Make Money Not War – Global Business as an Agent of Peace and Prosperity.
During the 1960’s the battle cry of free thinkers was ‘’make love, not war”. Today, a more fitting slogan could be, “Make money, not war.” – a term which was first used by Norwegian sociologist and political scientist, Nils Petter Gleditsch. While these two expressions may seem worlds apart, it turns out they can mean the same thing.
International Interactions Engender Cooperation.
Think about it. You’re unlikely to pick a fight with someone who is responsible for your financial security, are you? Similarly, business ties between nations are mutually beneficial arrangements, making them a good reason to keep the peace.
Put simply, nations in reciprocal trade arrangements know where their bread is buttered.
Respect is Earned Through Business.
The impact that business has on international relations goes far beyond a sense of mutual dependency though. It also paves the way towards understanding each other better which in turn fosters tolerance and mutual respect.
For example, the businessman from the US who visits his co-workers in Japan cannot help but experience flashes of his hosts’ culture. He goes back to his family and shares his positive experiences with them. They tell their friends, and so the ball keeps rolling. This kind of interaction has a far more expansive and cohesive impact than terrifying instances such as Pearl Harbour did.
In meeting people from other countries face to face, people learn to regard each other as sentient beings rather than stereotypical fantasies of one another. The internet makes it possible for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and nationalities to have first-hand interactions almost daily. They may meet through business dealings, but many develop respect and friendships that extend beyond the office.
Marketing as International PR.
By necessity, global business marketing must be internationally recognizable and acceptable. Huge corporations like Coca-Cola do this well – using advertising that brings people from all walks of life together in common enjoyment.
We have evolved from old days of communist indoctrination and propaganda, the citizens of the world are constantly exposed to visions of humanity as one entity, comprised of many diverse elements. These ideals of ‘mankind united’ are fast becoming the norm and may soon erase the traditional boundaries of race, nationality and creed.
Businesses Giving Back.
It’s not all just pretty pictures either. Businesses must roll up their sleeves if they want to be taken seriously in today’s times.
International companies like BMW, in collaboration with the UN Alliance of Civilizations, support organizations who work to foster intercultural understanding. By offering financial support to groups who nurture harmonious relations between factions, these industry giants are rewarded with positive exposure in their target markets.
One of the recipients of this generosity is a tour company offering collaborative Muslim-Jewish tourist experiences in the Holy Lands, for example. It’s all about small gestures making a substantial difference in the world today.
Nurturing People and Places.
These efforts are not restricted to the giants to industry either. Businesses that do not have strong social upliftment policies in place cannot be taken seriously today. Even the smallest companies must give back to their communities and show compassion and consideration for all its employees.
The world’s wealthiest and most famous people are firmly and publicly committed to charity work and social development. These prosperous entrepreneurs set the bar high for other businesses to follow if they want to achieve global success.
While it could be said that governments should provide for the needs of their people, state institutions concern themselves only with the broader framework of society.
Businesses can reach into the homes of the populace via their employees and taking care of day to day experiences and needs. Besides, more employment means more taxes, empowering nations from the bottom up.
Treading lightly on foreign soils is also an important part of responsible business practice today. Environmental and conservation issues are significant touchpoints of modern-day business. If you are taking away from nature, you must put back. It’s quite literally a matter of life and death. The importance of preserving a now fragile Earth is so prevalent today that it almost doesn’t need to be mentioned.
Alleviating Poverty and Presenting Opportunities.
Impoverished people can sometimes be more easily manipulated, due to the shear desperation of their circumstances. They are soft targets for troublemakers looking for pawns to use in their grandiose schemes of disruption. The number one cause of poverty is unemployment. While money is no measure of how happy or successful one’s life is, it does give you access to medical treatment, education, clean water, property ownership and other niceties that allow you the power of choice.
The truly poor are unable to defend themselves against well-armed and well-organized extremists which allows them to be infiltrated by those who would lead them astray. The way in which ISIS was able to hold sway in Syria and Iraq are cases in point.
By creating jobs and empowering people with knowledge and skills, global business ventures give them options beyond what bullies and manipulators have on offer
Enriching societies from the ground up.
It’s not only in community outreach, environmental and social causes that global business enriches societies. Local suppliers benefit too. From a cost perspective it makes sense for companies to source their raw ingredients on site which benefits the little guys.
For global business, buying local and employing local are two of the most important things that they do for society. It is in these areas that we can all act to further prosperity and peace in the world.
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