Monday, December 7, 2015

Just Curious

(CNN) – Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump called Monday for barring all Muslims from entering the United States.

"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," a campaign press release said.

I am reasonably certain that some libertarians somewhere will post (if they haven’t already) that this represents the position of most (or certainly this) libertarians who argue against open borders. 

I will look for any such commentary; however, I ask if any readers see something like this – especially from one of the regulars who hold to open borders – please offer a link in the comments.  I will enjoy slicing it into 1000 little pieces.


  1. This is SO LOADED. OK, here's my attempt. I'm a libertarian. As such, I honor each of us as individuals. Warts and all. To discriminate against anyone by virtue of one's (arbitrary) collective grouping is the worst of crimes. On the other hand, to open borders indiscriminately is a violation of the trust that the people put in the ruling authorities.
    So, in the spirit of all good NYC night clubs, open doors, but with discretion. (Trust, but verify haha)

  2. "To discriminate against anyone by virtue of one's (arbitrary) collective grouping is the worst of crimes" Worse than rape or murder? No, I get it, I get it. Hyperbole.

    As a matter of fact, it's not a crime at all. Crime is a trespass against legitimate property rights. What right is being violated if I discriminate? Is there a right to my service or my money? Then I am a slave. Is there a right to my company? Then I am a prisoner.

    Igor Karbinovskiy

  3. The US naturalization policy already does this, except it applies to communists, anarchists, people who advocate the violent overthrow of the US government or those who advocate world communism or world dictatorship.

    So if you classify Islam as an idiology that advocates similar things then it would be legal to keep them out.

  4. Capn,

    "To discriminate against anyone by virtue of one's (arbitrary) collective grouping is the worst of crimes."

    I would differ with this.

    There is a cost to better knowledge. If the cost exceeds the expected benefit from gaining it then the rational thing to do is to act on imperfect knowledge if so acting isn't aggression.

    Discrimination isn't an aggression. There is no right to a given person's cooperation/company, no matter the person's reason for rejecting cooperation/company.

    Costs and benefits are also subjective. So what may be worth it for some may not be worth it for others.

    If one's preconceptions are inaccurate then the cumulative costs will encourage one to reconsider. But one is free to pay those costs and remain in the frame of mind one already has.

  5. OK,
    Let me be more precise:
    1. Your view is completely valid for an individual. We all approximate the ideal.
    2. I hold to my statement in terms of actions of the State, which are effectively universal and can be extremely damaging.

  6. I like talking about this issue a lot, and like seeing dialogue on the issue between libertarians. I hold a view similar to BM's on the issue of immigration, but I wouldn't mind being proven wrong. I do have to say, I don't find a lot of objective arguments in favor of Flood Gate borders. Just because, you know, libertarian.

    Whenever I take the time to sit down and contemplate the issue, the only conclusion I come to, that I really feel 100% comfortable with, isn't really a conclusion at all. It's a question.

    "Would this be an issue in a libertarian society?"

    At least in this particular instance regarding Muslim refugees, I'd have to say no.

    There likely wouldn't have been western intervention in the middle east, incentivizing radicalization of Islamic youth. They also likely wouldn't have the incentive to flee the region, ending up in regions where the culture is counter to their own. You also wouldn't have individuals in Western Societies being concerned about "who's who in the neighborhood", at least as far as wondering who's here to participate, and who's here to disrupt it. Again, speaking strictly in terms of the Muslim refugees.

    It's a messy, State situation - so a decision will likely be made for the worse one way or the other, consequences and blame will go back and forth, and God help us if we actually get all the governance we're paying for as a result.

    1. its only an issue because of the State (or States)

    2. That's my point, more or less. It's a challenging issue to tackle from the perspective of Liberty, because it's not likely to be a problem in a society that follows the NAP.

      I can only speculate that when the powers that be draft a conclusion, it's only likely to make the problem worse.

      Refuse admission of a demographic that fits the description of an "enemy", especially if they're fleeing a problem you created (I'm sure there's at least a few who want to contribute as producers)? That's likely to get them angry, who knows how they'll choose to react. At best, we can hope they move on to other opportunities in other places.

      Instead, just let them all in? I can't think of ways to do this without violating the rights and/or property of people who are already here. If these ways exist, I can't picture the Gatekeepers putting them into practice, as the entirety of State operations relies on using theft and redistribution. Should even just one be responsible for damage here, we can count on an increase in state power, and more war drums. It's fair to speculate that this could be the point.

  7. I read an article that said that every single Iraqi in Iraq has a relative that was killed by a US bomb or US sanctions. So the US government has basically murdered the family of these people, and yet it is also US government policy to actively facilitate the immigration of these people to the United States, many of whom would hold a grudge (I certainly would).

  8. I think there is a something missing in what Trump said and what this article says, at least at what the comments are pointing too.
    Trump didn't just say he was going to stop muslim immigration.
    He said he is going to stop ALL muslims from traveling to the U.S.
    We also have started thinking in the terms of Muslims=Arabs. That's not even close to true.
    Indonesia, has the largest population of muslims, and if my quick research is correct, several hundred thousand Indonesians visit the U.S. for business and vacation per month. The same with Malaysians. These folks are spending hundreds of millions of $$ in the U.S.
    That's just 2 Muslims countries. He would stop that as well. This would add up to billions over a year in lost revenue to the tourist industry alone.
    Not to mention, there's a good chance a Muslim country would turn right around and ban Americans from vacationing in their Countries. So besides the immigration argument, there is a lot more implications to Trump's proposal. His proposal is economically foolish in this matter.