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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021


How do we explain the factors that led to the murder by Muslim immigrants of Theo van Gogh in Holland? How do we explain why four young British Muslims should become suicide bombers who killed themselves and 52 innocent members of the British public and injured many more on the London underground on 7/7? How do we explain why a Danish journalist published a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed and the violent reactions that this sparked throughout the world? With a view to answering these and other topical questions this paper will track the development and progress of Globalisation with the intention of exposing the way that competition has been a major factor in its development and in its consequences. In doing so, I shall draw on comparisons with what is becoming known as 'the First Globalisation' - the Industrial Revolution. This was an equally competitive era that had some very similar and dire consequences. I shall then refer to analyses taken from OPUS Listening Posts over a three year period as a means of demonstrating the continuing and deepening affects of Globalisation on all concerned. This will vividly portray the economic, social and political consequences for mainly Western societies around the world; not least the experience of 'death of a way of life'. Moving from the deep impact that Globalisation has had on Western societies the analysis will be carried forward to the inter-cultural level which is where the most serious consequences have and are developing. The view taken is that Globalisation has ignited a ferocious and toxic competition over values and resources that has resulted in a clash of cultures. A result has been acts of terrorism against the West which are at a level not previously experienced. This particularly refers to the clash between Islamic and Western cultures. But we should not ignore the fast developing potential clashes between Sinic and Western cultures; and the beginnings of clashes between South American cultures and the West.