Was it ethical for countries to look out for purely just their own citizens / nationals overseas abroad and leave the citizens of other countries to their own devices when the people in those other countries are enduring impoverishment and political oppression?

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    Welcome to Philosophy SE. This is an interesting question, but can you please clarify it and put it within a specific philosophical framework? – Alexander S King May 5 '16 at 3:40
  • You could say it is an ethical issue in the context of could countries justify looking after just their citizens / nationals abroad and disregard the citizens of "those countries" that were beset by impoverishment and political oppression as well as humanitarian and human rights crises. – Valerie Nemeth May 6 '16 at 6:21
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    Practical ethics is almost never a binary yes/no problem, so you need to look at the gradations. A country that provides human rights protections to its own citizens is better than one that actively oppresses them. A country that provides human rights protections to non-citizens is even better. In addition, these valuations need to be assessed in light of what the country's government is actually capable of. Until/unless you specify the problem in more detail, you're left with the pablum "providing ethical treatment to more people is better". – Dave May 6 '16 at 13:27
  • In also analyzing these situations via practicsl ethics, it is important to note that, ultimately, the ethics of a state differ from that of an individual. For example, the basic ethics of any good government is to protect its citizens, but a basic understanding of ethics oils say that an individual ought to assist those where they can. – Matt May 7 '16 at 4:13
  • In many ways, this is a very interesting question that brings into focus many different issues in ethics. Unfortunately, that's why without further clarification that narrows it into something with an answer specific to one theory it's not a good SE question. – virmaior May 13 '16 at 8:14

I am actually an anarchist but to answer your question I would say yes. A government is an artifice that is maintained to protect its citizens and enforce its borders. That is its role/job. There are some political campaigns somewhat based on foreign aid but they tend to be more private as the general public would not like their tax money leaving the country they feel they are part of. Plus, most foreign aid is usually allocated in advance. Any sudden emergency aid is discretionary.

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