Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Blog1-From the Great Transformation to the Global Free Market

February 10th, 2011 · 1 Comment
Feb 8/Debating Globalization

In “From the Great Transformation to the Global Free Market”, John Gray first depicts the positive outcome of the free market in the mid 19th Century England. “The free market created a new type of economy in which prices of all goods, including labor changed without regard to their effects on society”. This Great Transformation was produced in order to replace social markets by operating independently. Similar achievement is the goal today for organizations like the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Aside from this positive example of the free market, Gray shows us the negative side of it. “U.S free markets contributed to social breakdown—families are weaker than in any other country”. This statement rules out the “Washington consensus” belief that economic culture and systems will be merged into a single universal free market. I agree with Jason Gray in that the global free market does not bring on economic modernization everywhere. “It works against the free market as capitalism arises…” Just as Utopia suffered due to the global free market, I believe we all will suffer if we soon transformed into a single universal free market, as we would fall together as a whole.

Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels describes the ruling of the bourgeoisie with its massive force so powerful and its, “clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalization or rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground”. Similar to “From the Great Transformation to the Global Free Market”, a modern bourgeois society would bring crises to society due to the epidemic of over-production. I can’t imagine a society on overload; devastation would be prominent and uncontrollable.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1    Prof. Hala // Feb 12, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Good, lucid presentation of Gray’s argument. There’s just one statement I would alter a bit, to clarify. Remember, Gray’s big point is that a “global free market” *is* a Utopia — it can never be realized. The last part of your statement, that we’d “fall,” suggests you get the gist of this idea. Whether we’d fall “together, as a whole” is another question. But he insists that attempt to create such a Utopia (global free mkt) will inevitably create instability and suffering, at least among some groups, in some places.

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