Imagine There’s No Countries . . .

Considering the Possibility and Practice of Global Citizenship

Posted by dgreening on February 1, 2009

Reading this article made me remember everything we talked about in Pacsem 1 last semester. Winter break has already faded to a distant memory, and I had forgotten that all the discussions on what constitutes a ‘good citizen’ or a ‘good society’ made me feel not so much a citizen of a particular state, but more connected to the rest of the world. However, something about the tone of his blog concerns me. He puts the impetus of changes solely on the shoulders of Obama, only requiring the common taxpayer to do exactly that: pay taxes. Obama’s job is to save the economy and save the world, but all we have to do is provide him with some money, and spend the rest. As Sherman Teichman said in Chapter Five of Schattle, “citizenship…is an active role…we have become passive taxpayers, and we’re not citizens.” What worries me is that so many people expect so much of the new president, they won’t have the initiative to do anything themselves. This cannot be allowed to happen. In relation to Jon’s post from earlier, I do think that voter had a point, not in terms of simply allowing people from the other side of the world decide how he voted, but by listening and acknowledging their point of view. This does, at least, provide some evidence of awareness as a primary concept of global citizenship, since this person made himself aware of the concerns of people affected by our actions, but with no influence over them. This we should all strive to do, rather than simply delegating our power to one man, no matter how good he is. We don’t need to rely on one man, we need to rely on ourselves.


2 Responses to “”

  1. mayacu said

    I agree that the American people have been “passive taxpayers” for too long. Democracy demands active participation by the citizens. It is government for the people, by the people. However, we have been content to delegate our democratic responsibility to those we elect and then sit back and watch them do as they please. A New York Times article in today’s newspaper called Putin’s government “authoritarianism with the consent of the governed.” While the government of the United States is hardly authoritarian, we do place too much trust in our elected officials. They are elected in order to represent us and we must demand accountability. It’s time for an increased awareness of the democratic system and recognition of our responsibility to actively participate. Awareness, Responsibility, Participation –> Global Citizenship

    The link to the Times article…

  2. bklunk said

    I don’t have a lot to add. It’s clear that the new president is aware, at least intellectually, of this concern. And there is only so much that DC can do to motivate more active citizenship. Who should be doing the motivating?

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