Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Immigrants That I Am Really Afraid Of

By Robert Wenzel

It is extremely difficult to break away from statist thinking.

The latest example of this is the argument made by some libertarians about legal immigrants versus illegal immigrants.

At the post, Trump "Wins" Border Wall Televised "Crisis" Battle Against Democrats, the frequent commenter Sherlock, who does appear to be seeking truth, provides us with an example of this when he writes:
---Why? What's the difference between a person who carries the government's transit papers and one who does not, in terms of what each is: human beings, comung here to work? ---

The legitimacy of the immigration law notwithstanding (Romans 13 for me there), there is a difference in approach between illegal and legal migration. One starts with respect for the host society's rule of law (flawed as it may be) and one that doesn't. I think that is a crucial difference. Legal immigrants are awesome and a net gain, no argument from me about that.
This is simply a statist way of looking at things. All we know for sure is that the legal immigrant has more respect for the state and the willingness to go through bureaucratic coprolite. The illegal is willing to go around this.

I'll take the illegals who lack respect for the government any day. This has nothing to do with respect for "society's rules." There are illegals all over San Francisco and they are respectful, God-fearing, family values people. But they are very suspicious of government.

If serious totalitarianism comes to the US, they are going to be the ones that will know how to work the angles. For this reason alone, we need more illegals not less---and fewer legals. From the group of legals, we will no doubt end up with some bureaucratic pricks. These are the ones I really fear, they will respect the state and expect everyone else to toe the statist line.

Illegals keep their heads down and mind their own business.

In advance of last year's 2016 mid-term election, the city of San Francisco spent $310,000 to get illegals to vote in the city elections. The city was was successful in registering 49! LOL That's $6,326 per registered voter.

That's the spirit or lack of statist spirit amongst these people. But they could be our saviors if oppressive government gets really get bad.

Larga vida al flujo indocumentado!

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of


  1. Thank you for your respectful reply, Bob. That note about SF attempting to register illegals is great; or are they legitimately afraid of ICE using those records, and would register if not such threat existed? Who knows?

    From some ways of looking at it (although the following thought is not well developed), illegals may have more freedom than natural citizens (not registered in Leviathan's computers, making near ancap level deals with employers).

    I may continue to push back as I try to close all holes or reach an impasse. Thank you for taking it seriously.

  2. Also, Rothbard quote explaining why I am willing to push back against NAP/PPS even though I think they are ideologically superior to statism:

    “Only an imbecile [not nice, Murray] could ever hold that freedom is the highest or indeed the only principle or end of life.”

  3. The beaners in the pic look like 'natural libertarians' to me; let them in.

  4. Sherlock, I'm not sure that that quotation from Rothbard without context does him full justice. Elsewhere in the piece from which you take that quotation, Rothbard explains "Freedom, in short, is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the achievement of virtue. With Lord Acton, we may say that freedom is the highest political end..."

    1. No, wait. I do disagree in part.

      Freedom is neither necessary nor sufficient, in life or in the achievement of virtue. It is merely preferable, in human terms.

    2. Sherlock, how can A pursue his definition of "virtue" if B is forcing A to act according to B's whims?

    3. --- Freedom is neither necessary nor sufficient, in life or in the achievement of virtue ---

      Ah. Finally. You're a Fascist.

      Freedom is what allows you to show virtue.

    4. NAPster:

      Freedom isn't required to live (i.e. stay alive). Virtue can be demonstrated under persecution (e.g. Christians under Nero).

      Freedom from government coercion is a human preference, not a cosmic mandate. There is nothing written in the cosmos saying government coercion shouldn't be happening; because in reality it is. If it were a cosmic law, then it wouldn't be happening.

      It is a good human desire, but it is a desire, and not a rule. Heck, the rule (so far) seems to be enslavement and coercion!

