Everybody has written about Brexit. I should not be left out! Everybody says more or less the same thing, I'll say a bit more.
Brexit: A Case for Dismantling Countries & Forming Geographically Independent Countries Based on Global Solidarity
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada:
"The people of the UK have chosen to leave the EU.”
Hillary Clinton, US Democratic Party presidential contender:
"We respect the choice the people of the United Kingdom have made.”
I was reading the world's reaction to the Brexit vote. The list continued:
IMF chief Christine Lagard:
“we respect the decision of the British people.”
This is not the decision of the British people, the people of the UK. It is only the decision of a bit more than half of the British people. Saying “British people” implying or insinuating as if that's the decision of all British people is wrong.
“It's the majority of the British people,” Carlo said.
I repeated. “No. It's only a bit more than half of the British people.”
“I know. Still, I wouldn't go into that.”
I would. What these people are saying when they say “We respect the decision of the British people” is that they respect the decision of 52 % of the British people because they are the majority. But they do not respect the decision of 48 % of the British people because by some chance of luck -because they say youngsters, the 16-18 year-olds would have voted remain, and 18 is a random number, right? I mean why is the voting age 18? I would have understood it if it was puberty. Because that is a coming of age with a specific physiological change. 18... What is 18? What did I know at 18 that I didn't know at 16? What made me any more capable to discern right-and-wrong, better-or-worse for me? I didn't know much until after my 40's probably. But does that mean only the elder should vote? And if the elder population predominantly voted exit, does that mean that their decision should be respected?
Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece:
"Brexit will be either a wake-up call or the beginning of a dangerous path for European people.
"We respect the decision of British people, which confirms the deep political and identity crisis of the EU.”
Here we go... Another generalization. A wrong one. European people... Seriously, who are these European people? Are they the ones who are born on the continent, the ones with fair skin, do the ones with dark skin, the ones who got citizenship after coming here count as European people too? Is the criteria the eligibility to vote? Or does this “European people” that Tsipras refers to include all the babies, children, and youngsters too?
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Portugal:
"We have to serenely respect the decision of the majority of the British people, in the certainty that the European project remains valid to defend the values that mark our common identity."
Okay. I found someone who at least put things in a more correct way.
Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway:
"British voters and many other voters around Europe feel that the EU is not providing good enough answers to today's challenges."
Fair conclusion and comment.
Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore:
"Other developed countries also face similar challenges as Britain. We all live in a globalised, interdependent world. The desire to disengage, to be less constrained by one's partners, to be free to do things entirely as one chooses, is entirely understandable. And yet in reality for many countries, disengaging and turning inwards will likely lead to less security, less prosperity, and a dimmer future.”
It's true. I like the PM of Singapore. Seems like a smart guy who knows what he is saying. At least in this case. Instead of, sorry for the term but “bullshitting”, using the political jargon, he has made a decent and logical comment! I liked it and found it important enough to underline.
Whereas the 62 year-old politician Jean-Claude Juncker has been the Prime Minister of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2013. Since 2014, he is the President of the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU. And Juncker has said:
“The British made it clear yesterday, crystal clear, as the British say, that they want to leave.”
Seriously... Is it crystal clear? How can that be crystal clear? I mean this is a man who has served as PM of a country, a European country for 18 years, and he says this?!!! What's crystal clear about the decision?
Test for democracy!
"The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected," said Mr Cameron. "The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered."
Again “the British people”! Is it really not possible for politicians to give up this nomenclature? Is this how they think, how their mind works?
More than 2.5 million people have signed a petition calling for a second referendum because they didn't like or agree with the outcome of the vote. Apparently this petition has more signatures than any other on the parliamentary website and they say “as it has passed 100,000, Parliament will consider it for a debate.”
But Cameron said the referendum was a "once in a generation, once in a lifetime" and that the UK had "referendums not neverendums".
In a separate petition more than 100,000 people have called on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to declare the English capital independent from the UK and apply to join the EU. After all, across all 33 boroughs in London 59.9% of people voted to stay in the EU, with the Remain vote more than 70% in some boroughs. The petition, set up by James O'Malley, states: "London is an international city, and we want to remain at the heart of Europe. Let's face it - the rest of the country disagrees... let's make the divorce official and move in with our friends on the continent."
Yes, I agree, cities should be independent.
