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Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism

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Economic Imperialism

Globalization is viewed as modern imperialism because it is accompanied by strong political nuances.  The supposedly interdependence among nations actually resulted to political control and dependence on the US and other western powers because state decisions about the national economy has direct impact to the local citizens.  Economic development through globalization connotes national development within the boundaries and economic framework of the U.S because the context of globalization requires playing within the economic parameters of World Trade Organization, which is set by western powers. Deemed as the international integration of national economies marked by free trade, foreign direct investments that initiated capital and technology flows and migration of people across boundaries, globalization whose dynamics are pre-established through the World Trade Organization became a channel by which multinational corporations mostly coming the North to restore and improve their profitability, following a history of immense stagnation evidenced by a declining growth rate.

It created the necessary environment for the multinational industries to prosper and expand globally namely, industrial liberalization, low labor cost, law taxes and the eradication of local protectionism which are provided by third world countries that become extensions of the prosperity of the West albeit they are reduced to mere cheap sources of labor and market expansions.  The bulk of the profits ultimately go back to the motherland of the multinationals.

The emergence of the “Pax Americana” after World War II pertains to a period of relative peace enjoyed by the world under the US economic and military hegemony.  Essential to this time of peace is the central role of the US government in foreign diplomacy.  The US foreign policy is principally based on protecting its own interests abroad and containing foreign influences in its governance and sovereignty.  But because no single nation in world’s history has ever possess as much power, influence, and control as the United States does today, American Foreign policy may be regarded as imperialistic. Its active involvement in pressing the adoption of democracy entailed military action against its enemies, its implementation of WTO is coercive because it commits sanctions e.g. trade embargo, withholding of financial assistance from the World Bank (WB) or International Monetary Fund (IMF) against those who resist it and at present, its promotion of security for entire world against terrorism involved preemptive strike and invasion against terrorists, which they solitarily identified even without the sanction or consent of the United Nations.

For nations to thrive to the new world order, an adoption of Pax Americana through strategic alliance with the United States is a categorical imperative as manifested in new industrialized nations like Japan and Germany, who both have massive American military presence in their respective countries.  Today, Pax Americana translates to the expansion of American hegemony throughout the world guised under benevolent global hegemony by imposing WTO principles that reshape the world economy into a capitalistic venture that entailed the subordination of nation-states to the requirements of economic freedom for the masters of the economy.  Nations and revolutionary organizations that resist to the American hegemony as in the case of Afghanistan and HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement) were regarded as rogue nations and extremist organizations.

Cultural Imperialism

One of the most distinct and powerful aspects of the American society is diversity.  It is constituted by different people of various races, ethnicity, origin, color, beliefs and even languages.  Immigrants in the US such as African Americans and Asian Americans have become an integral part of the American society. And as part of the American culture, unique individual identities of immigrants are encouraged to be asserted and accepted for assimilation and continued growth of the American culture.  The American culture has had the most global appeal and global influence because of this democratic and open character.  It has become basically the global culture because it has incorporated foreign ideas and concepts and continuously does so.  Hence, while American culture spreads around the world, it perpetually absorbs other cultures of other countries and ethnicities for its further development.  This is then manifested in its media like Hollywood films or movies and other channels like products e.g. McDonalds and services e.g. Disney. The global charm of these American cultural representations practically eliminates regional and local eccentricities.

In the stark side of it, American culture plays a critical role on how capitalism has become ingrained in society, which ultimately thwarted the revolutionary consciousness of the people.  In the critique of Adorno and Horkheimer (1997) of the mass culture or popular culture, the culture industry, which created and disseminated goods through the mass media i.e. television, controlled and manipulated the people.  Popular culture is the principal cause why people become adamant to change.  The opportune pleasures basically generated by the consumption of popular culture engender submissiveness and contentment of people in spite of their despondency or glum economic conditions. The mass production of goods is actually pseudo- individualization, in which the standardization of cultural goods also homogenizes the ideological perspectives and inclinations of the people.   Jordan’s popularity personified the American dream that attract the rest of the world to submit to his domination.  (LaFeber, W., 2002)

Moreover, culture played a crucial role in reinforcing or fortifying capitalism by creating a consciousness among the people that is meekly compliant to the very components and processes that operates and perpetuates the capitalistic system.  The culture industry nurtured false needs which is addressed and satisfied through capitalism. Instead of the needs for freedom, intellectual progress and authentic happiness, people are preoccupied with materialistic wants as represented by Nike. Exploring the mechanisms that produce mass culture reveals a political nuance because of the state’s role in the adoption and promotion of capitalism, which calls forth less government intervention on the dynamics of market forces i.e. demand and supply as well as strengthening of the private sector as the principal agent for progress.  The production and consumption of mass culture is the root cause of society’s moral degeneration and perpetuation of social inequalities because of the apathy it yields. The economic and cultural imperialism brought about by American military and political domination in the perspective of radical activists breeds hatred and contempt to Americans.

Globalization as Tools for 911

The advent of information technology is marked by a rapid exchange of resources, information and people across countries or globalization.  America leads in this world phenomenon as it features itself as the home of the free, the land of cosmopolitanism and universality.   Globalization is the channel through which 911 was executed as this allowed the perpetrators to freely enter the US.  They were able gain access to the knowledge i.e. study on how to fly planes in US flight schools, conduct reconnaissance  of the target areas while disguised as tourists and acquire the tools for the attack i.e. US domestic commercial planes.  Incidentally, coordination with Al Qaeda utilized local IT telecommunication infrastructure.

Global capitalism is a guise of western imperialism because its principles laid the foundation of the economic and political dependence and subordination of nations the western powers that beget hatred and radicalism.  Meanwhile, the terrorists translated and capitalized on the benefits of globalization to their advantage to initiate the attack to the United States.


Adorno, T.W. and Max Horkheimer (1997), Dialectic of Enlightenment, Verso Publications

Lafeber, W. (2002) Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism. Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

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