As we know, the world is a connected place. But it can be a scary place, too. Because we’re all operating in this interconnected environment together, there’s a chance that we’re all going to collide sooner or later. In such a world, countries could be more flexible and open to one another. It would significantly impact how they do business and how they interact with other countries.
There are a lot of barriers that keep countries from getting to know one another. For example, the US and China are two of the world’s most powerful countries. But they don’t interact with one another very often because of their political differences and the size of their respective markets. There are rigid divisions between cities, towns, and rural areas, even within countries. There are also a lot of cultural and social differences between them.
But what if there were no divisions of countries? Would that change the world in any way?
What if There Were No National Borders?
One of the most common questions is: “What if there were no national borders?.” The world would look very different if there were no borders. With global communications and transportation networks, borders would become less relevant. There would be a much smaller need for countries because people and goods could flow freely.
It’s easy to see why this would be appealing. Borders create political and cultural divides. They also make it harder to cooperate across borders. But borders are not a natural phenomenon. People created them, and they can change them. Without borders, the world would be much more open and connected.
Countries Could Be More Open to Each Other
Countries would be more open to one another, too. With no border, there would be no issue of “othering.” Imagine that, one day, you could walk across a bridge to the other side of your country. You wouldn’t have to leave your family and friends behind. There would be no “other.”
There wouldn’t be any difference between one country and another, so you wouldn’t get the sense of superiority and inferiority that we currently experience. Many people feel like they are “in a box.” They don’t feel included or as they belong. They don’t feel like they’re part of the world. If countries were more open to each other, that might change.
Countries Would Have More Flexibility
Countries could be more flexible, too. Countries could make different decisions tailored to their needs and their people. If a country wanted to, it could choose to be a hub for trade with other countries. It could become a “safe space” for refugees if it wanted to. In today’s world, countries are bound by restrictive rules and regulations. A country can be more open and flexible and let its people decide what is best for them. More flexibility would mean that countries would be able to make different decisions tailored to their needs and people.
Countries Would Be Able to Cooperate More Often
Cooperation would happen more often, and it would be more diverse. Countries would be able to cooperate more often because borders and divisions wouldn’t bind them. Countries would be more open to one another to cooperate more efficiently. But there would be other reasons for cooperating, such as cultural or historical reasons. Cooperation could be about peace, or it could be about trade.
The Benefits of Open Borders
Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first: There would be no borders. No borders would naturally make countries much more open and flexible to one another. They might start to interact more and even trade more with other countries. If there were no borders, many problems would dissolve, too.
Countries Could Learn From Each Other
A more productive and innovative world could come about if countries focused more on learning from one another. Because countries aren’t allowed to learn from other countries, they often miss out on beneficial trends. They can’t, for example, learn from China’s experience with the One-Child Policy. Nor can they adopt some of the best practices that the US has developed in business or healthcare. If countries were free to learn from each other, they might be able to come up with new ideas and implement them more efficiently.
A Global Market With No Barriers
If there were no barriers to trade and investment, the global economy would become much more open. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the ability to trade and invest anywhere is one of the most significant barriers to the world. For example, the US has highly high tariffs on trade with other countries. It also has a significant tax on companies that want to invest outside of the country.
Without divisions between countries, these tariffs and other barriers would go away. Countries would be able to trade and invest with one another freely. It would also make the world’s biggest markets much more open. For example, one of the biggest in the world is the Chinese market. It’s far too close to the rest of the world, and there is little competition.
Traveling Between Countries
Currently, it’s tough to get a visa to visit a foreign country. For example, the US has strict rules about who can visit on business or study. Other countries might even have different rules for different people. In such a disconnected world, it might get easier to get a visa or be able to travel between countries. But it might also cost less and be easier to get a visa for a short visit. These changes would depend on how open borders would affect travel. If borders stayed closed, like they are now, countries would still be able to keep some borders closed. They might even require visas for people to visit for business and tourism.
Trade Between Countries
These changes to trade would depend on how open borders would affect it. There’s already a small amount of trade between countries, but it could become more common if it were easier to trade. Some countries, like the US and Canada, might even become significant trading partners if they didn’t have to worry about the threat of tariffs. There might also be deeper trade between countries if they didn’t have to worry about corruption and other barriers to business.
China and the US Would Be More Connected
China has become a leader in many industries, and with the world’s biggest market, it has become a significant player. On the other hand, the US has become much more open over the past few decades. It’s got a much more flexible, innovative business sector. So what would happen if we connected China and the US? The US would benefit from China’s experience, of course.
It might learn a whole lot from China and the Chinese. The Chinese might see how much freedom the US has and how innovative and flexible its economy is. If the Chinese had a connection to the US, they might be able to learn a lot from it. And they would also have a lot of opportunities to connect with Americans.
