Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Collapse of Globalism and the Reinvention of the World by John Ralston Saul

The Collapse of Globalism and the Reinvention of the World by John Ralston Saul is a non-fictional resource that thoroughly outlines the rise and fall of globalization; its founding, its function and in recent years its ultimate demise. Saul purports a new world order with a non-Western yet common sense approach. Saul charts out his theme in five parts.

In an attempt to define globalization he focuses on the context of globalism. He outlines how globalization emerged that included a promising future; he incorporates historical data with valid examples.

Saul critiques the rise of globalism; its impact on nation states around the world; he details some of the cracks that surface during the period of the 1970s through the 1980s. During this time a vacuum is evident. The promised future is not materializing and culminates into a chapter he entitles Crucifixion Economics. This leads to a plateau where Saul summarizes the success that comes on the heels of the early 1990s with the ideology of progress.

In the fourth part Saul chronicles the decline of globalism; while the Malaysian Government breaks away from globalism and create their own agenda amidst reprimands from the West. Saul points out the success of the Malaysian Government and how their risk benefited their population and nation. Saul highlights China, India and Brazil as the rising stars despite globalization.

In the final fifth part, Saul illustrates the differences between the negative nationalism and positive nationalism; the latter leading to a new world order with the NGOs leading the way with influence and not much power.

Throughout his uncovering of globalism, Saul demonstrates the rise of failed states, ethnic battles and genocide; this was more due to the West focusing on prosperity merely through an economic prism without due consideration to the public good within nation states of the world. Saul stresses that the focus ought to be on serving the public good. He states: “What our situation needs is precisely Adam Smith’s public interest, the imagination that Tocqueville invoked, Rorty’s humanism.” Saul elaborates on Adam Smith’s view… “he is certainly not a good citizen who does not wish to promote, by every means in his power, the welfare of the whole society of his fellow citizens.”

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