This Brexit vote is a very good case for the wrong classification of people. It's also a case for decision-making and to start questioning the so much lauded “democracy”. The smaller the group, the better the decision alines with the members of the group. Perhaps countries should be dismantled, a new political form with global solidarity should emerge. Or, just like geographically independent professionals forming coworking spaces, cities may form alliances with other cities, form a geographically independent “country”.
Just an idea...
* The news material in this article is from BBC “Brexit: World reaction as UK votes to leave EU”
I do not like being here. It's not the house itself, it's not the surroundings. It's the people I am surrounded by. Seeing such people disgust me. It disgusts me so much. The nextdoor neighbor who has fenced in and occupied an area of the common garden, and claims that its her territory... The old owner of the house who has tried to cheat us even to the tiniest amount of money, making us pay for all her responsibilities, leaving us without water for three days in the summer heat... The old tenant who didn't pay a cent of rent, got the electric appliances and the bedroom furniture in the house, left all the utility bills unpaid... And this woman's family has a luxury villa that is rented -its weekly-rent being the yearly-rent of this house.
I could understand poor people trying to get your money and sympathize with them. When “rich”, that is relatively well-off people do it, I lose heart.
Why am I here, why am I doing this? Doing this thing that bothers me so much... I'd rather go after my refugees and my writings. I wish I could live here without being disturbed by all this, without having to deal with such people. But there is no such place on earth, is there? People are always like this. Everybody trying to get a piece of somebody. We are all trying to grab a bite of the world we live in. It's the same thing I felt doing the tour guide. There is a big piece of cake, it's who will get the biggest piece... The local guide, the tour leader, the local tour agency, the outgoing tour agency... Plus of course the shop-keepers. They're all trying to get a commission from the tourist that spends money. What's different about the world? It's the same thing. Here we are. We are born into this world. Somebody says “Here, this is your share. You have only this much,” you accept it. Some people have occupied a certain territory, they don't want to let others in.
“Come... Come whoever you are...” said Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi.
“Wanderer, worshipper, lover of living, it doesn't matter,
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times,
Come, come yet again, come.”
What about the lines inscribed on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty? The lines from the sonnet “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus...
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
“While in Idomeni, I witnessed the huge disconnect between those in decision-making positions and those stuck living the grim reality on the ground,” says Conor Kenny, an MSF doctor. Yes... That's the trouble. People in power are so out of touch with what people suffer, even if they are not, their position does not allow them to do what's right for the most people in the world, they're to only think for “their” citizens.
"Deterrence policies sold to the public as humanitarian solutions have only exacerbated the suffering of people in need," said MSF's International Secretary General Jerome Oberreit. "There is nothing remotely humanitarian about these policies, which cannot become the norm and must be challenged. MSF will not receive funding from institutions and governments whose policies do so much harm. We are calling on European governments to shift priorities. Rather than maximize the number of people they can push back, they must maximize the number they welcome and protect."
Regarding my life and my personal space my mind works “First accept everybody, then shoot people out if they do not behave right.” Whereas countries work the other way around. “First make sure people are okay, that they are refugees and abide by our standards, then accept them in.”
They might have a point though. I end up kicking out almost everybody I let in. It ends up being "Come whoever" and then "Go whoever..." So maybe the majority needs to be kept out. But then again... countries should be kicking out their own citizens too. Because their citizens are made of people too and seriously, citizens of one place are generally not better than another place. I mean I am sure and I know, I can tell you that there are differences in people in different regions. Some are more friendly and welcoming, some are cold and aggressive. But you know what? That is a result of the society, the system they live in. I bet if you put the nice people of one region into the competitive environment, they will be changing character too. Even if they do not, the next generation will be a different kind of people.
I wish we could find a way to set up the world so that most people did not have to act so contemptibly. I wish we all could be less greedy and find a ground to be amicable with more people without hiding our real selves.
Everything is about borders to me these days.
We are in Kaş. It's hot. We normally sleep all together. That is me, my husband, and Lara in between. Carlo, finding the heat unbearable had moved to the room across. Not being able to sleep and wanting to talk, I got up from my baby's side, crossed the short corridor and laid down next to my husband. He said “Watch out, there's a mosquito around. I got bitten,” and I automatically said, “We should set up a border and put a police force, or okay just one police officer. The mosquito stays on your side. The job of the police officer is to keep all mosquitoes away from our room with my sweet baby.”
PS: I said “Everything is about borders to me these days,” but I'm afraid everything is going to be about borders to me all my life.: as long as the current way of things do not change.
