The opposite of NIMBY, the opposite of isolation.
Building a fortress is expensive. It cripples your tribe. And it won’t work.
Modern fortresses amplify fear, destroy the value that's at the heart of the connection economy, and don't actually pay off. It's far more valuable to live in a community of hard-working, trustworthy refugees and (former) strangers than it is to become isolated.
To be clear, the threat might be real. And the fear certainly is. That's not in question. The question is: What to do about our fear?
Let’s begin with this: In the long run (and the long run keeps getting shorter), even the biggest fortress can’t keep ideas out. Ideas move at the speed of light now, and they don’t need a carrier pigeon or an infiltrator to carry them. It's okay to detest an idea, but it's foolish to build a wall to protect against it.
Even though this is clearly and demonstrably true, fearful leaders want to do more inspections, insist on more pat downs, build bigger walls. Walls that won’t keep ideas out.
And building a fortress cripples us. It turns people into spies and informants. And spies and informants are so busy being afraid that they fail to actually build anything of value. Not to mention that doing the right thing, doing it in a way we're proud of, is part of who we are, all of us.
Human beings thrive on the quest for total control, for a day that feels like it's up to us. That quest is compelling, but it turns out that we're in danger of building a world where the fruitless search for control is undermining the future we hope to create.
Remember the St. Louis.