(Sorry this transcription sucks. It's a machine translation and we're working on manually editing it to be perfect. Bear with us in the meantime!)
Thank you listener Pseudo_McCoy for this transcript!
[0:00] I'm David Torcivia.
[0:02] I'm Daniel Forkner.
[0:03] And this is Ashes Ashes, a show about systemic issues, cracks in civilization, collapse of the environment, and if we're unlucky the end of the world.
[0:12] But if we learn from all this maybe we can stop that. The world might be broken, but it doesn't have to be.
[0:20] Humans love walls. We've been building walls for thousands of years. In fact some of the earliest constructions of mankind, these ancient archaeological sites, are mostly walls. Some of the ancient wonders of the world: the great walls of Babylon, the Great Wall of China, Hadrian's Wall across Britain, these are constructions that are recognized as being some of the largest projects of the ancient world. And today our obsession with walls continues. From the Berlin Wall, to the "build the wall" that we see today in the political climate of the United States, to even the picket fences that become part of the American dream separating our land from that of our neighbor. And most of the time the discussion of these walls are about keeping people out, don't come in, whether it's for military reasons or modern day for immigration or terrorism. But at the same time these walls also double as keeping people in, as boundaries for political ideas and ideologies as you see with the Berlin Wall, for economic reasons to control taxes and trade, and finally to express the power of the state, to show the boundary lines that define where one country ends and the rest of the world begins. These are topics we will explore today as we dig into the very complicated and in-depth story of our relationship with walls, borders, and what it means to cross them.
[1:41] Yeah, David, it's so interesting that throughout the history of civilization walls have played such an important role, and at different times the justification for wall building has taken different forms and different rationales. But as important as wall building has been to the history of civilization we are in a time where we're building more walls than ever before. And that's so ironic because we now live in a time of the greatest connectivity. This is way past the Internet revolution when you can call someone halfway around the world. We are integrated in so many different ways: economically, politically, culturally. We are connected like never before and yet we are building more walls now than we ever have before. So let's let's look at some of these walls that are going up on the borders of our world today.
[2:30] Like I mentioned there's a lot of examples of ancient walls. Walls that carry mystery and mystique and national significance. These are things in the past like the Western Wall. The Berlin Wall carries mystique today.
[2:42] But we're also building border walls more than ever before as Daniel mentioned. So just now today, and some of these have only been completed very recently and some of them are like the American-Mexican border wall still under construction or under debate even of the construction. But a few of the most important ones just to get it out of the way. One of the the biggest walls today is the India border wall with Pakistan. And just like we say about the Great Wall of China this can be seen from space but not because of its width, although it is very long it's 1800 miles long (2900 km), but it's covered in flood lights. The whole length and it's this very bright thing you can actually see from the space station. And this wall follows this route between India and Pakistan is one of the most dangerous borders in the world as it has become known as.
[3:28] South Africa built an electric fence along its border with Zimbabwe that in 1990 had reportedly killed a couple hundred people including children that were fleeing violent conditions.
[3:39] Speaking of children that are being damaged by walls, in 2003 Saudi Arabia began construction on a wall on its border with Yemen. And this wall might very well have led to the conflict that we see between Yemen and Saudi Arabia today that is putting at risk millions of children who are currently starving because of blockades between Saudi Arabia, because of this wall, the United States and the other allies of Saudi Arabia against the population of Yemen. But Saudi Arabia didn't stop there. They built a second wall along the Iraq border known today as the Great Wall of Saudi Arabia defining their political boundaries in concrete and steel.
[4:12] But sometimes walls don't just split evenly between national cultures but sometimes they split local communities. Like the one that use Uzbekistan built between itself and Kyrgyzstan which split communities in two, split water resources in two and it intensified fights over these scarce water supplies.
[4:30] Something we know very well.
[4:32] Yeah. And shortly after Uzbekistan built this wall Turkmenistan built a wall to block out Uzbekistan sort of like a wall arms race.
[4:42] And no conversation about walls could be complete without the masters of wall building, at least today, and that is Israel. The walls that separate Gaza and Israel and then the ones built by Egypt to separate Gaza and Egypt define modern wall technology. We'll explore this later on in this episode. Some of these walls extend very far underground, or soon will, to prevent tunneling and there's even conversations about building walls into the sea to control the flow of individuals trying to dive under the water, boats, and other marine traffic.
[5:13] Or through the jungle, David, like Brazil set out to do in 2013. Its most ambitious security plan to date, the wall which will actually be virtual will span 10,000 miles of complex terrain in the jungle, cost over $13 billion and is estimated to take 10 years to complete.
[5:32] That sure sounds like a great use of resources. We'll comment on the usefulness of these walls, the reasons that they're being built, the nature of walls themselves and much more as we dig into this very exciting wall-based episode. I started off talking about this - originally we wanted to talk about migration and borders which is a conversation that we're definitely going to have for multiple episodes and maybe this is a part of that series. But I became sort of obsessed with walls through this research. And you don't think about it normal in your day-to-day life but walls really define so much of our culture. We have lots of phrases: Off the wall, wall to wall...
[6:09] Balls to the wall.
[6:11] It's in our language. We build walls between ourselves. We build walls between people. We wall off our heart.
[6:16] We build gated communities. And I think walls get really interesting, David, when you start to look at what has become the modern justifications for building them in the first place. And then when you start to look at some of the contradictions between what walls are supposed to do in that context and what they actually do you start to find some really interesting paradoxes.
[6:37] Exactly. This is really the thrust of this episode not just exploring walls themselves - Yes, there's lots of walls. Yes, we're building more. Yes, we're arguing about them - but really to understand the why. The what is established. The walls are there. But why are we building them? Why do we say we're building them and what are the real motivations behind that?
[6:55] And there are a couple of paradoxes with these walls when we start looking at some of the broader global trends that are going on right now. So let's look at some of the paradoxes that stand out.
[7:05] Okay so let's break this down this contrast between what we want globally as a global community and the construction of walls individually in nation-states and within them to a lesser degree. And we immediately see this contradiction between an open world where ideas, were goods, where money flows freely between borders where we want free trade, where we want globalized economic production or at least that's the story that's told to us and at the same time building these walls to control the flows of individual people to control where migrants come where they're not allowed to come and limit immigration to only very specific types of people from certain places as we just saw with the upholding of the Muslim travel ban here in the United States.