More Talk to Self:
“It's a good thing we don't need to set up a whole police force, just one police officer would do in this case.”
“Yes, what if people decided to hire their own police force to keep all kinds of unwanteds, undesirables out of their vicinity?”
Upon some reflection...
"Is that what we should strive for as humanity?"
Upon some more reflection...
"Well... Locking up yourself in a place is the much easier solution."
On MSF's site, there's an article on World Refugee Day
“What does the word 'refugee' mean?” they ask refugees. Here are some of the answers refugees give:
“It's an ugly word. Being a refugee simply means you're nothing.”
“'Refugee' means defeated by the war.”
“It means that a person was uprooted from their country and thrown somewhere else.”
“You feel humiliated.”
“I don't accept this word.”
“'Refugee' means people who've fled their country, left their habits and traditions and came to a country they know nothing about.”
“It means someone who had something, and now has nothing left.”
“'Refugee' means someone in need, in need of medication, shelter, food.”
“When you say this word I imagine wide lands on which stand a lot of people. This is the typical picture we have in Lebanon and all over the world, about refugees,” a woman answers referring to the camps.
The two end remarks are the most noteworthy:
A young man says “Our only dream is to return to our country.”
A middle-aged woman wearing the chador says “We wish that our country returns to us so we remove the word 'refugee' forever.”
I heartily wish the same thing for every single person on this earth. To have a home. A place where they belong.
MSF says “Don't let this be the #LastRefugeeDay...” I guess they mean that refugees need to survive and be able to make it to safe countries. But I still wish the exact opposite. That the word “refugee” becomes something of the past, that our grandchildren recount their children: “My grandmother used to tell us about the time where there was war in so many places of the world, innocent civilians were being bombed, people had to flee their homes to seek shelter elsewhere. They lived in such a horrible world. We're glad that those times are over.”
I wish our grandchildren do not know the word "refugee" as we do and need an explanation to understand it. I wish these humiliating shameful days with tens of thousands of people drowning trying to move from one place to another on the world they're born is over.
I realized that there are people who want to select who can come into "their" country and who cannot. They want to select those who deserve their sympathy.
I was bombarding Twitter with #SafePassage #IsNotEnough #EndGlobalApartheid #EndBirthplaceRacism #EndInjusticeAtBirth messages when Ilwana Klinke answered “Open borders means natural selection, the stronger will win and the most in need will be left behind, that's not what I want!”
I didn't get it. Open borders natural selection?? I was thinking we, as the stronger, are oppressing the most in need by closed borders.
Ilwana explained. “Open border means natural selection! With safe passage I can take care of the most in need.”
“So you prefer to make the selection yourself instead of nature doing it?” I asked. “And you are fine with #GlobalApartheid and #BirthplaceRacism?”
“Actually I leave injured people in the street and let nature do the selection!” Ilwana reacted. “Are you speaking seriously? Nature gave me a brain!”
“I was talking about your analogy on borders,” I said. “So you want to select who can travel within the imaginary border you happened to be born in? Fine. Fair enough. But you cannot select who is born within the same imaginary border as you. You don't see anything wrong here?
She didn't answer my question. I've realized people prefer to skip questions they do not have answers to, questions that shine the light on their fallacious logic. Instead, she shot back. “Never thought about the reason why human beings create borders? If they were so useless why did they always construct them?”
For the sake of good manners, people should be answering questions that are asked them first before asking questions themselves.
Still... I answered: “My take on borders is this if you care to read. Put a border @your house gate ”
I am ALL for selection! So if we cannot, since we cannot select who our welfare money goes to, as the only criteria for receiving welfare is people being born within the same imaginary line as ours or somehow having got the citizenship of “our” country, welfare should go! Welfare should be for everyone, should be for every single person on earth.
That's the trouble with the UN's Stand #WithRefugees campaign as well. Of course I Stand #WithRefugees. But I also Stand #WithMigrants. Every single person should have freedom to move on the world they were born. First, insure and implement that. Then, we can get down to priorities and help out refugees first as they are the ones more vulnerable.
Actually that came out wrong. Certainly, refugees are a priority to take care of and look after now. I wish the word "refugee" is left in history., I wish that there are no more refugees. Still... #Free2RoamTheWorldWeAreBornIn should not be a matter of distinguishing between refugees and migrants. There can be no selection about that.
First... Let me make one thing clear: I don't believe in equality.
