It began with tents in a small clearing. They decided they wanted a place to gather, spend some time. Maybe do a little hunting and fishing. A few of them might want to start a small garden.
Eventually, a few built homes. They set aside some areas for parks and recreation. They decided to build a pool – open to any members of their little community. They left a good amount of land in its natural state, as many of their members enjoyed hiking through the hills and fields. Over time, most decided to settle permanently.
They would welcome visitors, but only on their terms. It was not an uncommon event when they would allow a new member – usually someone who visited regularly in the past and demonstrated his goodwill. It gave them a reason to have a party. They liked having parties; they enjoyed having new members.
They wanted to ensure that new members held certain things in common with those in the community – could be business interests, recreational endeavors, perhaps religion, and most certainly language. Whatever the case, every new applicant was to be screened and vetted before acceptance into the community.
Then one day they were told that the rule-making and defense of their camp was to be taken out of their hands…
The old professor had a rather simple thought. Given the wholly abnormal conditions, he had read, and reasoned, and even written too much—versed as he was in the workings of the mind—to dare propose anything, even to himself, but the most banal of reflections, worthy of a schoolboy’s theme. It was a lovely day, warm but not hot, with a cool spring breeze rolling gently and noiselessly over the covered terrace outside the house. His was one of the last houses up toward the crest of the hill, perched on the rocky slope like an outpost guarding the old brown-hued village that stood out above the landscape, towering over it all, as far as the tourist resort down below; as far as the sumptuous boulevard along the water, with its green palms, tips barely visible, and its fine white homes; as far as the sea itself, calm and blue, the rich man’s sea, now suddenly stripped of all the opulent veneer that usually overspread its surface—the chrome-covered yachts, the muscle-bulging skiers, the gold-skinned girls, the fat bellies lining the decks of sailboats, large but discreet—and now, stretching over that empty sea, aground some fifty yards out, the incredible fleet from the other side of the globe, the rusty, creaking fleet that the old professor had been eyeing since morning. The stench had faded away at last, the terrible stench of latrines, that had heralded the fleet’s arrival, like thunder before a storm. The old man took his eye from the spyglass, moved back from the tripod. The amazing invasion had loomed up so close that it already seemed to be swarming over the hill and into his house.
Some will recognize these words from the opening chapter of Camp of the Saints, by Jean Raspail. The story is of a migration – a massive migration from India into Europe. A migration destined to overrun those who came before.
The title of the novel is taken from the Biblical Book of Revelation, chapter 20:
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9a And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city:
Since reading the novel I have wondered about the situation presented. The Indians from the sub-continent came unarmed – certainly not an invasion in the classic sense of the term. They came at the behest of the various European governments – no aggression.
So…is there justification under the non-aggression principle to repel this invasion? This is my question.
The answer is quite clear if all land were privately owned – a most certain “yes.”
If only the Indians stayed on government owned land. One could say the private landowners were free to defend their property, but there were so many immigrants – by the hundreds of thousands and millions, a never-ending stream of every imaginable floating craft.
The answer would be quite clear if there was no government making the rules – again, a most certain “yes.”
But the government was making the rules, and the government invited the newcomers.
We don’t live in a world where all land is privately owned; we don’t live in a world where the property owner is free to make his own rules.
What is one to do when the power to enforce your rules for access to your property is taken from you? Is self-immolation the only alternative consistent with the NAP?
That is what I wonder.
Can one own “culture”? Of course, it seems clear the answer is “no.” Yet it was this culture that the members valued most.
At first there was little change – a trickle of newcomers, for the most part fitting in quite well. But then came more – eventually a never-ending stream. The prior members lost control of their community. The criterion for membership was now quite different than before.
Without the ability to make and enforce their own rules, the members of the community were left only one legal possibility – to plead to the usurper.
Walter Block is having published a new piece on immigration, where he considers arguments from both Hans Hoppe and me. He has promised to send a link once it is available online. I have quickly scanned a draft but have decided not to address it as Walter has rightly asked me not to cite anything until it is formally published.
In the meantime this issue as presented in Raspail’s novel continues to swirl around in my head.