Thursday, June 21, 2018

How to Discuss the Government Child Separation Issue From a Libertarian Perspective

When it comes to my perspective on government and its actions, I take my guidance from Murray Rothbard. In Do You Hate The State?, he wrote:
Perhaps the word that best defines our distinction is "radical." Radical in the sense of being in total, root-and-branch opposition to the existing political system and to the State itself. Radical in the sense of having integrated intellectual opposition to the State with a gut hatred of its pervasive and organized system of crime and injustice. Radical in the sense of a deep commitment to the spirit of liberty and antistatism that integrates reason and emotion, heart and soul...

[T]he radical libertarian is not only an abolitionist, but also refuses to think in such terms as a Four Year Plan for some sort of stately and measured procedure for reducing the State...

[T]he radical regards the State as our mortal enemy, which must be hacked away at wherever and whenever we can. To the radical libertarian, we must take any and every opportunity to chop away at the State, whether it's to reduce or abolish a tax, a budget appropriation, or a regulatory power. And the radical libertarian is insatiable in this appetite until the State has been abolished...
Thus, with this as guidance, I am suspicious of all government actions, rules and laws. My default position on all of them is that I am against them unless I can be shown how such an action rule or law will advance liberty

When it comes to immigration, my view is that
if an immigrant has a place to stay (in the private sector), it is none of my business if he enters the country or not.

The idea that immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans is an absurd idea promoted by President Trump's immigrant-hating adviser Steven Miller.

It is true that to the degree they are allowed to go on the government dole, immigrants increase government expenditures, but it is truly a pre-crime notion to ban all immigrants because some might go on the dole. The solution is not complicated for the libertarian, it is to call for a welfare wall that prevents immigrants to go on the dole.

To advocate the banning of immigrants by government to stop any from going on the dole is ass-backward libertarianism. It is calling for more government to attempt to move toward liberty.

This was a problem with Milton Friedman, he was a government technocrat always finding a role for government instead of calling for government to be torn down.

As Rothbard put it:
There is not a single abolitionist who would not grab a feasible method, or a gradual gain, if it came his way. The difference is that the abolitionist always holds high the banner of his ultimate goal, never hides his basic principles, and wishes to get to his goal as fast as humanly possible. Hence, while the abolitionist will accept a gradual step in the right direction if that is all that he can achieve, he always accepts it grudgingly, as merely a first step toward a goal which he always keeps blazingly clear. The abolitionist is a "button pusher" who would blister his thumb pushing a button that would abolish the State immediately, if such a button existed. But the abolitionist also knows that alas, such a button does not exist, and that he will take a bit of the loaf if necessary — while always preferring the whole loaf if he can achieve it.
It should be noted here that many of Milton [Friedman]'s most famous "gradual" programs such as the voucher plan, the negative income tax, the withholding tax, fiat paper money — are gradual (or even not so gradual) steps in the wrong direction, away from liberty, and hence the militance of much libertarian opposition to these schemes.

Some have objected to the fact that some immigrants are crossing on private land to enter the United States, I have no objection to landowners of such properties acting to stop this if they so desire.  But it should be noted that this occurs because undocumented aliens are prevented by the state from entering the United States at traditional border entry points and further it is because of government regulations that a pro-immigrant charitable organization doesn't buy up some private land area for entry.

Thus, there is nothing to cheer here in government actions. It is the state distorting the natural flows of people. Pulling ICE out of border enforcement would result in natural flows that would keep immigrants crossing the borders in areas away from where private landowners would object.

Further, Greyhound bus and airline service would be available to new immigrants.

The argument that new immigrants from south of the border would distort voting patterns in a more leftist direction is based on a total lack of understanding of the history of Catholic voting. It should be noted that we aren't exactly going in a libertarian direction in the country right now and Murray Rothbard has traced this leftist movement to the progressive era that, as Rothbard pointed, was in many ways was also a movement against Catholics (See: The Progressive Era).

Although Catholics from south of the border are likely leaning leftist, they are probably a lot easier to flip in a libertarian direction than the current American non-Catholic elitist progressives who have been brought up and maintain an obnoxious elitist central planning thought process.

All this said, how does one present the libertarian perspective on the government child separation issue to the non-libertarian?

First, it should be made clear that the separation of children from their parents, and the general horrific immigration policy, is caused by rulings from a central power. In the current case with Trump being at the center of the power.

