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On immigrants

I’m afraid I feel rather personally about the current immigration crises in the United States and Europe.

(Yes, we have a crisis in the United States as well, or at least, we have Presidential candidates with high poll numbers claiming that we do, and said candidates are threatening to enact draconian measures, including mass deportations.)

I take the matter quite personally because my own father was once a war refugee. Indeed, he was once a war refugee who, because he was a member of a non-Christian religion, was denied refuge in more or less every civilized part of the world. Seventy five years ago, of course, Jews were not considered particularly welcome even by countries that knew full well what was happening in Germany.

My father managed to save himself by ignoring laws that said that he wasn’t allowed to cross borders in the night without permission. Had it been up to many people, of course, he would have died instead, but he quite sensibly believed that he was under no moral obligation to pay attention to people who would have preferred him to remain where he was and die, and thus he formed his own immigration plan without the permission of the legal authorities at his destination.

(Of course, only this morning I read that Victor Orbán has complained that allowing Syrians into Europe would diminish the Christian character of the continent, the sort of claim I’ve heard before in different contexts, including from the political movement that forced my father to flee in the first place. This does bring to mind an ancient set of questions for adherents of Christianity, such as what sort of razor-wire walled internment camp designs Jesus would have favored, as well as whom Jesus would have deported. But I digress.)

For me, the question of immigration is, because of my family history, a very emotional one. None the less, I have given the matter a considerable amount of thought, and I believe that, although I care deeply about the issue, my position is still not an irrational one. Rather, I think that my family history simply allows me to put faces to the theoretical people who might be denied passage and die where they are, and thus gives me the ability to understand by example the human consequences of policies.

(Indeed, this is perhaps much the same thing that has happened for people who have viewed the the photographs of poor Aylan Kurdi, who drowned because even though his family had plenty of money to go from where they were to a place of safety, they had to give it to smugglers instead of to a reliable airline or ferry company. Seeing an individual face, hearing an individual name, makes it harder to ignore the consequences of a policy. But again, I digress.)

So, as I have said, I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I’ve come to a straightforward conclusion. Anyone proposing that immigration from one country to another be stopped through the use of coercive state violence is, morally speaking, doing the equivalent of proposing to beat on the hands of a drowning man desperately trying to climb out of the sea.

I claim that there is no more moral justification for preventing a man from Homs from traveling to your town, renting a house and then looking for work than there would be for preventing a man from within the borders of your supposed “nation state” from doing the same. I have scoured the literature on moral philosophy and failed to find any justification for the claim that a man born across an imaginary line has particularly different rights than a man born within it. I claim this is true regardless of whether the man from Homs seeks to rent the house next door because he is fleeing for his life or because he prefers the weather in your part of the world.

Indeed, the only way to stop a man from Homs from traveling to your town, renting an apartment from a willing owner, and taking a job from a willing employer, would seem to be to threaten to do violence or actually to do violence to that man. Which is to say, the only way to prevent him from moving would be the initiation of violence against an entirely peaceful person who has done nothing whatsoever to the people doing violence to him.

Therefore, not only would it seem that there is no moral justification for preventing such behavior, and not only would it seem churlish, but it would also seem that, if anything at all can be called immoral, then doing violence to a peaceful person who wants nothing more than to rent a house, find a job and live as everyone else does is immoral. Perhaps, of course, there is no such thing as right and wrong beyond personal whim, perhaps morals are not a real thing at all, but if morals are indeed a real thing and if morality means anything useful, then clearly such acts are immoral.

I know that some, perhaps even here on Samizdata, would suggest that immigrants are coming to the West to take advantage of our generous state welfare policies. If you believe that, then there is a trivial solution. I will in no way oppose the proposal that the law that opens the border should also specify that immigrants and even their children should not receive state benefits until they’ve lived in the country for ten, or twenty, or, who cares, make it a thousand years if you like. I don’t believe in the dole or state benefits of any sort to begin with, so I can’t consistently oppose denying people such benefits.

I have heard some others say “but they will vote and they are illiberal!”, and if you believe that, fine, deny them the right to vote — I’m an anarchist, and as I don’t believe in elections in the first place, I feel comfortable with denying the franchise to immigrants forever if you feel that is necessary for you to agree to open the border.

But, if you refuse to consider opening the border even if those coming are doing so with their own resources, are renting or buying homes with their own money, are not taking state benefits and are not voting for more collectivism, then I am afraid that I do have to look askance at your position.

Which is to say, your position was immoral in the first place, but if you refuse to reverse a completely immoral position even if the supposed “pragmatic” rationale for holding it vanishes, then perhaps your rationale is not only immoral but was also not held for pragmatic reasons in the first place.

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251 comments to On immigrants

  • Johnnydub

    “immigrants and even their children should not receive state benefits until they’ve lived in the country for ten, or twenty, or, who cares, make it a thousand years”

    Ok, so they’ll starve, or more likely prey with violence on the community.

    I read this quote on Twitter of all places, and it kind of explains that while I have a lot of sympathy with Libertarian positions, I am not myself a libertarian. “Libertarians assume that everyone is like them – young gifted and white” – I quibble with the young and white bits but gifted does seem to me to be accurate where Libertarians are concerned. However this sense of capability is where Libertarians meet socialists like Owen Jones – the thinking is you’re smart enough to remake the world.

    With regards to immigrants, the problem is that some groups simply won’t conform to your live and let live philosophy. I think that here in the UK we are blighted by the Pakistanis, yet I know and work with a number of them who are awesome people, but as a group they suck. With 70% first cousin marriage they are also going to get more stupid and incapable of independent self support. Add in the endemic corruption that accompanies them and the lack of western morals and there are going to be problems. Don’t get me started on the Somalis but again I know a couple who are good people.

    And here is the rub – there just doesn’t seem to be any mechanism of sorting the wheat from the chaff. When I look at the Middle East and the resultant refugee crisis, I can’t help but look at it from this perspective. You have a family who having smashed their existing house to pieces, now come to us and expect a better house that we will pay for, and we’re not expected to comment if they start to smash the new one up, because guess what that might be racist.

    The elites seem to be determined to e4rnsure that white western nations cease to exist, and trust me in that world Libertarianism will be as realistic as the moon being made of green cheese.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    “Ok, so they’ll starve, or more likely prey with violence on the community” — my father took no state benefits and neither starved nor preyed on the community he lived in.

    Most of what you say about the evil Pakistanis used to be said about the Irish and German and Italian immigrants in the U.S. One can hear it now echoing from history: “Some of them, don’t get me wrong, some of them are decent enough, but most of them are just terrible. They’re not decent people, not like you and me.” They used to say such things about Jewish and Chinese and Japanese immigrants and all sorts of other people too. Nothing you say is new, original, or creative, it is just the usual old set of excuses for why you have the right to shoot people rather than let them live in the same city as you. None of it was true when it was said in the 19th century, and none of it was true when it was said 75 or 90 years ago, and none of it is any different now.

  • Johnnydub

    Perry – there’s a big difference between “fear of the other” which you characterise and my and many others observations of what’s happening in the UK. Even with the media “obscuring” things the truth is out there.

    Its not just isolated individuals; I’ll list some things:

    Rotherham underage sex abuse (actually something that’s happened in more than 10 UK cities but the press is bored with it)
    Honour killings
    Volunteers for ISIS
    Economic participation – more than 50% of Pakistani men and 75% of Pakistani women are on benefits
    Ethnic ghettos
    corruption in local government
    Lack of integration
    Hostile racism towards everyone else – even different islamic sects
    The rise in antisemitism
    Their massive over representation in the criminal system including jail numbers

    Just because historically Irish and German and Italian immigrants in the U.S took some shit does not mean I can’t correctly see whats in front of my face. It’s not an issue of Racism; the Indian Sikhs and Hindus have settled, integrated and been great successes. The Pakistani failuire is so obvious becuasse of the diffeerence. “Racism” explanations don’t cut it – racists dont distinguish between brown people.

    I’ll admit to being a culturalist – I judge poeple on their culture – and in the name of liberty I reserve the right to call people arseholes, if they do indeed behave like arseholes.

  • Mr. Origami

    Austrian Economists like to begin from first principals aka “Robinson Crusoe on an Island” and then they add Friday, and wonderful conclusions spring forth, like comparative advantage, and marginal productivity, etc.

    Similarly the Huemerian/Rothbardian moral position which the OP reiterates, asks whether or not its morally justified to keep a peaceful man, who just wants to come and work, out of your geographic region. I think this position is flawed both from a bottoms up and top down perspective.

    First, note, that Huemerians aren’t crazy enough to say that you should be forced to house an immigrant, just that you should not be allowed to kick him out of your neighborhood. However, what if all of the householders in the neighborhood form an HOA, and the HOA makes a rule that says, “no owners may rent or sell to an immigrant.” This is completely voluntary and the ban on immigrant is merely an extension of property rights. Now suppose a confederation of HOA’s representing all of the housing stock in a community agree that such a rule is a good idea. What if the confederation of HOA’s changed its name to “The Town of ABC.” Could it still ban immigrants? At what point does the decision making apparatus of property owners, which can morally ban trespassing immigrants, become a “government” and thus unable to morally ban trespassing immigrants?

    Second, looking at the morality of initiating force against the the first immigrant, and only the first immigrant, is a fallacy of composition. The first immigrant does no harm to the host society. The millionth very well may destroy it.

    Look at the Republic of Elbonia, population one million. Being a fairly libertarian republic, they accept all comers, with the caveat that immigrants can’t receive welfare and receive no political representation. When they accept the first immigrant, things are fine, even if the immigrant comes from a socialistic, tribalistic, or fascist culture, because he is just one man. When they accept the thousandth immigrant, the immigrants have a community, retain some of their cultural habits and traditions, and society continues moving along just fine. When the million and first immigrant comes along, Elbonia strongly resembles their nation of origin, down to their preference of the system of government. The Elbonians say, “but wait, you came to our libertarian republic and agreed to respect our laws and traditions.” The new majority tell them to shut up and get on the reservation.

    Had America left the door open to Irish, Italian, and yes Jewish immigration (which it closed in 1923), the American capitalistic experiment would be dead. If Germany allows itself to become a majority Muslim country, all the Jews will be killed or expelled, not by the “neo-nazis” but by the Muslims who came as “refugees” and “asylum-seekers.” Of course Jews have the Israeli Law of Return. Where can the Germans go when their country imposes Sharia law?

  • If anyone should take Syrians in and for what could be a temporary situation, it should be their neighbors. A great candjdate would be Israel. It has safe borders, 1st world living standards and great leadership. No long boat journy or train rides.

  • R. Dawes

    Where we are now: vast numbers of immigrants, of which not all but many are hordes deliberately seeking welfare and to impose their vile superstitions on their hosts by brute force, idiotic laws seriously hampering the successful integration of much better immigrants, immigration and welfare systems struggling under the weight of the hordes, some people gleeful at the present and future destruction, and all this stoking the darkest forces of racism and other superstitions.

    Where we need to be in future: fully open borders, without even so much as guards being visible to immigrants who aren’t reasonably suspected of carrying communicable disease, and where eventually passports wont even exist never mind not needing to be shown.

    How the hell do we get from A to B in a way that does not let the superstitious take over and our economies destroyed?

    There are five steps, I think.

    1) First, and independent of the A>B need as above, eliminate all bad labour law, and adjust other law as appropriate, so as to free up productive enterprise and the demand for labour. I don’t just mean get rid of minimum wages etc, but get rid of special privileges for unions, laws requiring featherbedding, other restrictive practices and so on. This would also include adjustments as required to tax laws and other financial laws, though while these and other changes are morally mandatory much of that discussion is outside the topic of immigration.

    2) Once #1 has gotten underway, begin shutting down the various elements of the welfare state. Indeed, some can be done independently of #1 just as the tax and finance laws etc need to change, such as grandfathering out access to publicly funded schooling and healthcare, but other elements of the welfare state cannot and must not be removed until #1 has done all or most of its work.

    3) Fully uphold the freedom of speech and freedom of association. In particular, and *expressly stating it*, point out the right to criticise the hell out of multiculturalism and the right to subject any beliefs of anyone anywhere anytime to any withering criticism. This must be especially trumpeted in the universities etc. The point about #3 in relation to our A>B problem is to recognise that however much people act like hordes, they are still human beings capable of independent thought. It would be good for their intellectual comfort zones to be blasted with equally intellectual MOABs.

    4) Trump’s questioning of birth citizenship, however crude he has been, does point out the problem of people being held as having the right to vote or not merely by dint of place of birth. Trump is wrong in this way: birth should and MUST create the right of domicile in the jurisdiction of birth: that is properly what citizenship should mean in the first instance, and Trump is flat out wrong to challenge it. What birth should not do is lead to automatic conferral of *the franchise* merely by the fact of later turning 18. So, *nobody* should be enfranchised merely by dint of birthplace and age of majority; ALL people, birth-citizens and immigrants alike, should make an active effort to obtain the franchise. It need not and should not be an ideological test, just an oath to abide by others’ rights and recognise the Constitution insofar as it upholds those rights.

    5) No special treatment for immigrants, no kid gloves, and a phasing in of ever more relaxed immigration laws. Australian law, at least in intent, is on the right track with its objective criteria system, though not perfect as it is definitely influenced by mere protectionism in labour markets. I’d start by liberalising the quotas, including having certain categories of immigrants for which there are no yearly maxima at all, as would help #1 and #2 and not have #3 lead to too much violence that police can’t handle. Over time, as #1-4 do their thing, progressively relax these laws, having more and more categories with no maximas. Near the end, there are no quotas, only yay or nay decisions. Then, eventually, put a stop to all border checks but for legitimate quarantine needs. In the meantime, zero consideration for international opinion should be given.

    In the end, word will spread that such and such a country is not favourable to the superstitious, and “they’ll turn your kids into selfish atheists!” Anyone who is happy with that can get in with no difficulty whatever. Sounds like paradise to me.

    As to what could be achieved in the present climate… well, if the above isn’t electorally viable, we’re screwed.

  • Mr Black

    Well my position is this. The muslim middle east is a depraved and violent culture with islam as the driving engine of that depravity. The people fleeing it may well be refugees in fear of their lives but they are also our cultural enemies and we are at war with them. They will not try to assimilate nor work within our laws or culture, rather we know from experience that they will try to carve out regions where they can dominate and operated their depraved culture in our country. There is no reason, zero, why muslims in a muslim country, totally surrounded by OTHER muslim countries that share their culture must travel through these safe places and end up in western Europe, conveniently enough on the dole.

    Europe cannot absorb everyone who wants to be there and even if physical space were found, it would no longer be Europe, it would be part of the islamist caliphate on what was once known as Europe. They are agents of an enemy culture and even if they themselves do not wage violent war on us when we let them in, their presence provides camouflage, shelter, financial and moral support for those who do.

    If Europe is a piece of land then it doesn’t matter who lives there. If Europe is a culture and a civilisation though, one held together by the current citizens, then this is tantamount to surrender in this cultural war. They will never stop coming and they come not as visitors but as conquerors.

  • Phil B

    I would have soem sympathy with Perry Metzegers view and Aylan Kurdi IF:

    1) His family hadn’t been living in a safe country (Turkey) for one or three years depending on which report you read. Canada refused them an entry visa because they were correctly deemed to be safe from the alleged persecution they were fleeing from.

    2) They were being sent money by relatives in Canada and presumably, living a comfortable life where they were (Turkey).

    3) The father returned to the town in Syria that he fled to bury his son and the other members of his family that drowned. You know, the same town that was so dangerous that e fled from it in fear of his life? The one that is allegedly still so dangerous that he fears for his life if he remains there?

    4) I would say that Europe was built on the JUDEO-Christian principles of the Bible and Christianity. Chrisianity derives almost totally its moral, legal and philosophical tenets from Judaism and the Bible.

    So, not even close. Definitely no cigar.

    JohnnyDub and Mr Black have a more realistic appraisal of these people.

  • David Crawford

    Unfettered immigration, yay, great, wonderful. Just ask us American Indians how that worked out for us.

  • Could you please explain where this libertarian paradise is that has no welfare state and no voting… because I want to move there.

    Until you can name such a place please be advised that the mass migration of people such as your father and Aylan Kurdi does have a detrimental effect on me which is why I oppose it.

    It costs me money.
    My childrens education suffers.
    My families healthcare suffers.
    My wife doesn’t feel safe walking through town.
    They treat me as an “out group”
    They vote against my interests.

    etc etc.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    I agree with Perry Metzger on this. In answer to your question, as far as I can tell Jesus would not approve of internment camps generally. I would suggest, and I suspect you already know, that this is an example of people using “culture” as an excuse for something else entirely.

    Phil – you know strangely enough the first thing I thought when I saw the pictures of that wee lad on the beach was not “wow, he must have a great father”. The moral uprightness of Mr. Kurdi is entirely beside the point.

    If you’re born into a shithole of a country it is perfectly reasonable and rational to want to leave – legally or illegally. If they had been able to come in the front door, Mr. Kurdi could be washing your car, sawing up your lumber or bagging your groceries right now while his son played happily at home. Since they tried to come in the back door, a whole family died. Now that’s just a waste.

    Now certainly we could adopt an Australian approach and get really tough (although I’m not sure the Royal Navy would enjoy the publicity of machine gunning boatloads of migrants when the people smugglers try opening fire….). But Perry’s point is a good one – by what right, specifically, do we seek to deny ostensibly free peoples the right to move from one place to another?

    Border controls seem to me yet another form of protectionism and rent seeking. Those working in a country do not wish to compete with overseas labour, so they try to make it illegal to hire said labour. They’ll often make reference to “preserving culture” to try and justify this. Just look at America for example – although they seem to forget that there were Spanish speaking Californios in much of the United States for hundreds of years before Anglo-Germanic Europeans ever set foot in that land. The American Indians have a quite legitimate grievance regarding how they were treated, but I would suggest this is not a criticism of immigration. It is a criticism of contempt for property rights of indigenous peoples, criticism of attempted genocide, criticism of hunting humans like animals, criticism of making and then breaking treaties and so on.

    My own view, and you can take it or leave it, is that governments have no business safeguarding culture, or restricting the movement of free people. Governments are in my view only for self-defense. Now if you could conclusively demonstrate a desire on the part of migrants to hurt their destination country by, for example, committing acts of terrorism, then taking action against them would be justified. But most of them seem to want to do gardening or fruit picking or work in takeaways. While many doner kebabs are truly shocking, I think it would be stretching credibility to suggest they were an assault upon the nation.

  • Paul Marks

    The United States had a, basically, undefended border with Latin America for over a hundred years – without mass immigration.

    Then, from the 1960s on, extensive government benefits and “public services” were established in the United States.

    And private “discrimination” (i.e. Freedom of Association, which must logically include the right to not associate) was banned.

    Then mass immigration from the Latin American world did occur – over the following decades.

    It is hard to believe that the developments are unconnected.

    Indeed demonstrations in favour of the “rights of undocumented immigrants” also include banners declaring (amongst other things) the “right” to housing, health care, education (and on and on)for everyone.

    Activists tend to express no love for the United States – on the contrary they declare Americans “stole the land” in 1836 and 1848 (ignoring Mexican war aims)

    These do not sound like the attitudes of “refugees” or even of “immigrants”. Nor do the statements in favour of the anti American concept of “Social Justice”.

    As for the European situation.

    Those who believe that borders are just “artificial” nonsense and should be ignored, are really saying that Europe should be an extension of North Africa and the Middle East. With Europeans exterminated or enslaved.

    As for the holocaust reference.

    I am not aware that Jews came to America declaring that Americans had “stolen the land”, or demanding various government benefits (from the very government that they declared not legitimate).

    Also, as we are talking about the murder of six million Jews, if borders are artificial nonsense that should not be enforced……

    Well then the borders of Israel are artificial nonsense that should not be enforced.

    Anyone who claims to be peaceful should be allowed to cross these “artificial lines”.

    Which would inevitably lead to the murder of another six million Jews.

    If the history of Europe (more than a thousand years of Islamist attacks) and the United States (the war of 1848 and so on) is to be ignored – why not the history of Israel also?

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Ah Fenland, thank you so much for trotting old my favourite trope.

    “It’s not ideal that I have to pay for it, but since I am compelled to pay for it, I demand a say in how other people live their lives”.

    In a word, bullshit. You don’t fix crazy by adding to it. You have a right to demand the government stop taking your money. You have no right to demand control over the lives of the people the government then turns around and spends it on.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Paul, in raising Israel you make a good point. Israel is a nation, perhaps the only extant nation, where many people are actively trying to kill them all.

    Although I would point out that this is different. Nearly all of those crossing the Med right now do not want to kill Europeans. They want to pull their weeds or wash their cars, or indeed in some cases sponge off their benefits. But not kill, indeed they have a vested interest in not killing.

    I don’t see open borders as being incompatible with civil defense. Open is not the same thing as non-existant. A border can be open and still have checkpoints for example, providing they are only used to check whether you’re a terrorist bastard before letting you in. You could even use pretty fancy Moassad style methods of establishing whether someone was an enemy combatant and I wouldn’t have any problem with it. It is perfectly reasonable to keep those who wish to kill you out of your country.

    But that’s not what’s happening in Australia, Greece, Italy or the US. Certainly not in most cases.

  • Chip

    I saw a post that promised a rational argument then skimmed for some data, didn’t see any, looked again for real world examples from Europe’s decades old immigration experiment with the Muslim world, none of that either.

    Instead there’s a personal anecdote and a thought experiment.

    Is that it?

    Philosophically i suspect i’m very similar to Perry. I’m predisposed to live and let live, happily married to an Asian woman, have three kids who are a melange of cultures. But the pragmatist in me sees that culture matters, and religion more so.

    That’s probably fine if the host culture is unflinchingly insistent on respect for individual liberty. But in a culture that’s increasingly self loathing, statist and eager to incentivize sloth and victimhood, the prognosis and indeed the evidence of mass immigration from pathologically backward Muslim countries is downright dire.

    And how far does this thought experiment extend anyway? Should Israel tear down its fence and allow Gazans to move into their neighborhoods. They’re seeking a better life too. Why should imaginary lines deprive them of their rights.

  • Paul Marks

    J.V.

    The history of the last thousand years, and the current behaviour of the newcomers (and their children) as far north as Sweden – indicates you are mistaken.

    Why should people whose most basic belief system teaches them that they are the masters – and that the goods (indeed the bodies) of infidels who “do not feel themselves subdued” are rightfully theirs, content themselves with “pulling weeds” and so on?

    As for the United States – if the influx (and their children) were as you describe, Mr Obama would have no interest in them having the vote.

