How “open borders” became an illiberal cry

posted by
August 30, 2016
by Frank Furedi  
Posted in Commentary

"Today, arguments in favour of mass migration don't focus on the virtues of free movement; they focus on what are seen as the positive effects of mass migration on a host society. These positive effects are frequently communicated in the language of economics. But, increasingly, immigration is valued on the basis that it has a transformative effect on national culture, too. The use of immigration as an instrument of social engineering could be glimpsed in a statement made by the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker last week. He declared that 'borders are the worst invention ever made by politicians.' He coupled his condemnation of borders with a call to support migrants. But this wasn't simply about showing solidarity with migrants. No, he was communicating a broader hostility towards the idea of the nation state and those who support it." [editor's note: Furedi says that like it's a bad thing; nothing is more illiberal than a fully empowered nation state - TLK] (08/29/16)  

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  • dL

    The vast security apparatus in place says otherwise. States do not practice open borders as a matter of policy. Where is this stuff coming from? In the 19th century for a time, that may have been the case. But the passport was reintroduced with the two 20th century global wars, and the state control of population flow across “borders” has steadily increased since, with the entire thing now being throughly ensconced in the national security/intel complex.

    The EU had relaxed controls for movement between member states, but not for those who are outside the EU.

    To me, there is a major conflation of war refugee flows w/ immigration. No doubt, there are major refugee flows from northern africa and southestern asia into the EU. The cause: NATO destabilization of northern africa and southwestern asia. Personally, I sort of doubt that the explicit objective of NATO’s destabilization efforts towards the likes of Libya and Syria was the social engineering of EU member states via a mass refugee influx.

    And btw, the notion of “bordered nation state and those who support it” is very much an asymmetric practice. Borders for people but not for the laws. The nation state claims global jurisdiction well outside its own borders re: its own laws and the enforcement thereof.

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