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Response to Comment

What do I get out of it?

Collin’s comment and question:

What motive or benefit do I have for going “expat” instead of, say American? Does something have to shift in my psyche to adopt the expat stance or can I be both? I often feel more patriotic when abroad, and now you’re suggesting I feel less. Fair enough, but what benefit do I get out of it?

The short answer is: you can be both expat and American, in the same way that you may be a Californian and an American. We all have circles of widening affiliation, from family at the center to nation at the frontier. Globalism is, first, a call to extend your frontier to the global commonwealth. The real question is where you identify yourself: which circles would you die for; which would you go to court in, to settle a dispute; which you are willing to pay taxes; and which are thankfully forgotten. Historically, allegiances along this spectrum have been very dynamic. Expat Nation is, to begin with, a forum to reexamine these priorities and affiliations in the context of globalization.

There are both selfish and magnanimous reasons to cast a new circle, dismantle some old boundaries, and maybe build a few new ones. Since Expat Nation as a blog is dedicated to exploring and debating these issues, I won’t try to list all of the reasons now; instead, consider this prediction on http://www.longbets.org/:

Colin R. Glassey predicts: “By 2100 a world government will be in place and in control of: business law, environmental law, and weapons of mass destruction.

Glassey goes on to explain his prediction as follows:

“Why? The logic seems self-evident to me. All humans face global problems of the greatest importance. Such as: global warming, global pollution of the air and seas, the degradation of the world’s oceans, global corporations which play one country off against another, and global criminal groups that seek to better themselves at the expense of just about everyone else. Global problems can only be solved by global solutions. The way to get global solutions is through a global government. Obviously many powerful entities exist which will try to prevent this from occurring. I predict that the United States will be one of the last hold-outs to a global government, even though the U.S. is well on its way to becoming the “de facto” world government as of 2002. Still, I’m hopeful. The same sort of logic that propelled the 13 colonies to join together in a Federal system of government back in 1789 is at play today, but on a worldwide scale. What it will take is a recognition of problems as being larger than any one country, and recognition of all human’s common bond with each other. Intellectually I would like to acknowledge my debts to: Robert Wright, Kim Stanly Robinson, E. O. Wilson, and David Brin. One-worlders unite!”

The interesting thing about this prediction is that nearly 2/3 of readers predict he is wrong. And while I understand their skepticism, I don’t think they considered all the possible pathways to the realization of such globalist institutions. Federalism from nation states acting collectively is only one path, and a very difficult one indeed. The fundamental premise of Expat Nation is that there are other paths that are grassroots in origin, voluntary in participation, and viral in propagation that will result in Glassey’s prediction coming true.

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