Globality, Global Culture, and Images of World Order
The general concern of the following discussion is the phenomenon of globality. I propose that the process of globalization—involving, from one perspective, the implosion of the world and, from another perspective, the explosion of societally and civilizationally situated cultures, institutions, and modes of life (Robertson and Chirico 1985)—should be regarded in sociological-theoretical terms as subsuming the classical concern with the transformation of societies, which was analytically centered largely on the processes of industrialization, development, and modernization (Nettl and Robertson 1966).
Previously, I tried to demonstrate that there is an unappreciated global perspective in the work of the classical sociologists and some of their precursors, particularly in the view that the transformation of Western societies has been but a part of a general trend toward globality (Robertson and Chirico 1985). In other words, the passing of premodern society itself involved a strong shift toward globality, which I define as the circumstance in which the entire world is regarded as "a single place." The globalization perspective is not merely an extension of what can (for the sake of convenience and simplicity) be called the "Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft " theme. Rather, the phenomenon of the world as a single place may fruitfully be viewed as both an extension of the Great Transformation, as Polanyi (1957) called it, and a subsumption of it. Put another way, the Gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft contrast has been relativized diachronically and synchronically by processes of globalization so that rather than speaking of processes of societal change in an objective, directional sense, we are now constrained to think increasingly of the
I am grateful to Gary Abraham and Neil Smelser for their comments on an earlier version of this chapter.
tensions between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft as quotidian images of sociocultural organization anywhere in the contemporary world. More specifically, the Gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft theme has itself been globalized: first, with respect to images of how societies should be patterned; second, with respect to how the world-as-a-whole should be structured.
In this chapter I am concerned with two closely related aspects of globality (centered on the perceived facticity of a single world) and globalization (the set of processes that yields a single world). First, I consider the degree to which a direct interest in globality and globalization makes a significant difference to the ways in which sociological theorizing, especially the analysis of large-scale and long-run change, is undertaken. Second, I focus on a specific application of the globalization perspective: images of world order and the potential for social movements developing in terms of these images.
The Global Circumstance: Prior Treatments
It has become commonplace, almost a cliché, in recent years to speak of "the global village." Certainly the mass medial in various parts of the world have used this term (which is, of course, highly problematic from a disciplined sociological vantage point) with increasing frequency and have seemingly subscribed to the McLuhanist claim that it has been wrought largely by technological changes in the media of communication. It is as if the printing press largely promoted Gesellschaft, and the satellite dish—and its potential miniaturization—is promoting a global Gemeinschaft . Notwithstanding the severe shortcomings of this point of view, not to speak of its self-serving features, the use of the term "global village" is a remarkable indicator of the degree to which a consciousness of the world-as-a-whole has crystallized. Indeed, the explosion of the use of the adjective "global" is an indicator in its own right of the process of globalization. Further evidence of this process can, of course, be found in the readily perceivable and much-noted interlocking of sociocultural phenomena across societal boundaries on a global scale, particularly in economic respects; the rapid expansion and increase in the number of global institutions; the proliferation of global
events and representative gatherings; the increasing concern with globe-threatening military, chemical, medical, and ecological problems; the considerable expansion of so-called international or global education; the aspirations of the leaders of some contemporary societies—most explicitly and conspicuously, the Japanese—to make those societies "global"; and so on. Also, the legitimacy of societal actions, attributes, and trends has increasingly become an issue that is cast in global terms, and terms such as "global public" and "world citizenry" have become part of contemporary public discourse.