[7:44] Yeah and that touches on another paradox of wall building which is at the same time that we're promoting and espousing these values of democracy and freedom we see that walls are a tool for increasing the division between people of the world according to their wealth, their status, their nationality, their race and religion which are very anti-democratic ideas. And at the same time sometimes just the construction of these laws require a suspension of democracy itself like we're going to see with the US-Mexico border. Just to construct it laws have to be set aside.
[8:20] And maybe most interestingly we see walls pitched a lot of time as a defensive measure. This is to protect our nation, to defend our sovereignty, to keep militaries or terrorists or whatever other threat of the day it is outside of our state borders. But, as we've explored repeatedly in the show, most of the dangers that we face moving forward aren't other militaries invading us. And if they are they're highly technological and walls do nothing to stop them. A wall doesn't stop a cruise missile, it doesn't stop a jet and it certainly doesn't stop a tank so why are we building them? Especially when the environmental catastrophes that we are soon facing care nothing about our walls and, in fact, in many times might be exacerbated by their presence.
[9:01] Well, let's take a look at a real world example that most people are familiar with and that's the US-Mexico border. So, in the United States the US-Mexico border is often at the forefront of people's minds when any discussion of immigration or movement of people comes up. And the initial construction of the US-Mexico wall was completed in 1993. It extended 14 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Reinforced a year later, this initial wall merely pushed immigration to the east and increased the demand for smuggling services. And at the same time the rise of free trade around the world put pressure on US companies to use cheap labor in order to compete with global markets. And many companies especially related to construction, agriculture, fast food, and hospitality these industries, well, they found cheap labor more and more in the illegal immigrants that could be found at the border. And this demand for labor just increased more people to come into the country and ever since then politicians have responded by trying to one-up each other over who can be the toughest on immigration which has culminated in Trump's let's-build-the-wall-and-make-Mexico-pay-for-it campaign and all the rhetoric going on in politics right now.
[10:20] And like we've said or will continue to say throughout this episode there are major contradictions and paradoxes between what walls like the US-Mexico border allege to do and what they actually do. So this wall, while purporting to secure the freedom of our democracy it has been necessary to ignore established laws just to construct the wall in the very first place. Laws governing water pollution, Native American sacred land rights, protection for endangered species, and many others have been set aside including a blanket provision that demands all legal obstacles be put aside to allow construction to go forward.
[10:56] And while it purports to prevent illegal immigration into the country a report to Congress in 2009 shows that while the wall shifted the paths of movement and entry points for immigrants total flows of people into the country were unaffected and that something we'll expand on later in the show. And, as we'll also expand on, we see an expansion of organized crime, like smuggling, around this border wall.
[11:22] And because border security is heaviest in urban areas and other easy places to across so no deserts no rivers no mountains but the places that are easy to walk across the routes illegal immigrants take have been pushed instead to this harsh and difficult terrain, the deserts the mountains, that relies on a complex smuggling operation. This has made illegal entry more dangerous and expensive but ironically that just incentivizes illegal entrance to stay put in the country whereas in the past they would come and go depending on the jobs, the seasons of what they needed, but when it's so difficult to enter or exit people would rather risk being deported staying put and making the problems that this wall purports to fix even worse.
[12:04] I wonder, David, if it doesn't also incentivize the bringing of one's family where before if I'm a working class person and I'm coming to the United States to get a seasonal job, make some money, and then go back across the border to bring that money back to my family. Well, if now my only option is to cross through this complex smuggling operation and stay in the country permanently because it's so difficult to make this trip I'm only going to do it once, well then I might as well bring my entire family because I'm not going back there.
[12:35] So why are we building this wall again? Well, if you look at the official documents it's to make America safe - and on the DHS website, hilariously, to make America great again. And what are we keeping America safe from? Well it's a three-prong thing. Its migrants, keeping immigrants out. Economics, smuggling to keep drugs and other contraband from crossing borders. And finally to defend ourselves from terrorists and whatever it is that they're trying to do when they cross our borders illegally. Does it achieve any of that? Well, maybe it's worth exploring. And of course all of this is happening as we discussed last week as we face a future of increased migration. Over the next few decades we're going to face hundreds of millions of more migrants around the world. We're already at 1% of the world's population as refugees displaced by various economic and climate catastrophes. But as things get worse, as the climate continues to heat up, as the world economies slow and begin to fail on a global scale hundreds of millions of people will be moving all around the world and states have realized this and they've started building walls just like we see here in the US.
[13:41] It really does come down to those three things you mentioned, David. No matter which wall you look at anywhere in the world the rhetoric behind the justification for it is to stop crime, is to stop migrants from coming in and taking our jobs. And it really comes down to the security and protection mindset. But as we will see, these walls do not succeed at stopping these flows of people. They do not address the most significant flows across the borders, the flows that truly threaten communities. So why don't we look at each of these justifications, David, and maybe we can start with crime. That's the organized crime that these walls are supposed to stop from coming into a country.
[14:24] Yes, and in episode #28 we discuss the concept of debt and how the way the prioritization of economic theory, above local ideologies and goals, has allowed debt to be used as a weapon by international investors against defenseless nations and populations. Well, in a related way, this global prioritization of market principles and the distilling of nations and individuals down to just their economic function has allowed the criminal entrepreneur to find valuable and accepted roles in society.
[14:54] In 2015 Isis made over 300 million dollars from illegal smuggling which was only made possible through the existence of border security and walls. Without states trying to prevent the movement of people, the movement of goods there would've been no opportunity for Isis to make this money which raises a question, David, are these walls in some way financing terrorism? In 2016 50,000 people became stranded in Greece as police in Macedonia cracked down on migrants and at the same time the EU finalized an agreement with Turkey to send Syrian refugees in Greece to Turkey for processing. And these crackdowns were accompanied by increased border security, riot police, and other overt methods of force to halt the tide of people flowing north into Europe. And these developments were celebrated, David, and do you know who was celebrating them the most?
[15:53] Close. No it was by the entrepreneurs who were in charge of a sprawling smuggling network. You see despite the best efforts of police in Greece to shut down the smuggling trade there's nothing they can do to stop the negotiations between smugglers and clients that occur in cafés and restaurants and even out in the open among the tens of thousands of people crowding Athens' Victory square and other ports.
