Can Humanity Live Without Borders?

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by Frank Furedi

Boundaries are necessary for the flourishing of humanity. Simply to reject them on account of their seemingly arbitrary character is an act of evasion. Western society’s estrangement from borders is not a progressive step forward – rather it expresses a crisis of nerve in relation to holding the line. Western society has embraced the evasive tactic of non-judgmentalism. Now it must relearn the value of making distinctions. It needs to overcome its reluctance to make judgments of value, and stop being afraid to hold the line. In this context, it is essential to reject the idea that borders between nations are simply an artificial prop, unworthy things designed merely to keep people out. Borders are essential for the maintenance of national sovereignty, which is so far the only foundation that humanity has discovered for the institutionalization of democratic accountability. Without borders, a citizen becomes a subject – subject to a power that cannot be realistically held to account.

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