This is the problem that Ludwig von Mises warned about when he said:
The worst thing that can happen to a socialist is to have his country ruled by socialists who are not his friends.

He could have just as easily have said that the worst thing that could happen for a person seeking to influence the center of power is to be ruled by others that have gained the power who are not his friends.

Thus, it is the central power itself that should be attacked so that free exchange can take place. Supporting free exchange is support against dictators.

Further, Freidrich Hayek in Chapter 10: "Why The Worst Get On Top" of The Road to Serfdom warned us that the worst get to the top of central power.

It is naive to think a benevolent dictator would gain a top power spot. And if one somehow did, it would still be impossible to centrally plan a society and economy that is always changing and adjusting to new ideas and developments from many different directions. A central power ruler who does not simply allow freedom must by his very plan create great stagnation---at a minimum. 

If a central power can be dangerous and do nothing but create some type of stagnation, then why support and advocate for such a power spot in the first place?



  1. You libertardians still have not shown me that these people have the ability to assimilate. You are a fool if you think any of them give a damn about property rights or NAP. There is also the issue of jobs and pressure on resources like water. As I see it, America if full. Legal and other immigration should have been curtailed in 1990.

    1. Re: He-Who-Fantasizes-About-White-European-Males,

      --- You libertardians still have not shown me that these people have the ability to assimilate ---

      Depends on what you mean by "assimilate". I can aegue that not even the Irish have 'assimilated' with their habit of painting rivers green.

      Once YOU define what assimilation is supposed to look like, then you can be put against a corner like a fool, which is why you never do define it.

      --- As I see it, America if full. ---

      Which is why you support mass sterilizations, correct?

    2. Lab Manager - you CLEARLY don't give a damn about NAP. You also clearly have no understanding of markets (certainly not Austrian economics) if you are talking about shortages of jobs and water ... man alive. Do you actually absorb ANYTHING from Mr. Wenzel's blogs? Or you just show up solely to spew your vile ignorance and hate?

    3. "You are a fool if you think any of them give a damn about property rights or NAP."

      Given the tax, regulatory, and warfare state that a very high percentage of citizens in the US seem to support (at least a majority), they don't seem to give a damn about property rights or the NAP either. So if you are correct about all of the potential immigrants, won't they fit right in?

    4. It's just about promoting what their corporate masters want.

      Libertarianism is just a cult of crybabies sitting on their asses cheering on the neoliberal status quo. The right-wing populists are actually fighting for freedom and putting their necks out on the line while libertarians just whine in little circlejerks.

    5. “Actually fighting” = making Internet posts begging police and border guards to protect them?

    6. Re: Twerking Nincompoop,

      ── Libertarianism is just a cult of crybabies [!!!] ──

      HA HA HA!

      "Bwaaa, immigrants takum er jebz!"
      "Bwaaa, China is stealing 'our'[our???] intellectual property!"
      "Bwaaa, Mexicans are rapists!"

      Projecting much, TS?

      ── The right-wing populists are actually fighting for freedom ──

      How do Trumpistas spell "freedom"?


    7. "Actually fighting" consists of more than making chicken shit comments promoting the status quo.

      I know libertarians like to act like they're above the fray, but really they're just scared of being leaders. They like being irrelevant because they aren't burdened with any responsibility there.

      Consider that your libertarian psych lesson for the day.

    8. OK but you didn’t explain how you’re “actually fighting” for freedom. Like, do you personally spend your Sundays at the southern border hunting down illegal Mexicans before they have a chance to take our jobs or breathe our air?

    9. TS:

      I don't think libertarians are scared of being leaders; many have run or currently run their own businesses. Unlike statists, however, libertarians neither want to be coercively ruled by someone else (it's beyond my comprehension why any man would want to be ruled by another), nor coercively rule over others.

    10. Lab manager, I don’t know many immigrants anymore, although I grew up around many “illegals” in the farm areas of Idaho. But I know a few now, and all are hardcore Anarchist. They hate the State.
      Twerk, wth are you talking about, fighting for what? More State power?
      Maybe Alaska is different from other areas with Libertarians, but the ones I know, and believe me it’s a lot of people, we are business owners, or folks with good jobs, and some who are getting by. All are vocal, and hate the State. And many of us are doing quite a lot of different things we don’t blab about on media.
      We have folks here who give farming “classes” to help folks be self sufficient. We have farmers who have “pick your own produce” who promote community in a market sense, a couple city councilmen in different cities here that are exposing corruption and promoting liberty with their platform.
      I have a local radio show that I pay for that has brought a lot of people with a libertarian perspective together. We have a strong advocate of liberty who is our local spokesman for FIJA(I am the alternate spokesman) . We have brought the Occupy Wall Street folks in and got them to see where Liberty and Austrian economics would be a better path than socialism.
      Don’t know what Libertarians you know, but around here, we aren’t just posting on blogs. Which there is nothing wrong with, I learn a lot from quite a few good folks here that post.

