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Cosmopolitanism Must Be Left as an Individual Choice - Essay Example

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Cosmopolitanism Must Be Left as an Individual Choice

New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Los Angeles as well as London are basic examples of "cosmopolitanized" cities around the globe embracing an eclectic mix of people with various cultures and traditions in a seemingly harmonious way.
But this does not mean that there are no concerns being raised. In fact, elsewhere, discrimination still permeates even in highly cosmopolitan cities like New York where "cosmopolitan" lifestyle has been a trademark as against "other" cities. There exists a stark idiosyncrasy on perception of being a "cosmopolitan". Either one has embraced and integrated the word to one's own lifestyle or "tolerate" the existence of this culture, if it may be considered as such.
The United States, for one, in trying to protect and allow all the Constitutional privileges of its citizens, which at present vary in their "origin" or nationalities has its scholars and thinkers argue on which must come first: the individual which is associated with liberal rights, or the group which also exercises their rights to organize as provided for by their liberal rights.
Barry (2002) aptly argued in his "Culture and Equality: An Egalitarian Critique of Multiculturalism" book that "What we might find out by experience is that institutionalizing group representation offers opportunities and incentives for political entrepreneurs to whip up intragroup solidarity and intergroup hostility in the pursuit of power. And indeed this has happened all over the world virtually every time group representation has been introduced."
Backed with empirical case studies as well as theories that made his presentation and argument not only convincing but powerful, his insights explored in depth religious and educational issues such as the case of Sikhs in Britain, Amish, and Quebec separatism. Without neglecting the rights of the members of minority groups, he calls to attention the reader to the concept of universal rights as "(universal) rules define a choice set which is the same for everybody; within that choice set people pick a particular course of action by deciding what is best calculated to satisfy their underlying preferences for outcomes uniform rules create identical choice sets, then opportunities are equal," (Barry, 2002).
This goes to say that individual rights come first before group or collective choices. He implied that "rule and exception" approaches to public policy must encompass a universality that is applied equally among all citizens to remove the danger of protectionism and that the best way to help the least advantaged is by avoiding politics of difference and guaranteeing the full benefits of citizenship.
Barry went on to add that "within a liberal state all groups are free to deploy their energies and recourses in pursuit of culturally derived objectives on the same terms." Likewise, The Wilson Quarterly (1995) quoted Dr. Samuel Johnson, who famously said "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." Liberals were hailed to have gone further by embracing "all humankind " scoring on patriotic pride as "both morally dangerous and, ultimately subversive of ...Show more

Summary

With the advent of cosmopolitanism during the last decades, it is quite difficult to determine placement of nationalism over liberalism and if there must be a dividing line between the two. The concept of cosmopolitanism both defy and yet at a closer perspective, strengthen these two ideals being that cosmopolitan is signified as a character that has adopted a mixture of cultures or is representative of various, and probably, all countries.
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Cosmopolitanism Must Be Left as an Individual Choice essay example
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