Interest on the part of sociologists in the global circumstance as a definite theme did not crystallize until the 1960s. At that time social scientists mostly situated their concern with the world-as-a-whole within the then-thriving debate about societal modernization, and did so as a revamped version of the original Gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft problem (Robertson and Lechner 1985). The thematization by social scientists (as opposed to specialists in international relations) of what later came to be widely (but not unproblematically) called the world-system was thus from the beginning largely centered on the theme of societal-structural change, specifically in reference to the differences between the societies of the "Third World" (itself a concept that had crystallized only a little earlier) and those of the West and/or the Soviet bloc. However, even at that time steps were being taken toward the analysis of culture at the global level. In our rejection of the prevailing conceptions and theories of societal modernization Nettl, Tudor, and I called for an approach that viewed modernization as a process of catching up with or surpassing another society or set of societies with attributes deemed to be, in whole or in part, desirable (Nettl and Robertson 1968; Robertson and Tudor 1968). Employing a mixture of Parsonian action-and-system theory, symbolic-interactionist ideas concerning (societal) identity and (societal) reflexivity, Schutzian ideas about multiple realities, and emerging conceptions of the structure of the system of intersocietal stratification, we attempted to refocus the field of modernization theory. Thus, we opposed to all intents and purposes what poststructuralists and postmodernists now call a "grand narrative" account of the past, present, and future—although that does not mean that the resulting perspective can be described, in the recent meaning of the term, as postmodern (Lyotard 1984). In place of theories that stood more or less directly in line with the nineteenth-century philosophies of history that indicated a definite, progressive movement of societies and civilizations along a particular (mainly Western) path, we offered a view of what, at the time, we continued
to call the "international system" as a place in which societies (or, more accurately, influential elites within societies) construct their own identities in tandem with the invocation and construction of ideas concerning the system as a whole. In this perspective societal modernization was not to be pivotally analyzed as an advance in a "progressive," Western direction or even as a move in the direction of either the First or Second worlds. Rather it was to be regarded analytically as indicating a field of definitions of the global situation, on the one hand, and self-societal definitions, on the other.
Generally speaking, the theory of modernization that we proposed in the 1960s was voluntaristic in the sense that Parsons (1937) had introduced that term. Although acknowledging—indeed emphasizing—that the global intersocietal system possessed its own structural properties and, thus, that societies acted under external-systemic (as well as internal) constraints, we also maintained that there was a strong element of "choice" involved as to the ideal direction or directions of societal change and the form or forms of global involvement. That element was seen to be centered on an emergent global culture, a global culture that demanded that all extant societies adopt an orientation to, if not necessarily an acceptance of, the idea of modernization. Thus, what was taken to be modern—or, more loosely, what was taken to be a worthy direction of societal aspiration—was something that was constructed in the global arena in relation to the constraints on (most) societies to maintain their own identities and senses of continuity in relation to the "international system." It was not just a case of the First or Second worlds presenting images of trajectories of modernization to Third (or Fourth) World societies but rather a much more complex situation of globewide "reality construction," in which intra- and intercivilizational and intra- and intersocietal traditions and circumstances all played important parts.
What placed the study of the global scene very firmly on the social-scientific map was, of course, the publication of Wallerstein's first extended statement on the making and history of what he called the modern world-system and the ensuing elaboration of his standpoint and debates about it (Wallerstein 1974). This chapter cannot be the place for a comprehensive analysis of the Wallersteinian program or its numerous extensions, variations, and rival perspectives. However, what does need to be noted is that it was, as quite a few critics have pointed out, remarkably economistic in its genesis but that in recent years there has been an increasing acknowledgment in Wallersteinian and neo-Wallersteinian circles of the significance of culture (Robertson and Lechner 1985). Wallerstein's
own program seems to be following the path taken by a number of Marxist theories: it started in an economic-deterministic mode and then, when impediments to the transition to (world) socialism were found to be very formidable, it turned to "the problem of culture" (Robertson 1985; Robertson and Lechner 1985).
More specifically, the world-system has come to be seen by Wallerstein himself as party guided and sustained by "metaphysical presuppositions" deriving historically from ideas developed during crucially formative periods of Western capitalism (Wallerstein 1983). These presuppositions—amounting to a kind of deep culture of and the capitalist world system per se—constitute, according to Wallerstein, an obstacle to the transformation of the world-system in a socialist direction. Hence, they need direct analytical (as well as political) treatment. Until the announcement of this view Wallersteinians had, more often than not, addressed the theme of culture by insisting that the variety of national and ethnic cultures produced in the world-system were epiphenomena of the shifting division of international-economic labor. Thus, the idea of a global culture was alien to the Wallersteinian school of thought, not least because it was, and still is, widely assumed by world-system theorists—and many other social scientists—that "culture" must always refer to a commonly held, relatively explicit body of ideas, values, beliefs, and symbols that constitutes a more or less binding consensus. Few would be so foolish as to assert that a global culture exists in this strong sense—with the important exception of those who strongly emphasize the force and significance of the global homogenization of popular culture, styles of consumerism, individual "life-styles," "global information," and so on—but it does not follow from the rejection of such an idea that culture must be regarded as inconsequential and usually epiphenomenal in the global situation. Regardless of the viability of Wallerstein's ideas about the presuppositions of the world-system, it is perfectly reasonable to think of global (or any other) culture as consisting in large part of contested and conflicting images and definitions of the global circumstance.
