As mentioned before, science itself amounts to ‘ontology.’ In turn, ontology amounts to the ‘science of the essence,’ with essence acting as the foundation of ‘being’ or existence from an ‘essentialist’ perspective. The essentialist position differs from an existentialist perspective in the sense that the existentialist position contends that ‘being’ or existence can also be void of essence. In turn, the ‘essentialist’ and ‘existentialist’ debate is the ultimate and perhaps final debate of Western philosophy and intellectualism.
Nevertheless, and as Sartre argued, there are essentially two types of ‘being.’ For one, there is ‘being-in-itself.’ And on the other hand, there is ‘being-for-itself.’ The former is real and true, whereas the latter is false and is a lie, in the sense that the former is based on unconscious being, while the latter is based on ‘conscious’ being. For Sartre, the ‘being-in-itself’ and thus unconscious being was the real and true form of being, whereas ‘being-for-itself’ was an artificial and false form of being. In a sense, anyone who is a ‘conscious’ being and is ‘being-for-itself’ is essentially ‘living a lie.’
In a real-life context, for instance, the conscious ‘being-for-itself,’ prompts the delusion and denial in Western circles of the fact and the reality that a mere push of a button in the Kremlin can instantaneously end the war in Ukraine. But short of mutual annihilation, war can also come to an end in a mutually beneficial and peaceful manner, in the sense that everything in politics and international relations is based on interests. Anything short of the alignment of different people’s interests amounts to either a ‘cold war’ or a ‘hot war’ in politics and international relations. For instance, even if we take into consideration Hitler’s invasion of the former USSR in the 20th century, the cultural and social guise of the invasion essentially hid the economic and financial interests which prompted the invasion.
Thus, both conscious political activity and conscious social activity are underpinned by interests more than anything else. And in an age of globalization, state interests are shaped by corporate and financial interests more than anything else. As one scholar argued, the nation-state is “just about through as an economic unit.” In turn, globalization and the demise of the nation-state has led to a “macro-sociological problem” of global proportions. And as Talcott Parsons argued, an economic theory like globalization which has macro-sociological implications is essentially “a subsystem within a class of highly differentiated social systems.” Thus, globalization “is of very great strategic significance” in virtually all societies. In fact, globalization is of greater significance and importance than governments themselves in the broader social system of any country or region of the world.
And as Hannah Arendt noted, the modern ‘nation-state’ has long been shaped by the ‘trinity’ of “people, territory, and state.” All three are then diminished and mitigated by globalization, because globalization essentially blurs the interplay and the neat boxes into which all three elements of a modern nation-state are placed. Globalization is aimed at “expansion for expansion’s sake.” And when “expansion for expansion’s sake” is the ultimate aim or goal, then globalization must transcend the legal, political, and territorial limitations of every modern nation-state. However, and as the history of colonial and imperial expansionism has shown, there is always a popular pushback against the cultural and economic effects of colonial and imperial expansion in various parts of the world. And now, that popular pushback against colonial and imperial “expansion for expansion’s sake” is being witnessed in the Western world itself.