by Simon Black: Why
You Need a Second Passport
followed this letter for any length of time, you know that I tend
to roam around the world with great frequency; we’ll typically
have these conversations across 40 to 60 countries in 6 continents
over a year’s time.
Lots of international
travel means lots of silly stamps, seals, and stickers to fill up
the visa pages in my passports. Even though I have multiple passports,
they tend to fill up within 18 months or so given my travel schedule.
US passport, for example, was issued last February while I was in
Thailand. By late summer, there was barely a single square inch
of space remaining, so today I had the unfortunate displeasure of
heading down to the US consulate in Cape Town to have them insert
Each time I’m
forced to demean myself in this way – sitting around those sterile
government waiting rooms and filling out useless paperwork only
to justify the salary of some bureaucrat – I have plenty of
time to reflect on the nature of this system.
You see, for
hundreds, even thousands of years, people moved about the earth
without any bureaucracy whatsoever. Just like the African elephants
I encountered last week who roam freely between Botswana, Zambia,
and DR Congo, people too used to travel freely without worrying
too much about invisible lines on a map.
Even up until
World War I when boundaries between empires were clearly defined,
people could still cross borders without the need of a passport.
After the war,
some do-gooders at the League of Nations decided that we couldn’t
have all those people traveling freely without government intervention…
so they sponsored a series of conferences aimed at designing an
international travel document, and worked to establish global border
checkpoint protocols that required having one.
all of this bureaucracy is dressed up to make it sound like it’s
for our protection. On the first page of my US passport, for instance,
of State of the United States of America hereby requests all whom
it may concern to permit the citizen/national of the United States
named herein to pass without delay or hindrance and in case of need
to give all lawful aid and protection.”
enough, right? It sure is great to know the government has our back
to make sure we’re safe and sound.
What a total
farce. The passport isn’t about the State Department “protecting”
us anymore than Homeland Security fondling 4-year-old girls at the
airport. It’s about control.
Why else would
they implant RFID chips inside passports, or require biometric data
like fingerprints and iris scans? These are all things that have
significant costs… but absolutely zero benefit to taxpayers.