World-system theorists and researchers have clearly accomplished something of significance in emphasizing the idea that the world is a systemic phenomenon and that much of what has been traditionally analyzed
by social scientists in societal, or more broadly, civilizational terms can and should be relativized and discussed along global-systemic lines. That being granted, the fact remains that major difficulties arise from the Western-centeredness of the history of the Wallersteinian world-system. For this history, the issue of the making of the world-system is, empirically, a version of the problem of the transition from feudalism to capitalism, which was itself a sociological precursor of, inter alia, the status-contract, Gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft, mechanical-organic, and segmented-stratified Problemstellungen . But a more challenging and sociologically appropriate strategy is to relativize these Problemstellungen in such a way as to view the global system in a much more far-reaching perspective, one in which "the world" is not assumed to have been made simply from and out of the West (even though clearly in some respects it has).
The long detour that Wallerstein took on his way to recognizing the significance of culture in the global system is all the more regrettable when we acknowledge that it was clear even in the 1950s and 1960s that a variety of images of desirable trajectories of societal change was available (Nettl and Robertson 1968). To be sure, there was a sense in which the notion of modernity itself was conceived both in social science and in the everyday world of national and institutional leaders along distinctively Western lines, but even in those decades the more general notion of what may be called societal improvement took different forms (of which "modernization" in the restricted sense was certainly one). By now, as a number of East Asian cases, in particular, clearly show, the term modernization itself has been so generalized in the real world that it carries much less specificity than it did at the time it fell out of favor in many social-scientific circles (largely in response to the Wallersteinian argument that the proper unit of analysis was not the national society but the world-system).
Thus Wallersteinian (and other Marxist or Trotskyist) theories of the world economy and its sociocultural ramifications have—at least until very recently—largely chosen to ignore (or, at least, play down) the idea that not merely are there ideal as well as material interests of great sociocultural significance but that "world images" play a crucial role in framing the directions in which these interrelated sets of interests are pursued. The concept of world images has to be taken very seriously and employed more literally than it was in Max Weber's work. I use the term
mainly—as I have already implied—in the sense of images of global order. In a more technical, neo-Kantian sense, I am addressing the issue of how the world is variously, and often conflictually, regarded as possible. Whereas Weber's concept of world images referred to very general orientations to and conceptions of the human condition (particularly, Weber was interested in the relationship between the intramundane and the supramundane aspects of the cosmos), the concept of world images as I employ it here refers mostly and more concretely to conceptions of how the intramundane world is or should be structured. That does not mean, however, that the wider cosmic aspect of the concept of world images is irrelevant.
Weber's work as a whole was, of course, directed largely at issues centered on the crystallization of modern rationalism. His interest in world images was largely dictated by his desire to comprehend the historical circumstances of the rise of rationalism in the Occidental world. A rather different, but not incompatible, orientation to the phenomena that were of central significance to Weber was promoted in one of Parsons's very last essays. In "Religious and Economic Symbolism in the Western World" Parsons (1979) discussed the cultural responses to what, for the sake of brevity, he called the industrial revolution. This topic constituted a very significant turn in Parsonian action theory, but one that has received exceedingly little attention. Parsons argued that the industrial revolution of the late eighteenth century stood diachronically in line with the thematization of the erotic-sexual aspect of human life, which had occurred in the period of early Christianity and the shift from ancient Judaistic particularism to early Christian universalism. In ancient Judaism, he argued, the sexual-erotic dimension of life had been, so to say, hidden by laws and rituals concerning familial relationships and the Deuteronomic distinction between in- and out-group relations (Nelson 1969); however, the early Christian doctrinal obliteration of the in-group/out-group distinction involved a confrontation with the "dangers" of sexuality and eroticism. (This assertion is, almost needless to say, a controversial and fragile one in light of the actual history of Christian attitudes toward the Jews.)
