Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Open Borders


You have all seen the images: the million-man march coming through Mexico toward the border of the United States.  I suppose you have also seen the pictures of hundreds of individuals climbing the fence that separates Spanish Africa from Morocco (did you know there was a part of Spain in Africa?).

Is it peaceful immigration, people looking for a better life, escaping tyranny?  Is it an invasion?  Can it be both?  How would you decide?  Are these people looking to establish homes in the unoccupied vastness of the Rockies, the deserts, the Alps? 

Are these people armed or unarmed?  Are they acting on behalf of another state?  Are they being supported by a malevolent non-state actor?  Maybe a (so-called) “non-governmental organization”?  Does an invasion require tanks and helicopters to be classified as such?  Is it OK if it is a private, mercenary army and not a state military?

If these people were marching toward your home, would you allow them an open border?  If you were paying someone – voluntarily or not – to provide protection from invasion, would you expect them to allow these “visitors”?

Until individuals in the west have complete private property rights, any talk of open borders is naïve at best and tyrannical at worst.  Until individuals in the west have complete private property rights, someone other than you will be making decisions about who does and doesn’t cross borders.

Until there are no state borders, it will be the state that makes the decision on who crosses the borders.  In a world of state borders, every decision regarding immigration is a centrally-panned, state-enforced-at-the-end-of-the-barrel-of-a-gun decision; even a position of open borders.

Anyone who calls for open borders in a world of state borders wants you impotent in the face of the million-man march.  This they describe as “liberty.”  If you don’t think The Camp of the Saints paints the picture, take a look again at the pictures from Mexico and Spain.

Anyone who calls for open borders in a world of state borders might be mouthing the word “liberty”; just keep in mind: it isn’t your liberty that they are talking about.

81 comments:

  1. I haven't commented in some time, but nevertheless faithfully read your articles, which I thank you for, since they are the most thought-provoking contributions to the Internet (and many of your commenters likewise). After reading Camp of the Saints a few years ago, I can't understand why anyone would think this mass invasion could be people wanting to homestead the mountaintops or deserts. I doubt Walter Block believes that either, but he seems to enjoy finding the loopholes. Peg in Oregon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Peg.

      I know that those loopholes make a contribution to libertarian thought. I also know that those loopholes come with a cost for liberty.

      Delete
  2. Nice post. Nothing like an actual invasion to drive home your point. Funny, the conditions in the 2nd and 3rd paragraph don't seem to mater except maybe to determine the necessary means of repelling them.

    A second question might be whether to consider the provokers and supporters of the invasion enemies, in effect eminent threats to person and property. Is it within the NAP to counter them with force?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regarding your second point, I hinted at this in the piece but did not develop the thought:

      "Is it OK if it is a private, mercenary army and not a state military?"

      Using Soros as a useful proxy, what if it is Soros financing this invasion as opposed to a state government / institution? Does this change anything? To answer "yes" given the "private property" of Soros seems to me a cop-out.

      Delete
    2. BM, Soros IS financing the invasion, or at least the group responsible for the current mass of would-be immigrants. And no, it doesn't change anything IMO. It just demonstrates that even governments have trouble holding on to monopolies. They are all criminal gangs; Soros' is just more distributed than most government gangs are.

      Delete
  3. I read Judge Napolitano's essay at LewRockwell. I was taken aback by the freshman's treatment on this issue.
    For *^*^&*,at LewRockwell's website and no mention of the time, economics and logistics involved with marching thousands of miles? No mention of the short time impact on welfare, the long term impact on health care and social security?
    Let the FedGov commandeer the railroads and move the "caravan" to Napolitano's State.
    Where did the Judge say I can opt out of Federal taxes?
    Is not the Judge advocating government violence against me, by forcing me to pay for welfare?
    At this point, I may advocate the taking over some Mexican lands as a buffer on our Southern border.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just read it as well. Very disappointed. Napolitano is a great man, but he has some undeniably leftist leanings. The same can be said for Walter Block.

      "They also lull one into the lazy mental habit..." - Napolitano

      It seems to me he was equally lazy in his denunciation of the very real problem identified in the Camp of the Saints. He never explained how the supposed founding "American" principle (as if America was ever founded as a single entity on a single idea - a very Lincolnian thing to say) will address this issue other than to arbitrarily say "people who want to work should be allowed in" and "my colleagues at The Wall Street Journal have demonstrated indisputably that most of the work that immigrants will do is work most Americans eschew." Well, if the Wall Street Journal says so... Maybe they eschew the work because we have a welfare system and a public prison system for our youth until they're 18 years old.

      He also offers the tired bromides about the supposed right to travel and the supposed fact that we are a nation of immigrants. If I was Lew, I would have sent it back for revision.

      Delete
    2. Jaimie, Heard Neapolitan say on Fox that deportation without a trial is profoundly unconstitutional. Every soldier in a foreign army could then cross the border, conquer the USA, but deported one by one only when tried and found guilty of criminality. Still laughing and that was in June.

      Delete
    3. Lew “responded” just as I imagined he would, by publishing this from BM. I think the Judge is pointing out the world as it is now and BM is suggesting how it should be. I think the two ideas meet in the middle if the constitution were amended to clearly state the feds have this kind of power.

      Delete
    4. jr, a factual comment based on Judge Napolitano's actual statements is certainly fine; making fun of his name is not.

      Delete
    5. Eric, your comment brought the following to mind:

      Any thoughtful reading of the items published by Lew at LRC will lead one to conclude that Lew does not necessarily agree with every word written by every contributor.

      Lew offers a wonderful playing field of ideas, broadly encompassing a libertarian / (properly) conservative / constitutional worldview.

      By his doing this, I have found that it enables me to find my place through thoughtful reflection and consideration of opinions not my own - all in a sandbox big enough to stretch my boundaries yet no so big as to be nonsensical.

      Delete
    6. Exactly, BM.

      Delete
    7. Bionic, I was obviously addressing the error and laughing about its consequences, not the man.

      Delete
    8. BM,

      "Lew offers a wonderful playing field of ideas, broadly encompassing a libertarian / (properly) conservative / constitutional worldview."

