What would happen if all borders were lifted and everyone were free to go and live anywhere on earth?
This is a question of mind-boggling complexity, which is why immigration policy poses the greatest intellectual and political challenges. While many of the consequences of such a move are predictable many more will come as a complete surprise and no one could possibly hope to foresee let alone manage the rapid domino effect that would ensue. The most one could hope for is prepare for it well in advance by anticipating the obvious.
On the face of it, open borders and the free movement of people they would make possible are not only morally right, since no one and no authority should interfere with or try to limit what is an inherent natural right that every living creature enjoys, but also legally necessary if society is to provide every individual with the same opportunities to seek his or her fortune in a truly free world. Open borders also seem intuitively wise for a globalized economy that needs to quickly close the wealth gap between the developed and the developing world or else fail to make the world’s scattered resources available to every human being on the planet, as intended by the free market economy and the architects of the international order who envisioned it at the end of World War II as necessary for peace.
As it is, borders keep citizens prisoner to the history, geography, economy, culture and politics of one’s country of birth and this restriction flies in the face of Article 13-2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country”. Borders also make the fulfillment of other rights impossible for the vast majority of mankind, such as Article 15 (2), which states that no one shall be “denied the right to change his nationality”, or Article 23, granting the right to free choice of employment, and Article 25, the right to an adequate standard of living.
The right to leave one’s country (emigrate), for instance, is meaningless unless complimented by the right to enter another country (immigrate) at will, which is unfortunately still a matter of national sovereignty not personal choice and a fiction since no country on earth permits free entry. The right to emigrate is therefore absurd because it is not exercisable in practice, which is why 15 million refugees throughout the world are left in limbo when they leave their countries and find that they are not welcomed anywhere and have no place to go other than temporary refugee camps run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) agency. So long as emigration is recognized as a human right while immigration is regarded as a matter of national sovereignty, the right to migrate will remain a half-right and therefore a non-right.
Open borders are significant not only to the fulfillment of individual rights but also to the realization of collective wellbeing, which is why in trying to answer the question of their viability I will organize the consequences they would engender according to their positive or negative influence on the four overarching goals on which Planetary Security depends and that make the risk of open borders hopefully worth taking: (1) peace without poison and disarmament, (2) the demographic transition and depopulation, (3) environmental sustainability and harmony, (4) and economic equality and justice.
To quantify the significance of each argument for or against open borders I am listing them in their order of importance and have assigned each argument a numerical value of one, two or three points, whereby the most important arguments receive three points and the least important receive only one. If the balance sheet confirms that it is to our advantage to open the borders then the implementation of OM Principle 11 will be proven not only possible but also desirable.
In recognition of the historical observation that what is good for single nations is not necessarily good for the world and vice versa, I shall point out that this evaluation is made from the perspective of benefit to humankind and not to single nations.
PRINCIPLE 11: GLOBAL CONSCIOUSNESS, GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
Nations are obsolete and stand in the way of developing a global consciousness and of working together to solve new and old problems. When capitalism’s economic cycles arrive at recession or depression politicians blame outsiders, leading to conflict between nations, and prejudice displaces reason within the population, leaving the weak, the foreign and the disenfranchised vulnerable to abuse. Open borders not detention camps, healing centers not prisons, brotherhood not animosity, peace corps not armies is what we all want but fail to find because we are trapped in nationalism. Only by thinking of the world as our home and of every human being on earth as our cousin will we succeed in finding peace, serving justice and bringing prosperity to all. Our actions must reflect our ability to think globally, for only then will we give ourselves the freedom to be global citizens and the benefits of a global economy.
In general, opponents to open borders contend that the free movement of people threatens (1) the economic security of developed nations, (2) the social entitlements of welfare states, and (3) the cultural cohesion of all nations.
In addition, there is a fourth consideration against open borders that is never spoken out loud because it is a consequence of the highly classified Global Depopulation Policy. Western nations have been secretly poisoning their citizens into infertility or low fertility since the early 1950s and rightfully argue that they have made these terrible sacrifices and have committed genocide against their own people to avoid exporting their problems to others and now they are being asked to import the problems of nations who have refused to make these sacrifices or who have only made recent efforts or have merely paid lip service to the international security prerogative of population control. With justified resentment they argue that they have been poisoning their own people for seven decades to be able to live within their means while sending countries have failed in their responsibility towards the international community and now are attempting to saddle receiving countries with their excess and desperate people.
And they are of course perfectly right on all four counts, but each and all of these reasons, on first sight at least, pale by comparison to the threats we all face if we do not open borders, which is the only alternative we have not yet tried to close the growing and destabilizing wealth gap between the West and the Rest, secure access to vital resources to all human beings on the planet, switch from covert to overt depopulation measures, secure peace through disarmament, address our environmental problems, and make sure that no one starves to death anymore while others live in the lap of luxury; all of which constitute far more compelling arguments, both material and moral, to open the borders.
But let me now methodically weigh all arguments for and against open borders by starting with the pessimistic assumption that one out of ten people, or 700 million, will be on the move once they are free to leave their own countries. Recent migration flows indicate that some 200 million people or less than 3% of the global population are being redistributed around the world annually both within and between nations.
