For this week’s blog I will be discussing the article “Apprehending Transnationalism” by Randall Halle. This article is interesting because although it talks about globalization of economies it also talks about the arts as well, particularly film making. Usually when I think of globalization I think of products and services not Hollywood and the movie industry, but Halle does a good job of introducing this concept and how the two relate. Halle begins discussing how there is much debate of globalization and capitalism between politics within their own country and between countries all around the world. The argument that many people stand up for is the loss of culture in capitalism becoming global. I think this is very interesting especially when Halle states, “…underlying both eras is the same material economic dynamic: capitalist pursuit of profit that opens unexploited markets, establishing ever-larger ensembles of the forces of production” (14). This is a very powerful statement with a lot of meaning and is seen with in the powerful markets and countries. Just like when Rockafeller, Mellon, and Frick where industrializing Pittsburgh everything comes down to how much money you can make. The simplest way to do this is to make the production costs as low as possible by finding the cheapest labor market, and by not worrying about the quality of the product.
Halle discusses that this loss of quality in finding the biggest bang for your buck brings a loss to the culture of the region or country. I found this very interesting argument as he began to bring in America and the term “Americanization.” I have never heard that term but it makes me think about what other countries think and view our economic beliefs. Halle introduces Americanization with Hollywood and its hegemony over the film industry. This was funny to me because over the past year or so I kept asking people if Hollywood just gave up because of the lack of good movies being produced. This article makes me realize that they haven’t given up on making movies, but have given up making good movies to insure their profits.
Now, it is hard to blame any company or industry that does what it can to bring in the greatest profits. But to me it seems like American capitalism takes it a little too far. The loss of culture and quality at the expense of profits seems to be how our capitalistic economy is viewed by internationalists. I am sure that not everyone agrees with this, but I know that if I were to visit another country or even start a global company I would not want other countries to have this pre-existing stereotype of how Americans do business. It just doesn’t seem fair that the majority of our wealth is held by only one percent of our population. I have heard talks about spreading the wealth not only throughout our nation, but through other nations as well. When will this futuristic debate/idea become practical or evident?