Friday, December 4, 2009
It is not necessary for a country to assume superiority to trade and function with a different country, but that feeling is more often there. I wonder what the age of imperialism would have been like if the more technologically advanced countries hadn't assumed superiority. What would have been different in Africa? Would the indigenious tribes of the South Pacific be thriving instead of being morphed into a bastardization of their former culture represented as the tropical oasis for honeymooners? Even America. Nationalism is a dangerous tool in the hands of a greedy or even just a onesided individual. If you are looking at the benefit for your people alone, you may kill off thousands by introducing small pox into their lives, or you may kill of individuals based entirely on their religion. To me there is a difference between nationalism and patriotism. The difference to me is that nationalism is a broader idea. Nationalism describes more of an ethnic pride. While patriotism to me refers to the sense of pride and loyalty one has for a country or government. Patriotism can exist regardless of whether the country is still in existance or if the idea is still in development. Patriotism is unique to each individual. It never takes on the same connotation. They are both equally powerful as they are dangerous.
My question is do you think it is possible to foster a feeling of nationalistic or patriotic pride on a global level? Or is the lack of opposition or otherness preventing the formation of such an ideology?
Either way, I think nationalism in general is a result of globalization because without worldwide knowledge, worldwide appreciation is not possible. And with the expansion of trade and all the different advances of technology, it is very possible the there will be another branch of nationalism besides the one already mentioned in the future.
This is interesting topic because it questions the idea of whether America or any other country for that matter has become less nationalistic and if we are living in a postnationalistic world. This brings up a good point about even today’s war in Iraq. There is not enough wide spread support which could have something to do with the postnationalistic world we live in.
I do believe that we are living in a postnationalism world for many reasons. One, I believe that if America was to go into a war in these times, for any reason, that there would not be enough support and seen as a way to gain on another countries resources. The same thing happened in Iraq when there were large claims of going into Iraq because of their vast oil resources. I am not saying for or against this, I am just stating fact. Everyone in the world is concerned with themselves which leaves a lot of nationalism out in the cold. This is do not necessarily view this as bad just a different direction of our country.
Also I feel like we, the West, adopt culture from other countries however it is to a much lesser extent. Suddenly Indian culture is gaining in popularity here. Movies like “Slumdog Millionaire”, belly-dancing, Eastern religion (Buddhism) are popular in America.
So while I feel like the United States is criticized for Westernizing the rest of the world, I feel that we should be cut some lack.
In this week's readings, we were introduced to various aspects of nationalism. The four aspects were nationalism, internationalism, transnationalism, and postnationalism. The readings of this week were really interesting and brought back a lot of interesting memories from the beginning of the course. I was highly intrigued by Mohammed A Bamyeh's essay entitled Postnationalism.
Bamyeh's essay describes and argues the idea of the reduction in the cultural occupancy within a nation. The three common features of a postnational culture are very important to the specific nation at hand. Postnationalism describes the process or trend by which nation states and national identities lose their importance relative to supranational and global entities. There are several factors that contribute to aspects of postnationalism, including economic, political, and cultural elements.
Postnationalism occurs in the Americas, Europe, as well as in the media and in sports. In economic terms there are factors that increase globalnationalism. For example, the expansion of international trade with raw materials, manufactured goods, and services, and the importance of multinational corporations and internationalization of financial markets. Political power wthin these unions include the United Nations, European Union, the North American Free trade Afreement, and the NATO.
My idea of the nationalism idea is that it is important for someone to have strong feelings for the Nation for the one they live. Recently, President Barack Obama just approved the sending of 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. I believe that this transition is a test of nationalism for the United States and other countries involved. I believe that the United States congress should be forced to urge one family member to join the armed forces and fight for the country. I say that because they are the ones who vote for the bill to be passed, thus, I feel that they should be forced to fight because they want the war. I am proud to be an American, however, it isn't fair for those who are sent to war.
God Bless America!
