Proposing a New Social Theory to Counter "the New Normal"

Saturday, 21 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Kokichi SHOJI, University of Tokyo, Japan
There is a view that regards global realities such as “Brexit”, the Trump Administration, etc. as ‘the new normal’. This view comes from considerations that these are not simply accidental, but might be becoming normal, because they have the backgrounds of events such as terrorist attacks, massive refugees, and others. North Korea’s development of nuclear missiles also has similar roots that extend back to the past five centuries.

Since the end of the 15th century, European big powers launched campaigns to conquer the world, colonized almost all of it, and created an order of dominance, the modern world system. The United States and Japan joined this order by the late 19th century. Struggling against this order, however, colonized and subordinate peoples in Latin America, Asia and Africa began movements for independence and nation building and succeeded by the end of the last century. In this post-colonial world, some newly emerging nations such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa have achieved substantial economic development and now exercise influences in world politics. While the colonialist rule of the world by the ex-imperialist powers has been overturned, a new world order dominated by the main newly-emerging nations has been being formed. The spread of terrorism and North Korea’s reckless development of nuclear missiles are results of the failures of ex-imperialist powers in dealing with problems in the aftermath.

Since the late 20th century, the “ontological turn” has been being proposed in and out of anthropology as a way to look again at nature, human beings and society from the standpoint of peoples’ own ontology and perspectives. Similar movements might be proposed on much higher levels in China, India and others, because they have their own histories of civilization. Contemporary social theories should be re-built and be created again from their very bases.