      I totally agree, and in another comment here when I stated that "if I were Lew, I would have sent it back for revision," what I meant was that it was not well written. My beef was not that I disagreed; it was that Napolitano offers nothing new to the discussion. Right to travel, immigrants do jobs natives don't want, natural law selectively applied, nation of immigrants, Trump splits up families, etc. rinse and repeat. Yawn!

      It was only noteworthy, because it came from a man I otherwise have a lot of respect for.

      Delete
  4. ON a technical note. I have been having problems posting comments with the following web browsers:
    Pale Moon, Brave, Chrome

    I am able to comment with Explorer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can offer no advice. Strange regarding Chrome, given that this blog is hosted by Google.

      Delete
    2. I always post with Chrome. Never had a problem.

      Delete
  5. It concerns me when I see the pictures. There are videos of men with guns handing out cash. There was a news story of a mother trying to keep her daughter conscious while riding a rickshaw due to the heat and exhaustion. There are people carrying flags of the nations they are leaving. I just don't get any of it.

    It will probably lead to an ugly stand off at the US border with military. There will probably be violence and death. Do the people not know this? I wish I knew what they have been told and what their expectations are? It is a very strange occurence.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think that if they are let in, more and more will follow their path and the American cultures of the Southern states will be overrun by those found much further south. Nothing could bring about socialism faster in the USA than tens of millions following in the footsteps of these few thousand. All hopes of Texas secession would vanish.

    For the libertarian in a democracy, it seems to me, voting for who gets to vote is every bit as practical, strategic and non-principled of a decision as who to vote for. Block concedes the latter but denies the former. Why?

    In the libertarian stateless society (LSS), there'd be no voting to impose your views on others against their will and at the expense of their property without this being recognized properly as aggression. Similarly, in the LSS, there'd be no mass influx of people that could then vote to impose their will on you against your will and at the expense of your property without this being recognized as aggression.

    Proponents of open border immigration often like to use our arguments against this inane position and level them against domestic citizens (since they often have no special affinity for any given culture, especially their own). Well, we can play that game too.

    What if there was a referendum as a part of a constitutional convention to vote on who gets to vote? Would Block be against voting to take the vote away from groups of people who have consistently demonstrated they will vote away natural liberties? How about all those who currently work for the state in any capacity? How about people currently on the public dole in excess of 50% of their income? How about those who own and work in private corporations who receive in excess of 50% of their revenue from state contracts? How about minority groups? How about people with red hair? How about women?

    There'd be no principled case against taking the vote away from any of these groups, since, as Block must concede, none of the individuals within these groups have a natural right to vote in the first place. Also taking the vote away would not in itself be an act of aggression. Diminishing participation in the state may erode its legitimacy and this would make room for more natural forms of authority to fill the void. But the most relevant question for the libertarian is this: would liberty increase or diminish as a result of the social unrest a policy such as this would surely cause?

    This line of argument is designed as an acid test to determine whether one's egalitarianism or libertarianism most prominently guides their positions on public policy and strategy towards bringing about liberty.

    P.S. In your post "The Camp," which you linked to, you mentioned Walter Block was writing something tailored to addressing Hoppe's and your position on immigration. Has it been published yet? And if so, have you responded? I've read some of your responses to Block and his to you, but I don't know where this one mentioned falls in the chain of correspondence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ATL, I cannot recall specifically if Block replied, but I suspect he did. I have grown quite exasperated with Block on this topic so I have quit addressing anything he writes on this. I have told him that I am doing this and have explained my reasons to him.

      Delete
    2. ATL, an interim step while the state exists: voting based on shares, like corps, where your vote is related to your out-payments (taxes) minus receipts (govt salary, welfare, SS, percent of your companies earnings tied to govt contracts, etc)?

      Delete
    3. I see. Maybe he has wedged himself in emotionally on this issue (at least in regards to the Unified States), and no amount of rationality will dislodge him.

      I was surprised by Napolitano's piece. I guess I never knew where he stood on this issue. I didn't realize his idea of natural law included forcing tax payers to finance a court hearing for asylum for each and every migrant who crosses the border illegally.

      Delete
    4. Sorry for the long comment above (and after I just criticized JR for this sort of thing), but what did you think about my argument that 'voting for who gets to vote' should be treated by the libertarian the same as we treat 'who we vote for?' After all, every so called pure-libertarian must admit that no one has the right to vote in the first place, and the only principled reason to vote is in self-defense. I'd like to see how all the notable libertarian 'open borders' anarchists, such as Walter Block, Larken Rose, Jeffrey Tucker, and Robert Higgs answer this question.

      Delete
    5. ATL, regarding Block and borders / immigration...I finally gave up when he said allowing 1 million communists into the country (I may have even offered "county") would be required under the non-aggression principle.

      This, along with some of the writing by FvD got me to thinking in a more focused way about if libertarianism is sufficient for liberty.

      Delete
    6. ATL here is the post summarizing my aforementioned exchange with Block.

      Delete
    7. Regarding your longer comment, ATL, I am having a difficult time following the comparison and therefore not able to comment intelligently.

      If you are willing, perhaps try again.

      Delete
    8. "If you are willing, perhaps try again."

      I'd love to. I'm gonna pick on Block here only because I know with certainty most of his positions on voting and immigration.

      1.) Imposing a democracy on a free society would be aggression, since it would be the initiation of violence. Voting is not a right. Block would agree.

      2.) When a democracy is imposed on you, it is not aggression to use it (by voting) as a means of re-establishing a fully free, or at least a freer, society, since the violence you're condoning is in self-defense. Voting is strategic. Block would agree.

      3.) There are three different ways of influencing a democracy with your vote. Either you (1) vote for policies directly by referendum, (2) vote for policies indirectly by representative, or (3) vote on who gets to vote.

      4.) Since voting is not a natural right, taking the 'right to vote' away from others (for any reason whatsoever) is not in itself a violation of the NAP.

      5.) The movement of people into a free society on or through owned property against the will of the property owners in an act of aggression. There is no such thing as the freedom of movement. Block would disagree. See the Blockean Proviso.

      6.) Movement of people into a democracy means new people who will get to vote to either roll back or expand aggression against property owners. Block would have to agree.

