Invisible, but they define our world. Borders are the lines that limit us as we live our lives and as we increasingly feel the frictions they cause, it brought us to wonder: where did these things comes from anyway? A look back through history shows that what we take for granted may in fact be ridiculous, that lines on a map can be a world changing invention, and that things that feel as old as civilization may have surprisingly recent origins. Join us this week as we draw a line in the sand and begin working towards tearing down the myths, preconceptions, and assumptions we share about the lines that divide us.
(This is a temp machine translation. We'll fix it soon!)
[0:06] David Torcivia.
[0:08] Daniel Forkner.
[0:10] 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.
[0:20] But if we learn from all of this, maybe we can stop that. The world might be broken, but it doesn't have to be.
[0:33] Now Daniel with another week and another episode and I think we're going to try something just maybe a slightly different than we normally do here or maybe a little bit different format in the more conceptual topic if you'll bear with me.
[0:48] I'm off work Concepts David abstract thought that kind of thing.
[0:53] Well that's good because we got lots of those today and also I think it will be easier on me as you can probably hear at that a little bit of a cold and I'm dealing with so sorry for all you ASMR enthusiasts out there who are disappointed. But you still got Daniel so.
[1:09] Well either way I hope you get better soon David.
[1:13] This topic is something that I wanted to talk about on the show for a long time and it's something that's so conceptual and difficult approach because it's very. Ingrained in the way that we see the world and wiener act with each other that trying to find the right route and in conversations to be able to bring it up in a way that. Side steps all of our initial prejudices and preconceptions about it is difficult especially right now because of how much it's in the news. Can the topic is something that we've alluded to before in previous episodes but we're going to really get into the concepts and what it means today and this and what will be discussing here is borders.
[1:54] It will more than alluded to we we did kind of do an episode on borders episode 31 no entry although it was more. It had a lot to do specifically with border security in the building of physical walls in, the paradoxes that come along with that and the reasons why individual Nations feel compelled to build these giant walls that really have no practical purpose at all except, you know making a mess of some of the things that we actually you know are trying to prevent, and making things worse but you're saying this is more of like a conceptual understanding of what that wall represents in the first place.
[2:34] Yeah that episode of episode 31 and 20 my favorite this is a really good introduction to some of the very physical manifestations of these Concepts. But getting understand why we have borders the fact that initially a borders not a very obvious thing it's something that had to be evolved and created and solely made into these physical things that we understand now and that process is important in understanding our relationship with them today, and need to touch every single part of our Lives both in the very obvious ways when we see people maybe friends maybe family being deported across borders these international national Border Lines, but also in like our day-to-day lives I was telling Daniel is story that I have a border that runs through my apartment actually.
[3:19] Yeah. I love this story because because we think of borders will you hear that word and you think about political borders that separate States and larger Nations but that's not the only type of Border we interact with in fact we interact with several borders everyday probably without even realizing it as these things tend to serve administrative and bureaucratic. Functions of our government's was that's like a school district or you have some kind of utility border at the neighborhood border municipalities Dade County all kinds of things.
[3:50] Exactly in this is one of those borders that runs quite literally through my kitchen so long time listener is will know that I live in New York but specifically I live on the line between Brooklyn and Queens and this line dividing these tuberose runs through my kitchen it cuts my kitchen half so when I go when I wash my dishes I'm in Queens, when I walk into my office I'm in Brooklyn and and this happens over just a matter of faith. Moved in here you know I have no idea that this borderline Crossing I knew across the street that's queens and that on the side my mailing address is Brooklyn. I found that this was this invisible border that cross through me that I was crossing everyday many times without any sort of visualization or realization that this was happening, was playing a role in my life and that's because I I move in and I'm trying to set up my gas in my new apartment I want to set up my electricity itself and its symbol because my address is there but the gas company has no record that my address even exist okay.
[4:51] And you know that I'm like well you know I'm very clearly here I've set up my my electricity I said of my whatever you can see this is my address I'm getting mail I know this is correct. The gas company just couldn't find him so I have a couple weeks without gas and eventually will realize it's because the gas is registered in Queens with a different Queens zip code in Queens address. And I had to find that information and then find it in their system before they could actually come out and turn on this gas and there was no actual you know there wasn't like a Faraway thing. The address they drove to was my Brooklyn address but because of this system was built on this borderline that they didn't realize existed. I had to find this information that nobody else knew in order to make this very simple process happen. And these are the types of ways that borders are constantly intersecting in our lives making things difficult and what should be simple there should be no difference between the fact that my gas is in one place or the other because it is all the same apartment at the same address. And I mean this is very big 9 example of these kinds of frustrations and that's where a lot of us are day-to-day dealings with borders when there's a school district or a zoning District or whatever it is. It is it something that just makes your life frustrating at more difficult for many people who know this is quite a matter of life or death.
[6:06] Oh yeah. That's what I was going to say is that that's kind of a funny example David the kind of points out the bureaucratic absurdity of, not so much of Modern Life in the contrivances that we create to section off one property from another. As well get to like I'm really startling examples like princess in the United Kingdom wear, this bureaucratic confusion is totally uprooting people's lives I mean people being mistakenly deported people being sent to countries that no they're not a resident of their citizenship papers getting lost to the big deal. Although I think the upshot of your story David is that if anyone ever accuses you of being the stereotypical Brooklyn podcast or you can just walk to the other side of your kitchen to say aha. No I'm not.
[6:52] I live in Queens there we go.
[6:55] Plus you got me down in Atlanta to balance you out.
[6:58] Exactly what I think they're really understand these borders we need to go back and look at where the first two rows mortal came from and that's the kind of history that I really like doing on this show are we going to the cold times at 4 in the IP episode in our episode on debt which are both big conceptual episodes, and because this is where this understanding of the concept really comes we can see how it evolved. To the first records that we can find of borders goes back 4500 years ago to this ancient story of these two warring cities in Sumeria called lagash and Uma and I hope to all the ancient Sumerians listening I'm pronouncing of names. And he's two cities were separated only about 30 km of distance between the two of them today you know this is very very close and in between them with this very fertile piece of land. And both sides of this land for their farming for the agricultural products because furtile and especially in this area is something of huge value.
[7:54] And inevitably this turn into conflict between the two warring cities. The Retreat East at and they said a borderline between the two this this giant stack stone and their arguments about weather was too far one way or the other two cities attacked each other for countless years and she won't destroy the other and then the other one is for the other again. And we have these records at this battle going on over the disagreement of what belongs to me and what belongs to you. And as far as we can tell this is the first time the idea of borders in the conflict of them a rose and it makes a lot of sense if it's happening in this with a process the fact that as soon as we start settling down in one place farming in a field.
[8:30] Advent of Agriculture about property is this field is mine that very closely after the idea borders a boss.
[8:38] Agriculture I think is a key piece to understanding borders for sure like as Scholars point out the differences.
[8:51] Section of property where once you decide the land is going to be come this permanent installation for agricultural production, the perspective becomes okay how do we distribute the land among the people. But if you live in a more mobile format it where your culture roams from place to place even if it has permanent campsites but you move from one to the other you don't think necessarily of land being distributed among people you think of the people being distributed among the land and in that sense ownership of the land and sectioning it doesn't make any sense yeah you might go to a camping for the night that is your campsite but then you leave and it's not yours anymore because you're not occupying it. But I guess with agriculture you had these plots and then there's value to that even if you do leave and you want to come back and go to claim that as your own.
[9:41] Exactly once when people started settling down into permit places and working the land and using the resources of that land the idea of what belongs to who becomes very important. And this is something that evolved as time went on it became more complicated. Any idea of what belongs to who is one of the very important foundational things that created the modern idea of borders but are we going to shove it to the side for a second just keep that in the back of her head and I want to go to the second big thing is that and then I think led to the modern idea of what a border is. And I will talk more about what that is it later on but the idea of maps. Is it something is again very old it goes back to ancient man we were making Maps almost from the dawn of time when we started having these fees first pictorial representations of what people were doing. Are we have these maps of burst typically the sky of stars. And of course there's no borders there it's the Wide Open Sky was used for navigation or for various types of Ceremonies and things.
[10:41] Very soon after that we started seeing Maps appear of places and these Maps were very sort of pictorial in the representation you would see a valley or mountain or a river. And it was used as a general idea of what things would look like because that was how you would navigate and explain things to other people say oh, oldest river to hit the valley and then there's a mountain there that looks like this and go that way across the past and now it's how you would navigate this world and it was how people thought about the world for the vast majority of human history as an idea of places and a places and things and this was reflected in the maps ever created, and these types of maps with the only naps ever really made for thousands of years.
