Introduction with the concept of happiness among people of


It needs to be noted that globalization leads
to the hegemonic influence of the developed nations on the developing or
underdeveloped regions of the globe. Globalization brings about a disparity in
power hierarchy as well. The most significant impact of globalization is the
process of cultural imperialism that goes on to undermine the different
cultures of the world so as to establish a monoculture. Now, it needs to be
noted by one and all that globalization is interlinked with capitalism.
Globalization has drastically enhanced the market of the capitalist economy. As
such, the businesses have come up with various consumer products. The dominant
Western culture goes on to undermine the diversities of other cultures so as to
popularize the Western cultural practices. This in turn aids the process of
popularizing the products of the capitalist economy. There is an endeavor to
homogenize the culture and the practices. Now, this is surely not a proper
thing to do. This kind of practice is only instrumental in spreading cultural
imperialism and establishing wider gap of power hierarchy among the various
communities and nations of the world. Globalization cannot take the liberty to
wipe out the cultural identity of people who hail from other parts of the
globe. It is imperative that people come to realize how the diversities of the
world and the people are getting undermined by the influence of globalization.
Instead of overshadowing other ethnicities, cultures, and practices,
globalization should aim to achieve a healthy cultural mesh all over the world
so as to enhance human unity in the international domain. However, the current
trend seems to be totally different. Awareness and action would enable the
neutralization of this phenomenon of cultural imperialism so as to bring in a
better future for the world.

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Consumer Culture

As consumerism has come to encompass the
society and people, there is a surmounting desire among people to get hold of
the consumer products. These consumer products have come to become synonymous
with the concept of happiness among people of the society. The material culture
of the society has taken up a major part of the lives of people. The author
goes on to explicate stories of some people’s lives and how consumerism has
added to their discontents. The article explicates how the line between
necessity and luxury has been blurred in the present era of consumerism.
Indeed, people’s needs for acquiring and enjoying materialistic products are
getting heightened with time. However, the income of the people does not get
enhanced as such in synchrony with the enhancement of needs. As such, many
people want to have more consumer products, but are unable to acquire the same
due to monetary reasons. This, in turn, gives rise to discontent among the
people of the society as they have come to find consumerism to be synonymous
with happiness in their lives. The author puts forth the view against
consumerism with utmost elaboration and emphasis.

Now, the technological developments have come
to make life much easier in the present times. As such, people aim to acquire
the materialistic products so as to make their lives more comfortable and easy.
There is nothing wrong in desiring to make life better in every possible way.
Also, it needs to be noted that necessity and luxury are relative terms as it
has no set parameter in the society among the people. While one might feel that
a product is a luxury, it might actually be a necessity for other people. While
on one hand capitalism is criticized by many, it needs to be comprehended that
it is due to the consumer culture propagated by capitalism that common people
get the chance to own items that would make their sustenance much better. As
such, a mono-dimensional biased approach against consumerism would surely be
flawed in the present day scenario.

Indeed the phenomenon of consumerism and
happiness having become synonymous, the parameters of getting happy have seen a
transformation with time where people require more and more materialistic items
to feel happy. In this way, the concept of happiness has shifted from emotional
happiness from relationships and arts and aesthetics to materialism and owning
consumer products. Now, it has to be reckoned that consumerism is omnipresent
in the present day world. There is no way one can deny its presence, but there
has been debate over its utility and negative impact on the society and the
people. After going through the two articles in favor and against consumerism
respectively, one can very well comprehend that consumerism does provide the
option for the common man to acquire materialistic things that would make life
easier and more comfortable. It is the basic desire of every human to make his or
her life better. As such, it is highly imperative that every man gets the
choice and opportunity to gain these consumer products that surely have the
potential to transform lives in an immense manner. While there can be
discontent among people about not being able to acquire their desired consumer
goods, nonetheless, it is true that they believe that having those goods would
make life better. In an economic system that aims to satiate the needs of one
and all, and in the age of globalization, consumerism would only enhance its
surmounting effect with time.

Late Capitalism and Global Impact

Thus, the
society has undergone a shift in paradigm since the 1970s. This paradigmatic
shift has left the traditional ways of activism obsolete, and has catapulted
new forms to hog the limelight in the societal dynamics. Hardt and Negri in
their seminal work, Empire, opine that this shift is very important for
the society, and it needs to be understood from a correct perspective. The
shift has occurred from the omnipotence of the Imperialist power to Imperial
power. The sovereignty of the nation has been replaced by the control society
of the world market. The shift that is mentioned in the context of societal
dynamics is also represented by the shift from modernism to postmodernism. Thus
the world has seen a transformation from an industrial economy to an
informationalized economy. A significant change is noticed in the workforce of
the world in the Information Age. People who used to work in realms that
currently function on automated systems have to hunt for work in sectors that
are not highly penetrated by automation. Another significant transformation is
the widening of the arena of resources. Workers have to survive in the global
job market as the geographical boundaries are not barriers anymore. Computers
are being used in a bid to replace human labor owing to the greater efficiency
and accuracy of the device.

