Globalization: People, Perspectives, and Progress

By William H. Mott IV | Go to book overview
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After months of frustrating reviews of contemporary commentaries on globalization, any explanations or opinions seemed either impossibly unclear or simplistically narrow. I reread Ralph Waldo EmersonU+027s elegant admonition of the scholarU+027s duties. Emerson reminds us that scholarship uncovers the "facts amidst appearances" through patient "observation "by" cataloguing obscure and nebulous stars of the human mind." The scholar must be "selfrelying and self-directed. He is the worldU+027s eye. He is the worldU+027s heart." His is to communicate "the conclusions of history. Whatsoever oracles the human heart, in all emergencies, in all solemn hours, has uttered as its commentary on the world of actions—these shall he receive and impart. And whatsoever new verdict Reason from her inviolable seat pronounces on the passing men and events of today—this he shall hear and promulgate. Let him hold by himself; add observation to observation "and" satisfy himself alone that this day he has seen something truly. The world is his who can see through its pretension."1 Any explanation of globalization must account for, but not rely on, the commentaries on todayU+027s passing world of actions and current events. It must include the conclusions of history, the heartbeat of humanity, and also peopleU+027s observations.

Within the historical perspective, globalization has been in the heart and eye of humanity since before Aristotle focused both on the good life. Aristotle focused the human mind on globalization when he identified as the fundamental question of public life the ordering of communal society around the good life. As "the chief end, both for the community as a whole and for each of us individually," the good life became synonymous with globalization.2 In seeking an answer to AristotleU+027s question, Ibn Khaldun developed the Science of Civilization (al-'Emran) to explain a current situation and also to suggest a broad pattern for any future order.3 The complex, integrative approach of al-'Emran reflects St. Thomas AquinasU+027s premise that truth is a multilayered, multifaceted phenomenon that human beings can discover in


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Globalization: People, Perspectives, and Progress


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