[11:21] Will you mention like one of the earliest form of maps being those that map the sky in a reminds me of episode 43 full bar when we talk to Sophia Perez about, are the military's plans to bomb an indigenous island in the Pacific. And we talked about how the indigenous people that occupied these islands were once some of the greatest Sailors of all time because they they could navigate the waters, not just by typical things like the stars or reading the Sun but literally by the movement of their boat they could feel the currents, and it's really hard to imagine how that even possible but there is a certain type of map it's called a stick chart. And you can look this up and you see that there's actually a method for creating a map using sticks and seashells that charts the currents of the ocean in a way.
[12:15] And we're going to put a picture of this map on the website and I really encourage you to check it out because when you look at it to our Western I that's trained on understanding of map is a very specific type of thing this just looks like a piece of art we can't even be able to start to read it.
[12:29] And I think it's important that it highlights the different functions map had like you're alluding to wear, today our modern conceptions of math is like okay this is the property of the state of Georgia and this is where the line demarcates this property or this is the property of this city but, Maps can serve so many different functions than that and really creative and Innovative functions as well.
[12:52] What make this is a good moment to think about what our modern idea what a map is right like when I say the word map Daniel what are you picturing.
[13:00] I quite literally picture of the world map that eurocentric Mathway.
[13:05] Yeah North is up.
[13:07] In North is up South is down the United States is on the left.
[13:10] There's lots of pretty colors for each country.
[13:12] The big ocean blue.
[13:14] And it seems so obvious when you look at it that way right.
[13:17] Yeah I make sense you know.
[13:18] Like of course that's what a map looks like but I've been thinking about this as an innovation in a way of thinking about the world an entirely new way it's something that's not obvious but that's really what that type of map was and I'll get to exactly when it happened why that happened. Remember it for the vast majority of human history maps where were not. Accurate a warranty no down to the centimeter or millimeter like we have with our old track your Maps now easily for for Acura navigation like it's this many leagues to go to hear or this many miles away they were just very gentle things with landmarks you had a more or less basic idea of where you are but but something that wouldn't tell you exactly where you are at any moment it was just a help you along an allegation in your personal experience and the people that you were with Twitter already done his journeys could explain the rest of it to you and make sure that you knew the way, because the knowledge of where place was was something that was recorded typically orally and then eventually described it with words, and this was how most Maps were actually made by writing out detailed information about locations, it wasn't shown graphically until much later on but I'm getting ahead of myself again.
[14:28] I know I know I know Maps like that David you know turn left at the QuikTrip when you see the Red House you've gone too far.
[14:34] And and that was even how most of us navigated recently until we all have these extremely powerful mapping computers. In our pockets now that's something it's only really happened in the past 20 years, but again to jump back in time I mean we have to mention the ancient Egyptians we don't have a lot of maps from them but they were enormously talented surveyors and they treated a lot of the tools.
[14:57] Became the standard of surveying for the next thousands of years up until maybe the 17th century when we started creating a lot of new stuff and these tools were extremely accurate and they were used by the Egyptians extensively for the construction of all their massive building projects we have some very incredible detail architectural drawings that they made using these incredible serving tools so these were people who knew how to map accurately and it's an important concept. But what's interesting about all this knowledge is that the Egyptians at the couple of map that did survive, they were the same sort of pictorial representation of things of a valley and then this distance we would have a tomb and then you know there was another Valley depicted but not in an accurate to scale type of way, more as an idea of places and how they are oriented with each other rather than something that can be used as an accurate representation of the distance and separation between all these places, and this is important because they have the tools and techniques to create these highly accurate Maps but as far as we can tell they chose not to wear the idea of creating them in that way didn't even occur to them. Of course we're going to create accurate architectural designs a while we make a map to describe the world in this way. Why we treat every single point equal and the same value when it's not that way because some places a city a two more more important I'm going to devote more of our space on a precious piece of Iris. Or a stone with dealing with that information rather than all the empty space in between.
[16:25] Okay so that's that's really interests.
[16:43] You can measure the distance from the river to the you know the next pyramid. Because guess what you're saying is like there was no need to do that but also if a room in a temple is more important than the distance between that Temple, and the next Temple why not just create a perfect blueprint architectural rendering of the room with in that Temple and then you can just describe out in if you want to get to the next Temple you can just walk 30 pay that you don't walk 5000 pesos or something why why take up space on a sheet of paper or Papyrus like you said to represent that.
[17:18] Exactly intended as a really important point in the development of this and why we didn't start seeing sort of modern Maps until the cost of using all this paper and then printing all this information really started to come down as specially, with the introduction of the printing press which again getting ahead and we'll get to that the next Innovations in mapping it came from the Greeks who contributed a lot. To the discovery of first just the fact that the Earth was of a certain size they were able to calculate it with him .5% of accuracy for the total circumference of the earth which is incredible really they're big, Innovation was realizing that if you're going to map things. You going to map them accurately you need some sort of measuring some some basic standard way then you can decide where things are and they came up with what is basically the idea of latitude and longitude of a grid that you can build a cross your map.
[18:13] That would allow you to equally spaced everything around and know that there are accurately space from each other and this is the idea that I alluded to a second ago where every single point is considered important. Whereas before the maps we would devote what's important to a place and that would be larger on the map because it has a larger influence in our lives. The Greeks came up with this idea that even though a place maybe more important to the lies that we live geographically and mathematically, it's the same as anywhere else it's just another spot on the map as we think about it today and this I think came especially from the Greeks because, you know if you're living increase your surrounded by these islands your seafaring nation and an island I think very well lend itself to the idea of a border. It's surrounded by water it has a very mappable edge, and different Islands you can see are different sizes from each other you can you can calculate for easily how far the part and I think these this idea of treating everything equally and knowing accurately the space between things and how far it is from one Island to the other.
[19:15] It's something that that appeared obviously the Greeks whereas if you look at the Egyptians who had the same technology to be able to map things out, accurately much of their civilization was stretched across in the desert space and there's no value in mapping that accurately like the Greeks found in mapping there are local coastlines and things accurately, and after this the expansionist ideas of of people like Alexander the Great who mapped out, the edges of his Empire became important to them to know just how much land a control in an accurate way but even still domestic treated didn't have borders but they did such a treat things accurately and its distance from each other.
[19:51] I'm thinking allowed here David but you mention like Alexander the Great's and obviously he was a big conqueror and you mentioned the need for. Accounting for all the property that's under the control of of whoever the Greeks in this case.
[20:12] Egypt you don't really necessarily need a huge map to navigate the desert I mean you have the pyramids right there they're pointing the way but if you have this great Empire right. Did you have this great Empire and you're actually setting out to conquer a place and expand the things are under your control. I can see how it would be way more important to accurately reflect that somehow for financial reasons namely I mean you would need to take into account how much grain you're taking in from these new conquered lands to figure out how many soldiers you can feed go conquer the next land right.
[20:47] Well you're starting to get to the point there and I don't want to downplay how how large the Egyptian Empire was and how much land they conquered because it is prodigious and we shouldn't say that that Alexander the Great's Empire superseded the fact that the Egyptians didn't need to be able to calculate the areas they had conquered because that's that silly but you are hitting really close on the point the fact that it is important to know the areas that you are controlling now for tax purposes and this really brings us to the second major Point why borders are important so first we have an economic resources that we need to exploit and number two is the oldest thing that we all hate your taxes and something we talked before about, in-depth on me and our pensions episodes in our financial episode we discuss a lot of tax things but it did really is a story as old as time and knowing exactly who controls what is important when you are living those taxes especially in areas that you are now conference and again if we go back to the Egyptians they were using some of their serving to figure out this land that people would owe taxes and how much to the pharaoh.
[21:54] Again this was mostly something recorded in words or in hieroglyphics for them and the same was true for the most part with the creeks and with the other civilizations of the time when they would record tax debts and property owned in words. Not so much actually in physical maps I understand from a more philosophical kind of way of dealing with these Maps.
