In an interview given a few weeks after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Jacques Derrida interrogates the nature of what is popularly called globalization. In his critique of current concepts of globalization, Derrida points out that the very processes of trade, communication, and transport are producing greater inequalities around the earth, and that these inequalities are spectacular, that is, that the very media essential to the process we call globalization make these inequalities vividly clear. The interview is a rich conspectus of the themes of Derrida's political thought, perhaps most penetrating in his thinking the concepts of the event, as that which arrives, and of futurity, the Zu-kunft or l'avenir, that which is to come. I will not discuss this theme directly, but I hope readers will hear resonances of Derrida's questions in this exploration of three thinkers who embody distinct and competing approaches to understanding what it might be for the world, earth, or globe to move toward the condition of being a meaningful whole. I deliberately use three different terms here, both to respect the usage of the three thinkers I want to discuss - Hegel, Nietzsche, and Rosenzweig - and to maintain a certain contact with Derrida's insistence on the importance of the names and language that we use - or better, that uses us - as we try to make sense of things.

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Copyright © 2015 S. H. Bergman Center for Philosophical Studies. This article first appeared in Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly 64 (July 2015), 313-334.

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