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From National Geographic:

Building walls may have allowed civilization to flourish

Humans have built walls to keep others out, or in, for at least 12,000 years. Why is wall building coming back into fashion now?

BY SIMON WORRALL
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 5, 2018

If it is ever built, President Donald Trump’s much-vaunted wall, which is supposed to stretch for nearly 2,000 miles along the United States’s border with Mexico, would be the largest infrastructure project since the U.S. highway system, estimated to cost $18 to $40 billion. But as David Frye reveals in his new book, Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick, the idea of constructing barriers to keep others out—or, in the case of the Berlin Wall, to keep people in—is as ancient as human civilization. Only the people being shut out have changed.

When National Geographic caught up with Frye by phone at his home in Connecticut, he explained how the ancient world was split between wallers and non-wallers, how the Berlin Wall set a precedent by being the first wall to keep people in, and why America and so many other nations are “forting up.”

Q. President Trump gave the idea of excluding outsiders with walls a contemporary twist when he vowed to build a “big, beautiful wall.” But he is latching onto something ancient, isn’t he?

A. It is an ancient idea. People have been building walls since the tenth millennium B.C. The ancient walls were built primarily for defensive purposes. Nowadays, they are built more to prevent immigration, terrorism, or the flow of illegal drugs. But there is a common connection, which is the idea of keeping outsiders out. …

The first border walls aren’t found until the late 2000s B.C., in Mesopotamia. Security is why they were built. There were two different lifestyles developing: a lifestyle of the people I call wallers, who are workers who build things and identify themselves by their civilian occupations. They sought to secure themselves by building structures that would protect them even when they were sleeping at night. Outside the walls, you have a very different sort of society, people inured to the dangers of living in an un-walled world. Non-wallers were peoples we generally refer to historically as barbarians, like the Huns, the Goths, or the Mongols. They were viewed with fear by the wall-builders. And that’s what inspired the construction of the early walls.

Q. You write, “No invention in human history played a greater role (than walls) in creating and shaping civilization.” Some people might vote for writing or gunpowder. Make your case.

A. I would make the case that there would be no writing and nothing as complex as gunpowder without first the construction of walls. The ancient human need for security is one of the fundamentals of life and has to be achieved before we can achieve other things. It was walls that gave people the security to sit and think. It’s hard to imagine a novel being written in a world in which every man is a warrior. Until a society achieves security, it can’t think about anything except the dangers all around it. As a consequence its culture will be limited. …

This is just about the only article of the last few years to not include the seemingly obligatory “I hate Trump” line.

 
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  1. Cortes says:

    If memory serves, the most heinous crime in really Ancient Rome was the shifting of boundary markers.

    Proponents of unfettered immigration should be supported on condition they (no sucking on the public teat) feed and water the dreamers within their own bounded properties for, say, five years.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @FO337
    , @Buck
  2. Ah, civilization is icky. Especially to people who would be dead without it.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  3. You don’t say! The man’s a genius!!

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  4. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Cortes

    Makes sense, boundaries were sacred, and the first step in city construction was the religious ritual marking of the boundary, even though it was well understood that the practical extent of the city would quickly exceed it.
    Wiki has

    Roman writers and subsequent authors[citation needed] who depended on them presented the limes as some sort of sacred border beyond which human beings did not transgress, and if they did, it was evidence that they had passed the bounds of reason and civilization. To cross the border was the mark of a savage. They wrote of the Alemanni failing to respect the limes as if they had passed the final limitation of character and had committed themselves to perdition.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  5. Anon[217] • Disclaimer says:

    Good fences make good neighbors.

  6. Dan Hayes says:

    Steve,

    I am pleasantly surprised that this relatively pro-wall essay was not spiked by
    National Geographic’s current PC/SJW regime!

  7. FO337 says:
    @Cortes

    Good plan, but even then they should be limited to one or two each. Because otherwise, no sooner than the plan is put in place the lefties will take on ten thousand each and leave you holding the bag, because social justice, etc.

  8. FO337 says:

    Can’t imagine why, but the ‘American’ MSM is ignoring this story

    https://www.rt.com/news/441676-israel-christian-cemetery-desecrated/

    Just as they did the last time it happened, and the time before that..

