Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that ..
all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality.
A person who adheres to the idea of cosmopolitanism in any of its forms is called a cosmopolitan or cosmopolite.
Cosmopolitanism can be traced back to Diogenes of Sinope (c. 412 B.C.), the founding father of the Cynic movement in Ancient Greece. Of Diogenes it is said: “Asked where he came from, he answered: ‘I am a citizen of the world (kosmopolitês)'”. This was a ground-breaking concept, because the broadest basis of social identity in Greece at that time was either the individual city-state or the Greeks (Hellenes) as a group.
In his 1795 essay Perpetual Peace, Immanuel Kant stages a ius cosmopoliticum (cosmopolitan law/right) as a guiding principle to protect people from war, and morally grounds this cosmopolitan right by the principle of universal hospitality.
Kant there claimed that the expansion of hospitality with regard to “use of the right to the earth’s surface which belongs to the human race in common” (see common heritage of humanity) would “finally bring the human race ever closer to a cosmopolitan constitution”.
The philosophical concepts of Emmanuel Levinas, on ethics, and Jacques Derrida, on hospitality, provide a theoretical framework for the relationships between people in their everyday lives and apart from any form of written laws or codes. For Levinas, the foundation of ethics consists in the obligation to respond to the Other. In Being for the Other, he writes that there is no “universal moral law,” only the sense of responsibility (goodness, mercy, charity) that the Other, in a state of vulnerability, calls forth. The proximity of the Other is an important part of Levinas’s concept: the face of the Other is what compels the response.
For Derrida, the foundation of ethics is hospitality, the readiness and the inclination to welcome the Other into one’s home. Ethics, he claims, is hospitality. Pure, unconditional hospitality is a desire that underscores the conditional hospitality necessary in our relationships with others. Levinas’s and Derrida’s theories of ethics and hospitality hold out the possibility of an acceptance of the Other as different but of equal standing. Isolation is not a feasible alternative in the world, therefore, it is important to consider how best to approach these interactions, and to determine what is at stake for ourselves and the others: what conditions of hospitality to impose, and whether or not we have responded to the call of the Other. Further, both theories reveal the importance of considering how best to interact with the Other and others, and what is at stake.
There is a tradition of cosmopolitanism, and if we had time we could study this tradition, which comes to us from, on the one hand, Greek thought with the Stoics, who have a concept of the ‘citizen of the world’. You also have St. Paul in the Christian tradition, also a certain call for a citizen of the world as, precisely, a brother. St. Paul says that we are all brothers, that is sons of God, so we are not foreigners, we belong to the world as citizens of the world; and it is this tradition that we could follow up until Kant for instance, in whose concept of cosmopolitanism we find the conditions for hospitality. But in the concept of the cosmopolitical in Kant there are a number of conditions: first of all you should of course welcome the stranger, the foreigner, to the extent that he is a citizen of another country, that you grant him the right to visit and not to stay, and there are a number of other conditions that I can’t summarise here quickly, but this concept of the cosmopolitical which is very novel, very worthy of respect (and I think cosmopolitanism is a very good thing), is a very limited concept. (Derrida cited in Bennington 1997).Bennington. Politics and Friendship: A Discussion with Jacques Derrida. 1997.
A further state of cosmopolitanism occurred after the Second World War. As a reaction to the Holocaust and the other massacres, the concept of crimes against humanity became a generally-accepted category in international law. This clearly shows the appearance and acceptance of a notion of individual responsibility that is considered to exist toward all of humankind.
Philosophical cosmopolitans are moral universalists: they believe that all humans, and not merely compatriots or fellow-citizens, come under the same moral standards. The boundaries between nations, states, cultures or societies are therefore morally irrelevant.
Some philosophers and scholars argue that the objective and subjective conditions arising in today’s unique historical moment, an emerging planetary phase of civilization, creates a latent potential for the emergence of a cosmopolitan identity as global citizens and possible formation of a global citizens movement. These emerging objective and subjective conditions in the planetary phase include improved and affordable telecommunications; space travel and the first images of our fragile planet floating in the vastness of space; the theory of global warming and other ecological threats to our collective existence; new global institutions such as theUnited Nations, World Trade Organization, or International Criminal Court; the rise of transnational corporations and integration of markets often termed economic globalization; the emergence of global NGOs and transnational social movements, such as the World Social Forum; and so on. Globalization, a more common term, typically refers more narrowly to the economic and trade relations and misses the broader cultural, social, political, environmental, demographic, values and knowledge transitions taking place.
Center for a Stateless Society » In Defense of Extreme Cosmopolitanism c4ss.org/content/48011
The rejection of cosmopolitanism is bad for liberty, peace, and prosperity because they all go hand in hand.
imaginary cosmo ness
The link between liberty and cosmopolitanism is more than conceptual.
In a freed society most change occurs at the margin — the world does not start afresh each day — because no central authority has the power to make society-wide decisions. But with freedom, the cumulative effect of change is dramatic and largely benign.
the uncertain future that, being the product of human action but not human design, spontaneously unfolds before us. Serendipity happens
In the absence of good cause to depart from traditional practices, one tends to accept those practices because, among other reasons, their longevity may be an evidence of their value. (Longevity is no guarantee of this.)
But the good sense in defaulting to credible opinions provides no case for freezing traditions in place, for this would imply an unjustifiable hubris regarding the current state of our knowledge.
After all, today’s traditions were once new: how do we know there aren’t hitherto undiscovered better ways to accomplish our ultimate objective, namely, the flourishing of individuals in society? Why would we want to deprive ourselves of the opportunity to learn of such knowledge?
but when he looks in his daughter’s eyes
The history of original liberalism overflows with acknowledgments that openness to change, which is the essence of cosmopolitanism, is vital to flourishing.
while mankind are imperfect there should be different opinions, so is it that there should be different experiments of living; that free scope should be given to varieties of character, short of injury to others; and that the worth of different modes of life should be proved practically, when any one thinks fit to try them. It is desirable, in short, that in things which do not primarily concern others, individuality should assert itself – john stewart mills
In pursuit of this life-enhancing knowledge the political program based on liberal cosmopolitanism — libertarianism — centers on unconditional free trade and freedom of movement, that is, open borders for people, capital, producer goods, and consumer goods. This program represents not merely an adherence to an abstraction, liberty. Rather it embodies the understanding that the flourishing of flesh-and-blood individual human beings, like the division of labor, is limited by the extent of society and that therefore the boundaries of society should be expanded through peaceful voluntary exchange to include the entire world.
has to be all of us