Sunday, September 6, 2015

A Comment on the Refugees Flooding Into Europe (And the Horrific Actions of Merkel)

A Target Liberty reader writes and explains why so many of the refugees don't look poor and hungry, and provides background information relative to points others have raised about the flood of refugees:
While Damascus is relatively quiet (compared to the rest of the country, which is in shambles), many well-to-do/well-connected Syrians from the capital are leaving to go to Germany. I have heard this first-hand. They are people who have jobs in Damascus; they are not poor, they are not in fear (yet) for their lives; they are not escaping bombings (yet). They are very savvy and are quite well aware that now is the time to make the move (the political climate in Germany/EU, NOT entirely the situation in Damascus). They know that they will be paid more in welfare than they are making in salary in Damascus.

This is slightly anecdotal, and only applies to those coming from the relatively safe and prosperous Damascus, but it answers part of the question. They are aware that they must go by certain routes to be accepted as "refugees" rather than "tourists." As for other refugees being funded by outsiders, and possibly being used to cover the tracks of unsavory infiltrators, I don't know. But it lines up.
This explains a lot, Of course, to the degree the Syrians are "pulling a Mises" and getting out ahead of trouble, a libertarian can''t object. On the other hand, that Merkel has opened up the German welfare state to 800.000 refugees, it is horrific.

Countries don't need Trump Walls that prevent movement of people based on insane misunderstanding of trade and comparative advantage, but countries do need to construct Welfare Walls that grow taller and taller until no one is on welfare. Building a Welfare Wall against migrants is a good start.



  1. The Invaders religion dictates that inferior religions be taxed.

    More than a "welfare wall" is needed.

    A culture is about to be wiped out.

    Following a lame Libertarian creed is of no use.

  2. RW, the laws in most of these countries means that a welfare wall cannot be built.

    Should a western country of 5 million people accept 5 million Somalians, welfare or not?

    1. I know that your question was addressed to RW, but I will give it a go.

      In a voluntary society ruled by the market, there would be no formal restriction on immigration. Basically, each piece of property would be owned by someone (or some group). If the property owner rented/sold an apartment or house to the immigrant, that is his or her decision. The owner could allow the immigrant to stay for free if he chooses as well. It would be of no concern to anybody else, so long as the contract was voluntary. The only problem that arises is if the immigrant violates someone's property rights by trespass or other forms of violence. It would be treated the same as if any local made the same violation.

      I will leave it to someone else to discuss immigration in the modern welfare state.

    2. Lot of good that will do you when as a group the foreigners decide to prey on your simply because of your ethnicity. You will be complaining about NAP violations while they take your money first, your country second, and your life last.

      These people are coming from countries where exactly that has already happened.

    3. Or, you know, you could defend your property. This is what people tend to do, unless prohibitted by the government. Your assumption is that if immigrants come in, violate property rights, steal and murder, everyone would just sit back and do nothing. The reality is that immigrants come in, some violate property rights and government does virtually nothing (and prohibits people from defending their stuff and themselves to some degree). This is far off the mark.

      People will provide for their own defense, either by themselves, with their family, friends, neighbors, etc ... or by hiring a company to protect their property rights.

    4. It is possible that in a private property society all property in the vicinity of established communities will be understood to exclude use which welcomes unwanted immigrants of certain backgrounds. Essentially the same mechanism by which communities will ensure that people don't risk the community by running risky biological or chemical experiments in their back yards.

  3. Mises didn't go on welfare when he came to America. These people are. BIG difference.

    I also don't believe in Europeans being forced to face demographic suicide. You don't see non-white countries doing that for anyone do you? For those wanting to throw out the race card at this....fuck you.

    1. Are you then against gentrification becasue it would change the demographic of the area?

    2. The point is that the PC Gestapo insists that ONLY white people be exterminated by demographic suicide. It's the hypocrisy I have a problem with.

      How come only countries dominated by European people have to accept all these third world people? Do you really think they'd show us the same courtesy if we flooded their countries with millions of European immigrants, especially welfare bums? The answer to that question is NO.