      7.) A libertarian can vote for restrictive immigration as a means of voting on who gets to vote, if he believes, with good evidence, that the immigrants will vote for expanding state aggression, rather than for rolling it back. And since both the 'freedom of movement' and the 'right to vote' are in discord with the NAP, the libertarian who chooses this means of democratic self-defense has not violated the NAP in so doing.

      That's about as concise as I can get it.

      Delete
    9. Eric,

      I don't see anything wrong with that!

      The 'one person one vote' rule (with equal weight per vote) has got to go. It will be a disaster for Western civilization.

      Delete
    10. ATL, it is a very creative approach; thank you for giving me the paint-by-numbers view!

      I have offered voting for similar (albeit, in my case, unstated) reasons on a different topic: secession / decentralization. It isn't that I find voting consistent with the NAP; it's just that that's about all we have unless we want war.

      I don't want war.

      The argument has been made: just because they become resident doesn't mean they also become voters / citizens. Of course, in the real world, we know that this idea is laughable. We know the corruption of the voting rolls.

      Delete
    11. BM,

      Thanks! It helps me to break my thoughts down numerically step by step sometimes. I don't want war either, and that's why I wouldn't actually support taking the vote away from different ethnic groups in the US. Strategically I believe it would be a mistake. But I could get behind taking the vote away from government employees and selective immigration laws to stem the flow of new socialist voters.

      I would like to know how Block would respond to number 4 above, but unless I'm wrong, that might be career suicide to answer it correctly. If anyone could do it though, it'd be Walter "Defending the Undefendable" Block.

      Delete
    12. Here's Rothbard on immigration and voting:

      A Libertarian Critique of Birthright Citizenship

      "t is also important to rethink the entire concept and function of voting. Should anyone have a "right" to vote? Rose Wilder Lane, the mid-twentieth century U.S. libertarian theorist, was once asked if she believed in womens' suffrage. "No," she replied, "and I'm against male suffrage as well.""

      Delete
    13. Hi ATL,

      Sorry for the interruption. It's a fine excerpt you link to though it's open to (mis)interpretation by leftists (won't bother to call them left-libertarians). The entire article by Rothbard (the Elder) is even better.

      Let me ask you something: Do you remenber the exchange between yourself and one "Just A Citizen" in the comments section of the LvMI Salerno article some time ago?
      I was cheering on the both of you then, but didn't upvote at the time (corrected that grave injustice right away of course). Wonderful and open discussion, until some Lincolnite was allowed to derail the thing.

      It's worth revisiting great articles and threads like those from time to time. See if your views still hold or have perhaps evolved.

      https://mises.org/wire/mises-nationalism-right-self-determination-and-problem-immigration#comment-3230057731

      The Libertarian dilemma:

      Once you have established your "culture" of Libertarian values, you cannot protect it from invasion by "cultures" who do not share it with you.

      Camp of the Saints problem for Libertopia?

      Cheers from Dutchystan near the North Sea,
      -Sag.

      Delete
    14. Eric: Ar you trying to save democracy? LOL.

      But yes, that is the only way to save it.
      The only way to get there however is a complete and utter collapse of the system.... and then hope that there are enough sane people around to institute it. Doubtful at best.

      Delete
    15. ATL: "I don't want war."

      And thus you can be exploited...

      Did I read the next line on this board?: A slave is someone who waits for somebody else to free him.

      While doing the dishes this morning I found myself thinking" Most libertarians seem to be relatively intelligent 1-2 deviations above normal, but almost all libertarians also seem not very successful in life. Though there are a few that live successfully of other libertarians. All in all, how many libertarians catch on to libertarianism because they feel wronged, blame the govt, and want somebody else to "free" them?


      PS: I am not advocating violence!!! I am advocating understanding of self and society. That in itself can set you 'free'. Even from libertarianism.

      Delete
    16. Whoops, the previous post should be addressed to BM, not ATL!

      If the admin can fix that, then he can remove this comment ;-)

      Delete
    17. Exploited? Maybe on this earth. I have other concerns. Anyway, absent my willingness to go on a suicide mission, exploitation it is.

      :-)

      As to finding a wealthy libertarian that I can live off of, send any you have my way.

      Delete
  7. I will say what I told my mother: Trump is not going to let these people in the country. He was put where he is for this exact reason. If he decides he has a heart and lets even a small portion of them in then he is going to lose majorities in the House and Senate. Then he will be impeached and probably found guilty in the Senate and imprisoned. And absent a pardon from Pence (Who will be in exactly the same position) he will go to prison.

    So, there will be a big media circus at these border crossings, lots of really ignorant people will be hurt attempting to cross and Trump will look like more of a big meanie than he is now. But the worst part is that it will change the opinions of no one and harden the opinions of everyone and get some poor folks killed in the process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, I believe your assessment in the last sentence is correct. As always, those used as tools for globalist plans will suffer the worst of it.

      Delete
  8. Good article. Last paragraph is a perfect explanation of why national defense morphed into humanitarianism.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Should have written: Good article, clarifies the difference between private property and coercive people control. (Clicked too soon.)

    ReplyDelete
  10. This line here is a favorite of the Open Borders Libertarians for reasons below is exactly wrong:
    "Are these people looking to establish homes in the unoccupied vastness of the Rockies, the deserts, the Alps?"

    This is one of Walter Block's points and it is just crap. His reason is that we should open the borders and these folks could just homestead the vast government owned unused land. I say B.S. Why not let the locals homestead this property RIGHT NOW and they they can decide through their property rights? Then the owners at their preference can give some of it to the hoards at the border? In other words Cliven Bundy gets the first chance to homestead it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. An invasion such as this one would be unheard of under a biblical government whose principle border and immigration law is the First Commandment and its respective statutes and *judgment.*

    This in turn would require all immigrants and visitors to leave their gods not Yahweh and laws not His at the border.

    No Muslim, for example, would ever agree to such a law and would look elsewhere to immigrate and do his dirty work, the worst of which is the proselytizing of our posterity to their false god.

    Additionally, the deterrent effect of the remainder of Yahweh's altogether righteous civil judgments (Psalm 19:7-9) would keep most immigrants with wicked intentions from every entering our borders unlawfully.

    It might just be a good time for Christians and Patriots to be promoting Yahweh's moral law as supreme rather than biblically seditious Constitution, responsible for sending America to the precipice of moral depravity and destruction.

