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A response to the Guardian’s Gary Younge on Open Borders

Credit: Stephan Röhl

Recently, Guardian writer Gary Younge has written an opinion piece entitled “End all immigration controls – they’re a sign we value money more than people“. To spare you the pain of reading it and giving ad revenue to the Guardian, I’ll summarize his points below:

  • After the West cheered the fall of the Berlin Wall, they built their own walls to keep immigrants out – this is hypocritical
  • “As a principle, I think we should all be able to roam the planet and live, love and create where we wish.”
  • Borders makes family visits difficult for his Barbadian kin, which have spread across the world
  • Borders are arbitrary lines in the ground
  • Borders for capital have essentially been lifted, and people most affected by this are affected most by tight immigration restrictions
  • “They do not simply set boundaries for countries, but are metaphors for the boundaries of how we might think about other human beings.”

The body of his argument is, of course, more nuanced than these tidbits of lunacy that I’ve picked out. If you want to descent into the pit of cosmopolitanism, please do visit the article itself, but not before turning on your adblocker. But the title of his article reveals his main point. We’ll come to that in due course. For now, I’ll be addressing some of his points listed above.

His first point about the Berlin Wall can be refuted easily. We in the West cheered the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the wider Eastern Bloc, as it was a symbol of Marxist oppression. One people, the German people, was divided by an artificial construct. Would we care nearly as much if, say, a wall between communist Bulgaria and Greece were erected in the same time period? No, of course we wouldn’t. The German ethnic group was divided unfairly, whereas this hypothetical scenario would leave two separate and distinct ethnic groups separate, which is a fair use of a wall. Not to mention, saying that as the West supported the collapse of one wall, it should support the collapse of all others, is simply a bad point.

The argument that borders are arbitrary lines is absolutely ridiculous, especially in Europe. Take the border of France and Spain, for example. This border follows the Pyrenees mountain range, which has acted as a geographic cultural divider between the French and Spanish regions for time immemorial. This isn’t some random drawn line – this is both a geographic and cultural divide. The same goes for the Northern Irish border – it was forged by ethnocultural/religious change in Ulster as a consequence of the Ulster Plantation. This is no arbitrary line! Again, it marks an ethnic and religious split, which is something Mr Younge cannot comprehend. I will concede, however, that in some places, primarily Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, borders were drawn haphazardly and arbitrarily. However, this article is clearly written with the intent of removing European borders.

Actually, you know what? Let’s do it. Let’s imagine Gary Younge’s “utopian” dream of a world with no borders comes to fruition. Africans flock en masse to Europe. Our integration issues increase hundredfold. Our economy begins to tank, as our streets become a war zone between them and us. Our culture is influenced greatly, and eventually supplanted by that of Africa and the Middle East. Eventually, we become a minority in our homeland as the PoC makes its final move and steals the instruments of government from our altruistic hands. We then pan to Africa, which has suffered a brain-drain of colossal proportions – with the few migrants that to take in would benefit us economically, now working in our beleaguered-with-assaults-and-rapes-and-STIs healthcare systems. But they would be outnumbered drastically by young men, desperate for welfare, or low-paying jobs that our own children could do with.

And do you know what? This would increase world GDP! Yes! As insane as it seems, opening borders would double world GDP, resulting in more wealth for all! It has been said by a wise individual whose name eludes me, that nowadays, we live in an economy, and not a nation. That is to say that money and wealth is more important to us than being part of a coherent group with an identity forged on thousands of years of history and culture. Opening borders would result in our people suffering drastically, but we would all be richer. So, surely this is the opposite of what our friend Gary Younge said?


It is. Borders show we care about people more than money, and not the other way around. Opening them would show that we have lost any love for our people, filling that hole with consumerism and a thirst for money. Gary Younge, you are incorrect.

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