Thursday, January 21, 2010

Internationalism As Secular Religion

A William and Mary Classmate is now working in Shanghai and is behind the Great Wall of Censorship. I have been sending him whole articles in emails to get around this. Rereading this post and the paper attached to it from three years ago, I thought it worth reposting.

Please note, Anderson is not a Christian believer, and so does not come to this observation perceiving this religion as a competitor.

Kenneth Anderson of Washington College of Law at American University and the Hoover Institute at Stanford has an article which will be dear to the heart of those who have participated in the discussion of American tribes: Secular Eschatologies and Class Interests of the Internationalized New Class. Behind this imposing title is the idea that internationalism is an essentially religious belief which does not expose itself to competing ideas. I found the first and last thirds of this 10-page pdf more compelling than the middle, but it is otherwise excellent. An excerpt from the abstract: human rights and liberal internationalism can be thought of partly as religious movements, with an eschatological world view of a politically unified world under an overarching moral doctrine of international human rights. Yet this same liberal internationalism-human rights eschatology can also be seen as the ideological project of a global new class, an emerging global bourgeoisie that sees itself at once in technocratic, yet redemptionist terms, driven by the material facts of economic globalization but motivated by a universalist religious vision.

The Academic-speak looks worse than it is. Those of you who have been following the A&H Tribe arguments here won't find it too difficult.


Gringo said...

The Academic-speak looks worse than it is.
It's bad enough, or at least the title is. It reminds me of taking the GRE, which faced me with the task of deciphering prose written in Sociology-speak. I chose the answers which were the most incoherent. Judging by my score, that was a viable strategy.

james said...

IIRC, by the Peace of Augsburg the ruler got to decide the religion of the people he ruled. Something similar seems to be at play here: who rules the schools (and media) decides the religion.