In the face of a constant flood of political and economic refugees, as well as ‘citizens of the world,’ geographic borders are becoming an increasingly archaic concept.
People who have a home in Africa and an apartment in France, or Spain, are so tired of being quizzed by banks and online markets for ‘Country of residence’ and then treated like that’s their only language or national identity. We are global citizens, and spend as much time, if not more, in ‘foreign’ lands as we do ‘at home.’
And why should we need a passport or visa to cross an arbitrary geographic boundary that was drawn on a map by some self-important bureaucrat a hundred years ago? What right does the state have to restrict our movements, and penalize us for moving goods and ideas across these borders?
In fact, it’s become impossible to restrict ideas. The global web of communication is now so rich and ubiquitous, everything is shared everywhere, in an instant. Even physical goods can be scanned, transmitted electronically, and 3D printed in another country.
Mass migration has proved that you can’t hold people back. As difficult as you try to make it, people will find a way, if they are desperate or determined enough, to enter another country. Migration for personal reasons has become a basic human right.
The nation state as a legal power is losing its relevance daily. Regional alliances that encourage imported skills and freedom of movement are reaping the economic rewards of a multicultural dividend. Let’s just come up with a new concept – ‘Country’ has become obsolete. Now it’s about ‘Community.’
ANALYSIS >> SYNTHESIS: How this scenario came to be
“I have a theory; that the fact of borders and countries, the concept of nations is a product of analogue communication technology and is therefore redundant. That like all other hierarchal coordination structures is doomed, like the printing press destroyed feudalism and the stranglehold of the church and ushered in the nation state, the internet and the World Wide Web will in turn destroy them.
Because society is actually organized as a network, not a hierarchy, is fluid and flexible. That geography and distance does not limit coordination and place is therefore irrelevant.
I don’t know how long it will take but one day the artificiality of borders will disappear, the state will lose its influence and humanity will take over.” – Walter Pike on Facebook
Political scientist from Prague, Alex Tomsky says the nation state, as originally conceived, has no place at the end of the 20th century, let alone in the 3rd millennium – “The nation state is a very obsolete idea of course. It’s an idea of the 19th century as we all know. I see the nation state as stemming from nationalism, from the idea of a homogeneous society with a leader, with an authority, with a particular slant to history and ideology. Ideally speaking it is something that I don’t want and I don’t think it is a positive force. After all it’s caused two world wars in Europe.”
“Nations are becoming less relevant in a world where everyone and everything is interconnected. The connections that matter most are again becoming more personal. Religious beliefs and affiliations, the nuances of one’s own language and culture, the daily realities of class, and the extensions of one’s family and its values — all are providing people with ever greater senses of identity.
The nation state, meanwhile, is coming apart. A single Europe — which seemed within reach a few years ago — is now succumbing to the centrifugal forces of its different languages and cultures. The Soviet Union is gone, replaced by nations split along tribal lines. Vladimir Putin can’t easily annex the whole of Ukraine, only the Russian-speaking part. The Balkans have been Balkanized.” – Robert Reich