A positive spin to globalization?

I am a true believer in finding something positive in all aspects of human activities.

It’s no secret that I am not a huge fun of capitalism and its impact to the world’s less fortunate. I do not believe in Bill Gates‘ “Creative Capitalism“, even though it’s preferable to pure capitalism. I think that the world shouldn’t depend on the willingness of few billionaires to eventually turn humanitarians, like Bill Gates has. Don’t get me wrong. He’s doing some wonderful things but if nations of the world worked together, we wouldn’t have been in this situation (in fact, in an utopian society, there wouldn’t be this huge divide between the very few billion/millionaires and the millions upon millions of starving people).

I’ve mentioned in the past that I am going through Michio Kaku‘s book “Physics of the Impossible” and I’m seriously enjoying it. In the chapter that discusses the possibility (or impossibility) of extraterrestrials, he mentions Kardashev‘s categorization scheme of technological advancement for civilizations based on their energy consumption. I really liked the following two paragraphs, since I believe they relate to globalization and how we can actually create something very good out of it. However, if we are not careful, we may instead lead our civilization to its total destruction.

…, our own civilization qualifies a Type 0 civilization (i.e., we use dead plants, oil and coal, to fuel our machines). We utilize only a tiny fraction of the sun’s energy that falls on our planet. But already we can see the beginnings of a Type I civilization emerging on the Earth. The Internet is the beginning of a Type I telephone system connecting the entire planet. The beginning of a Type I economy can be seen in the rise of the European Union, which in turn was created to compete with NAFTA. English is already the number one second language on the Earth and the language of science, finance, and business. I imagine it may become the Type I langauge spoken by virtually everyone. Local cultures and customs will continue to thrive in thousands of varieties on the Earth, but superimposed on this mosaic of peoples will be a planetary culture, perhaps dominated by youth culture and commercialism.

The transition between one civilization and the next is far from guaranteed. The most dangerous transition, for example, may be between a Type 0 and a Type I civilization. A Type 0 civilization is still wracked with the sectarianism, fundamentalism, and racism that typified its rise, and it is not clear whether or not these tribal and religious passions will overwhelm the transition. (Perhaps one reason that we don’t see Type I civilizations in the galaxy is because they never made the transition, i.e., they self-destructed…)

Michio Kaku, “Physics of the Impossible”, Chapter 8, p146.