Parsons claimed that the industrial revolution of the late eighteenth century was both a diachronic-functional equivalent and an evolutionary upgrading of the mission to the Gentiles. It constituted another crucial stage in the odyssey of particularism-universalism, involving the "revelation" of the economy as a potentially autonomous realm. The market economy represented at one and the same time a vehicle of universalistic, potentially global social interaction and exchange, on the one hand, and a "dangerous" intrusion on traditional forms of sociality and solidarity, on the other. It was part of Parsons's argument that the general
character of modern social theory, ideology, and political culture was largely shaped during the early-nineteenth-century response to the thematization of the economy as a relatively autonomous realm of life. To this argument I add the claim that responses to globality are very likely to frame the character of social theory, doctrine, ideology, and culture in the decades ahead. The meanings ascribed to the "dangers" of the world as a single sociocultural entity (notably, concerns about threats to humanity as a whole, on the one hand, and the massive relativization of identities and traditions, on the other) constitute the crucible in which major ideas of great potential significance are being formed. More than that, responses to globality are potentially the focal point of the social movements of the future. The revelations of the productive forces of sex and the economy have been followed by the baring of the problem of the fate of the human species as a whole (Robertson 1982). However, this does not suggest that these productive forces have diminished in sociocultural significance. On the contrary, they have now acquired explicitly global significance—as AIDS and current problems of global economic justice clearly demonstrate.
To a small, but not insignificant, degree the perspective I bring to bear on the contemporary world-as-whole is in line with certain analytical trends within the general world-system theoretical framework. For example, Jameson—a literary critic and interpreter of culture who attunes much of his current work to Wallerstein's ideas—in his plea for "the reinvention, in a new situation, of what Goethe long ago theorized as 'world literature,' "argues that contemporary "cultural structures and attitudes" of relevance to the world culture scene were "in the beginning vital responses to infrastructural realities (economic and geographic, for example)" (Jameson 1968, 68). Such cultural structures and attitudes should, he insists, initially be seen as "attempts to resolve more fundamental contradictions—attempts which then outlive the situations for which they were devised, and survive, in reified forms as 'cultural patterns'" (Jameson 1986, 78). Jameson then goes on to argue that "those patterns themselves become part of the objective situation confronted by later generations, and … having once been part of the solution to a dilemma, then become part of the new problem." His argument is not unpersuasive, but at the same time it illustrates some of the problems in the world-system perspective on culture. In one sense Jameson's observations are clearly compatible with the way in which Parsons treated Western cultural responses to the onset of the industrial revolution. However, the term "infrastructure" gives the impression of cultural responses being
essentially secondary to material factors. Moreover, Jameson appears to be trying to sustain the view that in globalized world the major point of reference is still the economic infrastracture rather than globality itself, which—as I have been insisting—transcends, although it still includes, the global economy. Furthermore, in a situation of increasing consciousness of the world-as-a-whole one would expect civilizational conceptions of the entire world that predate the emergence of the infrastructure to be activated. In other words, even though national, regional, and other cultural patterns have undoubtedly been partly formed as responses to the growth of the capitalist world-system, the contemporary concern with the world-as-a-whole recrystallizes, in varying degrees, the historical philosophies and theologies of ancient civilizations concerning the structure and cosmic significance of the world. The critical difference between, for example, traditional Islamic or Chinese conceptions of the world and present ones is that the modern worldviews, unlike the old ones, are being reformulated or upgraded in terms of a very concrete sense of the structure of the entire world in its modern (or postmodern) form.