[22:17] For the most part this tax base component of figuring out who willed what was something that was recorded in writing, do you know this property is this large and they OS this much money because of that. The Romans I guess we're the next people in this process of taking this idea of serving and it is especially this tax based idea of, Google is me what and combined it for the first time we met with maps and they had very extensive Maps is Central record-keeping Hall almost of maps in Rome when they were record on brass plate and then also add paper copies these details of what property people owned at the borders of the properties and subsequently the tax burden that would be associated with that and unfortunately we've lost all of this we've lost a huge amount of the maps that Romans made but even a lot of these Maps were more types of maps and where there was sometimes called itinerary Maps where you would just see you know along these roads at the Romans build everywhere What cities were along the way and a written out explanation of the distance between the two but not a visual demonstration accurately of what that look like. Some of the secret techniques of how to map in this very accurate way that Ptolemy had figured out what carries over into the Romans so much. For the Romans did love borders and it was an important part of their empire, and the way that they administered all the different provinces in fact they have a god of borders Daniel.
[23:43] A god of Borchers David.
[23:45] Yeah and it may be afraid of it before Terminus there was even a celebration that they would have, where you would have on the day of terminuses feast. You would go to the borders between your land and your neighbor's land and leave offerings are for the god and I guess making merry with your neighbor the Romans constructed pylons everywhere.
[24:08] Did they construct Enough by Lonzo.
[24:15] Terminator is actually coming up Daniels on February 23rd so everyone Mark that down on your calendar for when you want to celebrate me borders in your life.
[24:23] That's the day I will draw a line in the sand David.
[24:26] And it would have these boundary markers all over the place on the edges of their properties along Road some of these mile markers still exist they usually look just like a large Stone someplace you can still find them scattered across Europe today, and these were everywhere and show just how important, the idea of borders and boundaries were to the Romans in this was because in large part like we mentioned they were great surveyors, because they're need to build Rose everywhere to connect the Empire and officially administer the taxes and the resources they need to be shuttled around, to create a long lasting Roman Empire but Empires come Daniel and Empires fall. As we are finding out continuously on this show.
[25:07] So so what happened when the Roman Empire fell David that changed our conception of borders and space or did it at all.
[25:17] What we saw was a loss of a lot of knowledge this is the Dark Ages is called. And what if that's true or not the point is is there's a lot of ways of doing things that people basically forgot how to do in creating those highly accurate, Greek style maps that was lost. A sort of hybrid style Maps the Romans for making which were somewhere in between the accuracy of the Greeks and the pictorial representation of the Egyptians. That was also sort of pushed away and then forgotten and we started seeing the creation of these interesting types of maps I really focused on Place once more in these early medieval. It is because I think at least the idea of power in this time really sort of fell apart where the Romans has very strong centralized system that you could feel the effects of Rome even if you are thousands of miles away. That just didn't exist for most people in this collapse of Rome. You would have your local source of power your village Your Castle. The town the city that you would live in and that would be what influence the vast majority of your life there's the directives do we get the laws of the comp.
[26:27] David at what point in all of this does the tradition of beating the bounds come about have you heard about this.
[26:33] Tell me about beating the bounds Daniel.
[26:35] Okay so this is just a long tradition held by the Catholic Church David and beating the bounds is when the parish or particular Church would take all the the children or I guess the boys.
[26:58] Down the borders of the grounds of this church, and they called it beating the bounds by literally because that's what they were doing but the priests would also stop the boys every now and then a certain spots, and beat them maybe with the same sticks they were using to beat the bound as a way to instill in them a. Bierce memory of the place and the idea was that in order to protect the boundaries of this church you needed generational knowledge of exactly where the boundaries work and what better way to preserve that knowledge than frightened young boys who are being beaten. Tracing their stats and then as they grow older they would always remember exactly where you know that way if you know someone else wanted to claim all this is actually my Farmland they can say oh no it's not I know that spot that my blood, you know I drink my blood in that corner that is not your field sir.
[27:51] That's an intense and traumatic way of mapping and a time I guess when physical maps were difficult to make or warrant that common.
[28:01] When I guess it also goes to show that when you forsake the god Terminus things get a lot more complicated now it's not so easy to manage your borders huh.
[28:09] From celebrations to beatings. Maybe we should go back to those those Roman party God. Yeah and I think it's interesting to that that one of the only forces that was really pushing this mapping in this case is very physical or oil-based mapping cuz that's what this is an oral history with one generation passing it to the neck in this case I guess two trauma, is through the centralized power than that at the church but the maps that were being made often times by priests or by academics and scribes when you look at them. What's the most popular types of map for example had the world divided in a Circle K in with something we're used to seeing the world is round it is a circle. But this circle which was a map of the Earth would be divided into three parts half of it will be cut in half and in the line to the bottom so basically imagine a t inside a circle. With one the top popping half the circle and the bottom half being a quarter each and on the top a wood right Asia. And on the bottom on the left David Wright Europe and on the bottom right there right Africa and that is like that was a map of the world and that would see somebody would look at that and say this is a map you know of course this is how we look at this more like this is a weird piece of art. Medieval art we don't understand what what's going on here again we're going to post images of all these maps in the website check it out I love maps and I'm sure a lot of you do to there's some beautiful art there.
[29:31] What will you know it Again David I wonder like, you mentioned at the very beginning how our navigation has been defined by the GPS and is very Precision coordinate lead highly precise tools, but back in the ancient world if I wanted to go from City to City if as long as I knew that you know I could follow a certain River, you know walk along it or go down it by boat or something and I'll get to my destination I don't really need Precision right in terms of coordinates I'm not Landing a plane on a tiny strip after traveling for you know 20,000 miles.
[30:06] After traveling 200 miles and going. You know 600 500 miles an hour I just need to know the general direction and I saw one of these Circle Maps different from the one you're describing I think it had. Thing at Indy at the top and Jerusalem in the center but it had all these detailed Rivers connecting places that mean even very far away places it was a it it's a little bit detailed and in the waterways that you could Traverse between them in and maybe it's not totally meant to be a a traveling companion in an accurate sense but.
[30:43] I think if you can imagine the world in these very important geographic landmarks and then it becomes very easy to kind of conceptualize the orientation of places around the world like this is something when I was learning to drive here in Atlanta. I struggled when I'll get on the interstate to really figure out where I was going there were so many signs I personally David had trouble navigating. But then it was explained to me hey there's a very simple way to figure out where you're going okay just imagine a circle. And in the center of that circle is the city of Atlanta in the circle that goes around it is 285 that's the loop, and there's an X that goes straight through the center of the circle and that's I-75 going up north west and 85 going up north east end, vice versa on the Southside in once I saw that picture in my mind, it was like a light bulb had got off of my head and I could Now navigate anywhere in the city without even knowing the streets or or what signs I would encounter because I could Orient myself and I just knew if I was going, this direction and eventually turn right to go northeast or or whatever it was because I had that very simple image in my mind.
[31:53] Yeah orientations important and in that map that you were speaking of initially which is one of my favorites it's from the 12th century is it really great example of the emphasis that was centered around place, during this time in the way that we saw are cells interacting with things because power imitated at this time primarily from cities and yes there was a larger kingdoms but it was this city, that was really the focus of power and cities we belong several cities could belong to the same Kingdom but the in-between spaces were just that they were in between spaces and power was loser there that wasn't his perception that.
[32:28] How are the kingdom extended throughout all of this negative space because there was a realization to only project power will you have people to do so and those Sinners of people were obviously cities and when you look at this map in particular like you know you can see all these beautiful illustrations of different cities of Jerusalem, a broom of a places in India you'll see coat of arms for some of these City so you know who they belong to and you'll see very detailed rivers and waterways written out but what is completely absent and that we really need to note here is any borders dividing these places because the idea and a border would be drawn across all these minor kingdoms, it went divided between these things with these lines and and borders drawn under the map because it just didn't matter we didn't even think about the relationship. Of a kingdom with the land in that type of way because it wasn't centered about a hegemonic perception of power, but instead centers of power around different types of places and this is what most of maps and the perception of our borders was like, through the Middle Ages until we started getting into the 16th 17th century. And that's what everything changed and we started seeing the formation of the modern idea what a border is and the way it was created to ultimately ensure our modern world.
[33:44] In real quick right before we jump to the 16th 17th century David you mentioned how these Maps you know. Weren't very precise because you couldn't reject power in that way but. You know right before we lost a lot of the map technology when the Roman Empire fell into kind of illustrate the inverse of that. I want a quote from an article called cartography in ancient Europe and the Mediterranean so this is going back to the Roman use of maps that emerged out of that initial Innovation by the Greeks and the author writes quotes. Drawing on the theoretical knowledge of Greek Scholars and technicians both geographical maps at a small-scale and large-scale cadastral Maps were.
