World Citizenship

This is a low level revision of an automatic translation of the original page in Catalan. I apologize for any errors it may contain.

Long ago, more than 40 years ago, I read an article in a popular science magazine, whose name I do not remember, written by an astronaut, whose name I also fail to remember. What I remember is that in this article, the astronaut explained the feeling almost of illumination he experienced when he saw the earth from space as a small ball where the whole of humanity lived and how he felt at that time that differences between countries became insignificant. It was the first time I came across the idea that all humans have more in common than what separates us, which in time lead me to consider myself a citizen of the world. It was also the first time I saw the famous photograph of Earth taken on 7 December 1972 by the Apollo astronauts on board when traveling to the moon.

Since then I have tried to elaborate the idea of ​​world citizenship. I have read articles and books, I have visited websites, joined groups, I registered at the world citizen registry, and I try to defend all projects that put our human identity over any other national identity, religious or cultural affiliation.

What is a"world citizen"? There are many definitions, but the common denominator of all of them is that a citizen of the world considers himself a member of the community of all mankind, throughout all the world, of a whole that is greater than the nation, state or other community policy with which we normally associate (1). In the words of Nitya Chaitanya Yati: The term 'world citizen' can be better understood with a negative definition than with a positive one. If a citizen of a state with political frontiers is expected to pay allegiance to the government of the state to which he or she belongs and is expected to take arms against aliens who might invade the territory of the state, a world citizen recognizes the entire world as one's state and in principle does not recognize any member of one's own species as an alien to the world community to which oneself belongs. (2).

Jo dic que no hi ha altres. Hi ha d’haver una manera de buscar el nostre benefici, entenent que “nostre” vol dir de tots, de tota la humanitat i també de totes les formes de vida, com també de les formes de vida, intel·ligents o no amb les que eventualment ens trobarem algun dia.

Hi ha moltes propostes relacionades amb el concepte de ciutadà del món: establir una federació democràtica mundial, crear un parlament mundial, reformar les Nacions Unides, crear, ampliar i aprofundir democràticament unions supranacionals que més endavant en puguin fusionar… Intento donar suport a totes les que em semblen serioses i sinceres. Hi ha també temes difícils, que s’han de reinterpretar des de la perspectiva d’un ciutadà del món, com el tema de la immigració i de les fronteres. Espero anar-ne parlant en el futur.
Them or us? I have come to see this question as more and more irrelevant. The real question is who are "we" and who are "them". In terms of rights and duties, I am no longer able to see any "them" out there.

It just doesn't feel right to think of a trade, political or any other kind of agreement where "our" benefit is imposed against "theirs". Shall we ignore poverty, oppression, killing or rape because it just happens to "them" while we (our corporations, interests, sales, influence) benefit? Shall we accept non-democratic, non-respecting of human rights governments, even sell them arms, because this favors business in our country or a segment of our labor force? Shall we keep a decision making system that allows us to manipulate things in our favor while denying voice to others? Shall we care for us and leave them aside?

I say there are no others. There must be a way to seek our benefit, while construing "we" as encompassing "all", which means all people on Earth, but also all life on Earth, and eventually other sentient and non-sentient life if we ever find it.

There are a number of proposals related to some or all of these principles: establishing a democratic world federation, creating a world parliament, reforming the United Nations, developing continental or supranational unions that later can join and create still larger unions, or even a forever expanding European Union. I support most if not all of them. There are also difficult and polemical subjects that need to be revised from the perspective of a world citizen, such as migration and border control. I hope to write on them in the future.

Let me end with some pictures. Symbols are important, and many people have tried to create a "flag of the world" as a symbol of the principles of world citizenship. For some time now I have been collecting such proposals and I would like to share them. If you know about others will appreciate that you submit them to me.

Earth flag flagerth flagofplanetearth myworldflag terrflgs UnityFlag Ross Baker Earth Flag Walking planet earth flag thewave Earth_flag Uniteed Federation of Planets universalflag
  1. Nigel Dower i John Williams (eds.), Global citizenship: A critical introduction. New York: Routledge, 2002.
  2. Nitya Chaitanya Yati, citat al web de World Government of World Citizens.

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