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immigration and private property

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cab21 Posted: Wed, Dec 26 2012 3:42 PM

now immigration laws seem to violate private property rights and freedom of association rights. it seems it would be more libertarian to allow each private property owner to choose immigration policy for his/her property, but it seems people like ron paul want a stricter immigration national policy.

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Bogart replied on Wed, Dec 26 2012 3:59 PM

Yes, immigration laws and rules and regulations violate the private property rights of those subject to them.

Yes, freedom is the ability of a private property owner to use or dispose of legitimately acquired property with the restriction that the owner not violate the same rights of others.

Yes, Ron Paul, although easily the most freedom oriented Congress Person of the past 100 years is not freedom oriented on this particular issue.  We can't be perfect and if you want to get elected when the welfare state not only exists, but is growing fast, you have to be against the poor scapegoats who get blamed for using it.

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Your property rights, regardless of any libertarian slogan, are not absolute nor inalienable.

And no right can be made absolute, unless you believe in an absolute power source who may endow people with divine rights.

Such a concept may be a wonderful addition to the powerful language of a declaration of independence, but if you take it too far as the way the real world works,  you are nuts.

In the real world, any claim you make to a given set of rights needs to be generally respected by other people, otherwise you have no such rights.

And other people will respect the claim you made insofar as they perceive the costs of challenging your claim to be greater than the costs of recognizing any right attached to it.

This is as valid for the peasant claiming ownership of a small plot in the hinterlands as it is for the King claiming his crown in the capital.

That is if the king does not behave according to the expectations of his noble supporters and other powerful people inside his realm, or if he is in the way of a more powerful foreign warlord willing to conquer his kingdom, somebody will challenge his god given right to rule soon enough.

So, regardless of homestead priority or natural rights-babble,  if you want to use your land as a testing ground for nuclear weapons or as a safe harbor for undesired immigrants, you may expect retaliation from your neighbors, insofar as they are in position to retaliate.

Don't get me wrong. Most of the time I'm very libertarian.

I love shooting rhetorical bullets like "my home my castle" whenever someone starts talking nonsense about revoking gun rights, or banning cigarettes, and other authoritarian shit like that.

But even though these propaganda pieces are very effective for the purpose of shutting down some collectivist dogma regurgitating machine, they cannot be taken too literally or too extreme without backfiring.

That is, "absolute property rights" are meaningless abstractions when the point is acquiring understanding, despite the fact that they may be excellent devices to propel political talking points. 

As a general empirical rule, property rights will be more extensive when external costs deriving from indiscriminate use of property are less extensive. And this can be only sorted out in practice, through real world negotiations, litigations and perhaps violent disputes.

And I'm not saying that the tax-funded bureaucratic machinery of government is the most effective, or moral, or logical mediator to all these externalities issues.

I hardly think so.

But if you think that some abstract absolute natural rights allow you to dispose of your land and property as you wish, I shall advise you that the real world may not comply to your terms.

"Blood alone moves the wheels of history" - Dwight Schrute
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Jargon replied on Fri, Dec 28 2012 10:13 AM

It's debatable on either side, whether an open or a close immigration policy is the libertarian one, because under libertarian legality, wherein it is each property-owners prerogative to exclude whoever he wants from his property, holdings in infrastructure and the like included, it would be more of a mixed immigration policy, some exclusive some inclusive. My guess is that border states would be anti-immigrant and that non-border states would be relatively pro-immigrant. As a representative of Texans, I hardly think it is un-libertarian of the doctor to be anti-immigration.

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The Anarch is to the Anarchist what the Monarch is to the Monarchist. -Ernst Jünger

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Anenome replied on Fri, Dec 28 2012 3:02 PM
 
 

Jargon:

It's debatable on either side, whether an open or a close immigration policy is the libertarian one, because under libertarian legality, wherein it is each property-owners prerogative to exclude whoever he wants from his property, holdings in infrastructure and the like included, it would be more of a mixed immigration policy, some exclusive some inclusive. My guess is that border states would be anti-immigrant and that non-border states would be relatively pro-immigrant. As a representative of Texans, I hardly think it is un-libertarian of the doctor to be anti-immigration.

