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Is a world without any borders a good idea? Show more Show less
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Nation-states maintain borders for safety, maintaining political jurisdiction. Yet, some forms of open borders exist between nation-states: the Schengen Agreement in the European Union, borders between India and Nepal, Ireland and the U.K., and the CA4 Border Control Agreement in Central America. Most nation-states maintain strict border controls, restricting travel between countries and barring entry to migrants. Millions of people risk their lives trying to cross borders into other countries. Some are fleeing violence and war; others are looking for better economic opportunities or to be reunited with family members. Borders protect but they also actively promote death and suffering, as seen in the strategic placement of border patrol along the US-Mexico borderlands. What are the possibilities of a world without borders?

No, we should keep our borders Show more Show less

Borders protect nation-states and ensure that governments can take care of their citizens. The cultural and economic gains possible from open borders are not worth the safety and economic risks that will occur if people freely migrate between nation-states.
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Getting rid of borders would destroy culture

Borders maintain cultural heritages that stretch back through history, and cultures are worth protecting. Eliminating borders would mean losing cultural identity and heritage.
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Culture and place are closely intertwined. People love their culture and country and are often proud to belong to their country. Without borders, how would we know where one country or culture begins and where one ends?

The Argument

Borders define where one culture begins and where another ends. After living in one place for a long time, people form the societies and lands they want to live in and begin to feel belonging. A community forms, and this community's experiences are forever embedded in that shared territory. People belonging to a culture in a specific territory should decide who to include and exclude in their territory.[1] Politically determined borders achieve that goal. Borders preserve cultural resources.[2] Cultural representation is important to individuals and communities, which can be seen when thinking about Native American tribal lands in the U.S.[3] [4] Borders are necessary to preserve cultural and historical resources and to protect such cultures from changing too rapidly from immigration.[1]

Counter arguments

Open borders will not destroy culture because immigration brings more cultures into contact with other cultures. Freer movement creates more diversity and expands cultures by introducing new ideas and customs. Borders do not preserve culture; people and culture create and preserve borders between cultural differences. Abolishing national or politically determined borders would not destroy culture because societies already distinguish themselves from one another by natural geography, language, or even sports teams. [5] Culture transcends borders.[6] A person’s culture does not disappear when they migrate to a place with a different culture. People adapt their own cultures to new cultures. Borderlands, ambiguous spaces between politically determined borders, show how cultures can mix, form new things, and cause antagonism at the same time.[4]


[P1] National or politically determined borders protect a country's cultural heritage. [P2] Cultural heritage is worth protecting.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Open borders will not destroy culture because borders do not determine where one culture ends and begins.


This page was last edited on Monday, 13 Jul 2020 at 04:52 UTC

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