¬Every generation has its illusions. One of ours is that “globalization" ––the internationalization of trade, services, and information-sharing––will change humankind for the better. Yet while globalization itself is real enough, the visions of it (1) by its proponents only make it harder to (2) what's now happening and what isn't.
Among the many (3) surrounding globalization, two stand out: the notion that this phenomenon is new and, more dangerously, that it will lead to an age of utopian peace. Those who see globalization as (4) simply don't know history. Those who imagine that globalization (courtesy of the Internet) will deliver greater understanding and worldwide peace don’t know human nature.
Globalization today may proceed at a swifter pace, (5) greater wealth and touch more lives, but its essence is at least 2,500 years old. Previous cultures have also believed that their moment in history was unique, but trade between nations has always affected customs, commerce, and values across borders. Greek culture in the age of Alexander influenced India's hairstyles, while eastern silks were sold in Caesar's Rome. Chinese porcelain and coins more than a thousand years old routinely turn up in East Africa. Meanwhile, in the Indian Ocean where Portuguese warships once controlled the spice trade, U.S. Navy destroyers and aircraft carriers now enable the oil trade. The commodities have changed, but not the strategic geography.
The second myth––that globalization will bring about peace––also has ancient roots. The human desire to believe in a worldly paradise is as old as recorded history. And for just as long it has proven (6), especially given the sometimes deadly combination of our good intentions and our basic selfishness. Historical eras of relative peace never came about because competing cultures agreed to cooperate, but because both sides were exhausted by war, or less often, because a domineering power (7) the rules. No peace has lasted. Predictions that humankind has finally learned the lessons of war (8) in every age. Not long after the idealistic League of Nations was founded, World War II broke out. Following the well-intentioned establishment of the U.N., the Cold War set in, (9) countless regional wars. Then again, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, optimists claimed that globalization and democracy would (10) the world and put an end to conflict. Instead, there were bloodbaths in the Balkans, genocide in Africa, civil strife in Central America, and the pouring out of destructive passions that the Cold War had long kept dammed up.
Far from uniting humanity, globalization has made billions of people more aware and more (11) of economic disparities and injustice. And since globalization inherently threatens (12) values and traditional societies, it has led to a surge in fundamentalism of every kind: Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish, and nationalistic. As for the Internet, for all its practical utility, its ability to unite violent groups and recruit them new members has made it the greatest tool for spreading (13) since the invention of the printing press.
This is an age of new possibilities for the most talented humans. Yet it is also an age of (14) rekindled with digital propaganda, the source of the fuel. The future is rich with new possibilities, but it will take a firm (2) of reality to maximize those opportunities, such as the good sense to realize that globalization may well stoke rather than (15) conflict, and to realize that paradise on earth will always be an impossible dream.
Question 1: Choose the most appropriate of the following words to fill the blank spaces (1 ― 15). Each word can only be used once.
generate resentful unprecedented illusory championed laid down prejudice grasp sweep prompting myths hatred conventional echo cool
Question 2: What do the two myths of globalization have in common?
Question 3: According to the writer, under what conditions does peace usually occur?
Question 4: Why does the writer mention the League of Nations and the U.N.?
Question 5: What is the writer’s principal view of the Internet?
Question 6: What does the writer think of peace on earth and why?
Question 7: It seems that the world will continue to be globalizing, which means that we cannot avoid being affected by globalization. Not only for people in wealthy countries but also for people in developing countries to benefit more from globalization, what should be done? Develop your own ideas in your essay.
1 championed 2 grasp
3 myths 4 unprecedented
5 generate 6 illusory
7 laid down 8 echo
9 prompting 10 sweep
11 resentful 12 conventional
13 hatred 14 prejudice