Arguing for open borders

This article (by Chris Gilligan of Open Borders Scotland) makes a plea to develop human-centred arguments for open borders.

We need a human-centred approach to migration. We need to develop, make and win arguments that put humanity first. Arguments that put people before profit. Arguments that prioritise free movement over free markets. Arguments that prioritise humanity over humanitarianism. Arguments that prioritise human freedom over human resource management. Arguments that put freedom before finance. If the way that we currently organise human society makes it impossible to provide human freedom, then there is a problem with the way that society is organised. This is a problem for humanity, not a problem of humanity.

The article outlines some of the common fears expressed about immigrantion (and, even amongst people who are sympathetic to immigrants, about open borders).

The idea of open borders frightens many people in Europe (and in other affluent parts of the world). They see a world in which war and conflict is commonplace. They see a world in which billions live on less than two dollars a day. They see a world of financial chaos, job insecurity, homelessness, rising poverty. They see a world in which they live in fear of terrorist attack. They see a world in which old certainties are being swept aside in the winds of global change…

Restricting human movement, however, won’t eradicate poverty or homelessness, it won’t end war and violence. It will, at best, maintain the current inequitable distribution of misery and opportunity between the west and the rest…

The article also argues that we can discern some elements of a future human-centred society in the present. In the human-centred response of many to the plight of immigrants in Europe today.

At the borders of Europe, in the treacherous seas, on the roads, in the camps, in the detention centres and in the tortuous limbo of waiting to hear the outcome of asylum claims, hundreds of thousands of people are asking, ‘are we not human?’ And, in response, hundreds of thousands of citizens in Europe are saying ‘we recognise your humanity’. They are organising rescue boats. They are providing lifts to weary migrants. They are organising soup kitchens and other food outlets. They are organising clothes collections and toy collections. They are travelling across the continent to help deliver to those in need. They are helping to comfort the grieving. They are helping to bury the dead with dignity. They are befriending people in detention. They are organising legal advice. They are helping with accommodation. And, they are helping to bring laugher, to brighten up the darkest corners of our souls, to help people to laugh and cry at the joy of being human.

And the article argues that we should not view immigrants as victims or as a threat, but as potential allies in making a better world for all human beings.

The full article is available online at:

https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/chris-gilligan/is-it-utopian-to-argue-for-open-borders

Also available at:

http://www.marxisthumanistinitiative.org/international-news/is-it-utopian-to-argue-for-open-borders.html

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