Cosmopolitismo según Isaac Asimov

Wikipedia define cosmopolitanismo (¿para qué más?) como la idea de concebir a la humanidad como perteneciente a una sola comunidad moral. Personalmente, no podría estar más de acuerdo, siempre y cuando entendamos esta comunidad moral en un sentido limitado, adheriéndose a principios que no hagan más que asegurar la multiculturalidad.
Habiendo léido las novelas de ciencia ficción de Isaac Asimov, no pude dejar de notar el fuerte carácter cosmopolita que les es inherente (especialmente en la serie de la Fundación, que incluye también sus novelas de Robots).
Más que explayarme sobre esa relación en este post, quisiera simplemente citar un fragmento de su autobiografía, I.Asimov, del final de la sección que trata sobre viajes internacionales, y dónde detalla sus ideas, aunque sin hacer referencia directa al cosmopolitanismo.
I am frequently asked, when the subject of my travels comes up, wheter I have ever visited Israel.
No, I haven’t. Getting to Israel without flying would be too complicated a matter. I would have to go by ship and train and I am certain that to try to do so would take up far more time than I could afford and be far more complex than I could endure.
The assumption, however, is that if I don’t go, or can’t go, then, because I am Jewish, I must be heartbroken, for I must want to visit Israel. -But I don’t.
I am not, in actual fact, a Zionist. I don’t think that Jews have some sort of ancestral right to take over a land because their ancestors lived there 1,900 years ago. (That kind of reasoning would force us to hand over North and South America to the Native Americans and Australia and New Zealand to the Aborigines and Maoris.) Nor do I consider to be legally valid the biblical promises by God that the land of Canaan would belong to the Children of Israel forever. (Especially since the Bible was written by the Children of Israel.)
When Israel was first founded in 1948 and all my Jewish friends were jubilant, I was the skeleton at the feast. I said, “We are building ourselves a ghetto. We will be surrounded by tens of millions of Muslims who will never forgive, never forget and never go away.”
I was right, especially when it soon turned out that the Arabs were sitting on most of the world’s oil supply, so that the nations of the world, being pro-oil of necessity, found it politic to become pro-Arab. (Had this matter of oil reserves been known earlier, I’m convinced that Israel would not have been established in the first place.)
But don’t the Jews deserve a homeland? Actually, I feel that no human group deserves a “homeland” in the usual sense of the word.
The Earth sould not be cut up into hundreds of different sections, each inhabited by a self-defined segment of humanity that considers its own welfare and its own “national security” to be paramount above all other considerations.
I am all for cultural diversity and would be willing to see each recognizable group value its cultural heritage. I am a New York patriot, for instance, and if I lived in Los Angeles, I would love to get together with other New York expatriates and sing “Give My Regards to Broadway.”
This sort of thing, however, should remain cultural and bening. I’m against it if it means that each group despises others and lusts to wipe them out. I’m against arming each little self-defined group with weapons with which to enforce its own prides and prejudices.
The Earth faces enviromental problems right now that threaten the imminent destruction of civilization and the end of the planet as a livable world. Humanity cannot afford to waste its financial and emotional resources on endless, meaningless quarrels between each group and all others. There must be a sense of globalism in which the world unites to solve the real problems that face all groups alike.
Can that be done? The question is equivalent to: Can humanity survive?
A am not a Zionist, then, because I don’t believe in nations, and because Zionism merely sets up one more nation to trouble the world. It sets up one more nation to have “rights” and “demands” and “national security” and to feel it must guard itself against its neighbors.
There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we don’t come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations, because there will be no humanity.
Quisiera hacer notar, también, que al igual que el pensador cosmopolita por excelencia, Immanuel Kant, Asimov también tenía un especial disgusto por emprender viajes, aunque su caso no era tan extremo como el del filósofo alemán.

Wikipedia define cosmopolitismo (¿para qué más?) como la idea de concebir a la humanidad como perteneciente a una sola comunidad moral. Personalmente, no podría estar más de acuerdo, siempre y cuando entendamos esta comunidad moral en un sentido limitado, adheriéndose a principios que no hagan más que asegurar la multiculturalidad.

