terça-feira, 15 de maio de 2012

How would tourism be possible in no-frontiered-countries?

There is an utopic idea that no-frontiered-countries would make a better world. John Lennon defended this idea in one of his most famous songs, Imagine in 1971: “Imagine there's no countries / It isn't hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too / Imagine all the people / Living life in peace”. Searching on the internet about the same topic, I found something that also dragged my attention and, although it was written in 2009, the idea we see in John Lennon’s song is the same and it was written by someone who lives backpacking around the world and constantly writes about his adventures in his blog: “A no-frontiered-world is about a world without prejudice, racism or any kind of discrimination, selfless, unambitious and without betraying; it is a world where we can be free to be in any part of the world and say: This is my home! Where the love reigns between people, respecting and learning how to deal with the differences, not impose or commanding anything to anybody. Without colonies, no oppression, where mankind become consciousness that is needed to give hands and to be united; united against famine, misery, corruption, greed and any kind of autoritarism, be it political, religious or social.” Although I have talked about two extracts from the 20th and 21st centuries, respectively, a no-frontiered-world concept is not so modern. Karl Marx in the 19ths idealized a world exactly like this in the communist regime and since the ancient Greek times, the stoical philosophers used to identify themselves as world’s citizens. 


In other words, a no-frontiered-world is something that men have always dreamed about. People who really defend this idea, since the ancient times until nowadays, tend to think that people would help and love each other, just like John Lennon says in his song “Nothing to kill or die for”; the defenders also think that the human differences, both cultural and physical, would not matter so much as we can see also in the song: “and no religion too” or, as we can see from the extract I took from the backpacker's blog: "A no-frontiered-world is about a world without prejudice, racism or any kind of discrimination, selfless, unambitious and without betraying". Particularly, this is a too utopist view of the world and also oversimplified. To understand better this issue, I decided to take some examples of our daily lives. Although there are no, geographically speaking, frontiers inside the city of São Paulo, it does not mean that people help and love each other; and, during election times, the candidates, who were born and have lived their whole lives in the same city they intend to command, are not very concerned about more than half of people who also live there and are going to elect them. What I mean is that "frontiers" can have many meanings, not only land divisions. Besides political frontiers, which is the first thing that comes to our mind when we hear about this issue, there are many social, economical and cultural frontiers, put differently, social frontiers, which correspond to barriers much more complex to overcome to achieve this so much idealized equality John Lennon says in his song.


Considering the theme of the article, I don't think that no-frontiers-countries would be possible. The contest between natural resources has always been the main reason for wars and dispute between countries and nations. Especially at the present time, in which the petroleum and the main energy natural resources are each time more needed and each day more scarce. In addition to that, more impossible than no-frontiers-countries, is a no-frontiered-world. As told before, the social frontiers are obstacles much more difficult to overcome. Just to give some more examples, in Europe ethical problems still are reasons for violent attacks against civilians, although when we talk about ethical problems, we first think about Africa. In Ireland, superficially speaking, the main problem are between Catholics and protestants; in Spain, the Basques still look for their autonomy; in Eastern Europe, there are the nationalists disputes between different people in the Balkans and Kosovo. We can say many other examples of disputes that go much beyond merely land divisions. In the United States, although black and white people live in the same country and try to show the world they don't live in a segregational society anymore, there are, until in these times, black neighborhoods, black songs, black clubs, as well as black universities. 


Despite the several other examples that could be mentioned, I believe that the idea that "frontiers" goes much beyond land divisions is clear and, because of that, the utopic conception that no-frontiers-countries would be a better place to live is senseless. The modern examples given and many others that were not mentioned, proves that even inside land frontiers, there are cultural, social and economical barriers that segregate people. That's why I believe that, even if something happened and a no-frontiered-countries reality began, the tourism would not change so much. The bureaucracy would be easier, because passports and visas wouldn't be required. Apart from that, the differences between people according to the place they live wouldn't change and it would continuously drag our attention and curiosity. And, even if passports and visas would not be required anymore, we wouldn't "be free to be in any part of the world and say: This is my home!", because human beings feel connected to place where they were born and to the societies where they grew up. 


Tourism, in no-frontiered-countries, would still exist. The exotic aspects that make us feel interested in knowing different places, foods, habits, cultures and others, wouldn't disappear, because they are the social aspects told before that cannot be overcome with merely no-land-divisions. In fact, the only thing that would change, would be the facilities in terms of documentation and prices, because the less bureaucracy we have to run after the less money we have to spend on that, what would make tourism much more enjoyable.

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