Open borders will allow people to come and go as they please and since most are reluctant to leave their native land and are emotionally tied to their place and culture of birth most migration will be temporary rather than permanent. The rigid immigration laws of today make it very hard for migrants to enter a country and once they succeed they are reluctant to leave for fear of being unable to return. Millions of illegal Mexican immigrants in the US are in this predicament, to give just one example.
Therefore, what is most likely to occur once borders open is that after an initial surge in migration that will be a veritable exodus the numbers will stabilize rather quickly. The first few years will be chaotic and messy, but once gross economic inequalities between the developed and the developing world diminish, which will take two to three decades, the vast majority of people will stay where they are. This is at least the assumption.
- Peace without poison and disarmament
Peace without poison means the cessation of all covert methods of population control (chemical, biological, psychosocial and economic) and the universal implementation of legal restrictions to family size. Since population control is the world’s substitute to war, finding a legal, global and enduring remedy to the problem of people outgrowing resources will result in complete and universal disarmament once borders are dissolved and armed forces become unnecessary. Failing to do so will lead to the extermination of man by man.
– Open borders will diminish the threat of war since the free movement of people will erode nationalist sentiments and loyalties and weaken ethnic divisions and historic animosities in the long run. Nations would in effect cease to exist and without nations there can be no war between nations. All conflicts would become local and therefore internal and much easier to handle and to contain. Without national interests to defend, the cost of armed forces can no longer be justified and full disarmament can take place and the world liberated from the threat of nuclear annihilation. (Value: 3 points)
– Disarmament will free a trillion dollars annually for investment in human and infrastructure development that is now wasted on weaponry, military bases and the projection of force. This money can go a long way towards providing security through prosperity. (Value: 3 points)
– Territorial disputes throughout the world will cease to be relevant since they will no longer be fed by national interests or by the need to secure voting majorities in order for a certain ethnic or religious group to hold on to political control (Israel/Palestine, Ukraine/Russia) so as to affirm their sovereignty, territorial integrity and national identity. (Value: 2 points)
– The free movement of people will put an end to borders that have become militarized and that brutalize innocent people, criminalize poverty and desperation, and trap migrants inside and outside borders. It will also put an end to internal controls that lend the police powers to check visas and IDs and to harass employers and employees alike. More than anything it will put an end to the separation of children from parents and from the death and suffering of desperate people looking for an escape or for a better life and who in the process of clandestinely crossing borders risk and often lose their lives. Thousands now die yearly at the fortified gates of Europe and the US. This is morally unacceptable and feeds racism and prejudice as well as eroding goodwill among people and nations. (Value: 2 points)
– The mixing of people that free migration enables will after a period of accommodation lead to diminished prejudices and the demise of racism, especially if anti-discrimination laws are properly enforced and the public educated to be tolerant and understanding. This will strengthen respect for human rights and civil liberties and therefore the foundation of peace. (Value: 1 point)
– Unrestricted migration will in the short run cause cultures and ethnicities to collide like massive weather fronts leading to tensions especially in the labor market and to anti-immigration, populist and extreme-right political parties that may even lead to violent clashes. (Value: 3 points)
– Border controls serve to protect the liberty, welfare and culture of a group of people committed to a certain way of life and the absence of such controls exposes cultures to invasion by groups who may or may not be complementary and who may not be able to peacefully co-exist thus giving rise to internal conflict and therefore the need for increased and effective policing. (Value: 2 points)
From the point of view of security and peace on earth, the 11 to 5 score shows that open borders are a safe strategic move even in the short term. The long-term effects of a world devoid of national divisions that can be enforced by military force are priceless and will benefit future generations in many ways.
- The demographic transition and depopulation
The demographic transition is the social engineering effort to stop the global population from growing and to bring it down to a sustainable level that can then be maintained in perpetuity. Since our numbers already far exceed earth’s carrying capacity and consumption per capita is still increasing, the global population will have to shrink to less than two billion and perhaps even further if renewable energy sources are not fully engaged within two or three decades. The very survival of the species and of all life on earth depends on accomplishing the demographic transition and doing it quickly. Its importance therefore cannot be overstated. But neither can the existing population control methods continue because the medicine is more deadly than the disease and threatens the biological viability of the human species.
