International borders date back hundreds of years, yet our world changes faster every day.
I like the idea of borders helping define a sense of belonging and stability to a group or groups of people with complimentary resources. However, my understanding is that many international and even domestic borders are based on the politics (usually) of natural resources and instead cut through and divide similar groups of people and thereby alienating both same and complimentary groups of people. More often than not, stability is impeded and unnecessary conflicts are fostered as a result.
I think they still serve us as we are not yet ready to dissolve borders. We still need to evolve a bit. But as of yet we are still struggling with our basic human nature; war, greed, ect. that keep us from being who we could be, who we will be. I think eventually time will push us a little further down the road of compassion and we will be able to embrace a one-world and eventually a one-universe reality.
David, I agree that we're not there yet. I hope we can advance, socially and politically, through considering the idea of eliminating borders and including everyone in shared decision-making. Dan, I agree that borders often contribute to conflict; also, identity doesn't depend on militarized borders - just look at home-town sports rivalries.
Borders function as boundaries, they are neither good or bad. Just like the borders of our physical bodies, our immediate space, home and so forth. When used the right way, borders lend expression to our uniqueness, culture, history and so forth, while still supporting harmony, communication and relationships with others.
I think that borders/boundaries are important. They are important to me as individual and I appreciate at the same time how they apply to us as a collective. It's what helps differentiate us. What they are not balanced with, however, is a requisite amount of loving-kindness. Just because there are borders does not mean mean we ought to be adverse to people on the other side of the borders. This is exactly like a kabbalastic teaching about the importance of having a balance of loving-kindness with boundaries.
Living here in Europe, I love the fact that there are no border controls between countries in the Schengen Area. Nevertheless, borders between countries like, say, France and Germany delineate a difference in shared history, culture, and language that does have meaning for people.
Douglas - Would you support demilitarized borders, as we have today between, say, California and Nevada, or between some European countries, as David Elsbree mentions?
I would indeed support that! But the mexico - US border is tricky, and I honestly don't know enough about it to opine. My experience in traveling between countries in Europe is quite joyful and it would be wonderful if more of the world were like that.
Borders are means by which the masses of ordinary men and women can be controlled by powerful insitutions.
So, no, they no longer serve us.
I think we should be firm in a call to allow freedom of movement anywhere on the planet as a basic human right.
Should we understand by "borders" the current sovereign national-state borders? if yes, then maybe the questions can be what role, if any, for the nation-state in a fair, sustainable, democratic... world, and secondly if we consider the freedom of movement everywhere as a basic right, as said by Noah. I enthusiastically support this second point.
I think we have to be firm on this point, that freedom to move around on the globe is in inherent human right, nearly as basic as the right to breathe.