Monday, April 14, 2014

Bob Wallace on Open Borders

"Never let your ideology trump your common sense," a wise man once said, and it's really the sort of thing we all should write on the back of our hand with indelible ink lest we forget it. Oh, go ahead and get it tattooed on.

Another way to put it: it's fun to construct self-consistent logical systems. Writers, game programmers, and yes, cartoonists, do it all the time. And most religions and political ideologies do the same thing. The trick is the self-consistent. What is self-consistent may very well not be consistent with reality at all. That's how science works, you know — from observed phenomena, a theory (the self-consistent system) is constructed. The theory must be self-consistent, i. e., not self-contradictory, or it simply doesn't make sense. Then the theory is tested. A theory has to be testable, or "falsifiable." Otherwise it's just useless. If the theory can't be shown to be wrong, then it's a good, useful theory, at least until new facts show up that weaken, or disprove it. Then the work starts to modify it, or construct a whole new one.

And it's the same way with political or philosophical ideologies. They might be totally self-consistent, but when tested against the real world of phenomena, i. e. human behavior, they predict things that don't happen, or fail to predict things that do. At that point you have to abandon your ideology, or modify it till it fits, or think up a new one, or look around for one that somebody else has constructed that works, or at least works better.

Yep, we're still talking about the flaws in libertarian theory, and Bob Wallace expresses some of them very well. From his site,  UncleBob's Treehouse:

Open Borders Means Tribal Warfare

"My fellow Americans, we must never, ever believe that our diversity is a weakness -- it is our greatest strength. Americans speak every language, know every county. People on every continent can look to us and see the reflection of their own great potential -- and they always will, as long as we strive to give all of our citizens, whatever their background, an opportunity to achieve their own greatness." - Bill Clinton, SOTU speech, Feb. 4, 1997

It's hard to describe myself politically. I always liked the way Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn described himself - a "right-wing anarchist." Let's just say I am the opposite of what a leftist is. That means I believe mankind is limited and imperfect. The best of religion has always known this; politics, unfortunately, almost never.

The Left doesn't really believe humans are limited. That's the worst kind of ignorance there is. As Plato pointed out, you can be ignorant and know it. Then there is what he called "double ignorance": you're ignorant but don't know it.

Leftists refuse to believe mankind has an animal nature that most people cannot truly overcome, and they also believe people have complete free will, which they do not.

I make the distinction between "will" and "behavior." "Will" is what is inside you. If people had complete free will, then they could make themselves into anything they want, and be happy with it. Serial killer, rapist, murderer, mugger -- if we had complete free will, we could be any of them (or all) and be perfectly happy. But we can't.

If we had complete free will, then any socio-political-economic system would work, because people could make themselves into whatever they please. But we can't, because we don't have that kind of power over ourselves. We never will.

People, although they are lot more than animals, do share certain traits with them. We are social beings who group ourselves into family and tribes, just the way all social animals forms packs. Those libertarians who think we are merely individual atoms disconnected from everyone else are showing a profound lack of understanding of human nature. Perhaps, they are showing a complete lack of understanding of it, which is probably the main characteristic of the Left.

These days, most tribes have grouped themselves into huge units known as nations. There is no way around it. If people weren't like that, then they wouldn't do it.

Since we form ourselves into tribes (nations), any one nation is going to view with great suspicion when large amounts of the members of another nation moves onto the first nation's land. This is something that anyone of the Right understands.

The Left, including left-libertarians, do not understand this, because they unconsciously believe everyone has complete free will. They believe that all tribes can share the same land and get along, because they naively think everyone can change themselves on the inside (in the snap of a finger!) and get along with everyone else.

Toss into a huge salad every religion and ethnic group, and the open-borders crowd truly believes hundreds of millions -- if not billions -- of people will respect everyone else as an individual and not judge them as members of their tribe. The open-borders crowd, including left-libertarians, believes in multi-culturalism.

Unfortunately, multi-culturalism is the wrong name for what it really is -- multi-tribalism. And tribes, when they are large enough and trying to share the same land, fight in an attempt expel other tribes. Anyone who does not believe this, just look around the world. Every war there is, is one tribe against another, one religion against another, one ethnic group against another.

If we were truly individuals, and nothing else, we would not need families, fathers, mothers, and friends. We would have no desire to gather together at theaters, stadiums, clubs. We would be as independent as cats.


It is the Left that has always believed human nature either doesn't exist or is infinitely plastic. It is for that reason they have consistently tried to social-engineer people into being what they cannot be. The open-borders crowd, including left-libertarians, are trying to social-engineer people being what they want them to be. Under the veneer of their "libertarianism," do they do not a lot in common with leftist totalitarians? Don't they in fact hate their society, and wish to see it destroyed, thinking that somehow, magically, all the inherent "goodness" of human nature will shine through?

Let's do a thought experiment. Imagine there were no borders whatsoever in the world? What would happen?

In the fantasies inhabiting the leftist mind, people would freely move around to where the jobs are, and everyone would get along almost perfectly, united by their love of SUVS and DVD players that the free market produces. Abracadabra, people would give up ages-old tribal, religious and racial hatreds. In the real world, however, one tribe would attempt to impose its will on another, and murder and expel the members of it. That's why open borders equals tribal warfare.

There is another aspect to human nature to which I have given a great deal of thought for the last few years: hubris. All tribes have, almost without exception, considered themselves to the Chosen of God; almost all have called themselves "The People" or "The Humans." This means anyone outside the tribe is non-people and non-human.

Hubris is part of our limited and imperfect nature. It's why humility -- which is founded on a self-awareness of our imperfections -- has always been considered a virtue.

But, only individuals can be humble, not tribes. How many nations in the world have admitted the horrible slaughter they have visited on others? Or if they admit it, justify it? Almost all of them.

What answer does the open-borders crowd have to the problem of fighting tribes, with each considering themselves the Chosen? They have no answer, other than that the free market will make everyone get along. They wish to destroy the nations of the world, even if they don't know it.

The ultimate problem of the open-borders crowd is the hubris of which I just wrote. Anyone who thinks they can destroy nation, state, and neighborhood, and replace it with their vague understanding of the free market, is showing the arrogance and ignorance that has almost exclusively been the province of the Left.

Because the leftist open-borders crowd doesn't believe in human nature, and believes people have complete free will, they also believe in Utopia, or Heaven on earth, which all religions have considered blasphemy, and for good reason. You need look no farther that the 20th century, in which perhaps up to 200 million people lost their lives in the attempt to bring this Heaven to earth.

There is no surer way to guarantee a Hell on Earth than to to shovel people around like lumps of concrete.

In the case of the open-borders crowd they believe the free market -- which they misunderstand -- will bring this Utopia. We only need to destroy all the nations of the world. And exactly how will this destruction bring peace?

But the open-borders crowd doesn't know any of this, and won't believe it, being, of course, afflicted with that double ignorance of which Plato so wisely wrote.
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Quibcags: The first one is illustrated by a girl behaving very tribally who is all over the net, but I can't trace her provenance.* The card-player in the second one is Tsunade (綱手), from Naruto (ナルト).
* rightwingotaku informs me that the first girl is from an artbook called Guns & Girls in School Uniforms by Techno Fuyuno (goes by Fuyuno Haruaki now). Here's the pixiv page of the artbook's cover: http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=5321521

1 comment:

  1. First girl is from an artbook called Guns & Girls in School Uniforms by Techno Fuyuno (goes by Fuyuno Haruaki now). Here's the pixiv page of the artbook's cover: http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=5321521

    I remembered Fuyuno and recognized the very picture that I used to to have as my laptop's wallpaper.

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