  2. @RW, I agree with your your thoughts and a truly libertarian society is greatly to be desired. But doesn't everyone (or most) have to be on the same page culturally and even ethnically? With large populations of minorities from many different countries with many different cultures, group rights and tribal instincts take over. Which is what we are starting to see now.

    1. Re: Robert What?

      --- But doesn't everyone (or most) have to be on the same page culturally and even ethnically? ---

      That's as idiotic a requirement as saying that people should be free of sin before joining a church.

      The appeal to PERFECTION is an old and tired tactic from the LEFT, their favorite when they attack free markets (markets can only function freely if people were not so greedy and blah blah). You made it clear it is also the favorite tactic of anti-market ideologues on the Trumpista camp, the OTHER left.

    2. You have no idea what's coming do you? Group identity and tribal instincts, and maybe even civil war will wash your nice little dreams away like a tsunami.

    3. I love being lectured by nationalists about the dangers of tribalism.

    4. Re: Robert What?

      ── You have no idea what's coming do you? Group identity and tribal instincts ──

      You mean besides those displayed by rabid Trumpistas?

      I haven't had a single problem with immigrants, from any origin or stripe, nor with most Americans. People who come here are attracted not only by the possibility of engaging in a more profitable trade for their labor but also attracted by American principles and culture. American culture is perhaps the MOST EXPORTED in the world. Western culture is perhaps the MOST successful in history. Many Asian countries have symphonic orchestras playing Beethoven and Strauss to thunderous applause. American, English, Spanish, Italian and French literature is translated and read all over the globe. More and more people are learning English as a second language thanks to the Internet and computers.

      Yet Trumpistas have the chutzpah to say that a few immigrants will bring the collapse of the American project? That's a putrid nativist fantasy, a tall tale one uses to scare little children and clueless white voters.

    5. @Evan, tell me where I am wrong. You can have a high trust liberal society, or you can have open borders. You can't have both.

    6. What exactly do you mean by “high trust”?

    7. Re: Robert What?

      ── tell me where I am wrong. ──

      Your wish is our command.

      ── You can have a high trust liberal society, or you can have open borders. You can't have both. ──

      False dichotomy with Equivocation. Open borders means open to the free flow of goods, services, capital and, yes, labor. It doesn't mean open to invasion ─that's a Trumpista fantasy.

      A high trust liberal society will have open borders as defined above because the alternative is a society without the benefit of trade, which would in turn make that society progressively poorer and especially subject to depopulation, as younger members would leave that society for a richer society.

      You cannot have a society that exists outside the LAWS OF ECONOMICS. That, cannot exist.

    8. Re:Evan Smiley,

      --- What exactly do you [Robert What?] mean by “high trust”? ---

      I think that's an euphemism for inbred hillbillies, which actually explains a lot when you think about it...

    9. @Evan and @Francisco, if you don't know what a "high trust" society is, that's a pretty sad statement for what we've lost. I assume both of you are well under fifty? And if I'm a hillbilly then I'm a hillbilly with a MS from Columbia University.

    10. @Robert What?

      Sounds like some touchy-feely bullshit. Are you sure you’re not a progressive?

  3. Most people are not libertarian and never will be. A libertarian PPS would have admission criteria and security.

    1. I’m sure there would be a wide range of policies. PPSs that are too finicky about their admission criteria will be forgoing some degree of economic and cultural opportunity.

    2. Re: PH,

      ── Most people are not libertarian and never will be. ──

      Not "most" people. Only Trumpistas.

      ── A libertarian PPS would have admission criteria and security. ──

      What other 'admission criteria' could there be than having property to trade for other property?

      Even so, even if some PP societies had an admission criteria, that doesn't mean the admission criteria set forth by a criminal state [a pleonasm, to be sure] are valid or even consistent with the wishes of a PPS.

