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Due to globalization many consider that nation-state based political system has become outdated.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.



  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

    • 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

  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

    • 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

      • 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

  3. How? I submit one of Hannah Arendt’s most powerful reflections:
    “Only the universal matters”.
    I would add: All the rest is folklore. 🙂
    But then of course, “Baguette” is universal. 😉
    Nice blog. I’ll be back.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting post, thank you. 🙂

    It is a paradox that the one thing which unites all of humanity and the Universe is: Division!

    It is division which gives all meaning. Imagine a uniform Universe – totally boring with everything being like everything else. It is only when things can be distinguished ( divided, separated) from another that any meaning or sensation or identity can be realised. ( It’s possibly why God created the physical universe – to realise his Spiritual identity by creating an opposite to spirit! 😉 )

    You want something to unify us? Give us something we all can oppose – Aliens to go to war with so we need to unite for our common survival! A global epidemic all can unite behind in defense of. A rising of an artificial unhuman intelligence that will overcome and rule over the planet. etc.

    It is inherent in our human nature that we are unable to agree upon any one thing; as example consider the number of different Christian religious sects and schisms, all of which are supposedly based upon a single human beings life record. The true believers cannot even agree on that so what chance is there for all of us to agree to a common cosmopolitan way of living?

    As for cosmopolitanism as a world wide way of life? It has a chance of reducing a large number of the problems currently facing humanity but if you are going to do it you have to do it 100% You can’t have a world wide cosmopolitan life and still have things like national (Australian for instance) culture that will only perpetuate the difference/struggles/problems because most cultures have differences from those of others that result in conflicts.

    I could probably add a lot more but too much at one time is never a good thing 😉


    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you.
      I can see that the young are now more willing to move abroad for good, but the reasons are mostly economic (at this part of the world). Two decades ago expats used to be said “rootless”, which is not frequent these days, though.
      I agree that we are not wired to absorb cosmopolitanism right now, because our evolution has worked in a bottom-up way. And this raises my concerns. I do not think that the current diversity of education, traditions and socialisation could lay the foundation of cosmopolitanism.
      If you check the quote in my post you can see what views some national poems and anthems have about patriotism.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Learning different languages and meeting others will always help.
    Help understand different ways or perspectives.
    I have lived in so many places, that I am in a way a citizen of the world.
    If the UN issued such passports, I’d be the first one in the queue.
    And yet, I will always remain totally French inside. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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