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A Nature More than Human

Mildred F. Reel

As citizens of the most powerful nation in the world our first responsibility is to ensure the earth's survival. To this extent, giving power to America first, right or wrong, can, as Martha Nussbaum says, prove to be morally and physically dangerous. But I do not believe many of us are ready to serve her ideal of Cosmopolitanism concerning other issues. To guarantee a world where all citizens have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would call for an enormous leap in consciousness. A nature more than human. Perhaps we will eventually evolve to this, but for the present surviving together is about all we have the capacity to do.

Before we can transcend to world citizenship considerable education is needed. Whether this education should include the histories, problems, and comparative successes of other nations is debatable. We do need to reflect on our acts that enrich us, but rob another. We cannot isolate ourselves and survive, yet isn't there a balance in between? A place where we can cooperate as world citizens where survival is threatened, yet keep much of our individualism, allowing ourselves to care more for our family, and our nation; to feel our national pride, to support the Cowboys, or whatever team causes us to feel a part of our group. When groups become too large, we begin to coerce others to our beliefs and values. We feel more comfortable and more powerful in smaller groupings. We cannot, as Martha Nussbaum seems to think, deal with human nature by making UN resolutions. Collectively, with Cosmopolitanism, perhaps we can find ways to protect our water, air and food supply, and control population. We can, as democracies, share responsibility to see that violence is not tolerated as a way to achieve political control. But Cosmopolitanism is not, in my opinion, the way most of us want to go. At least not yet.

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