Wednesday, September 06, 2006


From Ulrich Beck, Cosmopolitan Vision:

The thesis of this book may be summarized as follows: cosmopolitanization means the disappearance of the closed society for good. But this is not felt by liberation by most people, who instead see their world in decline. People who have succeeded with great difficulty in orienting themselves in the labyrinths of a closed society based on sharp oppositions between us and them, inside and outside, national and international, are now suddenly faced with the contradictions of a tolerant form of society and a liberty they can neither comprehend nor live wit, which reduces them to strangers in their own land....

Anti-cosmopolitanism, whether understated or vociferous, right- or left-wing, union- or church-driven, strictly speaking acts in an anti-national fashion because it is tantamount to a clinical loss of reality and hence betrays the interests of the nation in a global age. The economic, cultural and political challenges and contradictions of globalization cannot be conjured out of existence because we do not like reality and refuse to accept it -- on the motto 'Globalization? I'm against it!' The falling of leaves in autumn can't be prevented by looking the other way, and certainly not by insisting that you hate winter.

P. 108-9, 117; italics in the original; boldface mine.

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