My conversation with The NAPster October 24, 2017 at 5:28 AM, from my post “I Love Hans Hoppe!” I will primarily focus on my replies; if you are concerned about context feel free to read the entire dialogue.
NAPster, I offer the following three posts in response. I think this is the most efficient way I can move the conversation forward. After you read these, I will gladly discuss further.
The Logical Inconsistency of Open Borders...for libertarians…
In this last post, "open borders" Walter Block decides I might be on to something; the first two posts set up the "something."
I have read these blog posts, but they do not respond directly to the points I raised above. I am still interested in your views on those points.
…it seems that there is a particular outcome you want – a particular make-up of the society in which you live – and your position on immigration in a world with states is designed to achieve that outcome…
The closest I can come to a libertarian immigration policy in world with state borders is a policy of invitation and guarantee: invitation by a citizen, with the citizen guaranteeing that the immigrant will not be a burden to society and will not be a criminal. Consequences attach to the citizen if either of these is breeched.
So…this doesn’t assume any particular outcome; it is merely as close to a libertarian policy in a world of state borders that I can come up with.
But where I do differ with you and Hoppe is that I don’t believe it is consistent with libertarian philosophy to advocate for the initiation of force – through the use of the state as border control – to create a society that rejects the legitimacy of the initiation of force….
I do not advocate for the initiation of force; I also do not advocate for cultural and political suicide. I do not accept that there can be any libertarian policy on immigration as long as there is a state; there is no such thing as a “do nothing” option – every option involves an initiation of force. Merkel did the “do nothing option”; do you believe this to be a libertarian solution? Do you believe she did not initiate force against those already living in Germany?
As long as there is a state – impossible under the NAP but accepted by libertarian minarchists – there will be state borders. To have state borders requires some sort of defense of those borders – defense being one of the few tasks allotted to government by minarchists. How does the state defend its borders without knowing who comes and goes and having some idea of their intentions?
Now, for the anarchist: the state cannot be derived from the NAP; how can the NAP offer a solution to state borders? I go further: to have a libertarian policy on immigration requires 1) absolute private property rights, and 2) no government intervention in immigration matters.
Libertarians are looking for an answer on immigration in a world of state borders that the NAP cannot offer – the NAP is impotent in this situation, it is incapable of squaring this circle.
I can imagine that someone might respond “Well then, how are we supposed to get to a libertarian society if we don’t forcefully exclude or remove those who would reject its very principles?”
I admit to being one of the libertarian wimps when it comes to “forcibly removing” people already living in peace. I lean on other moral principles in this regard. This is me, personally. But I understand the view.
But what of “exclude”? If you and a dozen friends created your own “society,” and you wanted this to be a society solely comprised of Christian families, are you not allowed to exclude others? For libertarians, there is only one answer to this; that our only option is to rely on the state to make this happen (because we do not have absolute property rights) means what, exactly?
Because we are forced to work via the state in this matter, are we to merely accept being left naked regarding our own personal preferences, our own property? This is a very non-libertarian concept, don’t you think?
…there are some obvious peaceful means that come to mind that may enable progress towards that goal, such as group shunning of unwanted newcomers…
Illegal today. Even individual shunning is illegal – try not baking the wedding cake for the gay couple. It is impossible to square the circle you are attempting to square.
Finally, I appreciate your distinction of type 1 and type 2 OBLs. The type 1 I view as either useful idiots or criminally complicit. For the type 2, I have given my best response above (well, actually my best responses are probably in my more formal posts).
I will summarize: to advocate for open borders in a world absent full private property rights IS NOT LIBERTARIAN.
It is a circle that cannot be squared.
Finally, I would like to state my version of your summary: to advocate for state action in any world IS NOT LIBERTARIAN.
Let’s begin at the end:
1) I do not advocate for state action; I am stuck with state action – no matter what – on this topic as long as there are state borders.
2) I am honest enough to admit that my position on this topic is not libertarian, as no position in a world with state borders can be libertarian; you are unable to either see this or admit this.
As to shunning, not all is lost: consumers are still allowed to shun vendors, tenants to shun landlords, employees to shun employers, and neighbors to shun neighbors.
Yes, all of the shunning that makes a communist happy and makes a libertarian cringe. In each of your examples save the last one, consider that it is illegal for the one who owns property to “shun,” and it is legal for the one without property to “shun.”
[I will add now, even the last one is problematic as it depends on who is doing the shunning, who is being shunned, and the (supposed) motives behind the actions of the one doing the shunning.]
My position is clear: it takes TWO things to come to a libertarian open borders position in a world of state borders:
1) Absolute property rights and all property in private hands
2) No state involvement in border control
I say why not push for the first; you say let’s take the second without the first. My priority is at the foundation of libertarianism – without absolute private property rights, there is no such thing as “libertarian”; your solution works with the cultural Marxists and Gramsciists and the state to destroy western civilization.
So, when faced with two actions necessary to move to a libertarian policy on border control, why do you side with THAT crowd? The crowd that is worried about outcomes, not means?
I’m not saying that things have worked out well in Germany, but libertarianism is concerned solely with means, not outcomes.
It is comments such as these from less-than-well-considered libertarian positions that will ensure that libertarianism will never gain ground. Some applications of libertarian theory are not so simple, yet too many libertarians bellow simple slogans, ensuring we remain marginalized.
One argument that paleoconservatives make about libertarians is that we tend to become so enamored of our "abstract" though correct theory that we tend to underweigh concrete political or cultural problems, and here is a lovely example.
He is writing of educational vouchers, but his thoughts are perfectly applicable to the topic we are discussing, and I make the point here:
Something has been bothering me about our entire conversation. It is a conversation covering ground that I have covered a dozen times, but this doesn't bother me - nothing says I had the same conversation with you, and I don't expect every reader to have read everything I have written on a subject.
But this is what was bothering me: I HAVE had this same conversation with you.