Globalization discourse is deeply flawed in its very conception, expressing a gratuitous assumption of the emergence of a new era that is discontinuous with the past and whose conflicts are primarily the product of those who resist this development: nationalists, racists, localists. This discourse is itself an ideological product of a cosmopolitan elite identity that has emerged (again) in recent years and which can be accounted for, in turn, by another approach. A global systemic perspective situates cosmopolitan discourses in periods of hegemonic decline, which are also periods of economic, social, and cultural fragmentation in the hegemonic zones as well as of vertical polarization that creates a new “rootedness” at the bottom and a cosmopolitanization at the top. While these processes are underway today in the West, something quite the opposite is occurring in the emergent new hegemonic centers to the East. A global systemic approach also offers a model of today's crisis that is absent in globalization discourse.