At this point it is necessary to become more precise about the use of such terms as world-system, global condition, and so on. One of the major limitations of the world-system perspective is its concentration on the relationships between and connections among societies—and, of course, its casting of those relationships and connections in primarily economic terms. Moreover, even were the comprehension of intersocietal relationships to be more broadly conceived, the problem would remain that what Parsons (1971) called the system of modern societies is but one among a number of facets of the global-human circumstance that are clearly part of contemporary consciousness. Therefore, in trying to pinpoint for analytical purposes the very general structure of the global-human conditions I suggest (Robertson and Chirico 1985) that in addition to the world-system of societies there are three other major components: societies as such, individuals, and humankind. Together, the system of societies, societies, individuals, and humankind constitute the basic and most general ingredients of what I call the global-human condition, a term that draws attention to both the world in its contemporary concreteness and humanity as a species. Finally, as I noted before, globality refers to the circumstance of extensive awareness of the world-as-a-whole, including the "species" aspect.
The set of major components of the global-human condition that I specify may be used to treat responses to and symbolic constructions of the thematization of globality in the same analytical spirit as Parsons typified responses to the thematization of the economy in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I depart slightly from Parsons, however,
in producing a typology of general images of the contemporary world-as-a-whole (or the global-human condition) rather than the specific social-theoretic and ideological responses that he delineated in respect of the industrial revolutions (Parson's "types" included socialism in its more economic forms, Gemeinschaft romanticism, what I summarize as corporatism, and utilitarian individualism). Moreover, I do not press as hard as Parsons did the idea that each response, when it explicitly rejects the other three, constitutes a form of reductionism or avoidance of complexity in the mode of fundamentalism (cf. Robertson 1983). That is not because of disagreement with Parsons on this interpretive matter but rather because my primary concern is simply to map, described, and provide a rationale for the very idea of analyzing major general responses to globalization and globality.
Images of World Order as Cultural Responses to Globality
First, I present four images of world order in relatively formal terms. Having done this, I then add some empirical flesh.
Global Gemeinschaft 1 . This conception of the global circumstance insists that the world should and can be ordered only in the form of a series of relatively closed societal communities. The symmetrical version of this image of world order sees societal communities as relatively equal to each other in terms of the worth of their cultural traditions, their institutions, and the kinds of individuals that inhabit them. The asymmetrical version, however, regards one or a small number of societal communities as necessarily being more important than others. Those who advocate global relativism" based on the "sacredness" of all indigenous traditions fall into the symmetrical category; those who claim that theirs is "the middle kingdom," "the society of destiny" or "the lead society" fall into the second category. In the late twentieth century, both versions tend to seize on the idea that individuals can only live satisfactory lives in clearly bounded societal communities. However, this idea does not mean that either of these two versions emphasizes individualism or individually. Rather, they are particularly concerned with the problem of the "homelessness" of individuals in the face of the "dangers" of globalization.
Global Germeinschaft 2 . This image of the world situation maintains that only in terms of a fully globewide community per se can there be global order. Corresponding to the distinction between symmetrical and asymmetrical version of Gemeinschaft 1 , there are centralized.
and decentralized versions of this image of the world as almost literally a "global village." The first version insists that there must be a globewide Durkheimian "conscience collective," and the second version maintains that a global community is possible on a much more pluralistic basis. Both versions of this second type of Gemeinschaft stress humankind as a pivotal ingredient of the wolrd-as-a-whole. Thus the dangers of globalization are to be overcome by commitment to the communal unity of the human species.
Global Gesellschaft 1 . This variant of the image of the world as a form of Gessellschaft involves seeing the global circumstance as a series of open societies, with considerable sociocultural exchange among them. The symmetrical version considers all societies as politically and equal and of reciprocally beneficial material and cultural significance; the asymmetrical version entails the view that there must be dominant or hegemonic societies that play strategically significant roles in sustaining the world and, indeed, that these societies are the primary mechanism of the world order. In both cases national societies are regarded as necessarily constituting the central feature of the modern global circumstance. Thus the problem of globalization is to be confronted either by extensive societal collaboration or by a heirarchical pattern of intersocietal relationships.
