Why are governments based on "geography"? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14597771
Hi everyone.
So this has been on my mind for a while. A person born in the US gets all the benefits and the opportunities of being a US citizen, even if they hate/reject all American values. And a person born outside- such as myself- cannot become a US citizen and enjoy those benefits or opportunities even if they uphold all US values. How does that make any sense?
Why are governments "geography" based? What does geography have anything to do with it???


Think of it this way: you are in a school with lots of kids. There are a lot of people whom you can socialize with but you choose the ones whom you "like" and have "common interests" with. Why can't that be the case in society?
So I have to live here and socialize with the people around me even though they hate me? And I don't get to hang out with the people who resemble my values just because I was not born there? How does this make any sense?
#14597773
Well environment is usually considered the main factor in shaping people. Assuming you grow up in a country, you should adapt to the local you are in. This does provide a rational bases to the idea of borders but the lines themselves are complex.

Globalisation, mass migration and seemingly endless erosion spawning of sub identity cultures is sure to complicate this situation as time goes by.
#14597779
Governments are based on geography because it would be difficult to govern in any other way. Imagine trying to enforce US laws on a random subset of people in the middle of China.

You're also talking about citizenship. That's a different issue: it's the local government that has power over you regardless of your citizenship (mostly). The US law does not govern US citizens residing other countries, nor does Chinese law govern Chinese citizens in the USA.

Note that birthright citizenship is not a universal rule: being born in Europe or China or Japan doesn't automatically grant a citizenship there.

I think your real question is this:
And a person born outside- such as myself- cannot become a US citizen and enjoy those benefits or opportunities even if they uphold all US values. How does that make any sense?

But they can. I am planning to become a US citizen in 3 years. For now I am a permanent resident and am enjoying most benefits and opportunities that US citizens have. It's just that the process is extremely complicated and takes a long time and has a lot of weird bureaucratic rules that exist for no good reason. It is even worse in most other countries.

Part of the reason it is not automatic for all applicants is the real or perceived economic costs to the local population of accepting immigration, another part of it is xenophobia.
#14597783
Why?

OK, I'm going to try and explain this in terms so simple that even a libertarian could understand it. There are two governments, government A says traffic will drive on the right, government B says that traffic will drive on the left. Now basing governments on geography can still cause inconvenience, imagine say that a government covering modern France said that people would drive on the right and a government say covering modern Britain said people should drive on the left. You'd still need to invest in warning signs at Calais and Dover for example. But now just imagine everybody could choose their government. Can you see how that might cause problems.
#14597803
Rich wrote:Why?
OK, I'm going to try and explain this in terms so simple that even a libertarian could understand it. There are two governments, government A says traffic will drive on the right, government B says that traffic will drive on the left. Now basing governments on geography can still cause inconvenience, imagine say that a government covering modern France said that people would drive on the right and a government say covering modern Britain said people should drive on the left. You'd still need to invest in warning signs at Calais and Dover for example. But now just imagine everybody could choose their government. Can you see how that might cause problems.

Interesting! Well I guess there are certain laws/rules that relate to Geography. But still, why cant I, say, travel and live in America if I like their rules and respect their values? Yes I couldn't expect America to apply its rules on me here in Saudi, but I think I should be allowed to travel and live there if I feel like it.

lucky wrote:Governments are based on geography because it would be difficult to govern in any other way. Imagine trying to enforce US laws on a random subset of people in the middle of China.
You're also talking about citizenship. That's a different issue: it's the local government that has power over you regardless of your citizenship (mostly). The US law does not govern US citizens residing other countries, nor does Chinese law govern Chinese citizens in the USA.
Note that birthright citizenship is not a universal rule: being born in Europe or China or Japan doesn't automatically grant a citizenship there.

True.

lucky wrote:But they can. I am planning to become a US citizen in 3 years. For now I am a permanent resident and am enjoying most benefits and opportunities that US citizens have. It's just that the process is extremely complicated and takes a long time and has a lot of weird bureaucratic rules that exist for no good reason. It is even worse in most other countries.
Part of the reason it is not automatic for all applicants is the real or perceived economic costs to the local population of accepting immigration, another part of it is xenophobia.

How could I even become a permanent resident? I don't even care about voting or politics, I just want to be allowed to "work". How can I get that?
#14597807
alithinker wrote:How could I even become a permanent resident? I don't even care about voting or politics, I just want to be allowed to "work". How can I get that?

http://www.welcometousa.gov/Immigration ... States.htm

Probably the easiest way is to apply for and get a job with a US employer, then apply for a work visa such as the H-1B visa, then once in the US apply for permanent residency.
#14597815
Governments are based on geography simply because they are born in specific locations.

The first sedentary tribes built the first villages which became later the first cities and members of the community had to specialize themselves into activities. Farmers, soldiers, masons, priests, kings and their governments.

Try to think how it was in the past, with no other communication means than physical messengers.

Our cultures and civilizations have evolved from nomad tribes to local communities, small villages, small cities, city-states, to kingdoms, empires etc...

