Is pluralism the only answer?

By Ahsan ul Haq Globalization has brought the humanity closer, made us interdependent and given us endless opportunities to understand each other, our different cultures and the ability and agility to explore different areas of the world in order to examine the diversity within human society. The evolution of the World Wide Web which has given us the internet, and social media in particular, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many similar social networking sites has become a catalyst in the process of globalization. With every passing moment we are facing other individuals with unfamiliar beliefs, different ethnicities, atypical culture, unfamiliar languages, unique customs, speech, music and costumes. Globalization has made mankind more familiar with each other but instead of taking this familiarity as a blessing, many increasingly see it as blight. Today we know each other, we interact with each other on a daily basis, people are visiting other countries more frequently, we have seen, and experienced, the diversity within humanity but still the gulf between human beings is becoming intensely deeper and deeper and serious problems like terrorism, extremism, sectarianism, hatred born by fear of differences and enmity are becoming more dominant on a daily basis. We have developed nuclear and space technology, advanced medicines and medical procedures, hospitals, universities and everything that benefits human beings but still we feel highly insecure and vulnerable. Unfortunately, we feel insecure not because of aliens, animals or other super-natural creatures but we are afraid and insecure of our fellow human beings, just because they are different from ‘us’, they follow different religions, they practice unfamiliar rituals, their beliefs are different from us and they are only different because ‘we’ don’t understand. We are in a continuous abstract war with each other to prove our own identity valid, by considering other’s identity with disdain. We consider the diversity of humanity a threat to our own identity. Due to this misconception, and lack of understanding, we find ourselves today to be faced with a situation full of paranoia and hate dominating today’s world. Due to this feeling of insecurity and fear, nations are in great trouble. They are spending billions on defence and the military. Nations are fencing boundaries, revising and introducing more restrictive immigration policies and are making abrupt and fierce changes in foreign policies. However, increasing and upgrading military arsenals, introducing restrictive immigration policies, banning immigrants and abolishing bilateral relations is not the solution to overcome this fear. Indeed changes such as this only make us feel even more entrenched and a time will come that the trench we dig for ourselves will become so deep that we cannot climb out. To overcome this fear “Pluralism” appears to be the only solution. Pluralism is a process or a system in which many states, groups, sects, and actors from diverse background coexist. In other words Pluralism is another name of acceptance. Pluralism is to accept the “otherness” of others. In Europe the industrial revolution of the 19th century is an example of globalization that benefited or had the potential to benefit the whole mankind and both world wars are examples of inward looking nationalistic and fear of their differences and further examples of how nations suffer when they challenge the purpose of globalization. The same Europe after Second World War is a good example of how nations can rebuild and flourish when they welcome pluralistic. Europe argued and fought amongst each other for centuries to finally understand the fact that identities cannot be saved or exterminated through fighting wars but identities can be saved and nourished when we accept the differences within another’s identity. We can always “agree to differ”. Globalization has metaphorically shrunk today’s world – “our world” – so it is futile to go against it. Pluralism appears to be the only solution for peaceful coexistence in this globalized world. Pluralism can bring peace and harmony and it is our differences that make the world such a rich and interesting place for all of humanity to reside. (The writer, a resident of Booni, is currently studying International Relations at the Quaid-e- Azam University Islamabad).]]>

7 Replies to “Is pluralism the only answer?”

  1. Good job ehsan . You have highlighted the more serious issue our part of the world is facing currently. Well written and constructed . Keep it up and keep evolving.

  2. Nice piece of writing, relevant to current situation prevailing in the whole world. Keep it up.

  3. nicely put forward by this gentleman. the topic chosen is really relevant and demanding. simple to understand and flow of writing is also appealing. he deserves a lot congratulations. But what you must focus in future is to avoid from long sentences and try to use such words which could home a lot of meanings in them. well written and keep it up.

  4. What is pluralism in government..??? And How the Power will be distributed in a political process if we start practicing pluralism..??

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