Globalisation and Culture

Globalisation in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s vision of the ideal of human unity

I

“Globalisation” is an attractive word; for it evokes in us a noble sentiment of “one earth” and of humankind as one race born of one common Mother Earth; it raises in us a beam of the ideal of human unity and of universal fraternity. But when we examine the current phenomenon of globalisation, we find that it is a growing network spreading over the whole globe in which the old forces of competition and resultant asymmetrical relations constitute the central network of action and reaction. Here globality is the globality of market forces that are free to develop hegemony of dominant and rich nations. We do not find here global relations of cooperation, even of friendliness. This is no manifestation of global consciousness in which unity and oneness predominate.

At its root, contemporary globalisation is a result of the material circumstances where scientific discoveries have made our earth so small that its vastest kingdoms seem now no more than the provinces of a single country. Considering that the human intellect has at present been so much mechanised that it is likely to push forward the tide of globalisation through mechanical means and through social and political adjustments. This is where we can foresee the perils of the coming day, unless normative consciousness of humanity intervenes in a decisive way.

Globalisation can not be arrested; mechanical means for their operations and rapid advancements have been set to work, and there is no agency of wisdom which has yet come to the surface to control and to guide; and, in reality, wisdom can not become mechanical and can not translate itself into any artificial agency. If, therefore, perils of globalisation are to be avoided, efforts have to be made to effect a great change in the heart and mind of the human race; people have to awake to wisdom in time and accept the difficult process of inner change, even though external adjustments will also need to be effected. The truth behind globalisation is, indeed, that of the ideal unity of the human race, but to bring forth that truth and to make it operative, we seem to be in need of a deeper study of the issues and of a greater opening to profounder means and remedies.

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