The author suggests the economic possibilities under global capitalism through the example of the rapid industrialization and prosperity of South Korea. But it should be remembered that in the context of global capitalism, the issues of national sovereignty and commercial opportunity are intertwined. For example, large Internet portals such as Yahoo and Google, by way of exploiting global opportunities provided by the medium of the Internet have submitted to the imperatives of business. While their profits have shot up as a result of the new opportunities for advertisement, their tacit support of citizen censorship (as typified by the case of China) has attracted criticism. As a result of facilitating Chinese government censorship, these representatives of globalization have done social injustice to the people of Tibet. Similar instances of thwarting democratic participation can be found in countries such as East Timor, Cambodia and the Indian subcontinent. In essence, business and political leaders don’t seem to care an iota about freedom of speech and democracy in the countries in which they function, as long as their revenues remain impressive. Such profiteering attitude is ethically very shallow and does not project globalization in good light.
In conclusion, it is quite clear that much of the criticism directed at global capitalism is justified, especially in the context of the developing world. The objections related to this economic system are part of a broader critique of contemporary industrial societies. These criticisms include deceptive mass advertisements, over-population, environment damage, toxic dumping, corporate greed, etc. The global capitalists, who are essentially based in Western democracies, can virtually dictate terms of trade for the rest of the world due to their military and economic superiority. And being the torch bearers of unfettered laissez faire capitalism, the powerful business interests often dictate local government policies. This heady mix of wealth and power has so far led to outcomes that have harmed communities at large and the environment in which they live. The poor people in developing nations are especially badly hit by this phenomenon. To the author’s credit, Jeffry Frieden presents an objective account of the rise of globalization through the decades of the twentieth century. Adhering to practices of academic integrity and scholarship, Frieden explicates to the reader the problems and drawbacks of global capitalism as well as its benefits.
Frieden, Jeffry A., Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century (ONLY Ch.17 and 18)