This week, we discussed the difference between nationalism, post-nationalism, internationalism, and transnationalism. One thing that seemed to lack from that classroom discussion, though, is which ideology our contemporary world most resembles. Super optimists would likely say we live in a transnational world, driven mainly by the internet. No one will dispute the importance of the internet, but optimists to a slightly lesser degree will claim we live more in a post-nationalist world, and that, again, primarily through the internet and globalization, the concept of the individual nation has become less important, but the expansion outward hasn’t been fully completed. A pessimist would argue that nationalism still exists, and use current affairs and events such as Pakistan and India, or Switzerland’s ban on minarets as an example. I personally feel that our world can currently be best described as international. Nations still play a key role, and nationalism is still very present in many forms (see Pakistan – involvement in Afghanistan, or pins, flag), yet the rest of the world is also becoming crucially important. It is very important to have a broader view and to understand other nations and their cultures. Yet most people today still identify themselves primarily with a national identity (though there is certainly a considerable minority that will use an ethnic identity). The world is currently in a state where you need to be able to understand and work with other national cultures, but those are all viewed through your own national perspective, and your own personal national identity is still paramount. This is just my opinion, I may be sort of right, or very very wrong (and I doubt anywhere in between, or beyond those), so let me know what you think…
The most interesting part of Bamyeh’s article was his analysis of the contrast between American and Europe in regards to post nationalism. It is clear that America is still very nationalistic and asserts its own power in all parts of the world (as well as integrating itself into the global society) while Europe has dropped such strong nationalism and embraced post nationalism. It is interesting to follow the nationalistic development of these two regions. While Europe established transnational institutions after WWII which later evolved into the European Union, America persisted with their military after the Cold War and became a more hegemonic power. Why did Europe and America share such different fates? Do you think it's more geographic or because of their foreign affairs?
One of the most interesting sentences in the article was about how the world is now “colonized.” Halle’s example was that there is “no need...anymore to justify the opening of another McDonald’s in Beijing as an act of civilization” (13). Another aspect of Halle’s article that I thought was positive was how he took into account what types of films were being compared. He mentions a writing of Kerry Seagrave that had major bias because it compared “American popular film to French art film,” instead of comparing Hollywood movies to French popular films (16). I thought it made Halle’s statements more viable that he took the initiative to compare correctly.
Do you agree with Halle’s statements in this article? Is the world growing continually more and more similar? Or do you believe that there will be some sort of cultural revival? I would also like to know if you have seen films from other countries, such as Amèlie, or if you stick with American made films.
I enjoyed this article however I wish he would go into more of where the Middle East is. I think America and Europe are interesting places, but where does the rest of the world lie, or where are they now?
One Discussion I wanted to bring up was one that happened in class on Monday, which was having a global power. In class I was adamant that this could not happen. After thinking about it I retract my statement. I think it is possible, if you look at the global economy and how long it has taken for it to prosper, why it can’t happen with government. I think we are still some 700-1000 years from this, but it is still possible right?
During the colonial era the nation-state effectively facilitated the spread of capitalism as expansion was justified as civilizing and/or simply forced onto foreign peoples. Now, however, nationalism isn't necessary or especially useful to capitalism. Instead, the common denominators amongst peoples are overshadowing the specificity of cultures--representations of aspects of cultures become divorced from their origin and function--to create a cosmopolitan, globalized community.
Not everything is negative, though. Halle makes a point to shed a hopeful light on the process of globalization by adding that when cultural production is something more than a context-less symbol on a shower curtain, cultural specificity is still maintained even it is just "as local color, a whiff of exoticism." The local, the places of cultural origin, after all, continue to exist and, with the process of globalization, are able to speak to an audience beyond the specific.
While this last thought is an interesting and appreciated attempt of Halle to remain hopeful in the face of the seemingly destructive force of globalization, I am afraid that it remains a dim outlook for me. I see a present and a future in which stylistic representations of different regions and cultures find their ways into furniture and decorations and this is the extent of cultural contact or understanding for most people, which robs the rich meaning and integrity of cultures from which such things are extracted. Transnationalism refers literally to going across nations, so what is crossing nations today? Is it really just the most superficial representations of cultures that create vague impressions rather than understanding or appreciation?
