Communications Satellites: Global Change Agents

By Joseph N. Pelton; Robert J. Oslund et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
Satellites and Global Diversity
Hamid Mowlana
American University

Things are in the saddle and ride mankind.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson (n.d., p. 99)

The last decades of the 20th century had the vibrations of an earthquake about them. The world shuddered and is shuttering still in the wake of 9/11. The new Millennium has not brought us the “end of ideology” or the predicted muted convergence between capitalism and socialism as sociologist Daniel Bell had predicted. Nor has it resulted in “the end of history”—the unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism that political analyst of the American conservative wing, Francis Fukuyama, had anticipated.

No, quite simply, history has continued to crack open. The quest for new ideologies continues. New leaders and followers have come darting out—dark surprises for some, yet lights of hope for others. The forces of change are everywhere: American-fueled capitalism is riding on the back of the Internet, satellites, and fiber optic networks! Yet Islamic culture is finding new vigor from Morocco to Indonesia! European socialism is struggling for relevance! Western technology everywhere is reshaping entertainment, patterns of living and working, political systems, and religious beliefs all over the world. Yet its impacts on the East and the South seem the most abrupt and harsh in the wake of free trade agreements and the expanding reach of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This is to cite only a few of the many tides of change. The forces of change have ventured into new and experimental regions: uplands of new enlightenments or mining new val-

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