    3. So, your argument is against the welfare state. Eliminate the welfare state, and Europe would be more appealing to those seeking good jobs and a better life. It would also make it less appealing to those wanting to leech off of the productive people.

      I doubt anyone here would use the race card. However, if Europe eliminated the welfare state, and you still advocated forbidding relocation of those able to make a contract for housing and working in a job within Europe... then you are seeking a special privilege to those of European descent. It is not playing the race card if your position is in fact racist.

      Bottom line here: without a welfare wall, immigration restrictions are justified ... with a welfare wall, they are not. It is just a private contract between people for housing and work.

    4. Anonymous, why are state immigration restrictions wrong but the state grant of citizenship to foreigners OK? I never hear about libertarians denouncing the usurpation by the state of traditional tribal membership.

    5. Ok let's try again....

      Yes, I'm against the welfare state, as anyone with even a tiny little brain should be. But I am ALSO against illegal immigration or hordes of immigration at one time PERIOD (there is no time for these people to assimilate if they come over in giant hordes). And no people, that's not racist (think for 2 seconds).. I am also against the hypocritical shit these 3rd world toilets engage in. They can flood our countries with endless "refugees" but not the other way around. It's always ONE WAY.

      Solution to all this shit? Abolish government altogether. PERIOD. That fixes all of this garbage. But guess what. That's NOT going to happen. It's just not realistic since everyone thinks government is some kind of god. They're superstitious about it. So until that time NO illegal immigrants (welfare state or not) and NO MASS hordes all at once. Period.

    6. Matt, in a voluntary society, there is no such thing as citizenship or state granting anything. I have no clue what you are talking about regarding usurpation of tribal membership. I think this is a euphemism for something ... of what, I'm not sure.

      John, you are attributing the actions of the state to the people in the state. Surely, you would object to being held responsible for all of the actions of "your" own government. Your arguments against the hypocrisy of other countries is valid. However, you are basically saying that since they do these things (ie prevent immigration), then we should do them too. This line of argumentation could be used to advocate all sorts of barbarities. Since Saudi Arabia limits immigration, we should limit immigration; since they imprison political dissidents, we should as well; since they violate human rights, we should do the same. It simply isn't a proper argument. If someone else does something wrong, doesn't mean that you or I should engage in the same activity. The point is to follow the non-aggression principle, not to lower ourselves to the level of those who thwart the right of all to liberty.

  4. This open border idea, under current systems, is madness and causes the normal folks to think libetarians crazy. Good luck on coverting the locals to libertarianism while endorsing the destruction of them as a people. So much has to change before open borders. Right now, civil wars are on the making because this mass immigration lunacy.

    1. Rational libertarians do not favor open borders under the current system. They favor dissolution of the welfare state and full property rights (buy, sell, trade, give away as they see fit).

      You're confusing the libertarian position in a libertarian society with the libertarian position in the welfare state. To be sure, many libertarians make this same mistake, and make us all, as you say, seem crazy. Maybe libertarians just need to do a better job making this distinction.

    2. So if you live in a town of 1000 people all I need to do is buy a property there (I wont live there) and then send a thousand third world people to live there. They will demand social justice a day democracy, of course, and since the folk of your town have white privilege taking your money and raping your women is just fine.

    3. Buy the property, send your 1,000 people, and then when they violate any property rights of neighbors, the neighbors have the right to defend themselves. This is not complex.

      I'm not sure if you're being deliberately obtuse or not. Your whole line of argument is strange. From what I gather, you think that people you like should have full rights, while people you object to should not. This is the standard view of most statists. I guess we all now have to look to Matt to find out which rights we should have and which he will preclude. I do hope he will be benevolent as he lords over us.

