What I’d like to see amongst bloggers - Cosmopolitanism"A ‘Britishblog’, from my vantage, is not necessarily one that only focuses on local affairs, but which can most certainly stand for ‘British’ multicultural and egalitarian-spirited perspective on global affairs."
…is interest in global affairs. There is an interesting reason for this. Given that whatever the differences in cultural, historical, political, economic and social conditions, there is still one condition that is identical – the human condition.
What is this ‘human condition’? I don’t know. But I do know what is required to understand it, and that is attention to the varying manifestations of shared generic conditions. For instance, we might have different cultures, which in turn develop various and varying aspects of our persona, but the shared generic condition is ‘culture’ in itself, and its significant contribution to our perspectival development. Hence, attention to varying cultures draws our attention, not to ‘differences’, but to the yet to be tapped potentials of our persona.
If we don’t engage in such endeavours, the developmental trajectory of ‘progress’ is localised or ‘nativised’. For instance, I’ve noticed that in fascist states, ‘progress’ moves onto ‘democratic fascism’ – which I liken to a people who reach into a bag of vipers for an antidote. If we do not look elsewhere for examples of what else we can be, we’ll just end up doing our best within the perspectival constraints of a bad situation.
The above perspective is founded on a foundational truth – that cultures are borne of perspectivally distinguishable and relatively insulated histories. Hence, whilst it renders us thoughtful along some lines, it blinds us in others. This deficiency is not necessarily addressed in a globalised village. Rather, the inverse can very well be true as insecurities in the face of difference or the unfamiliar can actually lead us to seek refuge in the familiar. The only thing we might need then is the validation of the continued relevance of our cultures by way of our being able to advance economically – typical of Confucian societies where it is utilised to argue against the relevance of ‘reason’ in ‘progress’ and ‘cultural identification’, and which in turn serves to feed fascist, culturally exclusive, supremacist tendencies, and which founds the basis for the ‘asian democracy’ vs. ‘western democracy’ discourse.
Even other positive potentials of cultures can be discarded for its economic irrelevance and we move closer toward becoming nothing more than reproductive, consumeristic, economic units – as is gradually becoming the case in India, amongst others – as I’ve been inclined to say in my irate moments, ‘the Indian IT professional is, relatively, the idiot of Indian civilisation as s/he only represents and utilises a minuscule portion of the popular metaphysical and logical wealth of India but is rewarded much for it’. For example, as I’ve said to quite a few of my Chinese (social) associates, it is upon exposure to difference and new ideas and perspectives that one is afforded the opportunity to grow, but if this is not actively engaged in, than the passage of time simply serves to build up strategies of resistance which is exacerbated by reaching out to one’s existing formulae for comprehension to discount it and carry on with the business of life. In this, long-term exposure to difference and the unfamiliar can actually lead to articulated resistance. In this, the world wide web can very well tend to validate cultural exclusivity and introversion as opposed to countering it.
What we need is cultural interactivity amongst bloggers and writers. By speaking on others’ interests, we afford them exposure to another take on things which their own cultural experiences would not enable them to discern. At the same time, we are also directed to variables and perspectives, due to differences, which our own culture might disable us from appreciating. In this, both can avail themselves of other ways of looking at things which we have been trained to appreciate in our culturally-induced ways. Hence, in this respect, to care about another, to show interest in their affairs, is to actually empower ourselves with perspectives which we might otherwise forego.
Yes, we can identify ourselves as ‘BritishBlogs’, ‘AfricanBlogs’, ‘LatinAmericanBlogs’ and so on, for the purpose of providing a congregational point for in-depth discussions of local affairs, but it ought not to serve as a reason for not bothering with that which is without. Why should such a definition serve to confine our interests, especially when being cosmopolitan in interest renders us more adept at resolving our own issues? A ‘Britishblog’, from my vantage, is not necessarily one that only focuses on local affairs, but which can most certainly stand for ‘British’ multicultural and egalitarian-induced perspective on global affairs. This trend amongst bloggers and blog-listings in expecting that local blogs and writers confine their field of vision within the illusory and self absorption-inducing boundaries of the nation-state works against the fruition of local perspectival potentials on a global stage. That renders us citizens of the world in presence, but not in perspective, and not in potential.