Professor Frank Furedi
The Daily Mail published a piece by Professor Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent, about borders and discrimination, in which he asks “by not drawing lines between nation states, how can we make important distinctions between different people? For borders are not just physical boundaries.”
This is an interesting look at what’s being done to the fabric of society, and what paved the way for the intrusive Virus Regime that is currently ordering people what to wear, what to do, and where to go.
Teaching children to ‘know their boundaries’ is a vital part of their education.
This is because throughout the history of mankind, boundaries have played a key role in communities making moral distinctions between right and wrong.
But increasingly today, those distinctions have become blurred.
It is not merely the boundaries that divide nations that are under attack, with borders being weakened as politicians try to create super-states.
The boundaries that separate adults from children, men from women, humans from animals and private from public lives are also being eroded.
As a result, I fear that the bonds that hold society together are breaking. This, in turn, leads to another destructive influence – the fact that we are living in an age of non-judgmentalism.
Indeed, there is a reason why we use the phrase ‘crossing the line’ – it signals that someone has violated society’s accepted moral code.
It’s no wonder some politicians hate boundaries. Jean-Claude Juncker, former President of the European Commission – that behemoth which brought about the abolition of many of the EU’s internal frontiers through the Schengen Agreement – has described borders as ‘the worst invention ever made by politicians’.
The effect of such a mindset that considers national borders as artificial, exclusionary, unjust or anti-human has been a disaster.
By not drawing lines between nation states, how can we make important distinctions between different people? For borders are not just physical boundaries.
Removing them leads to a state of mind that ignores the history of human development during which walls and borders were constructed to create security and peace.
Now, however, national sovereignty is often belittled as an irrelevance in a globalised world. But without symbolic borders, people lose a large part of their national identity. The result? A cultural crisis.
In parallel with this dismantling of national boundaries, there has been a deliberate and fashionable blurring of lines between generations. As a result, many young people find it difficult to transition to adulthood.
The consequences can be witnessed everywhere. From birth onwards, children ought to develop within confines set by their parents and adult society.
Their successful passage to adolescence and, later, young adulthood requires clarity about boundaries between different life stages.
In the absence of these clear signposts, the line between childhood and adulthood becomes fuzzy, and everyone – adolescents and adults alike – becomes confused about their roles.
Conversely, this also creates the lamentable phenomenon of infantilisation. We see some adults obsessed with being ‘forever young’ and ‘cool’.
Parents and teachers go out of their way to become young people’s friends rather than their guides and mentors.
As a result, some parents behave as ‘overgrown boys and girls’ – and abrogate their responsibility to uphold a value system from which their children can learn.
The consequences can be seen in education, where the traditional distinction between school children and university students is fast disappearing.
In some instances, the infantilisation of students has become a caricature of itself, with universities providing anxious undergraduates facing exams with soft toys and pets to stroke in designated chill-out rooms.
Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School, in the US, both have resident therapy dogs in their libraries.
At the University of Canberra in Australia, pre-exam stress relief activities include a petting zoo, bubble-wrap popping, balloon bursting and a session titled ‘How can you be stressed when you pat a goat?’
Another area of society where boundaries that have existed for millennia are breaking down is gender. No longer are the sexes differentiated by anatomy and reproductive functions.
Consequently, the boundary between men and women is frequently depicted as artificial and even oppressive, and those who transgress it are celebrated as inspirational role models.
The campaign to popularise gender-neutrality is not confined to winning hearts and minds. It is also committed to forcing people to adopt new non-binary pronouns such as ‘they’, ‘ze’, or ‘zee’.
In many parts of America, the policing of gender-related language is backed by sanctions against anyone who refuses to alter their vocabulary.
Directives issued in 2015 by New York City’s Commission on Human Rights state that landlords and employers who intentionally use the wrong pronouns with non-binary employees or tenants can face fines up to $250,000 (£200,000).
In a similar development, Anglo-American society has become so alienated from making value judgments that it has created an entire Orwellian vocabulary that spares people the responsibility of making moral judgments.
For example, some university exam boards are instructed to offer the verdict of ‘not passed’ instead of ‘failed’.
One of the most significant developments of the boundary-less movement has been its success in undermining the traditional separation between what is considered public and what is private.
So we see the encouragement of emotional openness, with children instructed to share their deepest anxieties, and teachers urged to get in touch with their own emotions.
This is most unfortunate, for privacy – and deep private thought – is an essential part of human development.
The old “if you’re against borders why do you have a huge wall/fence in your home” is perhaps the most well-known example that exposes the fact that being against national borders necessarily means being against borders in other contexts.
All of these things are intertwined.
Equality demands no borders, no real distinction between people beyond the purely aesthetic, and as such, people have turned into what they wear, what they eat, and what they buy — what they consume — as a means to build their identity, because having an identity is a human need.
What professor Furedi described can be considered a defense of nationalism, due to the things responsible for this mess being antithetical to it.