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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/6/15

Citizens of the World, Unite!

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Rote Citizenship Sullied: Take it or Leave it. Or Buy it.

What if one over-riding conundrum -- namely, the personal-national identify called citizenship -- stands between global breakthroughs and gridlocked status quo? What systemic threats (not just climate but overpopulation, militarism, terrorism, pandemics and non-sustainability) are confronted without greater consensus that declares we must become full-fledged planetary citizens? Like it or not. What greater stumbling block impedes both bottom-up and topdown world alliances than knee-jerk nationalism?

Beyond digging out passports, how often do most of us think about personal citizenship? Certainly few here endorse the inane Trumpian cousin, the patriotic tribalism of "my country, right or wrong." Oddly enough, while globalism discredits all such delusions, that doesn't stop demagogues like Trump from wielding bludgeons of bravado. Further, the sanctity of citizenship is further discounted as a fistful of countries large and small hawk citizenship, passports and travel entitlements for cash.

This is arguably a good thing, stripping away fictions that God or fate or geography anoint one's "chosen" place with moral superiority on race or class or religion. That tunnel vision informs what no US president has yet renounced: the glory of "manifest destiny," the quasi-religious belief a higher power approves our every conquest: how else after all does the Almighty deliver free trade and democracy, if not redemption?

Thus bartered citizenship, per this BBC report, ain't what it used to be: "For an investment of $100,000 plus various fees . . . on the island [of Dominica], citizenship can be bought." Billionaires, start your "passport portfolio" engine, delivering safety from all varieties of insurrection. "Since Dominica is a Commonwealth nation, citizens get special privileges in the UK, . . . travel to 50 countries, including Switzerland, without a visa."

Think the US is above come-ons, if not bribery? Nah, our EB-5 "Investor Immigrant" visa program charges $500K+ (and ten new jobs) to welcome 10K foreigners per year to join the land of the free and the home of the brave. What ninny says rule-bound government isn't a job creator? What good business won't sell value-packed goods to the highest bidder?

Porous Borders, Porous Thinking

Consider moreover how permeable borders (marked less by crossings than millions overstaying visas) shred the purity of citizenship. Add in renunciation by expats exiled by economic/retirement/tax pressures, or facing criminal indictments, or repulsed by Yankee brutality, at home and abroad. Don't leave out secessionist hordes who defy federalism, spearheaded by armed militants who betray their own legacy, homeland, and Constitution.

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For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at Dissident Voice, with credits (more...)

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