Week 5 - Monday - Université d`Ottawa

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Transcript Week 5 - Monday - Université d`Ottawa

CMN 2168
Recap - Globalizing technologies
► ‘Digitalization
is probably the most
important technological advance in the area
of communications. The term refers to the
process whereby information is produced as
a universal binary code, and is thus able to
circulate more freely and at greater speed
across communication technologies, and not
just within them’ (59).
► Digitalization
brings together different
media (telephone, television, computers)
and texts (pictures, sounds, words).
► Greater
► Greater speed.
► The
relationship between the place of
technology in our lives and its supposedly
progressive dimension needs to be
discussed in terms of the actual effects of
these technologies and global
Global convergence: ‘the tendency facilitated by
communication technologies, to bring together different
communities, institutions, media’ (217).
► Castells
argues that corporations both
participate into and are dependent on
information networks.
► As
virtually all corporations are connected
to and reliant on information networks,
they cannot place themselves or think
outside these networks (partly because of
the general interdependence on such
communication systems).
► The
exclusion of some kind of information in
analysis is part of a much wider tendency
which Bourdieu refers to as the ‘editing out
of the human’.
► ‘Mathematization’
of human behaviours
(‘scientific’ authority associated with
statistically and mathematically based
information. 66-7).
► According
to Virilio, information networks
contribute to the development of
endocolonialism (as opposed to
Endocolonialism: Paul Virilio’s term for the new form of colonialism
where social and economic inequalities are not exported ‘to the
colonies’ but are accentuated within colonialist states such as the
United States and the United Kingdom (216).
► There
is now a network of flows across the
globe. The old imperial centre / periphery
has disappeared into a confusing system of
power relations and connections. What
appear to be free and interactive trade
relations are in fact an utterly constricting
set of obligations, tendencies and
imperatives (70).
Chomsky and globalization
Chomsky and globalization
The accelerating pace of globalisation is having a
profound effect on life in rich and poor countries alike,
transforming regions such as Detroit or Bangalore from
boom to bust - or vice versa - in a generation.
Many economists believe globalisation may be the
explanation for key trends in the world economy such
- Lower wages for workers, and higher profits, in Western
- The flood of migrants to cities in poor countries
- Low inflation and low interest rates despite strong
► In
economic terms, globalisation refers to
the growing economic integration of the
world, as trade, investment and money
increasingly cross international borders
(which may or may not have political or
cultural implications).
► The
rapid spread of information
technology (IT) and the internet is
changing the way companies organise
production, and increasingly allowing
services as well as manufacturing to be
The role of trade
► Trade
has been the engine of globalisation, with
world trade in manufactured goods increasing
more than 100 times (from $95bn to $12 trillion)
in the last 50 years since 1955, much faster than
the overall growth of the world economy.
► Since
1960, increased trade has been made
easier by international agreements to lower tariff
and non-tariff barriers on the export of
manufactured goods, especially to rich countries.
► Neo-liberalism
is based on the Washington
consensus, also called the neo-liberal doctrine (or
neo-liberalism). It puts great emphasis on
liberalisation of trade and finance, privatisations
and the supremacy of markets. This system
praises the rationalisation of all activities and
services, but it generally leads to the
concentration of money within the hands of a
small minority.
► Neo-liberalism
relies on the ideas of Adam
Smith (who was one of the intellectuals who
developed the idea of free trade and
► Privatisations
► Liberalisation
of trade and finance
► Supremacy of markets
Global capitalism
► Globalization
can be understood as ‘the
relationship between the development of
new communication technologies, on the
one hand, and the contexts and politics of
the use of that technology, on the other’
► We
can also understand globalization ‘as an aspect
of its effects on and in relation to the institutions,
practices and strategies of capitalism’ (73).
► Capitalism
is ‘currently the dominant system for
the organization of economies; characterized by
the private ownership of the means of production,
and reliance on the market to direct economic
activity and distribute economic goods and
rewards. Its founding principle is the pursuit of
self-interest through competition’ (215).
Logic of capitalism
► Capitalism
operates through the creation of
surplus value, but that surplus value must
always find a market.
► Surplus
value is created when the value of
production exceeds labour and other
associated costs.
► Surplus
value is only realized, however,
through the process of consumption.
► Surplus
value is then (at least parlty)
returned to the capitalist process as
investment, which in turn creates more
surplus value and more goods for
► When
home markets are exhausted and
unable to cope with what eventually
becomes capitalist overproduction, or when
overproduction leads to devaluation,
capitalism is faced with a barrier to its mode
of operation.
► This
can be accommodated by the
development of new markets, such as
foreign countries (or colonies in the past).
► The
long term goal of capitalism is the
capitalization of the entire world (74).
► Global
► Capitalism’s
basic principle is the ‘pursuit of
self-interest, which is achieved economically
through competition between producers and
producers, consumers and consumers. This
competition, under capitalist logic, creates a
state in which the right amount of goods
and services at the right price are made
available to meet consumer demands’ (79).
► ‘The
principle, in the simplest terms, is that
increasing demand will put pressure on
supply; prices will go up in response to the
pressure, and demand will drop back, in the
face of the raised prices, to reach an
equilibrium with supply’ (79).
► See
the marble example on page 79.
In other words…
► Under
capitalism, the means of production
are privately owned. The levels of exchange
and the production of goods and services
are reliant on the market and the relation
between supply and demand rather than
through intervention (79-80).
The two main competitors of capitalism
► Fascism
The means of production are privately
The state plans and intervenes in
► Communism
- The state both owns the means of
production and controls the outputs.