    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201601121032973887-vandalism-christian-cemetery-crosses-israel/

  9. bjondo says:

    Instead of a wall dig a big trench, 30′ x 30′ x 2000 miles.
    High walls like high buildings
    block the view,
    reduce life.
    Go for a picnic,
    go for a walk
    what do you see:
    concrete and graffiti.
    Soul deadening.

    5ds

    • Replies: @bjondo
  10. In my opinion, Wall will be a Waste of time and money. I think all that money should be spent on better purposes. Many prominent Conservatives also agree with me on this.
    We should be more connected with each other rather than be separated by a barrier. Most Mexican Immigrants don’t want to stay. They just want to earn a few bucks and return to their home country.

  11. istevefan says:

    Building walls may have allowed civilization to flourish

    In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith made a good case that guns facilitated advanced civilization. Smith did not mention walls, so I am not suggesting he ranked guns higher than walls. It’s just that this man’s observations about walls benefiting civilization reminded me of Smith’s argument about guns. I had never made the same connection with walls, but I agree walls were important, and still are.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @Svigor
  12. istevefan says:

    El Paso had a low crime rate and was prosperous which demonstrated why a border wall was completely unnecessary.

    El Paso is 80 percent hispanic. That is terribly non-diverse. Pittsburgh is routinely criticized in the press for having a similar percentage of whites. I’d like to see Beto and friends defend El Paso’s horrible lack of diversity.

  13. @Anon

    I’ve always thought people misread Frost’s poem when they insist it’s against walls. It presents us with a paradox: the man speaking doesn’t like walls but will choose to respect his neighbour’s boundaries to keep the peace, thereby proving the merit of his saying “good fences make good neighbours”. The poem is against walls in one sense and for them in another. That’s why it’s a good one for teaching the kiddies what a paradox is, not that they care.

    Mending Wall
    BY ROBERT FROST

    https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44266/mending-wall

  14. At the O’Rourke/ Cruz debate two days ago, O’Rourke crowed about how El Paso was a border city that constituted a binational metro area with Ciudad Juarez. El Paso had a low crime rate and was prosperous which demonstrated why a border wall was completely unnecessary.

    Meanwhile in the real world…..

    You can literally see the El Paso/ Juarez border wall from space, but Beto’s Hollywood donors and the media eat it up.

  15. Anon[271] • Disclaimer says:

    Chapter 46 of Haruki Murakami’s latest novel Killing Commendatore is titled “People are Powerless before a Sturdy, Towering Wall.”

    “By the way, do you know the height of the Berlin Wall?” he asked as he descended.

    “No.”

    “Ten feet,” he said looking up at me. “It varied depending on the location, but that was the standard height. A little taller than this hole is deep. It was about a hundred miles long, too. I saw it with my own eyes….

    “Walls were originally erected to protect people. From external enemies, storms, and floods. Sometimes, though, they were used to keep people in. People are powerless before a sturdy, towering wall. Visually and psychologically. Some walls were constructed for that specific purpose….

    “You can feel how intimidating the height of those walls is from down here. You really feel powerless. I saw something similar in Palestine a while ago. Israel erected a twenty-five-foot concrete wall there, with high-voltage wires running along the top. That wall is almost three hundred miles long. I guess the Israelis figure ten feet was too low, but that’s enough to do the job….

    “Come to think of it, the walls of the solitary cells in Tokyo prison measure about ten feet as well…. I don’t know why they made them so high. All you had to look at were those blank walls, day after day….

    “I did some time in that place a while back. I haven’t told you about that, have I?”

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  16. Corvinus says:
    @istevefan

    Hmmm, guns and walls. Tasty. Better yet, a remote control machine gun, complete with camera, mounted on a wall. Perfect way to shoot varmints!

    Although, this image is my all-time favorite regarding the building of a wall. All those nice, disparate groups fighting for the same cause! Ain’t diversity grand?

    https://picryl.com/media/the-anti-chinese-wall-f-graetz?zoom=true

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  17. Cortes says:
    @Anon

    Hedges (midline indeterminate) was what I understood.

  18. gunner29 says:

    Something like a wall is an obvious invention; you got animals you don’t want wandering off, build a fence/wall. Then apply it to the clowns you want to keep out.

    Gunpowder was a lucky accident because in China sulfur and saltpeter were commonly used as medicines. It wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to imagine a doctor accidentally spilling the correct proportions into a smoldering fire in the patients hut. Bang!

