Open the Borders

Open the Borders

by Susan Rosenthal

National borders prevent people from pooling their resources to solve common problems. So why is the world divided into nations?

Capitalists use borders to claim areas of the globe for themselves. Wars break out when one group of capitalists goes after the resources of another. The victors redraw the borders to consolidate their conquests.

Borders permit employers to move production to lower-waged countries. These same borders prevent workers from migrating to higher-waged countries or from uniting to improve life on both sides of the border. In all nations, forcing native-born and foreign-born workers to compete makes it easier to exploit both groups.

Why do ordinary people put up with such nonsense? Those who profit from national divisions promote the myth that the people who live on one side of a border are fundamentally different from those who live on the other side. This makes no sense when you consider how often borders change. As Mexican-Americans point out, “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.” Any map over ten years old is already out of date.

The division of the world into nations conflicts with a growing international economy where parts can be produced in one nation and assembled in another nation, where the finished product can be sold in a third nation, serviced by workers in a fourth nation and then dumped as garbage in a fifth nation.

While goods and services cross the globe relatively freely, the workers who create these goods and services are denied the same right. This is how employers prevent wages from rising all over the world.

Capitalists and their supporters go berserk at the thought of abolishing national boundaries. Their profit-driven system would collapse if they could no longer pit one group of workers against another. Of course, they would never admit that. Instead, they warn that tides of impoverished people will flood America and drag us all down. This is absurd.

Most people don’t want to leave their homes and families. They migrate to survive. Abolishing borders would enable us to raise global living standards, as goods and services developed in one location would become freely available everywhere. Furthermore, the vast resources that are currently devoted to policing borders and waging wars could be used to meet human needs instead.

Competing nations can never solve international problems like environmental pollution and global warming. In a world without borders, people could cooperate to create solutions to these problems.

When we take down the borders, many miseries will end – war, national oppression, smuggling, human trafficking, famine and family separations. The benefits of a borderless world will be so great that our grandchildren will wonder why we allowed ourselves to be divided for so long.

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