Friday, 29 April 2011

Without Borders

One sometimes hears the following enthymeme: most of nature does not have borders, therefore, mankind should not have borders. [1] The enthymematic form leaves unspoken a premise which the argument must have in the logical form, to which a man who makes the argument is rationally committed, and which in this case stands as follows: mankind should not have that which most of nature does not have, wherefrom it follows that mankind should not have reason, thought, or speech, nor of course the fruits thereof: no philosophy, religion, science, mathematics, good books, half-witted arguments, clothing, tea-kettles, bank-holidays, and so on, given that most of nature does not have these things. Maybe here is the unspoken urge of those who appeal to the “freedom” of non-human nature as the model for human nature: to be lifted of the burden of rational nature and to live without thought or underpants; yet maybe still further, for most of nature is also without life.

[1] As one libertarian clown says: “I am anti borders. Most of nature has no borders. Explain to a European (not African) swallow that it may need a visa to visit the UK and it would laugh.” (Old Holborn, “What Elephant?”, Old Holborn (weblog), 14th April 2011.)

9 comments:

AMcGuinn said...

On top of which, some of nature does have borders: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territoriality

Deogolwulf said...

Of course.

Once, when fishing in Norway, I was "dive-bombed" by a seagull protecting its nest. I thought of Stukas.

bgc said...

Explain to a European (not African) swallow that from the moment it sets foot (or claw) in the UK itself - its offspring and future generations, would be protected, fed, housed and clothed by the residents without any need to work; and would be pitied, admired and privileged above all the hapless indigents who support it.

Oh yes, and the arrival would be aided in enforcing species-specific European swallow behaviours on the resident robins, sparrows and starlings whose role will henceforth be to care for and nurture the swallows and their babies.

*

Yeah - the parallel is precise...

dearieme said...

There's no "I" in team, true enough, but there're two "me"s in meme.

dearieme said...

Most of nature is wet, therefore, mankind should be wet. That works, at least in the UK of GB and NI.

Joseph said...

Speaking as a libertarian clown, I must admit that the use of "national-boundaries are artificial" rhetoric might have caused the now-you-see-it-and-now-you-don't nature of the alleged leftist support for open borders. Since ocean are unquestionably real, ocean boundaries are regarded as more legitimate. For example, Mexicans get to the United States by land so they must be defended; Cuban refugees get to the United States by water so they must get sent back. Israelis of European descent, Protestant Ulstermen, or white Rhodesians got to Israel, Ulster, or Rhodesia by water so they're regarded as illegitimate. (It's possible to really confuse a leftist by referring to Irish Protestants, white Rhodesians of Israelis of European descent as "immigrants.")

As for seagulls protecting nests, I have no objection to the use of borders by individuals.

James Higham said...

Most of nature has no borders.

No territorialism among animals?

Ian Dundrillon said...

There is a lengthy commentary on European vs. African swallows in
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail,"
containing many points which are frequently overlooked by sane minds.

Baloo said...

This is very elegant, indeed. It's linked to and riffed on by Ex-Army HERE.