Globalization: People, Perspectives, and Progress

By William H. Mott IV | Go to book overview

5
THE POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE

Let us teach ourselves and others that politics can be not only the art of the
possible—especially if this means speculations, intrigues, secret deals, and
pragmatic maneuvering—but also the art of the impossible, namely, the art
of improving ourselves and the world. Václav Havel1

Many notions of globalization stress the economics of the human condition and include claims about the erosion and decreasing relevance of politics: the end-of-politics theme. AristotleU+027s (384–322 B.C.) notion that people are by nature political, however, seems unaffected by globalization and valid despite other claims about human nature. People remain prone to discourse and cooperation, competition and conflict, and "authoritative allocation of values" —economic, political, social, and cultural—to avoid feelings of exclusion within a community.2 Historically, the nation-state has accrued a quasi-moral legitimacy through the bonds of nationalism, national identity, and individual self-sacrifice, which extends beyond the original pragmatism that was its foundation. Political globalization implies erosion of these intangible bonds between state and people and demotion of the state from a gemeinschaft of communal solidarity to a mere gesellschaft of pragmatic convenience. It also implies promotion of some global community from gesellschaft to gemeinscbaft.3

People have used domestic politics to create and manage satisfying relationships between society, the state, and the individual and to relieve the recurring stresses that enervate their cultural, political, and economic arrangements through collective action. Without, however, the communal cohesion of a society or the rational personality of the individual, international politics has been peopleU+027s preferred process to manage relationships between states. Since states have often sought to relieve internal social stresses through interstate conflict, people have used war, diplomacy, and international law not to relieve the social stresses that generated conflict but to control states' efforts to dissipate them outside their own sovereign jurisdictions.

-113-

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Globalization: People, Perspectives, and Progress
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1: Knowledge, Perspectives, and People 1
  • 2: Knowledge and Knowledge Creation 13
  • 3: The Power Ofperspective 33
  • 4: The Idea of Progress 81
  • 5: The Political Perspective 113
  • 6: Cultural Globalization 173
  • 7: The Economic Perspective 219
  • 8: The Double Movement 253
  • 9: The Global Perspective 303
  • Selected Bibliography 339
  • Author Index 371
  • Subject Index 379
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