Internationalism (politics)

Internationalism (politics)

:"For the Marxist concept of internationalism, see proletarian internationalism."

Internationalism is a political movement that advocates a greater economic and political cooperation among nations for the theoretical benefit of all. Partisans of this movement, such as supporters of the World Federalist Movement, claim that nations should cooperate because their long-term mutual interests are of greater value than their individual short term needs.

Internationalism is by nature opposed to ultranationalism, jingoism and national chauvinism. Internationalism presupposes the recognition of other nations as equal, in spite of all their differences. The term internationalism is often wrongly used as a synonym for cosmopolitanism. 'Cosmopolitanist' is also sometimes used as a term of abuse for internationalists. Internationalism is not necessarily anti-nationalism.Fact|date=June 2008

The modern ideal of internationalism

Internationalism is most commonly expressed as an appreciation for the diverse cultures in the world, and a desire for world peace. People who express this view take pride in not only being a citizen of their respective countries, but of being a citizen of the world. Internationalists feel obliged to assist the world through leadership and charity.

Internationalists advocate the presence of a United Nations type organization, and often support a stronger version of a world government.

Contributors to the current version of internationalism include Albert Einstein, who believed in a world government, and expressed the follies of nationalism as "an infantile sickness".

George Washington's advice in relation to internationalism

Washington advised the United States, in his Farewell Address, to remain a neutral player in the international political game. He urged the new republic to avoid conflicts and alliances with other nations. Although he felt that economic ties with other nations should be promoted to encourage trade and commerce, political ties should be minimal. He was concerned that having close relations could force the US to unite with allies to promote their interest and be drawn into their war. Likewise, he was concerned that strongly discordant relations would do the same and that both situations could force the US into conflicts that may not be important to the US. He was concerned that these types of relations would cause passion driven foreign policy rather than policy based upon the nation's interest. Quoting him, "Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world...." - (George Washington Farewell Address)Fact|date=February 2007 However, George Washington was not the only Founding Father of the United States to advise neutrality in foreign affairs. Thomas Jefferson, quoting him, stated "I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government [to be] peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none..." "Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto." - (Thomas Jefferson 1801 former quote 1799 latter).

The sovereign nations vs supernational powers balance

Internationalism, in the strict meaning of the word, is still based on the existence of sovereign nations. Its aims are to encourage multilateralism (world leadership not held by any single country) and create some formal and informal interdependence between countries, with some limited supranational powers given to international organizations controlled by those nations via intergovernmental treaties and institutions.

The ideal of many internationalists, among them world citizens, is to go a step further towards democratic globalization by creating a world government. However, this idea is opposed and/or thwarted by other internationalists, who believe any World Government body would be inherently too powerful to be trusted, or because they dislike the path taken by supranational entities such as the United Nations or the European Union and fear that a world government inclined towards fascism would emerge from the former. These internationalists are more likely to support a loose world federation in which most power resides with the national governments.

Internationalism in the United States

The United States of America is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the United Nations, Central American Free Trade Agreement, the Security and Prosperity Partnership, among others. The United States nearly became a member in the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, which would have initially opened trade with all nations in North and South America except Cuba. However, due to its similar structure to the European Unions' constitution, some say that the changes would not be limited and that they would continue a growing trend towards a trilateral (Canada Mexico and the United States) government. There are many organizations that oppose this, such as The John Birch Society. However, many suspect that "free" trade, one of the aspects of internationalism, with China is not "free" and not under control. What validates this argument, however, is the fact that China subsidizes their industries 17%, keep their currency artificially low and tariffs American goods. []

Internationalism in Britain

In nineteenth century Britain there was a liberal internationalist strand of political thought epitomised by Richard Cobden and John Bright. Cobden and Bright were against the protectionist Corn Laws and in a speech at Covent Garden on September 28 1843 Cobden outlined this brand of internationalism:

"Free Trade! What is it? Why, breaking down the barriers that separate nations; those barriers behind which nestle the feelings of pride, revenge, hatred and jealously, which every now and then burst their bounds and deluge whole countries with blood... [] "

Cobden therefore believed that Free Trade would pacify the world by interdependence, an idea also expressed by Adam Smith in his The Wealth of Nations and common to many liberals of the time. A belief in the idea of the moral law and an inherent goodness in human nature also inspired their faith in internationalism.

In the twentieth century a Gladstonian liberal who became a socialist after the Great War, J. A. Hobson in his book "Imperialism" (1902), anticipated the growth of international courts and congresses which would hopefully settle international disputes between nations in a peaceful way. Sir Norman Angell in his work "The Great Illusion" (1910) claimed that the world was united by trade, finance, industry and communications and that therefore nationalism was an anachronism and that war would not profit anyone involved but would only result in destruction.

Lord Lothian was an internationalist and an imperialist who in December 1914 looked forward to:

"...the voluntary federation of the free civilised nations which will eventually exorcise the spectre of competitive armaments and give lasting peace to mankind." (J.R.M. Butler, "Lord Lothian 1882-1940" (Macmillan, 1960), p. 56.)

In September 1915 he thought the British Empire was 'the perfect example of the eventual world Commonwealth' (Ibid, p. 57).

Internationalism expressed itself in Britain through the endorsement of the League of Nations by such people as Gilbert Murray. Both the Liberal Party and more so the Labour Party had prominent internationalist members, like the Labour Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald who believed that 'our true nationality is mankind' (Lord Vansittart, "The Mist Procession", p. 373).

Other uses of the term

*In a less restricted sense, internationalism is a word describing the impetus and motivation for the creation of any international organizations. The earliest such example of broad internationalism would be the drive to replace feudal systems of measurement with the metric system, long before the creation of international organizations like the World Court, the League of Nations, and the United Nations.

*In linguistics, an "internationalism" is a loanword that, originating in one language, has been borrowed by most other languages. Other examples of such borrowings include "OK", "microscope", and "tokamak".

*There is also proletarian internationalism, the Marxist form of internationalism.

Further reading

*cite book|last= Ankerl |first= Guy |title= Global communication without universal civilization |origyear= 2000 |series= INU societal research |volume= Vol.1: Coexisting contemporary civilizations : Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western |publisher= INU Press |location= Geneva |isbn= 2-88155-004-5 |pages=

ee also

*Internationalism and Cosmopolitanism
*Global Citizens Movement
*Global Justice

External links

* [ "Pop Internationalism" by Paul Krugman]
* [ Web portal of the Internationalist Review]

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