L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 262, March 7, 2004
Remember: Free Hunter!
The Kaptain's Log: Nationalism and Racism: Enemies of Liberty
Exclusive to TLE
[Kaptain Kanada is back, and he's just as mean and insensitive as ever. Just when you thought it was safe to go back online, too, eh...]
It grieves me to say it, but libertarianism has next to no chance to succeed in the USA. The reason is not that the State is invincible; far from it. Rather, the fault lies with some of its purported foes. Too many of those claiming to be "libertarians" are actually opposed to one of the basic tenets of libertarian society -- that the national State must disappear. Oh, they want aspects of it to go away, to be sure, but they want to keep its cornerstones to "protect" them from peaceful people! Think about that one for a minute...
National borders, patrolled by a standing army and/or the usual armed Customs & Immigration gang, are demanded by many otherwise liberty- loving folk. They fear that they are being swamped by nonwhite, non- English speaking people, which they are. As a libertarian, I don't mind "illegal" immigration, of course, because in order to have a truly free market, one must have freedom of movement by peaceful people, i.e. the labour force. (I also believe that it is no business of any government to prevent peaceful people from going anywhere that they can afford to go on this planet. So long as they don't expect me to support them, I don't care who lives next door or passes by taking photos of the scenery, et cetera, because it's none of my dang business.)
As the US Empire decays and dies, it is being inundated by those whose ancestors it dispossessed. This is an inevitable outcome of imperial collapse, as even a minimal knowledge of history makes obvious. True libertarians don't have any objection to living with other races, and do not make sweeping statements about what "the blacks" or "the Latinos" want or do, et cetera, as the assumption that all members of a race or ethnic group think alike is an absolutely racist one. Sadly, some friends of mine do make that very assumption. Sadder still, denials aside, the cry to "defend the borders" is a call for segregation or, in modern terms, "preventive ethnic cleansing". This is the polar opposite of libertarianism.
Some claim to oppose an army or a Customs bureaucracy, and claim that simply making all real estate "private property" will suffice to keep them furriners out -- as if evil done "privately" is somehow a good thing. The problem with this, other than the fact that it's just another asinine racist scheme, is that it cannot work. This is a common problem with the pipe dreams of right wing anarchy. What, for example, is to stop me from preventing my neighbours from using the private stretch of street that runs in front of my house? Just try to get to work when I'm in a bad mood, eh?! Everybody's little fiefdom potentially impedes everyone else's, and we are right back in the "good old days" of feudalism -- which is the essence of right wing anarchy anyway.
I suggest that all the xenophobes who claim to be "libertarians" (and everybody else in the world, for that matter) read Tibor Machan's excellent article on the international labour market, which appeared in LRC on Tuesday, 24 February:
I further suggest that those who move about "illegally" are already in agreement with libertarians about the basic human freedom to seek employment without asking permission from the almighty State. Perhaps, instead of alienating them, some of you gringos might try converting them to the overall cause of Liberty. Who knows, if you asked nicely (por favor), them Mexicans jist might teach y'all how to pronounce the names of the cities and states in which you live -- wouldn't that be a nice change fer all of y'all in Loss Anjeluss and Airy-Zonia and sich like?!
People who carp about them dang furriners do the cause of liberty no good and much harm. They are not libertarians, but white Americans. Unless and until there are more libertarians than Americans of whatever colour, religion, linguistic group, et cetera, there cannot be a libertarian society within the artificial borders of the US federal nation-state, for it's the very notion of nation that inhibits the growth of...
Peace and Liberty.