[16:22] Smugglers offer forged passports for wealthy people looking to travel by plane. And there are routes involving trucks, ferries and cars for the less wealthy. And for the poorest their routes by foot. Shop owners in Athens act as middle men who hold the money paid by clients and when the client reaches their final destination the shop owners, well, they pay the smugglers minus their cut, of course. For people traveling by plane the smugglers work with travel agencies who can mix the clients in with tourist groups again for a little bit of a fee. In the summer of 2015 alone Turkish Smugglers made 200 million dollars along this Turkey-Greece route and shop owners and travel agents are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how integrated local economies are with these sprawling smuggling networks. As local business owners profit by providing services to migrants and smugglers whether through short distance transportation, the selling of food, life jackets, other necessities, or by providing financial services like these money transfers the local economies are simultaneously bolstered by illegal smuggling and operating as legal and integral links for the industry. One consequence of this reality is that it's impossible for authorities to identify any one person or organization responsible for smuggling crimes and put a stop to it. As long as it is illegal for some people to move from one place to another smuggling will never ever go away.
[17:44] So this example, this Turkey-Grease smuggling network, I think it's just it's really kind of ridiculous when you start to look at it, that the border walls and the riot police that are attempting to stop the flow of people has incentivized this sprawling network that integrates with local economies and this integration of legitimate businesses with this crime network really highlights how these market principles have played a role in enabling all this.
[18:13] Profit incentives and ideologies that support entrepreneurial thinking over anything else have helped blur these lines between what is legal and illegal business. Those shop owners that you mentioned, David, the travel agencies, taxi services, landlords all these legitimate businesses play a part in the illegal industry of smuggling people. And the people at the tops of these illegal networks, well, they can use their money to purchase expensive real estate like apartment buildings which they can use to house their smuggling clients or just make additional income through legitimate rent collection and ultimately this wealth enables them to become prominent and respected members of larger society which is so ironic because so much of the border security we have around the world serves not to stop all flows of people but to segregate flows of people of different class, of different status, and ultimately of different wealth which means that those making millions off the smuggling trade can then use their money to establish legitimate power and influence for themselves and if they want fast track their own visas as they travel to any place they please.
[19:22] And, you know, if you have enough money you can buy citizenship in a number of countries. So once again we we highlight the poor, the people who have nothing are these economic migrants, immigrants or refugees depending on what vernacular you decide to use at the day where those profiting off of these refugees, profiting off the illegal nature of crossing borders they take that money and then they become actual citizens of whatever nation they want. They can settle in Europe with $200,000 in their bank account and get their green card or the equivalent of that an ultimately find a path to citizenship. If you have enough money these problems with borders they disappear. And just like the creation of the idea of property created the crime of theft the invention of the idea of borders created the crime of smuggling. But smuggling is not limited solely to people. In fact, the vast majority of smuggling that occurs is goods in the vast majority of those goods are drugs. The war on drugs is worth looking at briefly for clues on how border security cannot adequately deal with crime. Not only is drug smuggling a stated goal of border security as we've mentioned with the Department Homeland Security...
[20:27] Donald Trump actually tweeted, David, in 2015 that Mexico wasn't sending their best people across the US-Mexico border but, according to Trump, Mexican immigrants are bringing drugs they're bringing crime and they're all rapists. Or maybe some of them are rapists. It's hard to interpret his tweets to be honest.
[20:45] Xenophobia aside but also the prohibition serves as an appropriate analogy for wall building in general because it is an intent to halt an activity through direct force, punishment and the threat of violence. And when you look at the history of prohibition both in the context of alcohol and their modern war on drugs it's very very clear that only after we try to completely bar a certain behavior or product does that behavior explode out of control. And this is when those illegal industries that really enable, incentive and profit off that behavior come onto the scene.
[21:21] Many people are familiar with the speakeasies and the other illegal activities that sprung up after alcohol prohibition but we see the same trends happening in the context of the War on Drugs. And drug prohibition kicked off around 1914 and later intensified through a man named Harry Anslinger. And he played off the fears of the public to gain support for his anti-drug initiatives. So, Mexican immigrants and blacks were blamed for the rise in addiction and he even went so far as to say that black people who smoked marijuana turned sex-crazed, eager to rape white women.
[22:00] Reefer Madness.
[22:01] Reefer Madness that's right and cocaine was similarly blamed for causing negro frenzies and violent rampages. And a couple decades later Anslinger was using the fear of Communism in a similar way.
[22:14] And these fears are repackaged decades later just like in his example using cocaine to blame negroes for frenzies, decades later the US would take another play book out of this and blame crack for the same exact thing. But larger than that the labeling that these people who are undesirable, as others, as separate from me because of this thing - in this case a drug use or a political affiliation if their communist - is very similar to labeling the other that is a refugee as an immigrant is an illegal alien as somebody who is guilty of a crime because they're from somewhere else and is different from me because they weren't born in the same place I was and birthed into this divine right to live within these walls and cross them as I see it.
[22:55] And of course that alien that other, David, is always accompanied by some cartoon caricature in this case it happens to be I don't know someone with a beard maybe a turban, dark skin and our idea of what that other is becomes this caricature threat to our own identity and our sense of who we are as a culture. But to get back to this War on Drugs really quick, at the same time that Anslinger was blaming black people, blaming Mexicans for the rise in crime on this addiction in reality the use of opiates and other drugs was common throughout society. There were public clinics where people could buy morphine and heroin from doctors and it was common for housewives to take opiate syrup daily. And of course just like any substance there was addiction but those who experienced any form of addiction were mostly harmless and just living normal lives. In fact there was an official government study that found that 75% of self-described drug addicts before prohibition, well, they had steady jobs. Only 6% were poor. Most of them were wealthy. But after this crackdown on drugs began some interesting things happened. Those who had become dependent on small doses of morphine or other opiate would find their legal source shut down and the only place to get it was the mafia except now the price was 5000% higher.
[24:22] This was so lucrative that crime bosses actually paid law enforcement to go after doctors and any public figure that was against prohibition much like the alcohol and tobacco companies today fund opposition to marijuana legalization. Between the mid 20's and 30's 17,000 doctors were arrested in addition to the mayor of Los Angeles. It was then discovered and proven in court that California's Federal Bureau of Narcotics' Chief Chris Hansen was being funneled bags of cash by a Chinese drug smuggler to shut down these California legal clinics.
[24:55] Is there anything more ironic than a drug dealer paying a police officer to enforce the law?
[25:02] Got to defend your turf, Daniel.
