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Globalization in the Times of Coronavirus


The cultural dynamics of globalization have always implied viral, speedy effects on the world. While mostly a positive force to uphold global collaboration in finance, economy, as well as industrial, scientific, and technological development, globalization also brings about problematic and unjust expansion or colonialism. Criticism of globalization grows with outbreaks of HIV, the swine flu, mad cow disease, SARS, influenzas, and presently -- COVID-19. The Coronavirus pandemic evokes crucial questions we must ask ourselves: why and how should we ensure globalization works to our advantage?

Clearly globalization is not going away. As the anthropologist Appadurai points out: “Though many nation-states are preoccupied with tightening their borders, maximizing their medical resources and prioritizing the health of their citizens above all else, no country has taken any serious action to undo or reverse their global alliances, interests and strategies.” Indeed, cooperation among nations to handle the pandemic is inevitable and key to defeating Coronavirus. The rampant contagion has prompted a need to reshape a world where both globalization and anti-globalization pressures remain enduring. Globalization and opposition to globalization will present new opportunities and challenges to pave the road to recovery and boost international flows.

How, then, in the next round of interconnecting activities, can the world envision a new light that shines brighter for the destiny of mankind? We must learn from the pandemic experiences -- we must examine the impacts of COVID-19 on globalization and readjust relevant courses: trade, travel, mobility, economy, food, supply chains, resources, jobs, education, entertainment, sports, and healthcare systems – all aspects of human life. We must take the lessons to heart.

Mr. Faiola of the Washington Post states: “The golden era of globalization brought prosperity, but it also brought hubris.” In the 1990s, globalization has emerged to warrant economic and cultural growth through urbanization and interconnectedness of the world. Globalization created many opportunities and enhanced human interaction. However, it has never halted xenophobia or marginalization of vulnerable groups. Many right-wing populists are using the Coronavirus crisis to instigate racist attacks or incite further prejudices (look at the USA in the 2020 elections, as well as Brazil and India to find brazen examples).

As it turned out in the late 2000s, the world witnessed a grandiose bubble burst in the housing and finance markets, caused by over-spending, frantic borrowing, toxic financial instruments, and weak regulations. Dreams of prosperity, when misconstrued, drained personal savings and national reserves.

The world is eager and will open for business again. People, companies, and countries will return to do business with one another. But the way we work, consume, invest, socialize, travel, and cooperate on global issues has changed forever. As a matter of fact, the right change is very much needed, and the battle will continue beyond the time of Coronavirus.

新型冠状病毒对全球化世界之影响

全球化的文化动态暗示着对世界的广泛、快速影响力。虽然全球化的层面主要是在于支持金融、经济以及工业、科学和技术发展方面的全球合作之积极动力,但全球化的过程也带来了令人质疑和不公正的扩张或殖民主义。随着爱滋病毒、猪流感、疯牛病、急性呼吸系统综合症、流感以及目前的新型冠状病毒的爆发,有些人对全球化的趋势越加批评和怀疑。新型冠状病毒大流行确实是发人深思 -- 世人必须审视关键问题:我们为什么必须确认、并如何确保全球化对人类是有利而无害的?

显然,全球化的趋势是不会因为病毒流行而消失的。正如人类学家阿帕杜赖 (Appadurai) 所指出:“尽管许多国家皆专注于紧闭边界、并极度利用其医疗资源将其公民的健康放在首位,但各国却未采取任何实质的行动来取消或扭转其全球联盟、利益和策略。”事实上,国与国之间相互合作来应对流行病毒是不可避免的、全球化的策略也是战胜病毒的关键所在。新型冠状病毒猖獗的蔓延实际上已促使人们重新思考、从而重塑一个驾驭全球化和反全球化压力而持续存在的世界。全球化和反对全球化的意识将带来新的机会和挑战,为世界复苏铺平道路并促进国际流动。

如此说来,世人在下一轮相互联系的活动中,将如何进行全球化来展望人类命运的新曙光?答案乃在于经验学习 -- 我们必须从流行病毒封闭危害世界的经验中来努力学习、我们必须检视新型冠状病毒对全球化的影响并重新调整相关策略:贸易、旅行、流动、经济、食品、供应链、资源、就业、教育、娱乐、体育和医疗保健系统 -- 人类生活的种种层面。我们必须牢记教训。

《华盛顿邮报》的专栏作家法伊奥拉先生说道:“全球化的黄金时代带来了繁荣,但也引发了世人狂妄自大的心态。”在 1990 年代,全​​球化趋势大为风行,其旨意乃在通过城市化和世界的相互联系来保证经济和文化的增长。全球化创造了许多机会并加强了人际交往。然而,全球化的世界却从未结束仇外心理或减少弱势群体收到边缘化的现象。许多右翼民粹主义者正在利用新型冠状病毒危机来煽动种族主义、并进一步诱导人们的偏见(放眼看看美国 2020 年的选举活动、以及巴西和印度的政治生态,就能找到许多令人咂舌的实例)。

事实证明,在 2000 年代后期,由于世人之过度支出、疯狂借贷、以及缺失不全的金融工具和监管系统,世界目睹了房地产和金融市场之巨大泡沫的破灭。繁荣的梦想和目标如未经过详细策划,就会耗尽个人储蓄和国家资金。

世人当今渴望回复正常、而世界也将快速再次开放。个人、公司和世界各国将返回彼此合作、开展联系业务。但我们针对全球化议题的工作态度、消费、投资、社交、旅行和合作的方式已经永远改变了。事实上,正确的改变是非常需要的,这场战斗将在新型冠状病毒时代之后持续进行。