  4. I'll side with Mr. Libertarian Ron Paul rather than Cultural Marxist libwap TDS Wenzel.

    "You may want to be a guest, but you're uninvited, you're an intruder and we want you out of here....They totally ignore the principle of private property and voluntaryism....A lot of them are real hard workers and should be welcome, but I don't believe that if you do break our laws and you come in that the answer should be citizenship. It shouldn't be that way. Politically speaking, I think the Progressives and the Hard Left really think they have something going here." (full video)

    1. Re: Stuffed Pimento,

      ── You may want to be a guest, but you're uninvited, you're an intruder ──

      Immigrants are ALL invited. The fact that you don't like someone doesn't mean ipso facto he or she wasn't invited. And the fact the invitee climbed the fence doesn't mean he or she is invading your property, or mine. My property boundaries don't extend over yours, any more than yours extend over mine.

      ── I don't believe that if you do break our laws and you come in that the answer should be citizenship. ──

      It's important to remember that Dr. Paul's problem was never with immigrants but with allowing immigrants voting rights right away. I sympathize with his view in this sense: no one who doesn't have skin in the game should vote. Universal voting rights is what ushers in mob rule. But that is NOT justification to stop people from freely interacting and freely and peacefully travel from point A to point B to work and live. Individuals still have sovereignty.

    2. Do invitees always come through the back door in the darkness of night?

      Who specifically invited each individual invader?

      You keep saying it's Mr. Market Co. Then you finally admit that Mr. Market Co. is not an abstract idea, but actually a descriptor for the interactions of millions of individuals. Which of these individuals invited an invader - and which invader? Or will you say fallaciously they were all invited by Mr. Market Co.?

    3. I invited them. You invited them, even if you want to think it is not so. Millions, through their conscious economic decisions, invited them.

      And you're a mendacious f*ck, SP. Who the hell said "Mr. Market" is just an abstract idea? I TOLD you, the Market is the network made of billions of daily decisions made by individual humans of will. You on the other hand went off the rails by bringing up "perfect information", in your ineffective attempt at SMEARING markets and therefore people, in a feeble attempt at justifying government action against peaceful people who ARE BEING INVITED IN, by the Market.

  5. Here’s where we see that not only was it Obama that paid for and set up these camps, he was actually making the (incomprehensible yet simultaneously reprehensible to Wenzel) moral hazard argument. (google business insider, zero tolerance Obama detention centers if the link doesn't show)

    So now we see that Wenzel is the Jon Stewart of economics: It’s really all political, and he’s so deranged over Trump (does Wenzel fear an American “Holocaust”?) that logical, dispassionate analysis is out the window.

    But we can be glad that Trump has played chumps like Wenzel. The new policy is still zero-tolerance (all law-breakers at the border will be arrested and charged, and detained throughout the process—instead of catch and release and never show for court), and soon they will begin DNA testing the migrants.

    Wenzel will scream “Nazi,” but the fact is that only a tiny percentage of adults and children are actually family. The vast majority are unaccompanied minors traveling with Coyotes. Separating ADULTS from MINORS in holding facilities is absolutely common sense (just like we do in every other institution...). So now, to prove that you’re the actual parents you’ll have to submit to DNA testing, which will aid in arresting liars but also in catching multiple offenders. All while simultaneously deterring future illegal entry. Brilliant. And now Wenzel has to STFU about it, because his TDS bleeding heart liberalism was so enflamed thinking about the children!

    Likely this won’t be posted, as Wenzel has been very selective about what he posts of mine, especially the long reasoned arguments (that I tried over and over to post but for some reason he would only post the short, snarkier ones… I’ve discovered that Wenzel is an intellectual coward on his blog). Just wanted to chuckle a bit at the fact that restrictionists get their way and all Trump had to do was end part of what Obama set up and had been doing, and he got the double win of getting the ethnicity-before-principles people to show their colors. You never raised a peep when Obama was doing it, doubling down on it, bragging about it. Whatever your analysis, it's been shown to be partisan. Partisan to a political party? Maybe not...

    Trump is a scumbag politician, but man is he entertaining. He’s also great at getting certain groups to show their true colors.And keep Rothbard’s name out of this. We are OPPOSING THE STATE in its mission to create a new electorate. The State is trying to oppress us by bringing in freedom-hating ringers (have you lived in Latin America, Wenzel? No, you hilariously ignorant man.). Murray, I’m sorry to see your name dragged around by this guy!