[34:35] So keep that in mind the articles on the primary stimulus to the, former seems to have been the recognition by the Roman rulers not only that map where a practical assistance in the military political and Commercial integration of the Empire but also that a publicly displayed map of its extent could serve or the people as a symbol of its reality and territorial power that's like you were mentioning David how you could be a thousand miles away from the Metropolis but still feel that you were in Rome.
[35:04] This particular thing is mentioning this very famous map. It was painted across the Roman Forum so that the citizens of Rome could come in that they're doing their business and see the size of the Empire lay down. Right in front of their eyes it was a very powerful piece of propaganda at the time and unfortunately we don't have any. Surviving records and what it actually look like so we don't know if there were borderlines on there but it sounds like at least in this case the Romans might have.
[35:33] Will no doubt it was impressive but more importantly the author goes on to say similarly. The cadastral maps those tax property line Maps given the force of La by the end of the. We're designed to record and to help uphold a system of property rights and agrarian production which the state had a vested interest. Not had just become the tools of statecraft at a number of territorial skills it was these motives rather than disinterested intellectual curiosity that led to an extension and diversification of mapping as the empire was further Consolidated in the. From tiberias to. Caracalla Dracula info.
[36:16] Oh that's right and I think what's really important to draw from that Daniel is the fact that as decentralized power of Roman creases so does the Reliance on maps and they go hand-in-hand in illustrating that power and projecting that power both the citizens within and then also as a tool for using the legal rights of the centralized power to administer, bad Empire and as we saw the collapse of the Roman Empire and the splintering of power from one large centralized area operating out of Rome in 2002 disparate townships in kingdoms and fiefdoms and all sorts of different things we saw also the collapse of maps in that process because the idea of a centralized place that needs to be mapped out just didn't make any sense anymore that's not how power was projected was projected through. Local places and that's what we saw in the maps that were created during this time in and there weren't a lot of maps made during this time as far as we can tell a lot of been lost.
[37:09] You mean the Dark Ages.
[37:11] Yeah throughout the the early and mid Medieval ages they were Nino 1500 or so Maps made book from 1500 to 1600 we saw the development. Over a million new maps being treated at this time and of course a lot of this is due to the invention of the printing press. But also a fascination with maps and increase in surveying tools and Commercial mapmakers realizing that for the first time if they made Maps people wanted them. And that's an important thing because Daniel you mentioned the state being that the driving force for Rome making these Maps but the explosion of map that occurred. In the late medieval. That caused the modern perception of what we see is borders, was not driven by States it wasn't that's hiring the surveys of Their Kingdoms, it was commercial mapmakers going out and doing this on their own billing from previous mass as well as their own measurements that created a need for over a hundred years later for states to respond to this and I think this is where that's really interesting because we see map sort of. Predate decentralisation is power and I think we would encourage it and its perception of Border in the way treaties are done because of it.
[38:21] So with the crease in the printing press we were able to mass-produce these bumps all over the world and we saw lots of these being bought by the state actors by Kings. I Dukes by all sorts of whatever a royal titles that you had and these Maps were treated using the. Greek style of accurate mapping in the reason this happened was because ptolemies very important text on how to map in this Accurate Way was finally translated to Latin in the 1500s and the mapmakers read this and realized oh my God there's a whole new way that we can be making these Maps this knowledge that has lost, was rediscovered and totally change the face of mapmaking and this was made possible of course by the development of that printing press so now we have two things coming to play this new knowledge of how to make maps that have been lost MD medium finally to distribute maps in a way that hasn't ever existed before in human history and what happened. Is mapmakers started making accurate Maps treating every single point equal of all of Europe and so we started seeing. These massive Maps being treated what is a huge space between different cities they're no longer focused on place that focus on accurate geographical representations of our land. And with these massive space he's mad makers want to make them beautiful and fill them out and make them interesting. It's part of the way they did that was by drawing lines dividing kingdoms and filling them in with color.
[39:49] Is this why the typical world map if I Google it right now will be filled with all kinds of different colors.
[39:56] Will some of its for legibility but also at the time it was very much for adding value to this product that you're trying to sell you can charge that much more for this beautiful piece of art if it's also you know hand color.
[40:07] David are you going to tell me that I like. Entrepreneurs ended up like just threw the the desire to make more money off their Maps ended up like totally redefining like a political landscape through color and like maybe a King Saul that on this map that hoe, the wow that's a big territory I own maybe I can expand it just some more of that red on their take away from some of the blue Kingdom.
[40:30] Well I'm not saying that the only, thing at play but it definitely what I think was part of it and there are other people who agree with me and there's a really fascinating article on that sort of kicked off some of this map and Border talk that that will look on the website that I highly recommend checking out. I read it years ago and the thoughts of stay with me ever since I think it's really onto a lot of things. This new explosion in surveying all the stuff you started seeing the language of politics change so the jump back just just briefly there was this very important book written in 11th century called the domesday book that was a survey done of all of England, and then today we think that would be a course in mapping thing done. This was done for for tax purposes to figure out who old what to the king because of how much is a king's land at be using because of the time the perception was you did not own the property that you lived on you were the King was allowing you to live on it because of the king own all the property of Great Britain.
[41:26] Yeah of course he owned it all.
[41:28] Yeah you'll do everything and so you would pay your taxes to the king in exchange for, game allows you to use the slant more or less but they didn't record this down in any sort of map it was all written in words like we talked about before. You know it would describe the size of your plot where was would it look like all ranaut tediously with words and this was this massive massive book, and that was how serving was done and this was the only survey done in England for hundreds and hundreds of years.
[41:58] Yeah it's called the domesday book this is a really important book and it's kind of interesting to think that there was just literally one book and I think this book was actually used as a primary source, I can't any court case as late as like 1960 to settle a some dispute between people for. You know ancestral land or something like that so.
[42:21] Yeah it is a hugely important book but what I want to take from his the fact that the language that was used to describe this very important thing that as you mentioned Daniel still quite literally on the books as part of the law and can you reference in these cases even through today, and so now we go back to where we are right now it's the 1550 at the 1600 the 1650s we are rapidly starting to change our understanding of place because these, Atlas makers are designing atlases with borders drawn on them and we fast forward to 1648 in with the Treaty of Westphalia.
[42:54] This is very important treaty that sort of establishes the idea of sovereignty of a nation that when a nation exist, that what happens within that nation is solely that Nations rights and what happened outside the nation is those other nations rights and one nation should not interfere with the domestic matters of one nation. And this is important because these ideas are something that emerged. For the first time according to Scholars with this treaty the part of the reason why these ideas were riding with because of the way people have started to change, how they think about a place a nation and no longer that it was these different areas a power that would project over each other but defined borders. And what happened within those borders was one Nations and what happened outside of them with somebody else's, and this is the first time we really start seeing these ideas in Shrine and texting though this treaty was to find Once More in the same types of wars that the domesday book used describing of the limits of the treaty using words very shortly after we started seeing treaties Define on maps as well and this is the critical shift of our understanding and borders is no longer or they lose things, no longer with a soft projections of power, where the interim spaces were maybe it's yours maybe it's mine it became hard lines crossing invisibly through our land in many cases cutting towns and Villages and in my case is Kitchen in half.
[44:21] And Damned be the consequences this is meant in history that different times Villages were cut in half and found themselves into different nations paying taxes to two different Kings though this Village has been there for thousands of years maybe does it mean to be ethnically and culturally belong to single Kingdom because of the arbitrary stroke of somebody's pin along this line defining what this treaty might be these people now find themselves living somewhere else, Wonderland cut in half only allegiance to more than one king and of course the taxes that go along with that.
[44:52] Answer this brings up an interesting question right when we start having these very strong ideas of national identity of in the Kingdom of France. And these are my defined borders we start having this identity of well I'm a Frenchman and when I travel somewhere else I am still a Frenchman. We today would say well if you're traveling from France to somewhere else you have to identify yourself as a Frenchman before the less you win you need permission to enter another country in this goes a long, with that westphalian sovereignty idea that we talked about. But these ideas are actually extremely recent in though there have been limitations and restrictions on who can travel where, they go back quite literally thousands of years there was much less control on where you're allowed to travel and how you're allowed to travel. In almost all of human history up until very very recently the idea of a passport. Again this is an old idea but the idea passports and everyone must have that we hire universally Bound by that if we do not have we cannot travel is something that is barely a hundred years old which one I found this out I was shocked to realize that this thing I had taken so much for granted was a relatively recent invention. Newer even in the automobile about that people have been traveling and Automobiles longer than their travel has been restricted by those passports and Crossing Borders. Big impetus that caused this change was World War I.
