Position 3: English as a global lingua franca necessary for a global demos
Of the three positions briefly described in this paper, the third one, represented in the work of Philippe Van Parijs, is perhaps the most ambitious and most coherent, if flawed, account. Van Parijs is a political theorist who has written extensively about the benefits of a lingua franca, such as English, in helping to promote social and economic justice globally. He argues (2000) that the promotion of the teaching and learning of English in low-income countries could help reduce out-migration of highly trained, English-speaking citizens, who flee in great numbers to the wealthier ‘knowledge economy’ countries. He argues that the reclamation of lost income and increased corporate taxes could be used for massive investment in English language teaching, leading to an increase in productivity and gross domestic product (GDP). Even more ambitiously, in his latest book, Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World (2011), Van Parijs argues that we need a lingua franca in Europe and across the world because:
One major problem with making a positive impact on a global level, ultra-elite machinations aside, is that almost nobody focuses on what is important, which I hope to help remedy with this essay. Almost everybody hacks at branches if they hack at all. Conspiracists tend to obsess on elite machinations, which is an exercise of dubious benefit to begin with, but they often become paranoid and also confuse retail elites or other interests with the GCs. Bill Gates and David Rockefeller are probably not members of the GCs’ organization. Also, I learned that ultra-elites can only play their games with the responsibility that almost all people have abdicated as they play the victim. The GCs are only a symptom of our malaise, not a cause. They cannot be beaten at their game, and it is counterproductive and can even be suicidal to try. Making them obsolete is probably the best that we can do. While conspiracists often fixate on ultra-elite machinations, intellectuals, academics, and scientists tend to deny that such activities even exist or are meaningful. It took me many years to understand their resistance to even acknowledging ultra-elite existence, and I think it partly relates to the mainstream scientific worldview that . They have an ideological aversion to the notion that anybody manipulates events on a global scale, and believe that what seems conspiratorial is only anarchic elites competing with each other, which is like Darwin’s view of evolution. They believe that conspiracists see a pattern where none exists, or that the situation can be explained without invoking conscious intent, like materialistic hypotheses of how the universe operates. Radical leftists have to the of such elites; such an idea scares them. Neither obsession nor denial helps people attain productive understandings of the issue. Conspiracists and structuralists are united in thinking like victims, and that, as I see it, . Until they relinquish thinking like a victim, they will not constructively engage the critical issues that humanity faces, and energy ranks above all else. Victims are reactive instead of proactive, and only and resulting action has a prayer of working, in my opinion.
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As a result of the British colonialism, the U.S and British pop culture and media, as well as the economic aspect of the world, English has become the global language of communication today.