528 Gregory W. Streich
The difference between leaving and forgetting is reected in Hill’s distinction between two strands of cosmopolitanism. One is moderate cosmopolitanism, which allows for ethnic, racial, national, cultural and other group-based identi- ties to partially constitute individual identities, but allows individuals to com- bine these particular identities with more general principles and identities that transcend these groups.12 Another strand is radical cosmopolitanism, which defends the right of individuals to reject and forget their roots as morally constitutive and adopt a hybrid of freely chosen identities.13 Critics of both forms of cosmopolitanism worry that both strands promote rootless post-national identities and ignore the importance of national identity, patriotism, local attachments, and traditions. 14
Hill envisions moderate cosmopolitanism as a temporary stop on the evol- utionary journey toward radical cosmopolitanism. Moderate cosmopolitanism takes group and local attachments as “provisionally necessary until the moral climate of the particular culture has changed enough to accommodate a more full-edged cosmopolitanism that would demand that persons refrain from substantively identifying themselves in tribalistic ways.”15 Given his goal of afrming “the autonomy, dignity, and equal value of all persons,” Hill argues that we must reject tribalism and move beyond psychic infantilism that limits autonomy and choice.16 To do this, Hill claims, “We must learn to forget where we came from in order to write in our hearts the new paeans of moral evolution and therefore liberation.” 17
The right to forget is the core of Hill’s radical cosmopolitanism, where individuals are free, autonomous, and equally able to create new identities. However, Hill then states that forgetting is not amnesia, and that he is describ- ing more of a re-socialization of individuals who will use their knowledge of the past to create new individual identities that are not essentially constituted by tribal loyalties.18 While he desires to be a radical cosmopolitan, Hill admits that
12 13 14 Hill, op. cit., pp. 131–141. Ibid., pp. 121–130. Criticism of both strands of cosmopolitanism is extensive and nuanced. See responses to Martha Nussbaum’s “Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism” made by Nathan Glazer, Amy Guttman, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Michael McConnell, Michael Walzer, and others, for the various arguments against Nussbaum’s cosmopolitanism. Critics portray Nussbaum as a radical cosmopolitan who believes that loyalty to humanity supercedes and erases all other attachments. Nussbaum does allow for the importance of local attachments and affections to co-exist within an overarching loyalty to humanity. See For Love of Country, op. cit. For an analysis of the tension between nationalism and cosmopolitanism, see Mary Kaldor, “Cosmopolitanism Versus Nationalism: The New Divide?” in Richard Caplan and John Feffer (eds), Europe’s New Nationalism: States and Minorities in Conict (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 42–58. Within nationalism there exists a more exclusive ethno-cultural version where identity is dened by blood and soil and a more inclusive civic version where identity is dened by the acceptance of shared political principles. For a discussion of how these strands are evident in the US, see Rogers Smith, Civic Ideals: C o n i c t i n g V i s i o n s o f C i t i z e n s h i p i n t h e U . S . ( N e w H a v e n : Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 9 7 ) . 1 5 16 Ibid., p. 131. Ibid., p. 143. Hill’s argument draws on themes of Nietzschean overcoming, e x i s t e n t i a l i s t i n d i v i d u a t i o n , a n d S h e l b y S t e e l e ’ s “ r a c e f a t i g u e . ” 1 7 18 Ibid., p. 5, italics in the original. Ibid., pp. 5, 109, and passim.