I don't think it's debateable at all. A free society would not have national borders--the only borders it contains are property boundaries. Each person would decide who can enter their property, end of story.

If you really have to import the america multi-state concept into the equation as an unchangeable, then it would be as if all the world were also a state, since we have free-movement within states, and no one complains about immigration say from texas to florida!

 
Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Bogart replied on Fri, Dec 28 2012 3:55 PM

Not true, New York, California, Illinois, etc are all annoying the superrich and making them fill out paperwork to prove they have moved out of the respective states.  California and NY are particularly bad and they are working their way down the income ladder as their financial situations become increasingly difficult.  Also NYC is bad as well as Comrade Bloomberg has ratched up taxes and regulations and has his hounds after people who leave including those with more modest incomes.

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Jargon replied on Fri, Dec 28 2012 10:39 PM

Anenome:

 
 

Jargon:

It's debatable on either side, whether an open or a close immigration policy is the libertarian one, because under libertarian legality, wherein it is each property-owners prerogative to exclude whoever he wants from his property, holdings in infrastructure and the like included, it would be more of a mixed immigration policy, some exclusive some inclusive. My guess is that border states would be anti-immigrant and that non-border states would be relatively pro-immigrant. As a representative of Texans, I hardly think it is un-libertarian of the doctor to be anti-immigration.

I don't think it's debateable at all. A free society would not have national borders [...]

If you really have to import the america multi-state concept into the equation as an unchangeable, then it would be as if all the world were also a state, since we have free-movement within states, and no one complains about immigration say from texas to florida

Eh? I'm saying that a state's position on an issue necessarily takes some form of majority rule, whereas in a private law situation, each property owner decides on his own stance of inclusion. It follows then, that a private law society's "immigration" stance would be somewhere in between no-immigrants and pro-immigrants. Some would include immigrants in the use of infrastructure and some would not.

 

--the only borders it contains are property boundaries. Each person would decide who can enter their property, end of story.

Exactly. And in the U.S. property owners do not enjoy the full right of exclusion on their property (which includes infrastructure paid for by their tax dollars). Therefore deciding on a completely pro-immigration stance would definitely be thwarting the wishes of persons wanting to exclude immigrants.

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The Anarch is to the Anarchist what the Monarch is to the Monarchist. -Ernst Jünger

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Anenome replied on Fri, Dec 28 2012 11:43 PM
 
 

Jargon:
Anenome:

I don't think it's debateable at all. A free society would not have national borders [...]

If you really have to import the america multi-state concept into the equation as an unchangeable, then it would be as if all the world were also a state, since we have free-movement within states, and no one complains about immigration say from texas to florida

Eh? I'm saying that a state's position on an issue necessarily takes some form of majority rule

Libertarians are unlikely to have states then, except in the eyes of outsiders who can understand nothing else, as a sort of veil over the real.

Jargon:
, whereas in a private law situation, each property owner decides on his own stance of inclusion. It follows then, that a private law society's "immigration" stance would be somewhere in between no-immigrants and pro-immigrants. Some would include immigrants in the use of infrastructure and some would not.

I just want to be clear the difference between a policy position and individual choice in a free society. In a free society, there is no 'policy' at all, no decision being forced on others. It is, as you say, up to each individual owner. In practice that ends up meaning an open immigration policy, for it's hard to imagine everyone in a society closing their doors to trade and association without cause.

 
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Jargon replied on Sat, Dec 29 2012 4:35 PM

Anenome:

 
 

 In practice that ends up meaning an open immigration policy, for it's hard to imagine everyone in a society closing their doors to trade and association without cause.

Very true. Actually it would be impossible for that to occur, as every action implies the intention of replacing a less satisfactory state of affairs for a more satisfactory one. There are many people who want not only to close their doors, but their shares in roads and hospitals to immigrants. Your blanket answer here seems to be silencing them. One need only refer to the plethora of right-wing European political parties, whose popularity is based almost solely on a dedication to reinstating immigration restrictions, as evidence that a populace might close its doors, roads, and trade to immigrants.

