Page 19 The disavowal of cosmopolitanism after 1968 could be explained in the context of the global Leftâs repudiation of Stalinism and the decline of internationalism following decolonization. The postcolonial state, from which the gospel of diverse collectivity could have been preached (whether universalism, nonsectarian uniformitarianism, or multiculturalism), was exposed as ideologically bankrupt. Hijacked by local elites for their ï¬nancial betterment and ethnic domination, the postcolonial state survives as a homeostasis between global powers and internal contradictions. Responses to the failure of modernization theses and developmental agendas took several routes. One tendency was the repudiation of cosmopolitanism itself as a bourgeois, Western, or delocalized aesthetic aspiration, outmoded and tone-deaf to contemporary realities. A more tolerant (if patronizing) downgrading of cosmopolitanism represented it as a noble but idealist goal that could not respond to, or correspond with, the rootedness of local politics, interests, cultures, and perturbations. Thus cosmopolitanism was seen as politically ineffective but nonetheless tolerable in manifestos, mission statements, and party congresses. However, after these reactions reached the dead end of extreme particularity with the fragmentary positions of subnationalisms, radical relativism, and the micropolitics of location, it appears that several thinkers have taken a step back in the
Social Text – Duke University Press
Published: Mar 1, 2001
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