    Indeed he (and his Comrades) would be desperate for such good and noble people to NOT have the vote.

    This is somewhat at odds with his “Motor Voter” law as a Senator.

    A family of Home Schoolers from Germany are not what Mr Obama wants – not at all.

    But he (and his Comrades dating back all the way to the 1960s) love the influx over the Southern border.

    Why?

    Is it not logical to assume that Mr Obama (and the other “Community Organisers” – dating back decades) believes that the influx shares his own hatred of the United States.

    If the people were as libertarians hope – then Mr Obama (and the rest of his Comrades) would be in favour of deporting them.

    After all if I turned up in the United States I would be deported so fast my feet would not touch the ground.

    There would be no question of “we can not find him” or “he has lived here for years and has children”.

    None of this would matter in the case of someone of my pro American opinions.

    “Reactionaries” being returned to their certain death?

    That would be a bonus for Mr Obama and co.

  • Ljh

    If the West is to survive colonisation from Islamic countries, it has to be more aggressive about defending the hardwon principles which underlie both its freedoms and success, both from newcomers and fifth columnists:
    Freedom of Speech: no idea is above criticism and debate. PC as a code prevents necessary debates. Offensive speech such as appears in large parts of the Koran to be called out for the murderous, misogynistic crap it contains and its warlord in chief, a humourless, lying paedophile.
    Freedom of Conscience: no religion can coerce those born into it with threats of violence for apostasy, atheism, sexual behaviour. All adults should be responsible for their choices and free from family, clan or group control. This should be extended to the Identity Politics industry that chooses to judge people by generic markers rather than allowing their individual choices and wishes to stack official bodies with minorities to make them “representative” rather than promoting individuals of proven ability.
    Equality under the law, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation and cultural origin. No Nogo zones, no kid gloves for certain groups, zero tolerance of corruption and nepotism, no excuses of victimhood.
    Strict limitation of welfare to those in acute need, sufficient to cover basic needs but an otherwise uncomfortable choice except for the profoundly disabled. Removal of minimum wage restrictions to allow the minimally productive a place in society and the work force.
    Or we become a failed society.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Paul you seem to be painting with a pretty broad brush. While I understand the practical difficulties it causes, I really prefer not to deal in generalisations. When I was in Sweden I encountered a number of Muslims – all taxi drivers oddly enough. None of them tried to kill me or rape any female members of our party. Most of them will never do either of those things as long as they live. Furthermore, my university department is absolutely full of Muslim postgrads. To be honest they all seem like pretty decent folk. Hard working, intelligent, polite. They love their wives and their children. Now it may well be that some of them, beneath this mask of being decent human beings, are longing for the day they can hack my head off with a rusty machete. I can’t disprove such an assertion – but then I don’t have to. If you want to make an accusation, the onus is on you to prove it. By trotting out specific Muslims that do such things, all you demonstrate is that those specific Muslims did those things, or perhaps that specific subgroups of Muslims like to do those things. I’m OK with the assertion that ISIL would love to kill me for example. I’m even OK with the assertion that their behaviour demonstrably flows from the tennets of Islam.

    However, you have not shown that Muslims in general are a threat. Islamism yes, Muslims no. As far as I can tell, most Muslims are concerned with pretty much the same things as everyone else. They want a nicer house, a nicer car, they want to enjoy their families. They want to be religious without being too religious. Many of them want to get away from their fundamentalist brethren so they can pursue those aforementioned goals. Many of the female postgrads I work with for example take course after course after course just so they can stay in the UK, driving cars with uncovered hair like there’s no tomorrow. They don’t want to go home because they like it here.

    Allowing Muslims to access the joys of western capitalism seems to me one of the best ways to defuse Islamism. Who wants to strap on a bomb vest when a BMW M3 is available at 0% finance?

  • Chip

    Perhaps we can dispense with the personal anecdotes.

    Muslims now make up 15% of the UK prison population. That’s up 122% in the last decade or so. In France it’s between 50 and 70%. Belgium is said to be over half.

    In terms of educational attainment and earnings Muslim immigrants – and their children – lag badly, while ethnic Indians and Chinese exceed resident “white” British in both.

    The Muslim world in general is poor, intolerant, violent, backward and showing no sign of getting better. Perhaps getting worse.

    Congratulations that your taxi driver was a decent fellow. But it doesn’t mean anything.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Chip, you think discussing statistics instead of personal experience is an improvement?!

    What’s better? To take people as I find them because experience has taught me that people are pretty much people wherever you go, or to adopt a “statistically speaking there is a 3.7% increase in the probability of you being a murderous bastard based on your demographic cohort, so kindly bugger off” approach?

    I mean, by all means conduct your personal business however you see fit, but honestly – which is the better way to run a country?

  • jim jones

    Japan has virtually no crime as compared to multicultural societies. The reason for this is that Japanese Nationality is defined by genetics rather than political dictat.

  • Ah Fenland, thank you so much for trotting old my favourite trope.

    “It’s not ideal that I have to pay for it, but since I am compelled to pay for it, I demand a say in how other people live their lives”.

    In a word, bullshit. You don’t fix crazy by adding to it. You have a right to demand the government stop taking your money. You have no right to demand control over the lives of the people the government then turns around and spends it on.

    No Jaded, this is wrong, twice.

    Firstly, considering that I specifically said I don’t want to control other people where I asked where is the place with no welfare state or voting, because, guess what, with no welfare state or voting, other people can’t control me.

    Secondly, if the govt do insist on taxing me, I clearly do have a right to demand to determine the conditions on which it is spent. ‘It’ being ‘my’ money, after all.

  • Ljh

    JV: the people coming from a Muslim cultural background are academically exceptional(given the poor achievment level of Muslims vs other immigrant groups) and socially exceptional(given the stricture that no Muslim can be friends with a nonMuslim). Their Muslim neighbours happily slaughtered their Armenian Greek and Assyrian neighbours 1915 and have been doing the same to Chaldean and Nestorian Christians and Yezidis in Iraq and Syria. The motivations ofindividual killers may be envy, pleasure in bloodshed but it is all strictly Koranic and endorsed by religious authorities. I only trust exMuslims.

  • Ljh

    Sorry for garbled bits above but no reading glasses for my tablet.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    @Jaded Voluntarist
    “Chip, you think discussing statistics instead of personal experience is an improvement?!”

    Yes. Yes, I most certainly do. Personal experience is otherwise known as anecdote and we all know it’s a very poor guide to wider issues and, in particular, to the behaviour of groups and cultures.

    “but honestly – which is the better way to run a country?”

    The statistical approach is a far better way. If you want an individual to behave well, your expectations really help; when it comes to a large group not so much.

    We have the experience in the UK and it’s not been a good one. It’s not prejudice, it’s postjudice and it’s quite selective about which cultures are bad. Some cultures are anathema to western civilisation and some are just not very good.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    The thing is Clovis, statistics tell you precisely nothing about individuals. And I’m saying this as a person who works with statistics all day every day.

    Statistics can tell you approximately how often certain things will occur in a whole population. But at the level of the individual all they say is “This will probably happen, unless it doesn’t” which isn’t really saying anything at all. It’s maybe useful for detecting cancer, say, but not for detecting future behaviour because it ignores free will. Any attempt to allow such predictions to govern our lives is completely incompatible with individual liberty. Humans can and do surprise you.

    I’m reminded of that scene at the end of Gattaca where the doctor is talking about his genetically engineered son. “Unfortunately he’s not all that they promised. But then who knows what he could do? Right?”.

  • AKM

    JV: Personal impressions aren’t all that reliable. Many Nazi’s were perfectly nice and charming to your face but they still enthusiastically supported WW2 and the “final solution”.

  • Chester Draws

    Japan has virtually no crime as compared to multicultural societies. The reason for this is that Japanese Nationality is defined by genetics rather than political dictat.

    Given that Japan has one of the nastier sorts of career criminal, in the Jakuza, that’s a ridiculous statement to make.

    Japan has 75,000 prison residents, and I’d guess most of them committed a crime to get there. They would have quite a few more but they kill a couple of hundred a year, because their prison system is of medieval in its methods. (This is not really an exaggeration, they actually do have a couple of hundred a year die in prison.)

    Claiming that the incarceration rate is low because of ethnicity is bullshit. Korea is as ethnically pure as any country and has a much higher rate. Poland doesn’t have many non-Poles and a huge crime rate.

    If anything the most likely reason for the low rate is that Japan is quite wealthy and such countries tend to have low rates (Finland, Iceland etc). There’s also the embedded corruption of the Yakuza that means petty criminals are kept out, but career criminals are more or less immune.

    So I call Bullshit on your claim that ethnic purity prevents crime. There’s dozens of factors involved.

  • Chester beat me to ridiculing jim jones’ preposterous statement about Japan, ethnic purity and crime 😉

  • Tomsmith

    Anyone proposing that immigration from one country to another be stopped through the use of coercive state violence is, morally speaking, doing the equivalent of proposing to beat on the hands of a drowning man desperately trying to climb out of the sea.

    No. Because the government of an area is a proxy for the ownnership right of the people over that area. Coming to a place owned by others where you have not been invited is violent invasion. It is perfectly legitimate to defend against this. If governments cannot ensure the protection of land and people then what is the point of them? This is their basic purpose.

    What you are saying might be valid if Europe was an an cap libertopia, but it isn’t and it never will be. What Europe actually needs to do is the following:

    1.Patrol the med with navy ships. Tow migrants back to shore, preferably as far from Europe as possible, and destroy their boats. Hunt down and kill people traffickers and destroy their infrastructure
    2.Build a large fence across the Eastern border of Europe. Patrol it effectively to make migration much more difficult and costly.
    3.Rapidly deport economic migrants to as inconvenient a place as possible
    4.Send successful Islamic asylum seekers to a place where they cannot exert a disruptive influence on Europe via the hideous culture they bring. A free port city of Syria secured and protected by Western forces would work.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    @JV and I’m a statistician!
    I couldn’t agree more with your statements when dealing with individuals , but we aren’t, so I don’t.

    I have friends who are left-wing. I treat them as individuals (sadly misguided but often kind) and I expect them to behave well and they usually do.
    I wouldn’t dream of treating the Labour Party in the same way, nor expecting it to behave well. Statistics gives me a much better handle on how it’s likely to vote and behave.

  • Gareth

    Perhaps someone could ask the father why he didn’t want to migrate above the radar and instead chose three times to try and enter the EU illegally, seemingly just as a stepping off point to get to Canada. The reason that most imediately springs to mind is it might be easier to migrate to Canada legally with a european passport than with a Syrian one, and that the hurdle for claiming asylum in the EU could be lower than it is in Canada.

    These migrants appear to generally be not escaping from systematic extermination but are welfare and citizenship shopping having reached places like Turkey. It was not their choice to enable this but the choice of the kinds of people we keep electing.

  • Greytop

    Satistics are helpful, personal anecdotes tend to govern our own world.

    I used to live in Rotherham, and through others there I have heard some disturbing things about the reactions (or more accurately, lack of actions) by the ‘rulers’ of the town. By this, I mean those appointed by those elected to run the place. Of course, what happened there turned out to be a big problem because no one wanted to fix it along the way. But here’s the problem, laid out for those who live in more comfortable and perhaps non-mulsim places.

    Most muslims I knew, as neighbours or acquaintances were fine. Perfectly normal people, save that that the women wouldn’t show their hair and in some cases not their faces. I tended to find this offensive, but I could console myself that each must do what they see fit in life. On the street I might, at times, hear absolutely no English spoken and the local primary school was full of Pakistani-origin (though probably not born there) children, of which without resorting to statistics, were mostly male. Project that forward twenty years and perhaps there might be a problem with finding partners. Most taxi-drivers were muslim males, though according to some if the licensed driver didn’t feel like driving the taxi his brother or cousin would step in and drive the taxi: it was unclear if these people had the proper qualification or even, perish the thought, driving licences. No one, it seemed, checked.

    I know someone who taught in Rotherham: one (Pakistani) child she taught had been knocked down and badly injured by a muslim man hurrying on his way to seeing his second wife, who lived in another house in the same part of the town. Another girl in her care hated having to wear sandals (and no socks) in winter because in her native Afghanistan her parents told her that was what everyone wore. The local shops had signs that told people that they would facilitate the transfer of money from the UK to wherever. No problem as it is a commercial transaction but the question lingered where was all the money coming from? Taxi fares, maybe, or benefits?

    This teacher worked with a muslim woman who was a good teacher, but this woman got exhausted during their holy times because the men did nothing all day but sleep while she worked and at night she had little sleep because someone had to make meals for the men observing this holy festival. She also found that children are taken out of school for months on end to go ‘home’ to Pakistan or Afghanistan and that disrupts their education, and in one case at 15 or so, to be readied for ‘marriage’ to someone with learning difficulties.

    One Sunday morning as I walked down the street with that day’s newspaper, a bearded muslim man made a great show of spitting on the floor in front of me (muslim males tend to do a lot of spitting in public I have to admit) but sadly got most of it in his beard so I walked on as if nothing happened. Perhaps he objected to me buying The Sunday Times. The local playground was dominated — owned, some locals said — by Pakistani youths to the point where if you ventured there you saw graffiti calling the non-muslim residents of the area ‘white trash.’ (A lot of official signs were in two languages, of course.) At a local ‘cultural centre’ a Chinese family were told in no uncertain terms they couldn’t take their child there to play as it was ‘for muslims only.’

    Of course, kids will be kids and teenagers are a law unto themselves, and you cat expect everyone to be as well-educated as one would like.But living there it soon became apparent that there was a divide between the muslims and the non-muslims. A big one at that.

    I have known immigrants from many places and all of them, African, Chinese, east European, essentially want to and do integrate into the host nation. But here then is the problem: it is clear the muslims don’t want to. They dress as they always have, they speak the language they want, they regard the host country as unimportant or even hostile. I didn’t see, as I am told exist in parts of London, signs saying certain areas were ‘no go’ areas but in one part of town I was aware that muslim patrols ensured there were no prostitutes on the street (you may however think this good thing)

    You may call all this diversity and regard it as freedom. For many who live in Rotherham and places like that, it isn’t seen that way, however ‘nice’ people seem to one’s face. Ask a lot of people in the small town of the north if they want more immigrants from muslim countries and I think you will find the answer is no. Muslims, understandably, may see it differently.

    However my views are just my views. I cannot offer statistics to tell me other than what I feel, which is that more muslim immigration is not a good idea.

  • Barry Sheridan

    It is the practicalities of this movement that is the issue, in short we have an advanced group of interrelated countries having to face accepting who knows how many people. The mixture seeking entry covers those escaping from persecution to others wanting a better life. What must also be faced is the fact that many are people with little or no skill, nor do many have the inclination to learn, of course I realise there are those with plenty to offer., but this is a small number This quandary iis deepened by the knowledge that an unknown percentage will not integrate, in fact they will become hostile colonisers. I might be more at ease if those who govern this group of countries, Europe, were prepared to offer a robust defence of its indigenous culture, but as is painfully clear, our leaders are all too frequently prepared to take sides against the historic population. I see trouble, as the burden imposed erodes the majority way of life. Taking refuge in theoretical positions will not help.

  • Cristina

    If this crisis is all about people trying to save their lives and such, how is it that they are mostly young able-bodied males? Sure, there are a noticeable number of families, but a cursory google search shows an amazing predominance of the very same demographic group that characterize the economic migration.
    Again, why now?

  • Snorri Godhi

    Muslims now make up 15% of the UK prison population

    …and would make up more if the British ruling class did not make a concerted effort to keep Muslim slavers out of jail.

    Which brings me to the main point: Islam is a secondary problem. If the British ruling class decided to keep only Swedish slavers out of jail, pretty soon all prostitution in Britain would be controlled by Swedes.

    The fundamental problem is how the ruling class exploits “diversity” to legitimize its power and delegitimize its opponents. With all due respect, Perry Metzger seems blind to what is going on in his own country. To put it bluntly, i don’t want “diversity” because i don’t want to live in a place with all the problems of the US, and not all of the (partially) compensating benefits.

    There is much to criticize in the OP, but it seems more important to criticize the glaring omission.

  • Mr Ed

    he was a member of a non-Christian religion, was denied refuge in more or less every civilized part of the world

    So should Israel open her borders to these refugees? If not, why not?

  • As a practical matter, no major political force cares about the 50k illegals among the irish in america. They’re here. We know they’re there. It’s too much bother to sort it out because they don’t hurt us. We do care about the 6m illegals among the mexicans in america. They are here just like the irish are here but they cause more trouble and are in sufficient numbers to rouse people to action. If there were 50k illegal mexican immigrants, we would be similarly indifferent as we are about the 50k illegal irish immigrants.

    The history of the US includes the encouragement, by the US government, of Texican emigration, support for Texican secession, and manipulation of the republic of Texas so that it joined the US and was broken up into the modern state of Texas and several other states. The informed among us know very well how this game is played and the Mexican government is doing it in reverse, complete with a (now very small) aztlan movement to take the Southwest out of the US.

    With the US (perhaps 4,5% of the world’s population) taking something more than 19% of the world’s migrants, accusations of nativism ring hollow. There is a value to be had of an interior space within which you don’t have to worry about madmen throwing acid in your daughters’ faces for not dressing according to some foreign code. Accepting others into your lands is morally admirable in the abstract, but not at the cost of losing your liberty in practice.

    Those who want higher immigration limits need to attend to cultural naturalization processes so they are robust enough to handle the influx. At that point, the bulk of opposition melts away.

  • My last comment belongs on a different thread – apologies to “Perry Metzger”.

  • Ellen

    Merely a bit about statistics here:

    Japan has 75,000 prison residents, and I’d guess most of them committed a crime to get there. They would have quite a few more but they kill a couple of hundred a year, because their prison system is of medieval in its methods. (This is not really an exaggeration, they actually do have a couple of hundred a year die in prison.)

    Let’s say (for sake of argument) that “a couple of hundred” is 250. That suggests that one inmate in 300 dies each year. That’s better than the civilian population can manage. Of course criminals can be a violent lot, and probably younger than older — but a couple hundred dying each year seems quite in line with the rest of the population.

    Now if those couple hundred were dying of violence, that would be different. But we’d need more statistics for that analysis. Given what I hear of Japan, almost all of the 75,000 are home-grown.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    A general observations: many of the comments in this thread discussing how horrible the smelly, invasive, stupid, and yet somehow crafty Muslims are could have been written in an earlier era by substituting words like “Jews” or “Chinese” or “Irishmen” or a variety of other similar words depending on the precise time and place. The arguments are depressingly unoriginal.

    Oh, and the use of statistics here and there isn’t new, either — the new scientific racism bears a remarkable resemblance to the old scientific racism. I suspect that it is just as accurate, too.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Oh, and one other observation if I may: I’ll repeat that there is no moral obligation on the part of a refugee to pay attention to the wishes of someone who wants them dead. None whatsoever. As soon as you declare that you’re happy to see someone die, they no longer have any reason to pay attention to your laws or desires in even the smallest detail.

    Also, as a practical matter, if people are willing to risk their lives crossing borders because staying where they were was also a risk to their lives, you will never be able to stop them, because no set of punishments will be as bad as dying.

    So, once more, your opinions matter little. At most, you can make yourself look barbaric and make the lives of those fleeing from horror a bit worse.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    @Metzger
    I see no attempt on your part to honestly engage in argument as against insult, so I shall refrain from commenting further.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    “Clovis Sangrail”: if you can point out to me where I engaged in ad hominems instead of accepted forms of reasoning, I would be interested in hearing it. I think that pointing out that these arguments are both unoriginal and have proven to be false in the past is entirely honest argumentation. I think that pointing out that a drowning man has no reason to obey the orders of someone who wants them to drown is also entirely honest, and not any sort of ad hominem. If you choose to find this “insult”, that is not my issue, it is yours.

  • Barry Sheridan

    Your being unnecessarily dismissive here Perry, there a host of comments that bare thinking about. Reasons that are part of a complexa equation that cannot just be ignored because you think along narrow lines.

  • Tarrou

    If the refugees are actual refugees, and have fled actual violence, the OP is correct.

    If, however, the “refugees” fled violence, got somewhere safe and were in no danger, but discovered they could leverage their “refugee” status into a cushy welfare position in a far off land, and thence undertook to cross many more peaceful and non-dangerous areas to get to said wealthy country, then the whole argument is so much horseshit.

    There are legitimate refugees, and we should do what we can for them. There are also former refugees, who are currently in no physical danger whatsoever, who are putting themselves in physical danger to get more money. And for that, there is no moral requirement we help them.

  • Tarrou

    And I must say, I do love Perry going full SJW: “These are my opinions and if you disagree you have no right to that opinion, you are a racist, and no one has any duty to follow any rule that anyone who ever heard of your nation ever made” Fucking classic. I do suggest, Mr. Metzger, that you go try out that theory of how the world should work, preferably on the North Korean border. Tell them you aren’t bound to follow any of their laws or customs. I’m sure they’ll humor you.

  • Anyone proposing that immigration from one country to another be stopped through the use of coercive state violence is, morally speaking, doing the equivalent of proposing to beat on the hands of a drowning man desperately trying to climb out of the sea.

    lmao

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Barry Sheridan writes: “Your being unnecessarily dismissive here Perry, there a host of comments that bare thinking about. Reasons that are part of a complexa equation that cannot just be ignored because you think along narrow lines.”

    It is not possible to respond to something with no content beyond “I assert you are wrong”. If you wish to explain these “complicated reasons” I’m happy to hear about them — but after decades of paying attention to the arguments on both sides, I’ll state up front that I’ll be surprised if they don’t amount to some subset of:

    1) The immigrants are lazy and will take all our tax money via the dole.

    2) Mysteriously, at the same time that they are on the dole, the immigrants will also take all our jobs.

    3) The immigrants are stupid people and will lower our collective IQs.

    4) The immigrants are also crafty and will successfully take over our institutions.

    5) The immigrants homeland is a mess, and therefore if they come here our homeland will be a mess, because even though they are fleeing they must be responsible for the government that was in power in their homeland, even though it was probably a dictatorship, and possibly even put into place by the intelligence services of our government.

    6) The immigrants are culturally inferior and incapable of learning how to operate in our culture.

    7) The immigrants are genetically inferior.

    8) The immigrants will convince people here to adopt their culture.

    9) There is no physical space for the immigrants in our cities, and this is true even when we have large swaths of our cities that are abandoned and/or our population is in the middle of a rapid decline.

    10) The immigrants are coming here as part of a fiendish international plot to take over our government as part of their desire to rule the world.