  5. the Issue for the EU is simple: steal the urban "sophicates' of the middle east who are longing to escape from both the moslem fundies and the unresponsive despots who rule over them and come to a region with a declining birth rate and a economy which....well every body knows about that. what the EU bosses are hoping for "europeanized" voting bloc which will energize it commercially without having any of the intra euro hang ups. I don't think they want another welfare group.
    Whether that actually pans out is a different matter

    1. In all of the footage the ratio of well heeled male and young hipsters is pretty high compared to one would think should come out of Syria. The commentator who remarked that these could be social climber urbanites from Damascus may not have been far from the mark and maybe that's why the Germans want to get them.

  6. I guess everybody here wants to get to the end result that hordes of people with low compatibility will not flood regions where they are not really wanted. What this thread brings to the fore is whether this can be done from within a pure propertarian perspective, which would be preferable to anybody who tries to lead a life of abiding by the NAP.

    Definitely eliminating welfare will do a lot to minimize the desire to flood a country, and would attract people of better fiber. But still, they might be undesirable, e.g., they may hold religious views that are not welcome in the area they try to emigrate into. What can be done about that? Can it be claimed that the existing community somehow has acquired a use-right to their land which allows them to _preclude_ certain people.

    They could – of course – pool all of the land together and create a government which will be the sole proprietor of the entire country, and that government can preclude whomever it wishes to. But that defeats the purpose. We know nationalists want government for this reason and we’re trying to avoid it.

    Perhaps it can be shown that the newcomers are conspiring to create a critical mass and agitate for “social justice” etc. That might serve as a basis to act against their arrival in self-defense, however how to avoid the violation of the NAP against people who aren’t members of the conspiracy. Perhaps the newcomers should be required to pledge their allegiance and monitored, but that requirement in itself is a violation of the NAP.

    So one arrives at the need to think about this in pure homesteading terms. Let’s use a series of analogies. First lets's compare this to using a trail in a common area. A person may come and appropriate a piece of land containing a segment of the trail, but he will have to honor the use rights of people who have been using the trail beforehand. So a community can prevent a newcomer from forcing it to stop using common areas in the way it used to. Similarly, a Christian community may have acquired “noise pollution right” involving the toiling of church bells at certain hours, and thus a newcomer cannot demand that this practice be stopped.

    This can be extended, somewhat tenuously, to enjoying a certain view, which precludes building certain buildings on an adjacent property. For example the Swiss grew to like their particular scenery and therefore legislated against building too tall Mosque minarets.

    But what about preventing the _addition_ of features into the environment which people in the community don't appreciate in their vicinity? Can that be justified using homesteading arguments? e.g., can I say that my use of the environment includes it being free from women in burkas and men in yarmulkas? It can be argued that their mere presence represents a sort of pollution, but doing so means that property rights can be stretched in any direction possible and thus their application will engender conflict, instead of limit it.

    AnCaps have typically resorted to insurance arrangements in these situations or in other words bribing the newcomers to be less conspicuous. This obviously sets the incentives completely the wrong way.

    I am resigned to believe that pure adherence to the NAP will not work in this situation and/or that some form of pulling together of all the land into a mutual ownership agreement will be necessary in order to preclude unwanted strangers. i.e., develop a coherent immigration policy. This will essentially create a community that looks like a normal state to the outside world but is anarchic inwards.

    1. Immigration restriction is not a violation of the NAP. Where did you get that idea from?

      Let me give you an example. Person A steals from person B. That is an NAP violation. Government steals from person B. Also an NAP violation. Agreed?

      Government immigration restrictions are only NAP violations if a immigration restrictions in a private community are violations of the NAP. Saying that restricting a migrant from coming uninvited to your locale, either private or government restriction, suggests that the migrant has a positive right to do so.

    2. Matt has again taken a statist position, cloaked in libertarian terminology.

      With the nicest possible interpretation, he is stating that a private community could restrict who enters the community without violating the NAP. This is true if: the private community is comprised of owners of the property of the community (collective or individual); and if the terms of ownership agree to this restriction. It would be akin to some sort of HOA, which has by-laws stating that certain types of property use / sales are restricted or prohibited. The requirement for this to work would be that the original owner of the private property set up these rules, or ALL of the members of the private community (not a majority, but all) set up these by-laws. Any later change in rules without unanimous consent would represent a taking of the property rights of the owner and a violation of the NAP.

