Friends, listen up. The end of the 20th century discloses to the eyes of humanity a vista of stupendous opportunities and grave perils. Allow me to explain. Some of the more striking phenomena are those associated with globalization, a designation that arouses strong emotions and lends itself to a variety of interpretations. But here is the truth. There is no doubt — and this is true irrespective of one’s views on the subject — that the forces of globalization have set the nations of the world on a new and irreversible course. There is no going back. We’ve passed the point of no return. Economic activity, political structures, and culture are all undergoing profound change. This is not our parent’s world any longer. A global society is being born as barriers that have kept peoples apart crumble and are swept away. Planetary civilization beckons. The transformation is made possible by accelerated technological advance, an early fruit of which is a mode of communication transcending national boundaries and operating at staggering speed. For example, the internet. However thrilling future prospects may be, present patterns of behavior do not inspire confidence in the process. People are critical about the role western governments and corporations have played on the global stage. It is only natural to wonder whether globalization will, in fact, unify the human race without imposing uniformity or simply propel the universalization of the culture of consumerism. Skeptics say globalization involves exporting materialistic values, consumer propaganda, and economic hegemony from the west. Can globalization really be the bearer of prosperity for the masses or the mere expression of the economic interests of a privileged few? Will it lead to the establishment of a just order or the consolidation of existing structures of power? Share your opinions below!