Sub-fence policy. Why building border walls is a sign of powerlessness?

The Finnish press announced its intention to build a fence on the border between Finland and Russia. According to Finnish journalists, the initiative comes from the Border Guard Service of the Republic of Finland. The head of this department, Lieutenant General Pasi Kostamovaara, said that the fence could be ready in two or three years and will last at least 50 years.

In general, purely technically, this is not difficult, since the border service proposes to fence off from 1/10 to 1/5 of the entire 1300-kilometer border between Russia and Finland. It is very possible to build from 130 to 260 km of fence in two or three years. Another thing — why? What will it give in the  perspective? And about what does the desire to fence off with a wall say?

Who is the first, Rome or China?

Pasi Kostamovaara explains the intention to build a fence with the prospect of a powerful migration flow to Finland, which without such a fence will be difficult, if not completely impossible to control. And he is, as they say, in trend — over the past 15 years, building fences at the border has become something of a national sport. The wall between the USA and Mexico, the walls between Greece and Turkey, Bulgaria and Turkey, Austria and Slovenia, Hungary and Serbia… All of them, from a purely formal point of view, are designed precisely to regulate migration flows. But if we consider the problem of walls and fences in historical perspective, then you can understand that the official declarations are something else.

In itself, the idea of ​​u200bu200bto fence off with a fence falls into the category of “well-forgotten old”. In the memory of any person who is more or less familiar with history, a hook image of the Great Wall of China immediately appears, the construction of which began in III c. BC BC. e. At the other end of Eurasia, at the beginning of our era, construction begins on a smaller scale, but also impressive — the Romans hastily organize the German Limes, that is, a fortified border. Later it will be supplemented by the Danube Limes, the Walls of Adrian and  Antonin, the Trajan Walls, the Arabian and African Limes…

A famous quote from Rudyard Kipling«West is West, East is East, they never meet  in this case it misfires. And the West in the face of the Roman Empire, and the East in the face of the empire Qinvery much agreed. The point of their ideological contact was extremely important. Both empires saw themselves as a civilization that resisted the chaos and barbarism of the surrounding world. Here, behind a wall or limestone, order, law, law and the state triumph. Out there in the outside world — don understand that. Anarchy, lack of rights and lawlessness, hordes of bandits, murderers and rapists, it is possible that cannibals come across, and also people with dog heads. In a word, the wall has turned from a purely functional border structure into a symbol. A symbol that separates civilization from barbarism and horror. Separator of the “pure” from "unclean".

Go into deep defense

In addition, the wall fixed one more not so obvious, but interesting thing. Specifically — impotence of “civilization” before the “barbarians”. Wall — this means that the offensive has been stopped and that now we need to think no longer of "carrying our values" into the outside world, but about deep defense.

What what this led to, more or less everyone imagines. The famous Great Wall of China, or as the Chinese themselves called it, “an unbending powerful force”, was broken through by the troops of Genghis Khanin 1211  China has been conquered. Something similar happened with Roman limes — in early 5th c. n. e. it was broken through at once in several places, and after a while the “barbarians” done away with the Roman Empire.

That is from the point of pure functionality walls and fences work not to very well and sooner or later become simply useless. But as long as they exist, the world is divided physically and symbolically. And & nbsp; the one who builds the wall, respectively, signs in & nbsp; his own impotence in front of a certain problem. Perhaps this and for the currentPresident of the United States, Joe Biden stopped funding further construction and improvement of the fence wall on the border Mexico — this is a kind of symbolic declaration of intent to solve the problem, and not isolate itself from   it.

But this is almost an isolated case. In & nbsp; a couple of & nbsp; it can be put only the destruction of the Berlin Wall in & nbsp; 1989 & nbsp; It was a grand symbolic gesture. A gesture of goodwill, designed to demonstrate the desire of the USSR to solve problems together with the conditional collective West. The most interesting thing is that it all started for health. In 1990, US Secretary of State James Baker and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl assured Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachevin the fact that the unification of Germany will not lead to the expansion of NATO to the east. But what happened next is known to everyone — explosive expansion of NATO in precisely this direction.

It is symbolic that each of countries admitted to this military-political union considered it their duty to declare the construction of a fence on the border with Russia, or at least such an intention. Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland… The issue of Finland's joining NATO has not yet been fully determined, but the Finns have already announced the fence. Symbolically, the gesture is read immediately — all these states, with their fences, are shouting, signing loyalty to their overlords: “We are our own!” We with you, and not with Russian barbarians — you see, they even built a fence!»

In fact they sign the fact that they fully agree with the role imposed on them. This very role is very, very unenviable. Be a limitrope. Actually, the word itself goes back to the times of the Roman Empire. Limitrophes were then called areas that were obliged to maintain special units of imperial troops stationed on their territories. After the First World War, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Poland received this disparaging nickname from their owners — “Great Entente”. Now, hastily erecting fences on the border with Russia, these states are again trying on their unenviable infamous role — be a kind of sub-fence outskirts.

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