    For more, listen to audio series "Immigration: Lawful, Legal, and Illegal: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly," beginning at https://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/tapelist.html#T1006.

    Then see Chapter 11 "Amendment 1: Government-Sanctioned Polytheism" of free online book "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective" at https://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/BlvcOnline/biblelaw-constitutionalism-pt11.html.

    ReplyDelete
  12. As an expatriate who emigrated from the US to South America years ago, my perspective is admittedly a little different from most of the respondents here. My opinion is also at odds with many/most who have commented on your article.

    It seems to me that how libertarians view this issue depends on whether they are looking at the question theoretically or practically; IOW as things are or as how they would prefer things to be.

    The late Harry Browne penned a great article about immigration entitled "The Immigration Scam" before we lost him. It was published on WND in 2001 at https://www.wnd.com/2001/09/10726/. Although I would strongly encourage reading the entire article, here is the "money quote" from it:

    A free and prosperous society has no fear of anyone entering it. But a welfare state is scared to death of every poor person who tries to get in and every rich person who tries to get out.

    There is also an excellent discussion of this issue by Hornberger and Ebeling on the Future of Freedom Foundation website called "The Libertarian Angle: The Immigrant Caravan" at https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/the-libertarian-angle-the-immigrant-caravan/

    I agree with Browne, Hornberger, Ebeling , Ron Paul and Judge Napolitano, who all contend that in a truly free and libertarian society that people should be free to move wherever they wish as long as their doing so doesn't infringe upon the property rights of others. As I see it, the problem isn't immigrants. The problem is the welfare Nanny State and a kakistocratic, oligarchic, plutocratic warfare state.

    Regrettably, as long as the latter exists, a truly free and libertarian society never will. Maybe--just maybe--what is required to expose the sham and finally break the back of the welfare/warfare state is not for fewer but more immigrants to flood in.

    Unfortunately, I'm one of those who fears that the only route to a libertarian society must inevitably run first through a total collapse of the old. Making the argument with reason, logic, facts and truth have quite obviously failed to bring it about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great points youve made, Carlos. And what's more the anti-immigrationists answer is more government, more government military intervention, the further militarization of the what is already a most unpleasant and intrusive police state. Its the classic case of socialism begetting more socialism to try to correct the ills of the former. As well there is the whole question of the corporation. The transnational corporation is really the great generator of prosperity and progress in the world. For the transnational corporation political borders are extraordinary nuisances, points at which they must deal with imperious government pests, places where they are subjected to government shakedowns and extortion rackets. Finally there is the question of the third world. In Haiti people must survive on a dollar a day. If there were open borders they'd all leave for the US where their productivity would increase 50 times over. With Haiti so depopulated the vicious dictatorship ( and like most dictatorships it is propped up by the US ) would collapse. At that point now wealthy Haitians who have migrated to the US could re-colonize Haiti bringing to it the great virtues of free market laissez faire capitalism. In other words, closed borders act to make possible brutal dictatorial regimes.

      Delete
    2. "Maybe--just maybe--what is required to expose the sham and finally break the back of the welfare/warfare state is not for fewer but more immigrants to flood in." - Carlos

      I think the 'accelerationist' argument for liberty is pretty undefendable. This would be equivalent to voting for the worst candidates so that liberties were taken away faster in order to provoke a response from the public in favor of liberty, but that is not at all guaranteed. If we're all frogs in the water heating to a boil on level 3, the accelerationists would turn the knob up to 8 (because that's not sadistic...) with the most sociologically and historically accurate result being the overwhelming majority of frogs crying out to the Knob Turner to save them.

      "people should be free to move wherever they wish as long as their doing so doesn't infringe upon the property rights of others." - Carlos

      And how will you guarantee that once they are here? The democratic state and the immense sprawl of tax payer funded public property (property of tax payers) creates a situation where it is practically unavoidable that newcomers will not "infringe upon the property rights of others."

      Delete
    3. Victor

      "In other words, closed borders act to make possible brutal dictatorial regimes."

      Closed or selective borders, in the age of democracy, can make sure that brutal dictatorial regimes do not exist everywhere. This is the age of popular government. Gone are the monarchical days when people saw a clear difference between ruler and the ruled. Dictator's of today are often democratically elected. The people under dictators are often responsible for their immense centralized power due to the popular ideas of how government should operate.

      If those people come here, they will bring a dictatorship with them. We don't need any outside help with that. We're doing a fine job without them.

      Delete
    4. Hi Carlos,

      As a Dutch aboriginal I'm looking at the question from a "how things are" perspective. From where I stand, I must say the money quote strikes me as rather detached from reality:

      "But a welfare state is scared to death of every poor person who tries to get in and every rich person who tries to get out."

      I think everyone here at BM's would agree that Holland is a welfare state. The fact that I live there doesn't in and of itself add weight to whatever argument I'm going to make, it is – like you said – merely a matter of perspective.

      So here's mine:

      Considering the past, say, couple of decades, the situation on the ground here in Dutchieland has been the exact opposite of the situation depicted in that peculiar money quote.

      It hasn't just been a case of the Dutch welfare state authorities not opposing countless poor unassimilable people coming in (with very poor prospects), it has been a case of open encouragement from the get go.

      Once in, these people (mostly from the religion of "peace" tribe) were given preferential treatment over the native population, right up to the point that a populist revolt seemed inevitable.

      Btw, recently in the UK, some open borders statist (lib dem politician) described this authoritarian multiculturalist practise approvingly as:

      "..rubbing their noses in Diversity."


      Anyhew, the figurehead of this Dutch revolt was of course incessantly demonized as a "closed borders dictator," assassinated on the 6th of May 2002 and then promptly replaced by a controlled opposition clown whom you might have heard of (Mr Wilders).

      Cheers from Woodenshoesland,
      -Sag.

      Delete
    5. Carlos

      “It seems to me that how libertarians view this issue depends on whether they are looking at the question theoretically or practically; IOW as things are or as how they would prefer things to be.”

      “I agree with Browne, Hornberger, Ebeling, Ron Paul and Judge Napolitano, who all contend that in a truly free and libertarian society that people should be free to move wherever they wish as long as their doing so doesn't infringe upon the property rights of others.”