Global Gesellschaft 2 . This conception of world order claims that world order can only be obtained on the basis of formal, planned world organization. The centralized version of Gesellschaft 2 is committed to a strong supranatural polity, but the decentralized form advocates something like a federation at the global level. Both variants take the world system of societies as constituting the major unavoidable dimension of the contemporary global-human condition. Both variants share the view that the only effective way of dealing with the dangers of globalization is by the systematic organization of that process.
In attempting to provide empirical nuance to each of the four major types of orientation to world order, I emphasize that I am particularly interested, given my continuing insistence on the fairly recent emergence of globality as an aspect of contemporary consciousness, in explicitly globe-oriented ideologies, doctrines, and other bodies of knowledge. I define an explicitly globe-oriented perspective as one that espouses as a central aspect of its message a concern with the patterning of the entire world. In so doing, I allow room for the perspectives that even though concerned about the phenomenon of globality may actually be militantly
opposed to those who urge studying or embracing the globality of contemporary life.
A significant example of what has been sometimes described by its proponents as "antiglobalism" is provided by recent attempts in parts of the American South to limit the exposure of the children in public schools to ideas that might involve relativization of American culture and citizenship. What is of particular interest about these occurrences is that they have grown almost directly out of a continuous reference to an older opposition to the alleged dangers of "secular humanism." Antiglobalism thus becomes a symbolic vehicle for generalizing beyond the dangers of intrasocietal secular Gesellschaft to the perceived threats from other cultures and the world per se. Initially, the objection was to a "national" secularity that was indifferent to religion and local custom; now the objection, in the face of the relativizing dangers of globalization, is also—perhaps even more—to the contaminating effects of the exposure to alien doctrines and philosophies, such as those of Islam. In other words, the shift from the problem of the making of the modern West to the problem of the world-as-a-whole is not simply a shift in the focus of intellectual social theory but of real-world practice (and certainly not only in the West itself).
Thus, antiglobal movements and sociocultural tendencies are to be included conceptually in the family of globe-oriented orientations. Their growth provides just as much evidence of the development of a consciousness of globality as is the more-often studied rise of movements that are concerned in one way or another with organizing what are perceived to be the crucial aspect of the entire world (such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, or the international women's movement) or, indeed, the world in its entirety (as is apparently the case with some religious movements such as the South Korea-centered Unification Church and the Japan-based Soka Gakkai). Moreover, even though antiglobal perspectives are not pivotally concerned with the theme of world order per se, they are surely held to a significant degree in "subliminal thrall" by that which they oppose. They address the problem of the world-as-a-whole negatively but nonetheless their attitude toward the latter tends to imply a conception of how the contemporary global-human circumstance is possible. (Although in the case of some American Christian fundamentalist groups there is evidence that the world-as-a-whole is considered to be impossible—a view that is expressed in apocalyptic symbolism.)
Views of the world-as-a-whole as consisting of a series of relatively closed societal communities (Gemeinschaft 1 )—with each community conceived of as preciously unique—became evident in the West toward the end of the eighteenth century, notably in the writings of Herder. The
symmetrical version of this view has found twentieth-century expression in anthropological relativism and within certain contexts of the apparently worldwide ethnic revival (Smith 1981; Lechner 1984). The asymmetrical version—which insists on the greater worth of one or a small number of societal communities in comparison to others—is much older; the paradigmatic case is the classical Chinese conception of China as the Middle Kingdom at the center of a world that is structured as a series of concentric circles of communal forms of life. Historically, there have also been strong parallel versions of this kind of conception in Islam. In the modern period of mature globality the asymmetrical dispersed Gemeinschaft worldwide is to be seen in the large number of politicoreligious fundamentalist movements that have arisen around the world. Many of these movements advocate the restoration of their own societal communities to a pristine condition, with the rest of the world being left as a series of closed communities posing no threat to the "best" community. This conception involves a kind of "apartheid" view of the world, although it does not necessarily rest on principles of racial superiority per se.
