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Similar words but different meanings

My February last Friday has just ended, and it was definitely one of the better ones. Patrick Crozier spoke about libertarianism and private road ownership. Excellent talk, excellent discussion. The result of Patrick’s time writing for and bossing the now only archived Transport Blog, which he has now ended. (He now writes this.)

Among those present was Alex Singleton, and he naturally talked about his newly launched Globalization Institute, which, of course, has a new blog.

It occurs to me that you might expect the word itself, ‘globalisation’ (I prefer an ‘s’ in the middle there), to be the equivalent, at the global level, of ‘nationalisation’ at the national level. Yet, while nationalisation means the national government stealing things, globalisation means something quite different and much nicer. If globalisation was the same at the global level as nationalisation is at the national level, globalisation would mean a World Government stealing things.

Does this matter? Well, maybe it does, because we surely do need a word to describe the equivalent of nationalisation, but at the global level. I have been drinking and may have forgotten the obvious, but my impression is: we do not have such a word.

Surely the existence of the word ‘nationalisation’ made it far easier to oppose the thing itself. Not having a word for this other form of ‘globalisation’, predation by the government of the globe, makes it harder to oppose, I think.

23 comments to Similar words but different meanings

  • Bernie

    How about Internationalism?

  • Robert

    Well globalisation works fine as it is cause there is no world government. I think what you’re trying to ask is IF one comes about what do we call that government’s act of nationalising businesses.

    Well, it doesn’t matter at the moment. However considering some good words are often bastardized and corrupted we would simply need to come up with a term that is synonymous with globalisation the same way we now use the word libertarianism as a synonym for classical liberalism.

  • If globalisation was the same at the global level as nationalisation is at the national level, globalisation would mean a World Government stealing things.

    Wouldn’t that be the UN? Or if you want to slip in a step half-way, how about the EU?

  • I'm suffering for my art

    I have been drinking and may have forgotten the obvious

    Drinking, I presume, Nescafe Gold Blend? Need some more bookshelves, Brian? :)

  • I asked Alex why if the Globalization Institute comes from a European perspective, he spelt its title in American.

    But its a welcome addition to the pantheon of liberalising forces in the world.

    Good luck.

  • It’s perfectly legitimate in English to use a “z” in words such as “globalization” – indeed, it’s Oxford University and OUP’s house style.

  • How about “globocratization”? Sounds silly but ominous enough.

  • Julian Morrison

    There really isn’t need for one. Just say “nationalized by the UN” or whatever. If people challenge you, say the UN is behaving like a government, so it gets talked about like one.

    However, I suggest a new word that might be useful is “protectoratization”, adj “protectoratized”: the UN tactic of turning everyplace they control into a UN fief, “temporarily” forevermore.

  • A shame that I was unable to attend this talk. I could have explained why I am against road privatisation.

  • Toulson Caffrey

    It’s perfectly legitimate in English to use a “z” in words such as “globalization” – indeed, it’s Oxford University and OUP’s house style.

    That’s because their authority, quite naturally, is the Oxford English Dictionary, which takes the view that -ize is the correct spelling.

    The -ize suffix is taken from the Latin (and indeed Greek), as in organizare, so it is etymologically sound to spell -ize with a z. Of course, etymology is one thing, and common useage is another. The OED seems determined to make a stand for the former in this case, however.

  • Tom Wilkins

    Globalization is how it is spelt in Spanish. This does suggest it is the more globalized spelling.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    Globalization is how it is spelt in Spanish. This does suggest it is the more globalized spelling.

    Are you sure? They did plump for Zapatero, after all…

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    How about pannationalization?

  • The Global equivalent of Nationalisation must be Transnationalisation. After all it is the cure that every Swampy wanabee claims for Globalisation. As in:

    The only answer to globalisation is for more transnational cooperation (read UN, EU, ILO) where cooperation means anything but for the individuals concerned.

  • globalisation strictly means to become like a globe “to make worldwide in scope or application“. So globalizatrion can mean to make communism or libertarianism “worldwide in scope or application” It can be nice or nasty depending on who your are.

    The reasons for nationalization – in the third world nationalization normally occurs to stop a countries assets being appropriated by transnational corporations or bodies.

    Secondly there’s another level between private ownership and public which is municipalization – the ownership of assets/business by municiplies – which had its hey day in the 19th century.

    Anyway, if inventing a new word and wanting it to have slightly sinister connotations, its seems to be the convention to use the German word see e.g schedenfreude etc while the convention is to use the French if you want to sound sophisticated/luxurious. In German
    Nationalization is

    Verstaatlichung

    So nationliasation on a global scale would be

    Globaleverstaatlichung

    NB I don’t speak German so maybe someone who can can improve on the above?

  • Globalichung

    Is an alternative.

  • or

    überverstaatlichung

  • Harry Powell

    Yes, there is a term that describes what you mean – Dependency Theory.

  • Grayson

    How about globureaucracy?

  • How about “UNification”?

    (yes…the capitalization is correct ;)

  • “Governmentization” or “Authoritization” would cover both the national and the global versions, thus leaving “Nationalisation” for the 3rd world to use, per Giles’ comment.

  • MDP

    It occurs to me that you might expect the word itself, ‘globalisation’ (I prefer an ‘s’ in the middle there) …

    When Brits say “globalise,” does the last syllable rhyme with “ice” or “size”? If the latter, why not just adopt the more widely used American forms “globalize” and “globalization”?

  • Desert Dweller

    Isnt nationalisation the complete opposite of globalisation? eg: in the mid-east there is a push to nationalise the work force (employ mainly mid-easterners native to the country)…so considering how different the mid-east culture is to western culture, then nationalisation in this context would seem to be going against globalisation.