I recall having a conversation with a friend a while back about some geopolitical conflict, and he remarked that he didn’t see any point to the nation-state. He said that our geographical borders don’t matter anymore, and we should be transitioning to a global village. I didn’t flinch when he said this, because it wasn’t that long ago when I sort of believed the same thing. I repeated the citizenry of the world mantra, believing it was a more sophisticated and evolved point of view. Heck, I even had affirmation with the worldcentric Integral folks who espoused this perspective within their community.
David Gelernter came up with a clever phrase for this condition: Post-Religious Globalist Intellectuals, or PORGI’s.
Back in the day, being a PORGI made you feel like you were one of those cool, mod-looking guys who would sit in coffee shops in the French New Wave films of the 60’s. Or that’s at least the way I saw myself.
Truthfully, it really was a cop-out on my part due to my ignorance around history.
Gelernter says, “If you are torn out of history, unplanted and uprooted, your natural loyalties to your nation and religious community disappear. You can float free and easy like a helium balloon above ordinary people and their little loyalties. You can live for the moment, flying high, having fun and drifting comfortably with all the other helium balloons… PORGI Airheads see America as a mere multicultural grab bag with no more unity or purpose than the “gorgeous mosaic” inside a box of assorted cookies. And every other nation is assumed to be the same.”
I believe PORGI’s mistaken abstractions for the real. And yet, the more abstract our concepts become, the more they become alienated from the real and our Being. All those German philosophers and the Dewey’s of the world did a good job infiltrating our educational system where many concrete principles were torn down. In place of that, we are left with some post-Kantian secular morality mashed-up with feel good collectivism that fails to care for the particular.
Dennis Prager says, “The person who has ties to his country, his religion, his family, his friends, his volunteer group, his local community, his college, his coworkers, and so on is a far better person than one who only has ties to humanity. One does not— because one cannot— have ties to “humanity” that are as strong as the ties one has to a specific group. No normal person reacts to a plane crash that kills passengers from a distant country with the same emotional intensity that one feels toward a plane crash that kills fellow nationals.”
It may be reconciling a PORGI mindset with a more traditional one is futile. But in actuality, it may mean that we need to align our beliefs with our concrete actions in everyday life. Consider it a sort of homecoming.