– Borders have allowed governments to manage their people’s fertility, and more recently their longevity, and to monitor the effects of their population control measures. Since different governments have started subverting their people’s fertility and longevity at different times and with different methods, some more effective than others, countries are at different stages in the demographic transition. Open borders would make it impossible for governments to manage and to monitor the fertility and longevity of people who come from outside their jurisdiction and without this capability they will no longer be able to covertly commit genocide in the name of the demographic transition. This means that the only way to suppress human fertility across the planet among a population that is free to move from one population control regime to another, each at a different stage of the demographic transition, is by legislating family size and thus spare humanity further damage by covert application of endocrine disruptors and other poisons. (Value: 3 points)
– A large influx of migrants from the Least Developed Countries, where the median age is 18 years, and from the Less Developed Countries, where the median age is 25, to the More Developed Countries, where the median age is 37 (and by 2050 it will be 45), would ease the burden that the baby boom generation now poses on society and rescue the developed countries who have all entered the last stage of the demographic transition from economic collapse due to their high dependency ratio. In the US, for instance, the proportion of GDP spent on government programs for the elderly will triple over the next 75 years due to population aging. (Value: 3 points)
– Conversely, a sizeable influx of retirees from developed countries, where the cost of living is high, to the developing world, where the cost of living is low and medical care adequate, would ease the social cost of the high youth dependency ratio that especially Least Developed Countries experience if the incoming pensioners were allowed to spend their full pensions abroad and if the cost of their medical care would continue to be paid by their countries of origin even though they would be cared for in the receiving countries. This migration of the elderly to the developing world could be fostered by building attractive retirement enclaves and modern medical facilities in countries that are poor but hospitable and that enjoy a pleasant climate and beautiful natural surroundings. (Value: 1 point)
– The change from covert to overt methods of population control for the entire global population – which would be inevitable in an environment of open borders – would have to consider that the citizens of nations that have already reached the fourth stage of the demographic transition can be allowed to have two children (replacement level fertility) while the citizens of countries that are in stage one, two or three would need to be restricted to only one child until their countries reach the fourth stage of the demographic transition. But since this is impossible to do in a mixed population where citizens are no longer tied to a single country and where a citizen from a stage one country can marry a citizen from a stage four country and the newlywed couple can end up living in a stage two or a stage three country, the only easy solution is to implement a one-child policy globally until such time as the population stabilizes, even though this is unfair to citizens from stage four countries whose fertility has been interfered with for nearly seven decades and whose populations have already stabilized and may even be declining. The political implications of this consequence of open borders are many and the potential for diplomatic conflict and popular uproar are great. (Value: 2 points)
Demographically speaking open borders have more than thrice as many benefits as closed borders, as the score of 7 to 2 shows.
Environmental sustainability and harmony
By our needs and numbers humanity lives beyond the planet’s carrying capacity and unless and until our civilization is brought within the planet’s regenerative capacity and into a state of harmony with nature we will self-destruct. Our very survival depends on our ability to reach sustainability.
– Areas in the developing world that are now under great environmental strain due to high population densities will find relief once large numbers migrate to wealthy countries. This will provide an opportunity to the international community to rehabilitate large tracts of land and to update the infrastructure of urban centers that have not been able to keep up with rapid growth. (Value: 1 point)
– Previous efforts to protect the environment have been hampered by the political and geographic limitations of every nation state, but nature does not end at the borders. Without borders nature becomes more important than the nation state and conservation efforts can truly become global as they should be since nature forms one cohesive whole. (Value: 1 point)
– Once national interests are sidelined by the free movement of people the international community can take advantage of geographic and climatic advantages to build large solar and wind farms that can produce renewable energy on a massive scale which can then be distributed by a global energy network that is not fragmented and hampered by national frontiers. (Value: 1 point)
– The quality of life would decline worldwide due to the vastly increased industrial output that open borders would engender as more people consume more resources. There will be more pollution, more trash, more loss of wildlife habitat, and more rapid global warming. Pristine nature, clean air and clean water will be even more difficult to find than today. (Value: 3 points)
– Since most migration will take place from south to north, thus from poor to rich countries, people would move from warm, low carbon economies, to cold, high carbon economies, therefore increasing the median carbon footprint and man’s overall environmental burden. (Value: 2 points)
– Food will have to be shipped from far away in greater quantities than ever before in order to satisfy the needs of the dense conglomerations of people that would ensue as a result of the desperately poor moving to wealthy countries. This will increase international shipping traffic and put additional pressure on fossil fuel reserves with negative consequences on the environment. (Value: 1 point)
The tally of 3 to 6 shows that environmentally open borders make little sense since the negative outweigh the positive repercussions twofold. The short- to medium-term environmental consequences will be dire unless mitigated by an all-out effort to fully engage renewable energy sources.
- Economic equality and justice
Peace depends on economic security for all, which in turn makes justice possible. We are in the midst of an unprecedented transition from national economies to a common global market that unless concluded quickly it will lead to collapse. Goods, services, information, knowhow, capital and labor must be allowed to flow freely throughout the world if we are to create an environment of economic equality and a just world.
