Thursday, January 14, 2010
invisible lines on the ground
Borders...........not the bookstore......
Arbitrary boundaries which political power-struggles defined for means of nationalistic possession. Materialism on a grand scale. The shape of a country's or other body of land's man designated border becomes its own entity in the mind of its occupants or outsiders in their perception of it and its inhabitants. In a way it is similarly looked upon by the folks living within it as the flag is, another signifier of collective identity in an abstract, symbolic way.
Sure there are less than arbitrary parts to national borders. Mainly those which follow geological formations, mountains, rivers, etc. Obviously there have been disputes regarding borders. Starting at the top, we can all come up with nationalistic boundary disputes, Berlin, Korea, and resulting continuous conflicts which have occurred. Even just the act of being in the border of a country can lead to arrest. The recent event of the folks hiking in the Middle East and unknowingly wondering into Iran several months ago, and are still detained, if I'm not mistaken. There is a warranted paranoia of espionage. But some cases seem more like 2 children who share a bedroom and they draw a line down the middle to section off each's side of the room. Arguments and fight abound when one puts a toe over the line to occupy uninvited space within that arbitrary boundary which is agreed to belong to the other.
Most of us on this planet have been born after the majority, if not all, of the nation's borders have been delineated and agreed upon. These are taken as absolutes. The greater force of history and rulers have decided these things that we live up to. Part of the bureaucratic structure that the rest of us who are just seen as commodities in the form of labor hours must obey. Is there any other way in which a population that the Earth is struggling to sustain at the moment, to structure a coexistence? The alternative is complete anarchy, an option I do not know enough about to argue either way but my gut doesn't seem to lean in that direction. It is hard to image a world without borders. A pertinent example is the Palestine/Egypt border. It was opened for the first time in I forget how long. This is one of the first opportunities in such a time that humanitarian goods are able to be delivered into the Palestinian people, a people desperately in need of help. This is also the first time since family member have been able to be reunited, in years, if my memory now serves me. There are cases where Palestinian people past the border into Egypt some years ago for whatever reason and while they were there they closed the border, effectively getting trapped in another country with no ability to return to loved ones. The non-ability to travel a matter of meters because of a fence which was erected by state direction to distinguish a "rightful" border, is an all to common occurrence. One that leads to devastating consequences.
Boundaries just seem to be a phenomenon which screams closed!!! This reverberates capitalist sentiment, although it is better to have anything opened so that the business can commence. Property, material, capital, outlined large-scale commodities drawn in the sand.