Cosmopolitan Society and its Enemies Historical Amnesia Narratives

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Kazuma Matoba


Since the end of the Cold War, the world has not abandoned ‘the dream of cosmopolitan peace’ (Alexander 2005). The adjective ‘cosmopolitan’ refers to the political and philosophical concept that all human beings are members of a single community. In the 21st century, however, the world faces a stark reality that is far from this vision, one which is consumed by an epidemic of social inequality and global injustice. The refugee crisis, climate injustice, racism, nationalism, terrorism, and other challenges are rooted in serious, untreated historical traumata which ultimately can lead to a collective form of amnesia related to these respective histories. I argue that to build a resilient, cosmopolitan society requires giving voice and expression to the narratives of victims of perpetration. And, equally important is to disclose the hidden intention in the historical narratives voiced by perpetrators. Through the exploration of these narratives, I argue, citizens will begin to wake up from their historical amnesia.

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