– Open borders would force a global, social and economic mobilization that would never occur without the crisis caused by a migration exodus. The abject poverty of the developing world will arrive at the doorsteps of the developed world and become the latter’s immediate problem that could no longer be ignore or relegated to the bottom of the priorities list. The crisis could be mitigated in advance of the opening of borders by massive investments in housing, sanitation and electricity to halve the world’s poor so that instead of 700 million people on the move we would only have to contend with half that. The Millennium Development Goals attempt to achieve just that. (Value: 3 points)
– There can be no globally integrated economy without the free mobility of people and until such time as the right to mobility is considered a fundamental right neither development nor poverty reduction can be accomplished and the existing economic distortions caused by the imprisonment of labor behind national frontiers will skew the global economy even further and lead to global collapse. The free flow of capital, information and services that we have achieved through economic liberalization must be met by the free flow of people. For it is only through free migration coupled with the right of capital and goods to reach every corner of the world that we can achieve worldwide economic equality and avert global economic collapse. (Value: 3 points)
– The circa 40 billion dollars spent annually worldwide on the enforcement of immigration laws and border controls (for the resettlement of refugees; prosecuting, detaining and removing undocumented migrants; labor inspections and sanctions on employers; issuing visas and residence permits; processing asylum seekers; and the search for undocumented migrants) could be used to fund a global program that helps the desperately poor integrate in the societies of their choice rather than continue to be wasted on national bureaucracies that perpetuate political and economic divisions and that constitute a drain on taxes without bringing any material benefits to their countries. (Value: 2 points)
– The free movement of people delegitimizes the authority of states to control people’s movement therefore weakening the power of the state and empowering the individual. This will make many costly bureaucracies redundant and free revenue for productive purposes. (Value: 2 points)
– The latent productive potential of people that is currently wasted by and in poorly managed countries would be realized in well-managed countries where the economy can put manpower to good use due to better organization and infrastructure. (Value: 2 points)
– Globalization has made the free flow of capital, goods and services possible, to the primary benefit of capital holders in developed nations, but not of labor, which would benefit workers in developing nations since human capital is their greatest asset. This one-directional exchange has forced the restructuring of national economies to conform to new global patterns of economic specialization that confine the workforce of the developing world to menial and low-paying occupations so the developing world can specialize in the more lucrative information economy and enjoy the higher incomes of knowledge workers. Open borders would dismantle this constraining economic arrangement that has depressed wages and especially knowhow worldwide and will return to every region the economic self-sufficiency and complexity they used to have when they were still protected by nationhood. (Value: 2 points)
– While migrants from poor countries would move north to find better jobs and better pay, migrants from rich countries would move south to take advantage of cheap land and cheap labor and to start a business with far less money than would be required at home. This bidirectional migration would speed up the effort to equalize wealth between the developed and the developing world. The developed world has latent qualified personnel without investment opportunities while the developing world has latent unqualified personnel without employment opportunities. This north-south labor exchange could be fostered to serve as a wealth equalization vehicle by sending all qualified but unemployed personnel from the developed to the developing world and continuing to pay them full unemployment benefits that would more than suffice to allow them a high standard of living in countries with low living costs. (Value: 2 points)
– In a world of economic globalization the right to global mobility will have positive consequences on all other human rights in addition to eroding the gross socioeconomic inequalities that now destabilize the entire world. Local and regional authorities will have to compete for labor in the same way they now compete for capital and this will foster greater respect for people, who are and always have been the greatest economic asset. (Value: 1 point)
– Since full citizenship rights cannot possibly be granted to newcomers, especially when they arrive in large numbers, migrants will have to be excluded from welfare entitlements, unemployment insurance, free medical care, pension plans, and voting rights until such time as the system can absorb them. This will lead to a two-tiered society wherein natives enjoy full citizenship rights while migrants only have an intermediary status until such time as they can afford to pay into the system and the system can fully absorb them. But since the welfare state will collapse due to free borders and is already unsustainable due to the double onslaught of globalization and the demographic transition, the two-tiered society will be short-lived. While migrants must be excluded from full citizenship rights simply because national systems that are already strained cannot possibly absorb them, nor is it fair to expect them to do so, they cannot be excluded from civil rights and the social right to education and housing, since such denial would lead to desperation and ultimately to crime and be even more costly. Despite limited rights, migrants will still experience a marked improvement in their standard of living and therefore of their general condition. (Value: 1 point)
– A flood of migrants would serve the interests of states or employers wishing to have access to an unorganized and desperate workforce that they will undoubtedly exploit to push wages and work conditions down. Consequently, wages will collapse in the developed world, causing great hardship, and will only slightly increase in the developing world. (Value: 3 points)
– The neo-colonialism that now allows the developed world to exploit the developing world to ensure high standards of living at home and low standards in the developing world will be replaced by a situation akin to that prior to globalization, when the rich exploited the underclasses within their national borders. Thus the bitter class struggle that took place within western nations prior to 1945 will have to take place once again globally. It will take several decades of class struggle to achieve a fair income distribution again but this time worldwide. In the interim the world will be divided into have and have-nots and the middle class will disappear. (Value: 3 points)
– Open borders will within a short time – probably a couple of decades – double the global GDP, but it will take two generations of hard work (and a 50% reduction in the global population) before the high standard of living now enjoyed by western nations can be mirrored worldwide. It must be remembered that the 1 billion people living in the developed world consume more than half of the world’s resources while the remaining 6 billion are struggling with the remaining half. Once the borders open and 7 billion people will be fighting for the same resources on the same playing field and without national protections and advantages the share per capita will quickly equalize in what will be a fiercely competitive environment. (Value: 3 points)
– During these two decades the standard of living in western countries will go down to half of what it is today (or even lower) while the standard of living in the developing world will quickly double. During these two decades of increasing hardship for the citizens of the developed world and of increasing prosperity for the citizens of the developing world, the price of basic foods will double since demand will exceed supply. The price of consumer goods will also rise rapidly and only a minority will be able to afford to drive a personal vehicle because the price of oil will also double or triple. (Value: 3 points)
– Developed nations will not be able to sustain their welfare systems and other social entitlements including pensions and free medical care, as they depend on wealth accrued in large part by being dominant on the free market and exporting large quantities of manufactured goods to the developing world. All of the hard-won social goods that western workers have fought for over the centuries will be lost in a single decade after opening the borders. (Value: 3 points)
– It is not enough to open borders unless you also lift the internal barriers to integration to allow people to fully participate in society wherever they may be and to climb the social ladder regardless of their place of origin. Labor markets in the developed world are so terribly segmented and exclusionary that it is difficult for natives let alone migrants to find a way in. A flood of migrants will only exacerbate these internal barriers to social mobility. Migrants will be excluded by the lack of job opportunities if not by prejudice and the incoming populations as well as natives with low skills will be ghettoized and marginalized. The unfair distribution of resources we now see between the developed and the developing world will lead to brutal class stratification within the global society and economy that open borders will create. (Value: 3 points)
Economically, the benefits of open borders equal the drawbacks, as the score of 18 to 18 shows. By and large, what is gained globally is lost nationally as the population of the developing world will benefit at the cost of the developed world. In the long run, however, future generations will have far greater opportunities and standards of living than we now have and the world will literally be their oyster.