[25:03] It's just kind of is a little mind-blowing I think. But that's what prohibition does. It shifts control of a product from legal realms to crime bosses. And black market profits are so high that it turns out it's not that hard to buy an officer or even a high-ranking official when they're on government salary. And Johann Hari goes in depth on the early history of the drug war in his book, Chasing The Scream. But there are a few points I think that are important to take away and that's the economics and the violence that are at play in this broken system.
[25:39] So let's look at the economics of this. Now it's pretty simple when you make it illegal to do something that people are going to do regardless, whether it's consume product or cross a border, you don't just make it inconvenient for small portion of people. You rapidly expand number people now affected and involved in an increasingly risky and expensive environment.
[26:00] Yeah so let's say I want to smuggle alcohol into your city, David, and I've got a truck. And so one way to do it would be to stack my truck full of beer because that is the favorite drink of most people who drink alcohol.
[26:13] We were paid by the beer industry to say that.
[26:15] But beer is 4% alcohol and if I want better profit margins, not to mention a better bargain for the risk I'm taking getting caught by law officers, I could get a much higher profit by replacing the beer with whiskey, which is 15 times higher in alcohol content than beer. So if before prohibition, David, you were the type to just drink one beer after work, well, now in the local speakeasies that you frequent after work your only option is the higher concentration product. You're now forced into consuming a more dangerous drink. So the big time smuggler is incentivized to find higher profit margins but similar forces act on those who otherwise wouldn't participate in the business at all to consider drugs. An addict struggling to afford his addiction can make additional income by setting aside some of his heroin, cutting it with fentanyl to spread it out making it a more dangerous product in the process and then deal at himself. But to do that he needs to bring new people into the market. People who otherwise would never be exposed to it. Otherwise who's he going to sell to?
[27:19] Similarly migrants and other people who cannot afford to pay human smugglers to cross borders often become smugglers themselves until they can build up enough money to pay their own way. So from an economic standpoint illegalizing an inevitable product or behavior makes it more dangerous, more potent, expands the number people involved and makes it that much more inevitable that it will happen anyway.
[27:42] And of course the other component at play in this system is the violence that is associated with it. And it makes sense, David, because if I'm going to run an illegal business how can I do that if I can't sue someone for stealing my product or unfairly undercutting my prices? Well, the answer is I have to establish a reputation, a reputation for using brutal violence against anyone that would get in my way. So if I beat up anybody who crosses me, well, it's very easy for a competitor to encroach on my territory by being a little bit more brutal. Instead of beating up the people that cross them they just murder them. Well, if I want to reclaim my market share now I got to one-up them to have the more menacing reputation. So now I don't just murder people that cross me I murder their whole families. And it's easy to see how this can encourage criminal organizations to compete with each other for the most brutal reputation.
[28:39] And so in the same way the drug war began by playing into the public's irrational fears and racism and offering a simple solution to the complex issues underlying those fears, expensive security walls and harsh migration policies are justified just the same way by playing into the public's irrational xenophobia about terrorists, religious extremists, and the complex issues underlying those fears like political disenfranchisement falling wages and other insecurities. And in the same way drug prohibition expands criminal markets and exposes people to danger and violence these walls create sprawling criminal networks. And I'm the same way drug dealers force otherwise harmless users to accept more dangerous products to expand their markets. A person who would otherwise cross the border for seasonal work and then return once that work is done is now forced to take a dangerous path with a smuggler. In addition, rather than go alone, that person might now choose to bring their family because they know they'll be staying permanently.
[29:39] And any discussion about illegal smuggling cannot gloss over the danger and risks that people experience.
[29:47] And I think this is one of the sad components of the current political narrative around these movements of people because we're so quick to demonize anyone that would cross the border- I mean think about it we're calling them illegal just from the start. What does that reduce them to? Someone who's a criminal, someone who's not doing what they're supposed to be doing. We start from this position where we're already against these people that we overlook the fact that these are human beings and by being in this system of smuggling, this system of violence and whatever forces are compelling them in this direction in the first place, well, they're at great danger many of the times and it's not something we should overlook. In 2015 alone close to 3000 people are estimated to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. That's men, women and children who were looking for mere survival, took a risk and drowned. And this continues to go on today. So far this year in 2018 close to 800 people have drowned in the Mediterranean trying to cross into southern Europe.
[30:51] The Italian government recently has adopted a hard stance against incoming vessels carrying these migrants from Northern Africa. And it's now actually just completely refusing to take them in. This created problems for the vessel Aquarius in June just last month. This is a ship operated by an international charity that is devoted to saving these migrants who are drowning otherwise in the Mediterranean. At the time this ship had rescued over 600 people, many of whom were ill, some where pregnant, and many were children. And they came to Italy, asked to dock and Italy denied it. So after negotiating, the Italian Coast Guard agreed to take only the passengers with the very worst conditions while forcing the Aquarius to make a long and dangerous journey to Spain where they would dock 1300 nautical miles away with the rest of the refugees.
[31:37] And these tensions have escalated since then. A week later a US Navy ship rescued 41 people off the coast of Libya before their boat capsized. The Navy ship attempted to transfer the people to a ship run by an NGO but the captain was forced to turn them down because there was nowhere to take them if Italy refused entry. And now there was reason to believe they would do just that. What's ironic, I think, is that Italy continues to call these ships pirate ships. They claim that are complicit in the illegal smuggling business. I mean just after this incident with the US Navy, Italy seized two refugee rescue vessels and grounded them in Italian ports for criminal investigation. And when you look at the organizations that are behind these vessels these are nonprofits like Doctors Without Borders who were on that ship the Aquarius treating refugees, trying to keep them alive while they were sitting and out in the open getting sprayed with seawater. Some of the women were pregnant, a lot were children.
[32:35] And of course the story continues. A few weeks later the Denmark charity Mission Lifeline which sponsored the boat Lifeline was just recently refused entry into Italian ports after spending five days stranded in the open waters with a couple hundred people and the whole time this is going on where these people are stranded in the Mediterranean you have people like Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Salvini who was using Twitter to send messages like, Victory! We have refused entry to this refugee boat. And also saying things like Pack your bag, migrants, we don't want you and of course it's accompanied by people cheering and supporting this hard-line on refugees which ultimately are people fleeing from some oppression, some violence, looking for a place to survive and being turned down.
[33:20] And so we need to ask the question what is driving these people? Why would they risk these dangers? Why would they risk these expensive costs? Why would they risk being deported, sent back home? Why would the risk being detained or arrested drowned or worse?
