There’s been talk lately of ‘the end of globalisation’ and what that means for the path of civilisation, interpreting last year’s events as signs of a reversion to more limited, national interests. That may or may not be true, as who’s to say what these democratic incidents really mean and what may rise out of them. How I see it is that we are all more interconnected as a result of globalisation and that will not ultimately change, but the relationships can become more mature and hopefully better.
Picking up from Trying to understand our times, it seems we’ve been creating this new globalised society of sorts and so much of how that fits together hasn’t yet been defined. We’re involved in this self-reflexive process of creating meaning out of this set of realities and, rather than asserting conclusions that do not exist, it seems we need to somehow articulate our various perspectives within it all and work to create a new code of engagement.
This is exciting, but also quite daunting. Communication and the process of change was my attempt to begin addressing what seems one of the major challenges of modern society.
Sometimes I wonder how far we’ve moved beyond schoolyard social codes, and indeed it seems many schools struggle to instil ethical boundaries in this respect. I’m referring to the basic models of the wounded bully, the cult of popularity, the effectiveness of “being good”, the wars of words, and the expediency of behavioural psychology in moving things forward rather than tackling the messiness of socio-emotional realities or moral ones.
Without communication, without mutual understanding, how can we create a globalised society that works? Surely it would simply be imposing a system onto others.
Cultural diversity is a beautiful thing, and differing social conventions are fascinating yet also challenging when it comes to global integration. How aware are we of the ways we’ve been conditioned by our own culture and of how this shapes our social and political engagement? Without being conscious of our own formative attitudes, we seem prone to judging others as “wrong” when they’re likely just shaped by different ideas. Unless we can talk about that, how can we move forward together?
It seems there are issues with the systems we’ve been working with, both within the originating societies and in terms of others struggling to integrate it with their existing values and practices. So it seems we need to reconsider, re-evaluate the essence of that system and, in doing so, rise to the challenge of communicating our ways of being and listening to those of others.
For me, globalised society is finding its feet: we have this new interconnection, this wonderful merging together of experience and outlook, plus all the challenges that throws up and the opportunities for creating something new. Who’s to say what that new system may be, but hopefully it’ll be able to incorporate diversity with greater flexibility and also be based on genuine cooperation and mutual interest.