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West or Anti West? Essay

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In the current era of globalization, a variety of changes and developments have taken place in terms of state-to-state relationships and expansion with the help of technological advancements. Businesses and corporations of developed countries have also progressed by shifting of their operations to least developing countries for lower labor cost and higher profit. Such example of globalization is the continuous boom of economies of India and China as few of the countries that benefit from globalization.

In addition, there is also a creation of various international organizations such as United Nations to protect and maintain the goals of globalization. Thus, many of the theorists in the world are supporting the rise of globalization in the world and have openly stated that support must be given to those that are willing to continue the process of globalization. Thus, globalization is the best ideology which has been discovered for the advantage of the greater good.

However, globalization is a very vague issue that is still being debated until this very day due to the effects it had caused my countries such as the recession and the assimilation of cultures. In fact, globalization has slowly affected every one of us, be it in a positive or a negative way. One of the countries that have been studied in order to observe the effects of globalization is Lebanon. The Middle East Lebanon is a country which is known to be greatly affected by the wars.

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For many years, Lebanon faced wars with neighboring countries. One of the most recent wars the country participated in is the war with Israel which resulted in considerable attention from the international community. Due to globalization and the intervention of various states and international organization, Lebanon has been affected by external influences which led to changes within the country. These changes include the shift from traditional and conservative perspectives to very developed and modern thinking which is similar to the west.

Thus, the war was associated with the changes in the country’s customs and norms which have become similar to the practices of other “contemporary” countries. In an article published in The Boston Globe, Mark LeVine observed that the western establishments in Lebanon clearly represent the vast influence of the era of globalization. Thus, LeVine believes that the war between Lebanon and Israel “was never supposed to happen. In the era of globalization, no two countries that possess McDonald’s are supposed to go to war” (LeVine).

Looking at the concept of globalization, a normal person who has a small background regarding the subject could understand that the ideology is about cooperation and equality, and it upholds values respected by almost every state thus; making the situation of the country more complex due to the clashing concepts of the globalization and the situation being experienced in Lebanon. Another article written by Ulrike Putz for Spiegel Online about Lebanon’s participation in war focuses on the country’s youth.

In any type of war, everyone is greatly affected by the violence it brings. One couple was interviewed and both of them have stated their qualms regarding the situation. The couple is Fanny and Ernesto whom are both working in the city of Beirut. Because they are a young, they both feel that the war is destroying the future people in Lebanon. Fanny and Ernesto disclosed that living in Beirut has been very difficult. The war does not only give Lebanese a very violent and harsh environment, but it also stops the lives of people.

There is often a problem with electricity, the television programs, the people, work, and the whole society of Lebanon. No one can obtain a proper job which requires most Lebanese to spend their savings. Ernesto voices out his opinion regarding the war: “The war is the ransom for democracy. Lebanon was becoming more open and more liberal. Syria and Iran could no longer stand by and watch that” (qtd. in Putz). Through this, the concept of influence due to globalization could not be ignored. However, at the end of the day, they still want to enjoy and forget the harsh reality of Lebanon’s situation.

Hence, the youth of Beirut still party in a certain bar until the wee hours of the morning so that they will not hear the bombings which could be clearly heard in their houses. Through the loud speakers, the rhythm and beats of the music, the youth forget the misery and bloodshed surrounding their country (Putz). Because of the war, the political situation within Lebanon is bound to become murky and unstable. Before the war happened in 2006, there were upheavals already due to the issue regarding their assassinated leader, Rafiq al-Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon.

Syria was accused to have plotted the assassination triggered by the disagreement between the two countries. Therefore, the people started to rally in the streets which created a huge upheaval, creating a commotion in the political realm of Lebanon. However, the Lebanon crisis is also a massive issue in the international community due to the involvement of different countries such as the “United States, Arab Allies, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt that supports the Siniora government” (“Q&A: Political Crisis in Lebanon”).

Syria and Iran, on the other hand, are in support of the opposing side which is the Hezbollah. In the end, the conflict within the small state of Lebanon is a not only about the control of a small state but an issue of being either pro or anti Western beliefs. In relation to this, Edward Gomez of SFGate laid out the various opinions of newspapers that were able to seize the news regarding the continuous wars in Lebanon as well as the political situation of the country. Due to the wars as well as the conflict of the opposition against the government, there has been a division between the two parties.

As a matter of fact, countries such as United States are one of the strongest actors in the situation. Thus, the agenda of United States is greatly affected by the turmoil of the government and the Hezbollah (Gomez). In terms of the current financial problem gripping the United States and other parts of the whole world, Lebanon is leading a very different path from other countries that are facing the recession. It is known that the world is in much distress due to the bankruptcy of multinational corporations in the world.