    The recipe is 65% saltpeter, 10% sulfur, 25% charcoal. Then add a match. Nobody knew that you could make something that would explode. So they weren’t looking for it.

  19. Jim Lahey says:
    @Mike Krauthammer

    What do their American-born kids want to do?

    • Agree: bomag
  20. Cortes says:
    @J.Ross

    Thanks.

    I hope I remember correctly in making reference to

    Post liminal

    situations in family law in Rome, when the paterfamilias in foreign countries as ambassador or otherwise, is held hostage for, potentially, the childbearing years of his duly Civil Law wife, reappears, “ Ta Da! Honey, I’m Back!”

    Human relations are one thing.

    Land?

    Something irreplaceable.

  21. AnonyBot says:

    If it is ever built, President Donald Trump’s much-vaunted wall, which is supposed to stretch for nearly 2,000 miles along the United States’s border with Mexico, would be the largest infrastructure project since the U.S. highway system…

    Oh wait, you mean we have built shit this big before? Oh yes: Interstate 90, to cite one of many examples. It’s 3,020 miles long (twice that long if you consider that it’s actually two separate roads, one in each direction). And the engineering requirements for a load-bearing road with probably hundreds of bridges along its course (every overpass qualifies as a bridge) are far greater than those for a wall.

    estimated to cost $18 to $40 billion

    So about the cost of two aircraft carriers – *before* they’re outfitted with 70-80 fighter aircraft – of which the US currently has 11.

    the idea of constructing barriers to keep others out…is as ancient as human civilization. Only the people being shut out have changed.

    Not really.

    The people who built the walls: the people who own the place.
    The people being kept out: the people who want to take over the place.

    So pretty much the same people are being kept out.

    how the Berlin Wall set a precedent by being the first wall to keep people in

    And built by a bunch of leftists, at that.

    The ancient walls were built primarily for defensive purposes…

    OK.

    …Nowadays, they are built more to prevent immigration, terrorism, or the flow of illegal drugs

    So in other words…for defensive purposes.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  22. @FO337

    no sooner than the plan is put in place the lefties will take on ten thousand each and leave you holding the bag, because social justice, etc.

    No. It is five years in the house of the host. And no welching. You cannot allow them to keep their skin out of the game.

    • Replies: @Trevor H.
  23. @Mike Krauthammer

    They just want to earn a few bucks and return to their home country.

    Please return to your “home country.”

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mike Krauthammer
  24. AnonyBot says:
    @Cagey Beast

    Father: “Quick, tear down the wall!”

    El Gallo: “No, leave the wall. Remember you must always leave the wall.”

    – from “The Fantasticks,” the longest running musical in history.

  25. Q. You write, “No invention in human history played a greater role (than walls) in creating and shaping civilization.” Some people might vote for writing or gunpowder. Make your case.

    Marriage played an even greater role than all of these combined. It gave something for walls to protect, for writers to keep track of, and for gunpowder to back it all up.

  26. @Corvinus

    Better yet, a remote control machine gun…

    …or water pistol, depending on the source. And the sources diverge, as that photo is from Bethlehem. Not Pennsylvania’s.

  27. @Anon

    Good fences make good neighbors.

    Sure do. Sometimes they even undercut Walmart.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
  28. @Mike Krauthammer

    I have heard that increased border security has actually led to more illegal aliens in the US at any given time.

    The theory being that they would prefer to go back and forth across the border periodcally for work. But since crossing back to the US is now riskier and more difficult they just stay in the US as long as possible.

    Not sure how big this effect is, but it seems very plausible.

    • Replies: @Romanian
  29. Trevor H. says:
    @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    If you haven’t noticed, they’re not particularly good at following rules, especially where immigration is concerned.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  30. @Mike Krauthammer

    In my opinion, Wall will be a Waste of time and money. I think all that money should be spent on better purposes.

    Like buying a vowel? Say, an ‘A’, maybe?

  31. MBlanc46 says:
    @Mike Krauthammer

    I don’t care what Mexican migrants want. I care what I want. I want them to not be here. I don’t care how they’re made not here, so long as they’re not here.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  32. Trevor H. says:
    @Mike Krauthammer

    Actually, third world migrants want nothing more than to move permanently to first world countries, where they can live quite comfortably and enjoy the many benefits of advanced nations built by other peoples.