    There are sometimes more, of course, but they rarely make any more sense.

    None of those against immigration every meaningfully respond to the moral issues with beating up or shooting people fleeing from poverty and war, either.

    So, anyway, please feel free to explain your new, different, and unusual reasons that are “part of a complexa equation that cannot just be ignored because you think along narrow lines.”

  • Rob Fisher

    I agree with Perry Metzger. I think all the supposed problems are caused by welfare and restrictions in housing and labour markets.

  • Clovis Sangrail,

    @Metzger
    I see no attempt on your part to honestly engage in argument as against insult, so I shall refrain from commenting further.

    You can’t argue someone out of a position they weren’t argued into.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Perry M: a friendly piece of advice: when you are feeling hysterical, you should not write replies to your critics; because if you do, people will smell blood: they (we) will sense that you have no valid arguments, and you know it.
    Clovis was wrong to say that you resort to insults, though: what you engage in, is strawman arguments. Let’s fisk your list @6:32:

    1) The immigrants are lazy and will take all our tax money via the dole.

    Not sure anybody here made this argument, but anyway there is no need to be lazy to take money via the dole: it is only necessary to respond to incentives.

    2) Mysteriously, at the same time that they are on the dole, the immigrants will also take all our jobs.

    *This is the most blatant strawman: nobody at Samizdata would make this case.

    3) The immigrants are stupid people and will lower our collective IQs.

    *Some libertarians might make this case, but nobody here did.

    4) The immigrants are also crafty and will successfully take over our institutions.

    *Again, nobody made this case HERE.

    5) The immigrants homeland is a mess, and therefore if they come here our homeland will be a mess, because even though they are fleeing they must be responsible for the government that was in power in their homeland, even though it was probably a dictatorship, and possibly even put into place by the intelligence services of our government.

    Not sure this case was made here … although it does have merit. Dictatorships don’t just happen, and you have to be a Rothbardian to blame the CIA instead of the people who allowed it to happen. (I myself am more likely to blame the NY Times, cheerleader for most mass murderers.)

    6) The immigrants are culturally inferior and incapable of learning how to operate in our culture.

    Something like this was said here, though i think you are grossly misrepresenting what was actually written.

    7) The immigrants are genetically inferior.

    *Nobody said anything like this, and i think it unlikely that anybody would, on this forum.

    8) The immigrants will convince people here to adopt their culture.

    If by “convince people to adopt” you mean “impose”, it has been said here, but only in relation to Muslims, not Mexicans.

    9) There is no physical space for the immigrants in our cities, and this is true even when we have large swaths of our cities that are abandoned and/or our population is in the middle of a rapid decline.

    *Nobody said anything like this here, and anyway in Europe there ain’t any large swathes of abandoned housing, and the population decline (far from rapid btw) is actually an additional reason to avoid unassimilated foreigners.

    10) The immigrants are coming here as part of a fiendish international plot to take over our government as part of their desire to rule the world.

    *Imputing conspiracy theories to your opponents sounds a lot like projection.

    In summary i find 6 blatant strawmen (marked by asterisks for your convenience) and 4 borderline strawmen. I do not find anything that correctly represents the arguments that have actually been made here.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    @Metzger
    Against my better judgement then.

    To attribute attitudes and ignorance to someone without seeking to enquire whether they believe what you impute is impolitic and perhaps impolite. Given the nature of the issue and your conclusions I think you are indeed insulting and if you don’t, then your definition of the term is narrow in the extreme and I don’t recommend visiting most English pubs.
    Your arguments seem to me to amount to assertion; the limited statements I have made are largely verifiable.
    To take your truncated 95 articles-they mix vile cartoons of the sort of reasonable arguments that some people are making against your position with the sort of statements that the congenitally idiotic are prone to and which no-one in this forum who opposes you has mentioned. You seem in response to be sticking your fingers in your ears and doing the la-la thing.

    In addition,when someone is outside the country of their persecution I think your positive arguments (drowning man, stick, evil) falls apart.

    You make the mistake of most intelligent people in assuming everyone is largely like you and all cultures are equal. I don’t believe either of those things (and God forbid you should go to certain parts of the world) and if you can’t see it we really shouldn’t converse.

    There, I wasted your time and mine again.
    Apologies for that.

  • Regional

    At the moment there’s some conjecture about immigration into Europe but this is not mentioned:
    Germany reported the largest number of immigrants (692.7 thousand) in 2013, followed by the United Kingdom (526.0 thousand), France (332.6 thousand), Italy (307.5 thousand) and Spain (280.8 thousand). Spain reported the highest number of emigrants in 2013 (532.3 thousand), followed by the United Kingdom (316.9 thousand), France (300.8 thousand), Poland (276.4 thousand) and Germany (259.3 thousand). A total of 16 of the EU Member States reported more immigration than emigration in 2013, but in Bulgaria, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, Portugal, Romania and the three Baltic Member States, emigrants outnumbered immigrants.

  • RickC

    Commenter Sobl above has me curious with his suggestion that Israel should throw open it’s borders to all immigrants, especially the latest refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern hellholes. What about it, Perry? For? Against?

  • Barry Sheridan

    In your list Perrry you touch on some of the factors that are always relevant in these sort of situations. That said, you frame them in a way that aids your argument by endeavouring to create an emotional reaction. Essentially you are trying to shame in an effort to subvert what are logical objections. I note from past postings you are inclined to use this technique, not really useful.

    So, what are some of the practical difficulties involved here, as I look at the current policy directions of Europe I see influences that are slowly reducing available work in most if not all fields of endeavour. Part of this is related to green initiatives driving up energy costs, a business overhead exacerbated by the increasing burden of both EU and domestic regulation. Added to this is the whole issue of welfare, an international factor that has gained an acute dimenson within western societies because well intentioned ideals have never been checked by what is affordable, nor has it ever examined what it is that actually makes some people feel happy to live off others. This has become a formidable burden on the productive side of the economy.

    You must also consider the effects of numbers and the reasons behind the desire to move. Factors that help us define the likely direction and effort people put into integrating with the indigenous population. As others have noted, some have succeeded to play a useful role, others simply want to live of others in colonies insulated from the surrounding peoples. Take for example the British Isles, who say face taking in an extra million. There are practical concerns of living space, support and work for many who have no experience of how difficult it can be in an alien society, problems that can be circumvented but only if effort and a willingness exists on all sides. Britain already houses a growing number who exist with this seige mentaility to the detriment of themselves and the majority.

    I could go on Perry but I realise from past experience that your reluctant to face up to the evidence of others. Should you display a little maturity then perhaps more could be said.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    “RickC”: Such a discussion would serve no purpose because it would immediately degenerate into a discussion of whether single-religion or monoethnic “homeland” states that specifically permit only immigration by members of those groups are a good idea in the first place. My answer would be no, they’re not a good idea. (Indeed, I don’t even see states as a good idea, period.) We would then get into a prolonged argument about the legitimacy of the State of Israel and I don’t care to do that today, as it isn’t the topic at hand. Feel free to believe this somehow alters the substance of our discussion.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Barry Sheridan: “In your list Perrry you touch on some of the factors that are always relevant in these sort of situations. That said, you frame them in a way that aids your argument by endeavouring to create an emotional reaction.” — no, I was just pointing out that the list of arguments consists almost entirely of ideas that are either ridiculous or racist or both. The fact that you then may have emotionally reacted by feeling that I was insufficiently respectful is of no concern to me.

    “Essentially you are trying to shame in an effort to subvert what are logical objections” — what, you mean “logical” objections like the “lump of labor” fallacy (“they’re taking our jobs?”), or the claims that they’re all genetically inferior, or any of the rest? Please. None of them were “logical objections” to the first place.

    Regardless, as with everyone else, you completely ignore the moral question. If anything at all can be said to be immoral, it is threatening innocent people for the non-violent act of moving somewhere to rent a home and take a job, especially when you feel that someone born inside a magic line could do that same thing without it being a problem. If you feel that “pragmatism” trumps all moral considerations, then clearly you believe there is no such thing as morality to begin with, and right and wrong are nothing more than subjective tastes. If that is the case, then have the decency to say so. If morality is a real thing, however, you and the others have no leg to stand on whatsoever — you cannot overcome moral objections with faked up appeals to IQ and culture because if morals are real they are not optional.

  • RickC

    No, I wasn’t going for a gotcha. I’m really curious if the logic carries over. Immigration and open borders appears to be the discussion as well as the questions of whether immigration is always a positive or if there can be negative outcomes, even to the point of disintegration of a culture or people. Nothing to do with single-religion or mono ethnic “homelands,” or the legitimacy of the State of Israel. I do think it is legitimate btw, but I’m more of minarchist so there is room for the state in my view.

  • Fred Z

    Some refugees are victims of an evil regime, some are part of an evil regime and some tolerate an evil regime and do nothing to oppose it, and most are a bit of all that.

    The current crop of Syrian refugees seem to me to be mostly b and c and so are unacceptable to me.

  • JohnW

    1:35:00 Yaron Brook…Muslim immigration is directly a threat to your civilisation

  • John Mann

    Perry, thank you for writing that.

    I agree with you.

    I might add that I speak as
    a) an open borders libertarian
    b) an adherent of the Christian religion, &
    c) a former resident of a Middle Eastern country where the majority of the population were adherents of Islam.

    As I have reflected on the crisis, I am reminded again of how very wrong the welfare state is, and how very wrong it is that we have a minimum wage, and how very wrong it is that legal immigrants can become voting citizens of the UK after only a few years. The view that state welfare is a basic human right, and that free healthcare is a basic human right, and that voting is a basic human right, and that a living wage is a basic human right have all contributed to seriously undermining freedom of movement.

  • lucklucky

    The right to say No is Freedom. I don’t want to deal with you, i don’t wan t to talk to you, i don’t want to work for you , i don’t want to have sex with you, i don’t want to marry you.

    “it is threatening innocent people for the non-violent act of moving somewhere”

    Moving somewhere which does not belong to that person is a violent act.

    “If you feel that “pragmatism” trumps all moral considerations, then clearly you believe there is no such thing as morality to begin with, and right and wrong are nothing more than subjective tastes”

    The results are also moral. Do you kill ten thousands of children getting rid of Nazi Government or do you do a peace agreement with risk that ten thousands more would die?

    In fact the more i think about this post the more i think is shameful. Can i place every crime, every terrorist attack, every bad future law, every awful Government on your shining armor?

  • Snorri,

    I do not find anything that correctly represents the arguments that have actually been made here.

    Don’t you understand? Any opposition to immigration is in Perry Metzger’s own words: “doing the equivalent of proposing to beat on the hands of a drowning man desperately trying to climb out of the sea.” Perry is clearly not interested in debating the consequences of the policy he supports; Perry is interested in castigating those who disagree with the policy he supports.

  • JohnW

    If a bunch of people live on a ship and spend all their waking hours singing songs about the joy of drilling holes in the bottom of a ship and how good and holy it is to be ship-drillers – if they endorse in their speech and their customs and their very clothing the wonderfulness of ship-drilling, if they elect ship-drillers as their spokesmen who appoint ship-drilling teachers, ship-drilling historians and ship-drilling economists to positions of cultural prominence, if their whole society becomes hell-bent on raising ship-drilling to a high art, how am I supposed to react when their ship starts sinking – especially when my civilisation is the one that provided them with their ship in the first place?
    None of them would even be alive without the West providing them with means of subsistence that they have systematically ruined – oftentimes while singing lovely war-songs about how brave they were when shot dead some British 17 year-old kid performing ‘national service’ by guarding some remote dessert pipeline [true story].
    There’s no contradiction here – our message should be the same as the message left by Francisco in “Their Brothers’ Keeper” – the aptly named chapter of Atlas Shrugged, – “Brother, you asked for it!”

  • lucklucky,

    “If you feel that “pragmatism” trumps all moral considerations, then clearly you believe there is no such thing as morality to begin with, and right and wrong are nothing more than subjective tastes”

    The results are also moral. Do you kill ten thousands of children getting rid of Nazi Government or do you do a peace agreement with risk that ten thousands more would die?

    Indeed. The real world is messy and making decisions only according to simple, juvenile black-and-white moralistic dogmatism is foolish and misguided. Imagine how f**ked up the world would be were it run by “anarchists” such as Perry Metzger.

  • Jordan

    Excellent post, Perry. I see several people making the bullshit argument that illegal immigration is trespassing, which is very depressing on a libertarian blog. A country is not a piece of property.

  • Mary Contrary

    PerryM:

    Islam is a religion, not a race.

    Chinese people do not condemned another to death for the “apostacy” of ceasing to be Chinese. The Irish do not throw homosexual Irishmen from the roofs of tall buildings. Jews do not walk into newspaper offices and spray the place with bullets.

    Some Muslims do do these things, and many other things we consider abhorrent. They do them not because their skin is a different colour than mine, but because they adhere to particular ideological precepts, known as a “religion”. That is their choice.

    It is not an irrational fear of the other to worry about whether other Muslims, who profess to adhere to the very same ideological precepts, might also pose a threat.

    It may be that they do not. Our political elite claims to believe that Islam and political Islamism have nothing in common. The Muslim political elite appears to disagree with this view.

    To accuse those of us who are unsure, and worried, of being indistinguishable from racists (of the “No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish” infamy) is quite unwarranted.

    The other Perry (PdeH) says that we should treat each individual separately:

    So the solution is be reasonable when people are reasonable, and meet unreasonable violent people with uncompromising force. If a state cannot even do that, what fucking use is it?

    I wish I could agree. But I do have a niggling fear that PdeH’s uncharacteristic faith in the firm resolve the British State, and its willingness to meet thuggery with overwhelming force, may be misplaced. Is my only moral course to wait to discover whether the State will still protect me when I live in a majority-Muslim land? Or can I morally support immigration controls to protect myself from the expected actions of those who profess a religion that commands harm to me, as a form of pre-emptive self-defence in the face of a clear and present danger?

    Perhaps not, perhaps the nexus is to far separated. Perhaps taking the pusillanimity of the British State out on would-be migrants is unjustified. Perhaps you think that my only moral course is to wait and see, and to conduct violent revolution when the State does in fact fail to protect those I cherish. But alternatively, perhaps immigration controls are the lesser evil. Suggesting that that may be so is not mere racism. Crying “racist” at anyone who even considers them is the kind of attack I’d expect to see on Vox or Salon, not on Samizdata.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Quoth “luckylucky”: “Moving somewhere which does not belong to that person is a violent act.”

    It is one thing to say “no immigrant can live in my apartment”. However, what you are claiming is “no immigrant can live in anyone else’s apartment either, not even if the owner of that apartment is fine with it.”

    You seem to have somehow gotten the mistaken impression you own all housing in the West. You don’t. You have the right to exclude people from your own property, that’s true, but not from other people’s. You no more have a right to exclude someone from Homs from moving into a flat in London that the landlord is happy to rent to them than you have to exclude someone from Brighton from doing it. If it is okay for someone from Manchester, then it is okay for someone from Aleppo.

    If, on the other hand, you can demonstrate to me, conclusively mind you, that you own the whole of the area you live in, including all the other houses in your country, we can have a discussion about your ability to use forcible methods to exclude people from living in said country.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Quoth “Shlomo Maistre”: “Indeed. The real world is messy and making decisions only according to simple, juvenile black-and-white moralistic dogmatism is foolish and misguided. Imagine how f**ked up the world would be were it run by “anarchists” such as Perry Metzger.”

    And indeed, this was the thinking which was used when FDR said that Jews couldn’t emigrate to the United States to flee the Nazis (and everyone knows that Jews work hard to undermine every nation they’ve ever emigrated to — that certainly was at least common knowledge at one time). One had to be pragmatic about certain things. This was the also thinking used when people decided that other people could not, in fact, smoke pot — one had to accept that pot smokers were mostly negroes and that smoking pot would make them violent and seek out white women to rape (and yes, that was said by Harry Anslinger before the United States Congress). That is also the pragmatic thinking used when people enact minimum wage laws — the real world has no time for economic theory or morality, people need higher salaries now. It remains the thinking used when people send the cops out to beat up people peacefully protesting who have ideas that the person doing the sending doesn’t like — the idea of free speech or human rights is all fine and well, but ideas have consequences, and we can’t let the wrong ideas spread.

    All of that is justified on the basis of pragmatism.

    Regardless, I posed a question for you, and you came out on the side of moral nihilism. You believe that it is okay to kill innocents if you are merely worried that some of them might be bad people in disguise. And so, you have chosen your side in this war, and I wish you the best with the company of your allies, living and dead.

  • Cristina

    Perry Metzger (8:26 pm):
    “Regardless, as with everyone else, you completely ignore the moral question. If anything at all can be said to be immoral, it is threatening innocent people for the non-violent act of moving somewhere to rent a home and take a job, especially when you feel that someone born inside a magic line could do that same thing without it being a problem. If you feel that “pragmatism” trumps all moral considerations, then clearly you believe there is no such thing as morality to begin with, and right and wrong are nothing more than subjective tastes. If that is the case, then have the decency to say so. If morality is a real thing, however, you and the others have no leg to stand on whatsoever — you cannot overcome moral objections with faked up appeals to IQ and culture because if morals are real they are not optional.

    This is what is called sophistry.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Quoth Cristina: “This is what is called sophistry.”

    My reply: that is what is called an assertion, and as it turns out, assertions are not a substitute for evidence.

    If you feel my reasoning is incorrect, then you can describe precisely how my reasoning is incorrect. However, if the best you can do is assert that my reasoning is incorrect, you will pardon me for not immediately presuming that any valid reasoning to this effect exists.

  • You believe that it is okay to kill innocents if you are merely worried that some of them might be bad people in disguise.

    Didn’t Snorri already explain to you that constructing strawman arguments is ill-advised?

    Regardless, I posed a question for you, and you came out on the side of moral nihilism.

    We have already seen that Perry Metzger thinks that anyone opposing unrestricted immigration is “doing the equivalent of proposing to beat on the hands of a drowning man desperately trying to climb out of the sea.”

    Now we see that Perry Metzger thinks that anyone who objects to such a characterization of their position “is on the side of moral nihilism.”

    I would consider making arguments against unrestricted immigration, Perry, if you were not doing such an excellent job of discrediting your own position on the matter already.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Quoth “Mary Contrary”: “Islam is a religion, not a race.”

    And indeed, when they wanted to send my father to the gas chambers, it was for his religion, and not his race, and indeed, there were wonderful books like “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and “Mein Kampf” that explained in exquisite detail how he and his co-religionists were a threat to the very fabric of society, just as you have carefully explained for the case of the Muslims.

    All that said, can you honestly say you will be able to convince the people who are fleeing from ISIS to pay attention either to your distaste for them or the laws you have put in their way? I will repeat: people who are willing to risk their lives on rickety boats at sea knowing whole families have drowned doing it in the past do not do so because they believe that they are safe where they are. If they’re willing to risk death at sea and on land, they’re certainly not going to pay attention to you, even if you threaten to shoot them, because there are plenty of people who are already threatening to shoot them.

    By the way, I find the constant claims that Christians are particularly a peaceful group entirely risible, but as a non-Christian, I’m not blinded by tribalism, and thus can remember the way that plowshares have so frequently been beaten into swords in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Indeed, as I recall, my father had to flee from many of the wonderful civilized Christian Europeans that he lived amongst when they got all sorts of interesting new ideas in their heads about how the world should work. I also have the ability, as I’m not a member of your tribe, to remember the Inquisition, and the Thirty Years War, and the Pogroms, and all the rest.

    You see, to me, I remember that it was barely over a century ago that most of Europe decided briefly to emancipate my people, and then only a few decades later that they either decided to slaughter my people like animals or alternatively forbid them from fleeing from being slaughtered like animals. Thus, to me, a religious building with a cross on top is just as creepy in my neighborhood as one with a crescent moon on top, and I am devoid of the illusion that the same tribe who slaughtered most of the population of the Congo or who in the last couple of decades coined the term “Ethnic Cleansing” in the Balkans, the same tribe that even invented “football hooliganism”, is particularly more entitled to the name “civilized” than anyone else, in spite of its pretensions.

    This is not to say that individual Europeans (and indeed, individuals from every ethnicity and religion) might not be civilized people, but one has to judge on a case by case basis, and indeed, the continent that has so recently given us Victor Orbán would still seem to have a great deal to learn before it can call itself “civilized”.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Quoth “Shlomo Maistre”:

    “Didn’t Snorri already explain to you that constructing strawman arguments is ill-advised?”

    Perhaps I do not think them to be strawmen.

    We have already seen that Perry Metzger thinks that anyone opposing unrestricted immigration is “doing the equivalent of proposing to beat on the hands of a drowning man desperately trying to climb out of the sea.”

    And I stand by that statement, and I stand by the notion that the position I oppose is entirely, utterly morally bankrupt in its totality. I recognize that those who adhere to that ideology will fight hard to claim that they are not, in fact, advocating a wholly immoral position — naturally I do not expect people to stand idly by when their advocacy for an immoral position is revealed — but that does not mean we should give their claims any credence when the only rationales they provide for their position look so similar to simple bigotry, and when they advocate openly for denying a place to flee, even if it means their death, to people in a desperate situation.

  • You see, to me, I remember that it was barely over a century ago that most of Europe decided briefly to emancipate my people, and then only a few decades later that they either decided to slaughter my people like animals or alternatively forbid them from fleeing from being slaughtered like animals.

    I’m a proud Jew and many of my ancestors were wiped out in the Holocaust.

    I don’t see how the actions of the Nazis (and other Europeans) decades ago should preclude the possibility of valid arguments against unrestricted immigration in general or into Europe specifically.

    I don’t see how you being a Jew lends validity to your hysterical tirade against any restriction on immigration.

    What I do see is how you being a Jew might lend credibility to anti-Semitism in the eyes of more than a few fools, unfortunately.

  • Indeed, as I recall, my father had to flee from many of the wonderful civilized Christian Europeans that he lived amongst when they got all sorts of interesting new ideas in their heads about how the world should work. I also have the ability, as I’m not a member of your tribe, to remember the Inquisition, and the Thirty Years War, and the Pogroms, and all the rest.

    Brilliant argument for unrestricted immigration! Just beat living Christians over the head with reminders of what dead Christians did centuries ago!

    By the way, I find the constant claims that Christians are particularly a peaceful group entirely risible, but as a non-Christian, I’m not blinded by tribalism, and thus can remember the way that plowshares have so frequently been beaten into swords in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

    You should be pleased to know, Perry, that in recent decades our tribe has beaten plowshares into swords rather efficiently (see 1948, 1967, 1973, etc).

