Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lithuanian Skepticism of Open Borders

Illustration by Drunny
Guest post by Baloo:

I linked to this last post on immigration on Facebook, and got a very interesting reaction from Stephen W. Browne:

Does anybody else see how seriously weird it is that we're even having this conversation? Every country in the world regards their right to control their borders as a given - not even up for discussion. Except us evidently.
Full disclosure, I used to be an open borders libertarian. Years of living in Eastern Europe, working with libertarian dissidents disabused me of that silly notion. The precise moment it happened was in a conversation with a Lithuanian lady professor.
I gave her the earnest, "Integrate your Russian minority into your society in the American way and they'll be fighting on your side in the next invasion!"
She punctured that one with, "Yes, and every one of them has cousins who want to come and live in our country."
Small countries like hers have always lived with the knowledge that a hiccup of history would wipe her people out - forever.
We are a much larger country, but we are not immune to the same dynamic.

Interesting. He gave her the stock glibertarian rationale, and she made the absurdity of it clear to him. This notion, that everybody will assimilate, if not right now, at least in the next generation, is simply idiotic. The Turkish invaders of Anatolia did not assimilate and become Greeks.  The Americans who migrated to Texas did not become Mexicans. And of course, the English who settled in Massachusetts did not become Patuxets. History is littered with the names of extinct peoples and nations. They didn't just wander away. They were destroyed by other people.

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