Ref. :  000000128
Date :  2001-01-26
Language :  English
Home Page / The whole website
fr / es / de / po / en

Global Village

Global Village

Since Mac Luhan spread the haunting leitmotiv of the ‘global village’, it has been relayed by those who think that ‘globalisation’ and ‘the information society’ would help to build it. But what does this affirmation of the publicity and marketing men mean: ‘The world is a village’? What do they mean by that?

Mainly, that the geographic frontiers have been destroyed by ‘new information and communication technology’ (NICT) – with all the consequences that this entails. The world would therefore be a village because my graphic designer in San Francisco, my printer in Singapore and I can talk to each other as if we were all in the same room – because in a matter of seconds I can check the model that my Californian graphic designer has just modified and forward it with the final proof to the Singaporean printer, who can immediately adapt the print characteristics with the graphic designer… But ‘village’ is not just the reduction, or even the disappearance of terrestrial distance: the word is equally a synonym for familiarity. ‘Global village’ means that there will no longer be anything in this world that would be really foreign, that almost everything, on the contrary, would be known or knowable. For if we have not already identified the interlocutors that we need, we will have no difficulty in doing so thanks to our communication networks, our ‘research engines’ and our databases.

From another point of view, the world today resembles anything but ‘a village’… These ‘villagers’ make up a community of interests very different from those of the villages that you can still find today on our country roads. In fact everything about this expression is designed to ‘humanise’ the dehumanised encounters of our time. You pour a little bit of the village into the world in order to make it more palatable – precisely because it is not. Because as efficient as the cooperation between the three professionals from France, United States and Singapore may be, it is above all controlled by the aim for short term profit (for a more ‘competitive’ cost price), rather than the aim to actually meet with the other people. All the more so because spinning the ‘Web’ that makes it possible excludes and leaves de facto out in the cold the majority of the world’s inhabitants. The global village of 2001 is thus anything but a political community of equals. It is more a matter of a small, xenophobic, elitist community, sheltered by its material bubble, which lives on the fringes of the majority of earthlings and their concerns. For the inhabitants of a village, as Aristotle notes with irony, are ‘people who have suckled the same milk’. And the inhabitants of the ‘global village’, from San Francisco to Singapore via Paris, have a lot in common in terms of their ways of life, economic and technological means, if not comparable desires… So, in this sense, you can effectively speak of a ‘village’ – but a village which protects and isolates the world’s inhabitant, as in the expression commented on by Littré: ‘This man is clearly from his village: he is badly informed on what happens in the world.’

The concept of village thus reveals its other dimension. It has a naturally limited horizon: the village of the happy few is only really interested in itself. Thus, this village is only ‘global’ in the sense that its inhabitants are scattered around the whole globe, whilst still being strongly linked together. But it is not the world village, not that the whole world has become a village: it is only the most prosperous and ‘most developed’ part of it.

To clear up the confusion, it would be better to speak of a ‘village in the world’ than a ‘global village’. Indeed, global village is the malicious or naive expression of those who present the world as a single village for all its inhabitants. A ‘village in the world’ is a very different idea that the current world engenders transnational communities regrouping – across geographical, linguistic and cultural boundaries – all those who have activities, ways of life and living conditions in common, who know it and talk about it amongst themselves – the first of these villages being none other than the self-designated ‘global village’ of the richest communicators…

Let us not think that it is by chance that the well-meaning globalisation proselytes have developed the notion of a village, rather than that of a city. In fact, with their slogan about the current world which would take the shape and charm of the villages of yesteryear, it also highlights en creux the incredibly political involution which carries a certain conception of ‘globalisation’: the project of returning to a form of communitarian organisation whose aim would be the pure satisfaction of the villagers interests, without any consideration for the ‘rest of the world’.

(This article synthesises a longer study by the same author. It can be found in French at the following address : Le Monde est-il un village ? Et peut-il être une Cité ?)

