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Heavy Fog Blocks England's View of the World
by Rene Wadlow
2016-10-07 10:10:42
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theresa01_400In her recent address to the Tory Annual Conference, Theresa May, the new English Prime Minister, said in speaking of the world economy and the role of transnational corporations “If you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere.” As a world citizen, I would say that the reverse is true: if you are a citizen of the world you are a citizen of everywhere and so are concerned with the dignity and well-being of each person in the world.

Therefore we must be concerned with the well-being of all the English and even their Prime Minister. It is true that the recent vote on leaving the European Union indicated that a heavy fog prevents some English from seeing the Continent. Small towns and rural areas, marginal to world economic currents, voted more heavily to leave the EU while the larger cities, especially(y London, a key player in the world economic system, voted to remain. There have been half-serious propositions that London could join the EU as a “city-State” perhaps to be followed by Geneva for the same reasons.

One can participate in a world-oriented economic system without necessarily feeling that one is a world citizen just as one can walk in the woods without feeling the beauty of Nature or the majesty of the growth of the trees. World citizenship as living in harmony with Nature is a question of values held in the mind and emotions centered in the heart.

wc00As citizens of the world, our high endeavor is to develop free human beings who are able themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility – these three forces are at the very core of our efforts. Therefore, there is a need to strengthen our inner spiritual life and at the same time to plan in a realistic way the methods we can use to improve the emerging world society.

It is likely that the fog will lift, and people living in England will see that there is land beyond the waters and that we are all bound together with a sense of responsibility for the world but also with joy in our common humanity.


Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens

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Emanuel Paparella2016-10-07 16:01:29
It is quite ironic that the first nation to leave the EU is the nation that went around until a few decades ago claiming to be a global power that included the population of the whole world. I suppose by global power they simply meant a domineering imperialistic power. What was the slogan: the sun never sets on the British Empire. Idem for Napoleon who went around bragging about a United Europe and by that he only meant French European hegemony. Good old imperialism and nationalism die hard.

But the real problem is philosophical. It has to do with the ability to hold two contradictory ideas without falling into sheer incoherence. One cannot claim that a thing can be and not be at the same time, but one can be a citizen of the world and still care for the members of one’s family and one’s local community. In fact, Theresa May’s criticism would apply only if one loved the world at large but neglected one’s own family. Marx is a candidate for that kind of critique. For that would be illogical and untenable. I suppose the key is to remember that we all have something in common on this earth: our humanity. The loyalty has to be to one’s humanity and not to a Machiavellian ideology. And so, willy nilly, our advanced progressive unstoppable “modernity” needs to return to Humanism and acknowledge its crucial principles, for, once we have destroyed our humanity, being a citizen of the world will not be of any use, it will be just an empty slogan. Kierkegaard and not Theresa May has it on target: some sicknesses are unto death and cannot be fixed by neat rhetorical-political slogans.

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