The Challenge of Globalization: Zapatista Movement Case

In the modern world, people are working towards achieving a socially cohesive unit. The globalization wave has struck all the spheres of life. Proponents of this concept allege that it is through joining forces that people are able to achieve their objectives. Indeed, in various situations such as trade and international peace, the world has effectively attained these goals by collaborating with others. Globalization demands that the individual persons should cease pursuing personal goals and instead concentrate on achieving collective objectives (Lechner and John 6). However, globalization is faced by various challenges. Inequitable distribution of wealth poses the greatest challenge to achieving globalization. The wealthy are often unwilling to merge forces with the poor because of the apparent gap in material possession. In addition, the differences in culture have made it difficult to integrate social norms. Globalization is an emerging trend that is promising to unite the world on a number of shared ideals, despite the challenges of inequality and cultural differences that are threatening to stall the process.

 The Zapatista Movement departs from the genealogy of globalization by encouraging members to focus on localized development. The group is keen on ensuring the betterment of the lives of the members, as opposed to achieving development of the entire nation or world. Under the ideals of globalization, individual groups are meant to team with like-minded groups to push for a similar agenda (James and Manfred 425). However, in the case of the Zapatista Movement, the members have no interest in collaborating with other groups or the government. Instead, the society is pushing for its own agenda by encouraging its members to work hard and not to depend on outsiders for help. To outsiders, the Zapatista Movement works as a society or Sacco whose members work for a collective gain.

Despite the benefits achieved from globalization, it is nevertheless faced with various challenges. The problem of inequitable distribution of wealth and varied norms presents the greatest challenging to attaining overall globalization. Based on these problems, globalization becomes a hindrance to personal development, especially within regions where poverty levels are high (Wolf 23). Globalization thrives where there is financial availability and other supporting infrastructure, such as electricity and internet connection. Areas that lack the supporting infrastructure do not enjoy the benefits of globalization. To a large extent, people in the marginalized areas feel left out in the frenzy. The left out parties often resort to self-help remedies, including forming movements that they will use to agitate for their rights.

The Zapatista Movement contravenes the ideals of globalization by turning away external assistance and operating in solidarity. Whereas the individual goals pursued may be excused, the movement is faulted most by operating in isolation. It has been argued that the best way to counter the dark side of globalization is by fostering private enterprise (Wolf 24). Through the use of individual efforts, communities will be able to progress by combining effort, instead of relying on the international support. Since its formation, the Zapatista movement has made great strides in achieving greater economic development for its members. Critics of the globalization ideology assert that individual formations are the solution to the challenges to globalization. According to these opponents, individuals are only able to rise above the tide if only they can seek alternative methods of tackling their problems (Wolf 25).

To a large extent, globalization brings benefit to the participants. Starting from the communication sector to technological exchange, different people have benefited from the efforts and expertise of others (Steger 11). In areas where the ideology has failed to take root by reason of lack of supporting infrastructure or the unwillingness of the recipients, the respective communities have sought other methods of tackling their issues, as with the case of the Zapatista Movement. Individual formations have proven valuable in these instances. However, it is not logical for a community to live in solidarity, on the excuse of pursuing alternative methods, especially where the ideology has not failed. The world is fast changing and no society can claim monopoly of certain information. Intermarriages, migrations, and work relations have altered the outlook of any society. Insisting on adherence to a certain way of doing things will limit the potential of people. Self-help remedies are only viable in areas that totally lack supporting infrastructure. However, if there is an opportunity for people to interact on different platforms, restricting them to a life of solitude is misinformed.

Recent world events such as the “Occupy Wall Street Movement’ and the “Arab Uprising” have been touted to incorporate self-help approaches. An analysis of the events reveals that the activities were perfectly coordinated with an aim of achieving occupancy or overthrowing the government respectively. However, in both cases, there was no indication from the participants that the members that they refused external help. The only similarity between the Zapatista Movement and the mentioned events is the fact that both incidents were calculated to improve the conditions of the members by removing a major obstacle. Strictly speaking, the events in the two mentioned cases were revolutionary and political in nature, as opposed to the movement whose major objectives are socio-economic.

 Globalization has proved to be a vital tool in achieving world harmony and development, by integrating communication technologies and fostering greater economic development. However, the move is faced by a major challenge of the lack of supporting infrastructure and unresponsiveness from some societies. Despite these challenges, globalization has inspired greater economic development, technology exchange, and has contributed to improved living standards of the participants.

Works Cited

James, Paul and Steger, Manfred. A Genealogy of Globalization: The Career of Concept. Globalizations 11 (4), 2014. Print.

Lechner, Martin and John, Boli. The Globalization Reader. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, 2011. Print.

Steger, Manfred. Globalization: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print. 

Wolf, Martin. Shaping Globalization. Finance & Development, 51 (3), 2014. PDF.