Rate this content
Average of 98 ratings 
Rating 2.44 / 4 MoyenMoyenMoyenMoyen
Same author:
 flecheLeçons de la « Grippe espagnole » de 1918-1919
 flecheL’intelligence de la bibliothèque publique
 flecheTriomphe de la post-citoyenneté
 flechePublication de L'Homme post-numérique
 flecheCharlie : comment répondre au défi ?
 flecheDigital Domination
 flecheAcerca de los Megaproyectos en Uruguay
 flecheEurope, Maghreb, Machrek : Que faire ensemble du monde euro-méditerranéen, maintenant et pour les dix prochaines années ?
 flecheWhy the need for a Universal Declaration of Democracy?
 flecheThe meaning of “carnage”?
 flecheLa « culture numérique » : à problématique « nouvelle », approches et solutions différentes ?
 flechePiratage (Modifier l'approche du ---)
 flecheDiversité culturelle et dialogue interculturel : confusion ou exigence ?
 flechePiratage (modifier l’approche du ---)
 flecheRéévaluer « l’économie de la création » à l’âge de la dématérialisation numérique
 flecheAbstract of a keynote speech at the "Dialogos da Terra no Planeta Agua" (November 26-28, Minas Gerais - Brazil)
 flecheCosmopolitical approach to Water
 fleche« Fin d’un monde » ou crise de son modèle ?
 flecheLa culture pour rendre le monde vivable
 flecheTransparence (Révélation de l’opacité, mondialisation de la --- ?)
 flechePour une éducation à la diversité culturelle et au dialogue interculturel
 fleche10 Thesis about the present meaning and orientation of Global research
 flecheTravail et emploi : la confusion permanente
 flecheCultural diversity
 flecheLa Convention sur la diversité culturelle reste à mettre en œuvre!
4 tâches prioritaires pour la société civile

 flecheCultures et mondialisations : les sons de la diversité

 flechePhilosophie des mondialisations et mondialisation de la philosophie

 flecheLaw of Globalization and/or globalization(s) of Law ?
 flechePauvreté et Violence
 flecheDiversité culturelle : un projet cosmopolitique
 flecheFor an offensive concept of cultural diversity
 flecheCultural diversity, globalisation and mondialisations
 flecheLa Puissance du rituel mondial
 flecheWord Social Forum n°5 : A trial of truth
 flecheComercio de la democracia, democracia del Comercio
 flecheOMC : la refondation ou la fin ?
 flecheFor a reassessment of the concept of cultural diversity
 flecheWar, the supreme stage of poverty?

 fleche‘Fight against poverty’: for a new order

 flecheGlobal and mondial
 flecheTowards a philosophical pedagogy of NICTs
 flecheThe critical sharing of globalisation(s) could be achieved by appropriate intercultural education and training
 flecheAway with "anti-globalisation"
 flecheJohannesburg (Le risque de...)
 flecheQue peut être "l'exception culturelle" ?
 flecheLa diversité culturelle : du consensus mou au projet politique
 flechePrivatisation or sharing of cultural identities and diversity?
 flecheMorale et politique
 flecheTemps fragiles
 flecheDématérialisation de l’argent, déresponsabilisation du sujet politique
 flecheDématérialisation de l’argent
 flecheLe GERM : un laboratoire de la diversité culturelle pour comprendre «la globalisation» et les mondialisations
 flecheLa Bonté des maîtres du monde
 flecheProblématique des mondialisations
 flecheLe Monde est-il un village ?
Et peut-il être une Cité ?

 flecheLe cas Napster
 flecheLa controverse de Gênes
 flecheEconomie de la matrice, cosmopolitique de la diversité
 flecheLe cheval de Troie des Amériques
 flecheThe Napster affair
 flecheRien de nouveau sous le Soleil noir de la mondialisation
 flecheDe la mondialisation aux mondialisations : domination ou partage du monde ?
 flecheLe Monde en perspective
 flecheFractures (résorber les --- )
 flecheGlobalisation : the law of the strongest ?
 flechePour une ''philosophie des mondialisations''
Keywords   go
Translate this page Traduire par Google Translate

Share on Facebook
Partager sur Twitter
Share on Google+Google + Share on LinkedInLinkedIn
Partager sur MessengerMessenger Partager sur BloggerBlogger