Monday 28 September 2015

world citizen

Perhaps a global crisis can only be solved by becoming more cosmopolitan, as this interesting article from Quartz suggests.
Faced with a comparable refugee situation in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution when all Russian expatriate were summarily stripped of their citizenship and made stateless—nearly a million diaspora and growing to include former residents of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations became the competent issuing authority for travel documents, realising that no one place could hope to absorb all the displaced. Bearers of the these passports, which were the laudable idea of Norwegian explorer Fritjof Nansen, included shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, artist Marc Chagall, author Vladimir Nabokov and composers Igor Stravinski and Sergei Rakhmaninov as well as hundreds of thousands of other souls, which entitled them to travel internationally and settle as appropriately. Such an elegant solution may need to be reinstated, with the reluctance national authorities have demonstrated for legitimising an undocumented refugee and much preferring to keep them in transit and making migrants seek out the help of smugglers rather than official channels and discard whatever official identity papers that they might have and preclude their chances of having a homeland to return to one day. Mindful that there is no place like Utopia, what do you think? Could such a scheme work again?