Globalist pessimist perspective and the global drug problem

Subject: Health Care
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 6
Word count: 1742
Topics: Drug Abuse, Government, Health, Substance Abuse
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Introduction

Globalisation, in effect, has been explained from different perspectives but justifications are provided for each direction of explaining the concept. Specifically, globalist pessimists argue for the negative implications and side of the phenomenon, suggesting that globalisation of economy is eroding local cultures and promoting western ideologies (Rosenmann, 2015). It is also through their assertion that the drug problem or menace has been argued to be as a result of the globalised economy, especially free-trade policies that have made world economies porous and accessible thereby leading to the ease of distribution and supply of drugs (Burgoon, 2001). Through the promotion of western culture, the developing or perceived “inferior” cultures currently lack social capital of which they embody the western culture which is perceived as superior and dominance, despite promoting wrong morals like drug use (Rosenmann, 2015). Hence, the essay outlines the globalist pessimist perspective, engages in a detailed discussion of drug problem, and critically evaluates how the pessimist theoretical perspective explains the issue as a product of globalisation.

Definition of Key Terms

  • Neoliberalism: Policy model transferring economic factors to the control of the private sector, or free-market economy.
  • Tariff Levelling: Reducing tariff barriers to allow cross-boundary trade
  • Economic Integration: Converging the world’s economy into a single economic entity
  • Free-trade policies: Policies allowing free-trade and accessibility of countries for the purposes of mutual trade
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The Theoretical Perspective

From the pessimist globalists, the inherent argument is that globalisation can be explained as a form of American and western imperialism (Burgoon, 2001). Globalisation, in its form, is seen as the process through which Western institutions as well as ideas are getting imposed on the entire of the world (Rosenmann, 2015). Examples are provided about the transnational corporations, seen as the embodiment of the new global order. Accordingly, neoliberalists have been accused of painting a negative picture of the benefits attributed to economic globalisation. In essence, the neoliberal policies have been seen and regarded as making it much easier for the western companies to establish their dominance in the poorer countries which problems like low wages to the locals, depletion of natural resources and as such, leaving much behind trails of pollution because there are no national regulations put in place to prevent such occurrences (Isaak, 2004). The pessimists are majorly concerned with the fact that  there is a greater concentration media ownership in the possession of few but powerful corporations, mainly American like AOL, Time Warner, Disney and Microsoft while on the other hand, Sony as Japanese origin is leading to greater monopolisation and control of film, satellites, and advertising (McDonald and Wasko, 2008). Globalisation, by far, has been attributed to the dissemination of the Western culture, particularly America (Rosenmann, 2015). An excellent example is how most of the films are being produced in Hollywood, and always under a predictable or formulaic plot. Therefore, through this representation, cultural imperialism has occurred and to a greater extent, there are concerns that local cultures are being eroded.

Drugs as a global Problem

Drugs reports and statistics indicate that the problem is currently escalating towards epidemic. For instance, global trends have indicated that those injecting themselves with drugs have 8% risks of getting tuberculosis in comparison to 0.2% for the general population (United Nations Office of Drug and Crime, 2017). Conversely, between 2006 and 2015, the number of recorded deaths from drugs was 255 million worldwide and as such, a worrying trend as regards to the extent or number of individuals dying from the drug menace (UNODC, 2017). Another example is that for the opioids use, the main route for the transportation or dissemination is the Balkan route, attributed to regions like Afghanistan, Southern route, South-East Asia, America and in fact (UNODC, 2017). The distribution of drugs is all because of the ease of movement through globalisation. The effects and implication of globalisation and drug use is attributed to the fact that with the growing internet use, there is ease of drug supply and as such, all the activities aimed at reducing drugs supply have been hampered (Fukumi, 2016). The war on drugs is challenged by the manner in which globalisation has made it much efficient trafficking drugs owing to the lower costs of transportation ,information and communication costs thereby increasing the overall efficiency of the illicit business operations (Dolliver et al., 2016). Globalisation has equally opened the borders such that it is easy to transfer-scientific knowledge exploited for the production of drugs. Therefore, the current drugs menace is much attributed to globalisation.

Critical Evaluation

Pessimists argue that the liberalisation of the world economy has led to tariff levelling and as such, the use of advanced technologies (Isaak, 2004). As borders are opened and the global economy becomes levelled, trade in illicit goods have become common, and as such, explains why drugs have become a problem in the world.  In essence, drugs trade embody the elements of global economy as explained by pessimists, especially as trade networks are decentralised thereby changing the manner of the transactions and even the set-backs like arrests (Rosenmann, 2015). Therefore, as the world becomes more open, the pessimists would argue that the trade in drugs is becoming more augmented by the fact that old networks are closed and the new ones opened.

Nonetheless, global pessimists argue or attribute the drug problems to the role of cultures, especially how western culture has been imposed and instilled on other cultures (Rosenmann, 2015). In essence, drugs problem resonates with the current cultural clashes currently happening with the course of globalisation. Culture is learned through mass media but the Western civilization is the most dominant and as aspect of the global culture, in fact, even becoming universal way of life. Therefore, for pessimists, drug problem could be blamed to the violent movies from Hollywood that promote drugs and violence, and as such, explained as how the American, since drug problem is more of the American problem, is trying to impose its culture on the entire world (Shapiro, 2003). From pessimists’ perspective, globalisation has been implemented by imposing and using mass media to promote the western culture. However, this promotion endangers the local cultures and with time, the individuals lose their identities. As a result, lack of national identity is leading people into cultural or identity crisis of once socially unacceptable behaviours or habits like drugs become common and people get accustomed to them such that they become a way of life.

