The “post” distinction Appiah makes in his essay I think needs to be further drawn out in its explanation. The “post” connotation as almost synonymous for better is too vague and not necessarily true when applied to things termed “post-colonial.” Not that I’m for imperialism and the extortion and extraction that colonialism tends to burden nations with, but I think progress and the idea that post is the equalivant to better needs to be qualified to a greater degree.
Modernism saw the economisation of the world as the triumph of reason; postmodernism rejects that claim, allowing in the realm of theory the same multiplication of distinctions we see in the cultures it seeks to understand. (434)
I have a hard time reconciling this statement with the evidence of globalization present in today’s supposedly postmodern world. The first part of the quotation from Appiah’s essay makes sense to me in that the commodification of things increased at a rapid pace since the turn of the century. But I think until very recently there has been a continuation of mass culture seeping into distinct cultures, with the type of globalization that allows ice cold Coca-Colas to be purchased in just about any small town in a developing nation or the disappearance of small shops in light of big box stores opening up. The argument could be made that the postmodern seeking out of distinct cultures is slowly coming around with more and more people latching onto the idea of buying locally. Further, there has been evidence in economic studies that in the aftermath of Super Wal-Marts, local specialty shops have surged in success because they can hone in on a very specific niche market. But I think it will take many more years for the idea of a postmodern market place to play itself out in the local versus global game.