Habiendo léido practicamente todas las novelas de ciencia ficción de Isaac Asimov, me fue imposible dejar de notar el fuerte carácter cosmopolita que les es inherente; expresado este, claro, en el despliegue de la humanidad a lo largo de la galaxia.

Isaac Asimov, pensativo y desafiante.

Isaac Asimov, pensativo y desafiante.

Sin embargo, una expresión más directa de esto se puede ver en la siguiente cita de su autobiografía, I.Asimov, del final de la sección que trata sobre viajes internacionales, y donde detalla sus ideas—en relación a su judaísmo—, aunque sin hacer referencia explícita al cosmopolitismo.

I am frequently asked, when the subject of my travels comes up, wheter I have ever visited Israel.

No, I haven’t. Getting to Israel without flying would be too complicated a matter. I would have to go by ship and train and I am certain that to try to do so would take up far more time than I could afford and be far more complex than I could endure.

The assumption, however, is that if I don’t go, or can’t go, then, because I am Jewish, I must be heartbroken, for I must want to visit Israel. But I don’t.

I am not, in actual fact, a Zionist. I don’t think that Jews have some sort of ancestral right to take over a land because their ancestors lived there 1,900 years ago. (That kind of reasoning would force us to hand over North and South America to the Native Americans and Australia and New Zealand to the Aborigines and Maoris.) Nor do I consider to be legally valid the biblical promises by God that the land of Canaan would belong to the Children of Israel forever. (Especially since the Bible was written by the Children of Israel.)

When Israel was first founded in 1948 and all my Jewish friends were jubilant, I was the skeleton at the feast. I said, “We are building ourselves a ghetto. We will be surrounded by tens of millions of Muslims who will never forgive, never forget and never go away.”

I was right, especially when it soon turned out that the Arabs were sitting on most of the world’s oil supply, so that the nations of the world, being pro-oil of necessity, found it politic to become pro-Arab. (Had this matter of oil reserves been known earlier, I’m convinced that Israel would not have been established in the first place.)

But don’t the Jews deserve a homeland? Actually, I feel that no human group deserves a “homeland” in the usual sense of the word.

The Earth sould not be cut up into hundreds of different sections, each inhabited by a self-defined segment of humanity that considers its own welfare and its own “national security” to be paramount above all other considerations.

I am all for cultural diversity and would be willing to see each recognizable group value its cultural heritage. I am a New York patriot, for instance, and if I lived in Los Angeles, I would love to get together with other New York expatriates and sing “Give My Regards to Broadway.”

This sort of thing, however, should remain cultural and bening. I’m against it if it means that each group despises others and lusts to wipe them out. I’m against arming each little self-defined group with weapons with which to enforce its own prides and prejudices.

The Earth faces enviromental problems right now that threaten the imminent destruction of civilization and the end of the planet as a livable world. Humanity cannot afford to waste its financial and emotional resources on endless, meaningless quarrels between each group and all others. There must be a sense of globalism in which the world unites to solve the real problems that face all groups alike.

Can that be done? The question is equivalent to: Can humanity survive?

I am not a Zionist, then, because I don’t believe in nations, and because Zionism merely sets up one more nation to trouble the world. It sets up one more nation to have “rights” and “demands” and “national security” and to feel it must guard itself against its neighbors.

There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we don’t come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations, because there will be no humanity.

Quisiera hacer notar, también, que al igual que el pensador cosmopolita por excelencia, Immanuel Kant, Asimov también tenía un especial disgusto por emprender viajes, aunque su caso no era tan extremo como el del filósofo alemán.

3 comments

  1. Wow, genial Isaac Asimov! Solo conocía de él su literatura y su condición de científico, latente en casi todas sus obras. No el aspecto humanista. There are no nations! There is only humanity! Por qué estamos tan lejos de algo que parece ser una verdad tan evidente?

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