    Know that were your favored immigration policy (or, to be more precise, lack thereof) implemented in the state of Israel today, another six million Jews would be killed. But anything for the sake of intellectual consistency!

  • JohnW

    And indeed, this was the thinking which was used when FDR said that Jews couldn’t emigrate to the United States to flee the Nazis (and everyone knows that Jews work hard to undermine every nation they’ve ever emigrated to — that certainly was at least common knowledge at one time).

    I loathe FDR but from his perspective he knew that in the 1930’s – before the Nazis made their unique contribution to human misery – Jewish communists like Genrikh Yagoda and Lazar Kaganovich had deliberately killed 10 million people in Eastern Europe, so I can understand to some degree his misgivings about the immigration of large numbers of foreign-born Jews at time.
    [N.B. I disagree with his policy. Nor do I subscribe to the view that Bolshevism was a Jewish thing – cf. North Korea, but I am aware that there are good reasons why people may think otherwise.]

    But any case, we are comparing apples and oranges.

    The problem is not really “race” or Jewishness or nationality or anything like that.

    Look at it this way, Europe in the 1600’s was a fairly hellish place for everyone, and we can argue about the philosophical, technological and economic revolutions which changed things in the 1700’s, but whatever aspect of those improvements we choose to examine we always come back to the same two essential, practical characteristics – private land ownership and the lending of money at interest – both of which are explicitly forbidden in Islam.

    How can you hope to build a modern, stable society independently of those essential foundations – would it not be like trying to build a city floating on thin air?

  • Excellent post, Perry. I see several people making the bullshit argument that illegal immigration is trespassing, which is very depressing on a libertarian blog. A country is not a piece of property.

    A country may not be a ‘single piece’ of property but it certainly is ‘a collection of pieces’ of property.

    And as such many of the onwers don’t want immigrates on their pieces.

    Therefore if Cameron or Bob Geldof want to house immigrants they should only do so on their own property and pick up all the associated costs.

    But Cameron and Geldof insist on taxing others to pay for it.

  • It is one thing to say “no immigrant can live in my apartment”. However, what you are claiming is “no immigrant can live in anyone else’s apartment either, not even if the owner of that apartment is fine with it.”

    No one is claiming they have property rights over other peoples apartments, we are merely claiming that other apartment owners will stiff us the bill.

    Answer that one, Perry M

  • Rich Rostrom

    Mr. Metzger’s essay is a nearly perfect example of why Americans and other First World Westerners cannot think clearly about immigration. Jewish sensibilities on this subject are always filtered through the lens of 1939.

    I have said to myself that if someone speaks to an American Jew about removing some of the millions of illegal immigrants now literally overrunning parts of the U.S., or even preventing further illegal immigration, the Jew hears “We’re going to send your grandmother back to die in Auschwitz.” Apparently this is almost literally true for Mr. Metzger.

    I suspect his views are further colored by an extreme belief in his own self-sufficiency. He appears to think that his ability to live as he wishes is in no way even slightly dependent on the community he lives in. If he did not think so, he would not be so ostentatiously indifferent to the possible replacement of that community by a very different immigrant population.

  • Mr Ed

    Perhaps I do not think them to be strawmen.

    So what, if you can’t tell a strawman argument when you see or use one, why don’t you either get learning, and not dismiss challenges in the way that you have, or show your case? Of course, if wrong, you could concede. Unless you wish to appear defensive, knowingly wrong and rude.

    You appear to be dodging this query, and essentially the same point made by Chip. An answer might help us appreciate your position.

    So should Israel open her borders to these refugees? If not, why not?

    Or, if not that, as you appear to me to think such a question is somehow implicitly engaged with other questions as to Israel’s legitimacy, even though you could say e.g. ‘putting aside X’, how about a hypothetical?

    May 1945, Luxembourg has an influx of 400,000 Germans and 100,000 Hungarians, many thought to be Nazis, SS or Arrow Cross fleeing the Soviet advance, and all with a well-founded fear of persecution.

    1. Should Luxembourg let them stay?
    2. Should they (or their heirs) get citizenship?

  • Rob Fisher

    fenland letters: “Cameron and Geldof insist on taxing others to pay for it.” ; “we are merely claiming that other apartment owners will stiff us the bill”

    Perry M did say that he was ok with immigrants not getting hand-outs and not being able to vote. So we’re only talking about people who are self sufficient or helped by private charity.

    John Mann says it well: “The view that state welfare is a basic human right, and that free healthcare is a basic human right, and that voting is a basic human right, and that a living wage is a basic human right have all contributed to seriously undermining freedom of movement.”

  • Chip

    Do Gazans have a right to move to Israel?

    Yes or no.

  • Perry M did say that he was ok with immigrants not getting hand-outs and not being able to vote. So we’re only talking about people who are self sufficient or helped by private charity.

    But saying something does not make it so.

    Immigrants will get hand-outs and they will be able to vote. So we’re talking about people who neither need to be self-sufficient nor helped by private charity.

    The world exists as it is – not as it ought to be.

  • Perry Metzger – In all your responses, I notice that you haven’t responded to my points. Funny that. Normally I’d take quiet satisfaction that you’ve got nothing, not even a straw man (which you deploy quite prolifically) but for a further issue I think needs addressing.

    I think you have morally stepped badly regarding the Nazis as they were happy to gas baptized practicing christians for their jewish blood multiple generations back and those deaths deserve better than to be forgotten. I don’t have any documentation for it, but it strikes me as very likely that they happily gassed gentile converts to judaism without a drop of blood connection to the twelve tribes of Israel. The nazis weren’t particularly picky on justifications for genocide as a general rule.

  • I just want to emphasize how ironic it is that Perry Metzger’s preferred immigration policy, which he partly justifies by alluding to the Holocaust, would lead to another Holocaust of the Jewish people were it implemented in Israel.

  • Chip

    Perry’s form of libertarianism is really a religious belief system, with a simple set of truths and accompanying moral vanity.

    But reality is complex and messy. We all know that the Palestinians would murder their Israeli neighbours, that Malmö has become unsafe for Jews and even the police, and that free Western societies already under assault from statists are just several percentage points from permanently statist electoral majorities.

    The U.S. Democrats aren’t opening the southern border out of altruism, but due to a clear eyed recognition that a permanent electoral majority awaits them down the road.

    Like a religious martyr, Perry will throw our hard earned liberties all away for moral purity.

    Gandhi-like, we are to adhere to certain principles, and submit to death rather than abandon those principles.

    But life isn’t a movie. We don’t walk out of the cinema after the credits roll feeling good or chastened depending on the outcome.

    A life – a way of life – can just cease to be.

  • Mr Ecks

    Copied below is an exert from the “Gates of Vienna” blog. It speaks for itself.


    The entry was posted on the author’s Facebook page yesterday, so the incident would have happened on Thursday night‎. Btw, the author, Kamil Bulonis, is gay and proudly displays a “rainbowed” profile picture on his Facebook… Hardly a “far-rightist”!

    The translated excerpt:

    “They tried to overturn the coach, in which I was travelling with a group. Excrement was thrown in our direction… they banged on the doors, to get the driver to open them. They spat at the windows.” — such is the report of Kamil Bulonis, the author of a travel blog.

    It’s difficult to accuse the author of this entry, who writes a blog called “Obywatel Swiata” [Citizen of the World], of right-wing, Catholic or nationalist “looniness”. For Kamil Bulonis writes about himself openly on Instagram as a “journalist, globetrotter, gay”, while on Facebook, his profile picture appears in rainbow colours.

    Last night Kamil Bulonis posted a report of his journey from Italy by coach. It is so moving that we are pasting it in full. Especially given that we cannot rely on mainstream media to break with their common narrative about “bad Hungarian nationalists” and “poor immigrants”.

    This is the account by Kamil Bulonis:

    One and a half hours ago, on the border of Italy and Austria, I saw with my own eyes massive incidents involving immigrants… in all my solidarity with people finding themselves in a difficult life situation I must say, that what I saw breeds fear…

    This great mass of people — sorry that I write this, but it’s an absolute horde. Vulgar words, thrown bottles, loud cries of “We want Germany” — is Germany at present some kind of paradise? I saw how they surrounded the car of an older Italian lady, pulled her out by her hair and wanted to drive off in that car. The coach I was on in a group, they attempted to overturn. Excrement was thrown at us, they banged on the doors, so that the driver would open them, they spat at the window… I ask, for what purpose? How can this wild horde assimilate in Germany? For a moment, I thought I was in a war…

    I really feel sorry for these people, but if they were to reach us [Poland] — I don’t think they would receive any understanding from us… For three hours we waited at the border, which ultimately we did not cross. The whole group was escorted back to Italy in a police cordon. The coach looks destroyed, covered in excrement, scratched and with broken windows. And this is the idea to solve our demographic issues? These great, giant regiments of barbarians? Among them, there were almost no women, no children — the overwhelming majority were young aggressive males…

    Yesterday, reading the news on all the websites, I was still subconsciously caring, worried about their destiny, but today, after what I saw, I am simply afraid, but happy at the same time that they do not choose our nation as their destination. We Poles are simply not ready to accept these people — not culturally, and not financially. I don’t know if anyone is ready. A pathology is entering the EU, which up until now we never had a chance to see. And my apologies to anyone I may have offended anyone with this entry.

    Finally, I’ll add that cars arrived containing humanitarian aid — first and foremost, with food and water, yet they simply overturned these cars… through the megaphone, the Austrians announced that they agree for them to cross the border — they wanted to register them, and allow them to go further — but they didn’t understand these announcements. They understood nothing. And in all this, that was the biggest horror… among a few thousand people, nobody understood Italian, English, German, Russian or Spanish. The power of the fist was what mattered… they fought for the right to proceed further, and they had this right — but they didn’t understand this! In the coach of the French group they opened the luggage compartment — everything that was inside, in a few moments was stolen, a few of the items were strewn across the ground… in my short life, I had never had a chance to witness such scenes, and I have a feeling that this is only the beginning. On a final note I’ll add, that it’s good to help — but not at any cost.”

    In no way are this lot getting any free ride to the UK.

  • Barry Sheridan

    Perry (at 8.26 yesterday). In trying to bolster your position towards me you suggest that an absolute moral position trumps all. If you were to consider my very first comment on this issue you would see I noted how theoretical positions do not help (unsaid but implied was to fix what are complicated human situations). While I accept the well meaning intention behind your view it is extremely naïve. There is no absolute morality, nor given the way mankind is will there ever be. The reason for this is that our behaviours are all too often diametrically opposite. An example might be that a radical Moslem, taught or influenced to see him or herself as superior to everyone else, feels they can kill anyone they like who is not like minded. This real world example has to be dealt with in a practical sense, trying to take a single position, the moral high ground places you in position of trying to reconcile what cannot be reconciled. Perry, overall the objections to your arguments stands, above all because you lack the capacity to see and accept life as it is. Why??

  • Ljh

    Thanks Mr Ecks.

  • A Swiss

    Perry

    You are a gutmensch.

    As such you are not able to learn because you do not want to. Because you are suffering from serious cognitive dissonance.

    As an practical example what happens when muslims take over an area just have a look at libanon or kosovo.

    Or just read some decent history books. Simples.

    Or why is it that wherever there is a muslim / nonmuslim border that there is a violent conflict?

    So therefore to protect me and my people I have to fundamentaly oppose that adherents of that death cult come into my country.

    By the way I noticed that you chickened out on the “should Israel open its border” question. Which marks you as a hypocrite. (The answer of course is a resounding NO)

    Please note that genuinely should be very welcome.

  • Dr. Toboggan

    “…people who are willing to risk their lives on rickety boats at sea knowing whole families have drowned doing it in the past do not do so because they believe that they are safe where they are.”

    Mr. Metzger, you’re making an assumption about the motives of these people – dare I say a generalisation – that is often not supported by the facts.

    Take the case of that kid that just died: my understanding is that the family was already safely ensconced in Turkey.

    And I suspect that’s not an isolated incident. Here in Australia, where “the boats” have been stopped, there was a tendency on the left to assume that everyone on those boats was desperately fleeing some war-torn country. But the boats were setting off from Indonesia, not Afghanistan. The people on those boats had, in a great many cases, left perfect safety, flown to Indonesia, and then set forth in unseaworthy vessels so as to increase the chance they would be picked up by the Australian Navy.

    (I don’t know how many of the asylum seekers weren’t genuine. The right-wing press said lots, the left-wing press said none.)

    Of the 1200-odd people who drowned and the tens of thousands who merely risked drowning, lots of them weren’t desperate, just irresponsible. I presume the same about those seeking admittance to Europe.

    Can we separate, morally, those genuine refugees from the opportunists? Is it an equivalent moral failing to deny entry to either group? Because this analogy…

    “Anyone proposing that immigration from one country to another be stopped through the use of coercive state violence is, morally speaking, doing the equivalent of proposing to beat on the hands of a drowning man desperately trying to climb out of the sea.”

    …it doesn’t work in the case of an irresponsible opportunist. (It doesn’t even really work for genuine refugees, but let’s leave that for now.) The implication is that by refusing to let such a man enter a country we are cruelly condemning him to die, but, while a man fleeing war or persecution or even poverty could be said to be drowning, a man living in comfort and safety who chooses to emigrate is clearly not. And if that man does end up literally drowning, as is so often the case, then perhaps the fault lies with him, rather than with the very idea of borders.

    Put it another way: you said your grandfather had no obligation to abide by the rules when doing so would have left him dead. Fair enough, I’d do the same thing. But, having arrived in the USA, and despite being free from persecution, let’s say he decided he’d rather live in Canada instead. And let’s say Canada wouldn’t let him in. Is he morally justified in illegally entering Canada? Is Canada evil for not granting him entry?

    ——————————-

    One other thing:

    “…if anything at all can be called immoral, then doing violence to a peaceful person who wants nothing more than to rent a house, find a job and live as everyone else does is immoral.”

    For the sake of argument, let’s grant that beyond a certain point, immigrants tend not to assimilate to the host culture. Let’s posit that one lives in a liberal society, allowing in large numbers of immigrants from an illiberal society. Let’s stipulate that they are not refugees fleeing either poverty or war.

    Let’s assume, in short, that certain arguments are true, and in fifty years the liberal society in question has become an illiberal one. Was it still moral to let the immigrants in?

  • A Swiss

    ‘refugees’

    @ Shlomo Quite. Both the antisemitsm and the Israel remark.
    @ Perry There are a lot more muslims in Europe and a lot more antisemitic incidents there. I am sure one thing has absolutely NOTHING to do with each other.
    It must be the evil nationalist nazi scum who try to defend their countries.

  • A Swiss

    @Perry I can only hope that you know by now that your rants are the embodiments of the saying “The road to hell is plastered with good intents”.

    Not that I am holding my breath though.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    RE: Clovis’s point regarding the labour party vs individual lefties: that is a very good point and I concede it willingly. But that of course begs the question of whether it would be reasonable in a free society to ban Labour party members from entering your country, which is what we’re talking about. I would suggest not. It would of course be perfectly reasonable to ban them from using force to try and seize control of the means of production. Likewise it is perfectly reasonable to legally require Muslims to obey the law of the land and to hand down even very severe punishments for failure to do so. But to my mind to ban someone from entering your country simply because they are Muslim smacks of prejudice. As I said, people can and do surprise you, and to punish someone for something they haven’t done cannot be just. So it is with all these “Muslim’s throw poo” / “Muslim’s rape Swedes” / “Muslim’s ate my cat” stories. By all means punish the people who do these things. Hang them in the town sqaure for all I care. But don’t presume to know someone on the basis of very crude categorisations. That is the very definition of prejudice.

    Much of the arguments here seem to be that Muslims are a special case – that prejudice is warranted because they’re such arseholes. Do you really think that bigotry against the Irish, the Jews, Africans, Chinese etc. etc. was insincere? The people who did those things genuinely, sincerely, believed that their targets were also a special case that warranted a departure from the otherwise high standards to which they held themselves. Now of course, it is quite possible that Muslims are a special case in spite of this. But if that is true, they’d be the first special case in human history because whenever humans have en masse rushed to snap judgements on the basis of creed or faith, injustice has ALWAYS followed.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    I can only offer my sincere apologies for the profusion of misplaced apostrophes in the preceding post. 😉

  • Johnnydub

    “By all means punish the people who do these things. Hang them in the town square for all I care. But don’t presume to know someone on the basis of very crude categorisations. That is the very definition of prejudice.” It’s not prejudice, its postjudice as another commenter observed.

    But tell me from an immigration perspective how you judge people individually? Especially at the moment when there seems to be zero assessment despite ISIS saying that they will send their footsoldiers hidden amongst these immigrants?

    Is your position we simply let ISIS in and deal with them after the fact? That’s stupidly naive.

  • A Swiss

    @ JV

    Imagine you build a libertarian utopia.

    Then you let statists in but do not give them any power.

    Eventually those statists and do gooders like Perry become a large minority or even the majority.

    Are you sure your utopia is going to (politically) survive?

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Johnny, no I don’t think we should just let ISIS in. But I do think we should have to demonstrate that there are reasonable grounds to believe someone is a member of ISIS if we wish to use those grounds to exclude them.

    A Swiss – a racially, culturally, religiously and politically “pure” land like you describe is not a libertarian utopia – it is a fascist state. Libertarianism is meant to provide people of utterly disparate viewpoints a framewor for living together in peace.

  • Just a note: I have declined approval of some pending comments/deleted some comments. Feel free to disagree but gratuitous insults can get you booted without warning. Our house, our rules.

    the_other_Perry@the_Samizdata_Management

  • A Swiss

    @ Chip

    A life – a way of life – can just cease to be.

    Indeed.

    For anybody interested I recommend the books written by Marion Graefin Doenhoff.

    Editor’s note: (link fixed)

  • Matra

    Of course, only this morning I read that Victor Orbán has complained that allowing Syrians into Europe would diminish the Christian character of the continent, the sort of claim I’ve heard before in different contexts, including from the political movement that forced my father to flee in the first place. This does bring to mind an ancient set of questions for adherents of Christianity, such as what sort of razor-wire walled internment camp designs Jesus would have favored

    Nice shaming language. How many refugees has Israel taken in?

  • A Swiss

    @JV

    You seem not to have heard of taqiya. Nor of that notorious survey

  • Ljh

    So much insistence that the refugees must be “desperate” to risk their lives: over 90% are young males 18-30, just the group that is least risk averse and which has most to gain if successful. Their homelands may not offer the stability and abundance to successfully raise a family, but the welfare states of Northern Europe do. Biology.

  • A Swiss

    @JV

    What I am trying to explain to you is that when another group moves into your place and they take over you get pushed out.

    Whether you like it or not. That is just human nature.

    Except when the orignal group resists. Hence th ugly talk of civil war.

  • A Swiss

    @Matra

    Or Saudiarabia or the Gulf states?

    Sensibly none?

  • Willy

    1) The immigrants are lazy and will take all our tax money via the dole.

    2) Mysteriously, at the same time that they are on the dole, the immigrants will also take all our jobs.

    No mystery, Say 2 million people enter your country, one million find employment and one million go on the dole… See?

  • A Swiss

    @Editor
    Thank you for kind help.

    The 2nd link in the taqiya comment is also broken. It is about sharia in the UK in 2006. Very troubling.

  • A Swiss

    @JV
    How do you find out who of those invaders is only an economic migrant?

    And how do you process 1+ millions people a year?
    With a huge, costly and probably incompetent bureaucracy and invasive security services. TSA anyone?

  • Snorri Godhi

    Shlomo:

    Any opposition to immigration is in Perry Metzger’s own words: “doing the equivalent of proposing to beat on the hands of a drowning man desperately trying to climb out of the sea.” Perry is clearly not interested in debating the consequences of the policy he supports; Perry is interested in castigating those who disagree with the policy he supports.

    …and Perry has been doing his best to prove you right. In fact, he has been doing so well that it would not be necessary to reply to you, except that i want to point out that this is the behavior that i have imputed to the Western ruling classes, in my first comment @1:11.

    There is an important difference between Perry M and the Western ruling classes, of course: the latter act in their own class interest: they would not keep ruling for long, if they didn’t. Perry otoh is not, to the best of my knowledge, a member of the American ruling class, and on the face of it, this post goes blatantly against the interests of his ethnic group. Perhaps he thinks that makes him virtuous, but in fact it is the policies he advocates that drive people to risk drowning into the sea in the first place.

  • Snorri Godhi

    JV:

    a racially, culturally, religiously and politically “pure” land like you describe is not a libertarian utopia – it is a fascist state.

    Apparently you did not read The Road to Serfdom, not the last chapter anyway. It is “diversity” that makes dictatorship _seem_ desirable, even necessary. (Most of what i have seen in the US since 2009, and much that i have seen earlier, suggests that Hayek was right.)
    OK, it’s “diversity” combined with socialism, so we are back to whether to abolish the welfare state or keep immigrants out; and i have already addressed that issue: once the immigrants are in, libertarians like you will be branded racists and de-legitimized; and not by the immigrants themselves, either.

  • Tarrou

    Perry, this whole exercise is pathetic, and likely beneath you.

    Somehow, you got to the tribal decision of thinking the Syrian refugees are “your” people, and reasoned badly from there. This is not the Holocaust. No one is trying to eradicate all muslims. The refugees are already reasonably safe in Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Bulgaria etc. No one is going to murder them all there. Your overheated rhetoric about “beating the hands of a drowning man” makes you sound like an imbecile. If they want to risk their lives for more money, that’s their choice, it’s not our moral obligation to spend even more money to give them access to more money.

    You can be for open borders, I disagree, but it’s a legitimate position. But I won’t be called names by someone who claims it’s tantamount to murder to have a border, like EVERY SINGLE NATION ON EARTH. It’s ridiculous, and you are beclowning yourself with this hissy fit. Go have a drink, settle down, and think about how not everything is Germany in 1939. Sweet dogfucking christ, you think I wouldn’t have to tell people things like this on a rationalist blog!

  • C. S. P. Schofield

    “Anyone proposing that immigration from one country to another be stopped through the use of coercive state violence is, morally speaking, doing the equivalent of proposing to beat on the hands of a drowning man desperately trying to climb out of the sea.”

    Now, maybe somebody else brought this up, and I missed it because amy some point in a long comment string I start skimming, but:

    There are circumstances in which it is not only permissible, but required that one “beat on the hands of a drowning man desperately trying to climb out of the sea.” When, for example, the man is going to swamp the lifeboat. Or when the man is a known pirate or mutineer, whose actions will endanger the boat.

    I’m not saying that immigration has reached that point. I’m also NOT not saying it. That’s a whole ‘nother argument. But the analogy is fatally flawed.

