Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Christophe Cantwell on Open Borders Libertarianism

When your ideology leads you to an illogical or self-defeating conclusion, it's time to check your premises, as Ayn Rand would have said. At least, you have to conclude that there's something seriously wrong with your ideology.

Let's say that your ideology reasons that some things that you might eat could poison you, and that therefore you shouldn't eat anything at all. Makes sense, as far as it goes. But then you take that to its logical conclusion, and realize that not eating anything at all will surely kill you. A true believer would go ahead and starve to death, but a rational human being would try to rework the basic ideology so that it doesn't inevitably kill him.

And that brings us to the flaky-libertarian dogma that borders are imaginary yadda yadda yadda and that not allowing someone to cross a border is the initiation of force, etc., and therefore open borders is the only possible philosophical position that a real libertarian can have. And if you oppose open borders you're a statist, fascist whatever, and, as one flaky libertarian recently said, you "want to beat up and kill people."

I've pointed out many times on this blog that open borders will of course result in floods of immigrants who will vote themselves all kinds of free stuff and wipe out what freedom the country might still have. Even if you did the impossible, and somehow eliminated the welfare system, immigrants would still come simply because this country is more prosperous than wherever they came from, and they will proceed to re-establish the welfare system, even if you had already eliminated it.

And if what I've said still doesn't convince you that open-borders libertarianism is a self-eliminating, suicidal ideology, here's what Christopher Cantwell wrote on the subject on his website [link].

