(originally launched into cyberspace on 08/18/2007)
(Preface: Having caused a sufficient amount of tantrums and hate
mail with my two prior messages, I expect this to be my last e-mail
on immigration for a while, just to avoid boring anyone. I'm sure
it will come up again soon enough.)
In response to my recent comments about immigration, several people
opined that I should shut up about it, and go back to other issues
(on which they agree with me). Trouble is, this is a matter of
general principles, not a series of unrelated personal preferences.
Whether you're talking about taxation, or gun control, or welfare,
or drug prohibition, or war, or immigration, you're ultimately
talking about the conflict between self-ownership and "authority."
If we were all the rightful property of politicians, they would
have the right to "tax" us, disarm us, enslave us, keep us in one
place, tell us what we can eat and drink, and so on. If, on the
other hand, we each own ourselves, NONE of that is justified, and
force (state or otherwise) is only justified when used to DEFEND
someone's rights to self-ownership.
All political beliefs stem from underlying assumptions, even if the
"believer" never really THINKS about the assumptions. Political
issues are not "stand-alone" beliefs, like whether you prefer
vanilla or chocolate ice cream. For example, those who believe in
"government" welfare to care for the poor, MUST believe that the
individual is ultimately the PROPERTY of the state, which has the
right to take some or all of what any individual produces, and give
it to someone else.
The trouble is, aspiring tyrants are constantly on the lookout for
things which will make YOU abandon any pro-freedom principles you
might have, in exchange for an offer of authoritarian "protection"--
whether it be "protection" from crime, from invasion, from poverty,
from illiteracy, from unemployment, from global warming, from being
overrun by foreigners, or from anything else. That is why they are
constantly fear-mongering, about those things I just listed, and
countless others. They want to tempt YOU into surrendering your
self-ownership in favor of state control.
And it works, on dang near everyone. Different fear-mongering works
on different people: traditional conservatives are scared into
giving up freedom to create a huge military, intelligence agencies,
and police forces, while liberals are scared into giving up freedom
to create a welfare state, a "safety net" for anyone hit by any
possible misfortune, a wealth redistribution scheme, and so on.
Almost NO ONE still holds to the simple principle of: "I'll leave
you alone, if you leave me alone" (which pretty much sums up the
libertarian philosophy). They are constantly fed the dire warnings
until they feel they NEED to give up some of their self-ownership
in exchange for authoritarian "protection."
So, setting aside the fear-mongering rhetoric, what is it exactly
that people fear from "illegal immigration"? A few things:
1) "They will come here and get government benefits!"
Some will, and they shouldn't--and neither should Americans,
because those "benefits" are always stolen property. But you have
no right to keep ALL of them out because SOME of them might apply
for handouts. The underlying problem is the GOVERNMENT, which
steals from you and gives it away. Trying to keep foreigners out is
merely treating the symptom.
2) "They are taking American jobs!"
Tough luck. You don't have a RIGHT to a job. When there is freedom,
there is economic competition, which often means the lowest bidder
wins. If some guy will do a job for $7 an hour, and you'll only do
it for $10 an hour, you have NO right to have the job, and no right
to use force to keep the other guy from getting it (or the employer
from hiring him).
3) "We'll lose our culture!"
Once again, that excuse doesn't justify the use of violence. It's
also not true. What is left of the American culture--which, if you
ask me, isn't really worth preserving--will remain among those
pockets of people who value it. Go to any major city in this
country, and see how FOREIGNERS manage to preserve their OWN
cultures even when they're not IN their own country (e.g,
Now the question is, what is the cause of ALL of those problems?
Why do Mexicans WANT to come here so badly? Answer: "government."
In fact, "governments" on BOTH sides of the line. The tyrants up
here are handing out goodies, to purchase votes and dependence,
while the tyrants down there (who aren't very effective tyrants...
and should read my book) have botched things up so badly that it's
a crummy place to live. If their economy didn't suck so bad, as a
direct result of "government" interference, they wouldn't be eager
to come here to work for $5 an hour.
So what WOULD happen if all "country" borders were ignored? What if
everyone in Mexico could easily just leave, whether to here or
somewhere else? The Mexican government would fall apart, or get
weak enough to get overthrown, and maybe we'd see a little FREEDOM
down there for a while. (If that occurred, a LOT of Mexicans would
WANT to go back to what they still view as their own country.)
Incidentally, that was the idea of keeping different states in this
country: they could compete for the populace, with the people
migrating to the state with the least idiotic policies, thereby
depriving any would-be tyrant of their slave base. Of course, the
overwhelming stupidity of the federal leviathan made that fail.
Lastly, I'm sure the imaginary line looks very different, depending
upon which side you view it from. From here, Americans are saying
"Stay OUT of our country!" To most Mexicans, I expect it sounds
more like "Stay IN your own country!" To support "closed borders"
is to advocate that Mexicans remain imprisoned and oppressed. (When
they're dirt poor, they don't have a whole lot of options about
WHERE to flee to.) So--just to throw in a low blow here--do you
ACTUALLY believe in human freedom as a principle, or do you just
believe in freedom for people who are already in this country?
Think long and hard about that question before you advocate the use
of violence to keep people stuck under a tyrannical regime.
(P.S. For a little perspective, imagine what your point of view
would be if this country completes its journey to fascism, and then
says that YOU are not allowed OUT.)