Part I: Nature and content of globalization
We have seen “Globalization” in Vietnam in the past few decades. The frequency of the term globalization is increasing over time. The exchange and trade between countries worldwide, especially the emergence of the global Internet system, makes the need to learn about globalization rapidly increase. Many famous authors have affirmed that today’s world is flat, implying that globalization has flattened borders and barriers for a typical worldwide unification. The world has become a global village. However, the bitter military conflicts in the Middle East, Russia and Ukraine, and the division of the European Union have somewhat dampened optimism in the process of globalization, the process of “flattening” of the world.
So what is Globalization? What is the role and nature of globalization? What is the content of globalization? What is the path of globalization? Those are critical questions to understand the process of stirring and linking countries and the whole world. Many books and articles have been written on globalization, its different aspects, and approaches. However, not many documents can accurately, succinctly, and fully explain this complex issue.
Globalization is the process of building a space of human solidarity towards and realizing the noble values of freedom, equality, and charity on a global scale. The essence of globalization is expanding the free space for people worldwide. Globalization is the excellent progress of humanity, the interference between cultures, the connection, and interweaving, blending of the vast human processes in the economic, cultural, and social field. Globalization is also the endpoint, the destination of humanity, of human society. Concluding the process of globalization, humanity entered an entirely new era in the history of its existence.
Features of Globalization
Globalization is, first and foremost, a natural, historical process of humanity. Globalization means that society will advance to (or the development of man, of history, will lead to) a shared space of human solidarity. National boundaries will be eliminated; all differences will be erased, humanity shares common values and a shared space of solidarity. The entire development of human society in history is the preparation, steps and stairs necessary for people to build their shared society. The driving force behind the whole process of globalization is people’s desire for freedom, the desire to expand human freedom on a global scale.
Second, in terms of perception, globalization is the process of establishing common values of humankind. Those are core values such as freedom, equality, and fraternity. People will build a space of solidarity to share and realize human freedom worldwide from these shared values. Along with establishing shared values, people also accept and acknowledge people’s differences as individuals and collectives. Individuals have differences in race, form, personality; collectives have differences between ethnicities, religions, regions, localities, and countries.
Third, globalization is a process of interlacing and cooperation between countries in the fields of economy, culture, and society, cooperation on many contents from spontaneous to self-conscious. Initially, the trade in goods, economics, technology, then culture, society, finally the political field, free connection. Because globalization connects economies of different levels, cultures with considerable differences, and various political institutions, globalization is a highly complex interwoven process, and that connection goes from spontaneous to self-conscious. Only when one can identify the core of globalization, and there is a common way to build political institutions suitable for all countries and the world, will the globalization process become voluntary and be implemented fast and efficiently.
The contents of globalization
Globalization is the combination and friction across all areas of human life. The interlacing and complexity and the process’s twist sometimes obscure the important content. Countries are the fundamental units for cooperation. However, because globalization covers all areas of human life, there are still areas of collaboration and friction beyond national borders, for example, race, belief, religion. But in summary, globalization includes the following essential contents.
1- Economic and technical Globalization. This is a meaningful connection, paving the way for the entire process of globalization. The economic-technical relationship is motivated by the trade in goods, market expansion, and, most importantly, profit motive. This economic-technical connection aims to step by step and eventually remove all barriers to let goods, human beings, and capital (money, capital) flow freely around the world.
2- Globalization of culture and society. Cultural and social connection is cooperation and rubbing cultural and spiritual values between countries, cultures, and civilizations. This process will establish common and noble values towards which humanity is aiming. At the same time, it is also a process for people to gradually accept and acknowledge differences in individual, regional, and national character, ethnicity, creed, religion. It is also the process of exchange and learning between countries and cultures.
3- Political Globalization, or free association. This is the ultimate destination of globalization. People are free everywhere on this planet. Realizing this free connection, the process of globalization will truly succeed, and humanity will enter a new era. This process of political globalization and the free relationship is building a global democratic institution, conducted with the consensus of all countries, based on a beautiful standard value of humanity and created by the same mechanism and manner. This process requires the self-discipline of nations and society as a whole.
