It’s time to have no countries
It’s time we get rid of the idea of countries.
Not because this is what everybody needs to do when sharing one planet, but for your own good. Your personal life is affected by countries. Your career as well.
Is there a country that you remember growing up? Or simply a country you call ‘yours’ or ‘my home country’? Is there a country which you hope to get better? A country you’re ready to help to get better?
Why? Let’s dig into that.
No countries? But we need countries.
They give us social care and protection, justice and healthcare. Right? They make culture-specific laws so that it fits our mentality. Right?
Do you know what else countries give us?
Wars and tension. They separate us. They use culture, the beautiful idea of regional traditions and languages to make it hard for all people around the globe to feel united. It’s hard for a person from Belarus that is deeply connected with the Belarusian culture and who mastered Belarusian language, to move and feel accepted in another country. It’s also hard to be accepted by others. So, is this culture shock? No. This is just what people keep saying. It’s a country-created addiction. Any two cultures when compared, have their drawbacks and benefits. So why stick to one? — Because you are addicted. You grew up in it and now you can’t let go.
In the world of marketing/advertising this is called a well-crafted brand, a carefully-built brand-identity that makes the clients very hesitant to leave even if bad things happen.
Countries are companies and we’re their customers.
The bad thing is that countries are not ordinary companies. They have geographical monopoly. When you’re born you don’t get to pick your “country services provider”. Why?
A country is a contract you have to follow, a country is a line drawn on a planet that doesn’t care about lines.
The branding technique enables countries to manipulate people. They make people love the country and the culture, and thus to never leave. Even making people help the country — proud patriots. And it’s not because it’s good for you. Only because you will be a loyal “customer”.
And this is very easy for them. They already have the fairytale to tell — history. Oh, the great battles, the evil enemies, the brave heroes. The national colours, the clothing, the cute symbols. The ones that your grandparents had worn and loved. Well, our grandparents were brainwashed. So are we. There is no benefit of praising past heroes. What do you gain by doing so? May be they are your ancestors? Whatever it is, one thing is certain though — they are gone. Is praising them going to help you? Focus on the people you care about right now. In fact, there is only harm in having past heroes. Because having heroes means there are villains and accepting people from different cultures as villains brings you war. War will not help you. People will die. Dying also doesn’t help you. Dying however makes the story of the country even better and they gain even more loyal customers. Through death.
Do you still like countries?
Are you proud citizen of your country? Proud to be German, French or South African? Why? This is like being a proud subscriber of your electricity provider.
Countries also own the limiting power of language. If the language is only spoken in ‘your’ country, that’s even better. Now you can enjoy growing up, learning folk or children songs, making funny slang with friends as teenager, having wordplays as student and maybe even writing articles or stories. All of which will result into forever being attached to this language. Addicted. Now, go and meet a person you like who is 200 miles away. Oh, are they outside your country? Well, no more shared songs, wordplay and articles.
Countries, just as companies, introduce hesitation. Huge amounts of it. And that hesitation will make you loose opportunities outside ‘your’ country. Hesitation can break beautiful things like love and friendship. All because you’re addicted to a ‘company’ and its brand. It’s made so that it’s hard to let go.
The mountains are mountains everywhere. The sea is sea everywhere. And your friends are friends everywhere.
Don’t get trapped by a country. Countries not only trap you but makes you hate the different. Russia will make you hate USA. USA will make you scared from Muslims. British culture will make you do fun jokes on French. Small-scale or large-scale. Those are the “villains” that are required so that ‘your’ heroes exist. This not only stops you from living happily with others but also allows a country to create violence. You will not benefit from it.
Did you find a country which is better than another? It sounds like a good idea to promote it. However, until there’re other countries and not simply “other places”, promoting one country makes easy for another to get protective or even aggressive.
A government should just be a tool
We need all people to be part of a single country which will no longer be “a country”. It will just be a global way (system) for making decisions and minimizing harm and suffering. It will not be like the governments we see today. It will be a tool for all humans to live together.
Soon, there will be no point of official languages. Right now, an “official language” is just an easy way to say “the documents in this country need to be in this language”. But soon, software will be able to translate any language to a understandable level for the needs of communicating officially. The art of expressing an idea beautifully will still involve creativity but we won’t be “locked in” and limited to a country’s requirement.
Many people are currently working in areas called “service design”, “user-experience” or “product design”. These areas share a common goal — making a process so easy that it feels natural, pleasant and craved for. Businesses use this to guarantee their product is the one that people will want.
Compare this to the way countries are acting — closing borders to people running from ‘their’ country, being proud to allow same-sex marriages as if it wasn’t an embarrassing mistake to have them forbidden initially. Countries are slow in progressing, both intentionally and not. Either way, people suffer from that so it’s time to have no countries.
How can we do this
A well phrased sentence from the architect, systems theorist, author, designer and inventor — Richard Buckminster Fuller:
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
So we should rethink how society works as a whole. We are now one global community. We are not tribes fighting other tribes anymore. We are aware of the world. The society must work globally (may be even space-wide if we get to other planets). We should rethink basic concepts. We have plenty of technology and design options for improvement. We also know our goals:
• We don’t want to diminish love, friendship and opportunities simply because they’re outside a drawn imaginary line on our planet (think no manipulation)
• We want to be able to reach agreements in the best way possible with none or minimal harm (think justice and protection)
• We don’t want to live in fear for our lives. We need access to healthcare and certain guarantees (to be defined in the process)
So next time, when we think about the world, let’s replace “keep calm and carry on” with “take care and have no countries”.
PS: Video on related topic featuring Jacque Fresco: