MUSICCO NOMBELA, Daniela
THE GLOBAL VILLAGE: Globalization, rethinking McLuhan in the 21st century
Comunicación y Hombre. 2022, nº 18
Marshall McLuhan was the first theorist to speak of the idea of Global Village in 1964 in his essay “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man”.
Born in Canada in 1911, he studied English literature at the University of Manitoba and later at Cambridge; He taught at the University of Wisconsin and in 37 he converted to Catholicism, he later taught at Saint Louis University. Because of his interests and studies, he became an authority in the field of media and technology. He taught at Assumption College, St Michael’s College (46-79), University of Toronto, and Fordham University, where Fordham’s famous experiment on the effects of television occurred. He died in Toronto in 1980. The idea of a global village was born in MacLuhan after observing how the media, especially through the arrival of the satellite, had been able to overcome any physical distance, bringing the inhabitants of the earth closer, making them close, neighbors, turning the earth into a great global village. In this new global village villagers can learn what they do, how they live, what other villagers say; a villager in N.Y. You can see what a villager is doing in Hong Kong and even observe him in real time. According to McLuhan, this transformation of the world into a great village has also transformed our behavior into that of a typical villager.
Curiously, this visionary idea by McLuhan predates the popularization of the internet and social networks. The rumor mill in networks, the proliferation of reality shows, of wanting to see what the other does, are some of the aspects and consequences of these new behaviors. Radios, televisions, and then computers, tablets, and mobiles become the new windows of our houses on the street; There we see what is happening and as Jean Luc Godard also advocated, there would come a time when on television it would be seen how a neighbor waters her plants and even more on the other side of the world. This world has already arrived, online dating, online classes, online concerts … everything brings us closer and relates us to what is far away. We share the same series and movies in the big shared cinemas, the new video libraries / platforms Netfliz, HBO, Prime …, we buy in the same stores, in the big supermarkets Amazon, Alibaba or Ebay …, we have the same great “text library” Google and a long etc.
We can read the news in real time from any newspaper in the world and know what is happening live in a war not so far away.
Marshal McLuhan advocated globalization, not only of markets, but also of customs, ways of life, and communication.
Media communication has brought the world closer and transport communications have made it real; popularization of air travel with affordable prices to anywhere in the world, erasmus, exchanges, multinationals, commuting … have made our contacts increasingly international; Families and friends of different nationalities is increasingly common.
The Global Village appears in the SAR as planet earth, as an interconnected and globalized world.
In itself, the Global Village contains an opposition in terms: on the one hand a village, a small place, according to the SAR, a town with little neighborhood; on the other hand, the global term, in the SAR as a reference to the planet, to the globe. Calling it Village instead of town or city is part of McLuhan’s great visionary ability; his idea surpasses that of a world citizen, someone who is more like a great traveler, a businessman or someone who, due to his personal circumstances, has been able to get to know different parts of the world, an educated, open man, knowledgeable about different cultures and societies , respectful of others, a cosmopolitan, who according to the RAE is a person who has moved or moves in many countries and is open to their cultures and customs …; A world villager has very different customs, behaviors and feelings, from what we can imagine in a world citizen, a world villager does not resemble someone necessarily open, nor educated, in fact in its pejorative meaning the SAR qualifies the villager like someone rough, coarse. McLuhan in 1964 advocated a vision of the hyper-connected world, long before there was the arrival of “smart communication” that allowed us to be connected with everyone 24/7, 365 days a year from our pockets.
Now, in this recent period in which we have experienced the first live cross-border pandemic in a very painful way, through the media, we have also seen the other side of the coin of how the world truly is that Global Village. We have changed the benefits of globalization, for a suffering that has gone viral not only in all networks, but in the material integrity of the human being with the worst of its consequences, his own death; thus redirecting man to that fragile and ineffable place of human existence, remembering that the global village itself is part of a universe in which the entire globe is an infinitesimal part of a much larger whole, in which only one is yourself, you can find a meaning and a destination ..
To ask oneself in the 21st century about the idea of globalization and more specifically and more accurately, about the idea of the Global Village, is also to ask about borders, transhumance, migration, human rights, the common good, ideas of the macrocosm and microcosm as John Paul II in Centesimus Annus (1991) indicated, the importance of preserving the balance of the earth and the balance of the moral conditions of authentic human ecology.
In this issue of the magazine we included to all those researchers who, from sociology, philosophy, pedagogy, medicine, architecture, urban planning, engineering, art, advertising, journalism, Social responsibility, the company and any other area interrelated with communication, are investigating globalization and the idea of Global Village, on the idea of man as a villager and on his destiny in the 21st century.