How to be a patriot as a cosmopolite?

50% of the surveyed students born in a particular member state of the European Union intend to move abroad for a time. Are they betraying their mother country? What kind of emotions hang around them while hearing their greatest national poem at school celebrations?  „Oh, Magyar, keep immovably your native country’s trust, for it has born you, and at death will consecrate your dust!”


Patriotism. The comitted affection and defense of one’s country have led to terrible massacres and uncountable self-sacrifices throughout the history. I was fortunately born in peacetime when the threat of grabbing real guns seems not too severe. However, decisions to leave one’s country often face rather critical and hostile reactions. Expatriots are frequently blamed for not loving their country enough to stay and boost it.

Due to globalization many consider that nation-state based political system has become outdated. By definition cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all humans belong to one community, based on a shared ethics. Individuals from different origins form bonds of mutual respect.

I am wondering what will strengthen further the connection among cosmopolitans beyond this mutual acceptance. Our current patriotic identity and cohesion are based on our national history, literature and pride of what we have done for humanity. How will it be possible to form a similar connection between individuals whose nations led bloody wars against each other in the past? 

Our basic necessities include belongingness and safety needs. What can be the nuclear community the interests and borders of which should be protected? Although the idea of one single united humanity is graceful, cooperation always goes hand in hand with conflicts of interests. What will be the guidelines for a cosmopolitan when forming opinion?  It is high time to answer these questions as future cosmopolitan citizens have already been born and need consistent upbringing.


14 thoughts on “How to be a patriot as a cosmopolite?

  1. Wow, really liked, a smart post. After 16th century, sovereingnty of stte ideology enhanced, therefore, nationalism and democracy became stronger gradually. I guess, last events in political and economic world are reminiscent of nationalistic motives which weakens cosmpolitanism. What is your thought about that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Societies managed to shift from city-states to nation-states in the past and they had to answer similar questions. Although nation-states have political/legal/geographical boundaries and you can feel belongingness, which is a key need for humans. I have read somewhere that a cruical feature of humans is their ability to cooperate in mass. River control became possible this way in the past, which was a number one step to control our environment and become more resilient than other species.
      I could imagine that member states of European Union become more closely-knit but this Brexit is showing another direction.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am not an expert but I suppose nobody can imagine what they should be preparing for. So many policies have to be revised, so many calculations, ideological debates must be carried out even before presenting it to EU.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. yeah, i am not an expert either, but vastly interested in whole ongoing process. We will see. If Le Pen was elected, EU would have been over probably, Macron’s selection was vital. So, i also want EU to continue rather than being dissolved.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. One of the European politicans said that individual European nation-states can not really compete with continent-sized countries such Russia, China or US. Actually I live in Hungary (10 M inhabitants), we are really small.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. This is another fantastic post and great nutrition for the brain.
    From where I sit, people do have some kind of national identityand can blend in together to some extent. However, I think there’s critical point where the lines blur too much, and people start retreating to a more nationalist position, which is my take on Brexit.
    I’m Australian and I’ve studied Australian cultural history at university and want my kids to grow up being citizens of the world, but I also want them to experience Australian culture. I want them to see Australian movies and talk like Australians without speaking like Americans in particular. This is a serious concern for me, now that they’re watching utube, playing online games etc. I am also very alarmed about my son getting drawn into American gun culture. We’ve had serious talks. Guns aren’t part of my upbringing AT ALL. although my husband grew up in the country, providing a different perspective. Gun violence is really pushing me to pull back from US culture. Australia has fairly tight gun laws.
    In the past, there was a lot of pressure for migrant to assimilate in Australia but I think that has eased, although I could be wrong. I personally appreicate cultural diversity, although I do believe it’s important for all Australians to know our own culture…works by our artists, poets, the history of the Aboriginal people.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For exemple when a cosmopolite should take sides in an economic or political issue concerning their mother country and their actual hosting country, which side should they support? The one where they were born and bred or the other one where they pay tax, use infrastucture and receive health care? For a cosmopolite will only individual interests be taken into account (where to live, whom to support)?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a tough one. One area people are expected to change is in sports teams. We Aussies do not look kindly on the English who we call “the pommes” going for English for too long after they’ve been out here. The New Zealanders or Kiwis get away with it to so extent and there’s fierce rivalry though non-violent. We also have the State of origin football between NSW and Queensland which can get intense but usually in good fun.

        Liked by 1 person

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