    5. Sherlock, since you mention Christians, and I think in another post you mentioned Romans 13, ( and if I remember right I think you have a misunderstood meaning of Romans) if you are a Christian you should know that God does not want us to live enslaved to any man made government. Man ruling man was never the way God wanted it. Man chose this way of living rejecting him. And maybe it’s not in the cosmos, but it certainly is everywhere in the Bible that government coercion shouldn’t be happening.

    6. Rothbard touted the indispensability of several factors, working together and self-reinforcing, that foster civilization and mankind's well-being: Liberty (first and foremost), specialization/division of labor, and trade. [ see article: ]
      So yes, in a sense, it would be foolish to only value liberty and nothing else, if one's goal is speediest advancement of civilization and man's flourishing.

    7. Sherlock, yes, I agree, no particular political philosophy is mandated anywhere. But why is that dispositive? The nature of political philosophy is that we are trying to use reason to develop a set of principles that can better our lives. Reason is what distinguishes humans from other animals; animals live according to necessity and instinct, but hopefully we can rise above that and live according to reason. And when one uses reason, I find the NAP to be the most compelling bedrock principle. But obviously many don't.

    8. Bennett: I agree with the Reformed stance on Romans 13, that does not necessarily condone government action, but informs our reaction to it. I beleive God is sovereign, preordaining the ends as well as the means (in other words, the fact that it is happening is evidence that it should be happening, for God's ultimate glory). This is a larger discussion for a Christian forum, but I do not think I am mistaken on Romans 13. I mentioned it only in passing earlier, so a fuller understanding of what I meant wasn't there. Perhaps it would have been better if I avoided it.

      Sui-Juris: my goal is religious (the glory of God). That's why I don't "rank" the pursuit of political liberty as an ultimate end. It's a good and preferable thing, and worth pursuing. Just not as an idol. The problem I've been trying to work out, through the recent discussion on immigration: is there ever a time where the NAP or libertarianism takes lower priority? I think it was NAPster that responded a couple of articles ago that there doesn't seem to be any. I'm still chewing on that.

      NAPster: reason in political philosophy leads to the NAP (if you assume that aggression is objectively, or even preferentially, wrong). I agree with that; that's why I am politically libertarian. If I remember correctly, Wenzel doesn't use Natural Rights as a bedrock to PPS. In a similar vein I don't use Natural Rights to arrive at the NAP. It is a sin to aggress upon others. I have a religious mandate. But nowhere does my religion say I have the right to a peaceful and free life void of others aggressing upon me (just that they are sinning in doing so), so that's why I call freedom a preference, rather than a Right.

    9. Sherlock, I can't comment on your religious mandate, and if that works for you, great.

      However, I would note that my view on the NAP is perhaps a little different from others. It's somewhat Kantian. In my view, if we recognize that all men are metaphysically equal, in the sense of possessing the same fundamental capacity for consciousness, conceiving, rationalizing, and acting, then there is no objective justification to define different rules of acceptable, inter-personal behavior for different men. Every man should be expected to treat others, and be entitled to be treated by others, according to the same code.

      The question then arises, is there an inter-personal behavioral code that, as a technical matter, can apply to all men continuously and consistently, without creating conflict? The answer is that only a "negative rights" code can work technically, since only "thou shalt not do" can work for everyone at the same time (i.e., a "positive rights" code creates conflict). And since the NAP is a "negative rights" code, it is the only feasible, meaningful behavioral code.

    10. Excellent! That is very interesting. I think our different approaches to justifying the NAP can affect our application of it. Very fun.

  5. Compare the murder rates of two border towns:

    El Paso, Texas population 686,077, murder rate 2.5 per 100,000 - Hispanics and Latinos of any race account for almost 81% of the population.

    Detroit, Michigan (82% black) population 673,225, murder rate 43.4 per 100,000.

    1. Bob, so glad you brought this up. Compare the crime statistics before and after a border wall was constructed in El Paso, TX. Property crimes down 37%.

