Patriotism or Cosmopolitanism

Topics: Concentric, Third World, Cosmopolitanism Pages: 5 (1821 words) Published: November 7, 2010
Humankind would be a better place if we were all just citizens of the world. In Martha Nussbaum’s “Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism” she argues whether children should be taught in education to be patriotic or cosmopolitan. Nussbaum’s definition of cosmopolitanism is a person whose primary allegiance is to the community of human beings in the entire world. Nussbaum begins her argument by raising questions about education and how students ought to be taught that hunger in third world countries are problems of global problems and not the countries problem. She says “We should regard out deliberations as, first and foremost, deliberations about human problems of people in particular concrete situations, not problems growing out of a national identity that is altogether unlike that of others.”(P 1)

When Nussbaum says to be a citizen of the world one does not have to give up local identifications, she has a point. One can be patriotic of their homeland or the place of their residence, it gives them a sense of belonging and alliance. This way they feel like there are more people out there who are like them. In today’s interconnected world patriotism can be perilous to many. After 9/11 there was an outbreak of patriotism and not only from New Yorkers but it was amongst Americans all over the country. They felt as though this happened in their own backyard and not miles away. After that they started to turn away from all Muslims no matter their culture or status. What many failed to realize is that there was a mosque inside the twin towers and not only did American born citizens die but no, people of all origins did. Just because a person is Muslim, it does not mean they are not American citizens. Some have been here for generations; the black Muslims have been here for centuries. Patriotism may be good at points but it also has its flaws. There was a situation when a man was yelling out that he was an American and he killed a Sikh man because he was not native born. This man did not really know the true meaning of patriotism and that is the problem because there are many others like him. They turn patriotism into hate and humankind must be educated, filled with knowledge about other people. where they come from, who they are, how they live and what they’re all about. This is just one of many examples.

Currently, a Mosque is trying to be built a couple blocks away from ground zero. It is at the site of a building which has not been bought for many years and now that someone did buy it, there are many oppositions. The Mosque, which is also call Park51 will be built as a community center for all Muslims and the general public. The Park51 which is a 15 story tower will have a Mosque on two floors, then a 500-seat auditorium, and a pool. Its leaders say it will be modeled on the Y.M.C.A. and Jewish Community Center in Manhattan (NY Times)What Americans who are opposing the building of this are saying that America should stand up and stop this. But if America was what it truly stood for, they would let this be. The would understand that it is not a place of extremist, but a place of getting together , praying to God and being one. Not all Muslims are terrorist nor are they or once race. Muslims come from all over the world from different races and cultures. This community center is a ways for people to get together in one of the most interconnected cities. Beyond doubt, what is going on right now is not patriotism but it is racism and its ultimately leading to Islamophobia. What will this teach the kids of America, the kids who are our future leaders. It will teach them to hate minorities and anyone who does not match their precise description of an American.

The Stoics make a point that the concentric circles should be made so that somehow all of humanity is pulled together towards the center. Nussbaum wants education to teach kids to recognize humanity wherever they encounter it. They must learn enough to acknowledge common...
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