Thursday, 20 March 2008
Sometimes walls are built to keep the population from fleeing, but most walls are for keeping people out. They offend some people and comfort others. Borders everywhere attract violence and violence prompts walls. Some of us are embarrassed about walls and fences because they say something unpleasant about the neighbors we have to deal with and at the same time about ourselves. They give us divided feelings because we don't like to admit we need them.
Fear and desire of control are probably the main two reasons to create borders. Walls have been constructed at various spots for instance between Mexico and United States to slow the surge in illegal immigration. The boundary has always been insisted upon by both countries. The American patrols of the border that began in 1904 were mainly to keep out illegal Asian immigrants, since almost 900.000 Mexicans legally entered the United States to flee the violence of the revolution. Now a poor population in one nation and the need for labour in other is producing an increase of the flow of illegal Mexican immigrants after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in the early 1990s, a pact that was supposed to end immigration but ended up dislocating many farmers and workers.
The Berlin Wall was designed to keep citizens from escaping from communist East Germany. The Great Wall of China kept northern tribes at bay and Hadrian's Wall kept the Scottish from running over Roman Britain. And finally the separation wall being built by Israel in the West Bank. It has been designed to control the movement of people but it faces the problems of all walls, rockets can go over it and tunnels can go under it. It fails to deliver security but it keeps expanding.