[33:34] Well, David, if our political leaders are right it's because they see the freedom that we have and they want to take that from us. If our political leaders have it right, David, it's because they look at us or in this case Italy or some other country and they say, Wow they're so good. They're so great. I hate them.
[33:52] That's an optimistic way of looking at it, but most of the time I think it's not so much, Oh, I just want a little bit of freedom but rather, If I don't leave I think I'm going to die.
[34:00] There's definitely a lot of that. For a lot it's not a choice so much as it's the reason that you risk death is because your other option is also death or in some cases something worse. And a lot of the problems driving these increased flows of migration are things like climate change our disastrous economies brought on by world organizations like the IMF the World Bank, by first-world nations like the United States and many of the members of the EU waging economic war against these developing nations. No wonder when you destroy an economy, no wonder when the climate that you've destroyed through your industrial processes end up wreaking havoc on a country that is just trying to come up and get the same standard of living as you that people leave for something better. We've wrecked these people's worlds, both climate environmental - through droughts that brought on much of the Syrian conflict and conflict along North Africa that originates many of these migrants - to the economic destruction that drives our own economies back home. There is a cost for our growth. There is a cost for our prosperity. And that cost is levied on these people. And we have the gall that when they try and come and take a piece of the life of the riches and wealth that we took primarily from them, from their land and from their labor and from their lives, and they ask for some of that they want some of that success that we've taken from them, that we build these walls and we turn these boats back and we condemn them to death. The thing is some of these political leaders recognize this and in this case maybe it is hate, Daniel, and they see this hate expressed in their most powerful fear that they use to shape public opinion and that is terrorism.
[35:40] And this idea that a border wall can stop the flow of incoming immigrants is so closely linked to this idea, this assumption that open borders provide the opening that is needed for terrorists to come into our country invade, blow us up and kill our homes and destroy our cities. Many people feel this anxiety, this anxiety they feel that is generated by the global forces eroding the powers of nation-states, eroding people's economic security, it all drives this desire for clear distinctions between outsiders and insiders, a distinction that provides a sense of comfort despite the reality that many terrorist attacks in the US, for example, David, are homegrown.
[36:24] I think the majority by a huge amount.
[36:27] We ignore this because it doesn't fit the narrative of keeping the alien out, the one that wants to hurt us, to invade, and keeping us safely and securely inside. And real quick, David, while we're on the topic of terrorism just shifting gears a little bit I want to introduce this concept real quick that while border security is an attempt to make clear distinctions between us the law abiding citizens and them the violent terrorists, whether they're Arab or whatever...
[36:55] ...stateless anarchy, although those guys sound pretty cool.
[36:59] Well, as these walls attempt to delineate inside versus outside, to keep democracy and freedom in and anarchy out, well in reality trying to separate these things actually just meshes and blurs them up. So, while walls often accompany suspension of democracy and law through their mirror construction and function, they also proliferate vigilantism and this weird relationship between the state, official police and what becomes these quasi supported lawless vigilantes. we saw that in the US with the Minuteman Project which was a civilian border militia that would patrol the US-Mexico border and apprehend suspected illegal entrance. The group has since splintered into smaller groups due to political infighting but they still actively patrol the border. And I think this very existence of civilian volunteer groups doing the job of the state highlights the insecurity of the nation-state to provide security and protection that its walls allegedly do provide. And these walls actually call into existence these groups of people that exist outside the law on both sides of the border whether it's a smuggler on one side or a citizen vigilante with guns on the other. It is through this wall this purporter enforcer of order that creates confusion and blurred legal lines along its margins.
[38:21] So we've established that what these walls purport to do: defends us from migrants, defend us from smuggling, to defend us from terrorists often times, in fact, create those very things enhancing them and spontaneously generate them as problems where they weren't before.
[38:37] So what is the purpose of these walls? Why do we continue to build them? And one of the major reasons why we actually build walls is to control labor and economic forces.
[38:47] You mean to protect my job, David, from some person coming across the border who didn't work as hard as I did to get the things that I now have in to enjoy the freedom that I've earned through sacrifices made by my forefathers.
[39:01] Exactly. This isn't even a well kept secret. I mean who says it's better than than South Park here where, They took our jerbs! or where they tackled the immigration issue very poorly. But...
[39:13] That's right, David, the jobs. The economy really gets the most political force for justifying border security and as we look at this issue we find out that immigration into the US, into Europe and many countries around the world is less about security control at the border, right? The flow of people is not really controlled by the border so much as it is, as we see, it's controlled by demands for cheap labor.
[39:40] I want to interrupt you just for one second here, Daniel, because I think this is a really important point that we don't want to gloss over in the show and that's the fact that these walls they don't really stop migrations. They don't stop people from moving across them. If anything they reroute them. So when the US builds walls in urban areas that we talked about earlier in this episode to prevent people crossing in the easy to cross points between Mexico and the United States it doesn't stop that flow of immigrants it merely reroutes them to more dangerous paths. And this happens all across the world whether it's in the EU were whole nations' worth of walls mean that these migrants still flow through, but not across this particular wall but into another nation, taking different routes that are more expensive, more dangerous, funding that black market that we talked about before. This happens all around the world and every time a wall is built just like building walls to reroute the paths of rivers and waters the same thing happens with these streams of refugees, economic migrants. Walls don't stop the flow. You can't stop that. It just moves these people into more dangerous, difficult, expensive, and exploitative paths.
[40:47] Wendy Brown expands on this in her book, Walled States, Waning Sovereignty so let's take a look real quick. In 1991 while the US was experiencing a recession the US immigration and naturalization service meted out 14,000 citations or sanctions against companies employing illegal immigrants. But as the demand for cheap labor increased with an improving economy, in 2001 a decade later that same department made only 150 citations. And so we see that the desire to punish companies that employ illegal immigrants, employee foreigners and our rage against the ability for those foreigners to enter countries is directly linked to the economic situation going on within that country.
[41:35] And of course it's the companies themselves that are employing these people who have to work for sub-minimum wage because the company, if they refuse to accept this sub-par pay will report them to immigration control and have them deported, well, they're part of the problem and the economy at whole that's dependent upon this extremely cheap labor is also part of the problem but one of the interesting things we realized looking at the flow of immigrants, as measured to up cycles and down cycles in the economy, is that you can map really well how many people are illegally coming in with how the economy is doing, the overall strength and health of the economy and sometimes map this before recessions are even apparent to the traditional economic factors.