    Built with bood, sweat, and toil expended at tremendous cost over many generations. Benefits now simply given to these people because they manage to break the most basic of rules.

    And you’re troubled because we don’t all welcome the demise of our homelands? Somehow your own agenda is becoming easier to discern.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  33. Jefferson says:

    “Refugees” waving Honduran flags while asking for asylum in The U.S. The Democratic Party’s new 2020 voter base.

    • Replies: @Lot
  34. Buck says:
    @Cortes

    In an ancient account I read of Rome’s founding (can’t remember which) had brothers Romulus and Remus arguing about which hill to place the city. Romulus picked the Palatine and Remus took the Aventine. Remus mocked his brother by jumping over Romulus’s small wall he had started to build to mark his territory. In response, Romulus commits fratricide to defend his border.

  35. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    Before the world built walls to keep convicts inside, they had to build walls to keep sackers and looters on the outside.

    The first ‘wall’ was emergence from water. In water, there are almost no walls though some creatures hide behind rocks and crevices. So, even intelligent animals like seals and dolphins are equal in power with dumb ones like shark and barracuda. But when life emerged from the ocean, there was a barrier between land creature and sea creature. Intelligence goes much further on land where is easier to create spaces and barrier among creatures.

    For survival, organisms relied on speed, size, or ‘hide’. A fish depends on speed. Its skin is easily lacerated but it can move fast. Some organisms are slow but so big that most dare not attack it. Whales. As for clams, they lack speed, but have hard shells and dig into the ground. ‘Hide’.

    The Liberal mentality favors speed. Speed of movement to get what it wants, to run from what it fears.
    Conservative mentality favors ‘hide’. Aptly named Archie Bunker. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Archie Bunker wants to hunker down and hide like a clam from zombies. The Negro wants to be out in the open and run for it. Conservatives like walls that remain, Liberals like balls that roll.

    Walls are of a conservative mindset. Ships, which made the West, are of a liberal mindset. Seas have long served as natural ‘walls’ between lands. Before the advent of great ships, the New World was sea-walled off from the Old World. Ships made it possible to move about and invade other lands. Vikings and then later Spanish and British. The West defined itself so much by discovery, invasion, and movement and destruction of walls all around the world that it got to thinking even its own walls must come down.

    With air travel especially, the dry world has become like the water world. Just like sharks can swoop down on any part of the ocean and attack smarter animals, masses of non-whites can now board planes and swoop down on the first world and take stuff from the smarter races.

    Initially, the West built ships and planes to conquer other lands. But as white minds got conquered and colonized by globo-homo virus, they are now welcoming invasion by leeches all over the world.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  36. A much-vaunted wall is fine with me–a much vaulted wall, not so much…

    There were two different lifestyles developing: a lifestyle of the people I call wallers, who are workers who build things and identify themselves by their civilian occupations… Non-wallers were peoples we generally refer to historically as barbarians, like the Huns, the Goths, or the Mongols.

    At yet isn’t it true that without the help of barbarians, wallers never would have developed to the extent they did? As the great Khans might have justified themselves to the Chinese…

    If you’ve got a magnetic compass, or you developed rice agriculture, you didn’t build that! Somebody else made that happen!

    …or maybe the Mongols were just more honest about their pillaging.

  37. It is an ancient idea. People have been building walls since the tenth millennium B.C. … There were two different lifestyles developing: a lifestyle of the people I call wallers, who are workers who build things and identify themselves by their civilian occupations… Non-wallers were peoples we generally refer to historically as barbarians, like the Huns, the Goths, or the Mongols.

    Just more evidence for the quality of Seven Samurai. In addition to its cinematographic and dramatic qualities, we can add accurately thematically capturing the state of early civilization…

  38. @Mike Krauthammer

    They just want to earn a few bucks and return to their home country.

    They want to earn too few bucks. That’s the problem.

    How are Americans supposed to afford health insurance if Mexicans– and Guatemalans and Salvadorans and Hondurans and Nicaraguans and Panamanians– can tell employers they don’t need any?

  39. Jefferson says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    The Left stopped being anti-Walmart when the Walton family all publicly announced back in 2016 that they stand with Hillary.

