Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cosmopolitanism May Solve Group Bias, But at the Risk of Meaninglessness

We all live in groups and take part of our identity from them.  We tend to identify with our groups.  And, as a result, we tend to be biased toward our group, and against out-groups.

Being biased against other groups is a problem of alienation. The Other stands over-against us.  Marxism is centrally concerned with problems of alienation.

Liberalism is centrally concerned with overcoming bias against other groups by treating others (and oneself) as individuals. The liberal solution to the problem of parochial attachment only to my group is to become a cosmopolitan, a citizen of the world, not bound by any group.

However, if we are not tied to any group, we face another problem: anomie. Anomie is the sense that there is no law (nomos), no order, no meaning, no "there" there.  We look into the abyss of meaninglessness.  Durkheimianism is centrally concerned with anomie.