[42:15] So when the economy is doing well there's a lot more migrants coming in because there's a lot of work for them. But as the economy tightens as less work is available you start seeing immigration numbers drop off a cliff. These are people who are early warning signs. They understand what's happening. They know on the ground that Hey don't come. There's not a lot of work here right now, and they tell people at home that and the immigration numbers drop off a cliff. And this charts really, really well. So those people looking for shadow stats that give you a better idea of what the economy is doing, the numbers that are often tweaked, adjusted or depend too much on stock market or other financialization products like GDP, this is a great way to measure how the economies actually doing. And part of the reason why Obama deported more people than any other president was because towards the end of his presidency the economy was doing well and lots of people were coming in; the same with Clinton.
[43:03] Now under Trump, even with this increased crackdown on immigrants rounding people up from cities, snatching them from their homes, deporting them, the number of people coming into the country has dropped off a cliff even before these policies were enacted. And it looks like the economy isn't doing nearly as well as we like to say it is. Of course if you ask any worker on the ground they would already tell you that this is the case but I think tracking these economic migrants as a way of measuring the strength of the real economy is something that we're not looking at that we really should be. But I'm getting a little bit distracted from our our main thrust of the show right here. But it definitely ties in because most migration that isn't refugee based is tied to the economy. And most of the reason for building walls is controlling the flow of this migration and controlling the flow of the economy were these jobs end up and tightening it or untightening correlates very well with what jobs are like in the economy at that time, like Daniel mentioned. And so maybe that's also part of the reason why, even though we're seeing a decrease in the number of people trying to come into the country, we're also seeing this simultaneous crackdown in illegal immigrants in the United States right now because the economy isn't doing quite as well as we like to say it is.
[44:11] Specifically, David, a report released in June last month by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University showed that during the Secure Communities era under President Obama, immigration controls monthly arrests averaged around 25,000 between 2008 and 2012 and now since Trump has been in office the same department has arrested on average 13,000 people each month between February and September of last year. And the companies that employ these people they benefit enormously from the situation because walls by their nature lead to these environments of lawlessness and exception like we mentioned the suspension of laws. They create people who are outside of the law who are not bound to the same rights that citizens enjoy and it creates a pool of labor that businesses would otherwise never have access to. People who can be exploited cheaply when needed and disposed of when they're not. And it can create some ironic stories, David. So in 2006 there was a construction company that was given a fine of $5 million for employing workers that were in the United States illegally. What do you think this company did, David? The construction company relied on illegal people, foreign workers...
[45:28] Did they build Mexican restaurants?
[45:34] No, David, it didn't have anything to do with food. I'll give you a hint. The company's name was Golden State Fence Company.
[45:44] I guess they were building fences, huh?
[45:46] That's right, they were. It was a company that specialized in walls. Fences for houses, for industrial clients, around military bases. But most ironically the company was using illegal workers on the construction of the US-Mexico border wall itself. The same wall that's designed to keep those workers outside of the country.
[46:07] But, as we mentioned earlier, no conversation about walls is complete without a talk about Israel. For four decades Israel has sought control over Palestinians fate. What began as a system of administrative labor control has evolved into more overt segregation. The walls serve in this role by physically segregating Israeli and Palestinian people, allowing Israel to capture resources and territory and depriving Palestinians of those resources in the process and then justifying the barriers as necessary against the very predictable rise of Palestinian resentment towards Israel. The role of the wall as a part of a strategy for labor segregation and territorial expansion as opposed to its purported goal of upholding peace, protecting human life, and defending Israel's Sovereign borders can be explained in part by the way that the wall itself does not follow those pre-1967 borders but instead penetrates deep into historically Palestinian territory along many different points wrapping itself around dispersed Israeli settlements. And the people within the settlement are known to rely, in part, on illegal Palestinian labor that comes across the very wall. They serve as maids, construction labor and other domestic roles.
[47:19] David, you mentioned that the walls that separate Israeli and Palestinian people began as something having to do with labor control.
[47:30] Yeah exactly, Daniel. So let me expand on that labor control for a second. So the Israeli economy used to rely heavily on this disadvantaged Palestinian population for cheap labor. They would run across the walls or whatever borders there were at the time. Some of them were illegal, some of them weren't. And they would work for very low wages on the other side very much like we find here in the United States between the US-Mexico border. So in 1994 Israel granted 70,000 foreign worker permits to Palestinians, and of course it doesn't include those illegal workers which is another huge amount of this, but as Israel increased its reliance on other foreign workers - so not Palestinians but from other nations - it quickly closed off its economy to Palestinians who had nowhere else to go. The permits for Palestinian workers fell to just 18,000 one year later in 1995. Foreign workers that Israel exploited included people from Africa, especially Ethiopia, Thailand, Romania, the Philippines, Latin America, and China. In particular, Chinese workers were easy to exploit because any who'd try to complain about the slave-like working conditions, beatings, and other abuses they found, well, they could be reported to Chinese authorities for punishment. And this has been a process of slowly reducing the dependence of Israel's economy on this Palestinian labor, much of which was exploited at these ultra low prices because they were crossing this border illegally and that meant if they ask for more money or if they ask for their payment at all they could be instead reported to the local Israeli police would take them put them in jail for two or more years for crossing this border law and send them back to where they came, whether that's the West Bank or whether that's Gaza.
[48:59] So what began as the importation of Jews from the former Soviet Union to Jewish populations from Ethiopia and into non-Jewish populations for even more low-wage workers from the Philippines, from Thailand, from China, as we mentioned, became a replacement program for these legal and illegal Palestinian workers. And as the need for these workers to cross this border became less and less Israel responded by building these border walls up more and more and today they're expanding those walls even underground.
[49:27] David, real quick, so on the topic of labor and the separations between Palestinians and other states there's a story that just can't go unsaid. And that's when, in 2008, the wall that separates Gaza and Egypt was briefly toppled by thousands of Palestinians. They broke down the wall. They came across the border and this breach was called a political "act of defiance". And it was blamed on militants, but when you look at what actually happened after these tens of thousands of Palestinians broke down this wall, poured into Egypt, these women, these men, and these children proceeded to use their money, their savings to purchase medicine, to purchase food, livestock, and domestic good, fuel and other things that they needed for survival. And when you talk about the the labor and the economics that drives this movement of people it's so crazy to me that at the same time we're calling these people criminals. We're making them out to be terrorists. We're calling these acts of trying to disregard these laws by crossing into borders they're not allowed to be in. What are they really trying to do? I think this really just throws open the door on our assumptions that anyone that would illegally cross a border to use their money to purchase food is not someone that we should consider a criminal. It's something that any human being would do. It speaks for itself, David. I don't have anything to add to that. If that doesn't tell the whole story then there's nothing you or I can say.
