Internationalism (politics)

Internationalism (politics)

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Internationalism is a political movement
Political movement
A political movement is a social movement in the area of politics. A political movement may be organized around a single issue or set of issues, or around a set of shared concerns of a social group...

 which advocates a greater economic and political cooperation among nations for the theoretical benefit of all. Partisans of this movement, such as supporters of the World Federalist Movement
World Federalist Movement
The World Federalist Movement is a global citizens movement with member and associate organizations around the world. The WFM International Secretariat is based in New York City across from the United Nations headquarters...

, claim that nations should cooperate because their long-term mutual interests are of greater value than their individual short term needs.

Internationalism is by nature opposed to ultranationalism, jingoism
Jingoism
Jingoism is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy. In practice, it is a country's advocation of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests...

, realism and national chauvinism
Chauvinism
Chauvinism, in its original and primary meaning, is an exaggerated, bellicose patriotism and a belief in national superiority and glory. It is an eponym of a possibly fictional French soldier Nicolas Chauvin who was credited with many superhuman feats in the Napoleonic wars.By extension it has come...

. Internationalism teaches that the people of all nations have more in common than they do differences, and thus that nations should treat each other as equals. The term internationalism is often wrongly used as a synonym
Synonym
Synonyms are different words with almost identical or similar meanings. Words that are synonyms are said to be synonymous, and the state of being a synonym is called synonymy. The word comes from Ancient Greek syn and onoma . The words car and automobile are synonyms...

 for cosmopolitanism
Cosmopolitanism
Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality. This is contrasted with communitarian and particularistic theories, especially the ideas of patriotism and nationalism...

. 'Cosmopolitanist' is also sometimes used as a term of abuse for internationalists. Internationalism is not necessarily anti-nationalism
Anti-nationalism
Anti-nationalism denotes the sentiments associated with the opposition to nationalism, arguing that it is undesirable or dangerous. Some anti-nationalists are humanitarians or humanists who pursue an idealist form of world community, and self-identify as world citizens. They reject chauvinism,...

, as in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

.

Modern expression


Internationalism is most commonly expressed as an appreciation for the diverse cultures in the world, and a desire for world peace. People who express this view believe in not only being a citizen of their respective countries, but of being a citizen of the world
World citizen
World citizen has a variety of similar meanings, often referring to a person who disapproves of traditional geopolitical divisions derived from national citizenship....

. Internationalists feel obliged to assist the world through leadership and charity.

Internationalists also advocate the presence of an international organization, such as the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, and often support a stronger form of a world government.

Contributors to the current version of internationalism include Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

, who believed in a world government, and classified the follies of nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 as "an infantile sickness".

Sovereign nations vs. supernational powers balance


Internationalism, in the strict meaning of the word, is still based on the existence of sovereign nations. Its aims are to encourage multilateralism
Multilateralism
Multilateralism is a term in international relations that refers to multiple countries working in concert on a given issue.International organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization are multilateral in nature...

 (world leadership not held by any single country) and create some formal and informal interdependence between countries, with some limited supranational powers given to international organisations controlled by those nations via intergovernmental
Intergovernmental
Intergovernmental can refer to:*Intergovernmentalism*Intergovernmental Risk Pool*Intergovernmental organization...

 treaties and institutions.

The ideal of many internationalists, among them world citizen
World citizen
World citizen has a variety of similar meanings, often referring to a person who disapproves of traditional geopolitical divisions derived from national citizenship....

s, is to go a step further towards democratic globalization
Alter-globalization
Alter-globalization is the name of a social movement that supports global cooperation and interaction, but which opposes the negative effects of economic globalization, feeling that it often works to the detriment of, or does not...

 by creating a world government
World government
World government is the notion of a single common political authority for all of humanity. Its modern conception is rooted in European history, particularly in the philosophy of ancient Greece, in the political formation of the Roman Empire, and in the subsequent struggle between secular authority,...

. However, this idea is opposed and/or thwarted by other internationalists, who believe any World Government body would be inherently too powerful to be trusted, or because they dislike the path taken by supranational entities such as the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 or the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and fear that a world government inclined towards fascism
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 would emerge from the former. These internationalists are more likely to support a loose world federation
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

 in which most power resides with the national governments.

United States


The United States of America is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, Central American Free Trade Agreement, the Security and Prosperity Partnership, among others. The United States nearly became a member in the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, which would have initially opened trade with all nations in North and South America except Cuba.

However, many economic nationalists
Economic nationalism
Economic nationalism is a term used to describe policies which emphasize domestic control of the economy, labor and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labor, goods and capital. It opposes globalization in many cases, or at...

 suspect that "free" trade, one of the aspects of internationalism, with China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 is not "free" and not under control. What assists in this argument, however, is the fact that China subsidizes their industries 17% to keep their currency artificially low and to tariff American goods.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson


Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 advised the United States, in his Farewell Address
George Washington's Farewell Address
George Washington's Farewell Address was written to "The People of the United States" near the end of his second term as President of the United States and before his retirement to his home at Mount Vernon....

