About half of the population in
In places devastated by globalization such as southern
Eastern Europeans are now discovering those globalized trade-offs that are so common in
One half of the West -- the half that lives mostly on the seacoasts of America and
These coastal Westerners often feel more of an affinity with foreigners like themselves than with fellow countrymen who live 100 miles inland. And they are not shy in lecturing their poorer brethren to shape up and get with their globalized program.
Late-20th-century globalization -- a synonym for Westernization -- brought a lot of good to both poorer Western countries and the non-Western world. Czech farmers now have equipment comparable to what's used in
But all that said, we have never really resolved the contradictions of globalization.
Does it really bring people together into a shared world order, or does it simply offer a high-tech and often explosive veneer to non-Western cultures that are antithetical to the very West that they so borrow from and copy?
If an airport in
Another paradox of globalization is a new passive-aggressive attitude inside the West.
Elites who benefit from Westernized globalization often gain enough wealth and leisure to have the latitude to trash it -- almost as a way of dealing with their own guilt over their exalted status.
At no time in the history of Western civilization have American college students ever been so pampered -- with latte bars, trauma counselors, rock-climbing walls and upscale student unions -- and yet so critical of the very global civilization that guaranteed them such bounty.
Those in the former Third World constantly berate the West for its supposed sins of imperialism, colonialism and exploitation, while millions of their own citizens risk their very lives to cross the Mediterranean or the
Is the message, "I hate the West, so please let me in"?
The cult of multiculturalism is also a paradox.
Under globalization, the West seeks to spread its values along with its iPhones, as if Western values were far preferable to the alternatives.
But a chief tenet of globalized multiculturalism is to not judge other cultures by "arbitrary" Western standards. Many Western elites implicitly believe that their own ideas about democracy, treatment of minority groups and equality under the law are superior to the alternatives elsewhere -- and some expect the rest of the world to eventually look like Malibu,
And do Westerners look the other way at phobias and oppression abroad, even though they would never do so at home?
In truth, globalization is a mere amphetamine. It speeds things up and alters superficial behavior. But let us not fool ourselves into thinking that globalization has fundamentally altered the nature and culture of those it hooks.