Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed
Benefits and Perils of Immigration:
The Double Edged Sword
by Jeff Fullerton
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
It started with a letter to the editor regarding
thought on Neil’s article on the proposed border wall last
I had been thinking deeply about the issue going to and coming from the local reptile show that morning and ended up writing a lengthy piece Ken thought might be more worthy as a full article and I decided to tweak it just a little to make it so.
Immigration is controversial issue that puts Libertarians on the spot because of the conflict of our belief that peaceful people ought to enjoy freedom of movement verses allowing ourselves to be murdered by our own virtue. There are people in this world who will take advantage of the generosity of western democracies—and they are taking advantage and many of them would also use democracy itself to impose a totalitarian world view upon free and open societies if they became the majority of the population.
The major part of this problem is of course government sponsored mass migrations of human beings who are being encouraged to move from Third World to First World countries by irresponsible politicians—mostly those on the left who are looking to profit from the importation of a poverty class with its attending social problems to milk as a voting block. The actual definition of the phenomenon is called Clientelism—which is when the political elites and other central planners look to recruit people as clients of a welfare state to empower themselves and advance their own agendas at the expenses of—uh—lets just be blunt and say it: us. We the common people who own a little bit of property and often stand in the way of the elites and their designs on the nation and the planet as a whole.
Private property rights and constitutional restrains are an inconvenience for them and a good way to overcome such restraints—the checks and balances of our original system of governance is to overload the system and stress it to the breaking point in order to force the changes they want. Like running up debt to force taxes to service it. Or increasing human population to increase social tensions and pressure on local ecosystems—then make the argument that collectivization of land and natural resources and central planning are necessary to assure human survival and fair, efficient distribution of goods and living space.
My thoughts on this also tie into some of the things mentioned in the "Case Against Civilization" article linked in the editor’s notes of last issue. Population increase—be it by native births or immigration—is a double edged sword. On one hand it increases the pool of talent that allows for more inventions and improvements in the human condition. But it also raises the likelihood of social conflicts and empowers tyrannical elites. This phenomenon is the Resource Curse because it gives those tyrannical elites—the best name for them in a historical context is Plebeian Tyrants—more resources to play with—to oppress their subjects and to buy loyalty with gifts in the form of surplus wealth extracted from other subjects or plundered in wars of conquest. When it comes to collectivism; the collectivist knows that group size is everything—it’s a well documented anthropological phenomenon. And quite obvious why Hillary Clinton would be in favor of open borders and explains why she is currently calling for the abolition of the Electoral College that the Founders established as check on the power of plebeian tyrants like her and others currently plaguing Our Civilization!
Yet they are very shrewd when it comes to circumventing checks and balances—evidenced by all the usurpations against the values of the founding documents and constitutional law itself. In the "Case Against Civilization" it was noted that in hunter gatherer societies there is a visceral—likely evolved instinctive egalitarian sentiment in humans that acts as a check on the power and prestige of the successful hunters who bring back meat for the rest of the tribe. But there is definitely a downside to that mechanism; it can undercut the ability of societies to adapt to changing conditions and the plebeian tyrants have managed quite well at using it to manipulate people on the lower rungs of societies to serve their nefarious interests. Like group size—egalitarianism (a.k.a. populism)—is another double edged sword. In 2016 it put a check on the ambitions of Hillary. But more often it works the other way around as the driving force behind runaway growth of government and the destruction of Liberty.
Since we don’t want our nation overrun and overwhelmed by poverty and social chaos—a border wall makes sense as a short term solution—if it can be finished in time before the political winds shift again. In the long run there also needs to be serious immigration reform that is consistent with the national interest and not the interests of politicians seeking to empower themselves with a new voting bloc or businesses wanting cheap labor. Immigration should be legal and orderly and the immigrants ought to immigrate by their own ambition and expense and let it be incumbent upon them to succeed or fail in our country by their own merit.
Even without a wall—that would be a far better deal than what we have now!
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