L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 918, April 16, 2017
Neil’s 2nd Thoughts About Immigration
by Paul Bonneau
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
I can relate to Neil’s article. [“Jethro and Duke” by L. Neil Smith] Lately I have been having some 2nd thoughts myself. However, I don’t think we actually need to give up on free travel quite yet.
For the record, I think Islam is an ugly and destructive meme—although whether it beats one of the memes from Western Civilisation in that respect—Communism—is certainly debatable. Some African-Muslim practices like FGM drive me into a rage. I think most of the problems with “terrorism” (other than that done by governments) is due to blowback from imperialism, and would mostly disappear (except in Europe) if the imperialism stopped, and those Middle Eastern countries would go back to being the sleepy places they were before the Brits, French, Italians and later the US decided to meddle with them to get the oil and military bases. An oriental despotism such as the Ottoman Empire is probably a best case for those countries.
Still, I have no desire to live, myself, in a Muslim-majority country; nor even in one that accommodates them very much. If this article can be interpreted as support for open borders, then given the fact that such with no change in the world otherwise, would be unpleasant; so, it is hardly a very enthusiastic support. But then, principles would not be principles if they were easy to observe.
The difficulty of course, is the 900-lb gorilla in the room: government. If there were none here, and all property was private property, then although I would not invite the random African Muslim on my place, who am I to deny others who want to do so? Most people learn only through their mistakes. I expect the fad of embracing refugees would taper off quite a bit with that personal experience, and anyway with no government here the imperialism driving them out of their own countries would almost disappear. End result, everyone is happy. Libertarian principles are safe.
But government is here, fucking everything up as it usually does. What to do with my principles then?
Well, I’m not lobbying for the wall—but I’m not agitating against it being built, either. I know my opinion on it matters not at all, so in a sense I’m left off the hook where my principles are concerned. I can just sit back with some pop-corn and watch developments.
I’m not going to push vetting either; I know it won’t work no matter what. After all, government is doing it! And again, my opinion about it is irrelevant.
What I continue to do is oppose war and imperialism as much as I reasonably can do, and alternatives to government like Panarchy. These things will help the immigration problem besides all the other good that can be accomplished through them. I’m still pretty realistic about how much my opinions on these will affect reality, but Hell, you have to push for something—even if your realistic side tells you it’s smarter to give up.
As to travel “rights”, there is no such thing. Rights are a 17th century meme, a fantasy that has been appropriated by the ruling class for its own vile purposes. They love being in the driver’s seat, adjudicating which rights you have and which you don’t. They also like foisting rights such as Marx’s “free schooling” on us.
No, there is no right to travel. There is just the realization that this world is a more pleasant place when people can move freely, and not get bothered by TSA, border guards, customs agents and other such lowlifes. If we can get that, while discouraging people with ugly memes in their heads from coming here at the same time, then all the better. Arming the Hell out of everybody wouldn’t hurt that aim.
All this discussion about travel will become perfectly irrelevant when our economy finally crashes through debt, and chaos ensues. As Mark Twain put it, “Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.”
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