Last Updated 28 May 2020

Bound Together and the Issues on Globalization

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Nayan Chanda (2007), on the book “Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization” describes the history of globalization as a process that has existed even during the early civilizations of the world. The book is divided into sections that narrated different stories about how traders, preachers, adventurers and warriors were able to initiate the process of globalization. As has been recognized by Chanda (2007), as early as human beings “migrated from Africa and dispersed throughout the world,” they have established various ways to reconnect with each other.

For Chanda (2007) the process of globalization is synonymous to “interconnectedness and interdependence” which took place thousands of years ago. The story opens on the scenario where the writer and his wife arrived to New Haven, Connecticut and have an electrician to fix some electrical outlets at their new home. The electrician, named Jerry, asked Chanda about what he is doing at Yale. Chanda answered his question citing that he is working with the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. Jerry's reaction to such answer was different because he have his negative perception about the word “globalization.

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” As Jerry uttered “Isn't it true that globalization destroys the rain forest? ” (Chanda, 2007, p. ix). From this encounter, Chanda realized that indeed, the word globalization has earned different definitions and connotations which made it complicated and incomprehensible for many average individuals. Thus, Chanda's book “Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization” is a result of his personal quest for understanding the concepts related to globalization.

It attempts to answer the questions: who are the globalizers and how does globalization originates. Looking at the history of civilization, Chanda (2007) begins his story of globalization on the journey of modern humans out from Africa fifty thousand years ago. The primary reason for relocating and reconnecting with other dispersed human communities grew out of the necessity for survival. The first chapters of the book narrate the stories of different group of people such as traders, preachers, adventurers, and warriors on how they manage to reconnect with other dispersed communities.

From merely finding new trade route to the ambition of expanding their empires, these group of people were able to establish interconnectedness with other group of people, community, country and continents. Chanda (2007) also allocated a chapter explaining why the word “globalization” happened to be associated with negative meanings. From merely being synonymous to “interconnectedness of the world,” globalization is now being linked to the “destruction of the world. ” Chanda (2007) was able to identify that the term “globalization” is being widely used as early as 1960s. In fact, this word had been included in the English vocabulary in 1961.

However, it was not until 1990s when such world had been recognized around the world. Chanda (2007) identified that the word started to gain negative connotation due to different economic problems that have spawned during the process of globalization. Chapter nine of the book talks about individuals, groups and organizations who are afraid of globalization. Although many countries have experienced economic growth and prosperity brought by rapid economic integration - being one of the process of globalization – there are some people who regarded globalization as a toxic and evil process.

Some people from “Seattle to Cancun and Genoa to Hong Kong” were complaining about the “undemocratic institutions and unfair policies” associated with globalization (Chanda, 2007, p. 271). On final chapter of the book, Chanda (2007) provided a summary of the process of globalization and have identified some problems that are likely to occur both in present time and the near future. Chanda (2007) identified that the speeding pace of globalization left behind many individuals and countries in the third world, as individuals and countries from develop world continues to progress.

Globalization and Some Related Experiences Living in this modern world, no one is excused from experiencing both the positive and negative effects of globalization. Although Chanda (2007) was able to clearly define the pure meaning of globalization, being a process of interconnectedness and interdependence, the impact of globalization has been often perceived to be negative by many workers , immigrants, and inhabitants of poor countries like Africa. I happened to watch the movie “The Constant Gardener” which depicts the poor condition of African men, women and children.

Some people belonging to the British High Commission transacted a business with one of the largest pharmaceutical company in the United States, Karel Delacourt Hudson or much known as KDH. Part of the program of British High Commission and KDH is to launch a new discovered medicine that would cure individuals infected with AIDS/HIV. Although the intension is good, the program's process is evil. KDH chose Africa as the pilot “medical testing center” for Dypraxa, a newly invented medicine that would cure AIDS/HIV.

A free medical mission was conducted in an African community with high prevalence of AIDS/HIV. Since the effectiveness of the medicine is still unknown, African women and children were treated as “testing rats” whose life seems not worthy if their body fails to respond according to what is expected. After a series of “medication” the effects of medicine turned out to be worse as many Africans died after taking the Dypraxa medicine. While the people of Africa are mourning for the death of their beloved, the pharmaceutical company owners continuously conduct their experiment.

This only shows that there are capitalists and powerful people who prefer to utilize the marginalized group for their own advantage and economic good. Poor people who fall for the trap of capitalists are left with no choice but to comply accordingly with their orders, as these capitalists can manipulate or deny the poor access to their basic needs. Moreover, the film also shows how the governments of United States and Britain are being manipulated by some capitalists in order to become economically abundant.