  • Tomsmith

    people who are willing to risk their lives on rickety boats at sea knowing whole families have drowned doing it in the past do not do so because they believe that they are safe where they are.

    The recently drowned family in the news came on a boat from Turkey after fleeing Syria. Isn’t Turkey a safe place?

  • Tomsmith

    But to my mind to ban someone from entering your country simply because they are Muslim smacks of prejudice

    There is plenty of data available on Muslim immigration and the likely results. It isn’t prejudice.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist,

    Chip, you think discussing statistics instead of personal experience is an improvement?!

    What’s better? To take people as I find them because experience has taught me that people are pretty much people wherever you go, or to adopt a “statistically speaking there is a 3.7% increase in the probability of you being a murderous bastard based on your demographic cohort, so kindly bugger off” approach?

    I mean, by all means conduct your personal business however you see fit, but honestly – which is the better way to run a country?

    The statistical approach is obviously more reliably accurate – and if that offends your sensibilities feel free to soak yourself in smug self-righteousness but please kindly refrain from entertaining any notion that the art of governance would benefit from your input.

  • Isn’t Turkey a safe place?

    No, not if you’re Kurd it isn’t. And they were Kurds.

  • Mr Ed

    September 6, 2015 at 7:46 pm
    Isn’t Turkey a safe place?

    No, not if you’re Kurd it isn’t. And they were Kurds.

    Presumably that’s why the father a) wanted to go to Canada, rather than any safe place, and b) why he went back to unsafe Syria to bury his son.

    And I haven’t seen all the news, so is the father facing manslaughter-type charges?

  • What does any of that have to do with the question I answered?

    Isn’t Turkey a safe place?

    And the answer is no, not if you are Kurdish.

    Where they should have gone was Erbil. The family would be safe now and the father could have joined the Peshmerga in stead of running away.

  • Ellen

    We can speak of individuals all we like, but the current tides pouring across borders have far too many people in them to treat each as an individual. If you have tens of thousands, you need many hundreds of bureaucrats — bureaucrats who can speak the language. I believe Mr. Ecks mentioned the bullhorns saying “you are welcome to come in” and few, very few, of the immigrants understood the language. Instead, they continued to riot.

    There are Muslims being persecuted all over the world. The Jews pick on them. The Hindus pick on Muslims so badly they got split off into the country of Pakistan, which later split off Bangladesh. Muslims are fighting for equality in the south of Thailand, where the Buddhists pick on them. America picks on them terribly. The Chinese pick on them, along with a side order of picking on Christians and Tibetan Buddhists. I’m not sure what the animists and Christians are doing to them in Africa, but it must be terrible for so many Muslims to be killing them back. In England, the Muslims have even found it necessary to rape children. And then there are the Phillippines …

    Everywhere there are Muslims, they resent everybody else in the neighborhood. Even when a country is majority Muslim, it treats adherents of other religions as aggressive hazards. This is NOT a religion of peace.

    I ask you: what is the common denominator in all of this unrest? And how much of this common denominator should we be willing to import? Bear in mind that Middle East refugees have shown a distinct unwillingness to stand calmly in line to be met and evaluated as individuals.

  • Tomsmith

    They were in Turkey for 1-3 years, working, and living normally, much like the other 25% of the Turkish population that is Kurdish. There is no suggestion that they were under any kind of threat, and if they were, then the media savvy father would have mentioned it by now.

  • Tomsmith

    Everywhere there are Muslims, they resent everybody else in the neighborhood. Even when a country is majority Muslim, it treats adherents of other religions as aggressive hazards. This is NOT a religion of peace.

    I ask you: what is the common denominator in all of this unrest? And how much of this common denominator should we be willing to import? Bear in mind that Middle East refugees have shown a distinct unwillingness to stand calmly in line to be met and evaluated as individuals.

    We should accept none because Western civilisation is at war with Islam, as it always has been. Instead we should protect ourselves from this invasion. If this doesn’t work then we should attack Islam to drive them in the opposite direction.

  • the frollickingmole

    I can respect Perrys position, but I dont agree with it.

    I worked immigration detention for 5 years, prior to that the issue meant nothing for me, no great opinion one way or another.
    By the end i had extremely firm opinions based on a massive number of hours interacting with asylum seekers some of which i will outline.

    85% are ordinary people a subset of that 85% hold weird religions views.
    10% are criminal scum, just awful people.
    5% are saints and awesome, they are the ones the state media will talk about in 15 years time.

    There is a huge nexus of organised crime and asylum seeking, one of the worst cases i saw was a chap from Syria (remember that was in about 2001) who came over leaving his family behind as collateral for the organised crime group he borrowed money from to make the trip. Long story short he began receiving phone calls from his wife/kids because the crims had started pimping them out to work off his debt because he hadnt been released to pay them back yet. He applied to back to Syria who said nope and he went insane and died. Hideous.

    There is another massive nexus of expatriates being used to fund ongoing civil wars, the Tamils (who as individuals were great) had it down to a fine art. Young ex-fighters of good reliability sent over (and their families kept firmly under the benevolent eye of the Tigers) with the explicit job of “tithing” back income to the Tamil Tigers. The family being left behind gave leverage if they didnt pay.

    Documentation. 90%+ destroy documentation so it comes down to he said/she said, and enormous numbers of non refugees “crowd out” legitimate refugees as far as asylum places go.

    Intolerance: By being non-discriminatory most asylum programs allow extremist elements to pass as refugees, as an example we had an extremist cleric (Wahhabi) who was seeking asylum in Australia because his views were too extreme for Saudis. And he got it.

    Incoherence: Prior to the overthrow of Saddam we were taking refugees fleeing his brutal regime. After his overthrow we began receiving people who had been beneficiaries of the regime seeking asylum. So in effect we granted asylum to the oppressors less than a year after the oppressed. Their are also certain groups who believe any system which exists is either there to be bribed or smashed with violence, whatever gets them what they want.

    A nation exists as a commonwealth, if you wish to argue for open borders then you can effectively remove that notion (which is not inconsistent with your stance), unfortunately I cant see that happening without blood and fire.

    This will not end well.

  • Goyo

    I will freely admit to have gained all my knowledge of the current illegal immigration problem not thru scholarly means, but by living in one urban neighborhood in a good sized western US city for 30 years. My many conclusions can be trimmed up and boiled down as follows:

    Mexican/Central American culture is broke. Completely broke. It doesn’t work in those places where it came to be. Never has. Never will. Why on earth would you expect it to work here in the States?

    The high rates (just read the papers and note the names) of criminal child and wife beating, of the murder of children and women, of organized carthefts, daylight burglaries, home invasions, drug sales both major and minor among illegal immigrants are simply not refutable.

    Forty years ago when I was a tyke I believed in The New Libertarian Man. Today you and Murry Rothbard can take a long leap at a rolling doughnut.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Many thanks to commenter “A Swiss” for suggesting the book Before The Storm: Memories of My Youth in Old Prussia, by Marion Graf Donhoff (as Amazon writes her name), published in America by Knopf, November 21, 1990:

    http://www.amazon.com/Before-The-Storm-Memories-Prussia/dp/0394582551.

    Amazon in the U.K. also has some copies of the book.

    There is a WikiFootia article on the authoress at

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_D%C3%B6nhoff.

  • Julie near Chicago

    I want to say also that I think this discussion has had way over the usual percentage of excellent comments, and that is saying a mouthful. I have quite a long list of people I wanted to thank for providing the old brain some fresh, nutritious food, but then I’d just be listing almost everybody.

    The shortest possible list of extra-great comments, IMO:

    *Johnnydub on the 5th at 1:44 a.m.
    *Mr. Origami — and his scenario raises other issues that are very important altogether aside from immigration, legal or illegal
    *Paul (all)
    *Snorri, esp. the 5th at 7:38 p.m.
    *luckylucky at 10:50 p.m.
    *Mary Contrary
    *Rich Rostrom (with bells on!)
    *Mr Ecks
    *C.S.P. Schofield
    *frollickingmole

    There’s nothing I can add to this, except to point out that “begging the question” means including your conclusion as a step in the “proof” of your argument. In other words, to beg the question is to give a circular argument. “I don’t like it.” “Why not?” “Because it’s no good.” “Why do you say it’s no good?” “Because I don’t like it.”

    A lot of people who speak of “begging the question” really mean “raising the question,” “bringing up the issue of…” — see at least one of the comments above.

    Anyhow, if all the Somali “refugees” lately imported into the U.S. were like Ayaan Hirsi Ali in their humanity and conduct, I’d be delighted to have them. Alas, such is certainly not the case. Yet one can hardly help feeling very bad for most of the Somalis.

    One other thing. J.V., refusing to let someone into your country isn’t “punishing” him, save in a rare circumstance. Refusing to let somebody into your house because something about him causes you to be suspicious of him in some way isn’t punishing him; it’s simply acting rationally based on your prior knowledge, or your intuition, or whatever. It’s aimed at avoiding any violent or otherwise dangerous or unpleasant encounter.

  • They were in Turkey for 1-3 years, working, and living normally, much like the other 25% of the Turkish population that is Kurdish. There is no suggestion that they were under any kind of threat, and if they were, then the media savvy father would have mentioned it by now.

    Tomsmith mustn’t read the news much. The Turkish air force has been bombing Kurdish villages since the ceasefire with the PKK collapsed.

  • Mr Ed

    Antony Aoun

    But the PKK and Turkish airstrikes have nothing to do with Kobane, they have nothing to do with a Syrian Kurdish family living in Turkey and, as your own post makes clear, Turkey has seen its forces attacked by the PKK.

    You may read a lot of news, but you don’t seem to understand it, at least I hope that you don’t understand it, as another inference that might be drawn from your post is that you are being misleading deliberately.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Julie, countries aren’t houses. How you respond when they come to your front door is an entirely separate issue. I believe migrants should be free to go to whichever country they please, unless a good (i.e. non racial or religious) reason can be provided for why that should not be the case. A big part of the reason why I believe this is because I to would like to enjoy that same freedom of movement. I would very much like to leave Scotland before the SNPs Named Persons act comes into full force. What would it make me if I believed an exception should be made for me simply because I’m white and non Muslim? Now you could generalize about Scots in much they same way as many here are doing with Muslims. Many are drunken, shiftless, Bolshie arseholes. I am none of those things. Should I be turned away at borders because of my countrymen?

    Really it boils down to this: either men and women of good conscience and conduct should be free to move from country to country, or they shouldn’t. And before anyone suggests it, saying that someone cannot be of good conscience by virtue of being Muslim is a circular argument.

    The rubber only really hits the road in arguments about liberty when it comes to applying it to people you don’t particularly like. Otherwise you’re really no different than your average republican, democrat, labour or conservative voter: boons for people I like and people like me, the shaft for everyone else.

  • Tomsmith

    Tomsmith mustn’t read the news much. The Turkish air force has been bombing Kurdish villages since the ceasefire with the PKK collapsed.

    Were the Turkish airforce bombing this family living in a mixed area with lots of Turks, like most of the other Kurds in Turkey? Or were they bombing areas of Kurdish resistance to the Turkish regime?

  • Julie, countries aren’t houses.

    Someone who does not accept the possibility of valid arguments against unrestricted immigration does not accept the notion of countries.

    Really it boils down to this: either men and women of good conscience and conduct should be free to move from country to country, or they shouldn’t.

    That’s actually not the question at all.

    And before anyone suggests it, saying that someone cannot be of good conscience by virtue of being Muslim is a circular argument.

    You don’t understand. Thank God Benjamin Netanyahu does.

  • I have to agree with Antony. If you actually bother to follow the local news, it is not just the Turkish airforce bombing, the PKK and the Turkish state have gone back to war. Moreover it is pretty clear to anyone paying attention that the Erdogan government is going out of his way to imply any Kurds who are inconvenient are somehow involved with the PKK. Does this mean this particular refugee family was noticeably ‘at risk’? I do not know but I would guess probably not. But the notion Turkey is a perfectly safe place in which to be Kurdish is rather stretching it. But I do like Antony’s counter intuitive suggestion: Kurdish refugees would indeed almost certainly be safer if they went to ‘Iraqi’ Kurdistan 😉

  • Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    Matra, Israel has accepted millions of refugees over the years, who were usually not wanted in the countries within which they were born. These refugees are Jews- or can’t Jews be refugees, in your thinking?

  • Tomsmith

    Julie, countries aren’t houses.

    Democratic countries are like houses in that they are owned by their current inhabitants, with the government being the aggregate decision maker. If the inhabitants of countries do not want to be invaded by other people from elsewhere then that is a decision for them, just as it is for the home owner. Nobody has the “right” to go wherever they please, because the world is owned by people, and that ownership is the fundamental issue.

    I believe migrants should be free to go to whichever country they please, unless a good (i.e. non racial or religious) reason can be provided for why that should not be the case.

    Why is adherence to the extremely violent and intolerant religio-political movement that is Islam not a good reason to prevent people from entering the country? I think it would also be a good idea to prevent millions of communist party members from setting up home in Europe as well. Don’t you? Religion is a choice.

    Islam is opposed to Western culture. People adhering to Islam should not be allowed into Europe because many of them will work to undermine everything that it is. When Europe is a majority Islamic area then there will be no more idle discussion of libertarian principles, no more democracy, no more freedom. It is Western civilisation, alone among all other civilisations, that tolerates (never mind fosters) ideas such as these. Protecting ourselves as a group (Europeans), is not somehow fascist. And it is more necessary now than for hundreds of years. We face extinction before this tide of people. And it will keep coming.

    A big part of the reason why I believe this is because I to would like to enjoy that same freedom of movement. I would very much like to leave Scotland

    Judging by your discussion here we would be better off with you stranded north of the border. Only joking. Leaving Scotland should be entirely up to you unless it is a prison and you are not a free man. Arriving somewhere else should be the decision of those whose place it is. Same as any other property, large or small.

    A good reason to prevent hostile immigration like this

  • Tomsmith

    I do like Antony’s counter intuitive suggestion: Kurdish refugees would indeed almost certainly be safer if they went to ‘Iraqi’ Kurdistan 😉

    This family had no interest in going to Kurdistan- after all it is poor. Europe is rich. Like most Kurds in Turkey this family were facing no particular threat. Turkey was just not as good as Europe.

  • Julie near Chicago

    JV, there’s nothing in libertarian philosophy that requires a person, or a group of persons, or a very large group of persons, or 64,500,000 or 320,000,000 persons, to associate with a person, or group of persons, or large group of persons, with whom they do not wish to associate.

    Given a Group A of persons who must act as a body in all matters affecting the group as such, or affecting any of its members insofar as they are members, there can be a problem when some of Group A wish to associate with some or all of Group B, whereas others of Group A wish to have no dealings whatsoever with Group B.

    But that is not the issue here. In the context of the present discussion, the deal really is — or should be anyhow — “our sandbox, our rules. If your group has a record of harboring individuals or subgroups who propose to take over our sandbox, and not only that but to set up their own rules in which we will be allowed to exist only at their pleasure, then sorry. We feel your pain, but we do still have some sense of self-preservation.”

    And it doesn’t matter to libertarian political philosophy whether association or exclusion is based on “liking,” or on religion, or on family connections, or on considerations of self-preservation, or on some other criterion. Some people’s criteria for association are considered base (“socially unacceptable,” “politically incorrect,”) but that doesn’t affect the analysis of the libertarian concept of liberty. (Not that there’s not a lot of disagreement amongst self-proclaimed “libertarians” as to what “liberty” is or isn’t, of course.)

    Also, the objection to welcoming certain classes of Muslims is not based on their religion as such, but rather on the political ideology that those groups live by, which demands Submission, demands that the rest of us convert to Islam or else accept the status of dhimmis, pay the jizya or tax-for-not-being-a-muslim, demands that we give up our nationhood, our culture, our own philosophical principles political and otherwise.

    We probably would put up with it to a degree that’s actually dangerous, if it seemed to be just “talk”; that’s how we handled the Communists who lived in or visited our countries. But the people we are discussing aren’t just talking. Look at johnnydub’s list up at nearly the top of the comments.

    It was only a couple of years ago that there was a world-wide flap about people entering this or that country who might have Ebola. Lots of discussion about whether it was proper or improper to let citizens of X who had been travelling in Nairobi, for instance, come back into X without waiting out a quarantine period. But the issue, for each Country X, was whether letting the travellers re-enter without proof of being disease-free would be a failure to defend the people in the country — a failure that might result in hundreds or thousands of horrible deaths.

    JV, the hard truth is that the libertarian world that you and I wish we lived in would not last a week if we granted entry to all people who claim to have been oppressed or terrorized or whatever in their former homes. Because very few of them are willing to play by libertarian rules, and when I say “very few of them” I am talking about the planetful of nearly 7 billion humans — not just Muslims. Only a very small percentage are really amenable to a libertarian regime. It apparently goes against the grain at least to some extent for most of humanity.

    . . .

    But in the last analysis, it really does come down to whether one believes in each person’s right to decide with whom he will associate and on what terms, or not. It is sad and unfortunate that some (possibly a good many) perfectly decent and self-supporting people might be excluded from living in Country X, but Country X has the right to say whom it will and will not allow to live there.

    In fact, you have no more right to demand entry into somebody else’s country than you do to demand a job. Same principle exactly. Hope for it, wish for it, long for it, argue for it, try to advance the Cause in general, yes; demand it, no. 🙁

  • This family had no interest in going to Kurdistan- after all it is poor. Europe is rich.

    That is indeed most likely true.

    Like most Kurds in Turkey this family were facing no particular threat.

    You have no way of knowing that, and indeed Syrian Kurds are particularly suspect in Turkey at the moment, doubly so if they come from a stronghold of the PKK’s Syrian offshoot, the PYD. And of course this particular family came from Kobani, which is indeed precisely that.

    Turkey was just not as good as Europe.

    Quite. But please do not claim Turkey is ‘safe’, which I note was what Antony was specifically replying to. But of course if safety was paramount to this family, they should indeed have gone to Erbil as Antony suggested. It is unlikely their child would have drowned en-route, because demonstrably the journey to the welcoming bosom of Europe’s welfare states is hardly ‘safe’ either.

  • Tomsmith

    You have no way of knowing that, and indeed Syrian Kurds are particularly suspect in Turkey at the moment, doubly so if they come from a stronghold of the PKK’s Syrian offshoot, the PYD. And of course this particular family came from Kobani, which is indeed precisely that.

    I have no way of knowing it with certainty, but given that the father (a man not shy of media contact and not averse to blaming others for the situation he had a large hand in putting his children into) has not mentioned being threatened in Turkey, I think it is safe to assume they were not until we learn otherwise.

  • Tomsmith

    the objection to welcoming certain classes of Muslims is not based on their religion as such, but rather on the political ideology that those groups live by, which demands Submission, demands that the rest of us convert to Islam or else accept the status of dhimmis, pay the jizya or tax-for-not-being-a-muslim, demands that we give up our nationhood, our culture, our own philosophical principles political and otherwise.

    That is the religion of Islam. It isn’t just the nutty wing of Islam that think in this way.

  • Tomsmith

    Ilana Mercer has a good book on the plight of white people in the new south Africa that might be interesting for people like JV to read.

  • Perry Metzger

    Tomsmith writes: “Democratic countries are like houses in that they are owned by their current inhabitants, with the government being the aggregate decision maker…”

    This is simply false. The whole point of the libertarian idea is that individuals are sovereign, groups do not get more rights than individuals, and that the state, if it should exist at all, should be a night watchman that does not have the right to intrude on purely consensual behaviors. If the state can tell you not to rent your house to someone because they were born in the wrong place, why shouldn’t it also be able to tell you that you can’t drink liquor in your house? After all, if it “owns” you and your house and is the “aggregate decision maker” then why shouldn’t it?

    If we are to believe in the libertarian idea, then this is not a reasonable position. I will accept, of course, that collectivists will not agree with me, but if you are a libertarian, there is no more justification in controlling who you can rent your home to than in controlling who you can have sex with.

  • Tomsmith

    This is simply false. The whole point of the libertarian idea is that individuals are sovereign, groups do not get more rights than individuals, and that the state, if it should exist at all, should be a night watchman that does not have the right to intrude on purely consensual behaviors.

    Perry, I’m talking about the world as it actually exists, not as you might wish it to be.

    And if we lived in a libertarian utopia then these floods of people would be agressing against the property of thousands then millions of people as they made their way across privately owned Europe. In so doing they would undoubtedly encounter armed resistance. Is this what you prefer?

  • Perry Metzger

    Tomsmith says: “Perry, I’m talking about the world as it actually exists, not as you might wish it to be.”

    The whole point of this discussion is to discuss how we want the world to be, not to discuss what it is. We already know that the world is full of xenophobes and statists, and we know what they think and do.

  • Tomsmith

    The whole point of this discussion is to discuss how we want the world to be, not to discuss what it is. We already know that the world is full of xenophobes and statists, and we know what they think and do.

    Really? It rather appears that you are talking about the world as it is and what we should do next:

    So, as I have said, I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I’ve come to a straightforward conclusion. Anyone proposing that immigration from one country to another be stopped through the use of coercive state violence is, morally speaking, doing the equivalent of proposing to beat on the hands of a drowning man desperately trying to climb out of the sea.

    I claim that there is no more moral justification for preventing a man from Homs from traveling to your town, renting a house and then looking for work than there would be for preventing a man from within the borders of your supposed “nation state” from doing the same.

    Of course my reaction would be to protect Europe, the birthplace of nearly all good ideas (libertarianism included), from Islamic invasion using the methods available as they exist. Because that is all we have in the real world.

    Your solution would merely open the floodgates to massive hostile immigration without changing any of the things about states that make Islamic immigration exceedingly dangerous for the current population of Europe. Again, do you really think that an anarcho capitalist Europe would not be opposing this invasion much more strongly that our current governments are?

  • ajf

    This discussion is a wonderful demonstration of the deficiencies of libertarianism. Perry M, if you persist in railing against the world as it is you are no different from the communists who say that it is a great system that has never be properly tried yet, and you will never be happy.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Perry M is not naive about the real state of the world; he is, quite rightly, using Samizdata as a forum on which to argue for the principle of free movement. The old “but this is not how it is in reality” was used, if I recall, by those who in the 1980s claimed that it was impossible for Mrs Thatcher, for example, to push back against socialism (I fully concede she was far from being any sort of ideal).

