We generally study our past as a people and see most of it as uncivilized. Bloody wars were fought on behalf of even bloodier ideas. Kings ruled with absolute power. And people practiced their immoral traditions. At least in Western culture, the Golden Days don’t have a place in current dialogue. On the contrary, we appreciate ourselves as cultured and humane, looking towards the future with optimistic hope. Yet, under further examination, our barbaric ways seem to be hidden under a sophisticated façade. Wars are still being fought over much less than land. Kings have only been renamed President. And people have traded in their one vice for another. What is thought to be Antiquities is ever more present in our daily lives. One such relic is the borders that many accept without opinion, or rather never thinking of them at all.
I should remind you, it was Rome’s Hadrian wall that forced the Britons to fight back. And it was the isolationist policies of the Ming Dynasty that initiated the end of an all-time high for the Chinese. Sure, we aren’t building another Great Wall, but policy has proven more effective. Our history is peppered with times of free migration. The Jewish influx into the United States in the late 19th century had a chain effect of producing some of the most important pieces of our history and prestige. Men like Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, Mark Zuckerberg, and let’s not forget Jerry Seinfeld, all play a major role in American culture. We had a past of sucking brainpower into our country through relaxed immigration policy (pre 1914). Now we only suck in more debt.
Our Economy has suffered from closing these borders. Yet, I could also argue, such as Freidman does, that pure open borders would be impossible in a welfare state. I am aware that a social policy, such as open borders must be paired with economic policy which compliments both. But the fact still remains, that openness has generally fared better than isolation. Additionally, closed borders only marginalize people and problems further. And it seems that marginalized people adopt extreme ways, just look at ISIS today. Americans use to rally behind men who preached “self-determination”. Now we chastise those who wish for a freer world. We selfishly claim, without evidence, that strict borders are essential to our well-being. And so I will join the ranks of those who oppose the status quo for my rights to live wherever I please, at my own risk.
That is, as fair trials are, a human right. And we, who say we stand behind freedom, should truly fight for it. Imaginary lines are a childish thing that supplement a toddlers blanky when he finally grows up. It may appear to keep us safe, but in reality it only hinders growth and liberty.
A good video of economist, Friedman, speaking on the subject: