Globalization, Peace & Cultures Dialogue Issue on Sale Now!




What is the Globalization...?

What is the Globalization? Globalization (or Globalisation) refers to increasing global connectivity, integration and interdependence in the economic, social, technological, cultural, political, and ecological spheres. Globalization is an umbrella term and is perhaps best understood as a unitary process inclusive of many sub-processes (such as enhanced economic interdependence, increased cultural influence, rapid advances of information technology, and novel governance and geopolitical challenges) that are increasingly binding people and the biosphere more tightly into one global system.

There are several definitions and all usually mention the increasing connectivity of economies and ways of life across the world. The Encyclopedia Britannica says that globalization is the "process by which the experience of everyday life ... is becoming standardized around the world." While some scholars and observers of globalization stress convergence of patterns of production and consumption and a resulting homogenization of culture, others stress that globalization has the potential to take many diverse forms.

Critiques of the current wave of economic globalization typically look at both the damage to the planet, in terms of the perceived unsustainable harm done to the biosphere, as well as the perceived human costs, such as increased poverty, inequality, injustice and the erosion of traditional culture which, the critics contend, all occur as a result of the economic transformations related to globalization. They point to a "multitude of interconnected fatal consequences--social disintegration, a breakdown of democracy, more rapid and extensive deterioration of the environment, the spread of new diseases, increasing poverty and alienation" which they claim are the unintended but very real consequences of globalization.


The critics of globalization typically emphasize that globalization is a process that is mediated according to corporate interests, and typically raise the possibility of alternative global institutions and policies, which they believe address the moral claims of poor and working classes throughout the globe, as well as environmental concerns in a more equitable way.

This issue of Arabesques is especially dedicated along all its 251 pages to explore and define with the contribution of many talented and emerging writers and poets from all over the world, each with its cultural and social experiences, the deep impact of this phenomenon in our day to day existence and its influence in the humanity evolution.

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A Restless Experimenter With A Savvy Voice (Martina Newberry, After the Earthquake, Poems 1996-2006)

After the Earthquake: Poems 1996-2006, 159 pp, Xlibris, 2007After the Earthquake: by Martina Newberry
Poems 1996-2006, Hunger : by Martina Newberry: poetry, 111 pp, Xlibris, 2007Hunger : by Martina Newberry: poetry, 111 pp, Xlibris, 2007

by Djelloul Marbrook

In spite of what arriviste critics tell us, good, even great writers are lost in the cracks in every generation, and we must always ask ourselves if we have chosen to be a society too smug to indulge such a humble notion. It is for this reason alarming to see literary agents, editors and critics take refuge in the self-serving lie that what deserves to be published is published.

But as the means to publish expand and new technologies evolve, the critical apparatus is unable and unwilling to keep up. Many good works are ignored. The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley said of critics that they reflect the ignorance of the age. I find this amusingly harsh. I owe much to critics for directing me to worthy books. But the odor of truth lingers about Shelley's observation.

There are some writers in every genre—I would extend this to the plastic arts—who by nature touch so many raw nerves that even when editors and critics see merit in their work they decline the work because it has nicked them in some vulnerable place. With luck, such writers and artists may find the one advocate whose commitment to creativity surpasses his or her vulnerability to disturbing insights.

It's all very well to say that editor after editor passed up Herman Melville's Moby-Dick because the crazy pursuit of a whale wasn't deemed a suitable literary subject, but I suspect it was the profound insights that Melville sewed into the seams of his work that put off those editors. Their supposed disinterest in a whale was their cover story.

It would be a great shame, considering these matters, if Martina Reisz Newberry's poetry were to be underestimated because it hasn't been published by a prestigious press and noticed by The New York Review of Books. This protégé of the late Virginia Adair is a restless experimenter with a forthright demotic voice. Her poetic demeanor invites you to think of the sort of person who, upon meeting, you know you’re not going to be able to have a pleasantly vacuous relationship; it’s going to be an engagement or nothing at all.

There is nothing of the deadly competence and bland content one often finds in poetry in our day. After the Earthquake (Poems 1996-2006), her latest work of 99 poems, is distinguished by her focus on finding just the right structure for each poem, each intent. For this reason, it isn’t an easy book to read, because you can’t settle into a familiar vehicle for the journey. But that isn’t what a collection of individual poems is about. This isn’t, after all, a narrative. It’s more like a briefing for a journey of discovery conducted by one who has already been halfway there.

I sometimes chuckled reading After the Earthquake because the poems I ought to have admired weren’t the ones that I most liked. For example, there are many poems more admirable in this book than No. 79, The Angry Affirmative, but I love the opening line: Don’t gloat. You were just my moment in the woods. It has to be a woman saying it. Not a woman of the 1960s, where there would have been a sticky embrace of free love, but a woman talking coolly in the teeth of our paranoid 21st Century.

