Is a world without borders possible?

European voters are getting rid of austerity and there is civil unrest from Madrid to Athens. England and Spain are in double-dip recession. Austerity seems to be coming to and end, but is the idea of no more nation states coming to an end as well? Watch a really interesting video looking at how the idea of one world living in peace with no borders has been tried – and failed – throughout history:

Sarkozy, as we know, lost the election in France and Greece is in turmoil with the winners being the far left as well as neo Nazis. And it looks likely that Greece will leave the Euro.

Is the one world concept just a dream?

The Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, Napoleon, The British Empire, the Soviets and Americans during the Cold War and the European Union are good examples of attempts to unite the world under "one ruler".  

People have dreamed about a united world for thousands of years. Probably since the beginning of time, actually. But so far, the concept has failed. Again, and again, the world has reverted to nation states. 

Western idealists breathed new life into the European Union when the Berlin Wall fell. We were all pro uniting Eastern and Western Europe under one entity. To European free trade was added open borders and a single currency. Simultaneously the Americans got rid of a lot of protectionism. It all looked set for finally achieving a one world free trade market area. Free movement of labour was considered essential since the market would regulate everything.  But it didn't quite work out that way, did it?

Do you believe libertarianism with the whole world united under one ruler, be it Napoleon, Hitler, the Pope or multinationals is now dead as a concept? Do we need to start dismantling everything that has been built up during the last 30 years in the name of libertarianism and go back to the way it used to be? Or do you believe we will be able to finally create a world in peace without borders? Maybe another option is that uniting the world has failed again but someone, somewhere will again in the future have a go at succeeding? Most likely, since conquering the world and be its ruler is probably the most intoxicating ego trip there is. But is it a realistic concept? It's all very well when things are working according to plan. But are people of different nationalities interested in showing solidarity with other countries in trouble? Doesn't seem to be the case in Europe at the moment. 

Video: TheBigPictureRT – You Tube

55 responses

  1. The United States has famously been called the "melting pot" of the world — meaning that people of different nationality move here and blend into what is called an "American." But the reality is that even citizens who are descended from immigrants who came here centuries ago still identify with their original ethnicity — Italian, Polish, German. More recently, they still retain customs of their Asian, African and Hispanic origins. This is not necessarily a bad thing — in fact, America's diversity has been its strength. I see no need for one world under one ruler. It will never happen as the EU is learning as it copes with faltering nations that threaten this alliance of nations.
    My recent post Delta Needs a New Brand Name for “Economy Comfort” Class

    • Good points Jeannette. As you say, it will never happen as the EU is learning. The Unites States is the odd one out since it was a nation consisting of states from the beginning and not a uniton of nations.

  2. Whether world inter-country income inequalities are in fact falling is a much debated issue; many analysts on the left don’t believe capitalism can right itself like this.
    My recent post רב לייטמן

  3. I can't see a world without borders ever being a practical reality – nationhood is too important to most people (we're basically still 'tribal' in so many ways). This could only really come about in a utopian situation where (a) there was global financial equality (to eliminate the need to migrate to places offering better prospects) and (b) there was extra-global contact (e.g. with aliens) as this would tend to replace the need for national identity with a global one that would line up against the aliens…

    • Agree with you that we are far too tribal to make a united world a possibility. The European Union is a good example. Do you believe we have to now start dismantling what's been built up over the last 30 years or so in order to go back to nations again?

      • I've always viewed the EU as a free trade area, which is its primary purpose. The concept of the Euro was flawed from the outset (a sovereign currency needs central budget control to work), so has been doomed from the outset.

        My view is the EU should stay as a free trade area (along the lines of the North American one), but the Euro should be relegated to a convenient trading currency to facilitate cross-border trade (in effect, the old EMU), and countries should revert to national currencies which will rise/fall with their economies.

        At present, other European countries are, in effect, subsidising German exports as these would be a lot more costly if Germany had its own currency again/still, while Germany is subsidising the borrowing of other EU countries. A symbiotic relationship perhaps, but not really sustainable.

        • Excelent points that I agree with Guy.

          By the way, don't forget that the original purpose of the European Union was to avoid further wars in Europe, which is important. It's hence essential to make all the nations in former Yugoslavia members of the EU.

  4. Nationalism + Revoution = Imperialism + War.

    My theory: As the world progresses, through the intimacy of technology, empires will rise and fall as they have. However, rather than nation-states, we will see centres of power.

