Reply To: 26.5.2014 Ancient Futures

Author Replies # Posted on May 26, 2014 at 18:54

Nik Petek – Reflection to Helena Norberg-Hodge’s ‘Ancient Futures’

How can we remove the obstacles of globalisation in order to implement localisation?

I have received a mammoth task from Sabbath Sunday. First I have to identify what the obstacles are that globalisation poses to localisation. Then the question also relates to the issue of do we want globalisation to work hand in hand with localisation, hence creating glocalisation, a very popular term a couple of years ago.

People will not want to give up globalisation and the commodities that this has brought to the availability of (particularly western) societies. They have grown used to these commodities and as Prof Hornborg stated, our technology that we love so much, is dependant on globalisation and unequal exchange. Without globalisation computers, Tvs, and mobile phones would become prohibitively expensive. Getting rid of globalisation would then not solve any problems. We also need to keep in mind that we cannot get rid of globalisation because of the availability of internet that compresses time-space.

Is then one problem of globalisation that it can and in many cases does give privilege and advantage to imported products that are also available locally, such as American rice and corn in Africa? What the governments can do against such forms of globalisation is put in place protectionist laws, outlawing the import of certain crops, vegetables, and fruit when the same species is in season in the country at the same time. This would definitely benefit local farmers and invigorate the local economy, or at least provide new ways to come in “contact” with local produce.

If we are to limit globalisation, then we also need new structures to take its place, so that people have at their disposal the basic necessities (I’m not talking about luxury goods here). These structures already exist, for example the farmers markets, and supermarkets also started including more local produce to their stores. However, the local products are prohibitively expensive. The effect of this is that only the rich can participate in the localisation processes. However, what can drive the price down of these products (according to the (idiotic) economic theories currently prevalent in the world) is if the whole society partook in purchasing local produce.

These are only some suggestions to a very complex question and I doubt I even scratched the surface. To be honest, I don’t even know enough about current globalisation and localisation processes to adequately comment.