Good Fences make Good Neighbors

National Boundaries are Essential to the operation of a culture. I was thinking about systems boundaries, and the thought occurred to me that they are important in political systems as well as in machines. Drawing the cavalier (euphemism for wrong) boundaries can cause terrible problems. Consider what was done in Iraq and Israel after World Wars I and II. These have had profound consequences to the rest of the world to the present time. We can see from across the ocean that carving up the Middle East, forcing dissimilar groups to live together without a common purpose has been the source of extreme resentment.

As the economic union of the US, Canada and Mexico is being implemented beginning with NAFTA, we should carefully weigh the real advantages of good political boundaries with the alleged benefit of removing economic and political boundaries between the named countries.

At the molecular level we see that many processes are just not possible without appropriate physical boundaries. We find within cells, boundaries that allow differences in PH that are necessary to support certain chemical processes. Without these intercellular walls, life itself would be impossible.

At the community level we see a similar phenomena. It is impossible to think about private ownership or local government without clear jurisdictional boundaries. Without dividing the city from the county, Mayor Burke is the mayor of what?

At the state level, we see large groups of people that share a common culture. Hoosiers like being Hoosiers. They don’t want to be Buckeyes. Now if one has to move from one place to another, you learn to adapt, but often you find yourself back “home”. Just because I can drive from Indiana to Illinois does not mean that the two state legislatures can be merged. Those people in Chicago have similar dreams and aspirations to mine, but completely different ideas about how they are to be achieved.

At the national level boundaries determine where tariffs are paid and how war is declared. We couldn’t have a war between the states until a line was drawn and some states were in the south and some in the north making one country two, for a short time. Now in the 21st century you would think that we should all be about the business of love and peace. But not everyone in the hemisphere is interested in these things unless it conforms to their personal view. When most of the people in a region agree about the nature of the required political, judicial and economic institutions, some boundaries can have certain kinds of gates.

I would like to visit Canada and Mexico again, but the basic beliefs of the people in these countries are sufficiently different as to make me uncomfortable with the notion of a supranational governing body that will allegedly make my travel to these places more convenient.

Yes there is a lot of talk about one-world-government among the illuminati. But if this was such a good idea, why have we not achieved it by now. If you will admit that some ideas are better than others, it follows that some governments are better because the ideas they foster are better. Though it is absolutely true that citizens of the USA are not intrinsically better than Mexican’s, it should be obvious that the institutions of their various cultures have had different effects. While I do not condone everything done in the US, almost nothing would cause me to want to exchange citizenship. Or for that matter, merge the societies. So until the citizens of the US, Canada and Mexico begin to share a common view of freedom and responsibility, we should have very good fences with well oiled gates.

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