An excellent example is given of Colombia as the largest coco producer from which lack of national identity is blamed for the high prevalence of illicit drugs (Casale et al., 2014). Globalist pessimists argue that globalisation is sweeping away and undermining the various meanings attributed to human societies as well as cultures they derived from their natural environments. As globalisation is promotion single economy integration, war on culture has been declared on societies and cultures of which religious and social disruptions occur thereby undermining the overall societal and common values that governed and regulated people’s behaviours. Pessimists attribute this concern to the globalisation of western culture that glorifies and promotes drug use (Rosenmann, 2015). The same is echoed by Constable (2002) who suggests that cocaine overrides social barriers as evident in how Peruvian farmers currently depend on the drugs. In addition, the author attribute the problem to the challenges of  like poverty, which to pessimists, has been brought about by unequal resource and wealth distribution promoted by free-trade policies.

The spread of cocaine also takes the same fashion because when it was discovered in Europe and London, in the last 150 years, the drug has become familiar, the epitome of drug trade, and even being attributed to high-rolling lifestyles, especially seen in the western culture (Madge, 2001). It is quite a riddle as how cocaine is currently a common drug among South Americans, whose spread is due to liberalisation of trade and spread of the western culture. Conversely, how Feiling (2009) traces the roots of cocaine from Kingston, Miami, London, Tijuana and New York shows the implications of free-trade policies and ease of movement brought about by globalisation, which echoes the concerns of globalist pessimists on the dangers of globalisation. The breaking of trade barriers began after the world wars, as others comment on the spread Heroin whereby the European countries benefited much the poppy farming (Carnwath and Smith, 2002; Ashton, 2002).

Another reason that pessimist attribute to globalisation as the inherent cause of drug problem is that Alliances that are promoting and forcing developing countries to adopt free-trade. An excellent example is IMF which is currently only lending to those countries adopting free-trade policies (Rosenmann, 2015). Free-trade policies break barriers to trade and economic activities hence making it possible to trade drugs from different continents, from the developing to the developed countries. Moreover, 70% of the world trade is being conducted by the developed countries which has equally caused or led to unequal distribution of income and wealth, corruption and as such, poverty of which drug trade is the entirely means of survival in the developing countries (Rosenmann, 2015). Free-trade and integrated global economy, according to pessimist, has led to the integration of people, which to a greater extent, has led to immigration as one of the main channels through drugs are smuggled and traded. For example, in discussing drug policies, Hughes et al. (2006) outline that one of the social complexities included in understanding drug use is social exclusion, because the users are linked to individuals excluded from society, and even race, much attributed to the minority races.

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Conclusion

From the above discussion, it is evident that globalist pessimists would agree that drug is a problem associated and created by globalisation. For one, globalisation forced developing countries and the entire world to adopt free-trade policies which eventually led to the ease of supply of drugs and even technologies for exploitation. The increased movement has also created a network and routes of supply which are difficult to reduce and as such, more drug problems to the world. Most of the serious drugs like cocaine and heroin were initially from Europe and through globalisation, they spread to other countries. The serious and inherent concern is that with globalisation, the western culture is being promoted through Hollywood movies leading to loss in local cultures and the embodiment of the western culture as the most superior, especially risky behaviours like the use of drugs. Therefore, best to say, evidence has confirmed that pessimists attribute drug problem to globalisation.

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  1. Ashton, R. 2002. This is Heroin. London, Sanctuary Publishing.
  2. Burgoon, B., 2001. Globalization and welfare compensation: disentangling the ties that bind. International Organization, 55(3), pp.509-551.
  3. Carnwath, T. and Smith, I. 2002. Heroin century. London, Routledge.
  4. Casale, J.F., Mallette, J.R. and Jones, L.M., 2014. Chemosystematic identification of fifteen new cocaine-bearing Erythroxylum cultigens grown in Colombia for illicit cocaine production. Forensic science international, 237, pp.30-39.
  5. Constable, N. 2002. This is Cocaine. London, Sanctuary Publishing.
  6. Dolliver, D.S., Ericson, S.P. and Love, K.L., 2016. A geographic analysis of drug trafficking patterns on the tor network. Geographical Review.
  7. Feiling, T. 2009. The Candy Machine: How Cocaine Took Over the World. London, Penguin.
  8. Fukumi, S., 2016. Cocaine trafficking in Latin America: EU and US policy responses. Routledge.
  9. Hughes, R., Lart, R. and Higate, P. 2006, eds. Drugs: Policy and Politics. Buckingham, Open University Press.
  10. Isaak, R., 2004. Globalization gap, the: how the rich get richer and the poor get left further behind. FT Press.
  11. Madge, T. 2001. White Mischief: A cultural history of cocaine. London, Mainstream Publishing.
  12. McDonald, P. and Wasko, J., 2008. The contemporary Hollywood film industry. Wiley-Blackwell.
  13. Rosenmann, A., 2015. Alignment with globalized Western culture: Between inclusionary values and an exclusionary social identity. European Journal of Social Psychology, 46, pp.26-43.
  14. Shapiro, H. 2003.Shooting Stars: Drugs, Hollywood, and the Movies. London, Serpents Tale.
  15. UNODC, 2017. World Drug Report 2017 (Vienna 16 June). Viewed from http://nastrorosso.org/onewebmedia/UNODC2017.pdf
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