The End of War? Global Citizenship and Changes to Conflict

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This article is concerned with fleshing out a specific argument: that new, contemporary, global citizenship is possible grounds for the prevention of war as it was known in the 20th century. The argument is that in the international arena, it may come to be that the interconnected citizenries of this world will act as the monitory body. (That is, they serve as devices to hold power to account, to question government, private industry, and themselves). This global citizenry does at present act as some type of a check to accumulated power whether in the form of protests against nuclear arms, anti-democratic in camera dealings (such as the G20), or clear abuses of one power over another (such as the Israel-Palestine conflict). It is arguable that this trend will only continue to increase as the democratisation of the international arena (or global politics) comes into some form of maturity.

The method for making this point is comparative and temporal. Let us engage the realpolitik of the international arena in circa 1933. Therein, governments had grave concerns for the strengthening and protection of their ‘sovereign’ territories. The ethos (character) and telos (end) of government was also arguably different than it is today. In character, states were poorly democratic if compared with contemporary minimalistic standards. In end-goal orientation, it could be argued that states in the 1930s were utopian. For example, the USA had grown into its own as a ‘land of hope’ yet imprisoned its citizens for speaking out against the 2nd European War. It also had grand hopes and plans for the shaping of its neighbours in Latin America and the Caribbean which would lead to decades of political meddling and illegal assassinations. The Empire of Japan, its rising sun foreshadowing its bloody finish, had near-Nazi ideology and sought the perfection of one worldview at the expense of all others. Europe was feuding. Africa and the Middle East were bleeding under occupation and would continue to suffer for decades to come. But, perhaps most importantly, citizenries were still very much locked into the false conception of the nation-state. There was very little chance for peoples as far as India to unite in cause with those in northern Europeor western Latin America.

Published in Political Reflection Magazine Vol. 2 No. 4


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