    The Walton family voted for Hillary Clinton even though the majority of their wealth came from Red State Trump America consumers.

    The top 10 states with the most Walmarts per capita are all states that voted for Donald Trump in 2016.

    The Walton family hate the majority of the people who shop at their establishments.

    • Replies: @gate666
  40. istevefan says:
    @Mike Krauthammer

    … Wall will be a Waste of time and money. I think all that money should be spent on better purposes. Many prominent Conservatives also agree with me on this.
    We should be more connected with each other rather than be separated by a barrier. Most Mexican Immigrants don’t want to stay…

    In case you have not been paying attention, the wall is not just to stop Mexicans. Other peoples are coming through that border.

  41. @Anon

    ” Israel erected a twenty-five-foot concrete wall there, with high-voltage wires running along the top.”

    Wow. Is that a “Wire of Death” like The Kaiser created for The Great War?

    • Replies: @Anon
  42. A lot of those early walls in the Middle East were aimed at keeping out the Habiru https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habiru. A Habiru folk epic describes the exploits of one Yoshua and his tribe, who made a career of invading civilized areas, sacking cities, killing all inhabitants except for a few comely and nubile females who were retained as slaves, and otherwise making a nuisance of themselves. The Habiru hated the walls which interfered with these endeavors. It may be that their descendants’ have retained a folk memory this hatred. This might help explain modern politics in Europe and the USA.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  43. Veracitor says:

    The ancient walls were built primarily for defensive purposes. Nowadays, they are built more to prevent immigration, terrorism, or the flow of illegal drugs.

    That is, they are still built for “defensive purposes.” Yeesh.

  44. @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    My maternal grandparents are Swedish Jews and paternal side has German and Welsh ancestry. I am 100 percent American. I don’t know why you uttered this “Return to your own country” nonsense.

    • Troll: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @anon
    , @Anon
    , @Pericles
    , @Moshe
    , @Svigor
  45. In Defense of Walls

    Next on Steve’s plate: In Defense of Balls.

    Why not recreate Wrigley’s ivy, or the Green Monster, along the Mexican border?

    Just to show there are no hard feelings. Those are among the most beloved walls in America.

  46. Lot says:
    @Jefferson

    Is Roger Stone behind having this happen right before the midterm?

  47. Anon[354] • Disclaimer says:
    @Joe Stalin

    You don’t have to go to Israel. You can pick up electric fencing at any feed store.

    But I don’t think this type works at international borders.

  48. @Redneck farmer

    Yeah, it’s a little ironic that the people least able to protect themselves without walls are the ones who object to walls most loudly.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  49. In his rally tonight, Trump again brought up the success of Israel’s wall. This must make Bill Kristol and Podhoretz pretty antsy. There he goes again, bringing up Israel. You’re not supposed to do that! Israel is not to be spoken of, unless it’s at the AIPAC convention or during a debate, and your comments in either case must follow a well-worn script. Trump is decidedly off script.

    • Replies: @Moshe
  50. @Charlesz Martel

    Next month:

    In Defense of Ceilings

    Building ceilings may have allowed civilization to flourish

    Humans have built ceilings to keep weather out, or in, for at least 12,000 years. Why is ceiling building coming back into fashion now?

    BY SIMON WORRALL
    PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 5, 2018

    It is an ancient idea. People have been building ceilings since the tenth millennium B.C. The ancient walls were built primarily for defensive purposes. Nowadays, they are built more to hold up light fixtures or to provide some privacy from your second storey neighbors. But there is a common connection, which is the idea of keeping what’s overhead out. …

    The first ceiling roofs aren’t found until the late 2000s B.C., in Mesopotamia. Security is why they were built. There were two different lifestyles developing: a lifestyle of the people I call roofers, who are workers who build things and identify themselves by their civilian occupations. They sought to secure themselves by building structures that would protect them even when they were sleeping at night. Outside, you have a very different sort of society, people inured to the dangers of living in an open-air world. Non-roofers were peoples we generally refer to historically as barbarians, like the Huns, the Goths, or the Mongols. They were viewed with fear by the roof-builders.

    Q. You write, “No invention in human history played a greater role (than ceilings) in creating and shaping civilization.” Some people might vote for writing or gunpowder. Make your case.

