Index > Research
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
The Past, Present and future of Globalization
Chan Kung

In today's world, there are serious disputes over the definition and thoughts of globalization at all levels. The dispute is so intense that it can reach the point of confusion. British scholar Anthony Giddens believes that globalization is merely the expansion of modernity from society to the world, because "modernity is globalizing in its essence ". In the past few decades, anyone who did not know about globalization, or did not talk about it, almost meant that he or she is outdated and ill-informed.

The problem is that modernity is also changing, and what used to represent modernity in the past may become "outdated and ill-informed" today. With the growth of the post-war generations, a lot of theories and classics were established on the basis of the concept of globalization, making globalization a classic consciousness. However, the world is now in a new zone of development: On the one hand, we see that national policies are still based on the sustainable development of globalization. On the other hand, we can see a large number of anti-globalization phenomena and major challenges to the current path of globalization. This contradiction has sometimes turned into a violent and unrealistic struggle.
In today's world, there are too many specious explanations and too many one-sided understandings for globalization. What should we think of the future path of globalization? How should we adapt to the great challenges of anti-globalization? These are some of the major problems and challenges we face today.

The conclusions of this report differ from a large number of existing theories and opinions on these issues. We believe that globalization must be comprehensively defined and understood within the overall framework of globalization, rather than being fragmented artificially. It is then necessary to interpret and describe it hypothetically in terms of "economic globalization". As the report concludes, we are convinced that globalization is a curve with peaks and troughs, that the term "anti-globalization" should be precisely defined as the phase of anti-globalization of globalization, and that the fundamental driving force behind globalization is the power of capital. Just because of this dynamic factor, as long as the power of capital remains, globalization will continue after the phase of anti-globalization.

It should be noted that the duration of the phase of anti-globalization would be very long, possibly ranging from a decade to several decades. The projections we provide suggest that a variety of unexpected geopolitical phenomena will occur on a regular basis during the phase of anti-globalization, including:

 economic contraction;
 Serious geopolitical conflicts;
 Large-scale industrial restructuring;
 Political leftward shift;
 The discourse power of elites is affected by the social tide;
 The gradual emergence of new spatial discoveries;
 Higher social costs;
 An increase in general social prices;
 The fragmentation of global space.

These predictions of anti-globalization are closely related to the actual social dynamics, which will be helpful for people to understand the phase of anti-globalization.

In addition, we also provide a summary of trends that characterize our predictions for future phases of anti-globalization, including the following three points:

  • In the future, globalization will develop towards regionalization, with strong regionalization features. The theory that supports this regionalization feature is primarily the concept of space fragmentation in geopolitics . Globalization is a process of "integration", while the phase of anti-globalization is a process of "fragmentation". This "integration-fragmentation" process and its changes represent and reflect the changes from the peaks to the troughs of globalization, which is also the basic trend of future anti-globalization.
  • Second, the phase of anti-globalization will inevitably bring social harm. The phase of anti-globalization is the phase of the irrational rise, which is the inevitable result of the long-term accumulation of contradictions and pressures. Not only will the consequences of irrational social movements cause serious social impact and shocks, forming social harm, but the social damage may also spread throughout societies, leading to wars and conflicts when the general costs of such social harm exceed the carrying capacity of social structures. The interesting potential change is that after violent conflicts, when certain political forces break down, the world may emerge from the phase of anti-globalization and start globalization again.
  • Third, the great transfer of wealth is taking place. The phase of anti-globalization is an era of great wealth transfer. This great transfer of wealth may be achieved through capital markets, industrial investment, or even other means such as art investment. In the process of great transfer of wealth, some conventional investment theories in the capital market may become ineffective, and instead, there will be a large number of speculative activities and investment arbitrage behaviors based on wealth security. The soul of globalization is capital, and the greatest resistance force of anti-globalization is also capital.

We believe that the phase of anti-globalization is the main theme of the current world. We should not continue to indulge in the dream of globalization because of illusions and preferences, which will lead to serious policy dislocation, a huge drain on resources, and miss the window period of reform and adjustment.

In terms of research methodology, this report takes the theory of space conflict and competition as the main analytical tool and conducts systematic research and analysis mainly from the perspective of structuralism. Although there are some conjectures, assumptions, claims, views, and reflections in the current discussion and research on anti-globalization, there is a serious lack of systematization, resulting in the lack of an overall logic of the various research results, which can only address the phenomena. Once these views and ideas are placed within a holistic framework, it is difficult to reconcile them. Recognizing the shortcomings of such research and discussion, we have always emphasized the holistic framework of understanding and definition of globalization and anti-globalization.

We believe that the world of the future is different and the first chapter of a new era has begun.

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