Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On World Citizenship...

I was born an American, and despite the hard right turn into stupid that most of my country has taken in the last 30 years, I'm fairly proud to be one. I remember first learning about my country's beginnings when we were just a collection of backwater colonies in the burgeoning British Empire. I marveled at our capacity for self-determination and ingenuity, our taking of the best philosophies from the Age of Enlightenment and applying them to a government never before seen. The concepts of liberty and equality for the first time were written into the very fabric of a nation.


 But how did we go from THIS:


To THIS?!
I will be the first to admit that although I consider myself a patriotic American, I also rightfully acknowledge the fact that we slipped a little bit in our focus. Self-determination has been replaced by self gratification and is weirdly seen as one and the same by huge portion of the American population.

That said:

I remember when I was in my very young 20s, and Bob Marley was still just really good music to smoke herb to. Back then, when I heard his song "War" for the first time, I remember being transfixed by the honesty in his words. Even though this wasn't so much a song as it was a recitation of the speech made by Emperor Haile Selassie to the United Nations General Assembly in 1963, it brought up a concept that stayed with me ever since.

"World citizenship".

We humans have been squabbling over the lines on our maps for so long now, that the majority of us believe there simply is no other way to resolve conflicts between peoples other than blowing the shit out of each other with the biggest weapons we have. Yet person-to-person, I have never had a conflict with anybody outside of my culture that would make me want to hurt them. Governments, nations, and business interests always seem to be the ones telling us to stay in our safe little cocoons and take their word at face value that the rest of the world just isn't as nice as the place you are at right now.

But the Internet is changing that on an almost daily basis. We're seeing incredibly brave revolutions happening in places where freedom and liberty had no hope, but the people made it happen. There were even anonymous factions that consisted of people from almost every nation on the planet that were and still are assisting these revolutions through clever technological means. We have seen what happens when the regular people of the world, not the leaders or elite, band together to form an alliance that knows no other border above and beyond Internet bandwidth. This I believe is the world citizenship Haile Selassie spoke about in his speech and the concept that entranced Bob Marley enough to create one of the most beautiful and righteous rants for the Forces of Good ever to exist in music.



I would like to speak more on this subject, as I believe it's something that the human race will drift towards anyway. We will always have our regional culture, Texas will always be Texas, Stockholm will always be Stockholm. But maybe we can begin to appreciate each other's different cultures as being different notes in the same symphony, and marvel at how gorgeous that sonata is when we take a step back and really look. I know that a few weeks ago, I was the Egyptian. When Qaddafi savagely attacked his own people, I was a Libyan. When the earthquake hit New Zealand just recently, I was a Kiwi. Humanity has reached a point where our interconnectedness TO our diversity could be the one thing to finally solve this little blue dot's problems and launch us into the stars.

One can hope anyway....

27 comments:

Astronomy Pirate said...

Inspiring. And totally true. The internet is bringing us into an new renaissance. Just like the printing press. People have a greater access to information and the world around them. Not what their government or corporations tell them. People will begin to more easily understand their brothers. Of course there will still be conflict and cultures that disagree and resistance to this change. Even the nature of what is war has entirely changed with organizations like Al-Queda with no national backing. The concept of a nation in warfare is all but gone except to national bureaucracies that are still struggling to catch up. The ultimate end is optimistic though, and we can begin to shift more money into research and development of better technologies for a better world and beyond.

AS said...

I wish I could disagree with you. I wish I could ignore the truth and say that you're wrong.

But I'd be lying.

Con Queso said...

The problem with the internet is we aren't representing outselves in the real world with protests and such. Sure it's GREAT that we can discuss topics online with likeminded people super quick, but the power of a living person on the streets protesting can be much more effective.

synoptixs said...

there's this great picture of the Egypt protests where a secret group of tech users are secretly uploading news and media through their phone and laptops to show what was happening that their government was trying to block.

baxxman said...

But anyway, I think the USA are one of the most personal freedom bringing countries in the world..-
http://baxxmans.blogspot.com/

mac-and-me said...

i am not american but i could not agree more
great post

Anonymous said...

hi, good site very much appreciatted

Banacek said...

I'm a once proud American who became a Canadian. If I had to renounce one of my citizenships, guess which one I'd happily give up.

GFTM said...

what a great post, i definitely understand what your getting at man. Following!

mmmpieohyeah said...

great post man, though if the internet will bring us closer to this world citizenship remains to be seen. Not everyone in the internet thinks things through as deeply as you just did...

Shutterbug said...

I just want to say I really appreciate all the freedom and rights of being a Canadian.

level85nerd said...

Hm, good tips, really!

BernT said...

America is still one hell of a country, i'm from Europe and it's true we have a lot of advantages here but come on, it's America, big boss of the world

T3CH said...

I kinda laughed when you said "How did THIS, turn into THAT" ^-^

The_illustrative_Mind said...

Very inspiring.

ebm93 said...

Yeah, it's true. BTW nice song

The Governor said...

the logic here is spot on.

Spongeworthy said...

It's only a matter of time until the american people have their own revolution.

rinns said...

I live in Australia, but I always wished to grow up in America to feel that "I'm American and proud" feeling.
But instead I feel "I'm Australian but please don't think I'm like the rest of them"

:(

gekomaster said...

@rinns
Oh don't worry, I've met lots of cool Australian people on the internet(mostly from online games aka WoW), you should feel very proud of your country :P, keep being awesome.

l33 v4n cl33f said...

al thanks to the internets

Patti D. said...

I'm also proud to be from Canada, we rock!!!

Glovey said...

I could do with some cheetos right now! But yeah I agree with your point! Thanks for recent support!

Tony Storm said...

this is why i love my country(not US) we have serious problems for sure but we still are what we were years ago, when it comes down to moralty we still move as one, even if we are "just a 3rd world country"

The Game said...

It's sad to what America has come today, it probably won't get any better unless things change in whole

Kim Anders said...

to bad its the thrut

Rachel Neilson said...

I agree. the internet is changing everything.