Throughout the history of mankind many surges of economic growth have been built on top of oppression of people and advances of technology, especially since technology has made it faster, easier and cheaper to oppress other people.
Globalization has brought lots of good into the world and has allowed companies and humanity to tap into unused or underused resources around the globe, but at the same time it has distracted us as humanity from larger questions about the world and sustainability of the economy and our way of life. Globalization has allowed us to live over our means, as the true costs ( economic, social and environmental ) of production of goods and services has been absorbed somewhere else.
As globalization has started to show it’s effects in western countries by destruction in old employment opportunities and low cost competition from abroad it will interesting to see how it changes our perception of life, work and everything. There are global restructurings under way and no-one seems to yet know what the future will be and what will the future social contracts between citizens and countries or employees and companies be. However it is clear that countries will struggle with their social responsibilities ( services, retirement etc. ) as the growth that should be used to fund prior commitments is no longer given and opportunities for growth through oppression become more scarce.
As we are using global resources, have global workforce and global problems old nationalistic contracts and viewpoints on competition as a zero sum game should be thrown out and new ones should be figured out. It is no longer sufficient to solve problems only locally as in interconnected world someone else’s problem will be also our problem. It will be interesting to see, whether we will be able to find some kind of global solidarity and create models for economically sustainable societies that are not based on continuation of oppression.
And you don’t even need to be a tree hugger to want that.