If one of your new year resolutions was to read more then hurry up to your nearest bookstore and get a copy of Azar Gat's War in Human Civilization. It will turn your 2019 into a mental riot of extremely fruitful thoughts.
First of all, once you read that book you will be done with that childish idea espoused by the cultural Marxists in the sense that individuals are a blank slate. That is, that human is who it is because that is how society made it, since everyone is born (they claim) like pristine, blank pages on which our surroundings write. This is, beyond doubt, utter bullshit. You see, the utopians, in their current version 2.0, decided to forget that their patron saint, Karl Marx, aspired to be like a scientist. But 100 million dead people later, they thought "hey guys maybe we need a rebranding", and so they infused their anti-Western and anti-freedom dogma with wishy washy relativism and esoteric hogwash. In order to still claim that their murderous dream is feasible and desirable, they had to convince young minds that there is no human nature and that anyone can be sculpted in anyway that is opposite to that "mean, oppressive, patriarchal and white society" that mysteriously gave them their iPhones, soy lattes, and costly gender studies degrees. Mind you, they did not pull this idea out of their waxed and bleached asses. No, it comes from the time of Rousseau, a proto-hippie who thought that before "culture" and "civilization" ruined the human being, we were all living in a paradise of harmony and peace like hunter-gatherers. His nemesis was Hobbes, of course, who thought: "nah, screw it, humans have a savage inside them since, like, forever, and from day 1 they have been killing each other." What Azar Gat's marvelous book does is to argument so solidly and consistently, based on archeology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and many other "ologies", that, indeed, there is no trace of human society as a paradise. Humans have been both cooperating and exterminating each other since the start. How do you like them apples, Rousseau?
Now, it may be that I never listened to We Are the World and got teary eyed, going full hippie and so on and so forth. Or maybe it is because I am a realist canine. I trust and don't trust humans. Humans are capable of both the most horrible and most kind acts imaginable. Inside every human there are two seeds: one for evil and one for good, and the true freedom experienced in the very fabric of human nature is precisely to make moral choices, every single day life, whether the Almighty or Satan will be symbolically summoned. That is why humans gather in groups. Whatever the "glue" is that keeps a group together, it is an evolutionary tactic to live a less stressful life. Humans who are among others that they trust a bit more than they trust strangers can actually work and rest and have kids and raise them without being 24/7 worried about getting shafted. It's no guarantee, mind you, but at least there's a bit more trust when you're related to others or connected in a deeper way that makes backstabbing less probable. As societies ballooned in numbers and territory, it wasn't possible to be a blood relative of everyone, so the "tribal glue" had to be adapted for larger groups. Fast forward a few thousand years and you get the modern nation state. Yeah, that same one that Señor Soros wants to wipe out from the face of the earth. The modern nation state basically says "okay, we're too many and very different, but we agree to be united under this flag, this language, this set of basic cultural norms, and these laws." If you look at it carefully, and imagine yourself walking naked in the prairie 10,000 years ago with just a stick to protect your tribe, in turn made of just your partner and two children, the modern state is a brilliant idea to avoid massacre.
But there are still things lurking outside the walls. Other societies. Gangs of renegades. Wild animals. Dangers. Sure, outside the walls there are also fantastic potential partners for trade. But you get in the same plate both the crappy fries and the juicy burger. So, how do you discriminate? Yes, you read well: discriminate. Humans discriminate. All animals, as a matter of fact, do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying "I want to trade with this" and "I don't want to trade with that." Look at the Bible, for example; whether you are a believer or not it doesn't matter. For the profane eye, the Bible is an ancient document reflecting how the people who wrote it grappled with the exact same questions you are grappling with now: "What am I? How should I act? What is the meaning of me being here?" And they weren't stupid, mind you, but just as smart as you are; it's just that they had a different vocabulary than the one we have now, they couldn't google also, and, finally, they inhabited a much more uncluttered world. So, they consciously used many more symbols than the modern individual does and that is how you have to read their words --unless you're a fedora wearing blowhard, that is. And here is the key. Pay attention. In "The Will to Power" Nietzsche spoke about music compared to prose in the follow manner: "words dilute and brutalize; words depersonalize; words make the uncommon common." The syphilitic German was unto something. When a human has a huge vocabulary and hammers it down in order to exhaust all the possible details of an idea or a feeling, that individual is, compared to music or poetry, reducing the knowledge to a compact bit, a small and delineated carrier of certain information. In comparison, the ancients did not have that brutally vast vocabulary, so they relied on poetry and music, allowing their ideas and feelings to transcend the precise but imprisoning realm of words. Mind you, I am not advocating here for gobbling up mushrooms and talking to the pachamama. I just want to draw a line between how the ancients thought/wrote compared to the modern individual.
The Garden of Eden starts to make more sense right now, doesn't it? For Christians it does, completely, but for the secular mind you have to explain the background a bit before seeing the profound wisdom hidden beneath. Once you do, you realize that the Garden of Eden was how the ancients pictured the pre-civilizational state of their own ancestors: protected from the dangers of the "other", of the outside world, within an identical natural state in the garden but one they knew better and where they could be freer than outside. Mind you, they were smart enough to realize that even within the walls there was danger --in this case the serpent tempting them with wider and bigger knowledge. But, all in all, that's how they pictured the perfect society: a confined state where they could trust a bit more and be themselves. Once they bought into the temptations of the serpent and bit from the forbidden fruit, well, that can be interpreted in hundreds of different ways. Maybe they were ambitious and wanted "more" than what they had; maybe they were curious about knowing what occurred beyond the walls of the Garden; maybe they wanted to become more like God; or, as the more popular interpretation goes, the forbidden fruit was simply how the ancients pictured the human transforming from an animal into a self-aware, conscious being capable of knowing good from evil.
All of this may be too "poetic" for the profane mind, of course, but it shows you that from time immemorial, both for scientists and for ancient people, walls work. And by that one must understand both virtual and physical walls. There is no nation state without them. And, if there's no nation state, the trust necessary for societies to exist disappears. All the hubbub going on in the United States about the wall across the border with Mexico is just a giant burger with no meat inside and no bread outside, therefore: nothing, nada, zero. It's merely a political thug of war, a penis measuring contest, and there is no moral dilemma involved in the decision by the United States to build a wall, whether that is along its Canadian or Mexican border. The only moral element involved with any wall built, ever, is the intention behind it. The White House doesn't need to justify it more than in the sovereign right of a free nation state to delineate its territory and defend it from whatever they consider a threat, be it flu, drugs, mosquitoes, or tiny avocados, for that matter.