      Matt's argument places a HOA (or mall or whatever other type of private community) as equivalent to government. Government, in his view, therefore is allowed to restrict who comes into its territory, without violating the NAP.

      This is nonsense. To reach this conclusion, you would need to have one of two views. Either, the state is the true owner of all land (and therefore, all "owners" are actually just tenants, allowed to stay on property only through the grace of government); or that at some point, ALL of the owners of the land (not just a majority) delegated the control of sales and property use to the state.

      Any government restriction on what a person can do with their own property is, by its very nature, a violation of the NAP.

      Matt's last sentence is a non sequitur. A restriction by an owner of private property is not a violation of the NAP. A government restriction is a violation of the property-owner's rights (and by extension, the person or people he intends to house or sell the property to). None of this suggests "a positive right" of anybody to come uninvited to private property, unless, as Matt apparently does, you believe that the state actually owns all property.

    3. Yossi, one of the difficulties with the homesteading principle is when it comes to obstruction of views. A state (as with the Swiss, in your example) cannot restrict the building of tall buildings (minarets or otherwise) without violating the owner's property rights. Theoretically, the neighbors (whose view of the Alps, or whatever, was obstructed) could file a civil lawsuit against the the builder (ex post facto, not prior to construction), claiming invasion of the neighbor's visual property rights (to the mountain).

      So, we are left with the Rothbardian solution. In "Man, Economy, and State" he says that "what the enforcing agency combats in a free society is the invasion of the physical person and property, not injury to the values of property." In so much as the Swiss skyscraper (or minaret or whatever) physically invaded the person or property rights of its neighbors, a tort could be made against the owner. However, obstructing views of pretty mountains does not cause any physical harm, but simply reduces the property's value in the eyes of those who prefer mountains to skyscrapers.

      The idea of restricting immigration based on religion or supposed conspiracy to do whatever violation of the NAP is (as you say) a violation of the NAP itself. It could never be justified in a free society. After the fact, conspirators who did actually violate the NAP could be punished, but you cannot punish someone for pre-crime, under a presumption that they would violate the NAP.

      Your "addition of features" argument is unjustified for the reasons stated above. You cannot homestead views of anything. And it is not a pollution simply because you don't like something. If that were the case, I could simply say that I don't like person X. Every time I see him, it harms me. I consider person X to be undesirable because he always carries a trumpet, and I really hate trumpeters. When person X goes to my neighbor's house, the mere site of him is a pollution. He, therefore, would be prohibited from going to my neighbor's house because I don't like it.

      I'm sure you can see how I would actually be violating the property rights of my neighbor (and aggressing against person X as well). So, a triangular intervention to restrict the rights of two people to contract together (for housing or anything else), is no more justified than the triangular intervention of prohibiting someone from allowing someone else access to the former's property. Both are violations of the NAP, and never justifiable in a free society.

      As to your last paragraph, your mutual ownership agreement would only apply to land physically owned by someone (ie government land would need to be opened up to homesteading or returned to the rightful owner), and could only apply to consenting owners. Nobody could be coerced into joining the agreement, and any property owner not consenting to it would need to be exempt from the restrictions. The mutual ownership agreement would actually be giving (or selling) the ownership rights to the property with regards to who may purchase the land from the owner. Basically, the actual owner would no longer own the property. If you cannot buy or sell or exchange something, you are not the owner. The true owner would be the new bureaucracy of the ownership agreement. The agreement committee (or whatever it is called) would own all of the land. Restrictions on who it can be sold or not sold to would be a major step in the direction of the socialist dungeon.

      Of course, if you allowed people to enter and exit the mutual agreement at will, that would be fine. It would be simply a promise, unenforceable by law. The property owner would still own the property and if they chose to sell to someone in violation of the agreement there could be no repercussions (without violating the NAP).

