With the breach of spatial, political, and economic boundaries, the global age has ushered in the amalgamation and cross-contamination of traditional and modern cultures. Different worlds have blended together and become confused, and the same has happened to images of humanity. The ensuing humanity has specific features that are utterly novel with respect to the past: a minimal, fragmented humanity, plural rather than singular, differentiated rather than homogeneous, which everyone experiences in his/her everyday life. Politics and culture must address these new circumstances, in the knowledge that we can neither return to the past nor act as if nothing has changed. Discarding vacuous and even dangerous solutions (such as the full assimilation of foreigners and their comprehensive integration into citizenship), the author identifies in the multicultural model the only strategy that can meet the new challenge, a strategy capable of depriving conflict of its explosive potential and saving humanity and the authentic differences between individuals.
Carlo Galli teaches History of Political Ideas at the University of Bologna.