ERIC Number: ED214854
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
The Moving Cultural Frontier of World Order: From Monotheism to North-South Relations.
Mazrui, Ali A.
This essay argues that the history of the international system has revolved around a moving frontier of cultural exclusivity. It is one of a series of working papers commissioned by the World Models Project in its effort to stimulate research, education, dialogue, and political action aimed at contributing to a movement for a just world order. Originating under monotheism, the cultural frontier has been characterized by a persistent "us/them" dichotomy. Civilizations which anthropomorphized God in monarchical terms tended to divide the world between the God-fearing and sinner. This tendency was reinforced by the culture of politics which differentiated supports from adversaries. Both were embodied in early international law such that a system of rules for civilized nations did not apply to "them"--the rest of the world--thus opening the door to imperialism and eventual class stratification in the international system. Although the cultural frontier has been moving due to secular challenges, the major challenges to Judaeo-Christian monotheism--Marxism and Islam--are themselves dualistic: the Marxist dialectic is inherently of this nature as is the tension between good and evil in Islam. The interrelationship between major cultural themes in today's world, coupled with a developmental system of stratification which is based on technical know-how, suggests that important but hidden problems of a cultural nature are contained in the world order agenda. (Author/RM)
Descriptors: Christianity, Cultural Differences, Cultural Influences, Global Approach, International Law, International Relations, Islam, Judaism, Marxism, Peace, Politics, Religion, Religious Differences, World Affairs, World Problems
Institute for World Order, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017 ($2.00, 5-25 copies, $1.50).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: World Order Models Project.
Authoring Institution: Institute for World Order, New York, NY.
Identifiers: World Order
Note: Paper presented at the Working Group on "Culture, Power and Global Transformation" of the World Order Models Project (Lisbon, Portugal, July 13-20, 1980).