It may be that the polarization of our society, brought on in no small measure by sound-bite journalism, has found its way into the tastemaking apparatus and that’s why we so rarely see the kind of daring that took our breath away in Arthur Rimbaud’s The Drunken Boat. I entertained this thought as I reached Newberry’s No. 60, If Music Wasn’t Enough:

      President William McKinley’s favorite hymn was
      Lead Kindly Light. Who knows why? But, if some light somewhere
      is kind enough to lead, my ass will follow.

Savoring this tone, this profane interiority, is like watching and listening to an attractive young woman walking on a crowded street talking to herself. An old woman, a bag lady perhaps, you would grant leave to behave this way, but the fact that a well groomed young woman is publicly having a conversation with herself unmindful of what others think haunts and disturbs you. Something is excitingly, profanely out of order here.

It has nothing to do with the poet’s actual age but rather with the nature of the poetry, which is at once youthful and wise. But not too wise. Newberry doesn’t suggest that she knows more than she’s saying. On the contrary, she tells you exactly what she doesn’t know. Accordingly, we trust her.

But almost all of us have at one time or another had a similar conversation with ourselves, saying, Oh yeah, tell me where that light is, and I’ll follow it. We don’t think such conversations with ourselves are poetry, but in fact they are its source. A good poet knows exactly how her inmost dialogue is conducted, how it sounds, and so she is very like the young woman walking down the street fully engaged in the life of her own mind. We may choose to put her down as crazy, but in our hearts we know she’s into herself, exactly where you have to be to mean what you say and say what you mean.

This is Newberry’s accomplishment, and it’s all the more considerable because we’re not aware of the feat. We simply find ourselves unaccountably able to hear every word and every nuance of that “mad” young woman’s most revealing dialogue, and as we trail along, trying to be unobtrusive, we find ourselves falling in love with the dialogue, if not the woman.

Read more on [[ | Martina Newberry]]'s work

To order the book from online bookstores

- From Amazon
- From Xlibris

Books from the author published by Arabesques

- Not Untrue & Not Unkind
- The Banyan and the Alder

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People, people everywhere, and not a drop to drink: the folly of humanity’s disconnection with our underlying biology

by David Smith

Almost twenty years ago, during filming for Earthwatch on ABC TV, I stood knee-deep in water in a semi-submerged office constructed 20 metres offshore at Williamstown near Melbourne.

The point of the exercise? To drive home in a graphic – if deliberately tongue-in-cheek way – the seriousness of possible implications of global warming. If sea level rose by an average of two metres,” I said, as my ‘secretary’ Meredith Abbott swam in with a cup of tea, “this would be the result!”

I had discovered during research for the series and also for the series Nature of Australia that Australian scientists such as CSIRO’s Dr Barrie Pittock and many others were becoming increasingly concerned at the consequences of what they saw, all those years ago, as the reality of global warming. My many interviews and readings of this scientific research compelled me to try and help bring the message to a wider audience. I distilled more than five years of research into a book and documentary titled, aptly in my view, Continent in Crisis (Penguin Books, 1990; The World Around Us, Seven Network, 1991).

At that time, in the mid- to late 80’s, I had perhaps naively assumed that documentaries and books could help raise awareness among the general public of the absolute urgency of finding ways to offset global warming and its potentially catastrophic consequences. In part I was correct and was certainly in good company: in Hearts and Minds: Creative Australians and the Environment (Hale & Iremonger, 2000) Michael Pollak and Margaret MacNabb show how the creative output of a large group of writers, artists, poets and film makers – including Peter Garrett and Tim Flannery – has indeed been influential in shifting public perceptions of the environment towards sympathy and concern. Such a shift is not only welcome but essential. My naiveté was in expecting similar shifts of attitude among business leaders and politicians.

In recent weeks, following the release of Britain’s Review on the Economics of Climate Change by Sir Nicholas Stern, there has been a surge in reporting about climate change and its possible consequences. The reason this has sparked interest among politicians and some business people seems to be the conclusion that expenditure on countering global warming will not amount to a cost, but to a saving of potentially billions of dollars as the potentially dire effects of melting icecaps, rising sea levels and shifting rainfall patterns are offset.

But why is it that our business and political leaders only sniff trouble when there are dollars involved? I believe the answer lies in the failure of human societies, of whatever political persuasion, to grasp the reality that humans are an integral part of the living world, not in any way separate from it. For hundreds, possibly thousands of years, we have turned our backs on our underlying biology and this has had critical consequences – now we have reached pay-back time.

