Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Borders Are Imaginary" Is A Delusion

Whenever I heard the phrase, "borders are imaginary," I reach for my revolver. Well, not that, but I pound hell out of the keyboard. "Borders are imaginary" is just another meaningless slogan that sounds meaningful, and we meet such slogans all over the place. I expect it from liberals, who live in a dream world anyway, but libertarians are supposed to be rational, dammit.

I wrote this a few years back about "imaginary" things, like borders:

There are at least three categories of imaginary things. First, we have things that people dream up, usually called "fiction," that exist only in the imagination and that are not intended to be considered as real things. A good example is Hatsune Miku, there (I'm doing it again.). She's a cartoon character
that somebody made up. Better yet, she's even usually computer-generated. Totally imaginary. A fictional creation. Second, you have symbols. All of language is symbols. All of the words in this post are symbols. The thoughts they stand for might be real, or, better, their referents might be real, but the words themselves are only symbols, and not real. The third category is that bugaboo "social constructs." That is, having a brain, human beings see the world beyond concrete objects. We create concepts, or social constructs, to order the world and think about reality. A country, and therefore its borders, is a social construct. Christianity is a social construct. The Golden Rule is a social construct. Music is a social construct. Propery rights are a social construct. Libertarianism is a social construct. So, the sentence "Borders are imaginary" is itself imaginary on two levels. First, it's
just a set of symbols, and second, it's a concept, and concepts, not having a concrete form, are imaginary. So saying "Borders are imaginary" is a self-anihilating act. A statement that destroys itself. A self-referential paradox. Anyhow, maybe we could do without fictional things. Miku is fun, but not necessary. But we do seem to need symbols, being a social animal — you know, language and all that. And we need social constructs, because that's how our brains work.

So if you want to convince me that we should have open borders, don't start by telling me that borders are imaginary. Tell me instead why they're a bad concept. And I agree not to tell you that your whole philosophy is imaginary. Deal?

Bob Wallace, at his site HERE, expands on this:

Open Borders "Libertarians" Are Loons

"The fact is, genocide is, historically, the most common result when one tribe runs into another." - the War Nerd

Many people want a simplistic philosophy that they think explains everything and can be applied to everything.

"Libertarianism" is one of them.

I meet people who think there should be no borders at all because they think they are "imaginary."

Guess what? Property lines are imaginary, too.

And the only reason property lines can be enforced is because of violence, or the threat of it.
Fortunately, most people will respect property. If they didn't we wouldn't have a viable civilization. But there are that small minority of people who don't respect property, including your body. Ultimately the only thing that works on them is the threat of violence, or violence itself.

Of course the greatest offender is the State. But the fact remains there has never been a society that didn't have government, and anarchism is not the solution, because there were always be a sociopathic gang that decides to rampage through society. And these problems are worse in a "multicultural" society, because different tribes cannot share the same land - just the way "Hispanics" want blacks out.

I lived in Albuquerque for four years. "Hispanics" hate blacks, just the way blacks hate Asians and abuse and attack them.

In fact there may be no solutions, just trade-offs.

The problem is these open borders types don't understand human nature, which in my book makes them leftists who are trying to overthrow ancient wisdom and impose an utterly unrealistic belief system on people.

I'd hate to end up in the kind of society described by Neil Stephenson in The Diamond Age - heavily armed tribes eternally defending themselves against predators.
Quibcag: Illustration is Maria, from Hayate the Combat Butler (ハヤテのごとく! Hayate no Gotoku!).


  1. Borders are imaginary; just because someone drew them on a map doesn't make them real, any moreso than the sea-serpents on old maps. Property is a different kettle of fish. It does exist in the physical realm, unlike borders. If we owned this area of land (which we don't, it belongs to the Crown) we could possibly do something about immigration if we wanted. But we can't because we don't.

  2. In the words of Bob Wallace above:

    In fact there may be no solutions, just trade-offs

    I do not support multiculturalism in any way and I agree with immigration restrictionists about the things that can go wrong with open borders. However, there is one topic related to this issue that nobody wants to address–how the ever-more-onerous documentation requirements hurt ordinary citizens looking for a job. I was unemployed for six month due to the inability to get a birth certificate–and this was before 911.

    I have never been hurt by illegal immigrants; I have been hurt by the immigration enforcement mechanism, and I am certainly not the only one. How many people, Americans, in this age of terrorism are unable to work due to the ever-increasing reams of paperwork they must provide to get a job, to say nothing of similar documentation requirements imposed upon employers. Even with all the things wrong with open borders, from my perspective, enforcing the immigration laws is worse. At the very least, the burden of proof should be on the government if they want to charge you with being an illegal alien, not on you or your employer to prove you are not.

    Please don’t flame me too much. This is a serious discussion that conservatives and libertarians who support free enterprise and limited government but not open borders need to have.

  3. I, too, have been hurt by all this red tape. At one job they wanted a drug test, DOT physical, every place I've lived for the past five years, and every job for the past ten years, They also wanted a police record check and an immigration check I told them no..