By Dyab Abou Jahjah
From the Mediterranean to Rio Grande, between a picture of drowned immigrants and their children and the next, our common humanity goes back to sleep. Waiting for the next opportunity to emit some sound bites, to comment and show indignation and verbal revolt. Then we regain our comfort zone. We do not need more tears and emotional tirades against injustice and inhumanity. And no it is not Trump causing this, the problem is much deeper. The problem lays in the structure of our world. A structure that is no more adapted to our reality or to the challenges we are facing.
Nationalism with its passports and borders and boundaries was at a certain moment in history a positive evolution. It meant often emancipation from imperial dominion and from feudal structures of serfdom. Certainly where nationalism went along with democracy, the new nation-states served as incubators for the emancipation of more people than ever before in history.
However, today, nationalism, borders and the rest of the gadgets that go with it pose a threat to our survival as a species. The problem is hardly a moral or an ethical one. It is not even an emotional one provoked by scenes of injustice and human suffering within the context of immigration. The issue is that there is not one existential problem we are facing today as a species, that can be solved through borders and nationalism. There is not one single issue we are facing today, that we can solve while maintaining a rigid understanding of "sovereignty" as we know it. Not the climate crisis, not poverty, not war, not disease. These are all global problems, related to the true structure of our planet and society and not to the imaginary national or inter-national orders. Global problems that necessitate global mobilization of people, ideas and resources in a coordinated effort. Just like the challenge of new developing markets and emerging middle classes necessitated the creation of nationhood and the modern nation state in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, today these challenges cry for a higher level of managing policies.
In order to make that happen, we need to transcend our nationalities and national identities, and to emerge as one global subject. We need to reduce nationalism into folklore that can be useful for sport competition and cultural and artistic appreciation, not more.
And we need a global democratic order carried by this emerging new subject. Not a UN that is taken hostage by American, Russian, Chinese and European agendas and vetoes, and not the oligarchy of multinationals and their local stooges.
Saving peoples lives, when one can, is above politics, national laws and regulation and the will of the people, it is a moral and legal duty under international law!.
Providing refugees with a dignified safe haven is above politics, national laws, and democracy. It is about human rights treaties and charters, hence a moral and legal duty under international law.
Above all, these legal duties, injected by international human rights charters, are holding within them the very definition of human characteristics.
Being loyal to what makes us human should be transcendent to politics, to the will of the majority of citizens, to the national laws and even to the constitution.
These values should be protected and implemented by the judicial system, in full separation from the two other levels of power, and based upon international human rights treaties and charters, as sole source of legislation.
We have globalized the market, isn't it time to globalize all human beings, their welfare and their rights? This is not some theoretical pan-anthropist dream, it is a matter of survival.
So can we claim globalization back from nations with imperial ambitions, from huge global companies, and other power tools in the hands of elites? We do not have another choice, because as long as we do not do that, we are all drowning.