Far wiser heads than mine have spoken, and at length. Yet I find one of my chief concerns regarding Expansion remains unquarried; I shall therefore mine it. And if anyone tells me to mine my own business, they deserve whatever they get for such a pun.
Expansion, as I am given to understand by the discussion herein, consists of a slow push outward. Extending the Mistwall around and through a greater degree of land slowly, gently, and causing the humans to step aside as they would before, let us say, a mudslide.
My problem, O magnificent intellects, is this: The success of Expansion depends upon a specific reaction by the humans to our actions; that they will move aside before what appears to be a natural phenomenon.
In the first place, take my simile to its conclusion; if by some mischance a mudslide occurred upon your lands, perhaps you might accept it and expand elsewhere. Or perhaps you might attempt to reclaim the land your family and forefathers claimed. You might even attempt unthinkable acts in order to accomplish this; we've all known inexperienced fishers who put far too many poppers in the water. The lucky ones could still swim for shore. How much more might a person undertake if emotion or avarice be aroused?
In the second place, in which direction shall we expand? Without the exploration demanded by Free Trade, how can we know if we compass farmland, fen or firewaste? This applies not only to nature, but to matters politic; if we take in contested land, the blame will likely be laid at the doorstep of the other contestant. The law holds: You cannot do just one thing. Will we start wars, and excuse them because our people are not the ones butchered?
Lastly, but most worrisome, is this: There was, long ago, a movement which held as its central tenet the idea that humans would react a specific way to a specific action. That, faced with powers beyond their understanding, humans would accept their lot.
I believe we are all familiar with the Fakirs? More importantly, with their eventual fate?
I do not set forth Free Trade as a panacea, colleagues; only one mediicne cures all ills, and that is Death. Free Trade would open our borders to Change, that most unpalatable sweetmeat upon the plate of life. Yet in the end, we must accept the fact that Change shall come. Let it come by our actions, rather than our inactions. Let the decision not be made for us by outside forces, but by we ourselves.
In the end, I expect my position is coloured by the parable of the Talents. When last we make our accounting, will we say that we have dared to try? Or shall our sole defense be, "I did nothing"?