The Tribal World Cup

So France won the 2018 FIFA World Cup last week. Fantastique! 

 Tribalism in three colours... French supporters celebrate.  Dorian Hurst. 

Tribalism in three colours... French supporters celebrate.  Dorian Hurst. 

Wait! If 16 of the 23 players in the French World Cup squad are immigrants or sons of immigrants what does celebrating  France's World Cup mean? That rich countries control the planet's human resources as well as its physical ones? That geographically defined Nation States are a good way to skim the cream off the milk? Maybe just  "My tribe is better than your tribe"?

To me politically defined nation states* is an outdated concept in today's world. Saying “France won the World Cup” is as (ir)relevant and (un)true as saying “Cameroon alone is responsible for its stuttering GDP. Climate change fuelled by rich countries like France and international trade rules (written by rich countries) have nothing to do with it”. If France alone won the World Cup then the current violence between Anglophone and Francophone sections of  Cameroon is its problem alone, and has nothing to do with its history of colonisation. Thinking this way spawns an outbreak of questions. Questions like: Whose problem is SE Asia’s deforestation and crashing biodiversity? For whom is the rubber, coffee and palm oil now grown on those lands? Whose are the profits? Whose problem was the oil fuelled invasion of Iraq? Who got a say as USA and Britain used WMDs? Who had a right to a say?  Why is George Bush not in prison with his poodles? Whose problem is the wave of desperate migrants at Australia’s shores? Can Syrians comment on Australia’s barbaric treatment of refugees, some of them Syrian?   Are Australians entitled to voice opinions on Amazonian deforestation? Should Peruvians comment on Australian’s rampant use of fossil fuels, some of it Syrian?  Should New Zealand, which famously protested French nuclear tests  at Murora and boycotted South Africa in apartheid's dark days, boycott Australia in these dark days? Anyway why does high carbon footprint New Zealand get more say on the management of Antarctica than Mongolia?....

…Messy questions! Whatever you might think of them here are some are clean hard facts:  French World Cup star Kylian Mbappe is a football genius. His father came from Cameroon, his mother from Algeria. Cameroon and Algeria are unlikely to win the FIFA World Cup any time soon. France has nuclear weapons. Cameroon grows cocoa. The French love to drink chocolate. So do I. Terrorism  is not committed by permanent members of the UN security council.  A human child born in India is much more likely to be malnourished than an ethnically Indian child born in Britain. Nuclear weapons have never exploded within peace-loving France's borders.  Contravening borders and international law USA kidnapped people around the world and took them beyond  their constitution’s reach to Cuba where they could be tortured without breaking US law. After Algeria's independence, France simply shifted its nuclear weapons tests to it South Pacific colonies. Humans are more likely to become obese in Russia than Mali. In full knowledge that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 terrorism and held no WMDs, USA Britain and Australia invaded Iraq, killed tens of thousands of Iraqis and had Saddam Hussein executed for, er,  well maybe for not having WMDs or special agents who committed 9/11. While in Iraq they thought they might as well ensure Iraqi oil continues to freely traverse  borders to the world's  "free" markets. USA, Britain and Australia were not boycotted. Descendants of West Africans transported as slaves to Jamaica win extraordinary numbers of sprinting medals.  France has had a permanent seat on the UN security council since its inception. Alongside Britain and USA,  it continues to keep us all secure. German soccer star and 2014 World Cup winner Mesut Ozil quit international football today. He felt he'd been welcome while Germany won but was racially stigmatized by his own football federation when they crashed out of this World Cup. Racist German fans sent him death threats and told the "fucking Turk" to go home.  Kylian Mbappe is not (currently)  getting death threats nor being told to "fuck off to  Cameroon". Russia and USA hold 92% of the planet's nuclear weapons. No-one invaded France after French special agents infiltrated New Zealand,  bombed a  Green Peace yacht protesting South Pacific nuclear tests and killed a photographer. Not even a boycott. Donald Trump and millions of Americans want a wall to protect the USA's border with Mexico from illegal immigrants.  After killing a man in New Zealand the French government threatened  to close  EEC borders to NZ exports if NZ didn't shut up. NZ shut up. Borders, even walled ones,  don’t stop carbon dioxide. Or killer drones. USA produces plenty of both. Antarctica and Greenland hold 91% of the planet’s permanent ice…. 

….. Borders let us prioritise tribal interests over global issues. The archaic regional kingdoms (aka Nation states) borders define are a massive obstacle to human development and International justice because their borders are enforced or contravened by the powerful as it suits them. Borders are yet more tools of oppression , control and exploitation for the world's dominant  tribes. Borders allow groups of people to do what is good for those inside an arbitrary one whether or not it is bad for those outside that line. To confront our present globalization related issues from a global perspective and for any chance against the hydra-like swarm of problems awaiting us we need to get out of tribal boxes. Very quickly. 

That’s me. What about you- What place for nation states in humanity’s future? 

 

*I do see some logic in human units defined on biological dimensions or physical geography. e.g.an "Amazon Basin" administrative unit, or "people of desert regions" coalition or "low lying island peoples" nation.