Unifying the World, Bringing Down the Fences
Earth is owned by no one and is home to all. In accordance, everyone ought to have unrestricted rights of passage, residence, and work throughout the planet.
These three rights are ends in themselves, requiring no justification for their existence. Yet, there is a utilitarian reason as to why we must insist. We cannot hope to bring about the needed transformation in values while hanging on to the age-old segregation of humanity within fenced territories. Even if all would be granted the same opportunities, rights, and range of salaries, it won’t work. Been there, done that, with the separate-but-equal doctrine. The us-versus-them paradigm underlies the more colorful and sordid aspects of our history. No, given the nature of the planetary crisis, it seems that we will rise or fall together.
Yet, if we brought down all borders today, tens of millions of people might descend on San Diego from Haiti, Burundi, and Niger, forming hundreds of favelas around it, à la Rio de Janeiro. Thus, given the vast socio-economic gulf currently existing between various regions, a transition period is called for to level the field some.
I propose that the world is to be divided into nine broad blocks made up of countries of comparable socio-economic profiles: the equivalent of nine regions each with an internal setup akin on the whole to the European Union’s. Within each region, the inhabitants would have the right of unrestricted residence, work, and movement. The proposed transitional division is indicated in the table.
Interim measures have a way of becoming permanent, and this won’t do. Hence, I call for one more measure: ready or not, the regional borders ought to come tumbling down fifteen years from the time they would be set in place. After fifteen years, the last of the corrals segregating us would be dismantled. And a few decades afterwards, a new generation would come into its own, likely to find the concept of restrictions on one’s personal freedom of movement and residence… incomprehensible.