    4. Anonymous,

      From my indirect understanding of Rothbard’s position (I haven’t read Man, Economy and State but I watched the movie, so to speak), I think you parse this situation correctly, which is worrisome because it means the NAP fails as a necessary and sufficient condition for a prosperous society, in the presence of a mostly unwanted invasion.

      First, following Hoppe, we should care about the NAP – and particular definitions of what property and harm are – just because we believe it’s the most effective method for reducing conflicts. We care about reducing conflicts because that’s a precondition for human flourishing and excellence. So any definition of the NAP could fail to succeed in either of these tasks – it may not be the most effective in reducing conflicts, or it may reduce conflicts but not lead to human flourishing anyway.

      Anybody watching the invasion of Europe understands desirable and undesirable outcomes here. A small amount of real refugees who are really in dire need, and who have a sincere desire to assimilate and contribute to the community that takes them in, and have sponsors who are willing to vouch for them, should be permitted to come and stay with their sponsors. Anything beyond that just invites conflict due to the erosion of the social cohesion of the community down the line. Now we can split hairs forever but you’d have to admit that this is most likely a truth of human society. There is no organism that survives without preferring the survival of itself and its kin. When you find yourself isolated from your kin you find it harder to establish trust and conflict ensues. (Possibly we can create trust by a mutual commitment to ideas – that is certainly my hope.) Social cohesion is extremely important for human flourishing and in case the NAP can’t provide the mechanisms to ensure it then it’s not a sufficient condition for the long term success of society. It needs to be augmented with other principles, which may not cleanly fit with it.

      Here is where I think the Rothbardian interpretation of the NAP (or the way you present it) falls short:

      - Real harm must be physical. Not faithful to real human experience.
      - Being able to homestead only physical “solid” things. Not faithful to real human experience, already we have IP in contention here.
      - Having to have to wait till after harm is incurred before acting. No sane human will abide by that. All living being must be able to act against threats.

      Interesting times.

    5. Anonymous, the state exists. A legal fiction it may be but it is there and it has power. While it still exists we need to take that into account.

      The state should be forced to be best extent possible to hold the land in trust for the people it took it from. That means in my country it should hold it in trust my me and my posterity, and not hand it over to foreigners. The foreigners have no claim on it and no positive right to it.

    6. Yossi: I will start at the bottom and work my way up. A person (or people), can defend themselves against force being used against them or their property (or in defense of someone else requesting their assistance, assuming that person wasn't the original aggressor). Anything other than that allows for all sorts of manipulations leading eventually to the Bush doctrine of preemptive attacks. You believe someone is going to harm you, therefore you aggress against them. Since we can only know if someone is going to do something post hoc (ie even if someone says they intend to do something, doesn't mean they would go through with it), then preemptive anything makes you the actual aggressor. This is not a weakness in the NAP. Instead, it prevents preemptive war and punishment for pre-crime.

      The Rothbardian position does allow for homesteading no solid things. For example, the first user of radio waves in a given area on a given frequency would have homesteaded rights to that. It only prevents homesteading of someone else's property by sight. The true owner of the mountain (or neighbor's house) got it through gift, purchase, or original use (homesteading). They have the right to do with it as they wish. Your external benefit of the joy of seeing it is inconsequential, as it would give you ownership rights in someone else's property.

      Real harm can only be physical. Any other definition allows for punishment of everything. Someone can feel harm at anything. I may feel harm that I wasn't selected to play QB for the Chicago Bears. I have no football skills, but I still feel harmed that they didn't choose me. Similarly, a socialist may feel harm that they don't receive all of your money. They don't have a right to it just because they feel harmed.

      I won't go off on another rant about Hoppe. Instead, I will just point out that a society is formed through the voluntary exchange of goods and services. In primitive economies, this is left to tribal / ethnic groups. As the economy advances, society (rightfully) becomes the entire world (presuming that some government doesn't prevent it). If someone doesn't want to make these voluntary exchanges with people they don't like, that is fine. But, they cannot prevent someone else from making these exchanges without aggressing against them.