In Halle’s article about transnationalism is included a section on debates within the film industry. At the center of the debate are the term “national cinema” and its transformations in a time of globalization, as movies are viewable across the world no matter where they are made. Postnationalists argue against the term, citing that, for example, the British do not only watch British films. Further, they pose that many state-sponsored films actually have little to do with the culture of that nation. Transnationalists argue, on the other hand, that it is impossible to ignore the influence of national cultural and political affiliations within cinema. Proponents of this side of the debate provide the examples of Schindler’s List and The Patriot as American films that were perceived as very pro-American by German and British critics, respectively. Not only did Germany and Britain think that the film was excessive in its negative portrayal of their actions and history, but they also objected, especially in the case of Schindler’s List, to having an American director telling “their” story.
Two other examples that I can think of that relate to this topic are Slumdog Millionaire and Band of Brothers. Slumdog Millionaire is heavily rooted in Indian culture, as it details the past experiences of the main character as an orphaned child. Ironically, the plot is driven by his participation in an originally American game show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” The movie was directed by Danny Boyle, who is British. I wonder what the reaction to this movie was within the general Indian population, as it was heavily decorated and acclaimed by American critics and the American public alike. The article brings up an interesting point in cinema’s role in globalization, both positively and negatively. While films are an outlet of other cultures, as seen in Slumdog (I for one had never seen Indian culture in as much detail), they may also be biased and not accurately portray the true makeup of a culture. Having just recently completed watching the Band of Brothers series and having also watched most famous World War II movies, I can say that Band of Brothers was the most objective and accurate out of the group. Rather than glorifying war, the directors utilized interviews of veterans portrayed in the movie and realistic physical and emotional costs to accurately display the true psychology of war. As I watched it, I did not bask in American victory and rather thought of how the toughest soldiers were crushed by losses and driven to insanity, tears, and hopelessness in many cases. There is an even a scene in the last episode that displays a surrendered German general addressing his troops and complimenting their strength and fortitude, effectively demonstrating that Germans and Americans were not all different and endured the same ups and downs of war. I certainly view the war effort much differently than I did before the series, showing the influence that cinema can have, whether it is nationally biased or not.
The article’s added dimension of entertainment into the globalization argument is just another layer in the debate we have been having all semester. While it seems that there are many ways in which the world is more global today than it ever has been, there are still so many aspects of society and culture that remain nationalistic and maintain boundaries between cultures. I think that gaining historical background on more than just our native country is essential in continuing to break down cultural gaps, as we have discussed. It seems that an effort to eliminate ignorance is essential. I wonder if Hollywood will ever look to globalization as a driving cause within its productions, or if it will cater to American tastes as a business decision. At the same time, I wonder if American tastes will change to want to accommodate a more global perspective, driving directors to include cultural accuracy and remove cultural bias.
Baymeh goes on to discuss the existence of a postnational culture. This culture has three distinct characteristics. Nationalism is wholistic whereas postnationalism is fragmented. Postnationalism, is not necessarily aligned with state ideology. Finally, postnationalism emphasizes the importance of involvement in world affairs.
I found it interesting how the benefits reaped from strong nationalism could be found in other ways. Smaller social networks took the place of what nationalism used to provide. I do think that although nationalism has had a diminished role in civilization today that it still plays a bigger part than Baymeh describes.
This week we were introduced (as well as reintroduced) to several terms: nationalism, postnationalism, internationalism, and transnationalism. Personally, I had a difficult time distinguishing between postnationalism, internationalism, and transnationalism. Nationalism is easy to define because we have already learned about it in Hobsbawm's Age of Empire as well as Piotr's lectures. Nationalism is characteristic of a society or culture who closely identifies itself with the nation that governs it. Such a society exhbits immense pride and favor of itself and its nation.
Postnationalism is used to describe the mentality of societies and cultures that have moved away from (if they were originally in), or do not exhibit, a nationalistic mentality. Instead, a society that exhibits a postnationalistic mentality would be a society where national pride is relatively weak or non-existent. Such a society may have lost its nationalistic mentality in favor of international "solidarities", as Bamyeh calls them. These solidarities are causes and identities that link groups together. Global solidarities are necessarily related to postnationalism.
Internationalism is (according to my reading) a semi-nationalism at the international level. That is, an internationalistic society/nation, or an internationalistic world system that still has some characteristics of nationalism, but they/it see(s) the importance and benefits of a world system for its (i.e. respective nations) own good.
