A Common Denominator
What do Socrates, Thomas Paine, Martin Luther King, Jr, John Nash—"A Beautiful Mind"—Ronald Reagan, and Shirley Kermali have in common? They all claimed to be "citizens of the world."
Socrates, 1400 years ago, advised his fellow Athenians to call themselves not only Athenians and Greeks, but also "citizens of the world," Tom Paine, during the Revolutionary War, wrote that "My country is the world and all men are my brothers;" Dr. King’s announcement came during the Vietnam War; John Nash, personally influenced by Einstein’s advocacy of world government while at Princeton as a graduate student in 1948-49, came to Europe in 1959 seeking a way to identify himself with the burgeoning world citizenship movement by first renouncing his US nationality (see Sylvia Nasar’s book, "A Beautiful Mind"); Ronald Reagan addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations "not only as an American but also as a citizen of the world;"
Shirley Kermali, a Black Foot Native American, who is presently in a Portland, Maine jail awaiting an INS decision whether she will be "paroled" back to her home in Ozone Park, NY, is a registered citizen of the World Government of World Citizens having signed up while sitting in a Canadian jail in Mississagua, Ontario for seven months simply for having no national birth certificate.
The "territory" of all these claimants—and thousands of other world citizens throughout the community—is obviously planet earth itself minus national borders. World Citizens are ‘populating" this promised land, this "Shangri-la" of world peace, freedom and abundance. It is the only "land" that astronauts and anyone or anything else observing the planet see. It is the "land" onto which we humans are all born and from which we depart. It is the "land" which defines "human" rights.
And it is the "land" which all allegedly sovereign nations claim is "theirs" and not "ours."
Rational thinking people consider World Citizens as ‘delusionary." Even John Nash tried to live for years in two "realities," first, the highly disiplined world of mathematics, second, the politically intuitive world of peace through law. But "where" was the latter? How did one "enter" that one world without renouncing the lower level of "reality"? Wasn’t all political thinking defined by the horizontal we-vs-they parameter? Captured in the "cocoon" of the nation like a blind silkworm, how could one even imagine the metamorphasized freedom of the world citizen "butterfly"?
Who then is in reality "delusional," the rationalists or the one worlders?
The prevailing "we-vs-they" syndrome is "we, humans-vs-they, terrorists." But the same horizontal parameter is self-evident. To "escape" from the national "cocoon" before dying from the suffocating, self-generating excrement (or violence) requires a conceptual grasp of the "vertical" reality of one world and one humanity, not as banalities or political and media one-liners, but as living macrocosms of each human microcosm.
King, Nash, Paine, Kermali and others were and are living icons of the ancient promise of spiritual and physical fulfillment of human striving toward one peaceful world for our human family as taught by gurus, sages, philosophers and saviors from time immemorial.
The days of the illusionary nation-state are numbered by the self-evident reality of humanity and its planetary homebase.
Copyright(©) Garry Davis 2002. All rights reserved.