Walls and Laws: Proximity, distance and the doubleness of the border
SourceEducational Philosophy and Theory
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In this article, I explore the way in which proximity and distance have been made relevant to cosmopolitanism and I discuss the significance contemporary theory attributes to border crossing. By employing colonial border crossing and its rationalization as an example, and by drawing from Alain Badiou's critique of political philosophy, I expose some of the problems of facile and faddish approaches to planetary movement. I argue that the real borders to be crossed by true cosmopolitans are internal and, regrettably, traversible, raised at an early age, preserved through education and carried along wherever one goes. Then, I show how this thesis relativizes the drastic choice between cosmopolitanism and patriotism that is imposed by many current theories. By elaborating on Heraclitus's dictum that 'the citizens must defend the law, as they would defend the wall of the city', I sketch an account of patriotism that is (a) compatible with, and conducive to, cosmopolitanism as well as (b) mindful of the duplicity of the interplay of proximity and distance. © 2010 The Author. Educational Philosophy and Theory © 2010 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia.