Die neuen Weltbürger

Mit dem Fortschreiten der Globalisierung scheint sich – u.a. aufgrund immer schnellerer Kommunikation, schnellerer Fortbewegungsmittel und mächtigerer multinationaler Konzerne – eine neue, kosmopolitische Gesellschaftsklasse herauszubilden. Diese Weltbürger entwickeln Loyalitätsgefühle zueinander, die nationale Grenzen überschreiten.

Vor ein paar Tagen war ich bei einem Abendessen mit Yale World Fellows, einer sorgsam ausgewählten Gruppe von Akademikern aus allen bedeutenden Ländern der Welt, die hier in Yale ein Auslandssemester verbringen. Es war eine ungewöhnliche Erfahrung, denn sie weckte in mir das Gefühl, dass keiner dieser Menschen mir wirklich fremd war. Es schien mir, dass es vermutlich leichter wäre, sich mit ihnen zu unterhalten, als mit den einheimischen Amerikanern, die uns das Essen servierten.

Natürlich ist eine kosmopolitische Klasse nicht gerade etwas Neues. Tatsächlich beschrieb der inzwischen verstorbene Soziologe Robert K. Merton schon vor 50 Jahren in seinem Klassiker Social Theory and Social Structure die Ergebnisse einer anhand von einflussreichen Leuten in einer typischen amerikanischen Kleinstadt – Rovere in New Jersey – durchgeführten Fallstudie. Als Soziologe wählte er diese winzige Stadt aus, um zu untersuchen, wie die Menschen miteinander in Beziehung standen und sich gegenseitig beeinflussten – genau, wie ein Biologe winzige Würmer mit nur wenigen hundert Zellen studiert, um zu untersuchen, wie die einzelnen Zellen mit einem Organismus insgesamt in Beziehung stehen.

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