But there exists another type of border, one that doesn’t reflect back our image. In vampiric asymmetry, it offers only the void. There are no barriers, no officials, no capitals on the other side. The world as we know it — reciprocal even across national borders — ends here. One thinks of the American West in the mid-19th century, or parts of Brazil into the 20th. The borderline does not merely separate two territories, but two paradigms: law and order from anarchy, progress from primitivism. Or perhaps, seen from the other side: freedom from oppression, purity from decadence.The Undiscovered Country
In earlier times, such lawless anomalies were surprisingly common, even in the middle of “civilization.” London was riddled by as many as a dozen legal safe havens, where debtors and criminals could seek refuge from arrest . Emerging first in the Middle Ages, they persisted until Parliament abolished the last of them in 1723.