Chapter Three: Stratified World

Table of Contents

We cannot begin to philosophize the tourist as long as we assume a Hegelian-based  world image of history that moves from the family to the citizen, from the citizen to the national subject and, finally, from the national subject to the world citizen. We are in need of a new world image.

Kant thought of the nation-state as if it were a unified personality. Hegel theorized the state to be a civil society’s self-consciousness. In the 19th century, the nation was often imagined to comprise a duality consisting of a society and a state in much the same way that a human comprises both a body and a spirit. The nation-as-human was thought of as unifying these two aspects of being, and the plurality of nations-as-humans would gather to create an international society in much the same way humans create a society. This was the representative image of the world during the age of nationalism.

However, today is a different time. If we consider a civil society to be the body and the state to be the spirit, then in the 21st century we should adopt an image of nations’ bodies (the global economy) becoming one unified and connected platform while their spirits (each nation’s politics) has been separated from it. I call this the Era of the Stratified Orders (lit. two-level structure or niso kozo). Our world is ordered along two different and independent political strata that are not reconcilable with each other: so-called politics (in the Hegelian sense) and economics or its theoretical expressions, nationalism and globalism. We might say that this is also the stratification between the sphere of humans and animals, or communitarianism and libertarianism. The concept of the tourist is conceived of as a new subject who is able to move between these two strata freely.

This text presents a world image similar to that found in Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt’s Empire (2000). They referred to the stratified order of globalism as the sovereignty of Empire, while that of the plural nation-states correspond with the stratified order of nationalism. They also presented the concept of the multitude as an existence resisting the order of the Empire. It is similar to my concept of the tourist but remains too mystical and too vague. Their theory of the multitude exhibits characteristics of “negative theology” (in the Derridian sense) in its sole focus on the existence of solidarity while erasing the singularities of each independent movement. The concept of the tourist is born out of the theoretical drive to overcome this fault.