A critical content of the globalization process is the globalization of language or establishing a common language for the whole world. It is not a giant but important content because the exchange and communication of people will be much more effective if people speak the same language. One suggestion is to find among today’s international languages, the one that meet the criteria of ease of speech, ease of writing, and ease of learning, edited and perfected by linguists worldwide. Then, we use it as a common language around the world. That will accelerate the entire process of globalization in the future.
Part II: The Way of Globalization
To understand the greatness, difficulties, and complexities of globalization, we need to have a specific picture of the social state of humanity when the globalization process is complete. To make it easier to imagine, let’s take an example image, that is, America today expands its space around the globe. That means people are free everywhere, can come and go, can settle anywhere on this planet. Basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter are guaranteed. People can do anything within the scope of global common law based on the maximum guarantee and protection of the human rights of each individual. At that time, the whole world would become only one state; national borders were abolished, all hatreds and discriminations were abolished, people lived in harmony and love. It would be heaven on earth, authentic and buildable.
Contrasting the beautiful prospect of completing globalization with the bare truth of the world today, few people have any optimism about the future of globalization. However, the natural history of man, humanity, is to come to that state. The point is that recognizing the difficulties and challenges and building the path of globalization will determine this glorious process’s speed, time, and quality. There are many difficulties and challenges for the globalization process, but there are two enormous challenges that the globalization process must overcome.
First is the uneven development between countries, the difference between cultures, the interweaving of democratic, autocratic, dictatorial political institutions, and finally, hatred and war. The world is divided into developed, developing, and underdeveloped countries. These three groups of countries have huge disparities in terms of production methods as well as income and living standards of the people. Some countries are still immersed in intolerant cultures such as radical Islam, Confucianism, etc. In terms of political institutions, out of over 200 countries, only about 150 countries have democracies; the rest are dictatorial, autocratic, and totalitarian. Of the 150 countries with democratic institutions, only less than 30 countries have absolute freedom; the rest, 120 countries, have only democracy in elections. In short, in essence, the number of countries and people now called free is far too small compared with the number of countries and the total number of people in the whole world. Therefore, the problem is that nations need to rebuild and standardize democratic political institutions to ensure free space for people before expanding and connecting with other countries and the whole world. It is the process of creating human freedom within each country.
Second, the process of globalization has always been spontaneous. Therefore, the steps are arduous, winding, and crooked due to globalization’s undetermined nature and path. Although unplanned, the world also has many organizations and institutions that are the basis and foundation for globalization. For example, the United Nations, international financial institutions, the United Nations Charter of Human Rights, the International Court of Justice, etc. In fact, on a global scale, organizations and institutions perform the function of free association. Determining the role of freely connecting and expanding people’s free space is the correct definition of the nature of globalization. From there, we will choose the path of globalization.
Thus, from the two biggest challenges of globalization, we can determine the path of globalization. The way of globalization involves two parallel processes that are mutually supportive and interactive. That is the process of creating each country’s freedom, together with building a global democratic institution (free connection), also known as creating and connecting people’s freeđom.
One thing that we need to emphasize in the realization of freedom-building or building a national democratic institution. Out of 150 countries with democratic institutions, less than 30 countries have freedom for their people, and 120 countries only have democracy in elections. Digging into the study, out of 30 countries, only the United States has a democracy that can guarantee people’s freedom from the very democracy that they designed and built. Among the rest of the countries, psychological and cultural factors are decisive (but not the defining democratic institutional nature). Therefore, today’s world has not built an accurate democracy model, which can be applied to all countries, bringing freedom to the people. Many people believe that no standard model for building democratic institutions applies effectively to all countries. However, the reality is that the world has not found a standard model, not that there is none. An accurate model of democracy requires the identification of the correct core (nuclear) democratic institutions in the many institutions of democracy (e.g., democratic constitution, separation of powers, pluralism, etc.) multi-party, free elections, decentralization, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, etc.). From that core institution, it is necessary to build a democratic institution around and ensure the operation of the core institution, which will be the solution to the problem of human freedom (please refer to the book Democracy and other articles about democracy by Nguyen Vu Binh).
The issue of free connection, building a global democratic institution, is based on people’s freedom in each country. However, since the two happen simultaneously, there will be an interaction between the construction process and the free connection. That is to say, some countries have both built democratic institutions and are participating in globalization. Therefore, the human rights criterion in the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights is a fundamental human right on a national and international scale, built and enforced by the same society organization procedure (democratic institution) will be the way of globalization in the future.