The concept of Internationalism….


Is Internationalism metaphorical?



The concepts of universalism and internationalism were originally fostered by a European and American intellectual peer-group, who, as followers of traditional Western philosophies, considered themselves rational and ‘enlightened’. Richard Rorty, quoted in Blosser (1995), is critical of the reasoning of this nomenklatura, stating that truth is ‘that which your peers let you get away with saying’. Norris (1993) adds to this opinion when he comments on those who believe that discourse through subjective conformation to reach a universal truth is the ultimate moral guide. Alternatively, the concept of ethical globalisation through cyberspace will, by its democratic nature, be subject to the mores of the general population. Gross (1997:85) states that cognitive development theory demonstrates that only 5-13 percent of any given population is capable of post-conventional reasoning.

Since liberal democracy requires the broad tolerance of overlapping ethnic, religious and social groups not incompatible with average cognitive ability, its shared concepts of justice and morality are based on the higher reasoning of principled moral actors. If this is the case, it is unlikely that the same system can prevail into the heavily democratised information age, where morality will be dictated more by agumentum ad hominem than enlightened leadership. Whilst traditional theory such as David Hume and John Stuart Mill’s, which has shaped modern attitudes, illustrates man as capable of political and ethical subtlety, Higgens (1980) states that there are relatively few moral principled moral thinkers in the general population and efforts to cultivate extensive moral development have proved disappointing. If we accept these circumstances it is difficult to reconcile them with Kantian thinking, which, according to Ahmad (2003), provided part of the background from which capitalism emerged and globalisation is emerging.