By Richard P. Appelbaum
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To be sure, some contemporary conflicts, as in South Asia, are partly about historical memory, which involves matters of cultural dignity, and others, perhaps in parts of the Middle East today, are partially about humiliation. It may be difficult to forthrightly express these experiences, although in some cases, they have come out in truth commissions. Even if one would not expect classical theorists to have programmatic answers for the problems of contemporary globalization, it was their insight that something was terribly wrong: for Marx, alienation; for Weber, the iron cage of bureaucratic rationality; and for Durkheim, anomie.
And if we acknowledge the historic specificity of these arrangements, then we must recogni~ the centrality to our understanding of the world of social struggles as well: Such struggles, in analytical abstraction, can be seen as divided into two diametrically opposed categories, namely, struggles to reorganize and reconstruct on new bases these arrangements, that is to say, struggles for social emancipation, and 11 12 William I. Robinson at the same time struggles to defend or sustain these arrangements.
What do critical globalization scholars really want to find out? What is the desired knowledge? This article is an attempt to answer these guiding questions, at least in a preliminary way. 19 20 James H. Mittelman A Critical Perspective For critically minded scholars, globalization encompasses a historical transformation in the interactions among market forces, political authority, and the life ways embodied in society, as they encounter and join with local conditions. On the critical flank, scholars persistently question the positivist faith in empiricism - the distinction between facts and values, the separability of variables, and hypothesis-testing as a means to discover objective "truth" - and, rather, examine how facts are constructed and whose interests they serve.