    As far as I can tell, persons emigrating for economic betterment tend to be pro-market in their general psychology; they want to work, earn and trade. Those who fled Southeast Asia in the 1970s were a case in point, ditto the Cubans after the rise of Castro, or those who fled Eastern Europe before the Wall went up, and so on. It may be true that some of the new intake will immediately start pushing to turn the West into a totalitarian religious dystopia, but it doesn’t seem all that likely.

  • Tomsmith

    As far as I can tell, persons emigrating for economic betterment tend to be pro-market in their general psychology; they want to work, earn and trade.

    How do the work/welfare stats look for Islamic immigrants from places with similar soci-economic conditions who are already here? Seems a big assumption to make.

    Why doesn’t it seem likely to you that further muslim immigrants will push for more sharia and Islamisation when they are already doing so in Europe right now?

  • Tomsmith

    Doesn’t welfare represent economic benefit when you come from somewhere poor?

    And what makes you think that these (mostly) young men don’t come here for the express purpose of preying upon the current weak-looking and rich population of Europe?

  • Perry Metzger

    Tomsmith says: “Really? It rather appears that you are talking about the world as it is and what we should do next”

    All discussion about future policy is about aspiration for a new state of affairs versus how things exist now. That’s the whole point. We know how the world is, we are dissatisfied with it, and we discuss what we would prefer should be in place. This is as true when thinking about breakfast (right now you are hungry but would prefer a world where you were not), as when you are thinking about immigration.

  • Tomsmith

    It seems that libertarian purists here are saying that a geographical area of the world with a majority libertarian population should never do anything to defend itself from external threats, because organising into groups to defend territory is much too state-like. Is that correct?

    Ok, glad we got that debated. It seems both pointless and trivial in terms of the situation currently facing Europe.

    At the same time they use such shaming language as the lifeboat scenario, equating those who wish to defend their countries with murderers (or at least manslaughterers). Yet when asked about what should be done instead, the discussion returns to the irrelevant (in regards that it doesn’t refelct a real option) debate regarding territorial integrity in a libertarian world. This to me seems like an intentionally evasive and disingenuous way of arguing.

  • Tomsmith

    All discussion about future policy is about aspiration for a new state of affairs versus how things exist now.

    Ok, given things as they exist now, what would be the best outcome for Europe? And indeed Israel?

    And (for the third time), do you really think that an anarcho capitalist Europe would not be opposing this invasion much more strongly that our current governments are?

    I am trying to get to the core of your belief system here. If you refuse to answer questions then we won’t have much success.

  • ajf

    To Johnathan Pearce:
    You give the examples of SE Asians, Cubans and Eastern Europeans fleeing their homelands at various times. Fine. But I would contend that those of us who are against letting the Syrian immigrants into Europe see the immigrants as fundamentally different, and that is because of the ideology, religion and culture they are bringing with them – they are inherently hostile to “Western values” (and yes, those values are hard to neatly pin down). I don’t think it goes much deeper than that. Am I wrong? Is my personal experience worth nothing and must I have the Perry M’s of the world try to shame me into submission?

  • Tarrou

    The property of a nation is held in the trust of the people, and administered by their elected representatives. This is not “more rights than individuals”, this is the same rights as individuals. Individuals do not lose their ability to own land because they own only a small part of it, and theoretically. If it helps, think of the government as a manager, which administers the public lands, and can transfer parts of them to various entities (defense, parks, etc.), sell, and lease the land to private owners (cattle farmers, oil companies, etc.). The majority of the US, and of every nation I am aware of, is publicly owned. Private land is the minority of space, and these land rights extend to the ocean (territorial waters) as well.

    My fellow libertarians may disagree, but this is the way the world is structured. There is no nation on earth without borders and some sort of restriction over who can cross them. The hardline view here is a ridiculous one. If it were possible to maintain a nation without a border, someone would have done so in the previous ten thousand years. What we see is quite the opposite, actually. Those who cannot control their borders generally find themselves a small and oppressed minority in a larger nation which can.

  • Tomsmith

    My fellow libertarians may disagree, but this is the way the world is structured.

    Absolutely. And the challenge is to decide on the best course of action given reality.

    The hardline view here is a ridiculous one. If it were possible to maintain a nation without a border, someone would have done so in the previous ten thousand years. What we see is quite the opposite, actually. Those who cannot control their borders generally find themselves a small and oppressed minority in a larger nation which can.

    I agree. It is not possible to unilaterally declare no borders in a world of states, borders, peoples and cultures, with governments that hand out other people’s money to those they feel deserve it. To do so would be suicide for the people of that nation.

  • I have no way of knowing it with certainty, but given that the father (a man not shy of media contact and not averse to blaming others for the situation he had a large hand in putting his children into) has not mentioned being threatened in Turkey, I think it is safe to assume they were not until we learn otherwise.

    I doubt this family was specifically threatened by anyone while they were still in Rojava either, so I guess you think they should have stayed in Kobane. I don’t think the man who leads this family is anything other than a fool (he got his son killed) and a coward (he could have gone to Southern Kurdistan and joined the Peshmerga if the YPG was too Marxist for him, and also lead his family to the safety of Erbil), but that’s a different question. I’m just not going to let some westerner like you claim Turkey is a safe haven for a Rojava Kurd.

  • PeterT

    If all land were private, then a nation’s borders would also be the borders of some private individuals who happened to live at the perimeter of the nation. A ‘nation without borders’ would then be identical to a land without property rights, as crossing into the border would also be trespass.

    These individual property owners may be overwhelmed by the number of immigrants and might prefer to charge for persons to cross rather than have to police the border. In that case, to the extent that preventing immigrants from entering the nation has value to property owners in the interior of the country, they should be prepared to compensate the people at the border to maintain border security.

    It is not hard to see how this could evolve to something similar to what we have already, with governments in charge of border control.

  • Perry Metzger

    “If all land were private, then a nation’s borders would also be the borders of some private individuals who happened to live at the perimeter of the nation. A ‘nation without borders’ would then be identical to a land without property rights” — the latter conclusion does not follow from the former. Clearly people can prohibit others from crossing their own land. What they can’t do is prohibit them from crossing the land of people who have no objections to them crossing. An open border in a libertarian society implies that no one is trying to stop people from crossing other people’s land, at least when those other people don’t object. It does not somehow imply that people would get the right to cross willy-nilly wherever and whenever they liked.

    And again, the issue we face with the “they can’t come to my country” crowd is that you don’t own the whole country, and if the owner of the home someone wants to rent or buy doesn’t object to them renting or buying it, it isn’t your business any further.

  • RickC

    Can I ask how immigration would work in Perry’s and the others making this argument’s what? an-cap libertarian setting? As I understand it this would mean all real property would be privately held. Correct? Would not mass immigration be even more problematic or even more curtailed than it is now? I can visualize some small amount of economic immigration being allowed by these property owners to meet their labor needs but I’m having trouble seeing the “free to move and work wherever one wants” thing playing out in that setting. Would not the borders that keep people out be even more rigid? Would getting rid of the state actually create the opposite effect of what Perry envisions?

  • Perry Metzger

    “Can I ask how immigration would work in Perry’s and the others making this argument’s what?” — are you familiar with how people might decide to move from Chicago to Los Angeles? They would do the same thing, except the cities would have different names.

    There’s nothing inherently hard here. People “immigrate” from Chicago to Miami all the time after all with no trouble.

  • Tomsmith

    An open border in a libertarian society implies that no one is trying to stop people from crossing other people’s land, at least when those other people don’t object. It does not somehow imply that people would get the right to cross willy-nilly wherever and whenever they liked.

    Borders would be much tighter under ancap because setting foot on the land of someone else, without the government “guarantee” of security, is a personal act of aggression and would be met with force in return. All land bordering dangerous or lawless areas would have some kind of mutual security arrangement, probably as someone else said with financial contribution from lands not immediately on the border. No immigarnts would be walking across Europe as they are now in such a world- they would instead be getting shot at and hunted down by militia and people who like to do that kind of thing. It would be more easily seen as the invasion it actually is under ancap.

  • There’s nothing inherently hard here. People “immigrate” from Chicago to Miami all the time after all with no trouble.

    Without the FAA, federal highways, state-run roads I think immigrating from Chicago to Miami would be rather different than it would be in a purely libertarian society. Wouldn’t airspace by privately owned in a purely libertarian society?

    In any case you still haven’t answered Chip’s question (and my question) – should Gazans be allowed to immigrate to Israel? If not why not?

  • There’s nothing inherently hard here. People “immigrate” from Chicago to Miami all the time after all with no trouble.

    Without the FAA, federal highways, state-run roads in a libertarian society I think immigrating from Chicago to Miami would be rather different than it is today. Wouldn’t airspace by privately owned in a purely libertarian society?

    In any case you still haven’t answered Chip’s question (and my question) – should Gazans be allowed to immigrate to Israel? If not why not?

  • Tomsmith

    Perry, quoting selectively and ignoring questions and substantive points amounts to very weak argument. It reads as if you are just posturing now.

  • RickC

    I see PeterT beat me to it and stated it better than I. I also find Perry’s response an oversimplification of what in reality is a massively complex problem. The issue is that, unlike PeterT’s example, we would not be looking at just border properties and property owners. Take a territory the size of the U.S., erase the national and state borders and replace them with a patchwork of tens of thousands, of individual properties and property owners with irregular borders. Movement across territory becomes problematic without commonly held property, at the very least for right-of-ways and transportation. We are then are right back , as PeterT points out, to a very similar organizational arrangement or government of some kind. If that organizational arrangement is any form democratic representation then the people can vote in any set of restrictions they choose on immigration and that choice probably won’t meet Perry’s desired outcome. Also, Perry, you should take a trip down to the Texas or Arizona border with Mexico and spend some time with the property owners there. Ask them if people aren’t crossing their property willy-nilly.

  • Tarrou

    Now Perry is just out in the weeds, arguing about some theoretical anarcho-capitalistic dream world that never existed and never will. If libertarianism is to have any sort of real effect, you need to come back out of the LSD cloud and deal with the real world as it exists, you know the one with the refugees you’re so enamored of. In the ancap utopia, there are no refugees, because war and tribalism and nations and actual human beings don’t exist.

    So, if we’re going to talk about immigration, and a related but NOT IDENTICAL issue of refugee crises, then let’s deal with the world we have. One with borders, national governments, and an awful lot of people who think having those things is a good idea.

    Now, I start from the position that in general, immigration is a good sign for a host country. If people want to come to where you live, you’re probably doing something right. And I am fully in sympathy with those who want to improve their lot in life by going somewhere richer. The question is, when does the influx of non-natives destabilize the social order set up by them, and become a net cost to the society? You can believe, if you like, that this number is higher or lower than what we currently face (I think it’s higher, personally), but you cannot deny the issue at the base. And you cannot argue as if there is no one on earth with a reason to control borders and limit immigration and refugees. Once more, this is simple fact.

    Given the basic psychological fact of tribalism, people will self-sort into groups. The maximum size of these groups in practice is the nation-state. One can bemoan this fact of humanity, but one cannot ignore it. To do so makes libertarianism no better a fit to the real world than communism was. Communism denied a basic tenet of human nature, that people will not work their hardest for someone else’s benefit. When projected to the larger field, this holds true for nations as well. And it is seemingly this base truth Perry and the rest of the ancaps are denying.

  • JohnW

    Why is adherence to the extremely violent and intolerant religio-political movement that is Islam not a good reason to prevent people from entering the country?

    Because the political genius that is George Bush says it’s a religion of peace – and pathological altruists like the sound of that.

  • Cristina

    “Given the basic psychological fact of tribalism, people will self-sort into groups. The maximum size of these groups in practice is the nation-state. One can bemoan this fact of humanity, but one cannot ignore it. To do so makes libertarianism no better a fit to the real world than communism was. Communism denied a basic tenet of human nature, that people will not work their hardest for someone else’s benefit. When projected to the larger field, this holds true for nations as well. And it is seemingly this base truth Perry and the rest of the ancaps are denying.”

    🙂

  • Shlomo Maistre

    In a society where everything is privately owned or otherwise jointly owned/administered according to private contract, transportation and even just commuting to work become vastly more complex and difficult endeavors than they currently.

    Immigration likewise becomes far more challenging – even just simply as a logistical matter.

    A world with privately owned airspace, no state-run roads, no public metro/subway/train systems would in the real world be an unmitigated disaster in effect (even if not in principle) for the endeavor of free movement.

  • Tomsmith

    And it is seemingly this base truth Perry and the rest of the ancaps are denying.

    I don’t think this is a failure of anarcho capitalism. More a failure of imagination to think that no institutions currently run by the state will exist in an ancap world. Armies, police, border security. All of these will exist of course, because they are needed by people.

  • Cristina

    “All of these will exist of course, because they are needed by people.”
    Care to explain, Tom?

  • Perry Metzger

    “Shlomo Maistre” says: “Without the FAA, federal highways, state-run roads I think immigrating from Chicago to Miami would be rather different than it would be in a purely libertarian society”

    Ah, the usual “who would build the roads”. The least original argument known against my position.

    “Wouldn’t airspace by privately owned in a purely libertarian society?” — probably not, but even if it was, this is no different than the question “wouldn’t homes be privately owned in a purely libertarian society”, which they would be, and so what? People seem to be willing to rent homes to “foreigners”, and those that don’t want to don’t have to. Transport is no different.

    “In any case you still haven’t answered Chip’s question (and my question) – should Gazans be allowed to immigrate to Israel? If not why not?” — I did more or less answer, and also noted that the answer invokes a can of worms that would make this thread even worse. You just didn’t notice that, but that’s not the same thing. (Search for the word “monoethnic” if you missed it.)

  • nemesis

    @Tom Smith
    I agree. It is not possible to unilaterally declare no borders in a world of states, borders, peoples and cultures, with governments that hand out other people’s money to those they feel deserve it. To do so would be suicide for the people of that nation.

    Hasn’t seemed to have stopped the E.U. from trying.

  • Perry Metzger

    Tomsmith says: “Perry, quoting selectively and ignoring questions and substantive points amounts to very weak argument” — no, it amounts to having a day job and not being that interested in replying to 99% of what is being said. A desire by you to have me respond does not create an obligation on my part.

    Most of the arguments against my position amount to fairly straightforward logical fallacies, some with outright bigotry added for added flavoring. I don’t feel it is particularly necessary to answer most of that, as an ordinary reader of ordinary intelligence will notice the logical fallacies and in general will notice that the bigots being bigoted. (Indeed, many have — this thread has a much wider audience than those participating in it.)

    Sometimes I notice something I find particularly amusing or interesting to answer, but most of the time I have no real interest in replying.

    Anyway, if you care to pay my consulting rate, I’m happy to answer all comments, even the majority that I find largely uninteresting. Otherwise, feel free to presume if you like that I have no counterarguments and that your ideas must be right.

  • Mr Ed

    Perry M’s failure to engage with the Gaza open border point is disappointing. I hope he has overlooked it, he does have a lot to respond to, and presumably a job to do as well. Gaza could pretty much afford to open its borders to all incomers, (if they can tunnel in) as it is so awful there is little prospect of, say, a vast influx of Hindus moving there and changing the character of the place. Moving to Gaza would be a real test of motivation.

    I am curious about this part of the post:

    I’m afraid I feel rather personally about the current immigration crises in the United States and Europe….

    …I take the matter quite personally because my own father was once a war refugee. Indeed, he was once a war refugee who, because he was a member of a non-Christian religion, was denied refuge in more or less every civilized part of the world.

    The implication might be drawn that the civilised world and the Christian world were essentially the same. As for feeling personally about it, is that saying something like ‘My personal familial experience gives me an insight denied to many others‘ or ‘My genetics determines my type of logic‘ the racial polylogism that von Mises warned us about, and which I mention for completeness as I doubt it, or is it saying something like ‘If I were not my father’s son, aware of his life, I might think differently, but I don’t‘ or is it saying ‘To hell with logic and reason, I believe this as essentially a matter of faith and neither reason nor evidence will shake me‘, or is it just an introduction to why he has been thinking this, or something else?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Mr Ed,

    Perry M’s failure to engage with the Gaza open border point is disappointing.

    In fairness, Perry did say the following (which earlier I missed)

    Such a discussion would serve no purpose because it would immediately degenerate into a discussion of whether single-religion or monoethnic “homeland” states that specifically permit only immigration by members of those groups are a good idea in the first place. My answer would be no, they’re not a good idea. (Indeed, I don’t even see states as a good idea, period.) We would then get into a prolonged argument about the legitimacy of the State of Israel and I don’t care to do that today, as it isn’t the topic at hand. Feel free to believe this somehow alters the substance of our discussion.

    Perry wisely does not dispute the reality that were his favored immigration policy implemented by Israel it would lead to a second Holocaust of the Jewish people.

    Interestingly, he also admits that he does not see states as a good idea anyway.

    I’ll just say that the following is quite revealing of Perry’s position:

    We would then get into a prolonged argument about the legitimacy of the State of Israel and I don’t care to do that today, as it isn’t the topic at hand. Feel free to believe this somehow alters the substance of our discussion.

    The key is to realize that the consequences of the policy Perry advocates (such as another genocide of the Jewish people) is not, in Perry’s view, the topic at hand. Dogmatic moralism is by definition divorced from reality! This is the same guy who said:

    Anyone proposing that immigration from one country to another be stopped through the use of coercive state violence is, morally speaking, doing the equivalent of proposing to beat on the hands of a drowning man desperately trying to climb out of the sea.

    What can one say to such blindness?

  • Simon Just

    What can one say to such blindness?

    Says the guy who thinks hereditary rulers makes perfect sense 😉

  • RickC

    Shlomo Maistre, I agree. It is also interesting that Perry set up the argument as if it’s free, unlimited immigration or death for the refugees. As if there are no other possible short or long term solutions to a refugee crisis.

    I hate to keep piling on but Perry just isn’t responding to substantive questions or he’s responding with snark and name calling. His responses to the question of whether Israel should open its borders to all immigrants have taken the form of dodges rather than straight answers. Responding to the question with deflections about not wanting to get into side issues like single religion or monoethnic states just aren’t cutting it for me. The issue is open borders and free, unlimited immigration which Perry is for in all cases. Perry, feel free to correct me on that. The question then stands, should Israel have an open borders, unlimited immigration policy?

    As to your response to Tomsmith about not wanting to be bothered with responding to questions or substantive points, well, you started the discussion did you not? Or was it really more of a lecture?

  • JohnW

    Suppose Perry M said yes, Israel should open its borders, what would you say then?
    It seems to me that the argument against open borders has to be more fundamental than mere consistency – there has to be some underlying principle at stake, for example, does the principle of individual rights apply to those who in thought, custom and deed deny the very principle of individual rights?

    There was a time when I thought that all we had to do was open the gates and be patient – Mahometans would eventually come to share our point of view and all would be well.
    This was an opinion which I put to Dr. Chris Tame in 2003 but he was having none of it.
    I have say that having reflected upon the situation more thoroughly, I now share his conviction that there is no such thing as a ‘moderate’ devotion to a religion which is alleged to be perfect, complete, universal and eternal: ‘moderation’ in such a context,can only be a synonym for ‘bad’ or ‘without.’
    ‘Moderation,’ in an ideological context that explicitly denies the laws of identity, causality and the reality of this planet can only mean one thing – and that is the problem.

  • Perry Metzger

    Quoth “Shlomo Maistre”: “Perry wisely does not dispute the reality that were his favored immigration policy implemented by Israel it would lead to a second Holocaust of the Jewish people” — I said no such thing.

  • Cristina

    “Says the guy who thinks hereditary rulers makes perfect sense”
    The notion of hereditary rulers is not worse than the democratic election of demagogues who buy votes with other people’s money. They are less influenced by the fad of the moment.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    “I said no such thing”

    I didn’t say you said it. I said you did not dispute it.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Suppose Perry M said yes, Israel should open its borders, what would you say then?
    It seems to me that the argument against open borders has to be more fundamental than mere consistency – there has to be some underlying principle at stake, for example, does the principle of individual rights apply to those who in thought, custom and deed deny the very principle of individual rights?

    There’s nothing wrong with pointing out the disastrous consequences of a policy that is favored entirely on moral grounds.

    I think that nations exist and that nations will always exist in one way or another. Border control is not only a duty of a nation’s government – it is intrinsic to the definiton of a nation. So, therefore, given that nations do and will continue to exist, the least bad immigration policy is the one that generally has the least bad consequences.

    Naturally, how one measures and – even more so – defines the goodness/badness of the consequences of various immigration policies depends on what one wishes to achieve.

    Perry’s moral argument for unrestricted immigration purports to not achieve anything in particular except the completely free movement of people in general. Were Western nations to adopt his policy en masse such an end (along with other rather unfortunate effects) would be achieved in the short run but the long run is another story.

    Freedom of movement is generally a good thing, but governance is complex and the effects of policies (yes even those like Perry’s that are devised in ivory towers) have consequences.

  • Dom

    The failure to address Israeli’s borders has become something of an open wound here. I’m glad. The one answer that PM gave is wholly disingenuous, and certainly it is not the conversation stopper that he believes it to be.

    The OP presents an argument in starkly absolutist terms. It talks of borders, not borders for western countries. It talks of morality, not relative morality. Even the story of PM’s father is actually more meaningful in Israel, where it can be repeated thousands of times. There’s is no doubt that according to the OP israel’s borders should be open, and they should be open to people who believe that the whole of the country is properly theirs as a matter of property rights, and the current occupiers should be exterminated. This, they believe is god’s will. They tried it before.

    I hope Israel never opens its borders, and I’m certain they never will. But we have the same issues. 9/11, Boston marathon, it’s goes on and on. They want to see us dead. We should be careful when letting them in.

  • Tomsmith

    Most of the arguments against my position amount to fairly straightforward logical fallacies, some with outright bigotry added for added flavoring. I don’t feel it is particularly necessary to answer most of that, as an ordinary reader of ordinary intelligence will notice the logical fallacies and in general will notice that the bigots being bigoted. (Indeed, many have — this thread has a much wider audience than those participating in it.)

    Sometimes I notice something I find particularly amusing or interesting to answer, but most of the time I have no real interest in replying.

    Then why did you write the article and respond furiously to begin with?

    You haven’t pointed out any logical fallacies. Are the readers of samizdata so sub-ordinary that they don’t even notice the hideous blunders made by their fellow posters or by themselves? If this is the case then why does someone of your brilliant intellect post here?

    At the end of the day the above is just you bragging about being a intellectually brilliant snob. Ok. Can we move on now that you have established your superiority?

    Anyway, if you care to pay my consulting rate, I’m happy to answer all comments, even the majority that I find largely uninteresting.

    You sound insecure. Maybe you have realised you wrote a pretty silly article?

