MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 3

Joshua P. Hochschild, "Globalization: Ancient and Modern"

(from The Intercollegiate Review, Spring 2006)

Beginning with the refreshing observation of the sheer ugliness of the word "globalization" ("an adjective, converted into a barbaric verb, then forced into service as a still more barbaric noun"), Hochschild observes that this misbegotten word labels a poorly defined concept. Despite its vagueness, it "suggests a trend toward increased economic and political interdependence, which at once fosters and is fostered by cultural homogenization." Hochschild goes on to examine the effects of this trend on local communities and insists that any effort to evaluate globalization requires a return to a "political teleology," reflection on the ends of politics given the ends of human being. Read by Ken Myers. 36 Minutes

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    “ . . . The first problem of globalization is its resistance to criticism. . . . [T]he very notion of globalization seems to defy definition. . . .”
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    “ . . . [O]n the personal level, if mobility is the material mark of globalization, its spiritual mark seems to be, for lack of a better term, secularity, in the broadest sense—the weakening of tradition, the loss of individual and cultural memory, the fading of those forms by which transcendent order has heretofore been made incarnate in daily life. . . .”
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    “ . . . When a people are dependent on large and distant forces for the provision of basic human goods, they are beholden to those forces . . .”
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    “. . . The functions which are served by a community are integral to the character of that community, and for a distant power to absorb the functions of local communities is to place the integrity of those communities in jeopardy. . . .”
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    “Thinkers who want to do justice to the notion of the politically natural will return to the classical notion of teleology. That simple word disguises a complex picture. . . .”
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    “Can there be an international community? Clearly not, in the particular, local sense that properly belongs to genuine community.”