[46:21] Let me read a quote David from historian ajp Taylor riding in his book English History 1914 through 1945. He writes until August 1914 a sensible law-abiding Englishmen could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state beyond the post office and the policeman he could live where he liked and as he like, he had no official number or identity card he could travel abroad or leave the country forever without a passport or any sort of official permission.
[46:55] I mean that sounds quite literally insane to hear that but I mean when you think about it that's the world our great-grandparents lived it and then they were born into and we slowly built these restrictions up since then in the primary reason. What's to fold a like we said this a rose and World War 1 especially after the war of the big agreement between all these nations saying well we're going to a universal soda passport and standardized this in restrict who can go we're outside of these treaties and agreements that we make with each other and this is because of one. Income tax we had to pay for these very expensive Wars with income taxes no income taxes existed before this they were really deployed during World War I, and they really found their way into being an important part of how nations would support their cells in this time. In the second one also related to the war was conscription If people could easily travel through borders disappear and you couldn't force them into a war they didn't want to fight.
[47:56] But it makes sense.
[47:57] Exactly the limitations of the passport where you had to get permission to leave would make sure that they always knew where you were what country you were in if you were allowed to leave at all and you could be pressed into service much more easily that way. These are two of the four modern concepts of why we have such strict borders taxes which is something that goes back pretty long population control. Which is important when you need to be able to constrict people. And increasingly make sure that you controlling their behavior in certain ways like we talked about extensively in the social credit system of China where not only is travel restricted outside the nation but even domestically. The other two being ostensibly security which is something we talked about at length in that no entry episode.
[48:38] Yeah that no entry episode.
[48:39] Or we find that though this is a popular reason for claiming that we need these intense border security in practicality this is almost never true and in fact can exacerbate security problems in many cases, and the number 4 for the clear definition of economic control so if it's not an individual tax it's a tax on Goods coming through and also defending and defining which will resources.
[49:04] Will speaking of border security David that is the most prominent thing that comes to mind today when anyone talks about the need to secure our borders that is the talking point that our politicians used to. Get these policies of increased funding to border security policies of reducing rights Within.
[49:40] With that reasoning in no entry but a better understanding of it I think comes from the example of how United States has slowly been creeping it's a border security Zone Inlet in most people probably don't realize this but, border security and the rights that we have waived Within These does not just occur at like very obvious border checkpoints like the one on the US Mexico border or one on a u.s. Canada border.
[50:08] When you say loss of Rights you talking like so when I cross the border, border control guy that TSA Department of Homeland Security whoever they are, you know they can search me they can search my cavities if it's if it needs to go to that they can like look at my phone they can request me for passwords for things like that you can talk about those types of invasions of what I would normally consider my privacy and then my rights that are guaranteed to me. The bill of right.
[50:40] Yeah exactly but even going beyond that is if you're if you have property within a border security area you don't enjoy that right we're officers require a warrant to step onto your property if it's in a borders.
[51:13] It's a lot further than that around the Great Lakes because border control considers the borders of the Lakes themselves as the starting point for their 100 mile Inland encroachment, so if you find yourself living in this Hundred Mile Inland Zone which like 75% of minorities in America find themselves in.
[51:35] I think also international airports my account so if Denver International for example has a hundred mile circle around.
[51:41] Yes if you find yourself living in 1 exhaust you can be searched at any time you might find yourself driving or walking in and all the sudden you are. An Immigration and Customs border checkpoint where they have the right to search your vehicle search Alyssa and typically you know what America like I said we have rights where you can't be searched without consent or without a warrant even if a police officer pulls over your car it says hey let me search your vehicle you often times have the right to just the client and if they don't have a reason to arrest you you should be free to go.
[52:14] And sometimes also it's not just about do you know the regular incentives I'm trying to solve a crime here but there's been times in the past when border patrol has actually been incentivizing their agents arrest people by giving him cash bonuses and Home Depot gift cards based on the number of people that they arrest and of course this ended up with hundreds of people who are legally allowed to be there being arrested to having to go through this process ultimately released so these agents could get these rewards that the organization was promising them if you don't think this is corrupt enough already.
[52:45] Yeah it's actually a side note that's actually really interesting how Home Depot gift cards are like a really common way for bribes to occur in the United States because it's really easy to to exchange them for cash value since construction is such a lucrative business and there's so much that you can get at Home Depot if you have a $50 Home Depot card is pretty easy to sell that to someone who's just going to be doing business there anyway and in the what's interesting about that is that in a way more often than not you're selling these Home Depot gift cards to working-class people.
[53:17] Might be of the the minority demographic that is being disproportionately searched by the customs and immigration officers in the first place it's kind of an interesting Circle there, but we might tolerate this if we as the American people felt well it's necessary right to protect us to keep us safe but what's interesting is that in 2017, all the people that were found to be illegally Arata residing in the United State is more aggressive searches that occur in this area. All of those are rats and all of those deportations accounted for just 2% of the total arrests and deportations that occurred in the country. Is it might as well then why are we doing it why are we paying all these officers, to search United States citizens in Mass to set up these checkpoints to invade people's private property why are they doing it but here's a hint I'm going to read from the, this report by City Labs here where they write quotes what checkpoint seem to be good for however, is intercepting drugs mostly marijuana from people who are legally present in the US according to the data agents seized 54803 pounds of marijuana and internal checkpoint in 2017 90% of this was from individuals who were lawfully present in the country.
[54:39] And once again they but we might say okay well maybe that's not the intended effect of our border security policies but if we are stopping these criminals from conducting these. Gang activities from trafficking illegal drugs into our country we would want our officers to enforce the law even if it means we're giving up some of a right but listen to this and the authors go off.
[55:02] Quote a 2017 government accountability office review of checkpoints requested by Congress also found that 40%.
[55:18] 11 drug please.
[55:21] 40% of all these drug seizures were for 1 oz or less of marijuana from United States citizens.
[55:28] I I guess a lot of them are in the four much less go to that.
[55:32] And so you know so that's kind of the idea is that we've created this giant border security apparatus that is invading a domestic soil as basically this military force, stopping arresting searching United States citizens and the reason I guess it's because they're profiting somehow off of ceasing, 1 oz or less of marijuana that United States citizens are holding.
[55:59] Okay so what I'm gathering from this is one of our points away mention here that borders exist to preserve is the security of the people living within the Border. Will Daniel here is explaining that in fact much of the energy of enforcing this border is actually Focus Inward and not outward and that the people who are living within these borders are the ones being targeted by the agents were supposedly existing to defend them, from those who are evil Outsiders. So Kate so I think that along with the other conversations we've had about Securities and walls and borders really shows that the security excuse is just that nothing more than excuse. Sew-in fiddles look at what he's other reasons that we have these borders and that's taxes.
[56:41] Everyone within this large border whatever Nation you're in you're going to have to be paying taxes to whatever nation that it is in Europe. End of the world that exists within these nations income in money that's generated I mean a lot of it is going to the top increasingly so as we see what this increasing inequality is happening all the time. Unfortunately for those who are rich and Powerful it's very easy to avoid a lot of this taxation is happening whether there parking it in all Shore accounts, like we seen increasingly the recent years that have been revealed and things like the Panama papers of which very little was done and Minnie that journalist that revealed this have ended up mysteriously dying. So they're already avoiding a lot of this tax burden that is supposed to be falling on them that they should be paying more because they are consuming more. And taking more in this process the boards are doing a bad job of controlling that because we think recently made borders about controlling people and not Capital especially those who have a lot of capital so they're bad at this controlling of tax but even more they've invented this new thing they're called freeport's, and these freeport's were originally the idea of if you're shipping a good from one place to the other sometimes you need to sit somewhere and wait for its picked up and moved along.
[57:53] And is Port of Freeport is a. Anti duty free tax on so you know you going to the airport to buy cigarettes in because it's an international Zone in the airport you don't have to pay tax on it so you can get these cheap cigarettes or cheap alcohol or whatever, three ports are sort of the same thing except for goods that are supposed to be in transit, instead of having to pay a duty tax or tax when they come into a nation they could instead sit here in this tax free zone until they need to move on to their final destination and only pay tax once. The design is to keep consumer cost down, to avoid unnecessary taxing that would occur in the process of moving goods from a to see if it also has to stop and be but what the ultra-wealthy have discovered is that they can take these freeport's and turn them into warehouses for their extremely expensive Goods, and now there are Freeport warehouses all around the world but especially in places like Switzerland and allowed the Middle Eastern countries that are designed solely. Art warehouses weather holding hundreds of millions of dollars in some cases billions of dollars worth of Art.
