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Nationalism Essay

664 words - 3 pages

April Carter’s essay describes the differences between the key concepts of nationalism, global citizenship and cosmopolitism very well. A negative picture is painted of nationalism which I agree with as it indeed “has a tendency, often linked to a revival of bitter hostility towards neighboring nations” which has led to violent conflicts such as can be seen with former Yugoslavia.
“Nationalism” I find is an interesting example of humans’ link to our animal instinct to belong to a group. You can see in the wild packs of lions (who to us look, behave and act the same) and yet fight over land and food, just like humans do. The difference is that humans are supposed to be able to think beyond that primal instinct which I think is the goal of Global citizenship. I agree that Global citizenship is an aspiration not a reality (due in part to nationalism) that we should aim to harmoniously inhabit this world despite our differences in history, culture, ...view middle of the document...

I feel that at the moment the UN and international agencies that aim to achieve international law are like toothless tigers and are still an aspiration and not a reality (similar to global citizenship). From reading the article you can apply current issues of how governments will act as “bad international citizens” when their immediate national interest is seen to be at stake. This applies to Australia most recently through the treatment of asylum seekers, this country violates the basic human right to seek asylum. Australia has been criticized by the international community and the UN, but there has not been any action to punish or inhibit this violation. There is merit to Nationalism when dealing with immigration as it is not really viable to take all refugees, but the current actions of the Australian government are despicable. The amount of money spent on a 20min fireworks display recently in Sydney harbor to celebrate fleet week compared to the money spent on facilities and support for refugees I find infuriating.
The essay does not discuss in depth the impact humans have on each other and the environment and how their implications on one area affect people and the planet in another such as the destruction of rainforests, to over-mining, the dependence on oil, cheap manufacturing of goods etc. Only in the last couple of decades has the global community truly taken action to protect the environment and the exploitation of people in vulnerable countries. Even then the emphasis is still on profit.
I believe that the only way to achieve a truly global community is for nation states to sacrifice a part of their national sovereignty in order to create a truly international forum that can actually ACT on these violations. (This is protested against strongly by the USA due to their “exceptionalism”. Through globalization we are no longer cut off from other countries. We need to step into the future where we look beyond our differences and see the similarities. Countries such as the USA and Australia have been built on immigration. Global Citizenship should be the emphasis for future generations so that we can create a world of equality.


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