, to remain a neutral player in the international political game. He urged the new republic to avoid conflicts and alliances with other nations. Although he felt that economic ties with other nations should be promoted to encourage trade and commerce, political ties should be minimal. He was concerned that having close relations could force the United States to unite with allies to promote their interest and be drawn into their war, such as what later occurred in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Likewise, he was concerned that strongly discordant relations would do the same and that both situations could force the US into conflicts that may not be important to the US. In addition, he was concerned that these types of relations would cause passion driven foreign policy rather than policy based upon the nation's interest. Quoting him, "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world."

However, George Washington was not the only Founding Father of the United States to advise neutrality in foreign affairs. Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

, stated as early as 1799 that "Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto", and in 1801 "I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government [to be] peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." However, Jefferson did believe that nations could work together when faced with common threats. As a diplomat in Europe during the 1780s, Jefferson unsuccessfully attempted to organize a multi-national coalition to mount a naval campaign against the Barbary Pirates of North Africa.

Britain


In nineteenth century Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 there was a liberal
Liberal international relations theory
Unlike realism where the state is seen as a unitary actor, liberalism allows for plurality in state actors. Thus, preferences will vary from state to state, depending on factors such as culture, economic system or government type...

 internationalist
Internationalist
Internationalist may refer to:* Internationalism , a movement to increase cooperation across national borders* Internationalist, socialists opposed to World War I* The Internationalist Review, an e-journal founded in Maastricht...

 strand of political thought epitomised by Richard Cobden
Richard Cobden
Richard Cobden was a British manufacturer and Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with John Bright in the formation of the Anti-Corn Law League as well as with the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty...

 and John Bright
John Bright
John Bright , Quaker, was a British Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with Richard Cobden in the formation of the Anti-Corn Law League. He was one of the greatest orators of his generation, and a strong critic of British foreign policy...

. Cobden and Bright were against the protectionist Corn Laws and in a speech at Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as...

 on September 28, 1843 Cobden outlined this brand of internationalism:

Free Trade
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

! What is it? Why, breaking down the barriers that separate nations; those barriers behind which nestle the feelings of pride
Pride
Pride is an inwardly directed emotion that carries two common meanings. With a negative connotation, pride refers to an inflated sense of one's personal status or accomplishments, often used synonymously with hubris...

, revenge
Revenge
Revenge is a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance, be it real or perceived. It is also called payback, retribution, retaliation or vengeance; it may be characterized, justly or unjustly, as a form of justice.-Function in society:Some societies believe that the...

, hatred
Hatred
Hatred is a deep and emotional extreme dislike, directed against a certain object or class of objects. The objects of such hatred can vary widely, from inanimate objects to animals, oneself or other people, entire groups of people, people in general, existence, or the whole world...

 and jealously, which every now and then burst their bounds and deluge whole countries with blood...


Cobden therefore believed that Free Trade would pacify the world by interdependence
Interdependence
Interdependence is a relation between its members such that each is mutually dependent on the others. This concept differs from a simple dependence relation, which implies that one member of the relationship can function or survive apart from the other....

 (see Cobdenism
Cobdenism
Cobdenism is an economic theory, focusing on the free market and free trade named for the British statesman and economist Richard Cobden.Whilst the term Cobdenism is largely unused nowadays, Cobdenism traditionally has a stronger focus on international free trade and a belief that a result of free...

), an idea also expressed by Adam Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

 in his The Wealth of Nations
The Wealth of Nations
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, generally referred to by its shortened title The Wealth of Nations, is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith...

 and common to many liberals of the time. A belief in the idea of the moral law and an inherent goodness in human nature
Human nature
Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally....

 also inspired their faith in internationalism.

In the twentieth century a Gladstonian liberal
Gladstonian Liberalism
Gladstonian Liberalism is a political doctrine named after the British Victorian Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, William Ewart Gladstone. Gladstonian Liberalism consisted of limited government expenditure and low taxation whilst making sure government had balanced budgets...

 who became a socialist after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, J. A. Hobson in his book Imperialism (1902), anticipated the growth of international courts and congresses which would hopefully settle international disputes between nations in a peaceful way. Sir Norman Angell
Norman Angell
Sir Ralph Norman Angell was an English lecturer, journalist, author, and Member of Parliament for the Labour Party.Angell was one of the principal founders of the Union of Democratic Control...

 in his work The Great Illusion (1910) claimed that the world was united by trade, finance, industry and communications and that therefore nationalism was an anachronism and that war would not profit anyone involved but would only result in destruction.

Lord Lothian
Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian
Philip Henry Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian KT CH PC was a British politician and diplomat.Philip Kerr was the son of Lord Ralph Drury Kerr, the third son of John Kerr, 7th Marquess of Lothian...

 was an internationalist and an imperialist who in December 1914 looked forward to:

the voluntary federation of the free civilised nations which will eventually exorcise the spectre of competitive armaments and give lasting peace to mankind..

