In Defense of Politics | Bernard Crick

Summary of: In Defense of Politics
By: Bernard Crick

Introduction

In a world where globalization is often viewed with skepticism, ‘In Defense of Politics’ by Bernard Crick dispels some popular misconceptions and presents a more balanced take on this controversial topic. The book acknowledges globalization’s negative impacts, but emphasizes that the overall effects are positive, driving forces behind democracy and prosperity. The author presents intriguing examples, such as the impact of globalization on child labor, as well as its influence on environmental regulations, to provide readers with a thorough understanding of the issues at hand. Delving deep into these interconnected aspects, Crick’s book is essential for anyone seeking to explore the other side of the globalization debate.

Globalization: A Controversial Phenomenon

Economic globalization has become a hotly debated topic, attracting both supporters and detractors. While some people hail it as a game-changer that promotes democracy, others call it unfair and accuse corporations of profit-hungry greed. However, the heated debates and violent protests that antiglobalization activists often stage overshadow the positive impact of globalization. For instance, despite a few downsides such as environmental harm caused by shrimp farming, globalization can generate economic growth, create jobs, and boost incomes. Additionally, the critics who blame globalization for economic insecurity or wage stagnation in developed countries are misinformed; skilled workers can leverage technology to enhance their productivity and earning potential. Therefore, governments should manage the drawbacks of globalization instead of banning it.

Globalization: Fact vs. Fiction

Opponents of globalization often spread unfounded rumors about its negative impact on child labor, families, and cultural diversity. However, The New York Times found no evidence to support the claim that child slaves worked on cocoa plantations. In fact, international trade reduces child labor by increasing parental earnings and promoting education. Legislation banning child labor can have unintended consequences, as seen in the firing of 50,000 children from Bangladeshi garment factories. The theory of “global care chains” harming families in the developing world ignores the importance of extended families and the economic empowerment of absent mothers. Critics of globalization often fear American cultural domination, but in reality, America itself is becoming increasingly diverse. Overall, globalization accelerates the reduction of child labor and enhances education, while providing economic opportunities and cultural exchanges that benefit all nations.

The Truth About Globalization

Opponents of globalization argue that it leads to a “race to the bottom” for workers in poor nations, while supporters see it as a “race to the top.” But evidence shows that multinationals actually pay about 10% more than local employers in poor countries, and by boosting demand for workers, these multinationals raise wage levels in the countries where they do business. Critics also claim that multinationals exploit workers and evade environmental regulations, but regulations in poor countries aren’t always what they seem, and large corporations take pains to behave responsibly to avoid reputational damage. While it’s true that sweatshops exist, multinationals are overwhelmingly likely to improve wages all around, thus improving the incomes of the workers in these countries.

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