By Ronald Niezen
A global past Difference unpacks the globalization literature and provides a useful critique: one who is forthright, but balanced, and attracts at the neighborhood paintings of ethnographers to counter relativist and globalist discourses.
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Additional resources for A World Beyond Difference: Cultural Identity in the Age of Globalization
18 He swam The Tradition of Rational Utopianism 21 against the tide with his afﬁrmation of equal rights for women, arguing that rights must be the same for all sentient beings endowed with moral ideas and the faculty of reason. And although he believed that the female sex did not as a whole possess the same strengths as men, they were undoubtedly possessed of reason and moral judgment. While they could not hope to reach the lofty heights of Voltaire, women could at least hope to equal such thinkers as Pascal or Rousseau (both of whom he passionately disliked).
It is principally to Marx that we owe the popularization of the idea that history can be understood as a world-historical process leading to human liberation. The perfect society does not need to be described because it is both unknowable and inevitable; its emergence is built into the misery and contradictions of capitalism. His approach to history can be characterized as a kind of fatalistic anti-pluralism. Every society is soon to be absorbed and transformed by the productive activities, institutions, and social relations of capitalism; and this process would eventually (he thought imminently) create catastrophic, global conditions for a Great Revolution that will usher in a world of social harmony and individual fulﬁlllment.
16 None of this would be possible, however, without an approach to the law in which the natural rights of the individual are protected, in which nothing is prohibited beyond those actions that infringe upon the rights of others, and in which rights and duties apply equally to all. These underpinnings of universal rights are inseparable from scientiﬁc discovery; they comprise the most important conditions necessary for the freedom of scholars and fulﬁlllment of the social promise of science. These rational principles led Condorcet toward the most thoroughgoing approach toward rights of his time.
A World Beyond Difference: Cultural Identity in the Age of Globalization by Ronald Niezen