Monday, 9 November 2009

Tear Down These Walls

Today is the 20th anniversary of the symbolic end of the 'Cold War'.

Everybody remembers the drama which unfolded over that summer:

But fewer people remember the bureaucratic shrug which ultimately brought it down:

The Wall was a constant theme when I was younger and I remember being particularly inspired by Ronald Reagan's declaration of his liberalism overlooking the Brandenburg Gate.

In many regards I've always thought about how walls are the physical manifestation of the barriers society places between people, and in this sense they are the symbol of everything I find objectionable.

I can understand there can be a pressing need for them in certain circumstances, but that only goes to highlight the failings of the leaders who didn't avert the situation in the first place.

Anyway, here's some photos of famous walls from history:

Hadrain's Wall
The Great Wall of China
The Berlin Wall

And here's some which are still tolerated for 'political' reasons:

US-Mexican border:
Melilla (Spain/Morocco border):


Each are symbols of larger social conflicts.

When these conflicts are resolved, these walls will fall and be consigned to history too.


Update: LV publishes an African persepctive on the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In contrast Slavoj Zizek notes the 'recent resurrection of anti-Communism' and says this is part of a process of redefinition according to western realistic philosophy, which equates the conditions of state-socialism to those of naziism.

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