Libertarians and immigration

It has long been a source of consternation that the main position of the Libertarian Party is a pro-immigration one.  Typically we find open-border libertarians defending their position using arguments of principle.  For example, a libertarian blogger by the name of Jon Smith lists five reasons why he is in favor of open borders.  Without going into too much detail, his arguments are basically these:

1)  All people are born equal and we have no right to prevent any individual from moving to a place which offers more liberty than where he came from.   Furthermore, those who value security over freedom deserve neither.  Restricting the movement of individuals curtails their liberty and this is in the name of security.  This being the case, we have sacrificed liberty for security and so we deserve neither.

2) Our nation was founded by immigrants and immigration has brought us our greatness – so it makes no sense to restrict the thing that has made us great.

3) Immigrants, if not for the perverse effects of government welfare, bring economic benefit.

4) If I wished to move to a better country (because it is more free), I would do so whether it was legal or not.  So the Golden Rule dictates that I offer the same benefit to others.

5) Government has too much power as it is.  To grant them the power to choose who their citizens are, by way of enforcing a border, is giving them too much power.

Then there’s the case of Ross Penyon, who showed up at an anti SB1070 rally to support the invasion of the U.S. and to preach libertarianism to the swarthy primitives – who were polite and receptive (so he says) much as their ancestors were receptive to white missionaries preaching Christianity.  But I do not hold out much hope that Hispanics will embrace libertarianism as enthusiastically as they did Christianity; libertarianism lacks the persuasive powers of superior arms and bribes.

Penyon writes:

We outlined the nonaggression principle for those we spoke to and summarized the idea that as long as one is being peaceful one should be left alone. We stated that it doesn’t matter what color, ethnicity, region of origin, or any other secondary characteristic one possesses, but that purely by being nonaggressive, individuals should be free to make choices for themselves on where to live and who to voluntarily associate with. We handed out thousands of fliers on this message and generally received a very pleasant welcome.

It seems to me that the common thread, between Smith and Penyon is that they champion the rights of individuals only selectively.  In fact, they don’t seem to grasp that just as an individual is part of his nation, so too is the nation a part of the individual.  By destroying the nation, you are harming the individual.  Smith seems to have an inkling of the dangers of mass immigration:

I certainly understand that a large and sudden change in the number and culture of voters could be a risk to our republic, I submit that we have made it through that before, during the rapid immigration of the 1800s, and we can survive it again.

That Smith does not recognize the differences between the immigration of the 1800’s and what we have today I can only attribute to ignorance or perhaps the naivety of youth.

When convenient to his argument, Smith does recognize the concept of “nation”.  He writes:

times of greatest growth and prosperity in this country were tied to policies of the past where freedom was far greater. They recognize that mistakes were made, but that overall, wherever the principles of freedom were applied, we were propelled towards greatness. Most, however, fail to acknowledge the effect of our open borders during that time. Obviously that was one of the keys to our greatness, we are a nation proudly comprised almost entirely of immigrants.

Of course, he neglects to explain what he means by “our” and “this country”.  Perhaps there is some sort of magical quality to the soil or special spores that waft through the air.  Or maybe the water is blessed.  We are left to guess – but my guess is that he has not given it much thought.

With libertarians like Smith and Penyon, so eager to destroy individuals in the name of individuality, who needs statists?  A society without a specific culture (i.e. a “multicultural” one) is to a nation what a feral child is to a normal adult.

Feral children ought to be an excellent source of evidence in the continuing nature-nurture debate. Feral children cannot walk, talk, or socialise: they cannot show empathy with others. Indeed, these poor creatures are so apparently sub-human that Linnaeus classified them as distinct from home sapiens.

A case can be made that any society that lacks a specific tradition, culture, language etc. is not a truly human society but rather a dysfunctional assortment of individuals.  To call it a “nation” is a wild inaccuracy.  Any consensual arrangements they may have, and any peace they may enjoy, is only a temporary lull in hostilities or some sort of mass hypnosis brought on by an overabundance of material wealth.

It is no wonder that non-white nations are overwhelming us; whites had given up their cultures, having imbibed the poison cup of hedonism and decadence.  Arabs, Mexicans, Chinese and Pakistanis still possess their cultures.  Now they feed on the rotting carcass of the West.  The masses of the West believe that their latest fashions, celebrities, pop music and T.V. shows can replace a genuine culture so they invite the brown masses to join them in their revelry.  Many are attracted to this superficial proxy-culture.  After all, a rotting corpse smells sweet – in a certain way.  A rotting corpse can last 40 or 50 years before it becomes dry bones.  So too will it be with the acculturated West.  When the flesh is depleted, the various insects will consume each other for sustenance.  Those who are not acculturated must distance themselves from the decaying body or they too will rot.

The writhing mass of stinking leftists tries to prevent us from leaving.  It clutches us with its bony hands and smears its slimy juices on our skins.  Its jaw hanging by sparse sinew, it gargles in its zombie voice…

Don’t leave us!  You cannot go.

