This entry was originally posted on August, 10th. 2003
Last year, for the first time, I visited the Pasir Salak Memorial Complex in honor of the local heroes who fought the British during the period of 1800 in the state of Perak.
The memorial is an artifact as to how today's generation should appreciate the struggle for independence. And I must say that I was all proud during the visit because of the courage and determination that these people done to achieve that.
Today to quote Albert Memmi's The Colonizer and Colonized “... the final form of imperialism/domination is cultural" my perspective towards imperialism has changed. In light of globalization, I have today become total opposite of what my statesmen fought over hundred years ago. They felt the urge to ensure the sovereignty and independence of state, but I have voluntarily subscribed to the idea of free market demand-centered capitalism, a totally new form of imperialism by the developed countries.
Today, I am a global customer, consuming global products in a global world. Today, when the facilitator of my globalization module noticed that I brought to class the 'foreign coffee' that I skipped the coffee break downstairs and over the discussion of cultural role in globalization, I began to question myself whether am I being a hypocrite believer in taking the stand of anti-globalization.
Everyday, I would start my day waking up from my Ikea bed, covered in Ikea bed
sheet, heading to bathroom, only to be cleaned by my favorite Biore facial
cleanse, Oral toothbrush, and Darlie toothpaste, and then lathered by the medicated
Biore shower foam or sometimes the Sanex foam (that reminds me of Martina
Hingis). My office wear favorite has always been this
based brand. Yes! From shirt to pants. And I will put on my Rockport boots to the office. My coffees are interchangeably the different grounded Starbucks coffee beans that I brew on my Haier coffee maker. Or sometimes the packet
chocolate drink that I believe would fortify my body throughout the entire day. And I will then check on my daily appointments on my Clie palmtop before I begin my work.
Let me stop there because the list keeps going on and on. I understand (thanks to an e-mail from Beta-blogger) that the personal consumption on foreign items can be traced back to years in history, but, what scares me is that these items are flocking the local market in big magnitude than ever before. Then these producers either go direct, or selling at retailers (big foreign hypermarket chains - made their way as part of opening up the local retail industry) that also come from those developed countries at the expense of local producers and small retailers or groceries!
I am actually questioning whether my reasoning against globalization are being reflected in my enacted values. Nah! They are just the total opposite of the spectrum. And I believe most of my peers and networked friends are in the same boat as me in this issue. That we are just another global customer, consuming local products, and living in a global village.
And in reflection of our 46th. independence day this year, my stand is that although globalization has changed my taste and consumption, I will always remain the person who will fight globalization against the imposition of structural economic changes that will be imposed by either IMF or the WTO's GATS. That I won't allow the agendas of the total free market proponent to cause chaos in our ever complex socio-economic stability formula that we have kept in balance all this while.
So, should I stop buying Vanity Fair? Should I terminate my account at Citibank? Should I stop buying Nautica? Should I instead go for Nasi Campur instead of McDonald's? Should I stop watching CNN? I don't know! Maybe yes, maybe no!
Maybe these are another progression in modernization? Another healthy consumption and spending to expand the economy? Or, that will I want to work with the NGOs to ensure the check and balance in the globalization model that we will use?
I sure do have lots of thinking and reflection to do this year.
Happy Independence Day! MERDEKA!