Blockheaded Blockades

Old News #4, Monday, June 1st 2015: Open Up the Borders

Trade is as human an institution as War. Ever since we could pick up a rock and smash our neighbor over the head with it, we have been trying to trade that same rock to our other neighbor to help her with her neighbor problem.

Following that scenario, Trade and War have been linked since the beginning of humanity.

But why do we trade with one group of people and go to war with another? Let’s look at the roots of the reasons why people trade or go to war with each other to find the answer.

I think that we can all agree that War and Trade, at their very roots, are methods of getting what we want–only their means are different.

It’s safe to say that both Trade and War are then selfish acts. Trade might sound like the fairer, more peaceful option, but if it truly were, it would be called Sharing. Sadly, Trade and War are simply two sides of the same coin.

The ultimate goal is to get what we want, the other be damned. We trade with one group of people and go to war with another depending on our self-interest.

Funny enough, getting what we want by either War or Trade, can often hinder us in getting other things we want or even need.

For example, the “War on Drugs” is supposedly intended to make society healthier. In a not-so-recent study, we learned that cannabinoids can be used to treat cancer. They have long been considered an enemy combatant in many countries, and now we know them to be possible sources of health.

Another example is the recent movement toward “normalization” of relations between the US and Cuba which prompted Cuba to share a preventative treatment for lung cancer with the US. Again, once considered an enemy combatant, they are now a possible font of well-being.

Given that Trade and War are not as logical as we think, being rooted in selfishness and ultimately counter-productive, the question remains, why do we do it?

I believe we do it because of culture or worse, because of nationality–a flawed concept at best. When we base our entire worldview on impossible to define borders, it becomes hard to make clear sense of reality. There is no Us, and there is no Them, and we all share more than we realize. But when it comes to sharing resources, we are stingy.

Trade or War may sometimes seem like the right thing to do, but they are both symptoms of humanity’s dysfunctional relationship with itself because they are based on the flawed concept of nationality.

Once we stop separating ourselves as nations or cultures and realize that we are all one people, we will be able to truly share everything without fear or suspicion, and we will all live happily ever after.

Until then, all hail the new republic of Stevencuffariland!