TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

The Right of Free Travel (visa-free) for Every Human Being on Planet Earth

This is a very problematic issue in my mind (which is not too far from slavery or racism in theoretical base) that has to be ended or changed in some way. I think the arguments on one side of the issue are so basic and strong that it is not easy to legitimate the current situation using some contra arguments like "the security of the borders of the nations" etc.

So I really wonder what the TED Community thinks about this major but not so much discussed topic. Please join and share your valuable insights...

To start the discussion, here are some basic arguments that come to my mind:

1 - Univ. Dec. Human Rights Article1: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood." and some other articles and the general spirit of the Declaration that reinforces the idea of same justice for every human being.
2 - I think that the most effective way to diminish and eliminate all kinds of discriminatory prejudices which all of us actually have toward all "the others" at different levels in us and which are also in my opinion a major handicap for world peace is through people coming together, meeting and knowing each other and sharing their lives, stories, thoughts...I think there isn't a better way to really kill our stupidities towards each other. (And the second best way is story telling arts and works I think)
3 - Some other inequalities which are inherently unjust:
-The geography where one was born in defines how much of the planet is accessible to him/her. (In theoretical sense here it looks very similar to racism)
-Corporations which are absolutely more harmful to everything than individual people move freely everywhere but the people can't?!? (Where is "the security of the nations" here?)
-If travelling is a way of education (which I think absolutely is) some people are not provided with this very basic right.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jul 20 2011: In my opinion the VISA is a bureaucratic form of men guarding their territory.
    Many mammals and other animals are territorial, they gourd their territory to protect their food, family (pack), etc.

    Men have always been in a land bordered by imaginary lines. It's in our nature. And we want to protect these invisible lines so that our children would have a safe land to live and prosper. That is why we want to control whoever goes in and out our imaginary lines, so that no alien could harm our way of life.
    Of course in our modern society, with technologies like the internet this sounds obsolete, but not everyone has this technology, or any other form of communicational technology.

    I would like to address the point that allowing freedom of travel will reduce prejudice: History, and everyday life, shows us that even people who live next to each other for hundreds of years can still have prejudice thoughts against them for being different in skin color, religious views, political views, the way they throw the trash etc.

    I must remind you that most of the worlds population cannot allow leaving their homes and livelihood and travel to another city, let alone another country.

    It's a pity, but it's our nature to try and protect ourselves from strangers. Just like the need for a document called VISA: A need to filter (=protect ourselves from) people who enter our territory.
    • thumb
      Jul 21 2011: I think that some communities living side by side for ages but have strong prejudices against each other are so maybe because of mainly two reasons:
      1 - The amount of people in these societies who travel are not enogh so that they are not able to see that there are other values, "defaults", ways of lives on this planet too so that they can realize there is actually no such thing as a universal default/value system etc. and no society can be blamed or alienated or otherized for the way it is.
      2 - They don't experience each other's lives really. One side just observes the other from a mental and/or physical distance believing that his is "the default reality", "the default way of living" and so the other is alienated/otherized very easily. Then this becomes a very strong cultural code which is being transferred almost genetically from one generation to the next for ages...

      (Thanks to the internet and expanding communication systems even non travelling cultures begin to realize and to become confused about their default value systems.)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.