    1. Re: Principled... something.

      Be it known here that whataboutism is not a libertarian principle.

      ── Here’s where we see that not only was it Obama that paid for and set up these camps, ──


      ── only a tiny percentage of adults and children are actually family. ──

      Which makes the policy all right, right?

      This suggests the question: Why would the Keebler Elf Sessions tell Laura "Crazy" Ingraham that the policy of separating parents from children worked as a deterrent if, like you claim (with no substantiation) only a "tiny proportion" are families? Then the deterrence is being applied at the wrong people.

      ── We are OPPOSING THE STATE in its mission to create a new electorate ──

      HA HA HA HA HA HA! People create a whole new electorate all the time, by having BABIES! Why not then be consistent and also advocate for mass sterilization of the population, or don't you want to argue that the State is "forcing" a new electorate by letting people have children?

      ── The State is trying to oppress us by bringing in freedom-hating ringers ──

      Yes, because people who risk their lives or uproot from their land and family to seek a better life are especially hostile towards freedom.

      The arguments are SO frowsy and clumsy, I am amazed Robert allowed this one through. You're boring. And, you're not a libertarian. Your nick is clearly meant to distract the administrator from your true nature.

    2. No you are supporting the state along with the uneducated bumpkins who support Trump while waving flags and chanting USA. There is nothing anti-state about increasing border patrol.

      The libertarian position is to allow for increased illegal immigration. They are not sanctioned by the state and cannot vote (spare me conspiracy theories please).

  6. ── When it comes to immigration, my view is that if an immigrant has a place to stay (in the private sector), it is none of my business if he enters the country or not. ──

    That is the rational view, the only view consistent with respect for other people's business. But nationalists and Trumpistas, being the dangerous collectivists they truly are, will have none of it. How dare the private sector house or employ these damn immigruntz who takum er jebz! This country is "our home"!

    It is understandable that people who are sensitive to other persons' 'bad behavior' (be it smoking in public, or throwing trash in the street, etc.) would feel disgusted with immigrants crossing the border outside of the usual ports of entry. However their disgust is not and cannot be a rationale for a policy that would treat such immigrants as criminals, especially when many transgressions are not treated as criminal as it would a) stretch police resources to the point of ineffectiveness and b) it would usher in a totalitarian police state.

    Thus the rational policy is to allow people free access to the country ***through the ports of entry***, provided the individuals do so peacefully, which includes not squatting in someone's property. For that to happen, barriers of entry should be eliminated: eliminate visa requirements, stop asking employers to defend their hiring decisions, eliminate all branches of the government that deal with so-called "border enforcement" and give that effort back where it belongs: the local police, who can better manage their resources to stop the true transgressors.

    As to the situation with welfare benefits, the problem with using that problem to argue against the free flow of labor through the border is that it becomes, like Robert mentioned, a "precautionary principle" argument that can justify a full prohibition only because there's no absolute guarantee that no one is going to apply for benefits. A precautionary principle would be enough to forbid all people from ever driving a motorized vehicle because there's no guarantee that no one motorist is going to run over someone. If anyone here comes back with the argument that such a position would not make sense as it would mean no one would be able to do anything, the answer is that the Welfare argument against immigration is equally nonsensical. If anyone ahs a problem with the government giving away benefits, then that person's beef is with government. It shouldn't be with immigrants.

    1. I agree that legal immigration - even for low skilled workers - should be unlimited so long as the immigrant can pay his own way (or have it paid for him) as long as he is in the country. No welfare, no voting, and any crimes against person or property and the immigrant is evicted from America forever.

      However, the State (if it exists) must play a role in immigration, lest it cede its monopoly on violence. You've conceded this point and are now arguing only the proper administration of immigration policy. The Federal Government has been responsible for dealing with legal immigration since the 19th Century. And the Federal Government has always been responsible for protecting citizens from invasion. “United States shall guarantee to every State a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion.”

      You've conceded that Atilla and his Huns (or Jihad Bob and his Dirty Bomb) shouldn't be allowed to waltz through the border in the dead of night. It follows that illegal invaders must be detained by the State, vetted and processed according to the law.

      Now say it with me, Legal Immigration = Good, Illegal Invasion = Bad

    2. @Stuffed Pimento

      I’m actually in general agreement with your first paragraph. However, that’s not anywhere close to the current “legal” immigration process. In light of that, I’m not sure why you seem to give so much importance to legal status of current immigrants.