Jacques Chirac took time off last week from promoting the EU and UN to worry about the threat posed by US cultural hegemony to the ecology of cultural particularism. A single world culture that chokes out the diversity of local cultures would be a “sub-culture,” he said, and would constitute a catastrophe for humanity.
I couldn’t agree with him more, but it’s odd that concerns about the choking effect of universal systems only become prominent when the universal system to be imposed on everything everywhere is one that doesn’t give Chirac and his friends enough influence. It’s also worth noting that the ecology of particularism he has in mind is one he can control: as the article says “Chirac stressed that only with government assistance could countries maintain their cultural heritage.” Like everything else, it seems, cultural heritage is something state bureaucrats do. I think the lefties use the term “instrumentalization” for this kind of thing.