There are both economic reasons and non-economic reasons that a populace might refuse immigrants. For the former, depressed wages, usually in unskilled labor. For the latter, personal reasons like heritage preservation, nationalism or racism.

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Anenome replied on Sat, Dec 29 2012 7:33 PM
 
 

Jargon:

Anenome:

 In practice that ends up meaning an open immigration policy, for it's hard to imagine everyone in a society closing their doors to trade and association without cause.

Very true. Actually it would be impossible for that to occur, as every action implies the intention of replacing a less satisfactory state of affairs for a more satisfactory one. There are many people who want not only to close their doors, but their shares in roads and hospitals to immigrants.

But have you not noticed that the incentives of the market fight irrational discrimination?

It was not the bus-lines that forced blacks to the back of the bus, it was bus laws. Similarly it was not that all restaurants turned away black customers, but that jim crow laws forced them to do so.

In a free society marked by entirely private property, you'd have privately owned roads, yes, and the only color they'd likely care about is green, because they want to maximize revenue.

I said 'without cause' because it's easy to imagine a society closing its doors in the face of an outside threat or invasion. That would be generally approved as cause for denial in a way that racism is unlikely to be, because when word gets out that X road is refusing black customers or w/e, not only will those customers route around that road, but so will everyone who sympathizes with them via boycott, and soon the road may be sold to new owners for lack of profit.

Jargon:
Your blanket answer here seems to be silencing them.

Not at all. They are free to close their doors to whom they will, but they will also bear an increased cost / diminished profit for doing so in terms of lost business, and thus society will tend towards non-discrimination.

Jargon:
One need only refer to the plethora of right-wing European political parties, whose popularity is based almost solely on a dedication to reinstating immigration restrictions, as evidence that a populace might close its doors, roads, and trade to immigrants.

They are operating in the political realm and under those premises, where one gains power and then forces a decision on an entire society. Their attempt to force their society's doors closed is just as wrong as the original forcing of its doors open. So, it's a predictable reaction. Besides which, things are getting desperate in Europe, and people tend towards in-groups for survival in those situations.

If there were no cost to having immigration, they would likely face no opposition. It is the welfare state that pits immigrant against tax-payer. But that's a situation that need not exist, and would not exist in a free society where tax-confiscation and forced charity is not possible.

Jargon:
There are both economic reasons and non-economic reasons that a populace might refuse immigrants. For the former, depressed wages, usually in unskilled labor. For the latter, personal reasons like heritage preservation, nationalism or racism.

A free society would make it more possible than now for groups to become insular and create mini-fiefs almost. That's what I expect would happen, rather than trying to close a whole country's borders.

A free society would not try various social-engineering schemes to create forced integration. People could group their properties into larger agreements by which new entrants must apply for entry to an enclave if they want to work or live there, replicating somewhat the existence of politics of immigration, though in a voluntary context.

But the key there is voluntary. And such xenophobic enclaves, by their nature, would remain fairly small, insular, and dynastic you might say.

Most people would participate in the wider, open cultural exchange because of its benefits and advantages, appealing the widest number of clients possible.

Market incentives themselves actively break down racial barriers, fight market racism, and loosen discrimination, as they have historically always done, ever since the Silk Road beat a path from the Chinese to the East Indians and Mughals to the Arabs to the Turks and Greeks to the Brits , across the entire known world. The insular racists faltered and the tolerant prospered.

 
Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Jargon replied on Sat, Dec 29 2012 7:49 PM

Hey Anemone,

Based on your expansions, it doesn't seem that we disagree on the likely outcomes of private law society: some 'open immigration' areas and some 'closed immigration' areas. I think that people aren't as profit driven, probably because I foresee a system of infrastructure analagous to a public one; many shareholders with an interest in maintenance over profit. You see differently which is fine as well. I'm pretty satisfied with our discussion though.

As for the only cause of strife between immigrants and natives being the welfare state, refer to my discussion with Smiling Dave on unskilled native laborers and unskilled immigrant laborers if you're interested.

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The Anarch is to the Anarchist what the Monarch is to the Monarchist. -Ernst Jünger

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