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By Berti Fornari

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Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017

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How does it move between the Netherlands and Africa and back again? … It may flow in people’s skills, or as part of the attribute of 32 Metaphors devices, or in the form of written words … And as it moves, it changes its shape and character. (1994: 664). I have thus considered various metaphors of mobility, including the nomad, the vagabond, the tourist, the ship, the hotel, the motel and the transit lounge. Many of these are illuminating and I return to a number when considering various intersections of belonging and travelling.

Objects of the ‘West’ became used and talked about in multiple informal ways, helping the citizens of such societies to form new bases of personal identity, new ways of collectively remembering and new images of self and society. Many citizens went to inordinate lengths to learn about and to acquire objects that seemingly represented western taste, objects that were immutable in their westernness. Because there was little chance to develop identity within work or politics so it has been argued many people poured their energies into both high (books) and low (pop memorabilia) culture and especially the material objects which symbolised or captured new cultural identities.

I distinguish between global networks and global fluids. Numerous ‘global’ enterprises, such as American Express, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Disney, Sony, BA and so on, are organised on the basis of a global network (see Ritzer 1992; 1995; 1997). Such a network of technologies, skills, texts and brands ensures that more or less the same product is delivered in more or less the same way in every country in which the enterprise operates (if not exactly the same product; no pig products being served in McDonalds in Muslim countries).

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