While the government wants to create jobs and to secure the health of its citizens, there are capitalists who would take advantage of a situation that would favor the economic interest of businessmen. Such is one of the unjust consequences of globalization. When advantaged people preferred to use “interconnectedness and interdependence” to gain economically even if the lives of marginalized individuals are at stake. As Chanda (2007) wrote, “The paths of commerce are followed by diseases {and problems]; Africa and to some extent Latin America have been further impoverished as [other parts of the world] have been enriched”.

Moreover, it is disheartening to see individuals who could not afford to eat even one good meal for a day; who could not have the opportunity to learn even how to read and write; who could not avail medical services; and who could not adapt on the rapid changes occurring around their simple environment. While other individuals, especially the capitalists and elitists, are enjoying the fruitful reward of globalization to their economic status, the marginalized people are suffering from poverty, hunger, diseases and illiteracy.

Only few individuals from the marginalized sectors were able to survive and adapt on the past changes and developments brought by globalization. The struggles of small workers who are mostly from third world countries who are looking for a job that would give them better pay, especially in developed countries, are also alarming such that skilled migrants workers are not strongly secured when working outside their home country. I have met some skilled workers from other countries and was able to know some of their experiences.

I came to discover that the globalization process enables them to work in other countries as international relations between countries allows the entry of workers in foreign land. However, with regard to security of tenure, living and benefits as worker, the process of globalization is still unable to guarantee good working conditions for migrant skilled workers. As Chanda (2007) noted, “Fair is the treatment of globalization, yet the sorry condition of Africa and other parts of the world does not quite fit in with the positive consequences attributed to globalization.

” In addition, migration experiences like the experiences of traders and adventurers are good if such experience was able to satisfy the goal of the migrating individual. Yet on some parts of the world, interconnectedness and interdependence are not perceived positively by some people. For them the process of globalization only permits the exploitation of the natural and human resources of one's country. As I have visited one of the countries in the third world, I feel unwelcome as some of the people out there are against Whites.

They perceived Whites as the main actors of globalization and thus the only people who could benefit from such process. Like Jerry, I am often confused and being surprised everytime I do hear the word “globalization. ” Due to past experiences and negative encounters with other groups of people, I came to perceive that globalization is an evil thing. Instead of uniting the people and countries around the world, globalization causes many individuals and countries to hate one another.

Instead of interconnectedness and interdependence, some people, including me, perceive globalization as an instrument that would prevent connectedness and dependence to other countries due to unbalanced progress associated with globalization that is occurring on different parts of the world. As developed countries are continuously progressing, other countries are regressing such that poverty, diseases and other epidemic or phenomena brought by the collapse of a country's economy are negatively affecting marginalized citizens of a particular country.

Poor and illiterate people are always identified as victims of unjust economy. Reflections on Chanda's Bound Together Upon reading Chanda's book “Bound together: How traders, preachers, adventurers, and warriors shaped globalization,” I have realized that indeed globalization is neither an evil word nor an unjust process. The history of globalization brought dispersed countries into a state of civilization and economic improvement.

However, inevitable occurrences in economic system and the private interest of few powerful individuals altered the positive attributes of globalization, interconnectedness and interdependence. If all people, would only realize the benefits we could reap from becoming active agents of globalization, this process would not be hard and unjust. Globalization has indeed dominated most parts of the world. Many countries are now enjoying the fruits that came from exchanges of culture, knowledge, information, products, services, economic and social activities with others.

Most relationships or interconnectedness with other countries permitted economic transactions that paved ways to product and services exchanges which in turn caused progress on both countries. If only the pure reason associated with ancient globalization could be improved and if only the process of globalization could better consider the marginalized, other people and countries would not hesitate to become cooperative with the process.

In addition, if people could find better ways of adapting the changes associated with globalization, the problem of velocity would not have taken its place. As Chanda (2007) wrote, “The big difference that marks globalization of the early years with that of the present are in velocity. Yet life in every country today is so inextricably intertwined with the rest of the world that failure to appreciate this interdependence and its long-term effects could risk the world's drifting toward a major crisis.

” Since globalization is becoming increasingly inevitable, the only choice left for every people and country is to work towards the attainment of the globalization's objective: integration, interconnectedness and interdependence. Indeed, Chanda's book has enlightened me the real process and objective of globalization. Such that negative perceptions about globalization turned into a positive one. Moreover, the book helped me gain better understanding and futuristic view of globalization in this society.

The progress of every country is still possible if globalization would be practiced in such a way that it would develop the economical, political and social relations of every country. Since globalization is inevitable, the only task left for every individual is to work towards development and progress for the betterment of everyone in the community and the world as a whole. References Chanda, N. (2007). Bound together: How traders, preachers, adventurers, and warriors shaped globalization. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press. Dir. Fernando Meirelles. Perfs. Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz. (2005). The Constant Gardener.

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