It’s illegal you see, come celebrate with me.

Celebrate the maggots and the larvae,

They’re so sweet – and smart, just like you and me.

What’s the matter?  Don’t you like diversity?

About jewamongyou

I am a paleolibertarian Jew who is also a race-realist. My opinions are often out of the mainstream and often considered "odd" but are they incorrect? Feel free to set me right if you believe so!
This entry was posted in immigration/ Hispanics, libertarian thought. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Libertarians and immigration

  1. Gaurav Ahuja says:

    I suggest reading “Nations By Consent: Decomposing the Nation-State” http://mises.org/journals/jls/11_1/11_1_1.pdf
    It was a very good article by Murray Rothbard about how we can preserve nationhood in a libertarian order.

    Also, I suggest reading the Journal of Libertarian Studies Issue that had a focus on immigration
    http://mises.org/periodical.aspx?Id=3&volume=Vol.%2013%20Num.%202

    Here are the titles of the articles from that issue of the Journal of Libertarian Studies

    “Are There Grounds for Limiting Immigration?”
    “A Libertarian Argument Against Opening Borders”
    “A Libertarian Case for Free Immigration”
    “A Libertarian Theory of Free Immigration”
    “Immigration Into A Free Society”
    “The Sanctuary Society and its Enemies”
    “The Case for Free Trade and Restricted Immigration “

  2. patrick says:

    what many people do not realize is that every nation was founded by immigrants.

  3. The liberarian system of logic concerning immigration is not a settled principle in the community. Hoppe disagrees for specific reasons. I disagree for similar reasons, and frankly think mr argument is simply a clarification of hoppe. The open borders coalition would argue that immigration is incompatble with the welfare state and argue that it would be a misrepresentation of their position to suggest libertarians advocate open borders without adopting the rest of the program.
    Then there are the neophytes that refer to the non agresssion principle without acknowledging that immigration is a form of aggresseion because humans are unequal in their preferences and the secondary costs are cumulatively substantive. In this sense there are no immigration problems in libertarianism, just integration problems.

  4. countenance says:

    I can’t spend too much time responding to this, but:

    (2) All nations are nations of immigrants. All of world history can be summarized by the consequences of people getting up from one place and moving to another. Or the consequences of this not happening. It does not follow that every migration is desirable.

    (5) Okay, then, the alternative is world government. I thought libertarians were supposed to be against that kind of big government, and world gov. would be the biggest kind of gov.

  5. WR the elder says:

    “1) All people are born equal and we have no right to prevent any individual from moving to a place which offers more liberty than where he came from.”

    If by equal he means “equal in the eyes of God” or “equal under the law”, then yes. But if he means equal in intelligence, prudence, temperance, honesty, courage, etc., then empirically the claim is simply false. Looking at IQ alone, which is highly heritable, it matters greatly whether a country has an average IQ of 100 or an average IQ of 90.

    “2) Our nation was founded by immigrants and immigration has brought us our greatness – so it makes no sense to restrict the thing that has made us great.”

    This is the silly argument that if a little bit of something is good then more must be better. If immigration of a few million people to an untamed wilderness was good, then immigration of tens of millions more to an already well populated country must be better. My sister is a bit of a cat nut and owns 3 cats. Even she does not think that her life would be improved by owning 20 cats.

    One issue where I differ from libertarians is that I am strongly pro-environment. I love not only the great wildernesses in this country but also the “little wildernesses” — the 100 acre or so patches of woods and ponds that used to be a short walk away from where so many Americans lived, but are now increasingly disappearing under the onslaught of development. The driving force for all development is an ever increasing population, which in this country is forced by immigration. When I bring this issue up with libertarians they inevitably have a contemptuous response — undeveloped land is just a waste, and the sooner it’s paved over the better. There is such a disconnect between our core values here that debate is impossible — we simply don’t accept each other’s starting premises.

    “3) Immigrants, if not for the perverse effects of government welfare, bring economic benefit.”

    First, we will be stuck with perverse government welfare polices for a long time. Second, one man’s economic benefit is another man’s lost job. I don’t doubt that cheap, illegal, nonunionized labor is beneficial to factory owners. But am I made better off if my working class neighbor loses is job and his house as a result?

    “4) If I wished to move to a better country (because it is more free), I would do so whether it was legal or not. So the Golden Rule dictates that I offer the same benefit to others.”

    Me, I wouldn’t blame the country that he moved into illegally for flogging him and kicking him out. He might be better off sleeping in my unused bedroom, but that doesn’t mean he has the right to break into my house.

    “5) Government has too much power as it is. To grant them the power to choose who their citizens are, by way of enforcing a border, is giving them too much power.”

    The U.S. Constitution says that the federal government shall protect the various states from invasion. The government has the right and the obligation to defend our borders.

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