August 12, 2006

Is it getting too close to home for comfort? Well do something real about it!

Sir, Christopher Caldwell in his “Utopia with border control”, August 12, lets no doubt shine through how even writers in a globalized paper find it hard to come to terms with globalization when it produces extensive migration to their own very local backyards.

Caldwell says that “after years of proclaiming a “solidarity” based on inclusion and values, the EU is beginning to practice a less utopian solidarity based on exclusion and defence” ignoring the important fact that true solidarity and inclusion needs not to be practiced only by keeping the gates to the city wide open, but could be carried out much more effectively for everyone by helping to make the conditions outside of the city much more bearable.

Another a bit unhelpful way of framing the choices is when Caldwell mentions that it is not moral guidance of Europe that citizens of poorer countries want but money and safety, as if these wishes were of any lower standing than moral guidance, and as if the European citizens themselves were in Europe primarily for moral guidance.

It should be very important at this moment for a paper such as FT to perhaps have a staff retreat where they can really talk over their role in a globalized world since it is important that some at least understand the simple fact that whenever you build a wall, it becomes thereafter quite difficult to ascertain who are the really excluded and who are the included, and that role reversals could very easily occur, most specially on a small planet where environmental problems are already breaking down all borders.

Whatever, we FT readers have the right to expect that it does not endorse the possibility of being able to get rid of a problem just by rounding it up and tossing it over a border, like we already hear some in the USA arguing in terms of their illegal immigrants.