      I agree with this as well…but there is an important…”but”:

      Looking at things “practically” as opposed to “theoretically,” and given that we do not live today “in a truly free and libertarian society” where people therefore move without “infring[ing] upon the property rights of others,” what is it, exactly, that you suggest?

      Because (mashing together a little Rothbard and Hoppe), any ethical theory that does not work in practice is for lalalibertarians. We have seen the fruits of nineteenth century utopian dreamers in the disasters of the early twentieth century. Too many libertarians are working too hard to convince the world that utopia is possible.

      Delete
    6. Bionic,

      Your article approached the question of the caravan and open borders from the standpoint of the world as it is, not as how we as libertarians might like it to be.

      Your article and your comment to which I am replying both seem to indicate your agreement that open borders should be preferred but are only practical "in a truly free and libertarian society." Since we don't live in such a society, you ask what I suggest.

      Obviously, my preference would be to bring about "LalaLibertarianLand" as rapidly as possible.

      Since that alternative doesn't appear possible, my next best suggestion is to strive for more realistic reforms as Robert Ringer outlined in his article published in Lew Rockwell today. Although I disagree with Ringer's conclusion, I do agree with what he says here:

      That said, if the United States were to declare undocumented residents ineligible for any form of government assistance, that would be a reality that would change everything. I’m talking about food stamps, unemployment benefits, and healthcare (yes, including emergency room services) — literally, all forms of public assistance — not to mention free education and myriad other government programs.

      Some other actions that would change the reality of the illegal-immigrant landscape include:

      Immediately terminating the United States’ absurd anchor-baby policy and have it adjudicated by the Supreme Court once and for all. Babies of non-citizens born in the United States are in no way, shape, or form covered by the 14th Amendment, which was adopted in 1868 specifically to protect the children of former slaves.

      Passing legislation to end the visa lottery and chain migration.

      Meting out steep financial penalties against employers who hire undocumented workers.


      But these actions don't answer the question of what to do about the immediate problem of the oncoming caravans. For that, I agree with Judge Napolitano's argument:

      The blanket rejection by force of everyone in the caravan violates the spirit and the intentions of the laws the president has sworn to uphold. Those laws mandate a careful examination of all who want to come here — on a neutral case-by-case basis — not a blanket prohibition.

      It's a really radical suggestion. It's called following the law,

      Delete
    7. I should have added that there is no way in Hades that Ringer's suggestions will ever come to pass.

      That is, unless radical change (that I so "longingly call for" as you so gingerly phrased it) were to occur.

      Delete
    8. Carlos

      “Your article and your comment to which I am replying both seem to indicate your agreement that open borders should be preferred but are only practical "in a truly free and libertarian society."”

      To make my view clear: open borders is not a libertarian position in a world of state borders. Every border “policy” is a centrally-planned, state-enforced policy. There is nothing “libertarian” about this.

      Further, open borders is not a libertarian position in a fully libertarian world. As all property would be privately owned, each “border” would be managed in accordance with the wishes of the property owner. One can only derive “managed borders” from the non-aggression principle.

      In our current world I can envision many policy changes to make border crossings more “libertarian,” but open borders is most certainly not one of the options.

      As to Ringer, I agree regarding his recommendations for changes in law. However, I am confused, when you reject his conclusion and state: “It's a really radical suggestion. It's called following the law.”

      I note you didn’t copy the following from Ringer’s post:

      “As to the “caravan” invasion now making its way to the United States, solving this problem is already covered by Title 8, Chapter 12, of the U.S. Code. That’s right, the president already has unrestricted emergency powers to require all non-citizens arriving at our border to be turned away, regardless of sex or age and regardless of their reasons for wanting to come here. (Amnesty requests, of course, should be considered only if they are applied for at an American embassy in another country.)”

      It seems it’s already the law. Have you read the code? There are a few dozen ways under which the president, the Secretary of State, or the Secretary of DHS can legally stop this mass immigration. I do not suggest that I agree with all of this, but you are the one who introduced “following the law” in the discussion.

      Delete
    9. Bionic--

      As to Ringer, I agree regarding his recommendations for changes in law. However, I am confused, when you reject his conclusion and state: “It's a really radical suggestion. It's called following the law.”

      Your confusion stems from the fact that my comment was in regard to Judge Napolitano's statements regarding the current law in place for Central American refugees seeking asylum.

      Regarding the president's authority to turn away all non-citizens at our border by declaring an emergency, that's a cheap cop out but I wouldn't put it past Trump to do so.

      Delete
    10. "...that's a cheap cop out..."

      Maybe, maybe not. But it is the law. And I am only playing by the rules that you set!

      :-)

      Delete
    11. "To make my view clear: open borders is not a libertarian position in a world of state borders. Every border “policy” is a centrally-planned, state-enforced policy. There is nothing “libertarian” about this."

      By this logic, every laissez-faire policy would be just another "centrally-planned, state-enforced policy." So forget free trade, reduced regulations, and an end to the drug war. This strikes me as patently absurd. How is keeping out immigrants any different from keeping out cheap Chinese crap and dangerous drugs? If it is no different then throw libertarianism out the window.

      "Further, open borders is not a libertarian position in a fully libertarian world. As all property would be privately owned, each “border” would be managed in accordance with the wishes of the property owner. One can only derive “managed borders” from the non-aggression principle."

      I don't know what type of world of private property you envision, but when I think of a world of private ownership of roads and other currently publicly owned property, I cannot for the life of me imagine that the owners of roads would give a damn where their customers were born. The same goes for most landlords, property sellers, and employers. I suppose you could imagine a world of gated cities that would restrict access like some kind of draconian HOA, but I can't imagine too many people voluntarily donning such a straight jacket. It is common even now to hear complaints about overly controlling HOAs.

      Delete
    12. Wrong, wrong and wrong. Other than that, you are right.

      Take the drug war. The state merely has to eliminate laws regarding the non-violent use of drugs. No other action is necessary to make this libertarian. Contrary to an open borders policy, which requires the state to take two actions: open the border and fully respect private property.

