Tuesday, October 31, 2017


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.

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.


  1. What this guy doesn't get (or more likely, refuses to get because he's a crypto-communist) is that when someone crosses a border without permission, it's TRESPASS.


    Whether that border is a private property line, or an unbroken line of contiguous property lines of a covenant community, that has agreed to it's common defense and calls it a "border", is irrelevant.


    1. Dave, you remind me of another obstacle for libertarian theory, one which it cannot overcome on this topic:

      One can deduce from libertarian theory the right to exit; one cannot deduce from libertarian theory the right to enter.

      Now, I can think of (and have written about) all of the circles and discussion points around this conundrum (including the issues raise by having state borders in the first place); my only point here is that while libertarian theory can support EMIGRATION, there is nothing inherent in libertarian theory that will support a right to IMMIGRATION.

    2. That's the problem I have with libertarian stance of "100% open borders at all times under all circumstances".

      To cite the NAP as a litmus, we need to define the property that's suffering aggression. With some libertarians, we need to clarify if we're living in Real World 2017 or an alternate universe where everyone knows what the NAP is and has a common set of definitions for the nuances it relies on. (I usually call this Libertopia, but I guess it's prone to causing meltdowns followed by a long 'reeeeeeee' sound. I don't want to send anyone to the clinic so I'll stop!)

      State borders offer us, as individuals, no say - no matter how many times we point to the NAP, this is true for both sides of the argument. State Borders, or law, serving as the gateway gives the individual no means to exercise property rights that the NAP relies on.

      If a home invader has no right to take my belongings or stake a claim to my guestroom under the NAP, then how is it concluded that freedom of entry is permissible under all circumstances?

      If this is too narrow or to unreasonable of an example, then let's ask: Does someone exercising said freedom of travel have the right to homestead my front yard to make Tent City? A micro factory? An open air porn studio? (Assume any reality or alternate dimension you want for this question. Martian terrain is also acceptable.) After all, it appears unused. It's just vegetation and dirt.

    3. There is no right of exit of tresspassing ... and caught. The penalty discussion for another day. Paging Wenzel.

    4. What about aerial or subterrariantresspassing. What does libertarian theory has to say?
      Rhetorical question. I have asked it before and I cannot find a definite libertarian answer.

    5. Yo, Black Flag: Open borders isn't central to libertarianism.

      Some may claim it is, but they are either misguided, or crypto-commies.

    6. JaimieinTexas, it depends on how the property is delineated, e.g. you can purchase land with or without mineral rights, water rights etc.

    7. Assume ownership of mineral rights. How far up and how far down do you own, according to libertarian principles?

    8. JamieinTexas: Principles don't and haven't ever had anything to do with land contracts. If the land comes with airspace rights, it does. If it doesn't, it doesn't.

    9. I believe that those who believe that homesteading (or the voluntary transfer of previously homesteaded property) is the only libertarian method for securing property ownership would say that one cannot own the underground or overhead property rights absent mixing some labor with it.

      One reason I have never been settled with the idea that homesteading is the only legitimate method by which one can claim ownership in a libertarian framework.

    10. Somebody, in the past, homesteaded. Transfer of property ownership since involves a sale. Or a taking of somekind: a result of some dispute or violence. Did anyone though of how far down a property's boundary is?
      Is determining the aerial boundary any more problematic? How is labor mixed with air, by flying kites?

    11. Jaime, my view on this matter is relatively simple - and likely not at all consistent with pure libertarian theory:

      I believe local custom will dictate the boundaries up and down. Local custom might be established peacefully (in a evolutionary manner, e.g. aircraft flights) or might be established, if necessary, by force (what to do about slant drilling?).

      But in the end, local custom will control this matter. So I don't get to worked up about trying to find a pure libertarian answer to this question. The locals will figure out what works for them (and, in the end, what they can defend from outsiders).

    12. "What about aerial or subterrarian tresspassing"? I believe this issue has been addressed by Walter Block. And IIRC homesteading the surface should extend upward to finite
      distance, as determined by local custom. (I. e. what BM said.) Downward something similar as long as surface ownership is not harmed in some way. Technology gray area there.

  2. We are left with very few options in a state controlled country. The best option would be invite only by private property owners. Open borders are a net drain on host population. No one has a right to freedom of movement in a libertarian society. Therefore, if we should revert reach that society uninvited movement onto private property would be considered trepass rather you are in host country or out. This is not to say we would have to constantly ask permission of entry to all locations. I believe memberships would be used in places of business. A libertarian society would almost be perfection of prosperity. I saw this before rasing Hoppe in Bob Murphy "choas theory" essays on private law and defense. Hoppe and Murray broadened my horizon. I do not see why any libertarian would object to anarcho capitalism. This is peace and prosperity at its finest. Most relativist make arguments, but I think education of religion and culture can change that. Mental maturity. Thanks for this post bionic. You help greatly everyday.

    1. Open borders types think they are immune from the invisible hand and probably believe the welfare system will keep them afloat.

  3. I see parallels between the problems of immigration in a world of state borders and international exchange in a world of managed-trade agreements. NAFTA is 2,000 pages long and consists of subsidies and tariffs and sweetheart deals and byzantine regulations. Yet both paleo-conservatives like Pat Buchanan and left-libertarians like Nick Gillespie call it a free-trade agreement. Go figure.