There has always different cultures depending on locations, different rules depending on the ability of a government to enforce them, different rules based on the different needs of different governments and very different persons which imagined these rules.

Everything has always been based on geography and will always be some way or the other.
#14597816
But still, why cant I, say, travel and live in America if I like their rules and respect their values?


Because a large number of people are bigots and think your basically the same as a jihadi.
#14597820
lucky wrote:[
http://www.welcometousa.gov/Immigration ... States.htm

Probably the easiest way is to apply for and get a job with a US employer, then apply for a work visa such as the H-1B visa, then once in the US apply for permanent residency.

Dude, it is so hard to get a job like that. It really is hard.
You know why? Because it costs my employer a lot of money to sponsor my work visa. And as such, employers feel very insecure about hiring international people.
#14597822
I feel like some people in this world are so lucky to be born at the right place and the right time.
And some, like me, are so unlucky and born out of place it is devastating. I feel like I'll never make it.

People in America have big dreams and ambitions. Some people dream of becoming rich and famous. A person like me, from here, has literally no chance, just because of my passport. This is killing me.
#14597829
Don't fool yourself Ali, life in the US is no bed of roses for most people there. If you were born poor there, you're life would be more miserable than it is now.
#14597893
I can give you an answer of sorts.

Some centuries ago, there was a meeting in Europe. I'm not going to be arsed to look up exact years and locations because what's the point, but you can.

What emerged from the conference was what was termed the 'Treaty of Westphalia'.

According to your nearest international relations textbook, from here emerged the theory of the nation-state.

'State' in this context essentially means political establishment, or government ('national' government, in contemporary parlance).

Nation basically means collections of people with common cultural and ethnic ('ethnic' in the anthropological sense which means shared backgrounds essentially, not the colloquial sense, which basically means color of one's skin) commonalities.

Referring back to your nearest mainstream IR textbook, this treaty basically emerged as a means to end wars which had been ravaging Europe (again, can't be arsed to look up which precise wars).

Out of this, the convention of the nation-state emerged (again, according to your closest IR textbook).

As time went on, the Europeans eventually attacked and robbed the shit out of most of the settled areas of the planet.

They carved out territories, which they administered with government officials whom they sent in, and called them 'colonies'.

This is a long and extensive history of course, but I'm giving the abbreviated version.

After WW2, many 'colonies' became independent. Most of the remaining ones would become independent over proceeding decades.

The boarderlines drawn by the imperialist powers tend to basically conform with the modern successor 'nations'.

So there you have it, in a nutshell.

As a result of this, you get things like Iraq invading the former British coaling station, modern Kuwait, because Kuwait controls Iraq's access to the Gulf, is managed by aristocrats, and was stealing Iraq's oil.

And then you get shit like the US invading Iraq, bombing it for a decade, and then invading it again, and trying to finish the job, only to create an absolute cluster fuck, such as we have today.
#14597903
What else would they be based on? States are armed organizations defined by long-term defacto control over a certain territory and its population. Locals are (usually) considered citizens and allowed to stay regardless of their political leanings because of international law.

Not so long ago, displacing and exiling perceived undesirables was pretty much standard practice, but more recently the international community came to really resent it when countries kicked out their troublemakers for the rest of the world to deal with. So they made it a crime against humanity. Prosecution for them kinda crimes is not very likely, but being perceived as a criminal regime is a hassle most countries would rather do without. :P


(It's pretty much the same reason why other countries care if a regime makes part of the population stateless: Stateless people have no citizenship and can't be returned to their countries of origin.)
#14597936
Crantag wrote:I can give you an answer of sorts.

Some centuries ago, there was a meeting in Europe. I'm not going to be arsed to look up exact years and locations because what's the point, but you can.

What emerged from the conference was what was termed the 'Treaty of Westphalia'.

According to your nearest international relations textbook, from here emerged the theory of the nation-state.

'State' in this context essentially means political establishment, or government ('national' government, in contemporary parlance).

Nation basically means collections of people with common cultural and ethnic ('ethnic' in the anthropological sense which means shared backgrounds essentially, not the colloquial sense, which basically means color of one's skin) commonalities.

Referring back to your nearest mainstream IR textbook, this treaty basically emerged as a means to end wars which had been ravaging Europe (again, can't be arsed to look up which precise wars).

Out of this, the convention of the nation-state emerged (again, according to your closest IR textbook).

As time went on, the Europeans eventually attacked and robbed the shit out of most of the settled areas of the planet.

They carved out territories, which they administered with government officials whom they sent in, and called them 'colonies'.

This is a long and extensive history of course, but I'm giving the abbreviated version.

After WW2, many 'colonies' became independent. Most of the remaining ones would become independent over proceeding decades.

The boarderlines drawn by the imperialist powers tend to basically conform with the modern successor 'nations'.

So there you have it, in a nutshell.

As a result of this, you get things like Iraq invading the former British coaling station, modern Kuwait, because Kuwait controls Iraq's access to the Gulf, is managed by aristocrats, and was stealing Iraq's oil.

And then you get shit like the US invading Iraq, bombing it for a decade, and then invading it again, and trying to finish the job, only to create an absolute cluster fuck, such as we have today.