[58:53] Did let me correct that figure for you the main Freeport in Geneva hold an estimated 100 billion dollars of artwork Alone 1 Freeport these are the quite literally like you're describing, where houses that are built on Airport property.
[59:10] Yeah yeah you were really really jumping at my down my throat to correct that incorrect figure there but I'm glad you did.
[59:17] What is such a huge number of David 100 billion dollars of artwork in just one Warehouse in in like I said, these are all over the place Singapore Cypress Luxembourg Beijing is trying to get into this game yeah and it's a huge Racket and it's just insane that all this all this wealth is being parked in these warehouses and what's interesting so like you were missing the idea is that if you manufacture something and you're sitting raw materials across the country and it has to stop somewhere look you shouldn't be taxed for the value of these raw materials were this grain or something or the sugar, in the country in which is just laying over and then it's going to be going on to its final destination and the ideas that with this artwork.
[1:00:02] If I'm a millionaire billionaire I can purchase this park it here and I don't pay taxes on it until I bring it home until I bring it out of that warehouse and so it's really, interesting is that these warehouses have positioned themselves to be like showroom.
[1:00:17] Even though they're like embedded in these very industrial sealed-off you know very secure compounds where these millionaires will fly to these places though they'll drink expensive wine champagne and they'll go from room to room and they'll arrange these deals with each other as they all let me trade that that van Gogh I have for your money or something and throw in a couple statues or something and then they quite literally do a business deal right then and there and then some clerk will come with the whiskey you know with a hand truck I'm guessing or something more sophisticated but we'll just move the artwork from one room to the other and there you have a billion dollars has just traded hand but no taxes will be paid on and that's the idea that these is artwork can trade hands a dozens of times and no taxes will ever be paid on it until it's taken out of that warehouse which which could be never because there's another Innovation that these millionaires have figured out in some countries, they have designed their tax laws favorably around these freeport's they've even made Provisions we're okay if the artwork leaves the Freeport but, only temporarily we won't tax it, so these millionaires can actually make even additional money by lending their artwork that they parked here to museums so not museums are letting the artwork and showing it off in their facility and still no taxes have been paid for.
[1:01:36] And this is all that much worse when we remember that the vast majority of the ultra high-end of the Art Market is used for money laundering so this is a very easy way to not only launder money in Anonymous and very, private way, but do so without any sort of taxes take me out of it it's made money laundering that much more profitable and it really illustrates just how terrible borders actually are controlling tax implications of these very wealthy people who because of their massive amount of assets really should be also contributing a massive amount of the total tax base. Orders are bad at defining taxes and that's always been the case so there that's another example of why borders exist showing they do a really bad job at doing that.
[1:02:21] It also reveals how again going back to how borders are very important in controlling internal populations and less about protecting those internal population from 4 and actors the reason why these freeport's are so valuable is because. We've used borders to restrict the movement of people at least poor working-class and middle-class people while allowing these millionaires to, move their capital in their their tax-free money freely around the world and that's what creates this value, and it's interesting how as some countries have become a little bit more strict on tax Havens, you know requiring the Swiss banks and whatever to disclose more information on their clients so that. You know we back in the United States might be able to tax them or is that increased effort has correlated perfectly with the rise in value of these reports and the goods that go inside them is okay fine, you going to try and find my money in this tax Haven while I'm just going to, convert that cash or that digital money into some physical object like a statue and I'm going to import it into this a country that looks the other way won't ask what the value of this object is won't ask who the real owner is or when it was purchased and then just stored in this warehouse and I'll just tell it to all of my friends or, my network whenever I need to liquidate to get some cash.
[1:03:43] We should get into the high in artwork and Daniel want to buy some more paintings to pay off our billion dollar debt.
[1:03:50] Glass going to say that before we can start purchasing are we going to have to take care of our debt problem.
[1:03:55] Please reach out to as we're happy to launder your money.
[1:03:58] A side note that we are looking to work with artists on some various projects in the future so if you are an artist and would like to get into this game then your services to the ashes ashes brand left now.
[1:04:10] For real though please reach out but back to borders.
[1:04:13] What's a circle back to this idea of how borders make it difficult for individual people but not necessarily money, we mentioned in the very beginning of this episode how they're there been a lot of problems with the UK's handling of immigration documents and this is something that officials with the home office that's the name of the government Department in the United Kingdom that handles immigration. There there was an official within that as far back as 2013 that was saying hey we've got massive problems were losing a lot of documents and we don't really know what we're doing and since that time the home office has been losing thousands and thousands of people's original document every year and it's created these huge, eye problems for so many people.
[1:04:58] If they like Sinners your birth certificate so you sent a birth certificate and then it gets lost is never found again.
[1:05:04] Are there was one woman named Kate. She came to United Kingdom when she was 22 to study and then when she tried to renew her passport she had to send it off, two of the home office and this or this was her original passport from her home country which was a former Soviet state with not a great database on her information, and the United Kingdom lost it they lost her passport and it took her four years to figure out what happened to it until they finally admitted that lost her but in the meantime she had lost the official residency to stay in the United Kingdom, and so you know she in 2012 for instance you try to enroll in an online university but was rejected because she didn't have official papers. And then at the same time the United Kingdom started cracking down to aggressively on immigration and general and Sochi of since it became.
[1:05:59] Financially Off the Grid she could only deal in cash you couldn't get credit card she couldn't get loans that she couldn't go back home because you didn't have her passport and she spent 10 years in the United Kingdom stranded she missed funerals from her family has as members of her family passed away, she worked exclusively as a babysitter working for cash. And then it wasn't until it a media organization contacted the US the United Kingdom government that they made it oh yes sorry we made a mistake but by then she's a 36 year old woman, and she says quote I have been tortured for 10 years I'm not 36 and have no career and nothing no life I just hope I can start something now. It's quote there was another man David his name is Franklin that he came to London from Nigeria as a child in 1989. He received paperwork from the home office stating that he had a right to stay in the country Forever This is called an indefinite leave stamp.
[1:06:57] So he grew up he worked several jobs he started a family all of whom have become naturalized citizens of the UK but then one day he was asleep in his bed and. Officers burst into his room and they arrested him they took him to a Detention Center until.
[1:07:24] Thing was a mess though so they halted his deportation until they could get it sorted out but in the meantime.
[1:07:39] And during this process his income was halted he fell behind in his rent payment. And then eventually 8 months later the UK, was out that we found your document so you're good to go but by that point he was mired in court cases for being behind in bills and not to mention the trauma of Life am I going to be deported, I like any day now from a country that I don't even know cuz I grew up here and I came here as a child.
[1:08:04] And in one more David I don't want to bore you with the stories but they're so unique and so tragic and away, Melvin Collins you came to the United Kingdom 56 years ago as a sixteen-year-old a he lived and worked in Britain his whole life you raised a daughter. And a son he had several family members he even retired David with a state pension. In 2012 a Melvin pass through a British airport with two passports he had a newer Jamaican passport that he had recently required and he also had his older passport that had his indefinite leave staff from the UK, but as he walked through immigration one of the officers white literally just confiscated that older passports to hang out and you don't need that sir, you wasn't really thinking straight at the moment we just walked away but then in 2015 he decided to take a trip to Jamaica. He used his new or passport, took a little vacation there and then when he tried to board a plane to come home. You was denied and you don't have you don't have a Visa or indefinitely stamp to come to the UK.
[1:09:14] Even though he had been continually renewing this older passport and they have continually automatically adding this step. Well and he's been stranded in Jamaica ever since he's away from his family. And his home in what's tragic to is that that state pension that he was getting that income that was guaranteed to him, lit dried it they canceled it because he wasn't home to return the mail that was being sent to him he couldn't get home and so now he's just stranded in Jamaica he was living like. As a beggar for a while cuz he had no mud he had no way to make any money no cash is great aunt who is like 92 years old was sending him money from the UK but he still there to this day in the UK Governor's Bassy like, you don't have a stamp so you can't come home.
