Globalization is a bogeyman in many circles, but the reality is far more complicated. Globalization is an ideology with a lot of potential for creating a brighter and more advanced future for people all over the world, but that’s not to say it’s without its own flaws of challenges. Nor is it a static philosophy. As the world grows, globalization will need to adapt to it. Some are characterizing this new brand of ideology as Globalization 4.0, and they’re working hard to ensure that it lifts up the lower class and working poor rather than just enriching the corporations and elites that benefit from their expansive international reach.
At the heart of this Globalization, 4.0 philosophy is the need for a new social contract. The era of the World Wars hastened in a dramatic revolution in global politics, and it brought about a philosophy for greater international engagement. In that setting, the need for human and labor rights, social welfare, and guaranteed employment were seen as a necessity for every human being. In reality, those bold proclamations haven’t come to fruition, and the result is some level of skepticism towards the globalist model throughout the world.
Globalization 4.0 asserts that a new social contract needs to adapt to changing times. This would include protections ensuring freedom of association, a move that could strengthen workers and rights unions without concern for recourse. Social protections like guaranteed healthcare and education are similarly a necessity. While varying degrees of these protections are in place throughout the developed world, many countries, including the United States, have fallen behind the curve. Similarly, a level of stability for labor is necessary, particularly as automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics are poised to eliminate the use for a sweeping number of jobs. Workers need an adequate living wage coupled with the freedom to bargain for their labor rights. They also deserve access to a safe and welcoming work environment.
But for the goals of Globalization 4.0 to work, there needs to be government regulations in place. The notion that a free market and the generosity of business owners would ensure equitable human rights has proven to be a pipe dream. That means that humans are in control of technological deployment and control data and that works have a role in conflict mediation. It also demands a system where labor and human rights are adequately enforced. Change will require a committed and sweeping approach to human values, but the Paris Climate Change Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals have proven that change can be enacted on a global level.