    A. I would make the case that there would be no writing and nothing as complex as gunpowder without first the construction of ceilings. The ancient human need for security is one of the fundamentals of life and has to be achieved before we can achieve other things. It was ceilings that gave people the security to sit and think. It’s hard to imagine a novel being written in a world in which the rain will fall on your manuscript or the sun will burn the back of your neck while you write. Until a society achieves ceilings, it can’t think about anything except the dangers above it. As a consequence its culture will be limited.


    Jaysus! Do we have to explain every obvious milestone of civilization all over again to these people? Where have they been for the last 12000 years? If they weren’t paying attention before, that should be on them, not us!

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @David
    , @Desiderius
  51. gate666 says:
    @Jefferson

    you forgot about bernie sanders.

  52. anon[177] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mike Krauthammer

    You’re not used to this site are you Krauthammer? Stop wearing your feelings on your shirt sleeve.

  53. Romanian says: • Website
    @Hypnotoad666

    “Don’t fight it! It will hurt more if you do!”

    The argument purposefully omits, I think, the number of illegals who would be attracted by the absence of a border wall and enforcement. This is the marginal illegal, I guess. The easier it is to do, the more people will do it who would have thought otherwise had things been different.

  54. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mike Krauthammer

    You’re a small business owner who can only survive by paying $4.00 an hour to illegals whose anchor babies are entitled to government housing food stamps and provide the basic living expenses and housing for your workers

    Bernie Sanders proposed that employers of people whose wages were so low they needed government housing and welfare should be forced to reimburse the government for the welfare cost.
    We the taxpayers are tired of supporting your cheap labor and their thug children who overcrowd the schools and then prisons.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  55. Jason Liu says:

    A broader take is that hierarchy and in-groupism creates civilization, walls are just a byproduct of wealth/power accumulation.

  56. theMann says:

    The Chinese built a big ‘ole wall – possibly you have heard of it – to keep the Mongols and others out. It failed. Hadrian built a bunch of walls to keep out Celts, Germans and Dacians, among others. They Failed. The Athenians built a wall to keep people, mostly Spartans, out. It failed. The Germans built a wall to keep people in. It sort of succeeded, but not for long. European cities built walls to keep people out. Siege after siege, they failed. Jerusalem had walls – didn’t stop the Romans, Normans, Saracens or anybody else.

    The history of wall building is the history of failure.

    If you want to stop the invasion of our nation along the southern border, a few helicopter gunships and a rapid reaction force PLUS THE WILL TO USE THEM, and in about two days the invasion of the southern border stops, permanently. No other method is going to work, short run or long run. building a wall is just a $40 billion boondoggle. Oh, and an act of moral cowardice.

  57. Pericles says:
    @Mike Krauthammer

    Lol, you’re a troll and that’s all there is to it. Have any more of your neighbors’ daughters married black men and had massive numbers of their babies recently?

    I’m intrigued to see the rare Swedish Jew mentioned though. A Bonnier/Herschel, or a Posener perhaps? Work on the verisimilitude.

  58. johnd says: • Website

    off topic, i remember that NG used to report hard news and not what passes for photo-journalism these days…

    Women want to be treated “equally”? Ms. Chapelle walks runs rings around today’s “journalists”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickey_Chapelle

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  59. It’s hard to imagine a novel being written in a world in which every man is a warrior.

    True, but from the Iliad to Beowulf to Tolstoy, there’s little worth writing about without the warriors. And also no security without them.

  60. David says:
    @Almost Missouri

    In the summer of 1662 Pepys and a neighbor on Seething Lane contract to have their roofs raised to enlarge their houses, which was undertaken without any provision for rain while the work was in progress. It’s like a sitcom for a few weeks as Pepys causally refers the problem of living in a house without a ceiling. E.g., 7/18/62: “At night to bed, being much troubled at the rain coming into my house, the top being open.”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  61. @David

    And Pepys was not a man weak at planning. He was a great civil servant who was one of the inventors of one of the dominant institutions of the modern world, the English Royal Navy. Before the mid-1600s, navies were built in times of war and allowed to decay afterwards. Pepys was one of the first bureaucrats in charge of keeping the Navy going year to year.

  62. Moshe says:
    @Mike Krauthammer

    This guy is awesome. The perfect Russian Bot.