  4. I was debating open borders with a libertarian on Gab. After pressing him, I got him to admit that it would be permissible under libertarian theory as he sees it for illegal immigrants crossing the border to kill border guards to gain access to the United States. To the illegal immigrant that killed the border guards, no punishment must be inflicted because they killed the border guards in the process of crossing the border, which under libertarianism they have the right to do.

    Any honest open borders libertarian should admit the same. That illegal immigrants can kill border guards.

  5. Notice: Any "libertarian" who advocates for open borders under any polity except a 100% voluntary libertarian covenant community is either deluded, brain-damaged, or a crypto-communist.

    Open borders is simply a communistic euphemism that everyone should have equal access to state-expropriated resources.

    Copy paste those nuggets everywhere boys...

  6. Property imply the right to exclude. And some kind of exclusion and limitation in people circulation is a must. Otherwise property will be negated. But as a matter of fact an eccessive limitation of freedom of movememt will make the free market impossible. If freedom to move is too strictly limitated you can't have competition, division of labor, free circulation of goods. In one word you can't have capitalism.

    Anonimo Lombardo

    1. Why would you suggest that in a totally libertarian society there would be excessive limitation of freedom of movement?

      I would imagine it would be quite the opposite.

    2. I imagine the same. But we can't give it for granted. The nap imply freedom to associate or not associate. But how this freedom will be used in reality? It depends, by the culture and the psichology of the people. So, also if many right libertarian like to stress only the right to exclude, to close the border, to discriminate, to segregate, to phisically remove people, to be intolerant, and so on... the freedom to move, in reality, beyond theory, is fundamental for libertarianism and capitalism. I think that culture matter but I have different cultural traits in mind, than the traits shown by many alt right and right libertarian people.


    3. The problem A.L., is without the ability to discriminate and exclude, collectivists and communists will invade your society and destroy it.

      Freedom of movement is not a right. That would more accurately be called "freedom of trespass". You don't have a right enter my living room and start homesteading.

  7. I would love to see Catholic Charities, ELCA and other dopey leftwing religious groups agree to a sponsorship system-- whereby they agree to support immigrants financially and generally assume legal responsibility for immigrants' actions & well being. This would represent true & responsible Christian charity, and I bet they'd suddenly get a bit more selective in urging Uncle Sam to take in the world.

    Bottom line is that states are defined by borders, areas (and populations) over which political leaders claim exclusive jurisdiction. Borders are the LAST thing states and politicians will ever give up-- we'll sooner get rid of Social Security. So borders will exist, and governments will control them. The only question for libertarians, under current realities, is HOW they will control them, not whether. Any answer to that question is inescapably political (meaning illiberal) and "unfair."

    1. Holy cr@p. Is this THE Jeff Deist..?!

      Bionic better watch it out, or he's gonna get drafted to the big leagues!

      And, I couldn't agree more with your suggestion for these "charities". So easy to be charitable with OPM (Other People's Money).

    2. MISSING in this discussion, perhaps unrecognized in the theoretical framework.

      Taking the USA and Europe as examples, the "Open Borders" policies are NOT AT ALL what it seems like both libertarian sides of the open/closed borders have narrowly missed.

      The USA and European Open Borders policies are NOT a freely come freely go policy. They are just one part of a more comprehensive and often surreptitious program of population control.

      The instant that a person especially a child hits the border line, he immediately falls into this very much government program, paid for by tax extortion and currency devaluation (inflation by deficit).

      Under "Open Borders" policies,
      not absolutely anybody can come.

      The Honduran leaders that fought back against the fraudulent and forcible Chavista auto-coup in Honduras had their visas revoked and to this day I have not heard of any reinstatement. Not open for them even to Germany.

      The "entrant" is immediately taken in to a government program. If there is no one to receive him, he is given good welfare benefits. The more the better, to satisfy the millionaire demands of the crony corporations who get the contracts to provide a living for them and often better care than native welfare kids get.

      Then more stolen money is used to relocate arriving families anywhere government agreements place them. Again, monthly subsistence guaranteed. Also often against the near unanimous will of the communities they are placed into, with further incidentals paid for with more stolen local-tax money.

      Even all green card visas require first a sponsorship of some kind, a promise to support, but it is never ever enforced or even verified.

      So make no mistake: ANY AND EVERY government "Open Borders" policy is NEVER anything like a theoretical libertarian-friendly policy.

      Add to that the fact that the recent Euro-american programs involve a massive invitation to participate in these relocation programs organized by regimes who are using extorted illegitimate wealth to change the culture of those same victims they steal from.

      --me, a happy gringo with wife And ex and step kids from Latin America and umpteen Latino bio children, brownish, happily surrounded by Hispanic culture here in Miami. Former full time missionary down south for decades. Accusations of xenophobia or "hate" only get loud raucous laughter from me, a fundamentalist Bible thumping born again Genesis-One creationist and libertarian because the Bible and Golden Rule tell me so.

    3. Yes Jeff, every open borders advocate in this debate, every one, is in favor of using OPM for it. See my previous comment breaking it down. Catholic charities send the Bill to USG for you & me to pay for their care. Brannon pointed out that the bishops were not so charitable until they started losing numbers of attendees and donors. Even the Pope took in only a couple of Christian families but after publicity took in ONE Muslim family.