The World is Flat
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Globalization has transformed the world in diverse ways. More importantly, globalization has brought the whole world together in the sense that people can now integrate and engage in different activities throughout the world. Barriers that existed between communities and societies have been gradually broken by globalization. Today, people can engage in business activities throughout the world without problems of business contact because of technological innovations that have contributed to globalization. In the book The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman argues in support of the Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention. On the other hand, William Duiker is not sure about the trend that globalization sets. He argues that globalization may be caused by a simultaneous trend towards fragmentation.
In the Dell Theory of Conflict, Friedman states that the world has an economic interconnectedness that has a possibility of war. However, he asserts that when two countries or states engage in business together, they are less likely to go into war when they are equal parts of the same global supply chain. He clearly states that the two countries are unlikely to go to war because they have invested heavily in the business. Therefore, according to Friedman, the success of the business between the two countries involved depends on the supply chain. Any interruption put on the supply chain could cause much damage to the relationship that the two countries share both in business and other areas (Friedman 504).
William Duiker in his book, Contemporary World History links social, cultural, economic and political history of the world to issues of globalization. His argument about globalization as an offset of a simultaneous trend towards fragmentation is erroneous. Globalization as seen in the current has brought the world together rather than fragment it. Globalization has brought together different ideologies cultures and other different aspects that exist among societies, in the world. It has connected the world more than it has fragmented it. Before the inception of globalization, the world existed in fragments of cultural, political, ideological, economic and social entities. In turn, globalization brought all this fragments together through linkage. William Duiker’s idea that globalization may be offset by a simultaneous trend of fragmentation is not correct because globalization is tied by a several issues that cannot allow for fragmentation (Duiker 71).
Thomas Friedman’s idea brought about by his theory is correct because countries co-exist based on mutual interest. For a country to be successful in a scenario where other countries are participants, it must be ready to sacrifice something in order to get another. Therefore, in a business environment where there are two or more countries participating they must find a way that will enable all the participants benefit. This can only be achieved through equal share of supply chain issues. When two countries agree to share the supply chain, they reduce the possibilities of disagreements that may result to wars. Supply chains have an effect on stability and politics of countries affected. For instance, Friedman gives an example of the business relationship that china-Taiwan and India-Pakistan share. Before, the above examples lived on tense grounds because one of the participants dominated in business taking most of the supply chain. However, through sharing of the supply chain, the countries made rational decisions through diplomatic ties and avoided war (Friedman 520).
Because the earth is comprised of different cultures, political systems, social organizations and economic systems, disagreements must occur. Globalization as a force that helps countries and societies harmonize their interests might as well fail to create a harmonious environment, for a peaceful coexistence of these societies. However, this does not mean that globalization happens as an offset of fragmentations. Duiker fails to bring out the positive effects of globalization and instead focuses on its negative effects. Globalization brings the integration of societies in the world that helps create peaceful coexistence in political, social and economic engagements. Globalization does not erase cultural and ideological orientations of societies, in the world. Instead, it opens up the world for different societies to learn new cultures and integrate them into their own, if they like them. Globalization acts as a unifying factor. In the process, cultures and traditions practiced by different societies may be erased because of integration. However, this does not fragment societies (Duiker 103).
Friedman’s point of view is correct because it brings a clear picture of the things that happen in the real world scenario. When supply chains are not shared equally between countries, geopolitical conflicts arise and slow down globalization. Globalization is a give and take concept where countries must agree to sacrifice certain issues in order to get others from other countries. For example, a country cannot engage in trade inside another country when it cannot open its own borders for exploitation by the other country. This means that one country must give out a part of its market share so as to get market in another country. This is how the idea of supply chain works between countries that engage in business. Nevertheless, it is also important to understand that other groups, such as the terrorist groups can take advantage of supply chains to cause destruction (Friedman 534).
In conclusion, Thomas Friedman is correct in his argument of The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention. Countries engaging in business must work as equal members in the business environment so that they feel important to protect their investments and avoid war. On the other hand, William Duiker is incorrect because globalization serves to bring integration between countries. Therefore, it cannot be offset by simultaneous trends towards fragmentation.
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