One of the cons of information age lies in the fact that workers
like data processors, assembly line workers, foremen and supervisors have
drastically diminished in number in the recent times. Automation and
outsourcing have come up to replace them. The Information Age gives importance
to “mind workers”; the contemporary times make the less educated people settle for
lower wages or go for low-skill jobs. There is a stark contrast in the
condition of the production workers and service workers in the industrialized
nations and the developing nations. The people in the industrialized nations
often lose their jobs as their work is outsourced to other nations, so that the
company can save on the expenses. The process of outsourcing is possible due to
the omnipotence of internet connectivity all over the globe. A company that has
its headquarters in the United States of America
may depend on workers who are stationed in India for the production. Thus, one
central office controls the functioning of several secondary offices that are
spread all over the globe.

From this mode of functioning emerges globalization that has taken
the world by storm. Globalization in the age of Late Capitalism has on one side
thwarted the dream of a unified class struggle as envisaged by the Communists,
while on the other side innumerable people get the opportunity to work in
companies across the national boundaries owing to the nullification of
geographical barriers. It has to be comprehended that the economic fate of
workers does not depend on the condition of the national economies anymore. For
example, a worker in the United States of America
was once well-paid in comparison to a worker in India. However, in the era of Late
Capitalism, the communication systems have improved greatly and workers get the
opportunity to compete in the global job market. Their wages are very less
dependent on the condition of the individual economies of the countries they
reside in. What is most striking is the level of connectivity of the people in
a company. While the people work together even after being distributed across a
vast stretch of geographical territory, they are primarily unconnected to each
other physically. A company that has a distributed workforce utilizes
networking infrastructure to connect the workforce. The workers use a shared
software approach called SaaS (software as a service) so that the team members
can work in unison sharing the databases of the company.

Hardt and Negri opine that a new form of empire has emerged in the
age of postmodernization that conforms to the new global structure and logic of
governmentality in the globalized world. The transformation of the world as a
global marketplace with the global circulations make the dynamics among the
nations and the populations intertwined with one another. The noveau form of
governmentality is, in fact, quite an anonymous structure sans any central
point of political and economic sustenance. Rather, there exists a network of mechanisms that saturates such reorganizations and
redistributions of powers. Thus, a new form of sovereignty comes into play. One
has to understand that this new form of global dynamics has two flip-sides to
it. On one hand, Drucker opines that this form of intertwined engagement works
in favour of productivity that in turn impedes the path of social revolutions.
Not only that, the globalization of work also opens up multiple avenues for the
population of the developing or underdeveloped nations. This opens up modes of
employment for the people, and adds to the continuous process of global
advancement in terms of well-being and economy.

On the other hand, according to the opinion
of Hardt and Negri, the functionality of Late Capitalism has been able to
incorporate and subjugate social resistance under its own development and
expansion. The omnipotence of power is not exposed as it used to be in the
previous times. Rather, power becomes a phenomenon that remains immanent to the
production of knowledge itself. Thus, power only shows itself in an indirect
way, thus nullifying the visibility of labor oppression, if any. At this
juncture of discussion, a definition of labor rights is necessary. The
entitlements that are related to the role of being a worker are known as labor
rights. While a number of these rights are exercised individually, the other
ones come into play collectively. These rights include protection of privacy,
protection from arbitrary and unjustified dismissal, a right to fair working
conditions and a right to be represented by a trade union. All the employees of
any particular organization, irrespective of being full-time or casual workers,
have the right to get an employment agreement in written form. Also, there are
minimum terms and conditions which are provided by law that are needed to be
provided to the employee by the employer.

In the Information Age, the
employer-employee dynamics have changed to a large extent. While the previous
times have seen labor agitations against the employer, the global culture of
work nearly nullifies the possibility of labor unification and agitation. This
is good in the perspective of Capitalism as the impediments in the path of
production are quite less owing to the geographical spread of the workforce. It
is difficult for the workers to unite physically to raise their voice against
anything that might be unfavourable for them. The flip side of the matter is
that the workers are on the receiving end as they cannot fight for their rights
in unison. The latent agenda of Late Capitalism is to extract the services out
of the workers of the lesser developed nations for the benefit of the
bourgeoisie. Thus, in the present age, when the nations are intertwined for
economic growth, the mode of exploitation by bourgeoisie has drastically
transformed. Global value chain comes into play for the purpose of generating
the maximum profit for the investors. The proletariat class can also be seen as
the information workers of the present era who work day in and day out for
employers they might not have seen physically in their course of employment.


People should wish
for a global and absolute democracy that can counter the ills of global
capitalism. There are three major ways to nullify the ill-effects of global
capitalism according to the economist duo. There should be proper thought for
the purpose of achieving global citizenship that would end the systems whereby
markets and capital are free while people are segmented, striated and bounded
to territories. Secondly, a social wage and guaranteed income for all,
extending the social welfare of the global rich to all global citizens,
ensuring that no one will starve or die of easily treatable diseases, is
something that is highly needed in the present era. Thirdly, there has to be a
right to re-appropriation. The present scenarios of materialistic inequalities
perpetuate the hierarchies born of capitalist exploitation and the legacy of
imperialism and colonialism. Thus, Late Capitalism is using its arsenal with
all the subtlety. It is necessary to identify the pros and cons of the realm of
economic existence of the global population. The method of counterpoising the
ill-effects have to be equally advanced and well-chalked out, so that there can
be holistic growth in the ambiance of Capitalism that has arguably reached the
level of perfection. Workers of the world are united by the internet
connectivity, but they need to ‘unite’ in the truest sense of the word. As
Derrida opines, to comprehend and transform a system, the constituents of that
very system need to be utilized. Human unity can be reached using the arsenal
of Late Capitalism itself by