PRELIMINARY AND STRATEGIC MOVES TO EASE THE PAIN
We must prepare for open borders the way we would prepare for a long and arduous journey, by packing everything we need along the way, learning everything we can about our destination, and by getting ready to take a leap of faith with a sense of adventure and optimism that all will be well in the end so long as we keep our wits about us and remember that the sacrifices we make will translate into wonderful rewards for our children and for our children’s children.
These are the pillars that will support the weight of free migration:
- Global digital currency
The current monetary system is outdated, prone to manipulation, victim of speculation and skewed in favor of western nations and their elites. It is also inadequate for our global civilization which now more than ever needs an equal playing field and an effective way to put enough money to survive into every pocket regardless of employment or lack thereof. The socio-economic system we live in is fully monetized but it cannot provide employment to everyone. Until such time as this shortcoming is addressed by a different distribution of work, the monetary system must be able to serve as a remedy to the economy’s inability to provide employment to all. Furthermore, if we are to avert collapse, especially once the borders open, we must be able to soften the edges of poverty in advance of the opening of borders and to have equal valuations for equal work worldwide. More than anything we must be able to transfer enormous amounts of money to where it is needed, as quickly as people can move, which can only be done digitally. A global digital currency presupposes a central controlling agency and such an agency would be the first political act towards a truly cohesive global economy and society. Without a global digital currency that replaces all other currencies, is centrally controlled, and reflects the global output the world will not be able to correct the destabilizing effects of the ongoing shift from national economies to a global economy let alone respond to the drastic and unpredictable changes of open borders.
- Global governance of open borders
Free migration must be declared an international security prerogative and placed in the hands of a newly created international agency that can coordinate and supervise the entire process. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is not equipped for this massive task but can serve as a satellite to the newly created agency.
Free migration, for instance, will increase tensions between native and incoming people that would quickly translate into populist, extremist and racist political parties that will use people’s prejudices and fears to close the borders and revert to national isolationism. No such political reactions can be allowed to occur which is why the matter of free migration must be declared an international security prerogative and taken out of the hands of national assemblies.
Open borders need also a multilateral approach and not just a multinational agency to be able to coordinate and supervise all nations and all ministries that will be involved in welfare provisions, security issues, transportation, housing and many other foreseeable and unforeseeable areas of jurisdiction and competence.
Once the process has started, the international community must be able to monitor the social transformations that will occur and take immediate action if necessary.
- Migration tax
Since the cost of free migration will be colossal, the international community must be able to collect a global tax to be able to finance the process of open borders. This supervising agency and the migration tax would need to be collected three to five years in advance of opening the borders so that all necessary preparations will have been made and nothing is left to chance or to the last minute.
Since there can be no discrimination, either positive or negative, between sending and receiving countries, a flat tax of $2 per person per year would provide the newly created central coordinating agency with $14 billion annually for the five years prior to the open borders regime. This money can be used to make the necessary preparation and put together the infrastructure that free migration will require.
- Fulfillment of MDG
The targets set by the Millennium Development Goals must be accomplished in full and prior to the open borders regime. Failure to do so will confront the global community with a larger and more desperate exodus than could be accommodated. Failure to do so will also demonstrate that the international will to coordinate an open borders regime does not exists and absent such will any attempt will end up in failure.
- One-Child Policy
As with free migration so too must population control be declared an international security prerogative and at least five years prior to opening the borders a One-Child Policy must be adopted and fully implemented by countries in stage one, two and three of the demographic transition and a Two-Children Policy by countries in stage four of the demographic transition.
Without a clear and concise program of population control and immovable targets that allow every human being on the planet to know why and for how long we need to sacrifice our reproductive rights for the wellbeing of the planet and of mankind, all other efforts, including open borders, will amount to nothing.
It is simply impossible for 7 billion people, let alone 10 billion (which is the number at which the population is expected to peak by 2050), to live comfortably and in a civilized and peaceful manner on the finite resources of planet earth. It is even more impossible to do so in perpetuity and in harmony with nature.
