Globalization and/or Mondialisation

The preface to Jean-Luc Nancy's The Creation of the World or Globalization:

"The creation of the world or globalization": the conjunction must be understood simultaneously and alternatively in its disjunctive, substitutive, or conjunctive senses.

According to the first sense: between the creation of the world or globalization, one must choose, since one implies the exclusion of the other.

According to the second sense: the creation of the world, in other words globalization, the former must be understood as the latter.

According to the first sense: the creation of the world or globalization, one or the other indifferently, leads us to a similar result (which remains to be determined).

The combination of these three senses amounts to raising the same question: can what is called "globalization" give rise to a world, or to its contrary?

Since it is not an issue of prophesizing nor of controlling the future, the question is, rather, how to give ourselves (open ourselves) in order to look ahead of ourselves, where nothing is visible, with eyes guided by those two terms whose meaning evades us — "creation" (up to this point limited to theological mystery), "world-forming" [mondialisation] (up to this point limited to economic and technological matters, generally called "globalization").

I am interested in this passage (and the book generally) for two reasons: first, I had the opportunity to meet M. Nancy this summer in Switzerland at the European Graduate School. While I had trouble focusing on the paper he was presenting in an English-translated form he clearly wasn't comfortable with, I was captivated by his delivery — regardless of what he was saying I could sense the conviction of his words and the gravitas of his philosophy.

While that provided the impetus for me to learn more about his work, it was the contrast he introduces here between globalization and mondialisation that I wanted to explore further in the context of my proposed Global Village Basketball project. I desire GVB to be about more than economic and technological matters — that is, not strictly about an instrumental globalized sporting event but rather a world-forming in which athletes come to understand both their singular and plural identities through the physical act of playing basketball.

But is this what I am actually creating?


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