Globalization and Cosmopolitanism

616 words | 3 page(s)

Rapid change has resulted from the advances of technology and communications. It is clear that this has impacted the social world and perceptions of boundaries. Tools such as email, video chat and smart phones allow people to make instant connections, regardless of geographic location. This is changing how a person thinking about themselves in the world and this has the capacity to change the duty to care in the world.

Cosmopolitanism has traditionally had multiple meanings, but in the contemporary context there are theorists who wish to redefine and capture the multiple disciplines in this idea. The traditional concept of cosmopolitan is one that was rooted in borders and the dualities of national/foreign; however the cosmopolitan outlook today has changed precisely because those borders no longer configure our thinking about the world (Beck & Sznaider 2006).

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The result of the new cosmopolitanism, which has been driven by virtual technologies, has resulted in what is referred to as globalization. Globalization is the weakening of borders as a containment of intellectual, social and economic interactions. In the new globalized world, one can find products from other continents on the grocery shelves, socialize or date without regard to location, and even collaborate intellectually with other specialists in an area. That which is produced locally can access the world market, and that which is made anywhere can finds its way to nearly any part of the world. For an affordable price, an individual can simply go nearly anywhere in the world very quickly by airplane or fast train. Proximity is no longer the limitation it once was.

In the globalized world of cosmopolitan individuals who think past their own borders, and are more likely to seek a virtual and multinational community of interest there has been the capacity to organize in new ways. All voices can now be heard; as a result, the nineteenth and twentieth century Eurocentrism of the West has been questioned even as it fades. Because of this, two things can occur; it can strengthen the voices that organize or collaborate, but it also provides access to competing points of view that would have been hidden prior to the rise of information and communication technologies. It also provides a broad and wide view of the world, and it could be argued that it provides a more personal reaction to situations such as conflict. Refugees or those trapped in terrible situations are no longer far away foreigners; they are neighbors in the global village (Bretherton 2006). There is therefore a potential opportunity to do good works in a borderless world, by developing the relationships that could contribute to a new philosophy of a duty of care.

Specific organizations and websites have sought to do exactly this in a structured way. One example is Avaaz, which began in 2007 as a “global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere” (Avaaz.org 2014). A major activity of the organization is the creation of online petitions to organize multinational protest actions, particularly with regard to global issues including corruption, conflict, poverty and the environment. Avaaz.org also organizes social marketing campaigns with regard to issues identified by the collective participants and volunteers and facilitates individual lobbying and advocacy. There is hope that this developing trend will continue, and perhaps even result in a worldwide culture of support.

Globalization and cosmopolitanism have the power to harness the collective good of people towards a better world; to that extent technology has had a surprising benefit in terms of collaboration towards a more ethical and peaceful world, supported and enforced by individuals, not government. This has deep implications for philosophy, ethics and theological questions, particularly how these new developments can best be harnessed towards positive objectives.

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