What troubles one most about the concept of globalization is the suggestion of a process without end: the eternal sunshine of the present continuous tense. It seems to imply both something transcendent (like the World Spirit) and something unstoppable (like a runaway train). This combination of the mystical and the empirical should make us skeptical regardless of whether we are historians or only anthropologists. Historians do not work with an idea of an ineffable flow of time without end unless they are at the service of varieties of religious fundamentalism that believe in eternity. In the current historical juncture, where we are seeing the pervasiveness of ideologies that seek to address the contingencies of the present by recourse to eternal laws and conditions (the superiority of X race or idea), it is necessary to think with...

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