Race & Class, April 2002

‘The soul of man under globalism’, by Jeremy Seabrook

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There are many macro-economic accounts of globalisation, but we rarely learn how it affects the psyche and sensibility of lives uprooted and radically reshaped by the penetration of their world by the market economy. This essay is an attempt to convey the common subjective experience of people all over the world as they enter the global market. It shows how, once they do so, the path they will follow is predictable. The market generates immediate and obvious benefits, while longer-term losses are deferred. The freedoms bestowed by the market obscure the forfeit of deeper liberties. The people of the South may pursue the western way of wealth, but the possibility that everyone in the world will attain the same degree of affluence is remote, for at least two reasons. One, that the accumulation of wealth is attended by growing inequality and, two, that the transformation of the planet required to bring this about probably exceeds its capacity to bear it.

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