As a preliminary target, and until such time as the numbers are crunched, we must accept the idea that we must reduce our numbers down to 2 billion by 2150 and that once we have reached that target a Two-Children Policy must remain in place for all times; or at the very least until such time as we are ready to colonize other planets.
- Employment as a fundamental and inalienable right
All goodwill on the planet will dissolve in a few short months of hardship, with or without open borders, if more than a quarter of the population cannot be gainfully employed. We are approaching that level of chronic unemployment as fast as a bullet train.
Science and technology are making increasingly more people superfluous. In addition, the economy is completely divorced from social imperatives, which is why nothing works anymore and every system and every country is on the verge of collapse. In fact, the capitalist system has long collapsed and it is leaning ever more precariously on the corpses and pain of the unemployed and the marginalized.
Employment at a living wage has become an international security prerogative and must be treated as such and declared a fundamental and inalienable right in a fully monetized economy where the vast majority of people live in urban centers and lack the land to practice subsistence farming. No job means no income and no income forces people to do the only logical thing, which is to commit crimes, any crimes, to survive.
Free market capitalism is the economic arrangement of imbeciles and sociopaths. It means nothing more than let everyone struggle as best they can and find opportunity wherever they can and seek profit however they can. And if they cannot they are free to die. Only barbarians think this way.
If our environmental problems force us to take proactive measures now with outcomes in mind that are a century away, and our demographic problems have forced us to take proactive measures since 1945 to avoid disaster half a century later, the time has come to recognize that an economic system that focuses only on the here and now is retarded. We must design our economic future as foresightedly as we design our demographic and environmental future, to say nothing of the moral impetus to reduce suffering.
There is more than enough work for all of us. But only a global currency can free us from the tyranny of bankers and the idiocy of profit. The purpose of all our efforts should be economic security not economic advantage. And economic security is possible immediately once we have a global currency in place and once we have a vision of the future and a plan for its realization.
Free market capitalism forces us all of us to fight for crumbs so that a few can eat steak. Most of our efforts are wasted on cheating each other and exploiting each other, and the system is designed to ensure that we are forced to cheat and exploit each other if we want to survive.
Only a global currency will free us from the tyranny of greed and the fear of want that capitalism has embedded in our economic system as deeply as our genes have embedded the pain of fire and the fear of heights.
A global currency will allow long term and large scope economic and strategic planning so that we can all receive a living wage and perform productive work to build the cities of tomorrow, a global transportation infrastructure, care for each other, feed ourselves better than ever before, enjoy each other and the fruits of our labors, and conceive new technological wonders.
It is the responsibility of the system to find or make work for every human being on the planet and it is the responsibility of every human being on the planet to do the work assigned if we cannot find or create our own work.
Without a living wage in everyone’s pocket the current system, with or without open borders, is doomed to an agonizing death.
- Immigration cities and food security
Once people are free to move at will across borders, the only way to guide them so they disperse equally and not overwhelm existing urban centers is by seeding the world with cities of opportunity where none existed before. These cities need to be built from scratch and embody the best environmental and building standards, as well as the latest standards of energy self-sufficiency, so that it will be a labor of love to build them and a point of pride to live in them.
It will be the task of the newly created agency for the oversight of open borders to identify the best locations, purchase the land, choose the best designs and fit them into the proper economic and cultural settings. That way, the greatest migration wave in history can be used to power the greatest civilizational leap in history.[i]
If the Egyptians could build the great pyramids and the Chinese the Great Wall, then we sure as hell should be able to build the cities of the future and the global infrastructure to connect them all and do it to such a standard that a thousand years from now our successors will marvel at our ingenuity and talent.
We have more labor than we know what to do with, better tools than ever before, and the best organizational and institutional structures in history. All we have to do is make man central and give him a dream to dream. Human beings need purpose and purpose gives meaning to life and brings prosperity.
In preparation for the arrival of migrants to the Cities of Opportunity that they will help build, the international community needs to store massive amounts of food to be able to feed half a billion people for two years. This means that the global food production capacity needs to be increased in advance and this can be done by promoting agricultural innovation in areas that now struggle so that the very people who will migrate will be growing the food reserves they themselves will use once they are on the move.
- Safe havens
A borderless world will inevitably and quickly lead to a one-world government and since all governments are flawed we need to protect ourselves from our own ignorance and in anticipation of the potential tyranny of global authorities.
A borderless world with a one-world government (the latter of which we already have) is far too dangerous without the inviolable territories of safe havens. Such places must exist, one for every 1000 square kilometers of land, to offer sanctuary to fugitives from the law, regardless of their crime (other than violent crimes), since those in charge of the administration of justice and law enforcement, as we have seen in our recent past and especially in the present, are the greatest criminals.[ii]
Safe havens and their inviolability must be enshrined in international law and the integrity of such a safety net from global tyranny must be protected on pain of death. These places will in effect become the prisons of the future and veritable sin cities and will not only free society from the burden of punishment but also safeguard it from the tyranny of global authorities. With any bit of luck they will also become centers of free speech and artistic creativity, serving as engines of social and political renewal and protecting society from being victim of its own remedies.