In September 1915 he thought the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 was 'the perfect example of the eventual world Commonwealth
Commonwealth
Commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically, it has sometimes been synonymous with "republic."More recently it has been used for fraternal associations of some sovereign nations...

'.

Internationalism expressed itself in Britain through the endorsement of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 by such people as Gilbert Murray
Gilbert Murray
George Gilbert Aimé Murray, OM was an Australian born British classical scholar and public intellectual, with connections in many spheres. He was an outstanding scholar of the language and culture of Ancient Greece, perhaps the leading authority in the first half of the twentieth century...

. Both the Liberal Party
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 and more so the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 had prominent internationalist members, like the Labour Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 Ramsay Macdonald
Ramsay MacDonald
James Ramsay MacDonald, PC, FRS was a British politician who was the first ever Labour Prime Minister, leading a minority government for two terms....

 who believed that our true nationality
Nationality
Nationality is membership of a nation or sovereign state, usually determined by their citizenship, but sometimes by ethnicity or place of residence, or based on their sense of national identity....

 is mankind
.

Other uses

  • In a less restricted sense, internationalism is a word describing the impetus and motivation for the creation of any international organization
    International organization
    An intergovernmental organization, sometimes rendered as an international governmental organization and both abbreviated as IGO, is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states , or of other intergovernmental organizations...

    s. The earliest such example of broad internationalism would be the drive to replace feudal systems of measurement with the metric system
    Metric system
    The metric system is an international decimalised system of measurement. France was first to adopt a metric system, in 1799, and a metric system is now the official system of measurement, used in almost every country in the world...

    , long before the creation of international organizations like the World Court
    World Court
    * any of the international courts located in The Hague:**the International Court of Justice , a UN court that settles disputes between nations...

    , the League of Nations
    League of Nations
    The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

    , and the United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

    .

  • In linguistics
    Linguistics
    Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

    , an "internationalism" is a loanword
    Loanword
    A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

     that, originating in one language, has been borrowed by most other languages. Other examples of such borrowings include "OK", "microscope
    Microscope
    A microscope is an instrument used to see objects that are too small for the naked eye. The science of investigating small objects using such an instrument is called microscopy...

    ", and "tokamak
    Tokamak
    A tokamak is a device using a magnetic field to confine a plasma in the shape of a torus . Achieving a stable plasma equilibrium requires magnetic field lines that move around the torus in a helical shape...

    ".

  • There is also proletarian internationalism
    Proletarian internationalism
    Proletarian internationalism, sometimes referred to as international socialism, is a Marxist social class concept based on the view that capitalism is now a global system, and therefore the working class must act as a global class if it is to defeat it...

    , the Marxist form of internationalism.

  • An Islamic Internationalist viewpoint is emerging from the anti-war and post-colonial movements, based on Islamic history and culture. This appears to be distinct from the Nation of Islam
    Nation of Islam
    The Nation of Islam is a mainly African-American new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930 to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African-Americans in the United States of America. The movement teaches black pride and...

     movement.

See also

  • Anti-nationalism
    Anti-nationalism
    Anti-nationalism denotes the sentiments associated with the opposition to nationalism, arguing that it is undesirable or dangerous. Some anti-nationalists are humanitarians or humanists who pursue an idealist form of world community, and self-identify as world citizens. They reject chauvinism,...

  • Cosmopolitanism
    Cosmopolitanism
    Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality. This is contrasted with communitarian and particularistic theories, especially the ideas of patriotism and nationalism...

  • Cross-culturalism
  • Global Citizens Movement
    Global citizens movement
    In most discussions, the global citizens movement is a socio-political process rather than a political organization or party structure. The term is often used synonymously with the anti-globalization movement or the global justice movement. Colloquially the term is also used in this imprecise manner...

  • Global justice
    Global justice
    Global justice is an issue in political philosophy arising from the concern that the world at large is unjust.-Context:The broader philosophical context of the global justice debate, in both its contemporary and historical forms, is the issue of impartiality...

  • Global village
    Global village
    Global village may refer to:*Global village , a term commonly used to describe the societal and cultural effects of telecommunications.*Global Village , cultural, entertainment and shopping destination located at Dubailand in Dubai...

  • Globalisation
  • International community
    International community
    The international community is a term used in international relations to refer to all peoples, cultures and governments of the world or to a group of them. The term is used to imply the existence of common duties and obligations between them...

  • Transnationalism
    Transnationalism
    Transnationalism is a social movement and scholarly research agenda grown out of the heightened interconnectivity between people and the receding economic and social significance of boundaries among nation states....

  • World community
    World community
    The term is used primarily in political and humanitarian contexts to describe an international aggregate of nation states of widely varying types. In most connotations, the term is used to convey meanings attached to consensus or inclusion of all people in all lands and their...


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