India and Japan Would Be More Connected
The Indian and Japanese economies are very different, so it’s hard to know how they would connect. The two countries have a complicated history, though increasingly connected. Many people in India have studied and worked in Japan, and many people in Japan have studied and worked in India.
The two countries are already connected by business and trade deals, but that’s not enough to make a significant difference. But what if they were both more connected? There would be a lot of potential for cooperation.
Europe and Africa Would Be More Connected
Europe and Africa have long been connected by members of the European Union and the African Union, even though they have enormous cultural and social differences. This connection has helped a lot. We have seen progress in health care, education, and governance over the last few decades. But what if there were no divisions of countries?
It’s hard to imagine the EU and AU surviving without countries to benefit from their connection. But maybe they would be able to cooperate more efficiently. What if there were no divisions of countries could also mean that all of the countries in the world would be able to benefit from all the connections.
What Problems Would Dissolve if There Were No Divisions of Countries?
Human trafficking would end. Trafficking is when people are forced to work against their will, often in dangerous conditions or under extreme violence. Thankfully, it’s illegal in every country and usually only happens because of demand. If countries could open up their borders and let people move freely, trafficking would become more complicated. There would be less demand for it, if not no demand at all.
What Could Happen if There Were No Divisions of Countries?
The world would have more connections and more ideas. Since there would be no divisions, more countries would have more connections with other countries. That would make it easier to get visas, trade, and invest with other countries. It would also make it easier to travel between countries, even if borders were not open. People would have more options for getting visas, too.
There Wouldn’t Be As Many Countries.
The world is full of countries. Currently, there are just under 200 sovereign states in the world. If we left any of them out, it would be a big difference in the number of countries. Liechtenstein and Monaco might not exist as countries either, given that they are both parts of the European Union. There would also be fewer countries if we excluded any state that doesn’t recognize the right to self-determination. It would include countries that have been colonies or that are otherwise under the control of another state.
There Wouldn’t Be As Many Different Languages.
The fact that there are so many different countries with their languages means that there are also a lot of different languages. There are over 6,000 different spoken languages in the world today. If we were to leave any out, it would be a big difference in the number of languages.
Countries with a smaller population tend to have more languages because the population is more spread out. For example, there are more languages spoken in France than in Canada. It’s also not a coincidence that European countries have more languages than the rest of the world.
The Internet Would Be Much Slower
The internet is global and runs through a vast number of different networks. America’s National Security Agency (NSA) owns the most extensive international network and is called the backbone. If we didn’t have countries, one country would likely own this network. If you add that the United States is the world’s biggest market for internet companies, this will slow down the internet even more.
There Wouldn’t Be As Many Resources for Developing Countries.
One of the most significant issues for developing countries is access to resources like water. Countries are often seen as a source of resources for other countries. Countries with a significant population often have access to water that others don’t. It could mean that there would be fewer resources for developing countries.
If we didn’t have countries, the situation for many developing countries would be very different. Some countries would likely have resources that they took away from other countries. It could also be that some countries would not have any resources.
Nationalists Would Have a Whole Lot Less To Fight About
There are many things that people fight about in the world, like climate change and disease. One of the things that nationalists fight most about is countries. If there were no countries, it would be harder to fight about countries. Countries are often the most important things to a country.
One of the essential things that countries are for is peace. If there were no countries, there might be no peace at all. It is because it’s often countries that make peace happen. Without countries, there would be no one to make peace between people. Peace is one of the essential things in the world. If there were no countries, peace would be much harder to achieve.
There Would Be No Pollution, Disease, or Hunger
If there were no countries, there would be no border restrictions on what products people can produce and sell. It would mean that the environment would not be polluted by companies or individuals who don’t care about how they treat it. There would be no disease caused by people not having access to medicine and no hunger because of no borders.
Many diseases have indeed become less of a threat because of medicine, but there are still many that are a threat to one person or a limited number of people. Borders protect us from these diseases and help us get access to medicine.
There Would Be More War or Violence
Countries have historically been places where people fight wars to settle territorial disputes. Borders protect against war and violence between countries, but it would be much easier for people to fight wars against each other without borders. Without borders, people would not have anywhere to retreat to. They’d have to fight against anyone who challenged them, and they’d have to accept that war is a part of life. Borders prevent war and violence, which is why they are essential.
There are many reasons to think about what would happen if there were no countries. Nationalism is one of them, and it seems like a good time to remember. The world has become a place where people come from worldwide to live and work. The world is becoming much smaller every day, and with that comes the challenge of understanding what is truly “global.”
While it is fantastic for those people to be able to travel and see so much more of the world, it does pose the question of what exactly would happen if there were no countries. There would be less nationalism and less reason to fight over territory if there were no countries. It would mean less resource allocation, less access to water, and less peace in the world. All in all, it would mean that life would be a lot less attractive.
If you liked this article, check out Biomimicry: Designing the World With the Help of Nature.