[1:10:03] These types of administrative snafus are so incredibly common I find as I get older and I have more and more friends who are from different countries the horror stories that exist got their visas about being deported about being threatened to being deported about even the difficulty of staying somewhere legally where they built a life because of the, sheer amount of paperwork and the amount of errors that the energy systems even and Mini cases with extremely high priced lawyers coming in and doing everything they can is shocking to me these systems what they're supposed to protect us again you know this is a big concept year we have all this wedding because we're supposed to be protecting the people within these borders will these people are within these borders they're my friends are my family are people that I know and care about and love and are doing things in their community and they are being torture their fill with anxiety thinking about these thing in some cases they're being ripped apart from their families quite literally we're seeing this a lot with the deportations going on right now and I have lots of friends who are affected by this, are the reasons these aren't criminals in the way that we we like to think about these criminals you know people who are doing. Things that hurt people but they are people who are breaking this law.
[1:11:14] Is law that exists because of our very strange way that we started thinking about borders and just the past couple hundred years and really even in the past few decades. These are people who lives are being destroyed because at some point we decided we need to draw lines on maps and that line to find who's in and who's out and those who are out as we talked about another episodes on the show have no rights the right that we establish in a country like the United States with our Bill of Rights state if you are lucky enough to be born here you are privileged to bee stings right that's how we like to think about it. Really what these are saying is everyone else in the world does not have this right.
[1:11:53] And up everyone else is defined by these borders that we cling so tightly to but why we clean to the Wii U stablished throughout the show that they failed to do these things that they're supposed to. Send it prevent us from doing so much from traveling exploring the world in the freeway that we're supposed to get our great-grandparents were able to. The world didn't collapse when your great-grandparents or your great-great-grandparents could get up and go where they wanted to so why are we so scared of reimagining and idea now why are we moving farther away from this Freedom that we like to say that we're fighting for all the time when increasingly is something that is farther and farther away from our day-to-day live experience.
[1:12:35] Will you said that like our great-grandparents when they travel the world they could do so freely and our systems didn't collapse. And maybe people would come back at you David say We'll look at the world we have today you know we had 9/11 we have all these terrorist.
[1:12:48] Do we still have that same conception of space today and we still travel freely across borders all the time I mean. Again going back to your apartment example we have borders. That we intersect every single day as we walk and we drive throughout our cities we have school district borders we have tax districts we have Incorporated cities we have, age segregated communities that have set themselves up as a little micro City where they keep all their taxes in inside and that's really, the main function of our borders today they serve administrative functions they allow us to identify where resources go to who collects taxes from who and at the same time we move freely between these and there's never any conflict we don't have to take out a government ID to go from your high school to your middle school you don't have to take out a separate County ID to go visit the neighboring one we move freely every single day between countless borders and yet we still maintain our administrative institutions in our bureaucracy the benefit from those border so the idea that the political border somehow acts differently makes no sense it's a it's a, I don't know where the idea comes from David.
[1:14:06] Let me let me run with this for a second here Daniel because I think you're really onto something and it's the fact that in the very recent bit of human history as we've moved away from our agricultural forefathers and find ourselves increasingly disconnected from the land we have all become at least mentally nomads and no meds are important in the larger conversation of this border talk because of the historical Nomad so we've seen around the world the Touareg that that'll win, besides these types of people they break the current systems. And states don't know how to react to them in some cases they've been allowed to pass through these borders sort of porous lie in other cases they've been genocide it because they had the gall to live a life that they have a thousands of years and other cases they've been combined forced to move into sedentary lies towns built for them and if they leave those a face punishment because they're, idea of I want to live how my forefathers have. Experiencing the land as one continuous piece if not compatible with our modern was feeling and idea of sovereignty.
[1:15:12] What increasingly I find that each and everyone of us are becoming mental nomads. I don't own a piece of property and I am guessing that most of our listeners don't either I rent right. I'm not tied to a single place anymore I can very easily end my rent here get up and move to another city and something I've done before. Increasingly I find myself connected to people who are all around the world places like the internet have no borders and in a very strict sense like we're thinking about with these Maps I can communicate to people all over I have ideas that are occurring from Europe, from China from Australia from Africa all these ideas are coming together and I can read and talk to people who are living these different lives. We are Global Citizens increasingly but we are finding ourselves increasingly unable to experience this in a very physical sense that we are mentally more than ever prepared to make this nomadic life when we travel without these borders the way that we were men.
[1:16:10] Instead we are thinking more like this but finding ourselves unable to increasingly as time goes on.
[1:16:18] And there are efforts to try and reimagine this I want a really point to the EU just for one moment the Schengen Zone the ability to move between different countries in this town without borders without passport controls from France to Germany from Germany to Italy these sorts of ideas where we can have this cross communication of people a free ideas of economic exchange this has been huge in turning this area into a Vibrant Community into a global continent community, and though there are concerns and and fears and stuff. This is been for the most part of resounding success in one of the EU will fall apart in the future or not is is to do with other things, besides the free movement of people I would when ideas of sovereignty and treaties and things but the fact that even things like brexit where they threatened to separate from this but we still want to have the ability to freely move shows how viral this idea is how important is become to the people of this larger Community because once you have the ability to move freely and you can understand what that's life it is the last thing you want to give up. And that's why we are increasingly seeing more control being laid down to prevent this from ever tasting disability. Because once you realize what it's like to truly be free physically free enjoy the freedom of movement that only our forefathers had.
[1:17:40] You're not something that you'll fight for because it's something that's fundamental to Being Human and living in this larger Community as a global citizen.
[1:17:48] And one more example of of kind of the Ridiculousness of the absurdities of all this border contrivances is, the indigenous Nations that exist on the margins of these borders they don't recognize them in the United States for example there are countless indigenous Nations and people who straddle the US Mexico border the u.s. Canada border and even the borders between US Canada and Eastern Russia in in so what's interesting is that it's an Internet it's a recognized human right for indigenous Nations to determine their own citizens yet when our borders intersect those Nations we don't necessarily allow the free movement, how does indigenous to the sins within their own Nation to visit each other and to hold Council and do all the, and perform the government services that they ostensibly have which seems to contradict this International idea of Human Rights.
[1:18:44] And so as a result those some indigenous Nations have negotiated with border patrol, the two not high for example there are people the straddle the u.s. Canadian border they're primarily in British Columbia on the Canadian side but they frequently have council's where they need all their people to come together and so they created these passports for themselves and they put the US border and the Canadian border patrol on notice saying hi to our people are crossing the border and we have issued them, these temporary passport in you need to let them through in.
[1:19:22] There's been some pushback but for the most part they've been successful in this end in so many other indigenous Nations have done the same the Iroquois for example has sent a lacrosse team that represents their Nation, all over the world to compete in this tournament and they travel on the Iroquois issued passport and what's interesting is that in that passport just like we here in the United States, have a line in the hour passport that says you renounce US citizenship if you you know do ax or why or declare it as so when the Iroquois a passport they say you lose citizenship to our nation if you become a citizen of any other Nation so innocent these indigenous people are not US citizen if we are recognizing there, their right to create their own citizens and it's kind of this admission by. These Western powers that it's all kind of a game that anyone could potentially identify themselves as a sovereign people and create their own citizenship papers.
[1:20:25] I like the word their game and I want to I want to talk about that real quick but on one hand and I'm really excited for these these native people who are able to assert their independence.
[1:20:37] Yeah it's really cool.
[1:20:38] And on the other hand I'm so disappointed that they're forcing the playing this passport game along with the rest of us and then you know we can't imagine something better, so you have to play along but I mean this passport system really is a game and it didn't game there are winners and losers and some passports are better than others. You can find a ranking to see how many countries your passport allows you into and if you know you Germany you're really well off and I have a friend who's Palestinian, and a Palestinian passport is basically worthless you can get into something like 14 or so or 20 I don't remember how many countries off of that and that gets you basically nowhere and so trying to travel.
[1:21:17] Impossible even if you have the means two countries don't want you and yes you can get visas and stuff but it's a difficult process and he spends of vast majority of his time, in embassies talking a diplomat friends to try and get them to do favors for him because it is the reality that there winners and losers in this passport system but again even worse and all of this in illustrating just how, a ridiculous these games that we are playing is is if your from a country that you don't like the passport of, well lucky you you can buy citizenship in several countries so say you are unfortunately from Palestine and then I'm sorry for all our Palestinian listeners out there but I'm sorry. You are also not turning that passports why we successfully make a lot of money you can go in by citizenship to Cyprus for 2 and 1/2 million euros. Now you're cyprien you have a passport from Cypress and you are free to travel all the places that that passport gets you into it's a better passport a higher score, it is really shows just how artificial these things that we've created that seem so fundamental to the way that we were late to our world and our nation that were born into. You're not just born in America can you not just born a Palestinian you're just born in a place and we apply all these things memes ideas to control.
