Tribes Without Passports, People without States

025

No Turkish coffee in Istanbul–looking for Red Bull, instead…

Borders and passports are a recent phenomenon, you know. It’s only been barely more than a hundred years since borders have been closed and sealed. Governments, of course, have existed much longer, but free movement was generally allowed across borders, probably because labor has generally been a scarce resource for most of human history.

Governments used to want immigrants! One effect of the modern system is that it denies tribalism a place, because many tribes lie across borders. Some of the best examples are the Quechua-speakers in six countries, some twenty million Kurds in four or more, the Tibetans in China and the Mons of Southeast Asia, all great nations in the history of the world, but left without a modern state to represent them.

These are tensions inherent in the modern system. Since endless divisions are not necessarily practical, increased unification may be the only answer, so former Yugoslav states get their independence only to give some of it up willingly to a European Union, in this scenario.

Certainly everyone could have a state if the designation were largely meaningless and merely an administrative division. This is what the US was in theory, before the Civil War negated it. The world is not ready for a true United Nations, but it might be ready for ten or twelve cooperative blocs as opposed to two or three.

Advertisements