NOTE: I recommend reading my latest article in conjunction with this
It is not an over statement to say that US-led neoliberal economic/corporate globalization—which ushered in the privatization and downsizing of vast public and labour sectors, the off shoring of jobs to cheaper labour markets abroad, and mass unemployment and underemployment worldwide, especially in the west—has practically destroyed the world, including the United States. It is also not an overstatement to say that the reigning in or reversal of economic globalization, if such a thing is even possible, would greatly benefit the ever-increasing poor, unemployed and underemployed peoples of the world.
What is Economic Globalization?
Prior to WWII and the US’ full ascent to global economic super power, the United States had what is known as a protectionist or isolationist economy, meaning it did not trade much with other nations and production and manufacturing was done mainly in house. Following its victory in the Second World War, the US was in a position of power as much of Europe lay in ruins and in need of “aid.” The US seized the opportunity (some say it actually created this opportunity, but that is a topic for another article). The US was able to economically enslave parts of Europe with its Marshall Plan.  Part of the conditions for Marshall Plan “aid” was the opening up of European markets to the US and economic restructuring and integration in a manner that favoured the US capitalist model and US banks and corporations. With this, economic globalization began. With time the US was able to become a full-fledged Empire by (often forcibly) spreading its version of capitalism around the world. This made the US Empire unique in that is was largely economic in nature—what is know as capitalist imperialism. But capitalist imperialism is a highly political and militarized process, and the threat of military force and endless imperial war and invasion has always gone hand-in-hand with US economic empire.
Through economic globalization and its global monetary institutions and banks (i.e., IMF, WTO, World Bank, etc), the US was able to economically high jack the rest of the world while presenting itself—as it always does—as a global saviour. Globalization was presented as the ultimate and obvious remedy for what supposedly ails the world. The vision offered from leading advocates and beneficiaries of this “new world order,” were unfailingly positive, even utopian: “Globalization will be a panacea for all our ills.”  Corporate globalization was portrayed as the road to paradise, the inevitable unraveling of history and, indeed, the end of history–the final solution and last good idea. Continue reading