Imagine There’s No Countries . . .

Considering the Possibility and Practice of Global Citizenship

News and Cosmopolitanism

Posted by rfrankl on April 15, 2009

It is important that we do not get caught up in the philosophical, abstract, and high-falootin ideas and counter ideas of Cosmopolitanism and Patriotism. That is what I liked about Appiah. He showed concern for the philosophical basis of each but he came back down to earth in one obvious way: the genocide and poverty around the world, but in another more clever way: using the Balzac dialogue as a sort of cliff hanger by which he pulls us back into the world of action. It is then important when we are reading the paper and looking at the world to realize that our motives don’t matter as much as our actions, what we do, and how we can make the world a better place? There are a lot of questions, that no one has the answer to, when it comes to what that Utopia shall look like, but there is no question that people should not live in constant pain, and I would add that they should be able to say what they will, and should be able to elect whome ever they like. But those are more controversial even today. It is funny how we as a society focus so much on the last two when we can not even get close to ending the thing that everyone agrees needs to be ended. If we take a closer look than Appiah on the daily down to earth action of man his compromise of just rooted Cosmopolitanism seems beyond us.

I was reading the paper today and skimmed an article on the drug wars in Mexico. Every American knows that we have a big part to play in that: the drugs we seem to live off of. But not only is the black market there because Americans can not have a sense of self-control and morality but the guns the cartels are using to destroy from within a constitutional government are from America. In the last year, of the 12,000 guns confiscated, over 90% are from America. Out of work men and women are hired by the gun cartels to by a few guns at this shop and a few at another, so as to avoid detection. They then are sent to Mexico where they are used to get us our drugs. It is a seedy and dark affair, almost a cyclone of decadence and poverty, misery and vulgar sensation, legality and illegality. Some gun owners report these repeated buyers but many do not. The meek laws and the overwhelmed agencies make it impossible to control. Whereas with the licensed gun dealers there is some simulacrum of morality, in the gun shows the grossness really takes hold. This article tells the story of a college student-affluent, happy, kind-that is seen at one of these gun shows with something that does not fit or does I suppose, two AR-15s with all the paraphernalia of death, such as tripods, scopes, and metal grips, that make it so popular with the cartels. He sold them to an obvious cartel buyer and made 5,000 too. We have become an inverted guardian angel, with the prosperity that comes from decadence and consumption, that is dependent on exploiting those who we do not know and do not want to know.

Cosmopolitanism seems unrealistic then doesn’t it, even the sort offered by Appiah. Patriotism seems a little beyond this crowd too. I think that basic morality, decency, and a sense of right and wrong is a little beyond this crowd too.


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