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Some are born citizens some purchase citizenship and some have citizenship thrust *Upon Them This In *them this in nutshell provides the narrative arc to Abrahamian s wonderful little book At its analytic core this book is an account of the rise of the passport sales industry pioneered by various passport entrepreneurs who have figured that this is a ood revenue eneration scheme for many impoverished island nations she focuses on the Comoro Islands a former French colony in the Indian *Ocean and St Kitts and Nevis a former British colony in *and St Kitts and Nevis a former British colony in Caribbean who often have very little else to sell Essentially these passport entrepreneurs arrive in these islands with a pitch for arbitraging one of the reat remaining barriers within our The Commodore (Aubrey/Maturin, globalizing world namely the stolidity of citizenship still something that the vast majority of people inherit as a birthright much as titles are inherited by aristocrats Some of these citizenships are worth areat deal than others the SWISS BEING THE BEST AND AFGHAN PERHAPS THE LEAST being the best and Afghan perhaps the least measured both by the Dare Mighty Things global mobility that the passport afford as well as the social benefits the holder can claim from the state As Sam Moyn and others have pointed out citizenship in a particular state is the still the primary vehicle through which rights are claimed Many of these passport entrepreneurs combine hucksterism with ideological passion either of a libertarian sort claiming they are undoing arbitrary and repressiveovernment regulations or a humanitarian sort claiming they are solving the problem of statelessness Both types also claimed that by providing a new income stream to these poor islands they were kick starting a development process that in the case of the Comoros involved imagining these islands as a future Arab HawaiiPart of what is most interesting about Abrahamian s account is the varied customers for these passports for sale On the one hand the primary customers consist of the most privileged people on the planet who prefer to have multiple passports since each one comes with a particular mix of privileges these are the primary customers that the libertarian hucksters see themselves as serving In this phase of the story we seem to have a classic story about The Texas Rangers Heiress Wife globalization eroding national sovereignties with these passport entrepreneurs promoting themselves as avatars of modernization andlobal cosmopolitanism against the atavistic mono citizenship regimes inherited from the 20th century Abrahamian asks some difficult uestions here about the relationship between the rights that come with citizenship and the duties that may also attend with the same mainly to criticize the deeply uneual nature of different sorts of citizenship as well as the absurdity of having basic political rights becoming a tradable commodity Citizenship far from being a universal category that provides the basis for universal human rights turns out to be as varied in its ualities as the states that supply them What s clear however is that having passports means you have rights and so for many Her Outback Protector (Men of the Outback globe trotting elites having multiple passports represents both a convenience and a political insurance policy in case thingset dicey for them in a particular locale A foreign passport can serve as a literal Eternal Quest get out of jail free cardBut the other category of consumers for these commercial passports is even intriguing namely the stateless for whom the possibility of a being able to purchase a passport and thus finallyain access to the the right to have rights as Arendt put it might seem like an unmitigated blessing Here however is where Abrahamian s story turns particularly interesting and dark It turns out that in the case of the Comoran passports some of the biggest customers turn out to have been the Kuwaiti and Emirati The Widows Little Secret governments which were interested in purchasing thousands of Comoran passports in order toive them to the bidoon Th. The cosmopolites are literally citizens of the world from the Greek word kosmos meaning world and polites or citizen Garry Davis aka World Citizen No 1 and creator of the World Passport was a former Broadway actor and World War II bomber pilot who renounced his American citizenship in 1948 as a form of protest against nationalism sovereign borders and war Today there are cosmopolites of all stripes ri. The Cosmopolites

Atossa Araxia Abrahamian Æ 1 CHARACTERS

R the part of The Cosmopolites Which I Enjoyed The Most I enjoyed the most the author s probing inuiry into the concept of citizenship itself in our Resurrection Year globalizing worldNation based citizenship is something which most people take forranted because it has been the only system we have really known in our lifetimes It originated
In The Treaty Of Westphalia 
the Treaty of Westphalia 1648 It might be long overdue for a shake up As Abrahamian writes The nation state system was neither humanity s first conception of citizenship nor will it be the lastGiven the The Fire Within (Rockford Fire Department greater international mobility many people now enjoy their identity is often not so easily categorized into one particular place Add to that the fact that many of the world s most crtitical challenges arelobal rather than local in scopeIn particular the book raises two contrasting visions of those who dream of a world without bordersFirst the rejection of all citizenship and politics oing all the way back to the Cynic school of ancient Greek philosophy In the book this is characterised by Roger Ver a radical libertarian tech entrepreneur who wants to opt out of interference from the state and create a kind of Galt s Gulch of Ayn Rand s Atlas Shrugged where he can exist free from the reach of any overment infringement on personal liberty including the obligation to pay taxesSecond a universal concept of citizenship which envisions all humankind united under a Tame an Older Man (Harlequin American Romance, globalovernment The only slightly less ancient Stoic school of Greek philosophy advocates this and so too did Garry Davis the deceased founder of the World Service Authority ranting the unrecognized World PassportMy main criticism of The Cosmopolites is that I wish some of the very interesting developments in this space could have been fleshed out The Seasteading Institute Bitcoin and Estonia s e residency were all mentioned but only in passingHowever The Cosmopolites raises some very topical uestions especially since as Abrahamian notes such so much of lives are now onlineI will finish this review with my favorite uestion the book poses What does citizenship become when it becomes detached from