However, an article written by Robert Fisk and published in The Independent states otherwise, affirming the economic situation of Lebanon. Frisk observed that Beirut’s Blom Bank boasted 34 percent increase of profits within the initial three quarters of 2008. As a result of this surplus in profit, Lebanon is expected to hit its highest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to date. The recent success of Lebanon’s economy is also attributed to the regulation of the local banks which have been prevented from investing outside Lebanon by the government.

Consequently, Lebanese banks are saved from the effects of the global recession. In addition to this, Lebanon has a huge income coming from the Lebanese that work outside the country, amounting to 7. 5 billion dollars. This is because 30 to 45 percent of its citizens are working abroad (Fisk) Lastly, the book written by Benjamin Barber “Jihad vs. McWorld” addresses the problems as well as the existing conflicts in the developing nation of Lebanon from all angles, including religion, politics, and the influence of the Western culture on the Lebanese, most especially on today’s youth.

Barber asserts that there is still a clash between the culture as well as the development that must be applied in order to adapt to the international community (17). Through globalization, the Middle Eastern countries that are open to the western world such as Lebanon are able to attain a variety of products which can only be obtained in the Western World (Barbers 17). However, while various Western products and businesses are brought into Lebanon (including McDonald’s), the war due to clash of culture and beliefs are held just kilometers away (Barbers 17).

In the end, I believe that globalization is a phenomenon that can no longer be stopped. It is truly an ideology which can only grow in the current times. One of the most important aspects in globalization is the ability of the companies to create advertisements that entice their target audiences to purchase their products without hesitation. The fact that many of the Lebanese youth have a much modern way of thinking, the country’s participation in can no longer be prevented as it continuously assimilates to the Western culture.

As noted in an article made by Fisk, 30-45 percent of Lebanese are already working for Western countries. Therefore, it can be concluded that the current generation of Lebanese are already influenced by the West in many ways. However, one must keep in mind that some parts of the Western culture and norms cannot be immediately integrated into the local practices. In assumption, Lebanon could also be acting upon the changes that are occurring. There is a great possibility that the government is aware that Western culture has already blended with the culture of the youth which also includes the country’s ancient beliefs and customs.

In addition, the conflicts with religion as well as politics are also few of the factors that contribute to the confusion within the nation. It is known that Lebanon is a Christian and a Muslim country; there could be a supposition that the current generation does not want the same conflict from the past to recur in their time. Thus, these new Lebanese society may be attempting to veer away from the conflicts of the past. In conclusion, Lebanon is one of those countries that currently in transition and conflict due to the cultural beliefs as well as globalization.

The clash of such factors obviously created a huge gap between those that believes on strictly maintaining traditions and practices while on the other hand, those that see the need for development and modernization. Thus, there is no peace given to the nation. The very active actions of the United States in meddling within the conflict due to its own interest only adds up to the pressure and disagreement within the local parties. In addition, the current youth seemed to have been affected by the never ending wars that had happened in the past.

Therefore, they want change and peace in Lebanon. Similar to the statements provided by Fanny and Ernesto, there is no way that people could fully develop without the proper welfare and peace which should be provided by the government. Moreover, globalization cannot be seized anymore. It is already an ideology which had been absorbed by the people not only through the products they use but also in their way of life. Thus, globalization must not only be a system for development in terms of economy but it must also be an ideology the ought to be utilized in times of crisis or conflict.

Works Cited

Barber, Benjamin. Jihad vs. McWorld. New York: Random House, 1996. Fisk, Robert. “Financial Doom and Gloom is Everywhere – Except Lebanon. ” The Independent. 25 October 2008. 4 March 2009 <http://www. independent. co. uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisks-world-financial-doom-and-gloom-is-everywhere-ndash-except-lebanon-972797. html>. Gomez, Edward. “Lebanon’s Tension Subdued, For Now: ‘Peace is But a Truce’. ” SFGate. 23 May 2008. 4 March 2009 < http://www. sfgate. com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail? blogid=15&entry_id=26750>.

LeVine, Mark. “Why Globalization Isn’t Working. ” The Boston Globe. 17 August 2006. 4 March 2009 <http://www. boston. com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/08/17/why_globalization_isnt_working/>. Putz, Ulrike. “Nightlife and Rattled Nerves in Beirut. ” Spiegel Online. 08 August 2006. 4 March 2009 <http://www. spiegel. de/international/0,1518,druck-430560,00. html>. “Q&A: Political Crisis in Lebanon. ” Al Jazeera. Net. 11 July 2008. 4 March 2009 <http://english. aljazeera. net/news/middleeast/2008/05/200861517149518972. html>.

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