15 In Defense of Global Capitalism (2003)

Johan Norberg



I love what is rather barrenly termed “globalization,” the process by which people, information, trade, investments, democracy, and the market economy are tending more and more to cross national borders. This internationalization has made us less constricted by mapmakers’ boundaries.

Political power has always been a creature of geography, based on physical control of a certain territory. Globalization is enabling us more and more to override these territories, by traveling in person and by trading or investing across national borders. Our options and opportunities have multiplied as transportation costs have fallen, as we have acquired new and more efficient means of communication, and as trade and capital movements have been liberalized.

We don’t have to shop with the big local company; we can turn to a foreign competitor. We don’t have to work for the village’s one and only employer; we can seek out alternative opportunities. We don’t have to make do with local cultural amenities; the world’s culture is at our disposal. We don’t have to spend our whole lives in one place; we can travel and relocate.

Those factors lead to a liberation of our thinking. We no longer settle for following the local routine; we want to choose actively and freely. Companies, politicians, and associations have to exert themselves to elicit interest or support from people who have a whole world of options to choose from. ...

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