Transnationalism is (again, according to my humble reading) closer to postnationalism, as internationalism is to nationalism. A transnational world system would mean that borders and cleavages between nations are loose and relatively unimportant. It is often said that globalization is closely related to transnationalism, because the globalization of capitalism knows no (or at least finds ways to flow through) borders.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
This weeks reading on Post nationalism was pretty interesting. It was written by Herein Bamyeh. In this article he talks about how globalization is related to and affected by the types of nationalism; post/trans/nationalism. However, he also spent some time focusing on art and culture. He connects nationalism with globalization or at least the modern day globalization because he says it is affected by what people are interested in. This really is nationalism because what people are most interested in usually has to do with their own country.
Bamyeh also discusses how the US does not follow this idea. He says that the United States has formed a new type of imperialism. This is true because the imperial attitude of the United States has been kept strong over the years even when the globalization period faltered and split other nations. The United States has continued to expand is large markets and grown in military. Also, the idea of how people are is beginning to change. I think this idea is interesting however very confusing. Also, I fear this idea relies too much on money and economic wealth. I think we were most nationalistic when we came together and made the United States back when all of the states were technically all different countries. I liked this reading but I think Baymeh could be slightly more clear on topics.
--- Dorothy Smith
Halle says, "Goods, people, and ideas follow the paths opened up by the global capital, drawing disparate people into greater contact with each other, expanding productive capacity to satisfy their material needs, and thereby universalizing their human interdependence. Yet this cosmopolitan form and its commodity relations threaten to reduce specificity, and the human interdependence instead of universal elevation threatens to become a banal massification addressing the needs of the least common denominator."
"Banal massification"? Interesting wording. "No need exists anymore," Halle continues, "to justify the opening of another McDonald's in Beijing as an act of civilization."
This is a pretty negative view of globalization, and one I might be inclined to agree with. But isn't this an Americanized cynicism, saying that humans can't retain any semblance of individuality because of all the Wal-marts and McDonald's everywhere? I don't know if Halle is actually American but this seems like a thoroughly American viewpoint, that mass global capitalism, the oppressive sameness of Wal-mart, can consume us so thoroughly that we no longer retain our individuality, our "specificity."
Halle later states that "a culture industry, and specifically the American culture industry, is blamed for diverting individuals away from their real, 'authentic' interests." His suspiciously passive voice and later arguments make it unclear if he supports this view or not, but he seems to be exerting a gleeful malevolence regarding the whole consumer-zombies thing:
"This culture industry 'deals' with consumers' needs," he says, "producing them, controlling them, disciplining them, and as it creates needs and directs desires, it also appears to rise up and to stand against the interests of cultures, effacing difference, leaving only a totalized homogeneous, consuming mass behind: McWorld."
Ouch. Dawn of the Dead, anyone? Surely it's not that bad. I think this analysis is underestimating the power of a strong family-centered and tradition-centered ethnic culture, the likes of which white people in America, unfortunately, are severely lacking. You can put another McDonald's in Beijing but anyone who's ever met someone from China or studied China at all can tell you that China holds a fiercely nationalist and family-based culture, holding sometimes thousand-year old unique traditions in the highest regard (certainly above McDonald's and Wal-Mart).
And China's just one example. Plenty of other cultures have very rich and vibrant cultures that do not seem at any risk to be consumed by McDonald's. Only white people in America are so empty and unfulfilled in their lack of strong ethnic or cultural identity that we seem to be at risk of Wal-Mart zombieism.
I thought it was very interesting that Bamyeh blamed World War II and other violent events on nationalism. That was a cause and effect that never really occurred to me, but it does make sense. Since nationalism promotes the banding together of the people of a country through the idea that their country is awesome, it should naturally follow that the people would then view their country as superior to others. If they believe that, then a war based on this concept does seem to be the rational outcome. Although other political events instigated the conflicts, Bamyeh’s point that those turned into wars because of nationalism seems to be valid.