    Otherwise, feel free to presume if you like that I have no counterarguments and that your ideas must be right.

    I would rather talk about your ideas as raised in the article you bothered to write (why?), and which now seem very elusive.

  • Tomsmith

    This article by Perry is a bit like like an article in the Guardian; carefully calculated to cause a reaction, utterly impractical and not grounded in any kind of reality, and written with the dismissive air of one who looks down upon those he is lecturing. Frankly I am surprised to see it here.

  • Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    I am not an AnCapper, but i think that AnCapTopia would be defended by lots of volunteer militia. And if your home is guarded adequately, you wouldn’t worry who was on the roads, or why they were there. Presumably someone would find a way to employ them, if they wanted work, and they would be integrated into the local economy.

  • Nicholas Gray,

    i think that AnCapTopia would be defended by lots of volunteer militia.

    Why do you think that? How does a volunteer militia stand up against the 101st Airborne division?

    And if your home is guarded adequately, you wouldn’t worry who was on the roads, or why they were there.

    Define “adequately”.

    Presumably someone would find a way to employ them

    Why do you presume this? What if your presumption is wrong?

    Do you have experience running a nation? Have you shadowed/apprenticed with someone who has run a nation to learn from him? What about a province/city/town?

    I have not run a nation or a province/city/town. I have not apprenticed with someone who has. But I don’t consider AnCapTopia to be a viable solution to anything except someone’s need to construct in his mind’s eye a form of governance that has absolutely nothing to do with reality.

  • Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    Well, ‘King Solomon’, here in Australia we have lots of organisations dedicated to fighting fires, all voluntary. Presumably even a land without governments could do the same.
    As for jobs, lots of private organisations help their kin find jobs and housing in new countries.
    As for ‘adequately’, nobody can get in unless you let them. We are, after all, talking about refugees, disorganised individuals and families, a lot like gypsies.

  • Well, ‘King Solomon’, here in Australia we have lots of organisations dedicated to fighting fires, all voluntary. Presumably even a land without governments could do the same.

    Oh, I see. There are volunteer organizations in Australia that fight fires. Therefore, it follows, we do not need governments. Am I getting that right?

    In any case, I was asking how you know there would be a volunteer militia and how that volunteer militia would do against the 101st Airborne division.

    As for jobs, lots of private organisations help their kin find jobs and housing in new countries.

    Certainly.

    There are also millions of people (in the USA for example) who rely on the government for their welfare, food, housing, healthcare, education – all of which are provided with stolen money via state coercion. I’m glad that your mind’s eye has established that AnCapTopia, which is devoid of such state coercion, will not encounter any difficulties with civil unrest resulting from the massive increase in the number of jobs/healthcare/donations/food needed for millions of people in order to survive.

    I guess I’m not entirely convinced that the outcome would be so beneficial in reality, but is your theory really about what happens in reality?

    As for ‘adequately’, nobody can get in unless you let them.

    So AnCapTopia’s volunteer militia does just fine against the 101st Airborne/ISIS/IDF/Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Of course.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Um, in my country and if I’m not mistaken some few others in the Anglosphere such as Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and New Zealand, military service is not required: we have an all-volunteer (though not entirely unpaid) military.

    I don’t see any reason why AnCaptopia, if it could exist, couldn’t have an all-volunteer or voluntary defense force, which we might call a militia. Unless someone wants to propose a definition of “militia” precluding that possibility.

    By the way, my hometown still has a volunteer fire department. :>)

  • Um, in my country and if I’m not mistaken some few others in the Anglosphere such as Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and New Zealand, military service is not required: we have an all-volunteer (though not entirely unpaid) military.

    Are these militaries funded entirely by voluntary contributions? I think the answer is no.

    Would AnCapTopia fund any of its military (soldiers’ salaries, weaponry, R&D, supply chain, training) with money stolen via government coercion? I think the answer is no.

    So those nations you cite are unrelated to AnCapTopia.

    But even if Canada’s military (for example) was entirely funded by voluntary contributions, its security is still guaranteed by the undisputed military superpower and so it would still prove nothing except that a country can survive as AnCapTopia (with a socialist domestic policy lol) so long as a global superpower ensures nobody attacks it.

    I don’t see any reason why AnCaptopia, if it could exist, couldn’t have an all-volunteer or voluntary defense force, which we might call a militia. Unless someone wants to propose a definition of “militia” precluding that possibility.

    Sure.

    I guess one question is – how long would said nation survive.

    Maybe dogs could do just fine with one leg. We don’t see any such dogs that are around today so there are two possibilities: no such species of dog has ever existed or that species of dog went extinct. Both possibilities tell us something.

  • Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    Where do these Iranian guards come from? I thought we were talking about Europe and it’s refugee problems- not military units.
    If you’re wondering how an AnCap society could defend itself from aggressive neighbours, you should ask the Ancappers, who would have thought more about this than I have. I am a minarchist, and believe in participism. This means that if you choose to become a citizen, you would need to participate in public life by time-sharing some government function, such as joining the militia in your local county or shire, or canton. In exchange for eleven months of sporadic parttime service and training, you would directly vote in one month (as well as all others on the same schedule) on any and all laws of your locality. If you don’t choose to be a citizen, you can lawfully use all public facilities, but you can’t vote about them. Local militias could co-ordinate with other local militias, as allied forces (NOT united). Such a co-alition of militias could defend their lands.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Shlomo, Nicholas made it clear at the outset that he’s not an “AnCapper.” One is justified in thinking that this indicates doesn’t believe AnCaptopia can exist in the first place.

    I indicated the same thing: I said, “if it could exist.”

    So both he and I are talking about hypotheticals in which we don’t even believe. I see no need, however, to justify my own remark. I said, “I don’t see why….” You can show me why, if you really care.

    By the way, the countries I mentioned do NOT have conscription, and neither do lots of others. Therefore conscription is not necessary for a powerful defense force, which was the boundary condition to be met.

    But just to humor you: Perhaps if some country proposed to go all-out World Empire on the territory known as AnCaptopia, the residents of the latter would voluntarily contribute to financial support for the unconscripted defense force. Those folks would look at things somewhat differently from the way we mere mortals do, you know. They might actually have a sense of self-preservation and the wit to recognize a locomotive barrelling down the tracks at them at Mach 5.0.

  • Mr Ed

    Anyway, if you care to pay my consulting rate, I’m happy to answer all comments, even the majority that I find largely uninteresting. Otherwise, feel free to presume if you like that I have no counterarguments and that your ideas must be right.

    Here’s a free tip. If you are ever in litigation, settle before you take that attitude onto the witness stand, lest you make an expensive prat of yourself.

  • Shlomo, Nicholas made it clear at the outset that he’s not an “AnCapper.” One is justified in thinking that this indicates doesn’t believe AnCaptopia can exist in the first place.

    The fact that Nicholas claims to not be an AnCapper does not somehow shield the assertions he makes regarding AnCapTopia from legitimate criticism.

    You can show me why, if you really care.

    You cited examples to prove a point and I demonstrated how those examples are insufficient to prove said point.

    Therefore conscription is not necessary for a powerful defense force, which was the boundary condition to be met.

    You’re right that conscription is not necessary for a powerful defense force, but my point still stands: all of the militaries you cite are funded by stolen money acquired via state coercion. Since AnCapTopia doesn’t fund its military in this way, your examples only further indicate how little AnCapTopia has to do with reality.

    But just to humor you: Perhaps if some country proposed to go all-out World Empire on the territory known as AnCaptopia, the residents of the latter would voluntarily contribute to financial support for the unconscripted defense force. Those folks would look at things somewhat differently from the way we mere mortals do, you know. They might actually have a sense of self-preservation and the wit to recognize a locomotive barrelling down the tracks at them at Mach 5.0.

    Yep! Which brings us back to my one-legged dog example. Perhaps dogs could survive and thrive in the wild with one leg. We do not see any such dogs, so either one-legged dogs have never existed or were killed off.

    Lets remember that Nicholas noted above in his discussion of AnCapTopia:

    Well, ‘King Solomon’, here in Australia we have lots of organisations dedicated to fighting fires, all voluntary. Presumably even a land without governments could do the same.

    On the one hand we have 99% of recorded human history and common sense in favor of communities being run by governments of one form or another.

    On the other hand we have 1% of recorded human history and Nicholas’s presumption in favor of communities without governments.

  • I thought we were talking about Europe and it’s refugee problems- not military units.

    You are the one who originally brought up AnCapTopia. I initially thought your comment was off-topic but then I generously assumed that you are astute enough to notice the parallels between your comments on AnCapTopia and Perry’s argument in favor of unrestricted immigration. Perhaps I was misguided in assuming you realized the parallels, so I’ll explain one of them to you.

    Neither your argument for AnCapTopia nor Perry’s argument for unrestricted immigration appear to consider real-world consequences to be worth accounting for.

    If you’re wondering how an AnCap society could defend itself from aggressive neighbours, you should ask the Ancappers, who would have thought more about this than I have.

    I’ll count that as conceding a point.

    I am a minarchist, and believe in participism. This means that if you choose to become a citizen, you would need to participate in public life by time-sharing some government function, such as joining the militia in your local county or shire, or canton. In exchange for eleven months of sporadic parttime service and training, you would directly vote in one month (as well as all others on the same schedule) on any and all laws of your locality. If you don’t choose to be a citizen, you can lawfully use all public facilities, but you can’t vote about them. Local militias could co-ordinate with other local militias, as allied forces (NOT united). Such a co-alition of militias could defend their lands.

    This is so cute. Seriously. I am in awe of the tenderness of heart, the purity of spirit, the wondrous naiveté. Beautiful.

  • Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    Shlomo, the heads of those fire brigades, i.e. the government of them, are the older, experienced firefighters.
    And if you’re still contending that a trained army can beat motivated volunteers, think back to the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan, when the occupiers were worn down by the constant attrition of the resistance. Having atom bombs didn’t help the Russians, nor did all the other weapons of modern warfare. This could well be an example that AnCappers, and Minarchists, could emulate.

  • You previously said:

    Well, ‘King Solomon’, here in Australia we have lots of organisations dedicated to fighting fires, all voluntary. Presumably even a land without governments could do the same.

    Which seems to indicate that since Australia has organizations of voluntary fire brigades, no government is necessary. Now you say:

    Shlomo, the heads of those fire brigades, i.e. the government of them, are the older, experienced firefighters.

    Which seems to indicate that you consider government to be composed of people who are older.

    I can only conclude that you do not know what the definition of the term “government” is.

    And if you’re still contending that a trained army can beat motivated volunteers, think back to the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan, when the occupiers were worn down by the constant attrition of the resistance. Having atom bombs didn’t help the Russians, nor did all the other weapons of modern warfare. This could well be an example that AnCappers, and Minarchists, could emulate.

    I’m confused. Are you suggesting that Afghanistan was some AnCapTopia/minarchist society when it fought the Soviets? If not then what’s your point?

    I never argued that motivation does not matter. I never said so-called AnCappers/minarchists can’t learn military strategy from history.

    The Afghans were conquered by the Russians and only eventually forced them out due to training and vast military supplies provided by the USA.

  • Mr Black

    This is why Libertarian Purists give the rest a bad name. When you’re prepared to sacrifice people, countries or even entire cultures so that you can feel morally pure as the invaders kill you, then you’ve lost all touch with reality. Debating such ridiculous sentiment is an utter waste of time, unless to demonstrate for all those reading how morally bankrupt such a position is.

  • Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    “I am not an AnCapper”. That was my first statement, so I have not conceded anything. As for the meaning of the term ‘government’, one of the meanings is ‘direction, control.’ the captains of the fire brigades fulfil that definition. In any case, they are still voluntary groups.
    As for Afghanistan, I was showing that an army might be, over the long term, useless. If we really had a situation where an authoritarian state wanted to overwhelm what was left of the Earth, I think I would try the Utopian option- offer a massive reward for the heads of the invading officers, or the central leader. Whilst this hasn’t been tried, there seems no reason that it wouldn’t work.

  • Tomsmith

    This argument about whether anarcho capitalism could provide things that people need like armies turns the conversation from the really important question: what should be done now in a Europe facing this problem?

    It is the kind of thing Perry was doing whenever questioned.

    Lots of people believe that ancap can provide the things that people need and that is a perfectly legitimate belief system. But it isn’t relevant to current reality.

  • Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    Perry, whilst Jesus would have let good Samaritans in, and a roman centurion or two, I don’t think he’d have let anyone into heaven. Probably only redheads, like himself.

  • Ljh

    When faced by an army of young fit motivated and enterprising male immigrants fleeing corrupt/violent/dysfunctional societies, surely it is our duty to turn them back to fight the corruption/violence/dysfunction? How else can those societies change except by pressures from within?

  • Perry Metzger

    “Shlomo Maistre” says:

    “I said no such thing”

    I didn’t say you said it. I said you did not dispute it.

    Rather than being inflammatory (say suggesting that you have yet to dispute various properties of your ancestors professions, species, etc.) I will simply state that being impolite and insulting, as well as insisting on language like “you have failed to dispute that your position means a second holocaust!”, you are doing yourself no favors whatsoever.

    If you care to pay my consulting rate, I’ll happily spend as much time as you like, subject to contract negotiation, replying to your various claims. If you do not wish to do that, you can presume that I am generally uninterested in your opinions and no particular wish to read them in detail or to reply to them.

  • Perry Metzger

    In general: a number of people in this thread appear to believe that by heaping abuse upon other people they are encouraging a discussion with said people. I see little reason to read the comments of such individuals, let alone to reply to them, and in a thread with over 200 comments to date, there is little to no point in replying to everything said in the first place.

    I wrote my original short essay to state my position, and I believe it largely stands alone. Many of the things said in this thread are answered in my original remarks. A desire on the part of others to engage me in further discussion, especially those with impolite interaction styles, creates no obligation on my part to reply.

  • ajf

    Then don’t reply! Your replies are not helping your cause, if your cause is to convince us that you’re in the right.

  • Tomsmith

    In general: a number of people in this thread appear to believe that by heaping abuse upon other people they are encouraging a discussion with said people. I see little reason to read the comments of such individuals, let alone to reply to them, and in a thread with over 200 comments to date, there is little to no point in replying to everything said in the first place.

    You think you are not heaping abuse and stirring reaction?

    I wrote my original short essay to state my position, and I believe it largely stands alone. Many of the things said in this thread are answered in my original remarks. A desire on the part of others to engage me in further discussion, especially those with impolite interaction styles, creates no obligation on my part to reply.

    Your original essay characterises opponents of unlimited immigration as immoral, stupid murderers. You then fail to answer virtually all of the points raised against this, particularly the Israel question and points raised against your assumption that an ancap geographical area would allow free movement, fail to answer any real world issues your stance might raise (but ancap), again frequently dismiss your opponents as beneath you in terms of intelligence, and then storm off as if offended.

    I agree with you, it would be good if you stopped typing now because you make libertarianism look elitist and impractical in the extreme. If your intention was to inflame opinion then I think material of this quality should have been aimed higher. Who knows, perhaps you could still pitch it to the guardian and draw thousands of angry comments which you could then ignore?

    I will avoid your articles from now on.

  • Snorri Godhi

    In general: a number of people in this thread appear to believe that by heaping abuse upon other people they are encouraging a discussion with said people.

    Projection.

    Then don’t reply! Your replies are not helping your cause, if your cause is to convince us that you’re in the right.

    What ajf said.

    On the positive side, if this post was aimed at maximizing the number of comments, it certainly succeeded. Lots of well thought comments, too. I am not sure that there is “way over the usual percentage of excellent comments” as Julie said; but certainly not way under the usual percentage, though some people (and i won’t mention any names, but the initials are P.M.) would dearly like to think otherwise.

  • Snorri Godhi

    In related news, Angela Merkel is reported to have said:

    The concern of quite a few European politicians that this help will attract more refugees is disgraceful

    In other words, it is disgraceful to believe that people respond to incentives.

    NB: the article at the link, though on the BBC, is an opinion piece by a German professor. Apparently, academics who don’t understand that people respond to incentives, are not to be found only in the Anglosphere. There is some Schadenfreude in that.

  • Niall Kilmartin

    Astonishingly to me, despite 205 comments (maybe more by the time I hit ‘post’) all of which I’ve read (some quickly), an omission in the OP’s history has gone unremarked till now. 🙂

    As he says, 75 years ago many Jews in Europe were seeking to immigrate. He does not remark that at the same time (75 years ago almost to the day, as I write) a large number of Germans were seeking to immigrate to Britain. Churchill used much state violence to discourage them and eventually they reluctantly decided not to make the trip. Not pragmatism but morality caused Churchill to treat these Jews and these Germans very differently. Morality also caused him to screen refugees for German agents. (This was of course done with the slowness, ineptness, and occasional bleak comedy we expect from all state action.)

    If the Germans could have tricked us into letting them cross the channel peacefully, they would have been delighted. As Clauswitz says in “On War’, “The aggressor is always peace-loving; he would prefer to take over our country unopposed.”

    It is an empirical question whether any group of would-be immigrants correspond in any given ratios to the OP’s picture of drowning men clutching the gunwale of a boat, or are economic migrants, or are more likely to raise the risks to natives in a country receiving them than themselves in danger where they came from, or are short-term or long-term invaders in thick or thin disguise. (It is also worth noting that if the invasion attempt had been launched in 1940, a British sailor might have found himself mid-channel stamping on the hand of a German soldier trying to climb into his boat – and have been doing a just act.)

    The OP has not given a clear answer to the frequent questions what Israel’s immigration policy should be, so I’m not expecting a clear comment on the above. I agree with Christina that the arguments (and self-righteousness) of the OP are too much in the style of SWJs. I likewise agree with Shlomo that the OP’s style is more likely to stir prejudice than allay it.

    For the rest, if you remember just one thing from the OP’s post and the 206+ comments, let it be ‘the frollickingmole’. Facts and experience are the best antidote to prejudice, whether of SWJs or others.

  • Tarrou

    So, allow me to summarize: Perry believes that western nations must allow in, and pay for the transit of all people who ever want to come to their countries, with any motivation, carrying any sort of weaponry, belonging to any conceivable organization, because to fail to do this would be the morally identical thing to murder, and the Holocaust.

    Everyone who thinks this is a bit daft is a racist.

    Everyone who has a basic argument will be pointed to the fairyland of AnCapVille for instruction in the mad ravings of the internets, because that’s relevant. >.>

    Then Perry will complain that people are taking shots at him. Which I am, because this was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen posted on this site. So, the TLDR?

    1: Make insane claims
    2: Call others racist
    3: Bloviate about fantasy
    4: Self-martyrdom

    This is steps one through four of the silly SJW handbook. I think Perry is over the side lads. Do try not to tread on his hands.

  • Perry Metzger

    Tarrou writes: “So, allow me to summarize: Perry believes that western nations must allow in, and pay for the transit of all people who ever want to come to their countries” — no. I have said nothing whatsoever about paying for transit or anything else of the sort. No one is obligated to pay for anyone else’s transit.

    However, the refugees in question are in many cases paying thousands of dollars or tens of thousands to escape, and if they could just buy airline tickets I’m sure everything would be simpler and cheaper and safer. They can’t, of course. See this for why. Instead, they pay thousands to tens of thousands to smugglers.

  • Tomsmith

    I agree with Christina that the arguments (and self-righteousness) of the OP are too much in the style of SWJs. I likewise agree with Shlomo that the OP’s style is more likely to stir prejudice than allay it.

    Libertarianism is the original progressivism. It is a political philosophy that needs a solid grounding in anti idealism. Consequentialist libertarianism is the strongest kind for this reason. PM obviously wants nothing to do with consequences.

  • Ljh

    Tarrou: could Perry actually be a troll?

  • Snorri Godhi

    Ljh: what is a troll? if it’s someone who should not be fed, then the answer is yes.
    OTOH this feeding has resulted in many sensible comments, all from the other side as far as i can see.

  • Matra

    Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    Matra, Israel has accepted millions of refugees over the years, who were usually not wanted in the countries within which they were born. These refugees are Jews- or can’t Jews be refugees, in your thinking?

    You must be every emotional to think that. I was obviously referring to the current tidal wave of refugees/migrants coming out of Syria in particular. How many has Israel taken in whilst Perry Metzger invokes his Jewish background to shame European countries to accept the mostly Muslim refugees/migrants?

    Israel was perfectly right to make a distinction between Jewish and non-Jewish refugees. Has anyone here suggested otherwise?

    Here’s what Metzger said:

    This does bring to mind an ancient set of questions for adherents of Christianity, such as what sort of razor-wire walled internment camp designs Jesus would have favored

    Notice the reference only to “adherents of Christianity” but not, say, adherents of Judaism in Israel, and to “razor-wire” and “internment camp” (ie to remind us of the Holocaust). If that is not an attempt to bully through shaming rather than to convince us through reasoning I don’t know what is.

    as well as whom Jesus would have deported. But I digress

    Of course, it was anything but a digression. He was engaging in memetic warfare against “adherents of Christianity”, by which I assume he mostly means the nominal Christians otherwise known as Europeans in particular and Westerners in general.

    Metzger is doing the same thing that anti-Israel leftists do when they cynically compare Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to Nazi behaviour then turn around and say “oh, but we are not anti-Israel just your current policies”. Like I said above that is anything but a friendly attempt at persuasion.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I have been thinking about the analogy between turning away Jews in 1940 and turning away Muslims today.
    The most glaring problem with the analogy is numbers: if the US had let in all the Jews in the world in 1940, said Jews would still have been hugely outnumbered by WASPs and other gentiles. The same does not hold wrt Muslims. Some people here do not believe in statistics, only in anecdotes that support their case (not in anecdotes which goes against their case) but surely this statistic cannot be ignored.

    Another thing: after Hitler got to power, there were obvious humanitarian reasons to let Jews in, but before then, there was at least one valid reason to keep them out: Jewish organized crime. While this does not seem to me a good enough reason to close the door to Jews, in the end the decision was up to the Americans of the time, and i could not blame them if they did keep the Jews out for that reason … as long as they also kept out the Italians and the Irish for the same reason.

    I mention in passing that Americans have a bad habit of saying that Europeans are xenophobes when they turn Muslims away, and that “Europeans” are antisemites when the Muslims let into Europe lynch Jews.

  • Tomsmith,

    Libertarianism is the original progressivism.

    This is actually quite true in several ways.

    William of Ockham and Duns Scotus were two key intellectual progenitors of a particular kind of philosophy (encompassing several related, sometimes interwoven dogmas) that ultimately led to several movements, including what now are called Libertarianism and Progressivism.

