Freidman and Globalization

“Globalization, at least in my humble opinion, is driven by technological innovations”.   These are words spoken by Thomas Friedman during a luncheon address in November 2000. Can a single factor be the only driving force for this concept of globalization?   What about cultural diffusion, competition for resources and government   policies?   These elements also play a significant role in globalization.
Friedman defines globalization as the unification of markets, finance, technology, and telecommunications.   Where once barriers stood, now there is integration and the internet.   He believes that technology breaks down the walls and super-empowers people and allows them to do whatever they want in the world stage.
First, let us consider cultural diffusion.   Cultural diffusion is the transfer of cultural items between individuals from a single culture or from one culture to another.1This includes shifts in ideas, styles, religions, technologies or languages.     It can be argued that this process of cultural diffusion is a key factor that brought about globalization.   This process has occurred since the beginning of civilization, long before the World Wide Web had been in existence.
An example is the China trade which goes back before the Europeans arrived in the 16th century.2 Goods and ideas were exchanged between China and Southeast Asia.   It also allowed for the possibility of doing business to India, Arab and Rome.   The benefit of this trade was gaining dominance and wealth in the Malay Archipelago.   Using Friedman’s term, China is the super market during this period in history.   He believes that super markets are the dominating force in globalization.
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A more modern example of cultural diffusion as a key factor in globalization is Starbucks.   You can now have your Grande Caramel Macchiato in France, Germany or even in Moscow.   People are moving around more frequently and with ease.   Cultural values and ideas spread and globalization is once again...