One issue with this article is that I disagree with a couple of Bamyeh’s “irrational features” of what he calls new imperialism. First, although a global society is continuing to develop, that does not mean that the need for coercion in order to integrate peoples has disappeared. Thus, it is not irrational for new imperialism to still have an aspect of coercion, even if that is not the best policy. He then asserts that capitalism “no longer identifies itself with the welfare of any specific country,” which I think is a false claim (5). Although I agree that new imperialism continues to encourage a common national interest, I think that capitalism has not yet disentangled itself from the self-interests of nations. The economy may be more global, but that does not mean that any country would sacrifice advantages for itself in order to benefit the whole, which is greatly propagated by capitalism. I still think that Bamyeh believes the world to be more advanced than it really is. I have hope, for example, that globalization will win out over imperialism, but I still think that the transition will be more difficult and is not as far along as Bamyeh expects.
Of the two readings this week, what I found most interesting was Bamyeh’s contrast of European and American attitudes towards postnationalism. While Europe gradually embraced the idea after WWII, America continues to resist and assert its own power.
Nationalism, Bamyeh says, only produced violence, isolation, and expense, and it “by far the most destructive ideology ever experienced by humanity.” Europeans learned this from the destruction of conflict and adjusted accordingly to achieve peace. But while Europeans took such steps as to ensure interdependence and reduce sovereignty, America believed the failure of peace after WWI was due to their own failure to establish hegemony at the end of WWI. While European nations practiced decolonization in favor of commonwealth systems, America developed “new imperialism.”
It is interesting to compare the patterns that Europe and America followed several decades apart. In Europe, transnational institutions such as the UN, NATO, and the Warsaw pact lessened the importance of sovereignty, paving the way to future postnationalism embodied in the European Union. At the end of the Cold War however, America stubbornly refused to relinquish its military power. Instead the US claimed that the fall of the Soviet Union created a “power void”, justifying their hegemonic behavior and backwards “irrational” new form of imperialism.
While Bamyeh made some very good arguments, he presented them in a very clearly biased way, blatantly favoring the European attitude over the American response to postnationalism. And while the European Union was an excellent example of how postnationalism has become very important in Europe, he failed to give supportive examples of his argument regarding the United States. Where, when, and over whom did America exert this new imperialism? He claimed that the still-nationalistic United States uses capitalism as an excuse to impose itself on weaker nations, but he does not name a single occurrence of this.
The essay is basically about the effect of globalization on the world we live in and its effect on nationalism. Because of the increasing global state of our world community, we live in a primarily post national world; our new creative expression exists in a place that does not even exist in our old conceptions of how the world works. Now, it seems as if the prevailing mindset among the global citizens is not one of hostility and separation, but instead one of singularity. This singularity is defined by four central human values: interests, universality, freedom, and deep meaning. While nationalism may claim to provide for these values, growing globalization has caused for the increasing fragmentation of these values and a reformation under new social networks formed on the basis of these values alone.
I found the article interesting, especially the historical background given, with the explanation of European society from the post WWII until now. It seems as if the world wars were such an extreme form of nationalism there was no path except for a post-nationalist state. Now the European Union has joined Europe together in a way that no one saw possible in the 1940s.
The only question I have about the article is about its ending. It ended quite abruptly, and although it brings up new points right before its end, it goes ends quickly after that, without addressing any of them. What exactly do you mean by some of the phrases you introduce at the end, like “life emancipator solidarities”?
This week we were introduced (and reintroduced) to four terms: nationalism, postnationalism, internationalism, and transnationalism. I thought the discussions on nationalism and postnationalism in Mohammed Bamyeh's "Postnationalism" were particularly interesting and insightful.
Nationalism, as we have learned from Hobsbawm's Age of Empire, is the staunch support, primary importance, and (perhaps) irrational pride a polity gives and associates with their nation. Such fierce nationalism was a key cause of the First World War, as the great (nationalistic) nations of Europe were pushed into the war in-part because of their nationalistic tendencies. In Bamyeh's view, the solidarities (religion, education, etc.) in a nationalistic society are necessarily solely within the nation.
This is in contrast with postnationalism, where the solidarities exist at the supranational level. The consensus on the origin of postnationalism seems to be globalization. That is, the reach of capitalistic culture has eroded the borders that once so firmly separated nations and their nationalistic attitudes from one-another. Nations learned that they could benefit from (relatively) lucid trade between/amongst different countries, and that it doesn't hurt to learn a little about other nations and cultures (at least this was/is true in so-called learned circles).