      The only two good reasons a libertarian can oppose the border wall is (1)he doesn't think a taxpayer in Massachusetts should pay for the protection of the resident of some border town three-thousand miles away and (2) he doesn't want to be fenced in by a totalitarian government.

      Rather than arguing over a man-made physical barrier, I suggest the left and these Bill Weld-style libertarians go work to reform the governments in these horrible countries.

    2. Stuffed Pumento makes a good point. And Juarez just south of the border is known for lots of murders.

      Also, the comparison of a town in Texas where guns are encouraged for non criminals to Chicago where they are heavily regulated along with the destructive policies of Chicago Democrats vs pro-business Texas should be noted along with plenty other differences. These are not apples to apples comparisons, but the before and after crime rate in El Paso is pretty clear.

  6. A thought experiment inspired by Stuffed Pimento:

    El Paso and Juarez are two neighboring Ancap cities in Ancapistan. There is a terrible crime problem in both cities, but it is determined that the offenders are overwhelmingly from Juarez. A group of El Paso landowners get together to build a wall. 35% of El Paso residents fund it. Local businesses contract with a border security firm, which screens for the non-criminal majority of Juarez residents wanting to visit El Paso. Crime in El Paso plummets.

    Is there any Ancap objection to how this wall was built? Is there any Ancap objection to the security measures some El Paso residents took? Would the Ancap have any objection to the privately built wall if the El Paso residents were mistaken, and the crime problem was home-grown? What if the El Paso residents know it will harm their economy? The wall was built sans Ancap violation.

    This leads me to think the problem in the real scenario we face today isn't border security or migration restriction, but rather the identity of the builder (gov) and the enforcers (gov).

    In practical terms, I have no choice but to “contract” my hypothetical border security desires with gov. In the latest post about Krugman, RW mentions it is not advisable to instantly get to libertarianism, especially with security issues (guards walking away from nuke posts). We (and I'm including migrants in the “we”) are forced into two bad scenarios: poor security with little freedom and better security with little freedom. If the “level of freedom” stays the same (low), why not more security?

    Fun times.

    1. Libertarianism is only a philosophy about the use of force. It says nothing about how nice you should be to other people, absent the use of force. Thus, from a purely libertarian perspective, there wouldn't be any objection I could see, provided that the amounts raised were voluntarily contributed, the private-property owners whose land is used freely agreed to this, the work was done by freely consenting labor, and no one in El Paso is initiating force to prevent an El Paso resident from associating with a Juarez resident on his own property or the property of others who don't object.

      In fact, I would go further; from a libertarian perspective, the El Paso residents and businesses could do what they did even if there were no crime problem, but just because they didn't like the folks in Juarez. That's the essence of private-property rights. (This might be objectionable from a humanistic perspective, but that is not the province of libertarianism.)

      The real issue is not one of "open" vs. "closed" borders, but privatized vs. state-managed borders. As with any enduring problem in society, the cause is the state, and that is where people should direct their efforts, to make the state less relevant and powerful in our lives, as private action will fill the vacuum created. Empowering the state to do more is only a recipe for greater disaster.

    2. How big is the wall? Cant the Juarezinos just drive around, or wouldn't other entrepreneurs offer ways around that we cant even think of?

      The biggest wall ever was built to keep the Mongols out. The biggest empire ever was the Mongolian empire. That wall didnt work. What exactly is going to be different about yours?

    3. Never mind, NAPster, I think you addressed it at the end. To rephrase you: even contracting a bit with a gov will end in greater disaster than the problem being solved, even and especially with the border scenario.

  7. Donxon, respectfully I don't want to argue the hypothetical. Just framing a thought experiment.

    Yes, NAPster, I agree that the debate is private vs. gov and not the morality or utility of borders and walls.

    What about the last paragraph of my comment above?

    1. Crap, this was supposed to go above my "never mind" comment in the above thread. Sorry.