The effect of modern ideals on the developing world

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Supporters and gay rights activists celebrate amid heavy downpour after the country's top court struck down a colonial-era law that made homosexual acts punishable by up to 10 years in prison, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. The court gave its ruling Thursday on a petition filed by five people who challenged the law, saying they are living in fear of being harassed and prosecuted by police. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Supporters and gay rights activists celebrate amid heavy downpour after the country’s top court struck down a colonial-era law that made homosexual acts punishable by up to 10 years in prison, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. The court gave its ruling Thursday on a petition filed by five people who challenged the law, saying they are living in fear of being harassed and prosecuted by police. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

The power of modernization and the development of technology have connected the entire globe into one massive network of ideologies and markets. Developed countries with relatively up and coming movements, such as the LGBTQ movement, broadcast their pushes for civil liberties to the rest of world, thus influencing movements in other countries. This causes a democratization and liberalization of the world as a whole

The globalization of democratic ideals has demonstrated a strive for the implementation of social liberties. For instance, the French Revolution was influenced by the American Revolution, which it swiftly followed, in how the French felt their rights were being “only granted to certain segments of society, namely the elite and aristocrats.”

The French also used the Declaration of Independence as a template to draft their own declaration of civil liberties to be provided to the people by their government. The idea of revolutions happening in a domino effect is just one example of how ideals from the western world have drastically liberalized other parts of the globe.

Another example of the spread of global ideas influencing the fight for civil liberties is the lifting of the gay sex ban in India. Previously, this policy was used by the police as a weapon “to harass members of India’s gay community and resulted in discrimination.” The lifting of the ban, written as Section 77 in the legal code, was done unanimously by Supreme Court judges. “The five petitioners who challenged the law said it was discriminatory and led to gays living in fear of being harassed and prosecuted by police.”

The public’s fight for gay rights legislation was heavily influenced by other countries’ legalization of gay marriage and the rise of pride movements on a global scale. This is important to consider when illustrating the effects of globalization on spreading ideologies. With new fights for civil rights springing up around the globe, government and law enforcement naturally become more liberal. “When democratic ideals sweep (or even trickle) across borders into authoritarian states, globalization makes democratization inevitable.”

The growing decrease in authoritarianism on an international level has been strongly impacted by globalization, the influence of neighboring countries and other forms of global influences. Our world has gone from 63 “non-free nations” and 44 “most free nations” in 1978, to 50 “non-free nations” and 48 “most free nations.”This means gradual liberation is taking place on a global scale and more countries are democratizing with modernization and globalization. The international expansion of democracy results in the globalization of public policy for human rights and the liberation of authoritarian governments.

Economic globalization, however, can have a contrasting effect. With the expansion of manufacturers into developing countries, with a lack of labor rights and compensation, civil freedom is hindered. The governments and upper classes of such countries benefit from foreign corporations’ exploitation of the working class, as this is what makes a country a manufacturing powerhouse. This in turn expands the real GDP and grows the economy of that country. Exploitation and liberation are polar opposite terms, that hinder one another.

In order to democratize the rest of the world, it is crucial to promote ideological globalization and make economic globalization less exploitative for foreign workers. If humanity can share and promote social ideas throughout the globe, then globalization has also given it power to push those ideas into countries whose working classes are being exploited.


Keren Blaunstein is a weekly columnist for The Daily Campus.  She can be reached via email at keren.blaunstein@uconn.edu.

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