It is our ethnic and cultural diversity
— our differences in language,
customs, and beliefs — that provide
the strength, resiliency, and creativity
of our species.
- Octavio Paz
A Definition Teaser
• Globalization: a modern phenomenon
involving rapid movement of goods,
capital, and information—key conduits
being global media and the internet
• Global culture: a product of globalization,
it describes a single culture shared by the
• Local culture: indigenous cultures with
society-specific ways of living
Terms from False Dawn
• Enlightenment: Philosophy from the 18th century in Europe that held
reason and scientific proofs as the basis of truth. Empirical,
materialistic outlook on life
• 'Washington consensus' : Economic globalization as preached by
the IMF and the WTO, a shorthand term for liberalized markets,
open borders and free trade.
• . A diversity of cultures was not a permanent condition of human life.
It was a stage on the way to a universal civilization. - Discuss
• “Utopia”: A perfect world. In Gray’s case a world of economic
freedom and prosperity.
• Wherever deregulated markets are promoted in late modern
societies they engender new varieties of capitalism.
• anarcho-capitalism: uncontrolled capitalism breeding
social chaos. A made-up word that Gray uses.
• The Monoculture has also been called the
“megaculture” or the “McWorld” Culture. It
is that homogeneous, all pervasive junk
culture that many of us feel is inescapable.
The culture of consumerism and
consumption, the culture that makes us
listen to the same music, wear the same
clothes, watch the same entertainment
and even have the same morals. It is the
end of diversity.
Monoculture caused by massive advances in
technology that allow us to communicate to other
cultures cheaply and efficiently.
Where are we?
Family The Individual
Indeed, things are a-changin’.
Globalization and Capitalism
• Globalization primarily stemmed from:
– A desire for liberalization of political
– A desire for expanded markets
• A liberalization of controlled economies
• Greater access to liberal economies
• In the vein of real politik: if it is in the
economic interest of the state, it is in
the interest of the state
• The side effects of capitalism are neatly codified in the
aspects of sustainability:
• Environment and economy are discussed at length, while
major societal issues (like cultural erosion) go largely
• Why does this happen?
Effective, Politically Ineffectual
• Not only driving the growth of a global
monoculture and detrimental to the
character and welfare of local cultures, but
also a lacking in political efficacy
Global Culture Doesn’t Mean
– Instead of global freedom, there has developed a global
market which has in turn developed a global culture
• Ex. Laotian internet café
– Internet politically impotent, but economically fruitful
• Yahoo! and AOL both have censored news content “to
please authoritarian regimes like China”
• Third World labor; another example
A Global Monoculture
• “First World tastes and
wants are exported,
profitably, to the Third.
The Third World is merely
a consumer-market for
• “In the face of the global
power of modern
capital, ‘Little Traditions’
are…very fragile, their
religions…vulnerable to the
onslaught of high-tech
funded by millions of
An Incan Parallel
“…the indigenous peoples of South America
continue to be assimilated into white-
dominated national cultures as their
traditional ways of life and homelands are
being destroyed by over-population growth
and industrial development.”
The Grand Subtext of Globalization
Unique and therefore
societies’ entire ways of
living (culture) are
subverted into a mass
produced (and consumed) F DA
It becomes a global
assimilation of once very
rich societies into a grand
fondue melting pot of
Grade A, FDA-inspected
The Crystal Ball of Global
What will it all mean?
Extinction of local cultures and subsequent
rise of a global culture
Rise in wealth and power of commercial
A growing disparity between the rich and the
poor intra-First World
An ever-growing disparity between those
patrons of the First World monoculture and
those who manufacture the monoculture’s