‘We need a new commons’: how city life can offer us the vital power of connection

Posted by on December 23, 2021 1:00 am
Categories: Global Stories

The pandemic has seen borders close and divisions widened. But in almost all aspects of life, humanity will only thrive by coming together

During the pandemic, the nations of the world set about energetically strengthening borders around themselves, and within themselves, as states restricted entry. During the early lockdowns, according to the UNHCR, 168 of the world’s 195 countries partially or entirely closed their borders. This hit refugees particularly hard. “Movement is vital for people who are in flight,” said Filippo Grandi, the head of UNHCR. “They save their lives, by running.”

The virus knows no borders; it is the ultimate globalist. Covid-19 put an end to the idea that the 19th-century European nation state is the political arrangement we should all aspire to. The nation state is an outdated concept, and ill serves the present emergency. The rich countries have frozen immigration. But when people can’t move, they also can’t earn. Global remittances – money sent back to their families by people working abroad – which amount to four times all the foreign aid given by the rich countries to the poor ones – have gone down two years in a row. Poor countries will be poorer.

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