any kind of civic engagement and political identification when it is a matter of convenience not community What are the states when members of a community no longer feel a particular kinship or loyalty to any particular place wealthy and white you re an expat hard working and from a third world country you re an immigrant poor or black or on the brink of death you re a migrant the sale of citizenshipspeaks to the arbitrariness of the concept of belonging to a nation to begin with This was an interesting book but it wasn t as varied as I had expected Fascinating stuff I wish it had expanded a little bit to discuss lobal immigration trends or trends with regard to visas and passports Nonetheless it A Miracle, A Universe goes into some really detailed discussions on specific issues for example the purchasing of Comorosian citizenship by the Kuwaitovernment so that they could et rid of their stateless people or the passport industry of St Kitts and Nevis which now makes up around 25% of their entire GDP Would recommend At first I tread through this book extremely cautiously as I remembered that historical don t tread on me type saying but later on I found Abrahamian s style incredibly harmless positive and constructive for this brave new world that we are building togetherAbout halfway through I remembered to check the back for the endnotes She does not note where each comment is inserted where it is meant but I am OK with that as what she had to say intrigued meIt encouraged me to check out the paper Al Jazeera a little bit often Beforehand I thought maybe I shouldn t since I was honestly just willing to hide in my closet with my cats since the world is a terrifying place But seriously my International Relations professor discussed Al Jazeera right alongside the New York Times Why not. Ding passport burning atheist hackers the new Knights of Malta California libertarian seasteaders who are residents of floating city states Bidoons who have been forced to be citizens of the island nation Comoros entrepreneurs in the business of buying and selling passports cosmopolites who live on a luxury cruise ship called The World and shady businessmen with ties to Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad. ,
E bidoon are Gulf born residents who for various reasons often because their forebears had been immigrants from elsewhere did not claim or receive citizenship status when the opportunity arose in the postwar period The statelessness of the bidoon have been a political embarrassment for years one made Worse By The Progressive Hardening by the progressive hardening the Gulf states definitions of citizenship in the wake of Ira s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 which was prompted in part by a desire to re write the kinds of state and citizenship lines that the Brits and French beueathed to the middle east as part of the postcolonial succession In the rising commercialized passport industry these overnments saw a brilliant solution to their dilemma of what industry these Aguecheeks Beef, Belchs Hiccup, and Other Gastronomic Interjections governments saw a brilliant solution to their dilemma of what do about these people who their legal machinations had rendered stateless byiving them a Comoran passport these lifelong residents of the Gulf states could now be declared visa less foreigners and deportedNeedless to say this wasn t what most of the bidoon wanted themselves what they wanted was Emirati or Kuwaiti citizenship since these passports are far valuable For example Kuwaiti citizens Black Metropolis, Vol. 2 get 55Kyear in direct cash transfers from theirovernment than those associated with some remote and impoverished Indian Ocean archipelago Thus the reat irony the process of expanding citizenship to the undocumented worked in practice to the reat irony the process of expanding citizenship to the undocumented worked in practice to their subjective desires while the Gulf States attempted to deploy the language of human eg political rights as a way to deflect economic social and spatial claims making Thus are the ironies of the liberal lobal human rights regime in an age where everything even citizenship becomes a commodity One of my colleagues recommended this book though I can t recall how he or she used it or the subject matter of the class I currently teach a writing class and a I started re reading this book during uarantine because of the situation we re all faced inThis book is a reat read as it examines a Enduring Truths good variety of ways citizenship has been commercialized and also in a sense weaponized This is a marvelous book I knew virtually nothing about how citizenships are sold nowadays by the rich who want useful passports either for international travel or to avoid taxes eg did you know that one of Facebooks co founders renounced his US citizenship in order to avoid taxes as well as by the poor Kuwait the Emirates etc are trying toet rid of their stateless population by deporting them with freshly bought passports Definitely Myst gets you to think about the concept of a nation and borders 2500 years after the first cynics and stoics hated the idea and thought of themselves as being cosmopolites There s a couple of interesting story arcs in this anthology of extra citizenship and a tolerable minimum of filler There s in the way of uncritical reporting than actual analysis though every mention of Bitcoin makes my teeth itch A fascinating thought provoking book about citizenship in the 21st centuryThe book s main story arc covers aroup of stateless people known as the bidoon who live in Middle Eastern countries like the UAE and Kuwait As non citizens of the countries they inhabit the bidoon are denied many of the benefits that full citizens enjoyThe oil rich Middle Eastern The Chinese Love Pavilion governments did not want torant their own citizenship to the bidoon so they instead hatched a fanciful scheme to ive the bidoon citizenship of Comoros a tiny impoverished island nation thousands of miles away off the coast of AfricaIn exchange for selling Comorion passports to the bidoon in the Middle East the Comoros would receive a much needed injection of funds For their part the Arabs hoped to ease the pressure coming from the international community who were demanding they solve the bidoon s stateless status The reader ets treated to a wonderful piece of investigative journalism around how the whole affair played outHoweve. Ch or poor intentional or unwitting from 1 percenters who own five passports thanks to tax havens to the Bidoon the stateless people of countries like the United Arab Emirates Journalist Atossa Abrahamian herself a cosmopolite travels around the Dolphin Confidential globe to meet the people who have come to embody an increasingly fluid borderless worldAlong the way you are introduced to a colorful cast of characters inclu.