Open Borders Isn’t Libertarian, It’s Global Communism

Sadly, there still seems to be a great deal of confusion both inside and outside of libertarian circles about libertarianism’s relationship with the immigration issue. This is no mark against someone who has simply not had it explained to them, of course. The position is not entirely obvious to the casual onlooker. The persistence with which some insist on clinging to falsehood however, I find quite troubling.
Open Borders Isn't Libertarian, It's Global Communism
Open Borders Isn’t Libertarian, It’s Global Communism
The layman’s assumption would be that libertarians favor open borders. This is an understandable mistake. Libertarians are not big on having the government do pretty much anything, and since governments do control political boundaries at present, it makes sense one would assume we favored their abolition. This is not a completely incorrect assumption, but it requires some important details many seem to leave out. It would be more accurate to say we favor privatizing borders, than to say we favor their abolition.
When termed as privatization, the question turns to whose control the property once making up the border in question will then be under. The idea that a government would cease to exist, or cease to perform the function of immigration control, and that this would open the floodgates for waves of low quality, poverty stricken, potentially dangerous people is understandably off-putting to the sane men and women of a prosperous society.
The libertarian who is not well read, may assume that since we seek no consensus for the validity of our political positions, this wholly rational fear is irrelevant. He is indisputably wrong in this. Libertarians favor property rights. If there is a conflict between your ideas of what freedom entails, and someone else’s property rights, property rights prevail over your misguided notion of freedom. The idea that a society based in the rule of property would visit massive misery and violent crime upon a civilization is so antithetical to libertarian philosophy, that it boggles the mind anyone would take it seriously. What property owner would invite people onto his property, whom he did not want to be there? What freedom could there be if he had no choice to exclude people from his property?
Governments create a falsehood of common spaces as one of the many “services” they provide us with to justify their extortion schemes and thuggery. Police patrol highways and say “Someone has to make sure people are driving safely!” and this is true. Licenses, inspections, insurance requirements, speed limits, alcohol concentration limits, and all the other edicts and regulations the State imposes upon us are justified by these “common spaces”. Some more or less sensible than others.
Any libertarian who has ever tried to defend the idea of a stateless society has heard someone utter the phrase “But who will build the roads?” to the point that his has become a meme in libertarian circles. The answer is quite simple to the informed libertarian – owners of roads would build roads, and charge for their usage. They would set the rules of the road, be they speed limits, vehicle safety requirements, limits or prohibitions on intoxicants, and the conditions under which security agents of the road might enforce compliance. Restrict too heavily, and drivers might opt to pay a competitor for a different path. Leave your roads unsafe, and face the same peril for your business.
That libertarians do not settle disputes by way of democratic elections does not mean we want to impose unpopular and miserable circumstances upon people. We rather favor market forces making the determination, and providing ranges of options to people dependent on their ability to pay for those options. We are of the well informed opinion that this will produce superior outcomes to the one size fits all “solutions” of Nation States, often dictated by the will of hyperinclusive mass democracy – institutions not known for their ability to allocate resources efficiently.
The point being, libertarians favor privatization more than they favor abolition. The exact manner in which that privatization takes place is up for considerable debate and beyond the scope of this article, but “borders” are the whole entire point of libertarianism. Borders are simply property lines defined by owners and recognized by other members of the society. They are the delineations from which justification of force is derived.
To assert that Nation States would cease to exist, or cease to enforce political boundaries, and that this would result in the equivalent of “open borders” as understood in modern political discourse, is insane. This is the equivalent of saying that in the absence of the State, highly desirable resources would remain unowned in perpetuity, and that all of mankind could exploit these resources simultaneously without conflict arising between any of them. One need not be a philosopher or economist to understand the problem here, only a layman’s understanding of basic physics.
Privatizing borders, like privatizing roads, simply removes the title to land from the Nation State, and places it in the hands of a private party. That party then sets the rules for the use of that property according to their best interests just like any other property owner would. He may opt to build a road, or he may opt to build a swimming pool, a home, or a shopping mall. In none of these instances could he be compelled to have massive waves of socialists, communists, and theocrats pouring across his land against his will, without ability to pay, and raping women and killing men along their way.
The State imposes these “common spaces” against all rational market incentives, as States tend to do. Once it does, it can only bring about one or both of two possible conclusions.
1. Forced Inclusion
2. Forced Exclusion
The “open borders libertarian” chooses forced inclusion and thinks himself quite principled and morally superior, but he is misguided at best and more likely very dishonest. By creating a common space, and maintaining it at taxpayer expense, the State purports to make common ownership of these spaces amongst “the people”. Naturally, this creates conflict, since my interests do not always align with the rest of “the people”.
Perhaps I am a factory owner who wants cheap low skilled labor, and so I am quite keen on having lots of impoverished people entering the society desperate for a job. Perhaps someone else is in the real estate business and does not want these impoverished people driving down property values. Any number of examples could be listed here, but somebody is going to get the shaft in this equation at the expense of the other. There is no libertarian course of action for the Nation State to take in this case, it is coercing people to pay for things which they do not want to pay for. So short of privatization, whatever course of action the State embarks upon, it is not going to be libertarian in its nature.
Philosophically speaking, “the” libertarian position on what a Nation State does with its borders, is that it should privatize them along with everything else. If someone amongst you would like to tell me how we get enough people on board with a private property driven society today to make that happen, I’m all ears. With this option not likely being on the realistic political menu in the present moment, one is left only to choose between utilitarianism, and leftist warm and fuzzy suicidal nonsense.
We know what happens when leftist warm and fuzzy nonsense wins the day. Across those borders come flooding in massive waves of dangerous, poverty stricken people who victimize the populace with crime, drain the public coffers with welfare dependency, and alter the course of the civilization through the ballot box. Given that those pouring in are usually from less civilized places, their decisions at the ballot box are predictably as uncivilized as their decisions on the street.
Societies are made up of the people who reside within them. If you replace the people of one society with the people of another society, then the society will come to resemble that of the place the new people just fled. Democratically elected governments, though they may seem largely unresponsive to what you want individually, do respond to that which can get them elected. If the people now electing your government, are the same people who elected the government of Mexico, or Venezuela, or some other terrible place, then in rather short order, your government will resemble that government. This almost seems too obvious to have to state.
For the libertarian then, it is quite imperative from a strategic standpoint to take into consideration who he is making neighbors of. If one finds himself quite frustrated trying to convince white westerners of his politics, he will find this even more difficult to do when Islamists are chopping off heads and raping women in his neighborhood. He will have quite the difficult time explaining Austrian economics to someone who does not even speak his language.
Denial of these obvious realities is the cornerstone of communist nonsense. The belief that all people are equal and interchangeable, that we are all liquids taking the shape of the container into which we are poured, is not based in reality, and it is certainly not based in libertarianism. It is dogmatic liberal gibberish spouted only by power hungry politicians, and their supporters who are dumb enough to believe it.
Abolishing borders and replacing them with nothing doesn’t abolish or even diminish the government. Quite the contrary. Borders are only abolished when power is centralized. Just as one can travel from New York to California, this was facilitated by the centralizing of power into the US Federal Government by the colonies. Same as one could travel from France to Spain only by the establishment of the European union. A world without borders is not a world without government, it is a world with one, inescapable, communist, government.
I shouldn’t have to explain this to libertarians. The fact that it is supported by the Democrats should have made that obvious enough. When the issue goes bipartisan, well, then you really know something bad is about to happen.
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Quibcag: The girls of Sky Girls (スカイガールズ Sukai Gāruzu) stand ready to keep alien immigrants away from Earth.

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