      Walter Block has already conceded this point, albeit he hasn't changed his view on open borders:

      http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2017/06/block-and-bionic-duke-it-out.html

      Chinese goods don't vote, don't go to public school, don't utilize any assets that I have paid for and that they have not. Isn't this obvious to you?

      As to what you can or can't imagine an owner doing (who made you king?), you are arguing a position I have never taken. Private owners set the conditions under which others may enter their property.

      No shoes, no shirt, so service. Can you imagine that?

      Delete
    13. "I cannot for the life of me imagine that the owners of roads would give a damn where their customers were born." - Greg

      Well, they may care if these customers trash their property, don't pay for the use of it, drive dangerously causing traffic accidents without any form of insurance or intention to restitute victims. They may care if they gather in gigantic crowds for long pilgrimages on foot across their property, using their property inappropriately, without paying and diminishing the utility and safety of all the paying customers. Yes, these can all be predictable behaviors based on culture, and to the extent an ethnicity aligns culturally, ethnicity as well.

      You're saying if your life depended on it, you couldn't think of one of the above problems?

      "No shoes, no shirt, so service" - BM

      Lol. Where I grew up, this was on the front door of nearly every establishment.

      "By this logic, every laissez-faire policy would be just another "centrally-planned, state-enforced policy."" - Greg

      I think to some extent you are correct here. And this is why limited governments can often be the most dangerous as Hoppe has shown in his critique of American history. They are the most dangerous because of the wealth and capital infrastructure they accumulate during their periods of laissez faire policy - wealth and capital that they may later descend upon to direct toward the ends of war and conquest.

      I think that we should pursue laissez faire policies, however, because this will create the most amount of decentralized wealth in opposition to the state. It is important to note, however, that libertarianism doesn't necessarily mean laissez faire trade. It means consensual law. This means each property owner is free to become a member of a law association which prohibits trade with certain outside groups. It also means property owners can prohibit the transport of certain goods across their property.

      Delete
  13. "Maybe--just maybe--what is required to expose the sham and finally break the back of the welfare/warfare state is not for fewer but more immigrants to flood in...I'm one of those who fears that the only route to a libertarian society must inevitably run first through a total collapse of the old. Making the argument with reason, logic, facts and truth have quite obviously failed to bring it about."

    Good argument up until the above. Collapse, as we saw a little bit of in 2008 with the financial crisis, would call for the old order to tighten its grip even more. We'd be flooded with even more immigrants, get higher taxes and health-care costs to support them, and pine for the relative peace and tranquility of these times.

    Established interests don't disappear when collapse occurs. They double down on their efforts to show us how much we "need" them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jonathan and ATL both attempt to make the same argument, i.e., that if conditions dramatically worsen then the powers that be/"established interests" will "double down on their efforts to show us how much we 'need' them."

      There can be no doubt that those in power will always do everything they can to hold on to that power. However, contrary to ATL's assertion, history shows that generalized suffering, collapse and/or government attempts to aggressively tighten control ("doubling down" or turning the knob up to 8 as ATL says) is exactly what precipitates revolution and dramatic changes. Without such precipitating conditions what else could possibly incite a populace to push for radical change?

      I would also take exception to two other points made by Jonathan and ATL:

      1. Jonathan argues that collapse brings tighter government controls, more immigrants ("we'd be flooded with even more immigrants"), higher taxes and higher social costs related to supporting the tsunami of new immigrants. The collapse of 2008 offers indisputable proof of the converse, i.e, the 2008 collapse caused a huge exodus of foreign immigrants from the US back to their countries of origin. We certainly witnessed that phenomenon here in South America.

      2. ATL asks how I will guarantee that immigrants won't infringe on the property rights of others. Please read the opening premise of my remarks. You are looking at this issue as if conditions can never change toward a more libertarian bent. That is exactly my point, i.e., without dramatic changes in the status quo, there will never be enough impetus to push people to demand radical reform. People in the US are too fat, dumb and happy to push for change that would be initially uncomfortable. Until that changes, what is their motivation to call for substantive reform?

      Delete
    2. Carlos,

      “Without such precipitating conditions what else could possibly incite a populace to push for radical change?”

      “Incite a populace”? Are you serious? We have seen examples of this “radical change” for which you so longingly call for: 1789 France, 1917 Russia. It was the radical change of utopians. You can have it.

      The populace is pushing for change today; we see it throughout Europe and we see it in the United States. The change is coming; the only hope of moving toward liberty is if the change remains relatively peaceful – and not radical.

      Delete
    3. Bionic--you wrote:

      “Incite a populace? Are you serious? We have seen examples of this "radical change" for which you so longingly call for: 1789 France, 1917 Russia."

      And 1775 British colonies, 1798 Ireland, 1804 Serbia, 1808 Latin America, 1820 Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, 1830 Belgium, France, Poland and Switzerland, 1848 Europe, 1850 China. My point, Bionic--which you take to extremes--is that people who are content with the status quo will not support radical change.

      Do you deny that moving from our current situation to a libertarian society would be a radical change?

      Do you honestly contend that transitioning to a libertarian society could be done slowly and incrementally without upheaval and without any precipitating conditions? Seriously?

      You also said:

      "The populace is pushing for change today; we see it throughout Europe and we see it in the United States. The change is coming..."

      Yes, you are absolutely right. The populace is indeed pushing for change. But the change they are pushing for is not in a direction at all favorable for libertarians.

      Delete
    4. Carlos

      “Do you deny that moving from our current situation to a libertarian society would be a radical change?”

      In many ways, I deny that it would be a radical change. In a few of the most important ways, it would be a radical change.

      “Do you honestly contend that transitioning to a libertarian society could be done slowly and incrementally without upheaval and without any precipitating conditions? Seriously?”

      Have I written this? Seriously? I just pushed back on the idea of inciting a populace. For most of the populace, this doesn’t end well.

      “Yes, you are absolutely right. The populace is indeed pushing for change. But the change they are pushing for is not in a direction at all favorable for libertarians.”

      I disagree. They are pushing for political decentralization. Do this a few dozen times in a few dozen places around the world and we might start evolving more toward a libertarian world – where each individual will have a multitude of governance structures from which to choose. As lalalibertarian utopia is not an option, it is the best we can do in a world of imperfect humans.

      But you tell me your plan. What do you mean by “incite a populace”? Spell it out plainly; be specific.

