keeping a clear perspective on the world
There’s a lot of fear floating around the world today. But then, there’s always been a lot of fear. Before Islam was bulldozed down the fundamentalist route by western foreign policy, there were world baddies in the form of commies, right wing dictatorships, rival monarchies or tribes, Mongols, Normans and many other boogeypeople. In fact, there’s an endless list of really bad people out to ruin the peaceful way of life of us normal people. Let’s look at some solutions to keeping bad people out of our way (‘we’ being the good people).
This is small-scale, community segregation that involves keeping wealthy people protected from their random fellow-citizen scum. Your house is positioned in an exclusive area with a big fence around it and security patrols. You can heighten this experience by driving your big car to the expensive schools, malls and entertainment areas of your choice, thereby completely avoiding seeing grubby poor people (except when they’re scrubbed up and serving you).
The world has an interesting history of long walls to keep out barbarians. The Romans used one in the north of England to keep out my people, the barbarian Scots. The Chinese used one along their northern border to keep out a whole host of violent barbarians. The Germans had one right through their biggest city to keep the communists out. And the Israelis are currently building a huge one to keep out their desperately poor and violent neighbours, the Palestinians. Walls are great – you can keep out all manner of bad person and they last forever.
This is currently the most popular, and yet failing, method of keeping out Bad People. Life is obviously easier if we only have to deal with people just like us. No silly foreign languages, food or cultures, that potentially bring danger to the nice people like us. Immigration isn’t natural and we should really just stick to our own kind. That’s why Australia is only populated by Aborigines, New Zealand is the exclusive home of Maoris and the USA is full to bursting with Native Americans.
- multi-culturalism is problematic and therefore segregation and immigration controls must be the logical long-term solution
- hiding from people you don’t like makes the world a safer and better place
- restricting the rights of poor people to travel or seek security is fair and makes the world better
- immigration isn’t natural, the world is completely safe and argument-free if we’re only with people just like us (the good people)
- knee-jerk responses based of fear and ignorance always make sense
- keeping people who have opinions we don’t agree with away from us helps generate useful dialogue and change
- short-term shut-out solutions are preferable to longer-term world views that accept periods of uncomfortable unrest during transition are inevitable
- the people who think the world is more dangerous today than it ever was, are more correct than the people who thought the same thing in 2001, the 1980s, the 1950s, the 1940s, Napoleonic Wars, Wars of Independence, Roman Conquest etc etc because it’s impossible to look at the history of the world objectively and accept that society evolves, and that, in general, we are moving in positive directions with regard to democracy, education and healthcare
- I’m white and from a rich country, therefore I can live anywhere in the world I wish!