Name it and it Shall be: globalization and new Fears

Common knowledge it is that words have different meanings to different people at particular times and circumstances, as well. Not so clear, are connections between words and emotive reactions they provoke. One may swoon or evidence physically aggressive behaviors, not to just what was said, but to their understanding of the statement. For brevity and simplicity, it might be agreed that, at least in some cases, words are stimuli.

There are many psychological studies, based on word associations that help explain the phenomenon. Indeed there is much literature documenting the sway of opinions, of political outcomes based on particular usage at the right places and times that generate results desired, such as -solidarity, disdain, pacification, fear, withdrawal or rage. In some instances, deliberate confusion. Today ‘Globalization’, is one such potent word. Where some hear opportunities, others perceive sudden, tremendous calamities, personal losses, armed conflicts or even existential biblical fulfillment.

The thing was named sometime in the nineteen thirties, gained a lot of scholarly attention through the years but outside of academia and a sliver of the professions, no one cared much. At least, not until mass media started associating dreadful images of refugees pouring into Europe. The impressions strengthened as word-graphic associations focused on religion, color, and crime. It was then the name, Globalization, was teased to apocalyptic immediacy. Fear and permanent states of anxiety became the norm. Irrationally so. Thus a nation of 325 million citizens armed to the teeth, reasoned that 10,000 peaceable women and children predominantly, would be dangerous to their society, erase its culture and be genocidal to the population’s majority.

In context, globalization has always been going on treks were somewhat replaced by ships and horses. The encounter with the populations of North and South Americas, the Atlantic Slave Trade, indentureship of Portuguese, Asians, and Irish particularly, were stages of, though unconscionable, closing in on the global village concept.

I live in these USA directly resultant to Globalization. My great-grandparents lived in the Caribbean and South America because of the same. If large-scale global movements of labor and capital combine with technology that virtually integrates populations occur in a narrow space of time, is the phenomena settlements? Development, Founding, or some other re-defined similitude? What was then called Brain Drain in the politics of the second part of the last century, is now benignly referred to as a work visa in a global village. Name it, and it shall be. 

For reasons I don’t know of, and I am not one to ascribe motives, migration is now a closely linked with globalization so much that some try to use them interchangeably. Some are unaware that the images consumed repeatedly relate to displacements due to wars and persecution. Not globalization. But I have considered that people want stability and security. They also want freedom and prosperity.