doesn't mean that these groups don't support it in other domains or under different conditions.

Like things are getting global. For better or worse. It has never been easier to travel the world and see the globe in it's entirety for yourself. People moving from one country to another or to the other end of the globe is no longer a technical problem. And for information it's even faster. People can communicate near instantaneous with almost anybody around the globe and can gather a global audience. Forcefully keeping people in a bubble is becoming increasingly harder and often requires cutting back on technology (so if you are in the business of brainwashing you already might not like that part *). The knowledge of humanity is at our fingertips.

Likewise our technology has reached the point where our impact and thus our responsibility is no longer just localized. Like industrial production has been the major driver of climate change that effects the "global community" as a whole. And that is regardless of whether we consider ourselves to be such a "community" or not.

Like we are all swimming in the same pool and if we all keep taking increasingly larger dumps in it, we all end up swimming in shit.

The problem is that the things that make us shit are or were also the things that powered our engines and produce(d) our prosperity. And we've already produced dangerous amounts of shit... And "we" is italic because it's not really that the average person has produced a lot of shit, but rather a small number of countries and an even smaller number of people within those countries. So if everybody wanted the standard of living of the 0.001% or even just of the lower 50% in these countries there would be A LOT MORE SHIT.

So the majority of the world shares the results of the impact of that: climate change and the problems that come with it: Mass extinction, bad harvests, hunger, conflicts, wars and mass migration because of that and so on. While only a small minority received the benefits of that.

So in a sense it's high time to take up a global perspective to acknowledge the problem and the ecologic, economic, and social injustices and to tackle that in order to preserve the planet in a state that is genuinely habitable. At the same time the human perspective is undoubtedly localized and from the low income person to the politician most people have to prioritize their own standard of living and that of the people around them in order to sustain their existence.

So it's about balancing the interests of all people vs the interests of the "individual". Where again we should keep in mind that particularly wealthy and powerful nations and individuals have a stronger ability to assert their interests than the rest.

And there you've got already some battlegrounds surrounding globalism, elitism vs egalitarianism, like do all people count the same or is myself, my group, my country, my continent, ... more worthy of stuff than others. Centralization vs decentralization. Like should one form a global cooperations and supernational institutions that actually have teeth to decide something or should the power remain with the different countries. How much are countries willing to give up sovereignty to a larger organization, who makes up that organization, how is it made up, who controls it, how are the rights of the members preserved? Like does each country get one vote or is it by population? By size? The inverse of pollution? Like especially far right lunatics will deride anything in that direction as global domination, tyranny and a world government enslaving the people, while their "alternative" is isolationism, ignoring the problem and continuing in the same way and preparing for the effect of climate change locally, sacrificing the rest of the world.

But as said outside of the nightmare rhetoric, it's still a huge problem to tackle. Especially as there is another battleground: Our economic system (capitalism).

That refers partially to the unequal distribution of benefits and drawbacks of industrialization, but also to it's competitive nature, it's interconnection of countries via trade and the globalization of capital.

So one reason where the "nationalism" usually shows some split personality is international trade. Because their preferred version is some sort of mercantilism where they gain stuff through trade but neither rely on other places nor take in people from other places. So free exchange of goods, no free movement of people. However as supply and demand are a thing people naturally follow the stuff. So as their ideal is unattainable, they progressively become more openly violent or accepting of violence (supporting dictators to block migrant routes, sink ships in the Mediterranean or criminalize rescue missions, aso). So they rant a lot about "globalism" and the "globalist ideology" and "the great replacement" and other racist tropes that deride migration but they have surprisingly little to say about the migration of goods in one direction.

Because no free trade does not benefit all equally. If poorer countries have low rated currencies because they have nothing of interest on sale, have to sell mostly raw materials (for low amounts of foreign currency) because they lack the high tech production and then buy processed goods (probably made from their own raw material) at high prices and as consumables, then they are kept in a state of perpetual exploitation where goods and services move in one direction. Incidentally similar to the colonialism that left them with economies centered around just one product without the ability to sustain itself.

* The other problem is that in order to keep being "competitive" countries often allow for "global players". So they allow for monopolistic megacorps as they have large turnover and thus leave a lot of money in taxes and wages in a respective country. And for those megacorps the world actually is already a global community. Because capital is almost as unrestricted in it's capacity to travel as information. So if the taxes are too high in one country the company just moves it's HQ to a tax haven and realizes it's profits over there while everywhere else only deficits are accumulated. If the country has too many "workers rights" or if the wages are "too high" or if there are environmental protections and other regulations in place, just move the HQ or production to another country that is more willing to turn a blind eye. And the countries are often competing with each other about making the best offers to these megacorps because they look for these sweet tax and wage incomes from them despite them being ever smaller the higher the competition. To some extend you can already compare these megacorps to countries given their "population" (number of employees), their size (spread of the facilities) and their "GPD" (turnover and profit) as well as their ability to "make laws" by threatening to move somewhere else if the country doesn't comply with their demands. Just that a nation would be property of it's citizens while a megacorp is property of rich people so the plurality of it's "population" would not be "citizens" so to speak. So "politically" these "nations" are somewhere between "tyranny", "dictatorship" and "plutocracy"... So while it's not easy to create a national bubble, huge megacorps being the hub for all communication might as well curate their own bubble and might have to (not all moderation is bad).

So from the perspective of money, the world is a large village and it really doesn't matter where or with whom you produce only that you produce with profit. So global exploitation and the more erratic and onesided these movements get, the more countries will find themselves in a position where it's easy to take advantage of them.

So yeah on the one hand it would be great if people could cooperate in their production and reduce redundancy and overhead, produce solar energy in the desert and move it to the other areas and vice versa. On the other hand given the competitive nature of the system that could mean that other countries produce energy on the your countries soil damaging the environment there and then extracting the profits without you seeing much benefit from that. So unless there is some actual cooperation that as well would take the form of exploitation.

So no globalization is already happening through our actions whether we like that or not and we are unlikely to get that Djinn back into it's bottle and it's more about the question how we tackle it and everybody being dissatisfied with the result, though for often very different reasons meaning this pattern might continue for a long time.

  • I don't think this actually directly answers the question? This reads currently as more of a commentary on globalism. Also, there are already ~a dozen answers for this five year old question, what newness does this bring to the table? Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 12:38
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    Didn't realize it's that old. I guess I tried to take the focus off one thing and look at it as a bigger picture. Like globalization happens on different levels in different forms and it disrupt the idea of having control over these things of reducing them to local problems and that makes different groups of people angry because it's suboptimal or even detrimental though it somewhat can't avoid to be.
    – haxor789
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 15:43

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