    The Asia Power Centre
    The African Power Centre
    The European Power Centre
    and so on.

    In my short lifetime the population of the US went from 150 Million to 300 Million. The world population grew from 3.5 Billion to 7 Billion.

    People who are "well off" grow arithmetically. Poor people grow geometrically. Soon, Exponentially. This causes discontent, displacement, contention.

    The scarcity of resources abets this. We can increase the output of food, however distribution is a problem.

    My recent post Our Middle East Muddling

      • There are too many human beings on a selfish, greedy, vicious and avaricious powerlust for high office. Power. Control. History is filled with them. And they were defeated by others. Perhaps Ramses II of Egypt came closest to truly enriching the lives of his people, however, even then, only after making peace with the Hittites. We won't see "one world".


        We can't seem to see an agreement between those who think there will be and those who think there won't be.



  5. Part 2

    There is another issue. Just as conspicuous consumption rose with fiancial success here in the US, appetite for resource consuming foods rises as emerging nations become more successful.

    Then there is what is beyond our control: the weather, water, crop failure & as I've pointed out–validation is a resource. (In the US we've already moved from validation to aggrandisement.)

    One world? No.

    Nation States? More likely geographical power centres.


    My recent post Our Middle East Muddling

  6. One ruler: it would mien that we haven't learned anything from history, for all those whom tried to rule were and still are dictators. No politician should rule alone or we all shall become slaves!
    No borders would mien disorder, total chaos, a beautiful world for smugglers, drug dealers and so forthwith.

    • Vitor, I don't believe it's possible either. We already have the negative side effects you mention. So I presume you are of the opinion that we should go back to nations? Should we also dismantle what politicians and multinationals have built up during the last 30 years?

      • Yes, i do agree and i think that it has been the downfall most European countries.
        Blocked economies by the bigger countries that don]t let them produce because they are too small to compete, for example, this was one of Portugal's problems the other was 30 years of corrupt politicians that went along with this.

  7. There never was a world without borders. Maybe one should rephrase the question: will the nation states remain the main entities defining borders? Is international law going to be an obsolete concept if the world slides into chaos?

  8. One ruler: it would mien that we haven't learned anything from history, for all those whom tried to rule the world were and still are dictators. No politician should rule alone or we all shall become slaves!
    No borders would be a beautiful world for smugglers, drug dealers and so forthwith.

  9. Thank you Pat. Like your points. Maybe we could dust off Ernst Stavro Blofeld and S.P.E.C.T.R.E. could make another attempt to rule the world. However, James Bond will come to the rescue and Blofeld will fail again.

  10. Hi Catarina,

    I hope we never get to the stage of one ruler. One thing that makes my country so interesting is the diversity of cultures who add to the country. If there was one ruler of the world what would happen to innovation and creativity that we now experience?
    My recent post Step Away From Your Marketing Benches Now

  11. I would have to agree with some of the others here in that I do not see a world with no borders. With both technology and the population growing at an exponential rate I think we may see how this ends up yet in our lifetimes.

  12. Although the thought/idea is very appealing, I do not believe it is possible. The fact that we come from very different backgrounds with differing values makes that much harder to achieve. As it is with all things, everything has a beginning and an end. This is but another of those things that may have outlived it usefulness … Sigh!
    My recent post Liberty School Chardonnay 2009 – Central Coast: Wine

    • Susan, I agree it has never been possible and never will be. Not least since the Asians consider it nonsense. Don't forget that China and India alone account for about a third of the world's population.

  13. Catarina, I find the thought of a world without borders and under one ruler frightening. I can only imagine the power struggle that would ensue.
    My recent post Does Twitter Drive Traffic to Your Website Blog?

    • Yes, it's not an idea that appeals to me either Sherryl. However, we do, kind of, have it when it comes to the markets. That's what caused the global economic crisis. Just wait and see what happens to the whole world if the Euro is dissolved:-)

  14. One world government is preposterous. Quite the opposite should be furthered: Local Rule. Here among the States we just so happen to have agreed by Constitutional means to come into a Union with one another for purposes of cooperation of certain continental functions such as a common defense / settling inter-state disputes through peaceful deliberation / & c. We did not form a central governing body for the very fact that the most localized units of the state enterprise (i.e. towns, villages, counties) are more closely understanding of their communities' problem sets and uniquities than the next state level above. The problems arising between Jeff's Family Hardware shop and the Harding Family in X County are best resolved by X County Court rather than its State authority who has just met for the first time both involved parties. While being quite the simplistic example, the point come across just fine. God forbid an existence where our futures as Free Men are placed in the judicial realm of a multi-nationally originated sovereign "State of Earth" where local culture and ways-of-life are misunderstood and nullified. Thankfully, the 2nd Amendment will always be the American anchor to our independence found in our federal system.