However, I believe there is a step-sister to postnationalism: postmodernism. Postmodernism (the social philosophy) is a radical relativism and skepticism; it is also relevant to today's world. Postmodernism, like postnationalism, seems to have arisen out of the negative effects of nationalism. Postmodernism purports that globalization and its effects on the world are evil. That is, the negative effects on cultures worldwide (sweatshops, exploitation, immorality) have corrupted and destroyed many societies. Thus, postmodernism would like to see a curbing of the effects of globalization, and a return to the "better days" in which cultures were relatively independent of one-another. (Hence, postmodernism is often seen as an alternative and answer to globalization.)
But, in response to this, I think postnationalism would say that such a return to cultural independence and relativism would be a return to nationalism. Such nationalism would close borders and cut-off the exchange of ideas.
Concerning the idea of "world government", I think too many people have dismissed this idea too easily. Of course, the idea of 6 billion+ people popularly electing a single leader, or even a coalition of leaders, seems impossible. However, I think we need to consider the idea of a world confederacy. Such a confederacy would not necessarily have leaders who would be elected by constituencies consisting of billions of people. It would instead be a system of government where the sovereignty of individual nations would still be held in high regard; such postnational federalism would make it easy for nation-states to govern national matters, while an inter-/transnational government would govern/facilitate international matters such as trade and justice (although hopefully the latter would not be needed).
A question(s): will such sociological trends (post-, trans-, and inter-nationalism) lead to a world government?
Another interesting point made in the reading is the change in quality. As capitalism starts to rule the film industry, there is no longer a reason to make quality film. This is because a non-quality film seems to make more money. There is a standard formula (so it seems to me), and filmmakers plug into that formula, and come out with a blockbuster film. That film needs not be interesting, different, or have any nod at quality. Instead, all that matters is money.
With less regional culture, and less inclination for quality, we are experiencing extreme change. Where will this end?
In class there was discussion of a global government, and it was considered ridiculous. However, as globalization continues, is it really impossible that one day we will have a homogeneous global society? Some of my classmates have said this is unlikely because people pride themselves on their heritage. However, America is based on a lack of heritage, a melting pot (or fruit bowl, if we are trying to be PC). America’s ideal seems to be to put aside differences in class, race, gender, etc. and live in harmony, all united under the title of ‘American’. I think that as the age of information continues to take off, geographic boundaries will hold less and less weight, leaving typical ideas of nationalism behind. If Americans so easily gave up their heritage for the title of ‘American’, who is to say future generations will not give up their national titles, leaving heritage behind for the ever globalizing new world?
Halle discusses that this loss of quality in finding the biggest bang for your buck brings a loss to the culture of the region or country. I found this very interesting argument as he began to bring in America and the term “Americanization.” I have never heard that term but it makes me think about what other countries think and view our economic beliefs. Halle introduces Americanization with Hollywood and its hegemony over the film industry. This was funny to me because over the past year or so I kept asking people if Hollywood just gave up because of the lack of good movies being produced. This article makes me realize that they haven’t given up on making movies, but have given up making good movies to insure their profits.
Now, it is hard to blame any company or industry that does what it can to bring in the greatest profits. But to me it seems like American capitalism takes it a little too far. The loss of culture and quality at the expense of profits seems to be how our capitalistic economy is viewed by internationalists. I am sure that not everyone agrees with this, but I know that if I were to visit another country or even start a global company I would not want other countries to have this pre-existing stereotype of how Americans do business. It just doesn’t seem fair that the majority of our wealth is held by only one percent of our population. I have heard talks about spreading the wealth not only throughout our nation, but through other nations as well. When will this futuristic debate/idea become practical or evident?
One of the areas that came up in class was the possibility of a "world government" in which one political association ruled the entire planet. The majority of the class agreed that the idea of the entire planet unifying under one government was quite irrational, and probably impossible, unless the aliens invade, giving us a common enemy to unite against. And because such an intergalactic invasion seems highly unlikely, the world will continue to consist of hundreds of nations interacting in today's increasingly globalized society. However, the possibility of a more united world seems closer to our reach than ever before. We mentioned that even an imperfect United Nations is better than nothing, and that while international cooperation exists only if there is something in it for the helping country, we are making progress. As globalization increases, maybe so will international cooperation.