    Just one particular example: William of Ockham’s argument in favor of epistemological nominalism is actually related to his argument in favor of limited government by way of an implicit egalitarianism that denies the hierarchy inherent to both social and spiritual order. Richard Weaver is in particular quite informative on this.

    The rabbit hole is deep.

  • Forgot to add: that implicit egalitarianism inform both Libertarianism and Progressivism, albeit in different ways.

  • JohnW

    no. I have said nothing whatsoever about paying for transit or anything else of the sort. No one is obligated to pay for anyone else’s transit.

    Perry, Is that all you’ve got?

    So everything else that Tarrou said still stands but you’re OK with that because obviously everyone who disagrees with you is an immoral and unprincipled racist because border controls “would be the initiation of violence against an entirely peaceful person” even if that “entirely peaceful person” subscribes to an ideology which demands the enslavement and cold-blooded murder of atheists such as myself?

  • Cristina

    Shlomo Maistre 5:50 am
    “This is so cute. Seriously. I am in awe of the tenderness of heart, the purity of spirit, the wondrous naiveté. Beautiful.”

    Shlomo Maistre 4:13 pm
    “implicit egalitarianism inform both Libertarianism and Progressivism, albeit in different ways.”

    Perfect!

  • Flubber

    There’s a theory out there which is often invoked when the following question is asked: “why invite mass immigration into the west when it will result in the destruction of the west?”

    One answer (that I don’t agree with) is that it is the Jews ultimate act of revenge / self preservation on the only people every to push them to the edge – white European Christians.

    Now I’m not going to accuse Perry of this – but its puzzling that his solution to the immigration Crisis is a set of behaviours from Europe that he doesn’t expect of Israel – when its bloody clear that for Israel to open its borders would be an act of suicide, but hey Europeans go for it, otherwise you’re just horrible racists…

  • Cristina

    Europe must not allow the entry of these immigrants under any circumstance.

  • Forgot to add: that implicit egalitarianism inform both Libertarianism and Progressivism, albeit in different ways.

    Depends what you mean by egalitarianism. Not many libertarians I know think everyone is ‘equal’, but the term is so elastic, who the fuck know what you mean. If you mean a lack of belief that some people are blessed and destined to rule by some imaginary guy-in-the-sky, whereas others are not… well, yeah, guilty as charged, Guv. Go on, give me a bit more rope to hang you with.

  • JohnW

    Snorri said “Another thing: after Hitler got to power, there were obvious humanitarian reasons to let Jews in, but before then, there was at least one valid reason to keep them out: Jewish organized crime.”

    In the 1930’s there was a much stronger association between the words ‘Jew’ and ‘Bolshevik, ‘Communist,’ ‘radical,’ ‘anarchist,’ and ‘terrorist’ than we have today.

  • Depends what you mean by egalitarianism. Not many libertarians I know think everyone is ‘equal’, but the term is so elastic, who the fuck know what you mean.

    Libertarianism alleges that each individual has an absolute right to his life, liberty, and property. This is an assertion of the equality of human rights to live without external interference – a form of egalitarianism.

    This is not a perfect analogy, but roughly speaking: whereas Progressivism favors an equality of positive liberty (as defined by Isaiah Berlin), Libertarianism favors an equality of negative liberty (again, as defined by Berlin).

    If you mean a lack of belief that some people are blessed and destined to rule by some imaginary guy-in-the-sky, whereas others are not… well, yeah, guilty as charged, Guv.

    Hereditary monarchy is very common in the broad sweep of human history. The House of Bourbon, the Han dynasty, the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, the Gupta dynasty, etc, etc. Monarchies often ruled enormous territories over centuries. In contrast, there has hardly ever been a major, genuinely libertarian nation/society.

    One of us lacks a belief in the imaginary but I’m not entirely convinced that that person is you.

  • This is not a perfect analogy

    It is not an analogy at all, let alone a perfect one.

    whereas Progressivism favors an equality of positive liberty (as defined by Isaiah Berlin), Libertarianism favors an equality of negative liberty (again, as defined by Berlin).

    Fuck Berlin’s definitions of anything, that is just as inane as defining altruism the way Rand does and then proceeding with a critique of Kant when no one, including Kant, actually defined altruism the way Rand did. Progressivism is enforced equality of outcomes. Libertarianism is about personal rights and says nothing about outcomes. They have nothing in common and just randomly throwing the word ‘equality’ in there is facile.

    Hereditary monarchy is very common in the broad sweep of human history

    So what? People had intestinal worms through a broad sweep of human history.

    Monarchies often ruled enormous territories over centuries. In contrast, there has hardly ever been a major, genuinely libertarian nation/society.

    That is because libertarianism is not a form of government you pillock. It is a set of views about moral theories. Moreover ponder the advances of sciences, technology, life expectancy etc. since the age of monarchies actually governing all that much beyond their palaces ended. One can make a convincing argument that your ideal form of government has been the primary cause of millennia of ignorance and the painfully slow progress of science and learning generally.

    One of us lacks a belief in the imaginary but I’m not entirely convinced that that person is you.

    Quoth person who believes in invisible imaginary entities.

  • Cristina

    Perry, Shlomo Maistre is absolutely right.
    Progressivism is, first and foremost, the egalitarian notion of the perfectibility of the man.
    Libertarianism is, first and foremost, the egalitarian notion of the universality of certain rights.
    A little bit of abstract thinking never hurts.

  • JohnW

    Perry de Havilland, perhaps this may change your view of altruism and Kant.

  • Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    Matra, probably Israel has taken in lots of current refugees, but where could we find out? Just because it’s not on OUR news doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
    And how many Middle Eastern countries are opening their doors and hearts to their fellow muslims? Saudi arabia has lots of wealth- how many camps are they supporting?

  • It is not an analogy at all, let alone a perfect one.

    You’re right.

    Progressivism is enforced equality of outcomes. Libertarianism is about personal rights and says nothing about outcomes. They have nothing in common and just randomly throwing the word ‘equality’ in there is facile.

    Libertarianism asserts the equality of human rights to life, liberty, and property. Just because it says nothing about outcomes does not mean it can’t say something about equality. The idea that Bill Gates and I have the SAME rights to our lives, liberties, and properties is actually very much about equality – equality of rights.

    To more easily understand how libertarianism and progressivism come from the same intellectual forebears read more Richard Weaver. Epistemological nominalism degrades hierarchy.

    That is because libertarianism is not a form of government you pillock. It is a set of views about moral theories.

    The fact that libertarianism is “a set of views about moral theories” does not in itself explain the remarkable dearth of examples of libertarian societies in human history. After all, lots of people have views about moral theories and many of them can point to historical results. Progressives can point to many revolutions in history, socialists can point to massive social welfare programs, the Catholic Church can point to Inquisitions, crusades, and helping to shape Western cultural mores, neoconservatives can point to plenty of wars to bring democracy to third world hell holes.

    In any case, given that no form of government has successfully implemented genuine libertarianism over any real length of time tells us something about libertarianism and reality: they don’t get along.

    Moreover ponder the advances of sciences, technology, life expectancy etc. since the age of monarchies actually governing all that much beyond their palaces ended. One can make a convincing argument that your ideal form of government has been the primary cause of millennia of ignorance and the painfully slow progress of science and learning generally.

    The thing about technological innovation is that it tends to feed on itself. In other words, the relationship between technological innovation and the potential for technological innovation is not linear. The first innovations are the hardest and as time passes recombinations of existing technologies permit more and faster technical innovation.

    In any case, I would argue that plenty of important inventions occurred in monarchies. Just a few examples:
    The seismometer, woodblock printing in the Han dynasty.
    The printing press in the Holy Roman Empire.
    Canal lock under King of Egypt.

    Another point. To achieve any specific threshold of human welfare, social order is required in inverse proportion to the technology available. This helps explain why forms of government tend to be more overtly centralized as one ventures back in recorded history. Insofar as people enjoy the liberating consequences of better technology, they are more able to afford such absurdities as “democracy”.

    With all of that said, monarchy may or may not be the best/perfect form of government for technological innovation, scientific progress, etc. I think it’s one of those unanswerable questions that sophists like to ask. But I will say that the inherent stability that stems from hereditary monarchy grounded in blind belief is indisputable and insofar as a “system of government” can be constructed via argument (it can’t) hereditary monarchy is the one that best solves the primary objective of any sensible thinker, which is violence.

  • best solves the primary objective of any sensible thinker, which is violence.

    Should be:

    best solves the primary problem of any sensible thinker, which is violence.

  • Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    Please, define ‘genuine libertarianism’.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Dear Snorri,

    I am not sure that there is “way over the usual percentage of excellent comments” as Julie said….

    Well, I said it and I meant it.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😉

  • The fact that libertarianism is “a set of views about moral theories” does not in itself explain the remarkable dearth of examples of libertarian societies in human history.

    That is because societies do not have to be “libertarian societies” to be informed by libertarian values. Libertarianism is not a form of government, it is a set of values: notions that the default position in human affairs should be a lack of violence backed state intermediation. And far from ‘equality’, most forms of libertarianism are big into the idea of several alienation rather than collective permission… the idea that you can alienate your rights by your actions, which is not the same as violating the permissions (laws) of states, even if the two will sometime overlap (often both states and libertarians agree murder and theft are a Bad Thing (well, states agree when private individuals do those things at least)).

    All of liberal western civilisation is infused with libertarian values (amongst other things, of course). Anywhere you have broad support for a lack of criminalisation for a wide range of human actions, you have a society that is broadly ‘libertarian’ regardless of the details of its government. The extent to which those ‘libertarian’ values dominate over the statist ones (a probably perpetual dynamic struggle) determining how ‘libertarian’ a society is.

  • Paul Marks

    If people are sincerely converting from Islam “on mass” as the Times of Israel story that Alisa points to claims – then I will have to revise my opinions.

    However, that does not apply to the vast majority of people coming into European nations now.

    Young men chanting “God is Great” (in the Islamic form).

    I doubt they are heading off to a Church in Berlin to reject “Satan and Islam”.

    As for the claim that one hears from the BBC and so on that these people are “refugees”.

    As they came from Turkey (not Syria) the claim is simply a lie.

    They are not refugees.

    They are not coming into Europe to “save their lives”.

    Period.

    As for comparing them to Jewish refugees from the Nazis.

    Look into eyes of these young male warriors of Islam.

    Yes they do have the arrogant and hate filled look of some people of the period of the 1930s, and 1940s.

    But that was not the look in the eyes of the Jewish refugees.

    It is more the gaze of the people they were running from.

    The young women handing out flowers and poems and holding up signs saying “We Love the Refugees” and “Welcome”, are going to find out what so many young women in Sweden and elsewhere have already found out.

    Although the media chooses not to report it.

    Almost one and half thousand years of Islamist attacks on Europe.

    Yet because the modern education system does not teach it – indeed teaches the myth of “Islamic tolerance” and “the religion of peace”, the people of European nations are mentally utterly unprepared for what is really happening.

    Indeed many Europeans are welcoming their future enslavers and executioners.

    It is unfortunate.

  • Tarrou

    @ John W,

    Yeah, I put the bit in about paying for transit to get him to bite. It proves the rest of the thesis by exception.

    Funny bit is, in practice, the governments ARE paying for the transit of the “refugees” by chartering special trains etc. They then have to pay billions (Germany just set aside three billion euro) for housing, not to mention the extra costs of education, retraining, social services, etc.

    Perry can limp about his AnCapVille all he likes, but in reality, not controlling the border means a massive increase in the cost, reach, and power of the central government. And if the “refugees” prove to be more criminal or violent in any way, then we have more costs associated with that as well. His “not paying for anyone’s transit” has about as much reality as his “borders don’t exist”.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Flubber:

    There’s a theory out there which is often invoked when the following question is asked: “why invite mass immigration into the west when it will result in the destruction of the west?”

    One answer (that I don’t agree with) is that it is the Jews ultimate act of revenge / self preservation on the only people every to push them to the edge – white European Christians.

    Glad that somebody else brought this up: i wanted to, but i did not want to be accused of using ad hominem arguments.
    The point i wanted to make is about the imbecility of antisemites: i take it as self evident that borders open to Muslims is an objectively antisemitic policy, and i am prepared to argue that open borders can lead to antisemitism in any country where there are Jews, no matter who the immigrants are. And yet antisemites think that open borders serve Jewish interests!

    Having said that, it must be acknowledged that the antisemites seem to have a point afaik when they say that most (American) open border advocates are Jewish. To me, that is deeply troubling, because if Jews can advocate a policy which is objectively antisemitic, then i too might unwittingly be advocating policies that go against my vital interests.

    BTW this ties in with JohnW’s comment:

    In the 1930’s there was a much stronger association between the words ‘Jew’ and ‘Bolshevik, ‘Communist,’ ‘radical,’ ‘anarchist,’ and ‘terrorist’ than we have today.

    Anti-capitalism is itself objectively antisemitic, and yet lots of Jewish intellectuals, and the majority of modern American Jews, seem to subscribe to it.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Perry dH:

    Moreover ponder the advances of sciences, technology, life expectancy etc. since the age of monarchies actually governing all that much beyond their palaces ended. One can make a convincing argument that your ideal form of government has been the primary cause of millennia of ignorance and the painfully slow progress of science and learning generally.

    Brilliant! Just what i wanted to say, though of course i’d have phrased it differently.
    There is more to say: even during the age of monarchies, the major drivers of progress were the city-republics.
    There was intellectual, technological, and medical progress in monarchies, of course, but it did not lead to any improvement of the human condition, because humankind was in a Malthusian trap.
    In fact, even in city-republics there was no improvement in material conditions before the disappearance of slavery in Europe, which is a serious problem for Shlomo’s claim that equality is a problem; and btw how can one reconcile Christianity with a rejection of equality?

    Shlomo:

    the inherent stability that stems from hereditary monarchy grounded in blind belief is indisputable

    What is indisputable is that the history of monarchy is the history of civil wars and wars of expansion, punctuated by brief periods of peace.

    hereditary monarchy is the one that best solves the primary problem of any sensible thinker, which is violence.

    If you mean that hereditary monarchy makes violence look good, that is true, in the sense that, before monarchies disappeared (and btw if they are so stable, how is it that they disappeared?) the choice was to die from hunger, pestilence, or violence (3 horsemen of the Apocalypse) and violence was often the least painful alternative.
    What has led to a reduction of violence is the possibility of becoming better off without violence, i.e. the free market: in the Malthusian/monarchical system, life was a zero-sum game. Actually, people were worse off under that system than under barbarism; or some forms of barbarism, anyway.

  • and i am prepared to argue that open borders can lead to antisemitism in any country where there are Jews, no matter who the immigrants are

    Not at all convinced Chinese, Hindu or Polish (the later being the largest recent wave into the UK) immigration has contributed much, if at all, to anti-Semitism in the UK. The problem re. anti-Semitism increasing has been specifically Muslim immigration.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Perry dH: i had a choice between being misleading and being prolix, and chose the former. I said that open borders can lead to antisemitism; that is not the same as saying that immigration always leads to antisemitism.
    The sort of Chinese and Indians whom i met in academia were of course model immigrants: intelligent, honest, and hard working; and living in Eastern Europe i am favorably disposed to the Poles.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Brendan O’Neill makes a point related to what i said in my first comment here, @1:11.

  • Snorri Godhi,

    There was intellectual, technological, and medical progress in monarchies, of course, but it did not lead to any improvement of the human condition, because humankind was in a Malthusian trap.

    So technological progress does not improve the human condition in monarchies? Why is that?

    Why was humankind in a Malthusian trap under monarchies? Can you think of any times when societies were not ruled by monarchy before 1500 AD? I can think of quite a few – were those societies in a Malthusian trap? If not why not?

    In fact, even in city-republics there was no improvement in material conditions before the disappearance of slavery in Europe

    This is absurd.

    which is a serious problem for Shlomo’s claim that equality is a problem

    Where did I say that equality is a problem?

    and btw how can one reconcile Christianity with a rejection of equality?

    Study Mencius Moldbug. In particular, I would suggest reading “The ultracalvinist hypothesis” at Unqualified Reservations.

    What has led to a reduction of violence is the possibility of becoming better off without violence, i.e. the free market: in the Malthusian/monarchical system, life was a zero-sum game.

    Right. Because there is no such thing as free markets in a monarchy.

    I’ll note that it didn’t take long for the American Revolution to tax the American people not only more than the King of England ever did but far more than the King of England ever would have imagined. This is no coincidence. Generally Kings are more interested in the long-term welfare of their nations than are elected politicians for all sorts of rational and irrational reasons.

    As far as violence. Democracy is war by alternative means. I’ll just paste a comment I made on the Thinking Housewife to help you understand why democracy taking over the world has led to more war

    The willful forgetting of what “war” means, which James N. rightly notes seems to be a post-1945 phenomenon, is intricately related to the lack of de facto sovereignty of almost every nation on earth, which (and not coincidentally) is also a post-1945 phenomenon. Though there’s room to quibble with any specific list, I’d designate the United States, Russia, China, and Germany as the only de facto sovereign nations on earth at the moment.
    Israel cannot eliminate Hamas’s capacity and will to wage war because such action would require the permission of a sovereign nation. Israel receives American economic support and diplomatic protection in exchange for acting in alignment with American interests to an extent. Certainly chief among American interests is that Israel remains its client state and not an actually sovereign one. For now, as Israel has not taken sovereign (or what is called “unilateral”) action by decimating Hamas or bombing Iran without permission, Israel appears to place greater weight on the benefits of American support than the debilitating strings attached to it.
    Hamas, as is so often the case with the weaker power in a moder- day conflict, reports less directly to a sovereign power than does its adversary. Hamas is primarily and directly supported by the Palestinian Authority, Qatar and Turkey – at least at the moment. The first is a puppet of the American State Department. The second is home to America’s largest military base in the Middle East. And the third has been shifting of late under Prime Minister Erdogan from the American to the Russian sphere of influence.
    You see, the elimination of Hamas would directly harm the interests of an American puppet (the Palestinian Authority), a pseudo American ally that is a key oil exporter and a burgeoning client of the American defense industry (Qatar), and a NATO member with rising moral authority in the Muslim world that is a key player in regional pipeline politics with the capacity to consolidate Russian influence over European economies at the expense of American influence (Turkey).
    And this is how it is the world over: conflicts that, in remaining unresolved, serve the interests of sovereign power(s).
    For instance, one may deduce from American actions that is in American interests to A) condemn the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a repressive regime that is cruel to its people and B) to not dismantle its regime by force, as such a liberating action would obviate much of the alleged justification for American troops, warships, and armaments to be stationed all around China. Unlike Iraq there is not on the Korean peninsula a juicy mix of ethnic and religious tensions to necessitate the presence of American security forces for a decade. Besides, though, only second-tier powers border Iraq so leaving no military presence there is of less consequence than losing a key justification for stationing troops next door to another sovereign power and clear rival (China).
    How did this tense, destructive environment characterized by ongoing conflicts and widespread duplicity come to be?
    The post-1945 environment is a flower that started as a seed. That seed was planted by President Woodrow Wilson who zealously sought to bless the world with democracy.

    Anyway, moving on.

    Actually, people were worse off under that system than under barbarism; or some forms of barbarism, anyway.

    This makes some of your earlier claims look relatively sane by comparison.

  • JohnW

    The Syrian refugee crisis is not our problem and here’s why.

  • Niall Kilmartin

    The very recent appearance in this thread of an interwoven discussion about monarchy and about whether a truly libertarian society has existed seems both off the topic of this post and needless. In theory, one could imagine a stable small-government-style monarchy with much liberty, in which people could meaningfully discuss whether obtaining yet more freedom needed less monarchy as against the monarchy giving protection against self-destructive side-effects of so much liberty as risks anarchy. In practice – we should be so lucky, guys!

    Having lived with a lot of practical free speech for most of my life, I never expected to see anti-free-speech laws in Britain until they happened. Now I’m witnessing what looks suspiciously like an invasion of European countries, whose victim nations do nothing useful, but instead demand we participate with them. The OP appears to be saying, “Yes, lets.” I am not so keen.

    Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France) argues that a monarchy is more compatible with liberty than a democracy. I note that he is talking about a qualified monarchy versus an unqualified (i.e. ‘pure’) democracy. We could discuss whether unqualified libertarianism has ever been realised across a nation, and whether, if it were, it would be wonderful or would quickly need just a bit of qualification to preserve real practical liberty. But I repeat – we should be so lucky if we had such decisions to make.

  • Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France) argues that a monarchy is more compatible with liberty than a democracy.

    Burke is very well known in the english-speaking world obviously, but he is far from the only one who advanced this sort of view. Creuze de Lesser (civil vs political liberty), Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn all staunchly contend monarchy more reliably and thoroughly secure the people’s liberty than does democracy/other forms of government.

    Of course, Joseph de Maistre, Robert Filmer, Louis de Bonald, Juan Donoso Cortes offer revelations on monarchy that illustrate this same position in more nuanced manners, but baby steps.

  • But I repeat – we should be so lucky if we had such decisions to make.

    This is an interesting comment. Why such decisions are virtually never made available to mere humans may be understood by sufficiently considering the old adage that “justifying a government’s right to rule is itself a political act.” Two key quotes from Joseph de Maistre further illustrate this reality:

    No nation can give itself a government; only, when such and such a right exists in its constitution and this right is unrecognized or suppressed, some men, aided by circumstances, can brush aside obstacles and get the rights of the people recognized. Human power extends no further.

    No government results from a deliberation; popular rights are never written, or at least constitutive acts or written fundamental laws are always only declaratory statements of anterior rights, of which nothing can be said other than that they exist because they exist.

  • I agree with the poster above who quoted Sultan Knish: this “crisis” is not our problem.

    But, Mr Metzger, if you really wanted to help refugees, you would set up camps in their war-torn country, you would drill them and teach them how to govern themselves. As, indeed, Roosevelt should have joined France and denied the re-militarization of the Rhineland in 1936.

    We can help them best “over there.”

    Oh and hey, I get to quote Brecht/Weill!

    “Da ist nun einer schon der Satan selber
    Der Metzger: er! und alle andern: Kälber!”

  • JohnK

    Having read these comments, all I can say is that there are two reliable ways to destroy a functioning western society: socialism and islam.

    The Labour Party has today elected an unreconstructed Marxist as its leader, whose first action was to go on a pro-immigration rally. If he were ever to become Prime Minister, we would end up with both socialism and islam, and Britain would be destroyed.

    Mr Metzger’s views are dangerously wrong. An invasion without guns is still an invasion. The peaceful prosperity of Western Europe is a historical anomaly, and the stupidity of our political leaders seems to be ensuring that it will all end in blood.