    • Seems you agree that a world without border is not going to happen, Sean. Do you believe that the markets need to be regulated again to avoid being, I quote you, "placed in the judicial realm of a multinational originated sovereign "State of Earth"?

      • I do think that nations have every right to regulate whatever commerce they deem necessary for their own advancement. In the theme of Adam Smith, when nations aim for their own progress, they seem, in turn, to better the progress of all nations as an aggregate. Factions that move specifically for common advancement tend to not be as effective at that very goal than the situation when all nations act without that stated intent. While the idea of a complete laissez-faire that is state-neutral in globalism seems admirable, it will actually evolve a disorderly socio/econo/political atmosphere. As Abdulbasit above me said, "The simple reason is that no two people have identical interests." This perfectly sums up my verbosity.

          • What has been built up during the last 30 years in the name of libertarianism i.e. completely de-regulated the markets. Reagan started it and the last moves to make it completly open was done by George W. Bush. The worst side effect so far has been the global economic crisis. By the way, now US banks are, again, prompting poor Americans to sign up for credit card loans knowing very well they cannot afford them. What I'm talking about is of course Milton Friedman's principles, or what Joseph Stiglitz calls "American robber capitalism".

  15. Can the world produce something novel in terms of social engineering? I think the answer is NO as previous commentators have said. If, as old as the world is, we have seen attempts to create a peaceful and borderless world fail, then it will never be possible. The simple reason is that no two people have identical interests. Although conflicting interests can be bridged, they never last. This is one reason previous attempts have failed.

  16. Fences make good neighbors. Good neighbors could turn into good friends. Let's work on building good fences.

  17. Hello,Catarina
    Many people wish this to happen and the whole world live in peace under a unified command.
    But this will not happen for many reasons, will not talk about it.
    Thank you all,But we must learn that "a difference of opinion does not invalidate the relationships.
    Note.Catarina,I told you earlier that your selection of topics move minds.
    always I likes your topics.Thanks C.

  18. Oh I wish it could be just as simple as that. It seems like a hard bargain for a lot of those countries considering they're all world power. Wouldn't this world be a better place?

  19. A world without borders would require a people of great responsibility. As long as our species is driven by fear, hatred, greed and ignorance, separate Governments, rules and laws become inevitable, resulting in a separation of different cultures.
    We first would have to realize from the inside in which ways we are the same and learn to accept
    and love each other in all our differences – as a result, borders would become redundant.
    The borders are yet a reflection of the ways people are inside. It's just how it is, you can only
    change your own perception.

  20. I applaud anyone who has the courage to try to create change where resistance to change is constant and strong. I have taken the initiative to begin a new movement to do just that at SovereignStateOfEarth.Org by claiming jurisdiction over the entire Earth for all people who live on it. Though I know it will take time to see change and movement occurring in that direction, if no one begins the effort, it will never become a reality. We should all band together to become one people of one planet for the good of all, and if the majority of the Earth's population chooses independence over territorial governance, then one people, one world can and will become a reality for the good of all.

  21. It amazes me how much common sense people lack when talking about this particular topic. The claim that its impossible to have a borderless world and that things like innovation and culture would magically disappear, and then they go on to say that this is why America is such a wonderful country. So much contradiction here that the only thing impossible here is to address it all. Do you not realize that if the world was suddenly flooded to where America was the only continent left that we would suddenly be a one world government? Would it work then? Of course it would. Take the same principles and apply it to the rest of the world. The world is already globalized in a sense anyway when you sit and thing about it. English is basically the one world language.

  22. True Adam, fear is one factor. And another one is pride and, not to forget, honour. Greed is probably the most imporant factor, however. A world without borders is unlikely because of human nature. Once one generation has learnt what's important in life another one takes over – and greed, in all it's forms, is back.

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