By Bob Flax, Ph.D.
Although our disclaimer, found at the bottom of most of our articles, states that the views expressed in the article are not necessarily our position, I’m taking the extra step of writing to add further clarification to this with regard to the article Narrow Nationalism or World Citizenship and Global Conscience? which we published in the November edition of DWF News. I feel that the article may convey certain misimpressions that do not reflect the overall policy of the Democratic World Federalists, so I wish to make that clear. Here are a few of the specifics that I am referring to:
First, several statements in the article may give the false impression that the DWF dislikes or is somehow against the British people. That is not the case. We understand that the Brexit vote had many complexities, with the youth and politicians overwhelmingly voting to stay in the EU. In addition, there are many World Federalists in Great Britain who are actively working for both regional and global federation. It would be as much of a folly to lump all British citizens together as it would be to lump all US citizens together, and as an organization, the DWF understands that. However, we also believe that many of the attitudes conveyed during the debate leading up to the Brexit vote, such as a fear and demonization of foreigners, and a lack of recognizing our interdependence in this globalized world, are the very attitudes that help fuel our most pressing problems; from war and global violence to the myriad of social justice issues we face. I imagine that the new British Prime Minister and all those who voted to leave the EU believe that they are doing what is best for their country, however, we feel they are sorely misguided.
Second, Prime Minister May’s comment, “But if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what citizenship means” is, of course, technically correct. There is no legally recognized basis for the status of “world citizen”. However, as the GlobeScan survey shows, that attitude is being supplanted by what might be called an emerging “global consciousness”. With the globalization of major systems such as communications, transportation, and commerce, it is only a matter of time until democracy is also brought to the global level. In many ways, much of the next generation is already there.
Third, the article points out that many people at Donald Trump’s rallies shout “USA! USA! To boast of their belief that their country is exceptional.” At DWF we recognize that the idea of American exceptionalism is expressed in many quarters, and even though many of us disagree with most of Trump’s policies, we agree with him in the futility of the endless wars that we find ourselves embroiled in. We welcome his people to join us.
Finally, the general tone of the article may give the misimpression that the DWF is intolerant of other points of view. We are not. In a democratic world it is important to hear all points of view, but also point out the harm that may be caused by acting on them. We are also happy to receive your comments in response to these articles. Thank you for your interest.