Do they just remain for world cups and stamp collectors whilst their line in the sand certainties have gone?
The old certainties which were never as certain as we liked to imagine are evaporating in front of our eyes.
This ranges from the fake borders drawn with pencils and rulers around former colonies in the world to even our own borders and identities. of course the UK still feels like a country but everything in it is owned by ‘outside interests’. In the middle east what were called ‘nations’ but were parcels of land carved up by France and England into fake states a century ago carved up from the decaying Ottoman empire with superimposed governments are falling apart. Pretend countries just waiting to implode.
In the 21st century the border ignoring internet ignores all barriers like a modern religion where ideas good and bad fly around the world ignoring any cultural barriers that once may have existed.
In this new world chaos and freedom vie with each other as the old certainties crumble.
Of course certain ideologies have marched over the barriers for years – commerce was never interested in borders when money could be made. Oil and slaves were the new currency and the lines in the sand were just that.
Religion was never a respecter of local niceties. For example the middle eastern religions of Christianity, Islam and Judaism stretched worldwide transcending national boundaries with their ideologies and their own version of the truth. Strange that so many in the UK feel that Christianity is part of our fabric when the so called pagan religions are our natural law. Ideas have always seeped across the national boundaries and invaded with their view of the WAYS THINGS ARE.
Maybe the 21st century borders are layers of borders – layers of nation states like ‘England’ or ‘Andorra’ entwined with ancient religions or modern sugar daddies like coca cola or controllers of information like google or the shape shifting banking system all criss crossing each other. Those old school atlases with the patchwork of colours for nation states could look increasingly out of dates- most of the borders have already shifted since my school days when they even still had the British Empire coloured in red a couple of decades after the event.
In the 21st century good and bad ideas spill around the world. Everyone is a bit of everything and there are no certainties left. The collapse of the middle east is an apocalyptic post colonial meltdown – the last gasp of empire:backfire a release of generations of resentment, hatred and fear as oil, religion, combine with an intoxicating and deadly force scenting the whiff of freedom before collapsing back into the black hole of hatred and resentment.
Fortress Europe attempts to shore up its borders. It’s borders are now blurred. These are strange and dangerous times where a genuine fear is the currency and no-one can see the city walls any more and desperate ideologies stake their claim in the swirling confusion.