[50:57] So just to sum this up really quickly, you know we talk about walls and the rhetoric behind them is to stop crime, to save our jobs and to stop terrorism but what we see is that walls don't actually do these things. It actually intensifies them. And the simple reason is because those things are not occurring in the first place because of open borders. They occur because some force enables and/or compels them. People who are fleeing the destruction and the violence that is levied against them won't simply turn around at a fence when they have no alternative. And smugglers don't stop smuggling because it is illegal. They are smuggler's precisely because it is illegal. And terrorism, it doesn't direct itself towards forces that grant freedom but towards forces that exclude, that deprive and exploit.
[51:46] That's a lot of what's going on in the problems with these things but maybe at the same time we should lay a wall down here and divide this show into the second part. Looking instead at not the utilitarian aspect of walls and the effects they cause but try and understand the psychology behind them.
[52:03] And I think this is really important because we have so many different things going on in our respective political arenas that many people are honestly a little confused, and certainly I am towards a lot of- we have a lot of division in our countries. We have a lot of anger and there's a lot of things that are going on that many people say, "Why is all this happening? Why is this rise of extremism in politics occurring?" And, you know, when we were researching this topic it just dawned on me the scope of this really helps explain so much of what is going on right now: the rise of Trump as president, the Brexit and the political crises going on in Europe. I feel like this flow of people across borders explains so much. And it all comes back to some of the topics we talk about here on the show. We've got ecological crisis and collapse going on all around us, rising seas, we've got water scarcity, and we've got rising heat, desertification, violent storms, and all these things are pushing people out of their homes. But at the same time we have economic crises for so many people. The fact that labor has been blocked into certain zones around the globe but companies are still allowed to move capital and production anywhere they can find cheap labor has left many people devastated. We have a declining middle class. People have experienced falling wages. They're in more debt than ever. And all of these forces combine to create massive insecurity. And people are looking for something to provide security, to provide comfort, to redefine the horizons and the borders around their lives. And so we find ourselves caught in the middle of a war for the future between two global forces.
[53:47] On the one hand is a free market capitalism that defies borders and national sovereignty. It's driven by economics, by market considerations and driven by finance. And at the other end of the spectrum we have a nationalism which derives a lot of momentum from this decline of traditional power structures. And the borders that we draw, the walls that we build to try and divide our countries become important components of this bid for the future. And at risk is our democracy, at risk are all these people who find themselves displaced. So given these global forces it's not hard to see how individual nation-states, in many ways, are losing control of their own decisions over what we could call their sovereignty. These are countries United States, countries like Italy, Germany, Great Britain Thailand, whatever.
[54:41] The fact that there is an increased flow of goods, capital, people, ideas and political identity between countries, this rise of financialization, the integration of national resources and labor with sprawling foreign markets and the wide adoption of free market rationality, which as we discussed a few weeks ago, David, in our debt episode, places economic assumptions above local national self-determination and the rising power and influence of transnational institutions and agreements like the European Union, the international monetary fund, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, all of this creates massive of insecurity among individual nation states that are experiencing an erosion of power within the context of these global forces.
[55:27] And so these walls they're less an expansion of power and security so much as they are theater pieces, in the words of Wendy Brown, that are projecting power that does not actually exist and in a way reveal National insecurities and weakness. These walls respond to this waning power among nation states and at the same time they're responding to the decline of power. They accelerate this decline of power by creating these non-state vigilantes, by empowering organized crime, by financing terrorism, by narrowing the gap between police and military, blurring the lines between outside and inside, and all that intensifies this momentum of nationalism creating and reinforcing feedback loops that call for even more walling.
[56:15] And citizens within these states that are experiencing a decline in national power, well, they relate to this trend in the fact that those who derive part of their personal and political identities with the actions and status of their respective national reputation, well, they are personally affected by any threat to their nation. And so it's no surprise that humans feel insecure when faced with a vast, unpredictable, chaotic and horizonless world. And while in the past people have found comfort in the form of various deities many of these gods have been replaced by faith in the all-powerful state. And as we face the erosion of clear and definable state powers, as the lines between us and them blur, as our state leaders blame their inability to improve our lives on international institutions, as individuals and families increasingly see their economic security threatened by factories and markets they don't understand that are halfway around the world large, imposing physical barriers serve as psychological security blankets. Purporting to keep them out and us safe inside these walls make us feel safe. They invoke a sense of order and control. With walls we can finally see the horizon once again but of course in the end it's all theater.
[57:38] You know, Daniel, you bring up a lot of points here that I think one thing just echoed with me. And it's this idea that, at least for some and maybe it's because of culture maybe it's because of school maybe because what our politicians tell us but they look at a wall and they feel a sense of security. This protects me. This keeps the bad guys out, keeps the drugs away from my family, whatever story they want to tell themselves that makes them OK with limiting themselves from the rest of the world.
[58:07] Because like we've mentioned, every wall has two sides. One to keep people out and one to keep them in. And for me, every time I see a new wall built I feel my freedom lost. This is another place I can't go, another line I can't cross because somebody somewhere felt so insecure they needed to manifest their need for security as pieces of steel and concrete and razor wire and cameras, men with guns and dogs, drones, and automated turrets to define a line that they've drawn in the sand and said, "Over here, this side is mine. And on that side it's your own problem". And this desire to draw physical lines for imaginary places maybe is driven by the idea that we know this land isn't ours. We've stolen this.
