The Culture Guy pontificates about cosmopolitans, the signs of the times, and how four agreements will help you stand for who you are.
We have been seeing a rise of nationalist, protectionist, or xenophobic tendencies across the world. The Culture Guy Podcast takes a look at the dilemma this creates for some of us. For those who live and work across cultural or national borders.
Inspired by the article In Defense of Cosmopolitanism by INSEAD professor Gianpiero Petriglieri, this episode wants to be reminder and a call to action: To remind cosmopolitans to avoid living in an elitist echo chamber. And an appeal to defend the ideals of cosmopolitan life.
Gianpiero makes an excellent case when he says cosmopolitanism is becoming a casualty in the clash between nationalism and globalization:
While they might sound similar, cosmopolitanism is not the same as globalization. One is a fragile personal attitude, the other is a relentless socio-economic force. One strives to humanize the different, the other to homogenize it. One celebrates curiosity, the other convenience. (Curiosity is often inconvenient.) One is embracing, the other expansive. One is easy to lose, the other hard to stop. Nationalism and globalization are more similar to each other than to cosmopolitanism, that way. And cosmopolitanism is what might help us counter nationalism and humanize globalization, pushing it to be a vehicle of freedom and opportunity for most, not just a privileged few.
So, what’s to be done?
Yes, we think of ourselves as a welcoming and tolerant bunch. Welcoming isn’t enough, though. It’s passive. We need to be active and reach out. To those who feel left out or haven’t been able to follow us on our culture crossing paths.
If we retreat to living in a cosmopolitan tribe and try to simply protect our cultural advances and our economic privileges, we will only help the nationalistic trends. There is no return to a world without globalization – no matter how protectionist some countries may become.
Gianpiero Petriglieri talks about an “urgency to humanize globalization,” which he feels is both cultural and economic. To improve globalization, to make it more human we need to “double down on cosmopolitanism, reclaiming its humanistic roots and acknowledging that its promise is far from fulfilled.”
If you are interested in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, which was mentioned towards the end of this episode: Here is how you can get your copy of The Four Agreements.
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