To give fugitives from justice as well as fugitives from injustice the chance to live lives of dignity some safe havens can be structured like monastic establishments.
- Full engagement of renewable energy sources
Once six billion people aspire to reach the same standard of living as the one billion who presently consume half the world’s resources, the environmental consequences will be disastrous and will persist until such time as the depopulation effort works its wonders and our numbers shrink to a sustainable level.
To mitigate the environmental damage we need to engage every renewable energy technology we have and this effort needs to be taken as seriously as though our lives depended on it, because they in fact do.
The Cities of Opportunity I have suggested above will in effect serve as testing grounds for every renewable energy technology we have thus far conceived and this will help reduce the environmental impact of a doubling of GDP that we can expect as a result of open borders.
It is theoretically beautiful but practically impossible to grant full citizenship rights to the large numbers of people who would migrate to the countries of their choice under an open borders regime. There is however an elegant solution that may satisfy all sides and has the greatest potential for applicability and benefits, as well as causing the least disruptions to the host countries and cultures. To my knowledge this idea has never been considered.
Under an open borders regime those who wish to leave their country of birth or of residence will have to abandon their national citizenship and all rights and responsibilities that come with it and accept global citizenship and all rights and responsibilities that come with it.
Global citizens will have the right to migrate anywhere on earth but will have to permanently reside for a period of ten years only in the Cities of Opportunity designated by the international community and can move between them at will but cannot seek residence elsewhere. They will have secure employment, receive training and basic medical care, and have full voting rights in the running of their city, but will have to abide by the ethos of the international community, which is to build a sustainable global civilization based on mutual respect and multicultural coexistence. To forge a cohesive global community and enable free human exchange all Cities of Opportunity will have to communicate in the same official language, English, in addition to which each city will also use the language of the host country.
Every country on earth will have to grant large tracts of land for the construction of Cities of Opportunity, say two cities for every country that is not a city state. These tracts of land must be large enough for these cities to be self-sufficient in terms of food and energy. Vatican City, Monaco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, and several others are too small to be able to accommodate the international community in this respect unless they themselves choose to become Cities of Opportunity. Existing cities within nation states may themselves decide to become Cities of Opportunity and join the international community.
Supposing that at least 100 countries are willing to donate land for at least two Cities of Opportunity to the international community, 50 countries are large enough and able to host 10 such cities, and 10 countries are large and brave enough to host 25, this will provide migrants with nearly 1000 choices of residence virtually anywhere on earth. Supposing that every City of Opportunity is designed for an optimal number of residents of say 250.000 and the world will be able to accommodate 250 million migrants in an orderly fashion.
The primary advantages of this plan is that they will not disrupt the local cultures since they will be separate and apart, will not be a burden on the social systems of their host nations since they will have no claim to them, and will not overwhelm any single country since all countries will host according to their size. This plan also ensures that migrants can seek a new life and a unique opportunity without having to necessarily go far away from home since they can choose to live in a City of Opportunity within their own country before they muster the courage or the desire to try their luck further afield. This will allow the international community to accommodate the most desperately poor who lack the money to travel to a City of Opportunity at the other end of the world, but who are more than capable to make it on their own to one such place closer to home and enjoy the benefits of a new start and the support of the entire global community in a project of unprecedented proportions and boundless potential.
The design and planning of these cities will provide every nation with the opportunity to shine and to show the world what its people are capable of. The building of these cities will be a combined effort between the host country and the migrants and their financing will need to be provided by the host nation and the international community at a ratio that reflects each respective nation’s wealth or lack thereof.
After a decade or two of this intermediate solution to open borders, which would absorb the impact of the first wave of migration that will undoubtedly be an exodus, the world can then merge the nation states and the Cities of Opportunity into one global civilization that can be allowed to enfold without further interference and everyone will become a global citizen.
FOUR POSSIBLE APPROACHES TO OPEN BORDERS
The last consideration that remains is to find the best way to open the borders so that all sides benefit and the transition is as painless as possible. This is easier said than done. Every option has advantages and disadvantages.
Simply opening all borders to unrestricted human traffic, after only minimal preparation, has great appeal but may lead to chaos and anarchy in the receiving countries, especially in those few nations that are highly sought after because people believe them to be the land of milk and honey.
The saving grace of this method is that the initial stampede will be so great as to act as a deterrent and a check on the overall numbers. People, in other words, will be afraid to head in the same direction as millions of others anticipating bottlenecks and hardship at the other end as well as along the way. And this is indeed what they will find, because the internal boundaries of nations will act as efficiently to keep newcomers out of the system and therefore out of prosperity as surely as national borders now do.
The greatest attraction of going cold turkey is that it would be done and over with rather than prolong the misery. Conversely, the greatest detractor is that it would not have the desired effect since it would not lead to the global integration of human resources but to strengthened internal boundaries.
The more I think about this approach the less I like it as it seems clear to me that neither governments nor people would be able to able to handle the chaos that would ensue and in the end no one will benefit and everyone will suffer.
Most will return, more wretched and disillusioned then when they left, and many will have died along the way from exposure and hunger. The entire experiment would be an exercise in futility as it would be a marathon to nowhere and back.
