Bright and Geyer

On page 295, Bright and Geyer comment that, “the ‘great divergence’…does not project well to the end of the century,” then follow immediately with the statement that, “narratives of a ‘great convergence’…have been losing cogency and descriptive power.” I agree with Bright and Geyer that neither of these ideas hold much water. The ‘great divergence’ is spoken about extensively in their article, but they only really mention the idea of a ‘great convergence’ once. I think this is an important point that underpins much of recent history as well as these arguments of the ‘great divergence’, globalization, modernity, and survivalism.

The idea of the ‘great divergence’ suggests that the entire world was moving towards a single point of modernity, but somewhere along the way, paths diverged. Some nations rapidly continued toward that point while others fell behind and were forced to ‘catch up’. Globalization embodies this idea of a ‘great convergence’ fundamentally. They both present the idea that all the various actors in the world will live in a single homogenous, modern society. Only the idea of survivalism rejects this idea. There are many different paths and end points to the idea of progress and an advanced society.