We are not born equal. We are different. And I don't see anything wrong with being different. Our struggles in life are different too. Our physical conditions, our families, our surroundings all give us an unequal headstart in life.
I don't believe in equality... Yes. Yet, rights are rights. And when laws discriminate between one baby and another, it's NOT acceptable! When a baby is subject to something called a “visa” just because of the place s/he was born, that is discrimination, that is racism, whatever else you want to call it is, sorry, wrong. You cannot name it "the sovereignty of a nation-state." (You know why? You know why you cannot name it so? Because all the people in the nation-state do not believe in the same thing. It's the wrong classification of “we”. There can be sovereignty only in groups formed by conscious choice.)
You believe there has to be borders, you believe there has to be controls and checks for security? Fine. You don't necessarily need to remove visas globally. If you wish, if you insist that there be controls and borders, everybody, everybody without exception that is, should be exposed to the same visa regime. You should impose the same visa regime for every single human being on the planet. At least for every single baby!
I know visas are not for living in a country and are only for travelling. Even so, one baby being able to travel to 160 something countries another being able to travel to only 20 something is NOT acceptable. It's Injustice at Birth. If you wish, everybody has to provide papers and the same documents to go to visit another country. Let's see how people of the Western world will like being exposed to such humiliation. Let's see how much they will find it acceptable for themselves!
Étienne Balibar and many other people have named the current situation of the world as “Global Apartheid” and I believe it is so. Borderless world, Open borders, No one is Illegal, Global Citizenship... These are all nice concepts. Yet, they are controversial concepts. There are many people who stick to the status quo and can not get over the illusion of “we” created by nation-states. There are many people with nationalistic feelings. So I believe these concepts need to be avoided. We cannot afford to get into useless tiring arguments. The root problem with the world the way it is, is the Global Apartheid. Is the Birthplace Racism. I believe this is the single idea that has to be hammered into people's brains and subconscious.
There are so many names people come up with. They split the group. People who believe in the same thing are fragmented. Still... It's good. The more people to spread the same idea, the better it is. Yet... It would be better if people could come together under one roof to see, to have an idea of how many we are.
#Refugees Welcome, #safepassage, #IamAnImmigrant are all nice initiatives too. But strike at the root, it has to be #EndGlobalApartheid, it has to be #EndBirthplaceRacism, it has to be #EndInjusticeAtBirth. It should be #Free2RoamTheWorldWeAreBornIn !
The illusion of “we”...
Nationality is an illusion. Albeit, a very pervasive illusion that states have constructed to glue people together. Why is it an illusion? Why do I call it an illusion? Because it doesn't have a concrete and reasonable basis for the groups they form. I mean come on... Who believes, who in his logical mind can believe that he is a “we” with all the people born within the same boundary as him?
Yet... It's one of the most prevalent, the most pervasive, the most persistent, the most widespread, the most shared in common illusion of our times.
How can anyone in his right mind think or believe in having a shared identity with the people who were born within an arbitrary enclosure as himself?
I'm sorry, I know I keep repeating the same things over and over, but I find it so hard to believe it. I find it so hard to accept that so many, in fact an overwhelming majority of the world believe it.
National, racial, ethnical identities are dubious. Our genes are so like soup, and we humans are a bit too complicated to bunch together easily. Rulers of the nation states try to create the illusion that we are all one. But we are NOT! They claim all who is born within the same boundry they've designated are one. It's so NOT!
Atatürk, when founding the Republic of Turkey proclaimed that everybody living within the boundries of the republic was Turkish. It was to create a sense of unity. How else do you unite so many people of different ethnicities and origins under one roof? Of course it was a bit messed up idea as Turkish was also a name which designated an ethnic group and there were other ethnic groups within the country, mainly speaking: the Kurdish. Thus came the oppression of the language etc. Now I understand the logic behind it. They have to keep the country together. That's their job. At least that's how they must be feeling. But there is no need for that.
What do you mean there is no need for that?
The world is changing. A new way of categorization and grouping needs to emerge. A new way of governing apart from the hoax of democracy needs to emerge too. A new way of economy apart from the consumption and aggressive advertisement of capitalism which is destroying the world. It has to. If we are to survive as humans, if we are to save the planet and humanity, we really have to give up on the wrongly conceptualized or wrongly materialized or the gone haywire way the world works. The nation-states, countries, citizenship the way we know them have to be relics of the past. Richard Buckminster Fuller said “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” I agree. Let's start building that new model. Or at least let's start by questioning and doubting our current model.
