Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Oh To be a Citizen of the World!

I was reflecting how much I am enjoying my life here in Singapore and how that is thanks to its (in my opinion enlightened) policy of welcoming foreigners to their shores to work and live.

Although I did enjoy my time in Malaysia, I was fed up with it after awhile and wanted to see someplace different and I just went south to Singapore. But what if I want to move elsewhere in future? With so many countries tightening their borders it will be difficult to move. I then thought, “wouldn’t it be great if we could move from country to country just like we moved from job to job and company to company”? If everyone was free to move to wherever they liked, unpopular regimes and policies would drive people away just like a poorly run company would lose its customers and staff. Market forces would be brought to bear on political systems and we will have a “democratic” earth where people vote with the feet…

Of course, this would mean an end to patriotism. But what does it really mean to be patriotic? After all, allegiance to a country is really allegiance to a way of life. When one fights for one’s country, one is fighting for a particular way of life. If it so happens that I do not like that way of life, then there really is no reason to be patriotic is there? Off I go to another land that can better provide for my needs. Perhaps there will not need to be wars anymore if we are free to come and go as we please… on the other hand that would be wishful thinking. One should not doubt man’s ability to fight and wage war and annihilate itself for even the smallest of things as that is his nature… alas!