The modern world/kosmos we live in today is quite different from the classical Greek, politically, socially, economically, and culturally. Unlike the ancient Greek world of city-states (poleis), the modern world is one of nation-states, what we would call ethnopoleis, and in some areas, e.g., the European Union, the modern world is organized in the form of “international” or “supranational” political cum economic formations, what we could call cosmopoleis.
Politically also, modern liberal democracies are in many respects different from the Athenian democracy. In modern democracies, government or “rule” is carried out by representatives, who in some cases, e.g., the United States, are elected by less than 50% of the citizens. In contrast, government or “rule” in the ancient democratic polis of Athens was carried out by virtually all the Athenian citizens.
In contrast to the premodern agricultural Athenian society, today’s modern societies have been described as industrial, even postindustrial knowledge societies, or knowledge-based economies, and the world we live in as “a ‘knowledge-based’ technological world constructed on a new informational epistemological paradigm” (Castells 2000: 66–67). From another epistemological viewpoint, the modern kosmos has been characterized as an “internationalized commodity culture promoted by an increasingly networked global telecommunications system” and as “a masculinized world of high technology and finances”