      Delete
    5. Bionic--

      Have I written this? Seriously? I just pushed back on the idea of inciting a populace. For most of the populace, this doesn’t end well.

      Poor word choice on my part. Instead of using the word "incite" I should have said "motivate" or "inspire" or "stimulate." I certainly do not advocate revolution like the French or Russian varieties you cite. But I think we both agree that until things get pretty darn uncomfortable for most people, they have little motivation (incitement?) to demand change.

      I disagree. They are pushing for political decentralization.

      I hope you are right but that's not what I see at all. I have long been an advocate for something akin to the Swiss cantonal system as it was originally conceived and structured [https://liberty-intl.org/2000/03/the-swiss-cantonal-system-a-model-democracy/]. I see that as at least a baby step along the path toward a more libertarian society.

      But you tell me your plan. What do you mean by “incite a populace”? Spell it out plainly; be specific.

      I don't need to devise a plan; it's playing out before our eyes right now. I just don't believe that there is anywhere near a critical mass of like-minded people to successfully demand and achieve devolution and political decentralization in the US. Everything I see indicates that the impetus is--as ATL and Jonathan posited--for greater centralized authority, power and control.

      I don't see things breaking our direction until things go to heck-in-a-handbasket. And--regrettably--I fear that's not too far down the road the way things are going.

      Delete
    6. Carlos, I can live with and even endorse "motivate" or "inspire" or "stimulate." So we don't disagree here.

      "But I think we both agree that until things get pretty darn uncomfortable for most people, they have little motivation (incitement?) to demand change."

      The votes for Trump and Sanders demonstrate this. As the supporters of neither are getting what they want, I believe it will only get worse (or better) in 2020. See the Angelo Codevilla piece at LRC this weekend - along with everything else he has written on this topic.

      "I just don't believe that there is anywhere near a critical mass of like-minded people to successfully demand and achieve devolution and political decentralization in the US."

      Not yet and maybe not soon. But as the center is no longer allowable, the sides are moving toward extremes. I fully grant, not libertarian extremes. But I will start with decentralization.

      I have no doubt that the red counties would accept this outcome today. We just need the blue counties to see the light.

      Delete
    7. Also on LRC is a great Ron Paul interview of Luke Rudkowski in which Luke explains how in the Mexican town of Cheran, once the people were able to drive out the political class, the government, and the police it was an easy matter to then drive out the drug cartels and criminal element. For almost a decade now this small town, and many others in the Michoacán region of Mexico, have been living in a state of anarchy - and loving it. Prosperity is way up while the cost of things once provided by government is way down and way better. Their credo seems to be 'Anarchy. Just do it'. And of course since they are now thriving they have no inclination to abandon their home and migrate to the US - although surely such libertarian anarcho-capitalist minded individuals would be a welcome addition !

      Delete
    8. "Jonathan argues that collapse brings tighter government controls, more immigrants ("we'd be flooded with even more immigrants"), higher taxes and higher social costs related to supporting the tsunami of new immigrants. The collapse of 2008 offers indisputable proof of the converse, i.e, the 2008 collapse caused a huge exodus of foreign immigrants from the US back to their countries of origin."

      UTTER, UTTER nonsense. We've seen MORE immigration into the U.S. since 2008, not less. That is a fact that in inarguable.

      "We certainly witnessed that phenomenon here in South America."

      I can't argue what you saw or just think you saw in South America, but the immigrants were hardly coming from just there. Take the note of the current Central American caravan.

      Delete
    9. Think about economic conditions in the US after the 2008 meltdown. Think about job opportunities, especially in the service and construction sectors where many/most illegal immigrants find work. During and after an economic collapse will job opportunities be better...or worse?

      Your theory is obviously counter-intuitive. And the facts support my assertions as well as what we witnessed in South America. Here are a couple of fact-based statistics for your consideration:

      1. [excerpted from https://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2015/jul/28/donald-trump/donald-trump-says-number-illegal-immigrants-30-mil/] The U.S. Department of Homeland Security comes up with an estimate of the number of illegal immigrants each year, and its most recent estimate was 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants as of January 2012. That includes those who entered the United States illegally and those who overstayed their visas.

      According to the department’s estimates, the number of illegal immigrants peaked around 12 million in 2007 and has gradually declined to closer to 11 million.

      2. [excerpted from http://latinalista.com/palabrafinal/immigration/china-india-overtake-mexico-as-top-source-of-immigrants-to-the-u-s] Mexico no longer occupies the top post as the largest provider of immigrants to the United States, according a 2013 U.S. Census Bureau project published earlier this month.

      Of the 1.2 million recent immigrants counted in 2013, China and India were the top two immigrant-sending countries with 147,000 and 129,000 immigrants, respectively. Mexican immigrants numbered 125,000 that year...

      Census Bureau demographer Eric Jensen wrote that the new immigration flow may affect the ethnic and racial makeup of the country:

      While Hispanics are still the largest racial or ethnic minority group, a larger percentage of the Asian population was foreign-born (65.4) compared with the Hispanic population (35.2) in 2013. Given the numbers above, it is likely that the contribution of immigration to overall population growth will be greater for Asians than for Hispanics.

      Immigration Policy Institute analysts Muzaffar Chishti and Faye Hipsman write that the decrease in Mexican immigrants may be a result of the Great Recession of 2008 and that the U.S. has increased attention to the border, making it more difficult for unauthorized migrants to cross into the country.

      On top of that, Chishti and Hipsman point to a generational split between the current Mexican population and the one of the early '90s.

      The Mexican economy has meanwhile strengthened and stabilized in recent years, creating new job opportunities. And the country has greatly expanded its educational system, providing young Mexicans who want to improve their lives with viable alternatives to migrating north.

      3. [Table at https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2017-Dec/BP%20Total%20Apps%2C%20Mexico%2C%20OTM%20FY2000-FY2017.pdf] The facts show that CBP apprehensions peaked in 2000, declined the following four years, started to increase slightly leading up to the crash in 2007-2008 and has declined steadily ever since.

      I can't argue what you saw or just think you saw in South America, but the immigrants were hardly coming from just there. Take the note of the current Central American caravan.