[1:22:35] When do you interact with each other with the rest of the world and the fact that you can go and just ship your Legions by buying something not even you know applying citizenship a living somewhere and being naturalized all that, which shows some sort of maybe the process of like you're learning to be something else but no you can just go in and buy this citizenship from several countries. Shows just how artificial the system is and how if you are wealthy enough and powerful enough you don't have to play by the rules that are being forced on everyone else, so why do we have the system in place right now will it because it enables is global exploitation that we see we talked about this before especially in our slaves episodes where capital is allowed to move freely but people aren't. And that allows you to easily exploit those people in other nations whether you're coming into a nation like Bangladesh we can take these people and work them to the Bone by bringing your foreign Capital but making sure that you're paying them barely any think taking their good exporting them freely through this free trade system to whatever country you want to and selling it for the mark-up making all that money whether you are importing workers from another country see bringing them in from Bangladesh or whatever into the United Arab Emirates to build your soccer stadiums to build your hotels in massive things and taking away their passports in this process and this is something that happens all the time we talked about it before Bulletin.
[1:23:56] Yeah we talked about that on episode 36 and 37 slave to progress Logistics to slavery.
[1:24:02] Exactly it happens in the Middle East have happened in the United States that happened in our fishing vessels you take away their passports and you take away somebody's ability to escape a bad situation this happens all the time especially in human trafficking and sex trafficking. People are stuck because of the ways that we've established these rules about who is allowed to move where if we can identify if you don't know where you're from you can't cross that border and you are trapped you are slave because these borders that we created ostensibly deceive us I'm crying we have created an entirely new class of crime that would not exist without the permission of passport is supposed to get it.
[1:24:38] Everything around borders David is a contradiction supposed to protect us but in reality is a tool for enslavement and violence and and. You know I want to come back real quick to what you were saying about how you can purchase citizenship and how if you're wealthy you can get around these borders and. You know we coming back to the fear that somebody people have of people crossing our borders. Write this idea of a border separates us versus them and them are dangerous they want to come into our country they want to take from us and went to a road. Our culture and in all this but what's really interesting is that so take American citizens free sample, we don't really move ourselves you know it's not that simple to move even if you have the freedom to do so it's not always the most convenient thing in the world you know people have jobs they have families that have hometowns that they have places that they're tied to. Let me read real quick from a 2015 New York Times article. Where the author writes quote the typical American adult lives only 18 miles from his or her mother according to an upshot analysis of data from a comprehensive survey of older Americans.
[1:25:55] It over the last few decades Americans have become less mobile and most adults especially those with less education or lower incomes do not Venture far from their hometowns only 20% live more than a couple of hours drive from their parents and with the exception of college or military service 37% of Americans had never lived outside their hometown and 57% had never lived outside their home state and what's interesting about this to me David is that not only have Americans become less mobile.
[1:26:28] The least mobile classes are those with lower incomes and education which, are the very classes of people that border security propaganda attempts to vilify and Surround with fear. You know the president isn't telling us with that we should be afraid of the rich Latin American oligarchs from coming into our country and exploiting our labor based he's telling us to fear homeless people you know the poor the uneducated they're going to invade our country, and what's even more ironic about this is that westerners in general belong to one of the most mobile and least routed cultures on the planet like you were saying David most of us if we live in cities were used to just picking up and moving, Alesso if you're in a rural area but across-the-board on average Western societies are more mobile. It was significant about that to me is that while we are the most mobile we are paradoxical. The most paranoid about invasions from hordes of of these poor people coming from other cultural backgrounds cultural backgrounds which tend to be more rooted anyway these.
[1:27:45] I just going back to that point that that basis argument that if we were to somehow, open up our borders our systems would collapse and people would invade our country's it's simply not true we don't even move ourselves within you know this land of opportunity as it is right.
[1:28:02] Right in time and time again we have demonstrated that people want to move they're going to come despite the walls or not and in places where we have relaxed these borders like in the EU it hasn't been economic collapse it's been prosperity. We are increasingly facing Global catastrophes Global problems that need to be solved as a global community. And the same time we're creating stronger and stronger walls limitations on these borders. Are facial recognition Technologies finding its way creeping into all places of the world said even when you're outside the bounds of your own Nation you're still being trapped. This is a world that is splitting in two directions. One of increased hyper alienation on a national scale and one where we need to come together more than ever to fight these problems collectively. The solution is not going to be border walls building them up to keep people out to keep yourself safe for another year longer before the hordes and variably overwhelm you, the solution is to get rid of these borders now to build that Global community and stop trying to deny things individually but come and fight them together.
[1:29:07] Yeah yeah. David recently you know I was just thinking because I started volunteering with an organization that assists refugees and the thought just crossed my mind like, in the event of some crisis or some economic disaster like what type of community would we want to be around. Do we want to be around like these selfish individualized person that's our entrepreneurial, focused culture tries to make us out to be do we want our neighbors to be these like hyper-competitive like I'm out to out grind you in be successful while you're lazy like what kind what kind of people do we want to be surrounded by when shit hits the fan and all of a sudden we don't have any political economic or social like, large institutions to support us and I was thinking about this in the context of me volunteering with this organizations like wow.
[1:30:07] I think I would rather be around the type of people who have learned to build up the type of resilient to have struggle to move into you know who have had to uproot themselves but found the strength to keep going to a maintain these familial ties who have, come to a new place and established communities and figured out how to survive those are the type of people we would want to be around anyway right David I mean that's not something that we would be right I feel more fear from the types of people that our culture is encouraging this hyper-competitive like the only thing that matters is money type of people, okay well will then when when the economic system collapses in and we don't have that money as a way to you know get our basic Services what do we have do we have mutual Aid. Do we have a cultural standard for taking care of each other for Lending support to our brother or sister our neighbor. These are these are Concepts that ultimately boiled out the skills that we've kind of abandoned, in Western culture and Society I think I don't know I'm just thinking aloud here but it seems like like you said the world is going to experience macro shocks. No matter what it doesn't matter if we build a hundred foot long.
[1:31:24] Thousand Four Mile High wall we're not going to stop the Hurricanes we're not going to stop the drought we're not going to stop the heat we're not going to stop climate Refugee crisis. But if we learn to be a part of communities that take care of each other the support each other well then we can absorb those shocks. We can be resilient in the face of these challenges and that's going to require though that we abandon this US versus them mentality is going to require us to stop drawing lines in the sand sand is going to wash away from rising Seas anyway. It's going to require us to shift our perspective the one that you know we're not people that need to be carving up the Earth, we're not people that need to be Distributing the land we are a people that are already distributed on the land.
[1:32:12] Well I want to take a concept here Daniel with his final story and as we closed at this episode and the idea of no man's land. It's an old term came from the domesday book as far as I can tell when lad didn't block anybody we saw it repurposed and the tragedies of World War 1 of the land of death between the trenches to borders fighting between each other. But it's also come to mean a Land Between Borders now sometimes you've been through them you know that space you cross the line so you are now leaving Florida got a little bit welcome to Georgia. Please exist between nations as well sometimes for military purposes so the times just for convenience and I had a friend I asked a lot of friends about these borders for the past couple weeks asking for stories and thoughts and ideas I guess if this is a show that we've been working on for a long time. Another friend who told me a story about a No Man's Land she's messing donian and she told me the place between the border of Macedonia and Albania. It's right on the beach. Is the white fence on either side with about a hundred of sand in between and macedonians and albanians would come here hop the fence from their respective country. Walk down the beach sit on the sea together on this nice Beach macedonians albanians hanging out in this no man's land.
[1:33:33] And I really like that image and I yearn for world where it's all in no man's land and we can all come together and sit on the beach and relax. And not be Macedonian or not be in Albanian or an American or whatever was just people enjoying this Earth together. As always a lot to think about I think about it we hope you will. And as we close out with these credits do some music from the nomads of the desert. You can find more information about all these borders you can see some of these maps that we talked about as well as read a full transcript of this episode on our website at ashes ashes. Org.
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[1:35:11] We're also on your favorite social media Network app ashes ashes cast what would we say we do next week. Next week we're taking these questions of what we can do to help each other and help the world and revealing well you know everything might not be as good there as we thought either and we hope you'll tune in for that.
[1:35:34] But until then this is ashes ashes.