It seems every time there is a G8 meeting, the protestors against globalization are out in force. This is true for this week’s Summit in Heiligendamn, Germany. I remember that Jack Welch, the Chairman of GE, had a clear message for all company personnel. “THINK GLOBAL” Of course, with electrification comes an improvement in the lot of most people in underdeveloped nations. But do they really need Kentucky Fried Chicken, which advertises that they had surpassed all other chicken preparation methods in popularity in modern China?
Globalization is not new. The world has seen it spread, often with a religious message as well. When the new world was explored and settled, the Catholic Popes urged promulgation of the faith. The European lifestyle and trade routes were established with the newfound land. Unfortunately, some of it was tobacco and rum. The Muslim world was spread throughout the Mediterranean region and southern Asia with the objective of conversion and engaging in trade. Unfortunately, some of it was the slave trade. And so on.
Mongolia has been described as the most remote place on Earth, excepting Antarctica, which has no permanent population. No place there is more remote that the Gobi Desert. Indigenous people are nomadic whose tribes move about 5 times per year following the little vegetation that does grow after a rainstorm. Their names are not recorded in any official register. The population numbers are now counted by aerial photo, where the gers (tents) are multiplied by a factor of five, so an estimate can be made. I spent a day with a nomadic family. We rode camels and horses; ate lunch with our hosts and did our business behind the sand dune. The goat cheese was quite good and the native Vodka tasty. Most nomads were dressed in work clothes and traditional costumes, however one young lad had a “Hot Rock Café” Tee Shirt on. I enquired of our guide, “What’s with the shirt?” He answered me, “Globalization.” Nuff said.