One continent at a time
The second possibility is to open one continent at a time starting with the poorest, Africa. If one out of ten Africans decide to leave their countries then about one hundred million people would be on the move and this is a number the world can absorb provided they do not all head for North America or for Western Europe.
After a decade, a second continent, South and Central America, could open its borders and some 45 million people would then be on the move and constitute a second wave of migration. The problem is that by then receiving countries would be so dissatisfied and destabilized that they would be reluctant to go through the same experience a second let alone a third and a fourth time when North Asia and then South Asia start their migration.
To subject the world to shock after shock is probably politically impossible. The agony would be too long and a backdraft inevitable, which means that the process would never be completed as it would be aborted after the first wave of migration.
A third option is to open the borders all at once but direct and restrict the migration flow between two sister continents or areas that are geographically close: Africa and Europe, South America and North America, China and Russia, India and Oceania, South East Asia and Japan. After this intercontinental marriage is consumed, say in a decade or two, the borders can then open up to unrestricted global traffic.
The problem with this approach is that the migration flows would be lopsided since a receiving continent or area might have to welcome far more migrants than another receiving continent and therefore cause new imbalances. A second potential problem is that if one continent gets into trouble there would be no one to help since everyone would be stretched to the limit dealing with their own migrants.
Cities of Opportunity
The most intelligent approach to free migration that I can think of is the creation of Cities of Opportunity, which in effect will do for labor what Free Trade Zones have done for capital, goods and services, thus liberalizing labor gradually and with maximum benefit and minimum pain to all parties.
By starting with a thousand cities that can accommodate a quarter of a billion people over a period of ten years, the seed of a global community will have been planted, helped to grow to maturity and then allowed to pull the rest of the world towards a new and sustainable way of life that will evolve around a new ethos akin to that of the OM Principles or perhaps one even more ambitious.
Since each City of Opportunity will be planned and designed by the respective host country, it will fit in with the character of the host and be integrated with its economy so that it aids rather than impedes national prosperity and complements rather than competes with traditional industries.
In time, the global community that will have grown along with the Cities of Opportunity will reach critical mass and absorb increasingly more national citizens so that gradually and organically the global community subsumes all national communities. In other words, the Cities of Opportunity will absorb nations not vice versa since people will migrate from nations into the Cities of Opportunity. This will allow the new ethos to form and to prove itself so that its growth is earned and not forced.
The individuals who embrace full citizenship will do so in the full understanding that they commit themselves to building a global civilization from zero and, as such, will live and struggle like the pioneers of once who migrated to the Americas but with much greater support than their predecessors. The nation states, in turn, will support the new global civilization in its incipient phase until it can stand on its own and will do so in good faith and in their people’s long-term interests since the global civilization, once formed and mature, will act as their one and only lifeboat.
The transition from the dying and warring states of today to the united global community of tomorrow will be carried out like a controlled emergency evacuation from rusty sinking ships that are aimlessly drifting on the rough seas to brand new cruise ships that sail safely into the future.
This approach will protect the world from the danger of making a colossal and irreversible mistake and will ensure that we progress by evolving and that we evolve by progressing.
The risk of open borders has only limited benefits for our generation but unlimited potential for future generations and as such it is a sacrifice we must make for our children. Our forefathers have fought wars so we can have peace and freedom. All we are asked to do is sacrifice our comforts and abandon our prejudices.
Instead of continuing to pretend that we can go on as usual or worse that we can return to a golden time that never was, now is the time to declare war on the root causes of our misery so we can escape the cycles of want and war once and for all and leave behind not only a clean planet but also an enduring peace among ourselves and between human civilization and Mother Earth.
We can do this by embracing the concept and the challenge of global citizenship and taking a leap of faith into the future and calculated risks in the present to become the pioneers of our times and invent and build a new and better civilization.
The new frontier, the only frontier, is not physical but intellectual, moral, and spiritual. Our new frontier is the global horizon. To reach it we need no muskets, machetes or stiff sails but we do need brave hearts, just as our forefathers have needed them when they sailed into the wild blue yonder.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author on this article series are not necessarily shared by The Real Agenda News.
Article 10 of the Survival or Extinction series can be read here.
Article 11 of the Survival or Extinction series can be read here.
Article 12 of the Survival or Extinction series can be read here.
Article 13 of the Survival or Extinction series can be read here.
The previous 9 articles of the Series Survival or Extinction can be read here.[i] I suspect that the recent construction of FEMA camps throughout the US intimates that the idea of immigrant cities has already taken root. It is my hope, however, that the US government does not intend to make these into immigration prisons and that it has a greater and more humane vision for how to deal with the aftermath of open borders. People can only live in communal dormitories and behind barbed wire for a very limited time. Everyone needs private space and purpose. [ii] My father, Dr. Costel Galalae, an extraordinary man in every respect, died of a heart attack in 1993 at the border between Hungary and Austria while being harassed by immigration and customs officials over my grandmother’s transit visa. Nearly twenty years later, I nearly died of hypothermia while clandestinely crossing the border from Canada into the US to escape a fifth arrest intended to stop me from exposing inconvenient truths and high crimes.