Take to the Sea, Lads!

No Man Is An Island?

But even if you are unconvinced that the difficulty of forming new states is proof that we live on a tyrannical planet, these questions do open our eyes to some of the absurdities within our system. Why should a French or a German citizen be born with access to world-class services and well-protected rights (actual implementation on the basis of minority status may differ), while a Somalian citizen is not only denied those things, but also faces huge obstacles in becoming a citizen (or even a resident) of anywhere else? If you are born a citizen of Japan, there are 190 countries you can travel to freely without a visa; if you are a citizen of Afghanistan, there are only 25. If you are born a U.K. citizen, and feel like a change of scene, you can pay $7 for permission to go to Canada, hop on a flight, and stay for up to six months without anyone bothering you. If you are born in a refugee camp, it can take years before you even get a chance to live in a place like Canada. So how can we possibly consider ourselves to be people who care about freedom and autonomy, when thanks to borders our destinies are practically assigned to us at birth? Is it absurd to form your own state? Or is it more absurd to have states in the first place?

This article is a fun read, as well as a good balance between “specific enough to be interesting” and “short enough to accommodate my pathetic attention span.” I also happen to strongly agree with the point the essayist is making. Even despite the recent anxiety concerning international pandemics, the legal concept of national borders becomes more absurd and inhumane with each passing year.