Equal Standing in the Global Community

Rekha Nath, Sherwood J. B. Sugden
2011 The Monist  
The cosmopolitan ideal presses us to look beyond our moral commitments to those near and dear, expanding the boundaries of our moral gaze outward to include those in other parts of the world. To be a cosmopolitan is to see oneself as a part of a global community comprising all of humanity. The original articulation of the ideal, fi-om the Ancient Greeks, viewed the cosmopolitan as a 'citizen of the world' who eschews the tendency to identify first and foremost as a member of one's local
more » ... one's local community. The notion of a global community was posited as an aspirational ideal rather than as a descriptive claim that an actual global coitnmunity existed. Central to cosmopolitanism is the idea that each person in the world deserves respect in virtue of his or her moral status qua human being. It is this recognition of the moral worth of all persons thait joins us in the global community endorsed by the cosmopolitan. The language of 'citizenship' and 'community' invites us to regard all other huitnan beings in an official capacity as bearers of rights and entitlements, as embedded in social and political relationships, and as having duties and responsibilities towards others. Beginning from this image of interconnectedness, the cosmopolitan pushes us to recognize that by the same logic grounding our relationship and commitments to our compatriots we are similarly positioned to all of humanity. Discussion of the cosmopolitan ideal has been reinvigorated in recent years. Undoubtedly, this renewed interest stems at least in part from the growing sense of a tangible global community to which we all belong. No longer just an abstract constmct, we have before us a global community marked by extensive cross-border interaction. Global interaction is by no means a new phenomenon. Relations of trade, colonialism, and conquest stretch back millennia. Yet the ability individuals today possess to impact distant others is greater in terms of magnitude, immediacy, and pervasiveness than in times past. Appreciation of this community has naturally spawned an inquiry into the reasons for and against extending concems of "
doi:10.5840/monist201194431 fatcat:4wsplgfyxveghecmtsszwjcg6m