    The stupid are always with us so let me explain that he’s the Democrat who doesn’t leave a tip while admonishing the waitress to remember to vote Republican.

    I love this guy.

    Tiny Duck has been mailing it in drunk lately. This Slav is good.

  63. Moshe says:
    @Bragadocious

    Netanyahu agrees with Trump and gets in trouble with going off script as well.

    As Steve noted before:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/netanyahu-endorses-trump-wall/

  64. The book being discussed in the interview, Walls: A History of Blood and Brick, is excellent. I picked it up after the interview came out a couple of weeks ago and finished it a few days ago. I’d been looking for something like this that didn’t resort to the usual anti-wall, Trump-bashing, open borders, build bridges not walls, yada yada. The bit where the author exposes “build bridges not walls” was worth it all by itself. They should make it required reading for Congress.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  65. @Always American

    This is like the only article of the last few years that doesn’t include a “Of course, I hate Trump” line.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Desiderius
  66. Svigor says:
    @Mike Krauthammer

    People genuinely concerned with gov’t waste don’t GAF about 20 billion for a wall. They have much bigger fish to fry.

    Only people who don’t want illegal immigration stopped are concerned about 20b for a wall.

  67. Svigor says:

    This guy makes a good case that the Mongols didn’t conquer Europe because Europe’s fortifications were too strong and numerous:

    Deep ditches and well-built walls: a reappraisal of the mongol withdrawal from Europe in 1242

    The Danube isn’t just where Europe stopped the Mongols, it’s also where the dividing line fell between “rich” and “poor” and “civilized” and “frontier” and “well-fortified” and “poorly-fortified” Europe. Stone fortifications on one side, wood on the other.

    If China had been as well-fortified as Europe, they would’ve had a much better go at repelling the Mongols. Research castles and you see that they’re really a European phenomenon, they weren’t nearly as much of a thing elsewhere. Probably 90%, 95%, or more of all castles were built in Europe. What fortifications there were in China (mostly just city walls) weren’t of high quality, either; lots of rammed earth.

  68. Svigor says:
    @istevefan

    Gunpowder made walls a lot less important and practical.

  69. Anonymous[401] • Disclaimer says:

    What’s interesting is how natural walls made good neighbors historically. Countries like Switzerland worked because the Alps helped to keep different cultures from doing things that ticked off their neighbors. And China and India although vastly different didn’t start getting all up in each other’s koolaid until modern times. Heck even what we take for granted, the walls of our home, help us to maintain a working relationship with everyone around. If my next door neighbor’s lazy teenager could freely walk over and help himself to my fridge we’d soon have a conflict going on.

  70. Mr. Beast has brought up Robert Frost and his poem Mending Wall.

    Tweet from 2015:

    • LOL: Cagey Beast
  71. OT: Speaking of walls and borders, I watched the second Sicario movie (Sicario: Day of the Soldado) last night, and it was pretty good. You will like it if you liked the first one. Available at Redbox for $1.75.

  72. @Steve Sailer

    Is the Kavanaugh affair really has had an impact, this is one of the changes we can expect to see.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  73. @Almost Missouri

    Do we have to explain every obvious milestone of civilization all over again to these people?

    Yes. It is the greatest honor. It is the best of what makes us human.

    Where have they been for the last 12000 years?

    In the fondest hopes and dreams of our ancestors.

  74. bjondo says:
    @bjondo

    An 1800′ deep hole should have been the replacement
    for the imploded 9-11 towers.
    Just continue the explosions down, down, down
    to celebrate Yidrael’s spectacular take down
    of an ugly, sun-blocking, eye-sore.
    Instead of “Freedom Tower”,
    “Satan’s Hole”.
    Come to worship,
    come to dump garbage.

    5ds

  75. Covfefe says:

    It’s almost as if ancient humans took care of things lower on Malsow’s Hierarchy of needs before they got around to inventing things higher up. And that they couldn’t get around to inventing those higher order things until their base needs were met.

  76. @Desiderius

    New claims say Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) assaulted several women in the 80s. Anybody wanna bet that this story will not be ignored, just like Keith Ellison’s story is being ignored?

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/10/19/uh-oh-woman-claims-unwanted-sexual-advance-senate-dem-late-1980s/

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  77. @Jim Don Bob

    Whoops!. Should be “this story will be ignored…”

  78. Why do American Leftists hate The Wall? Because walls work.

    There isn’t much ‘debate’ beyond that.