Classification upon classification of people. Apart from French, Turkish, Polish, American, Sudanese, Burmese etc. there are “Middle-Easterners” “Arabs” “Africans” “blacks” It's not enough, we have “asylum seekers” “refugees” “migrants” “illegal immigrants” “undocumented persons” “residents” “tourists” “nationals” “citizens” etc. etc. ... Discrimination and generalizations “terrorists” “blood-suckers” “parasites” “welfare seekers”...
“Vamos a la playa...”
Why can't we use just “humans”? Or why can't we use “good people” and “bad people”, “people I'd like to be with” and “people I'd like to stay away from”?
What about the borders between people?
There are natural borders between peoples too. For one, there is language. But that is fast being pulled down in our technological world. Besides, a smile or a cry has never needed an interpreter. (Well... Sometimes it does. But that's rare.)
Then there is race.: Which actually is not a border, but we humans have set it up as a border. Same goes for skin color. Same goes for sexual orientation etc. Luckily, these are all being pulled down by the globalized world and our mind's expansion. (Or you could say by the evolving of our humanity.) I mean, at least that's my hope.
Then there are the artificial borders between people. For one, there is religion... The subject that most people fight about. The subject that has been made into a big issue to divide peoples. But religion is not the only belief border, all our other beliefs about the world are borders too. Political orientation is another big border between people. Some people favor certain politicians as hooligans of a team.
Then there is nationality, another imaginary construct we humans have created and have been made to believe in. An instrument to divide people.
Don't get me wrong. I believe in borders, I respect borders. They just need to comply with two criteria:
1- They need to be between people, not between groups of people. Unless... The groups are formed by open consent and conscious choice.
2- They need to be natural.
Now let's examine what I mean by these:
1- Why do borders need to be between people and not between groups of people?
Because the way the world is, group classification is all screwed up. Or they have to be between groups formed by open consent. Not by some “theoretical” or “hypothetical” social contract that was never submitted to you for your approval. The social contract is speculative. Nobody has a right to speculate my will. What's more, it presumes your consent to be considered one with a group of people born within the same imaginary line drawn by some people in power. How can they assume that I'd be consenting to such a classification?! I don't. I didn't. And I never will! What presumptuousness! What audacity and arrogance.
Having said this... People who have chosen to live together can form a border if they wish. Gated communities serve that purpose. I wouldn't want to live in one, but I'm fine with their existence. (I mean I wouldn't want to live in a gated community the way it is, I would very much like to live in a village with chosen friends. Like Einstein “How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will! In such a place even I should be an ardent patriot!”)
Thing is... I'm not fine with countries and their borders defined the way they are.
2- What do I mean by borders being natural?
I mean they must be flexible and permeable. Otherwise, it's impossible to function without breaking.
You see, I formed a border together with my husband when I got married. A border against the world. But we have borders among ourselves too. For example, I have a border about the orderliness in the house, my husband pulls the same border at a slightly different place. He has borders about what needs to be removed from the house, I have borders about what needs to be let in the house. Our “check-points” work in opposite directions :) Ah, my dear husband has almost no border about time. I call that "no concept of time." He has borders in time in his daily life. He goes to work, he abides by the train schedule etc. I do not have borders in time in my daily life. My time is mine. But when it comes to what needs to be done first, I have a border of priority and a sense of urgency. He simply does not have that border. So we clash. Luckily, we do not have a border problem about our belief borders and our understanding of important concepts like honesty, respect and committedness. And that goes a long way. For the rest, we use the flexible and permeable borders. We flex our borders, sometimes it's me who retreats, sometimes it's him. Sometimes I let in things I wouldn't normally let in had I been the sole ruler in the house, sometimes he let's things out he wouldn't normally let out had he been on his own.
Whether it be a marriage, the smallest group composed of two people, whether it be a wider group, the outcome doesn't change. When you live together, borders clash. It's only natural. So the question we must find an answer to is how do we make borders work?
I guess the answer lies in what I wrote above. It's about finding a common ground on important concepts like honesty, respect and committedness. There will always be people who will disrespect whatever standard you'd like to set. I guess the only way to deal with them is find people who are willing to spend time and effort on these individuals, to find people who have the capacity to get such people integrate into society. Or you keep them out. Somehow... Then comes the issue of caution and precaution. It all depends on the number of tigers.