KlassWar wrote:What else would they be based on? States are armed organizations defined by long-term defacto control over a certain territory and its population. Locals are (usually) considered citizens and allowed to stay regardless of their political leanings because of international law.

Not so long ago, displacing and exiling perceived undesirables was pretty much standard practice, but more recently the international community came to really resent it when countries kicked out their troublemakers for the rest of the world to deal with. So they made it a crime against humanity. Prosecution for them kinda crimes is not very likely, but being perceived as a criminal regime is a hassle most countries would rather do without. :P


(It's pretty much the same reason why other countries care if a regime makes part of the population stateless: Stateless people have no citizenship and can't be returned to their countries of origin.)


Interesting perspectives. They don't help me in my situation, by they kinda make sense.
#14597937
Noelnada wrote:Don't fool yourself Ali, life in the US is no bed of roses for most people there. If you were born poor there, you're life would be more miserable than it is now.

Maybe you're right. I just get frustrated sometimes. I'll try to find a way around my situation.
#14598130
Goverment does in some sort of way, need to reflect peoples moral values.
That is, atleast the case in a democratic country.

In Saudi Arabia, for example, more people are conservative and value Islam as a moral guide to an extent, and thus add its teachings to law.
In the United states, most people are secular, and thus value the seperation of church and state.

In both these societies, things can be of different morality.

I.E, In Saudi Arabia, it is accepted by the majority of people that wearing some sort of head covering is moral, and thus is(I would guess) enforced to be worn.
In The US, most people would disagree with that, and thus there is no such law.

The problem is, people in Saudi Arabia would not accept the fact that american idealists are walking around without a headcovering.

The question is, to what extent they would go to force a person to cooperate.

This is the simple example of a moral conflict.

But, there are more extreme problems that come up, for example, what if one group of people believe in the execution of murdurers and the other group thinks that the only moral solution is to give him a life sentence?
Who calls the shots? especially when the murderer kills someone that is part of a different "goverment" with its own values.

This sort of idea is called "Agorism", I suggest you look into it, although I have to say that I don't agree with the Agorists.
#14601790
Iron Ant wrote:where do you get the idea that you can not come over here and become a full citizen?

It is a process called Naturalization.

Here is the information for you:

http://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/cit ... ralization

Dear Iron Ant,
I love the enthusiasm but, did you even read the Naturalization requirements in the link above? The first requirement is that: "You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years". I was never a "permanent resident". And in order to be permanent resident, you would have to fulfill many other requirements too. It is infinitely complicated, trust me. And by "infinity complicated" I mean literally "impossible" for a guy like me.

yoyoman2 wrote:Goverment does in some sort of way, need to reflect peoples moral values.
That is, atleast the case in a democratic country.

In Saudi Arabia, for example, more people are conservative and value Islam as a moral guide to an extent, and thus add its teachings to law.
In the United states, most people are secular, and thus value the seperation of church and state.

In both these societies, things can be of different morality.

I.E, In Saudi Arabia, it is accepted by the majority of people that wearing some sort of head covering is moral, and thus is(I would guess) enforced to be worn.
In The US, most people would disagree with that, and thus there is no such law.

The problem is, people in Saudi Arabia would not accept the fact that american idealists are walking around without a headcovering.

Actually, most people here, given the choice, would probably not wear hijab. It is literally forced on people.
Yes there are people who would wear hijab voluntarily. But there is no way to tell if they are the majority or minority because we don't have a transparent democracy. So basically, whoever rules gets to choose what people wear and even what they believe- to some extent. After all, if you hold power, you can enforce the education that you like. And that in turn creates young people who believe what you want them too.
Hence, we have ISIS!
The End.
#14648350
KlassWar has a really good point. The first governments were basically raiders (as opposed to farmers, workers, etc.) that decided claim control of a territory and offer small concessions to the people living there so they wouldn't try to revolt. Because of this governments are naturally centered around a territory. Any legitimate government has to have a territory to control, else it would just be disregarded and have no power.

The reasons why you can't just walk into another county and claim it as your home are many:

The gov. needs to know about all citizens, so you would need to go through a process to show that you are a person that exists and needs to be recognized by the government.

The gov. would like to know of your past (i.e., are you a serial murderer? part of a disliked political party? running because of tax evasion or debt?) and that can be difficult if your government doesn't keep records (coming from a third world country?) or doesn't want to cooperate.

The government you leave doesn't want you to leave. People are the driving resource for any economy, and losing people because of a supposed better government would be bad for the country you leave.

Countries can have long standing conflicts, and not want to allow in possible enemies.

Another component is nationalism. People may think their country is better than your country, and not want to allow you in because, a: you are different, b: you might "take jobs away from citizens", c: you might have negative stereotypes associated with people from your country (you are all uneducated, you are all lazy, you are all drug dealers, you are all gang members, etc.), c: you simply don't deserve the opportunities that only people from that country deserve

For democracies, you have to remember that there are many scared people, many racist people, and many selfish people. Geography forms cohesion that can breed mistrust in others.

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