    Americans have to realize these bastards hate us no matter what. Knowing this is very liberating. Everyone hates Israel, but guess what? They don’t care. Israel’s wall works exactly as intended.

    Okay, Banksy might come and stencil a very sardonic and witty comment on it. F Banksy.

  79. Pat Boyle says:

    I see everyday that there is an army advancing on us. Apparently they are from Honduras.

    I have Google so I have a map. I looked it up. They have to go through Guatemala and then Mexico before they get here. Who among us has offended Honduras?

    I once visited the Mayan ruins but that was in Mexico. I could have traveled across a couple more international borders and gone to Honduras. They also, I’m told, have Mayan ruins there.

    So I have probably more connection to Honduras than 99% of Americans. I once thought briefly about visiting there.

    So why are these little brown people marching up here to make trouble? Still I would counsel moderation. Normally the appropriate response would be to work them over with a machine gun. But I think we might be able to deter them with a just a few snipers. If someone looks like a leader – take him out.

    If you don’t understand my remarks rent Soylent Green again. It’s a movie about 2018.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  80. @Cagey Beast

    Here’s a fisking of this famous Robert Frost poem. He wasn’t much of a farmer, so maybe the neighbor was sick of his ctrl-left (for the time) crap.

    Speaking of walls, Out in the Meadow, Joe Walsh explains it as best one can when your album is named The Smoker you Drink, the Player you Get:

    “I’m out here in the meadow,
    part of an old stone wall,
    stand here because he says so,
    waitin’ around to fall.

  81. @AnonyBot

    Yep, and I’d say the bridges number in the THOUSANDS, not hundreds. Peak Stupidity made a comparison of the Interstate Highway System to a simple effective border barrier a year and a half back. A decent border wall/barrier would be < a day's worth of the Feral budget, even allowing for the usual huge cost overruns and corruption.

    One detail the guy got wrong in an amazingly fair article for NAT-GEO. What he's referring to is not called the US Highway System. There are plenty of US numbered highways built over a century or so, but they are not the Interstate and Defense Highway System. Some are longer or at least equal than the interstates they roughly parallel – US 1 goes from Key West to the top of Maine, and US 2 goes from Boston, Mass to Everett, Washington. The famous Highway 41 goes from the Tampa, Florida area up to at least Detroit, where it is know as "Telegraph Road".

    That said, now I have every legitimate reason to embed these 2 songs with 2 of the best guitar players of all time. You need more time on the 2nd one (guitar gets going in the last 5 minutes):

    • Replies: @trelane
  82. @Mike Krauthammer

    I don’t get your handle. Shouldn’t it be a phrase consisting of an adjective and some kind of waterfowl?

  83. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pat Boyle

    I say we build a great big siege engine, or trebuchet, and start hurling them back over the border in a huge arc. Once they see that happening, the illegals will vamoose on their own.

  84. @Mike Krauthammer

    Tiny Duck’s more successful cousin.

  85. trelane says:

    Between each side of almost every wall ever built there’s a good side and a bad side.

  86. trelane says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Yea, Allman Brothers band on iSteve!

  87. The so-called ‘barbarians’ are actually the ancestors of the anti-immigrationist crowd that is the majority of the commenters here. It’s somewhat perplexing that this fact has not surfaced in any of the comments I have read. So, it is not as if the fall of the Roman Empire has destroyed civilization.

    Although the National Geographic interview is good, taken strictly in its historical purpose, the parallel to modern times should be made with caution. There is no defense aspect to Latin American immigration, regardless of it being considered ‘excessive’ or not. Armed land invasions are not in the foreseeable horizon of the USA.

    If Steve Sailer’s kind were to have the upper hand in immigration policy throughout history, German-descended folks (and that includes most of the English and much of the French and Italians, and overall a lot of Europeans) would still be confined to their tiny original places in Scandinavia and Germany. What would that have spelled for the future of ‘civilization’?

  88. @Mike Krauthammer

    No fair changing from Michael to Mike. That allowed you to slip past my retard (the type of clown that capitalizes “immigrant”) barrier wall (Commenters to Ignore list). Now I have to patch the hole.

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