In the mid-1800s the French physiologist Claude Bernard wrote eloquently about what he termed the ‘milieu interne’, by which meant the internal chemical environment of our bodies. Walter Cannon took this further, introducing the ‘doctrine of homeostasis’ whereby, despite external variations, the chemical composition of our cells and their bathing fluids is normally maintained within remarkably close tolerances. Over the past century, it became ever clearer that whether we are speaking about the internal workings of our bodies, or about the dynamics of how whole populations or ecosystems operate, in biology steady states are the norm. Too great a deviation from the steady state leads inevitably to death. James Lovelock attempted to encapsulate this notion of planetary homeostasis in his Gaia hypothesis and physiologists have long understood the importance of the body’s internal regulatory systems and gained great insights into how they achieve the regulation of blood pressure, tissue oxygenation, glucose levels and all those other myriad variables which if left unregulated will surely kill us.

As our society has developed we have progressively uncoupled ourselves from our underlying biology. In our writings and musings we have seen ourselves as different to the animals and certainly superior to them, placing ourselves with no hint of modesty at the top of the evolutionary tree. The greater the divergence between us and our biology, the more important has our technology become in bridging the ever-widening gap. Thus we have remained comfortable with the scheme of things even though the environmental cost of this technological band-aid has been increasing exponentially.

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Can ecological economists stop the mainstreamers before it's too late? by John Feeney

Mainstream economists are trying to kill us. They don't think of it that way, but they should. The standard policies promoting endless economic growth of the conventional sort are destroying the ecosystem. Converging and interacting with other threats such as population growth, peak oil, and excessive per capita consumption, such policies and the economic growth they promote are hastening a looming global ecological collapse. And when influential economists push ecocidal policies when they could instead play a central role in protecting the ecosystem, how is that not homicide?

Cue the white hats

A ray of hope, though, comes from that transdisciplinary group of economists, ecologists, and others whose work falls under the heading, "ecological economics." Those concerned with the environment today need to understand how this group compares to their mainstream counterparts. Herman Daly, one time economist for the World Bank and now one of the most influential ecological economists, has argued persuasively that the mainstream or neoclassical model sees the economy as "everything," with the ecosystem being merely one element within it. Because this acknowledges no physical limits, it allows for the irrational notion of endless growth.

The ecological economics camp pushes for a fundamental revamp of economic theory to account for the limits of the ecosystem and the economy's being a part of it, as dependent upon it as any other aspect of human culture. They want an acknowledgment that economic growth, as it's typically understood, cannot continue indefinitely on a finite earth. They want it understood that such growth is unsustainable and destructive to our natural life support system. [1]

In a confusing twist, a subset of neoclassical economics is known as "environmental economics." Its practitioners are often pitted in theoretical debates against ecological economists. Environmental economists retain the fundamentals of neoclassical theory, including its failure to acknowledge the limits of the ecosystem. They attempt, however, to apply minor tweaks to the theory in an effort to account for environmental impacts, ultimately trusting the market to wield its "invisible hand" to make everything right. Most other neoclassical economists do little at all to to account realistically for the ecosystem.

Ecological economists thus find themselves at odds with a range of neoclassical economists ranging from traditionalists who see no need for any special considerations for the environment, to the "environmental" group which acknowledges it may be wise to include environment considerations in calculations and measurements, but insists the traditional model is up to the task. [2]

Entrenched thinking

Ecological economics has so far found only minimal acceptance among mainstream economists. Most mainstream economists will say they simply disagree with the ideas of ecological economics to such an extent that they refuse to incorporate them. But what do they disagree with? The fundamental differences between the two camps seem to boil down to a few issues on which the ecological economics camp's arguments are essentially irrefutable or, at worst, eminently more reasonable than those of the mainstreamers: The ecosystem is finite. All human activities and cultural entities, including our economy, are a part of it, dependent on it, and subject to its limits. And the physical throughput associated with ongoing economic growth is degrading it.

The concerns of ecological economists reflect those of of natural scientists who point to the risks we face in allowing our actions to degrade our planet's biodiversity. Our actions have damaged the web of life, that system of millions of interdependent species on which all life, including our own, depends. The extraction of oil, burning of fossil fuels, and resulting climate change has teamed, for example with the use of land as a resource for activities such as ranching to drive deforestation, a major driver of species loss. As a result, extinctions are now occurring at 100 to 1000 times the normal background rate. Scientists such as E.O Wilson and Richard Leaky are calling it a "mass extinction event," the sixth such event and the the heaviest loss of species since the disappearance of the dinosaurs.

Do we, as one species, as dependent on the web of life as any other, think we are exempt from the risk of extinction as a result of the loss of ecosystem services provided by other species? It's a question paralleling the ecological economists' question, "Does our species really believe our economy, one of our cultural creations, sits apart from or is greater than the ecosystem which supports us?"

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