      One caravan does not a trend make. I prefer facts to sensationalized news.

      Delete
  14. I posted this review on Amazon in 2015 after reading The Camp of the Saints (which was recommended on LRC by Ralph Raico): "This book is not about poor versus rich. Nor, as purported by some of the other reviewers on this website, is it about whites and non-whites and their respective status in the world. To call it racist is to miss the point. Instead, its theme is nothing less than the end of Western Civilization. It’s about throwing away with both hands the ideas of individual liberty, the right to life, the rule of law, and not least, the inviolability of property.
    Even now I can sense the horror of some readers at that last item, and that’s why this book is an important one. It is property rights that are basic to civilization, for without them other rights will wither away. It’s my opinion that even the author didn’t understand this. The story uses the parable of a colossal invasion of poor people onto the southern shores of France. The impotence of the people of the western world to appropriately respond to this invasion of other people’s property delivers the coup de grace." Submitted by Peg in Oregon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good, Peg. But it may not be "the last item" which causes horror in some; you used the term "Western Civilization." This is unforgivable.

      :-)

      Delete
    2. Since I read The Camp of the Saints and wrote the review in early 2015, your comment about me implying that "Western Civilization" is a positive value is now considered by some to be unforgivable, you are quite correct, and it plainly illustrates how much further down the road to perdition we in the U.S. have traveled in a mere three years. Peg

      Delete
    3. Very fair point, Peg. Time flies...even when we are NOT having fun!

      Delete
    4. Based on my interactions with left-libertarians, "Western Civilization" is worse than unforgivable. It's irrelevant. Yes, these freethinking and oh-so-enlightened secularists--they're always (aggressive) secularists--know the semblance of freedom we Westerners enjoy simply sprung from the void.

      Freedom has no civilizational foundations. That's a myth promoted by Neanderthals hell-bent on advancing the always encroaching Christian theocracy.

      All the world needs is the left-libertarians' high-sounding abstractions. The invading hordes can't help but come to embrace them. You'll see.

      Delete
    5. Tony, well and succinctly stated. Destroy Western Civilization and Gramsci will be the winner, not liberty.

      Delete
    6. Hi Peg,

      With regard to both the book you mention and the title of this topic, I can't resist a quote from Murray Rothbard:

      "Open Borders, or the Camp-of-the-Saints Problem

      [...] A totally privatized country would be as "closed" as the particular inhabitants and property owners desire. It seems clear, then, that the regime of open borders that exists de facto in the U.S. really amounts to a compulsory opening by the central state, the state in charge of all streets and public land areas, and does not genuinely reflect the wishes of the proprietors."


      Open borders = compulsory opening by the central state. Says it all.

      Cheers from across the Atlantic,
      -Sag.

      Delete
    7. That Rothbard must be an irrational libertarian. Just ask that Scott what's-his-name.

      Delete
  15. As I read Jefferson and Madison I get a picture of an America established to be the place where people could break free from the bonds and forms impressed on them by the political authority from whence they came - and recast themselves as free individuals governed by their own capacity of reason. America was to be a place where all in the world could come to live free from coercion of any kind. This embrace of philosophical freedom translated into the accumulation of a fantastic wealth in the freedom of laissez faire capitalism and free markets. Hoppe points out that it is exactly this great economic success which made America the target of political conquest. The Progressives starting in the late 19th century began a conquest of America culminating in the belligerent socialist monstrosity of today. The Globalists want to do to the world what the Progressives did to America. And just as the fiefdoms of medieval Europe were absorbed into the larger nation states, the Globalists want to absorb all nation states into a single world state. Now it is understandable that transnational corporations would favor a borderless world with a single regulatory and tax authority to the hundreds of such authorities they must contend with now. For the libertarian the problem is not so much the deborderization of the world but the threat of the transnational corporation gaming the transnational bureaucracy of the mono state, using its regulatory regime to benefit the large company at the expense of the small.
    The Libertarian must now simply want for the world what Jefferson wanted for America. He must want a place free from political control of any kind. For him regulation is entirely a force to be exerted by the consumer, a ceaseless process in which the consumer sorts out the good from the bad. For the libertarian the only just ruler is the consumer in exercising his freedom to choose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bringing in more people who could not be more anti-Jeffersonian in their view of government surely will bring libertarian utopia.
      It is almost working.
      Bring more.
      Jefferson's tree needs watering.

      Delete
    2. Political states are essentially monopoly corporations with the power to force 'customers' to purchase their 'services'. The only way such a customer can exert consumer control over such a corporation is to flee the one and to take his chances with another. This consumer discipline of state monopoly corporations actually worked to great effect in medieval Europe. States were quite small e.g. the city state - so it was easy to walk out of one and into another. This forced city states to be competitive in terms of tax and regulatory policy. This competitiveness kept political intervention low - the conditions necessary for the fantastic technological and economic growth of Europe aka Western Civilization.
      Viewed from the broad perspective of consumer choice, immigration - and particularly emigration - are the only available means for exerting control over political power.

      Delete
  16. Well that didn't take long. This open borders article by a certain "Scott" Lazarowitz a blogger also present on the LewRockwell site:

    http://scottlazarowitz.org/blog/2018/10/the-irrational-vs-the-rational-of-libertarians/

    -Sag.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slight revision: It might have been helpful if Scott Lazarowitz had stated just where he believed Bionic was off-base in pointing out that as long as there are state borders, it will be the state itself who determines who gets in and who gets out. Is that not self-evident? Peg in Oregon

      Delete
    2. He infers that which I have never implied; and in fact have written contrary to his inference. He complains that I have created an either / or scenario, when I have offered other alternatives.

      He cites Jacob Hornberger as rational, yet shows his stripes as he argues against the same strawmen that JH creates. Rational is as rational does, I guess.

      Peg, yes, you might expect such simple statements could be easily refuted... if there was a refutation to be had. Instead of taking the simple meaning, he punches at ghosts.

      With libertarians such as these, it is fine with me to be labeled "so-called." I would prefer not to be tarnished by the same brush. Nor will I respond, as other "rational" libertarians have demonstrated that they cannot reply in cogent manners on this topic.

      If they would just get on with it and call it a man-made religion we could be done discussing this from a libertarian point of view.

      Delete