I would like to discuss further how globalization has affected nationalism. Nationalism in the traditional sense involves feelings of superiority, and complete allegiance to country over everything else. If Bamyeh is correct, than globalization has begun transforming nationalism into postnationalism, I think this process is occurring, though slower than Bamyeh suggests. However, I wonder if postnationalism will every completely replace nationalism as we know it? Will the the French, the English, the Irish... etc. ever consider themselves Europeans first, and citizens of their respective nations second? Will Americans ever think of themselves as North Americans"? This seems unlikely to me. People take so much pride in their heritage and their homeland, and postnationalism simply does not seem strong enough to replace the passions of nationalism.
"Nationalism has thus been an extremely costly project, indeed, by far the most destructive ideology ever experienced by humanity. If there is only one reason to embrace globalization today, it is because it is removing the material support mechanisms that prop up nationalist ideologies. In doing so, it reintroduces into the world alternative modes of conglomeration and solidarity. Some of these are new, others have been in suspension for the seven decades between 1919 and 1989" (Bamyeh 2).
The increase of globalization has pushed nations across the globe to work together to form a global economy. Increased international trade, multinational corporations, globalized financial sectors, and the limitations of national entities power with the creation of multinational organizations such as the United Nations or NATO.
Our country has made a push towards this style, however we have not completely adapted post national tendencies and Bamyeh states, “In the US, we see the emergence not of post national orientations, but of an alternative trajectory. That trajectory does not replace nationalism with postnationalism, but with a fundamentally new kind of imperialism” (Bamyeh 5). Bamyeh identifies six irrational features of this new form of imperialism which state: First, the coercive capacity of the imperial state has not diminished. Second, the imperial state has maintained and even redoubled its commitment to a hierarchical vision. Third, the imperial state continues to assert a common national interest and unified national purpose. Fourth, the new imperialism insists upon isolating the vanquished and rendering large markets and investment opportunities inaccessible to global capitalism. Fifth, the imperial state has responded by reducing its social responsibilities. And Sixth, the categories defining conflict and coexistence shifted from economic to cultural ones. New imperialism differed from the old version practiced by the United States. The new form calls for the state to exist at a much larger level than what is actually warranted by its capacity for rational action as well as ordinary social mandates. The state feels it can justify its global magnitude only upon the basis of this new style of imperialism.
According to Bamyeh in postnationalism there are different solidarities involved, which include spiritual, material, humanist, and life-emancipatory solidarities. I found the humanist solidarities to be the most interesting because this is where we see the most organized groups such as environmentalism, pacifism, human rights, and feminism. The path to postnationalism is also addressed in this article, and the roots were in Europe after World War II, surprisingly not America. An important part of the development in Europe was the dilution of sovereignty, also the European Union, which was explained to be practically accidental in creating postnationalism. America was different because there were problems with a new kind of imperialism and capitalism at this time. The transnationalism essay also emphasized the importance of capitalism and not just in America but also how it works in globalization. This essay mainly focused on how critics look at transnationalism and its role in film production. For example, the role of the European Audiovisual Conference, which is sponsored by the European Commission, is analyzed.
I was surprised that the American route to postnationalism was actually structurally inferior and also that the essay concluded with the fact that it was all an argument against what Benedict Anderson said about nationalism representing “the most successful modernist ideology of solidarity.” I found this very interesting especially after reading Bamyeh’s entire argument. Also, in the other essay I found the comment about how “critics appear oddly superior” to be rather entertaining since they believed people were all increasingly participating in standardized activities.
In the transnationalism essay, the author also makes a very clear distinction between globalization and transnationalism. Globalization has to do with an economic process, whereas transnationalism involves an “affiliative and ideational network,” but is it impossible for these processes to ever overlap? Are there any present examples of when this happens?
