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Examine the Arguments for and against the Assertion that we are now citizens of the World.

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Introduction

Examine the Arguments for and against the Assertion that we are now citizens of the World. In order to tackle the question we must be clear about what we mean by the term "global citizenship." Some would say the term "global citizen" means a person who simply lives on earth; others might want to expand it further. However, citizen implies a notion of belonging and also responsibility. Global citizenship in itself is a confusing phrase and perhaps it is not useful to talk in these terms. It is argued that global citizenship incorporates a person's values that work towards a global ethic. For instance, peace, justice, democracy, and awareness of global issues such as poverty, corruption and the environment are all factors that global citizens should be familiar with. However, perhaps we can make a distinction between the 'good' and the 'bad' global citizen, or rather 'non-active global citizenship' and 'active global citizenship'. The non-active global citizen might be a person who does not harm others but doesn't take responsibility for problems or issues in other parts of the world. Active global citizens can be described as having an awareness of global issues and their role as a citizen of the world; also they should be "willing to act to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place" (Oxfam International: 1). ...read more.

Middle

Developing countries are left even further behind as a result, with little chance of prosperity in such a consumer driven world. Not to mention the thousands of rainforest acres, that are destroyed to make room for cattle ranches, to produce burgers for such fast food chains as MacDonald's. Although such processes as 'Macdonaldisation' contribute to globalisation, they impede global citizenship, as capitalism has taken over, in part, our values to an extent whereby, instead of looking out for others, whether in other parts of the world or locally, we portray economic prosperity as the primary goal and look after ourselves only. Now that we have established what global citizenship implies, that people can be labelled non-active and active global citizens, and that by majority we are not active, we must look at ways to make people more aware of the need to address global issues. It would seem that there is one issue that most people agree on and this is preserving the environment. However, even in this field there is conflict. There are often disputes between the environmentalist and the people who live locally around rainforest areas. Where the environmentalist's objectives are to stop the industrialisation of such areas to save the thousands of species, the locals see industrialisation as brining "economic prosperity" (Shrader-Frechette: 221). ...read more.

Conclusion

Perhaps this amount is unrealistic but a good idea in principle. He recognised the fact that we need a structure to give aid rather than just giving a little bit, here and there, if we are going to make a difference to those less fortunate. In conclusion, the majority of us are not global citizens, as we do not all actively participate in global issues, although we do have global laws so it could be said that we are all global citizens by rule. But it is desirable that we become more aware of global issues, instead of being selfish and looking after ourselves and 'our own'. We need global institutions such as the UN as a rigid framework for laws but we also need NGO's to fight for global causes. But to really underpin global citizenship we need to be educated on global ethics, at a young age at schools and through the media. We value a sense of individuality but it has come at a cost. We have to take responsibility for a world, which we, as individuals share with each other people and remember what we do in out lifetimes will affect others who follow. Citizenship gives us certain rights and protection, but with these should also come a sense of responsibility if we are to become, citizens of the globe. ...read more.

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