Globalization – the new Secularization Thesis?

By Patrick J. Deneen for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC

Greet the newest columnist for “The Hoya,” Georgetown’s biweekly student newspaper. In today’s column (which runs fortnightly), I question whether the current academic swooning over “globalization” is the newest iteration of “the secularization thesis,” i.e., a false and mistaken elite ideology that obscures essential countervailing facts out of a willful form of wishful thinking. Is our effort to prepare students for our “globalized” future an anticipation of our inevitable future, or a form of partisan cheerleading for a progressive apotheosis? Space constraints prevented me from making a lengthier case for the superiority of a countervailing “localization” thesis, but at least I may have caused slight cognitive dissonance over a few students’ coffee this morning. Read the whole thing here.

My first column noted that universities have addressed the economic crisis largely as a technical, financial or regulatory problem – and not as a moral failing. For that reason, our leading institutions have avoided examining their own complicity in fostering an atmosphere of competition-at-any-cost, implicitly encouraging many of our own graduates to cut necessary corners when it came to the pursuit of money-making. If we proudly lay claim to Rhodes scholars and other distinguished accomplishments of our graduates, doesn’t truth-in-advertising demand we also acknowledge responsibility for those graduates who helped bring about the near-collapse of the global financial system?

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