April 28, 2008
The Chinese policy has shut down a factory in the southern part of the country that was manufacturing Free Tibet flags for Western demonstrator. The factory owner reportedly told police the emblems had been ordered from outside China, and he did not know that they stood for an independent Tibet.
This story reminded me to the global attitude surveys which show that the people of the developing countries are enjoying the benefits of globalization and have a positive view about it. On the other hand Europeans seem to disdain the idea of global competition, and they are developing ideas like fair trade to protect each other from free trade.
The BBC World Service surveyed 34000 people how they felt about the economic changes in the world. In Europe only positive feelings about these changes had a relative majority only in Germany, the world’s biggest exporter, and Russia. Most Europeans choose a little or lot worse in striking contrast with the public opinion of China and three African countries where ‘much better’ and ‘little better’ had a vast majority. The Pew Global Attitutes Survey found that there is only one region in the world, where all age groups have a firmly positive view on globalization: West Africa. The result was almost diametrically opposed in Eastern Europe, and to a lesser extend in Western Europe, too.
The irony of globalization is that the winners do not make big theories or ideologies about it, work hard, and take the benefits. The big ideology of globalization comes from those who are on the loosing side. I doubt that the Chinese workers who say that they learned the meaning of the Tibetan flag after the job was done are telling the truth, but I am pretty sure that national politics or ideology was on their mind when they fulfilled the foreign demand. They were responding to the law of the market. Something that even the Chinese censorship could not suppress.Dániel Antal