The idea of the world as being in and of itself a single community (Gemeinschaft 2 ), or at least having the potential for so becoming, has a very long history, having been expressed in such notions as worldwide earthly paradise and the Kingdom of God on earth. In the modern period a number of new religious movements have arisen that advocate, and in fact are taking, concrete steps toward nothing less than the global organization of the entire world. The movement that surely can lay legitimate claim to being the oldest significant globe-oriented organization—namely, the Roman Catholic Church—has recently become a particularly effective globe-oriented actor across most of the world, claiming humanity to be its major concern. Perhaps the most striking of the new religious movements in this regard tend to be of East Asian, particularly Japanese, origin, where the idea of harmonizing different worldviews has a very long history. For the most part such movements may be associated with the centralized version of global Gemeinschaft because they often appear to seek a global harmonization of existing worldviews under a theocratic umbrella of "absolute values" (such is the case of the Unification Church). The more decentralized version of the view of the entire world as a single community is to be found in many strands of the contemporary peace movement and in romantic Marxism. In such cases the response to globality is to argue, in effect, that the only way to save the world from extreme complexity and turmoil is to establish a global community that is highly respectful of local tradition and cultural variety. Thus whereas the centralized version of globewide Gemeinschaft seeks a "harmonizing theocracy" at the global level, the decentralized version is what might be called "concultural" in its
conception of world order (Mazrui 1976). The concultural view characterizes cultural traditions as constituting a set of indigenous variations on the condition and predicaments of humankind. Some of the numerous movements centered on theologies of liberation that have arisen in many parts of the world (often through emulation of the most solidly established liberation theology—namely, that of Latin America) appear to subscribe to this perspective on world order.
The image of world order that emphasizes the pivotal significance of national societies (Gessellschaft 1 ) involves in its symmetrical version the idea that we would see the world as a kind of aggregate of all societies. This image is what we might call the small society view of the world, although one finds strands of such thinking in societies that are certainly not small geographically or in terms of their resources (for example, Canada). This orientation seems to constitute a societal parallel to the decentralized version of Gemeinschaft 1 in that it advocates a kind of global consociationalism in which very different interests are more or less systematically combined so as to realize the interests of the whole. In contrast, as I have suggested, the asymmetrical version of Gemeinschaft 1 rejects the view of a world order centered on all societies. It stands in the tradition of international Realpolitik and needs no further elaboration. It may be added, however, that social movements can and do directly advocate this standpoint (quite apart from its advocacy by politicians and rulers in great-power societies). Certain religious and ideological points of view hold that the great-power arrangement of the world is the only thing that prevents cultural contamination. Thus, for example, Gesellschaft 1 in its asymmetrical form may be combined with the asymmetrical version of Gemeinschaft 1 , the former being instrumental in promoting a world of "greater" and "lesser" societal communities.
The Gesellschaft 2 image of world order conceives of the world primarily in its thoroughly systemic nature—or at least advocates that only formal systemicity can, so to say, save the world from the chaos of globality. In its centralized form this image involves a conception of strong world government, an idea that has been most frequently proposed during the present century by liberals, on the one hand, and Marxists, on the other. The difference between the two is that the liberals see a potential world government as mainly necessary to prevent global chaos, whereas the Marxists seek to use it to usher in and sustain world socialism (often leaving open the question of whether the world state should wither away in favor of another type of global order). Finally, the decentralized form of the image of the world as Gesellschaft 2 is best illustrated by the so-called world federalists, although, in ideological terms, the Wallersteinians' view of the present condition of the world also fits here. The major difference between the world federalists and
the Wallersteinians is, of course, that whereas the former aspire to overcome the problems of globality by federalizing a disorderly world-system, the latter see the present world-system as ordered but with dynamic contradictions that will eventually transform it to a higher and preferable form of order.
I have attempted to develop some ideas concerning global culture, particularly in the form of cultural responses to globality and globalization. My approach has used the term global culture in a way that, to a considerable extent, parallels the use of the term economic culture as a concept that refers to those aspects of a culture that have a specific bearing on economic action and institutions. Thus global culture refers particularly to culture that has a close bearing on the phenomenon of globality as a "dangerous" phenomenon of world-historical significance. Globality is a virtually unavoidable problem of contemporary life. The general images of world order that I have expounded have a number of further possible applications, including the analysis of the terms in which societies formulate (and display internal conflicts with respect to) their modes of participation in the modern global-human circumstance (Robertson 1987).
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