Position paper: Should internationalism be embraced? Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 1 April 2016

Position paper: Should internationalism be embraced?

The source presented talks about the Canadian government’s upcoming actions as it deals with the country’s economic affairs. It can be inferred that the author feels that economic prosperity is the most important sign of progress and a good quality of life for Canadians, as jobs and economic growth can lead to “long-term prosperity” that will benefit every citizen of the country. An example of this envisioned economic prosperity is the Harper government’s economic action plan, which seeks to supply more jobs in order to prolong and strengthen Canada’s performance economically. By saying that costs must be reduced or eliminated in international affairs, it can be assumed that the author favours nationalism over internationalism.

The speaker’s stance can then be assumed that he or she would most prefer to have their country reap the most benefits through the improvement of economic budgeting, over being a world citizen who cares more for the welfare of the world as a whole, and can be inferred that their position supports unilateralism, wherein a country’s decisions are made by themselves, without international influence. An example of favouring nationalism over internationalism is the recent backing out of Canada from its military participation in Afghanistan, due to its expensive costs. This example shows the challenge between balancing both nationalism and internationalism, as Canada’s purpose of providing military aid to Afghanistan shows that the country seeks to be of help during international crises, but then its withdrawal shows that as much as Canada seeks to aid Afghanistan, it has to prioritize its own welfare first in order to keep giving help.

The speaker’s sentiment in the last sentence shows exactly that the programs and benefits must be beneficial to Canadians, not in international affairs where they feel that giving our resources only hinders Canada’s path to economic prosperity. Some would agree with the source, as Canada’s welfare must always be prioritized over that of international issues, because they feel that providing aid and resources to other countries would only hinder our progress for prosperity. Others, however, feel that while Canada’s well-being as a country is essential, it is also important to take part in international affairs as a means of economic progress, humanitarian aid, and having an influence over the decisions that are being made in international affairs. With these in mind, it is best to agree with the perspective that Canada should also take part in international affairs, as it benefits other countries as well as our own, taking into account that our internationalistic participation can have an influence in preventing conflict around the world, and that economic progress can be achieved through internationalistic participation.

Canada’s reputation as a supporter of humanitarian actions has been established through its constant participation of giving aid and resources for those in need. This reputation is evident during the country’s active involvement in providing help during major natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Japan on 2010, and the Typhoon Hayan that occurred in the Philippines. Due to these humanitarian actions, Canada has donated millions in order to aid countries as they reestablish themselves after these calamities. It can be assumed that these actions would not be supported by the speaker of the source, as it does not “directly affect Canadians” in an economically positive manner. However, one has to take in mind that these countries that have been hit by unfortunate calamities may have caused major economic losses, the destruction of their environment, and the loss of millions of lives.

What if Canada were to experience such a calamity? One may argue that these countries are economically lower than Canada, allowing us to be able to support and rebuild ourselves. However, one has to take in mind that if we ever experience the destructive losses that these countries have suffered, help would most likely be given by the countries that we have aided during their adversities, as a sign of gratitude for what we have done for people “thousands of kilometers away”.

Another known reputation of Canada is its active participation in peacekeeping operations that ensure to resolve a conflict between two parties. This was clearly evident when Canada seeked to impose the involvement of military troops during peacekeeping operations, which was implemented through the United Nations. This change in the ways that peacekeeping operations were done greatly improved the UN’s strength in ensuring a successful reconciliation between parties, a critical factor that was skimped on during the establishment of the League of Nations. This was put into action during the suez crisis, as both parties were reconciliated successfully. Canada’s involvement in military operations and international organizations not only provides military help, but also shapes critical decisions that may affect the rest of the world, such as Canada and other nations such as the United States putting pressure on Russia’s Vladimir Putin for their disagreement with Putin sending military troops to Crimea. Despite the failure of Canada to drastically affect Putin and Russia’s decisions, the international pressure that was applied may have been critical in preventing further conflicts from happening. These acts of peacekeeping argue against the source’s perspective,

Finally, Canada’s participation in International Organizations benefit the country in more ways than one, particularly that of economic progress. The country’s participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) seeks to eliminate trade barriers and tariffs, proving that this international participation benefits Canada economically. Adding on to Canada’s benefits of participating in international organizations is our participation in the United Nations and humanitarian involvements, that fosters Canadian pride.

Some would agree with the source, as Canada’s welfare must always be prioritized over that of international issues, because they feel that providing aid and resources to other countries would only hinder our progress for prosperity. Others, however, feel that while Canada’s well-being as a country is essential, it is also important to take part in international affairs as a means of economic progress, humanitarian aid, and having an influence over the decisions that are being made in international affairs. With these in mind, it is best to agree with the perspective that Canada should also take part in international affairs, as it benefits other countries as well as our own, taking into account that our internationalistic participation can have an influence in preventing conflict around the world, and that economic progress can be achieved through internationalistic participation.

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  • Date: 1 April 2016

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