Continuing his analysis, he concludes the United States does not have a postnational culture, but a new form of imperialism. He identifies six major “irrational” features that distinguish this new imperialism from the old imperialism. They are: 1) the coercive capacity of the state has not diminished 2)the imperial state has maintained and expanded its commitment to a hierarchical vision 3)the imperial state continues to find a common national interest even as globalization fragments nations 4)the imperial state isolates the “vanquished” and renders large markets inaccessible to global capitalism 5) the imperial state has reduced its social responsibility and maintained its military strength and 6) the means of defining conflict have shifted from economic to cultural and people of the world are being portrayed differently.
This new imperialism is one of the concepts I find most interesting in this essay. Bamyeh describes the difference between European and American nationalism. The US has harbored “nationalism that does not recognize itself as such” whereas Europe has thrived and expanded using nationalist rhetoric and intention. After the Cold War, Bamyeh argues, America fell into the idea of filling a “power void” rather than focusing on interdependence—hence it created a new type of imperialism which cannot be congruent with globalization. In the past decades, scholars like Friedman and Huntington have focused on the conflicts between cultures—the conflicts between “the imperialists” and the others. These theories portray other cultures and civilizations as static, unchanging and not open to globalization. Overall, I thought the work was very interesting and logical. It got us to see past the stereotypical image of the United States and learn more about the changing world with globalization and “new imperialism”.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Transnationalism (globalization) was a movement that loosened many boundaries between countries. It is a process that involves the global reorganization of the production process. Usually the production of any product can occur in various countries, and it aims to minimize costs. Transnationalism was started in the later half of the 20th century after the birth of the Internet. Cultural imperialism and Americanization are invoked to critique the effects of global capitalism on national cultures.
Multinational corporations could be seen as transnationalism. Corporations like the film industry played a dominant position. The consumer is thought of to be lured by the advertising into the latest blockbuster. Film emerged from the international market and was used for competition. The nation state provided large markets for distribution and took on a national quality. Film was able to jump the national linguistic fetters. A lot of time and money was put into expanding the national market. After World War II, film was the national state interest.
The critique of globalization from the left and the right ends with a turn to the statist position. Problems arise with this statist position as well. It freezes culture and presumes a form of isolatable authenticity, which separates the French people from all others, which ignores the role of contact, dissemination, influence, and diffusion that compels culture.
Analyses of cultural imperialism or monoculture condense and confuse points that should remain distinct. Cultural imperialism must be distinguished from media monopolies and recognize that there is a clear difference between news from one or three corporate sources and no news at all.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Globalization has lead to the creation of social networks that center around one of the central human values (interests, universality, freedom, and deep meaning). The difference between nationalism and postnationalism is that it is impossible to approach nationalism without some form of moral judgment. Also, nationalism is singular in character. Postnationalism encompasses much more than nationalism. It offers multiple venues for solidarity. Nationalism is very costly and very destructive. Postnationalism is concerned with the way in which questions of collective identity are being reworked and is a more specific outcome of globalization. National solidarities started to decline in Europe (where nationalism was introduced) after World War II. In order to reach post nationalism, principles must be met including the dilution of sovereignty. The emphasis upon sovereignty guaranteed war. It also required a specific strategy, which underpinned the birth of postnationalsim.
The United States also experienced post nationalistic ways. The United States initially seemed to harbour the building materials for post national culture. However, The Cold Way ended abruptly and left the warriors with no idea of what to do because there was no fight. On the American side of the Atlantic, a new form of imperialism formed because the state existed at a much greater level than is warranted by its capacity for rational action or ordinary social mandates. There are six major irrational features of new imperialism.
1. The coercive capacity of the imperial state has not diminished.
2. The imperial state has maintained and even redoubled its commitment to a hierarchical vision.
3. The imperial state continues to assert a common national interest and unified national purpose,
4. The new imperialism insists upon isolating the vanquished and rendering large markets and investment opportunities inaccessible to global capitalism.
5. The imperial state has responded by reducing its social responsibilities.
6. The categories defining conflict and coexistence shifted from economic to cultural ones.
Post nationalistic culture is fragmented rather than wholistic like nationalism. It is also not coterminous with state ideology and approaches all given identities as fetters and emphasizes expansive action in the world. European trajectory toward postnationalism suggests the priority of state action. There are four starting points for post nationalism solidarities. These include:
1. Spiritual solidarities
2. Material solidarities
3. Humanist solidarities
4. Life-emancipator solidarities