We live in a difficult time. Military, political and national conflicts are the real scourge of our era. We are almost accustomed to the fact that such events occur in the best case, somewhere far from us, but sometimes in the immediate vicinity. Those periods when people fought armed with shields and spears in order to conquer a new territory have already sunk into oblivion. These changes were replaced by others, and often much more dangerous.
With the advent of mass armies in the 20th century, xenophobia became an important tool for mobilizing the population for the war. This phenomenon is based on the fear of losing the national, cultural identity, individuality, security, and comfort in the world of people close to the ethnic group, occupation, religious beliefs, professional status, status in society or place of residence. This hatred, intolerance of anyone or anything alien, unfamiliar, unusual, the perception of someone else as inexplicable, incomprehensible, and therefore dangerous and hostile is set up to the rank of a worldview. On its basis, national, religious or social hostility is easily fomented. Therefore, from the second half of the 20th-century xenophobia is the main instrument for fomenting wars, directing aggression, and certain manipulations of the masses within the states.
No one openly claims that he is xenophobic. However, certain beliefs, stereotypes, and ideas imposed on us by the media project are already so firmly rooted in our heads that we began to judge people by black and white skin color, nationality, language and even the country in which they were born. This led to the fact that xenophobia progressed into real extremism.
It is always characterized by such features as violence or the threat of its use, fanaticism, and obsession with defending one’s own principles, inability to compromise. In its dangerous practice, extremism often links with terrorism. Both society and the state must struggle with it. The methods of this struggle are, of course, different for them. The state must eliminate the economic and political conditions conducive to the emergence of radical ideas and resolutely suppress the illegal activities of extremists. The society (non-governmental organizations, public radio, and ordinary citizens) should oppose radical calls to the humanistic ideas of civil peace, interethnic harmony and religious tolerance.
Once I heard the following phrase, “There are no bad nations. There are bad people”. This is really so, and I believe in it. I believe that all the people on the planet are, above all, citizens of the world. Everyone deserves equal respect for themselves, as well as each of us, should respect another person. I am convinced that the place of birth, the country of residence, national and ethnic origin, the color of skin, religious beliefs are nothing more than conventions. In fact, these boundaries do not exist; they are alive only in our minds. Of course, we all are different; we have different views on life, different attitudes to different things, we pray for different Gods and speak different languages. Let’s ask the question – in fact, what does all this matter? Why do we continue to hate each other in our time, when progress and civilization have reached a possible maximum? The wars for the territory are practically not relevant; there is hardly a piece of land that has not been explored on the planet. Why do we, being civilized, educated, cultured and democratic people, allow ourselves to consider someone better or worse than we are? Someone deserves the right to life, but someone is not worthy. Such an attitude will eventually destroy humanity from within. No Martians arrival threatens us; we will destroy ourselves by our own hatred.
The only way out is to cultivate tolerance and start right now. The period of the end of the 20th – beginning of the 21st century was a time of aggravation of interethnic contradictions and conflicts, the spread of interethnic intolerance throughout the world. These phenomena are due to a number of objective factors. Interethnic intolerance is a protective psychological reaction to the processes of cultural expansion, unification, and standardization, threatening to modify or destroy the unique ethnic and cultural identity of the individual. The most important tasks facing a modern multicultural society are overcoming negative trends in the sphere of interethnic relations, the formation of interethnic tolerance, the realization of its communicative potential. I believe that humanity can realize this task if everyone starts from oneself.
My belief in the citizenship of the world is not related to the passport issued by the World Service Authority (WSA). I believe that we are citizens of the world by birth only on the simple basis that we were born at a certain time on this planet. In the classical sense, a citizen of the world is a person who does not have and conditionally does not recognize any citizenship. It is a person traveling and living in various states of the world with virtuous ideology. One is free and independent of local ambitions and influences; one respects any traditions of the peoples.
A citizen of the world is sympathetic to any preferences or predilections of individuals and renders respect to an individual, not to a territorial or party affiliation. One does not recognize any privileges on racial, political, national and/or other grounds; does not accept humiliation, persecution and infringement of rights in religion, color of the skin (eyes, hair), physical and mental disabilities, convictions or delusions, personal preferences that do not exert negative influence and pressure on other persons, hobbies and traditions. Such a person dismisses the obviously obsolete traditions, accepts and spreads new ones, which may prove to be the best, convenient and progressive. One is interested in ancestral origin due to connection with the historical development of all humankind, and not with individual territorial predilections. This human is committed to the best multinational values of world culture.
In a positive sense, cosmopolitanism flows from the consciousness of the unity of the human race, so that the interests of individual states and peoples are subject to the common good of humanity as a whole. We find the real, though very imperfect, expression of this idea in external history in successive attempts to create a worldwide monarchy, as well as in the politics of the papal theocracy. Very often cosmopolitanism is taken only in the negative sense, as a simple lack of patriotism or affection to a state or country. I believe that such understanding is not correct. The idea of the whole does not abolish the real meaning of parts. As the love of the fatherland does not contradict the attachment to closer social groups, for example to one’s family and devotion to universal human interests does not exclude patriotism. The question is only in the final or higher measure for assessing one or another moral interest. Without a doubt, a decisive advantage should belong to the good of the whole of humankind, which includes the true good of each part.
However, I do not call for the renunciation of citizenship, religion and personal ideology. I just believe that the day when we all realize ourselves first as humans, and our planet as our common home, will ever come. Then we will think about the fact that we are united by a unified notion – a human. And when a person as a living being would be placed above bureaucratic conventions, when every individual will realize that murder and hatred provoke another murder and even more intense hatred, then our planet will have a chance to be saved. It sounds like an absolute utopia, but in this I believe.