Monday, November 10, 2008

Internationalism vs. Nationalism

This is in response to a discussion my advisor Dr. Petersen and I were having. The topic of internationalism (communitarian or collective governing) vs. nationalism (sovereignty) came up. I am totally seeing a thesis project develop out of this:

Mearsheimer is right that creating a space for a new international order cannot guarantee it to be better—and, yes, it might be worse. However, I am seeing sovereignty as a barrier against the progress toward peace. Regardless of what Rousseau actually thought of sovereignty, I think he said it best when he said that men were naive to accept the declaration from the first man that declared he owned a particular plot of land; that wars erupted as part of the perpetuation of this naivety. In actuality the earth belongs to us all. In agreeing with this line of thinking, I do not see sovereignty as naturally derived, but an ego-driven construct of man. Therefore, I also see the relinquishing of sovereignty tied to a relinquishing of some ego. So, while an international government, or some form of collective or cooperative government, may not be completely benign, its constitution of diminished ego creates an arena for the opportunity of more shared understanding. This, I believe, creates a space for something more benign—though not guaranteed (link to original).