By Paul W James
Globalism, Nationalism, Tribalism establishes a brand new foundation for figuring out the altering nature of polity and group and gives exceptional consciousness to those dominant traits. Paul James charts the contradictions and tensions all of us come across in an period of accelerating globalization, from genocide and terrorism to tv and finance capital.
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Extra info for Globalism, Nationalism, Tribalism: Bringing Theory Back in (Theory, Culture and Society Series)
It is because the community of the nation subjectively and objectively remakes itself every day. The evening ended with the now iconic video-image of the US flag flying silently over the debris of the collapsed towers. No commentary. No introductions. No credits. qxd 3/17/2006 5:07 PM Page 28 GLOBALISM , NATIONALISM , TRIBALISM naturally know what the image meant. By a generalizing shift, expressed first in the words of politicians in the United States, the attack on the World Trade Center thus became an attack on ‘us all’ – and we could choose to step into the interpellated space of ‘us all’, either as national or global citizens … or we could choose to be disloyal.
This in itself should have given pause for thought, but nevertheless the term quickly became part of the social theory lexicon as an easy shorthand concept for an extraordinarily complicated phenomenon. 7 More than that, the embedded and grounded meaning of the terms themselves – living on one’s own land, extension of the hand – carry us further into the contradictions of our time. The expressions of the abstraction of our relationship to others are often carried in the relatively concrete language of the body and of grounded place.
One of the reasons in the past for this lack of direct attention was a curious theoretical stumbling point that afflicted writers well into the twentieth century. Let me take one illustration. In 1915, in the cataloguing spirit of high modernism, the now-unknown Basil Hammond published a magisterial world history that took the political forms of community as its direct subject. For all this attention, he was unable to overcome one of the common issues of his time: the difficulty of treating an abstract community and associated bodies politic as ongoing forms of social relations.