      Conflict arises because the state or other governmental forces prevent the voluntary exchanges.

      What is happening in Europe is their (and the U.S. gov's) own making. First, with high welfare benefits, then with military intervention in Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere. Had neither of these preconditions happened, there would likely be no crisis.

      That said, Europe is committing suicide by not turning off the free money spigot. Unless they do, they will continue to see the mass migration and the slow (yet faster) disintegration of western civilization. I only feel sorry for those few remaining classic liberals and libertarians who have to deal with the various types of socialist political parties running their countries.

    7. Matt: Which land did the state take from you? You are still approaching this from a collective or communal ownership perspective. Any specific takings should be returned to their owner or opened to homesteading (if that owner cannot be found). You have no positive right to ownership in the land controlled by the government simply because you were born within these borders either. The land belongs to the true owner, not to the collective, comrade.

  7. Hans-Hermann Hoppe has written extensively about immigration. He has demonstrated that the libertarian position does *not* require a libertarian to support open borders right now.

    Yes, eliminate the welfare state. But it does not follow that we cannot "tell" the government to close the borders, since public property ultimately belongs to those it was stolen from. And, because the government controls roads and other public accommodations and would not in a libertarian society, people have the right to prevent forced integration.

    In an AnCap society, people can precent forced integration through HOA's or even grand scale community agreements. Since we don't live in that community today, people can pursue the measures available to them to protect their property.

  8. Much of what Hoppe says should be disregarded. He twists logic to justify his predetermined conclusions. He is not a libertarian, as is clear from his essay "Government and the Private Production of Defense". Although possibly tongue-in-cheek (it is sometimes tough to tell), he advocates expelling his undesirables to "the Amazon jungle, the Sahara, or the polar regions". So, a criminal instead of being forced to pay back any damages would be forcibly relocated to a place where they are likely to die. His arguments are often totalitarian.

    Now, on your argument, you are basically saying that the state expropriated money from people to pay for "collective goods", therefore, people who did not pay for these "collective goods" should not be allowed to use them. If I have this wrong, please correct me.

    By this logic, only net taxpayers should be allowed to use roads and other public accommodations. This would be impossible to actually determine, as it would not be possible to ascribe a value to the use of the roads or schools or whatever to each person. However, though actually impossible, it could theoretically be done. Based on this theory, any government employee, welfare queen (corporate of individual), or other net recipient of tax money would also be prohibited from using these "collective goods". This means that use of these public accommodations would be restricted to around half of the population. Taken to this extreme, the argument is quite bizarre.

    It is akin to justifications made for the state. By using the "collective goods" one is de facto agreeing to state expropriation to pay for them (the supposed implicit consent of the governed). In this case, by having your income expropriated you are entitled to use of the state's products. The whole point of the state is to provide these "collective goods" to everyone, whether they are a net taxpayer or net recipient. The logic used to support "collective goods" is tremendously flawed, but so is the logic in this argument.

    In fact, it is self-refuting. As net tax recipients (including government employees and contractors) cannot use the services provided by the state, they cannot travel to work to perform their job. They cannot telecommute either, due to their use of taxpayer funded websites / servers / email, etc. They, in fact, cannot possibly do their government job at all. An argument where only those net taxpayers are entitled to a service necessarily results in the elimination of the state because it is counter logical (ie by definition, the state includes both winners [those net taxpayers] and losers [those net tax recipients] ... it can be no other way). Those who perform the work of the state are recipients, but with an inability to perform the work, they cannot be recipients (and so on).

    The proper point to make is that, you're right ... eliminating the welfare state is not enough. In addition, all government owned property should be returned to the original owners (where it can be traced) or opened up to homesteading (where it cannot). Roads and other "collective goods" should be privatized (where possible) or eliminated (where there is no market need for them). And then people could do with their private property as they wish.

    1. Open borders, or how to stop a boat from sinking by poking more holes in the hull.