Has nationalism captured the hearts and minds of the world's people?
When the United States first started most people thought of themselves as citizens of one of the states first, before seeing themselves as citizens of a country. Communication changes, starting with the postal act of 1792, which opened up for free exchange of information (no postage) between printers (newspapers) and the creation and support for establishing post offices anywhere (including the farthest outposts) without requiring profitability led to eventual thinking which incorporated the nation as an personal identifier. Newspapers borrowed from each other (similar to blogs publishing their own items and re-publishing other’s items). By the 1830’s printers were getting and exchanging on average some 3500 newspapers a year from elsewhere in the country, delivered by the post office, and could incorporate that information into their local pages. That same kind of expanding sense of who we are and who we are “next” to has been happening today because of today’s communications, largely across the internet, only this time it is shifting from a national identity to a world identity.
The idea of a world identity, conferred by citizenship, is of course a positive one, if entirely utopian, but could easily become dystopian if one country, the most powerful of all, directly nominated itself to lead this world government. And we all know which country fits that role to a T. Mr Wittner’s idea, as developed by him, is simplistic and dangerous and, if taken to its logical real-world consequences, not all that different from the neocon “full spectrum dominance” nightmare that has set most of the world on fire lo these past fifteen and more years.
Once capitalism is dispensed with, we can bring the subject back up for discussion. For now, however, I’m all for national sovreignty, which, wherever one stands on this issue, would have to be respected by all other nations in the world before any single nation were fool enough to give it up for a pipe dream such as this. Just look at the mess the EU is in, especially since the introduction of the single currency.
Mr. Wittner needs to stand outside the American bubble for a spell, to see just how much damage has been done by those who would seek to rule the world.
Natural global human solidarity must be expanded among working people around the world to fight against the globalized capitalist economic system, which is impoverishing workers worldwide to maximize profits. Global warming is a direct result of capitalist exploitation of natural resources. The unending wars and “anti-terror” campaigns provide cover for the global elites to seize more power to maximize profit.
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Language barriers are overcome by learning and using Esperanto as the international second language to communicate with the people of the world. For more info check out these resources:
Universal Esperanto Association the largest international organization for Esperanto speakers and has members in 120 countries.
esperanto-usa the non-profit educational association of Esperantists in the United States who have a common interest in using and promoting Esperanto.
Unless and until humans recognize we are all part of the living Earth, not members of a separate human construct, we will continue to destroy the ecology.
Our primary allegiance must be to life, or we will continue to preside over mass death. Time is short, and the pace of omnicide is accelerating.
Debates over which human construct we identify with, will seem quaint, as the anthropogenic collapse of life swallows us.
If you had ever been taught the truth in your schools you might be better prepared for the level of assimilation that you are experiencing. It hasn’t changed much. History did not begin with the post office, which is now being privatized.
What is most ironic is that those who bray nationalist themes the loudest belong to the class of citizens that Marx warned us about: elites that have more in common with elites from other countries than their own compatriots. Trump is a prime example, continually willing to sell out the integrity of the US government to foreign influences, as long as it helps his family business. While I don’t like the idea of throwing around the word “un-American,” maybe those of us on the left should start. Politicians who want to deprive their own citizens of medical care, send them into endless wars, put their public schools in the hands of venture capitalists, put obstacles in the way of people who want to vote? Sounds un-American to me.
As a member of the World Socialist Movement
I am somewhat surprised that Eugene Debs quote has not been cited, even if similar to the others.
“I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.”