[58:53] Maybe this is what drives Israel to build such large walls now. The idea that they can point to this line right here and say, Well, of course this is our land. Look at this wall. This is our border. This is our sovereignty. And by manifesting this physical representation to tuck away the insecurities they feel about stealing land, about defining property that belongs to all of us as their own it becomes a sort of spell that they cast across the land. If you can point out it out as real then you can say, "Well of course it's mine. Look at this wall. Look at this line I've drawn. It defines what is mine and what is not". As we do this increasingly around the world it's such a shame because we find ourselves more connected than ever before. We think ideas spread instantly. The Internet has shown us what a world without borders could be, where language limits fall apart as we spread the ideas and images of a worldwide culture. And what've we seen? Huge economic growth, huge cultural growth, spiritual growth, growth among every possible place. A better world more connected and unified and at the same time our physical ability to access this newly linked and unified world is being stolen from us. As our nations around the world continue building these walls to defend what they say is mine to protect us from the rest of this world that we are just now being connected to for the first time really in history. Whenever have we ever before had the ability to travel like we have now.
[1:00:18] Instead of embracing this ability as a new era in human history, as a privilege of all humanity that many of our ancestors died to give us, we've restricted this ability to travel and experience this amazing human culture around the world, the natural wonders around the world, and limit that to a moneyed, small class that has the monetary and political and military power to travel where they want. We've stolen the birthright of a whole population of the world of 7 billion souls in order to physically manifest lines on a map.
[1:00:52] Those are powerful words, David, and you know you mentioned earlier in the episode about how walls give us something to point to and, you know, in this context of how we increase our border security as a result in large part because of this declining state power or this erosion of sovereignty among nation states we see this play out, perhaps most notably, in the European Union because of so many players that are involved in this crisis, in this in this tension that is going on.
[1:01:21] And these tensions, this conflict between member states within the EU that has created such political division right now owes itself so much to the influx of people seeking refugee status, asylum, these economic migrants that have poured into the European Union over the past few years and have challenged notions of individual State sovereignty creating resentment towards transnational agreements like the Schengen and Dublin agreements both which attempt to enforce border regulations and refugee responsibilities. Well, many states within the EU have responded to these migrant flows and these agreements by building border walls and diverting migrants to other states.
[1:02:05] And this redirection has created massive quarters of unstoppable flows of people existing in a kind of legal purgatory. The EU has implemented broad programs to try controlling this flow and to reassert its authority over member states by collecting resources from members to house and manage refugees, redirecting migrants to other countries and by sanctioning countries that don't play by the rules. And this back and forth between the European Union and its member states, these refugees it is all contributed to a marked rise in nationalism, anti-EU sentiment and xenophobic policies including additional border control efforts. It's what has encouraged Italy to so exuberantly refuse rescue ships from coming into its ports and it's what threatens to topple the German government right now.
[1:02:58] And while we spend a lot of time on this episode blaming politicians for the actions of these walls and the fact that while they don't work they continue to build them regardless the question becomes do they really have a choice to build them in the first place? Border security and walls are theater. The global forces are eroding state power, creating anxiety and identity crises give rise to people who are eager to point blame and consequently eager to demand from their leaders a tough stance towards these foreigners that they fear. Well, at this point what can a politician do? In many cases their choices are either do do nothing and lose their job or to build an expensive and pointless wall that they can none-the-less point to and say, "Look we're doing something" and that satisfies the people. But it also provides a route to power for those who are willing to take a stance against foreigners just like Trump campaigned on build a wall and let Mexico pay for it. The same thing has been happening across Europe with the right parties establishing policies of building walls to keep migrants out from the Middle East, from North Africa and using the xenophobia about the fear of these foreigners, of the other to gain power under the promises that we will do something to defend you although these walls ultimately end up doing very little and in many cases in enhancing crime and other problems that they purport to solve.
[1:04:11] David, I feel like this is a big episode.
[1:04:14] Yeah, there's so much more that we have to hit here but we are already very long and definitely this is something that we need to devote multiple episodes to going forward.
[1:04:23] And I hope we do. You know that this question of borders, this question of the flow of people that we called migrants and our very notion of what it means to define land as being owned by this party or that party it all deserves a much bigger discussion than what we hope is just an introduction to this idea and a framework of thinking about these walls that we build on our borders. And at the end of these episodes, David, we always ask what can we do.
[1:04:51] There's actually a lot that, at least with how we think, can have a lot of positive effects. And you see right now two forces, two groups of the world, those that want to build walls and those that want to tear them down, and I hope that those working to tear down walls continues to gain power and push back against his recent rise to build more and more walls and strengthen the walls that already exist whether that means political action, whether that means cultural conversations to what walls mean, to talk about what we're actually doing with walls, to understand what effects they actually have based in actual reality but also philosophically like we try to do with this show - understanding what these walls mean, what they do to us, what they do to our common other humans around the world.
[1:05:28] Exactly, and part of encouraging the mindset that would want to tear down these walls has to involve re-framing the way we look at the people who are affected like you just said our common human beings. We need to stop thinking about people who are looking to survive by moving out of a place where they suffer from oppression or devastation we need to stop seeing these people as migrants, as refugees, as aliens, as illegal. These are human beings that are subject to forces beyond their control. And that can happen to any of us. And if we're willing to treat these people as subhuman because of something they can't control I think that says a lot more about us than it does them.
[1:06:10] Yes. And as we go forward into the future that is increasingly looking like a world that will be falling apart, breaking at the seams and pushing our civilization and states to the very edges of what they can stand we need to remember that when these refugees come out, pouring across the world, looking for open arms to try and help them that we are the ones here that oftentimes got them in this situation. It is predominantly our fault that we've destroyed our climate and our environment. It's predominantly our fault that their economies falter as the organizations that purport to be helping these developing nations continue to exploit them in our name here in the United States, across Europe, and the many international corporations that push these ideas in order to profit no matter the cost in human lives and suffering. We need to take in these people that we have put out of their homes, out of their lives. And whether that's a legislative process of pushing our lawmakers and our politicians to no longer invest in these useless symbolic structures or whether it's like we said is directly going out and tearing these walls, investing in sledgehammers, pickaxes, and whatever we need to get out there and actually make an actual physical difference and change in the world for a better place or even just opening our homes to those refugees that need them. I know I've done that before and it's something that is worthwhile. But to embrace the differences that we find among each other and to work for a better unified future that we can advance together to solve these global problems that we have created it's the only path I can see working as we enter this frankly horrifying future.
[1:07:41] David, this land is my land. This land is your land. This land was made for you and me.
This Land Is Your Land
[1:07:53] As always that's a lot to think about but think about it we hope you will we're going to continue exploring these topics in depth in future episodes but in the meantime if you want to learn more about this or the atrocities that are occurring around the world and the many walls that are being built right now you can do all of that as well as read a full transcript of this episode on our website at ashesashes.org.
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