Trump has created an atmosphere of blunt truth
Caravan, Horde or Convoy?
by J. Neil Schulman
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
As a libertarian, as an anarchist, as an Agorist I am for free movement and the right to work of foreigners crossing national borders.
This is not a recent position of mine.
It’s represented in an article I wrote in the early 1970’s called “The Aliens Are Among Us” published in Murray Rothbard’s magazine The Libertarian Forum, and it’s represented in the G. Gerald Rhoames Border Guard and Ketchup Company in my 1979 novel, Alongside Night .
I made it even stronger in my 2014 movie version of Alongside Night where there’s a kiosk on the Agorist underground trading floor for “Mex! I! Can!”—a service that protects undocumented migrants from both the State and coyotes who don’t care about their survival or welfare.
Mex! I! Can! from
Alongside Night The Movie
That said, a so-called caravan with an estimated 7,000+ Guatamalans, Hondurans, and Unknowns—many of them young men of military age—organized to already have crossed through Mexico without that government’s ability to stop them, and now headed for the U.S. national border, does not strike me as necessarily being solely for benevolent purposes such as escaping danger or seeking work.
We were told these immigrant families paid coyotes $5,000 to join this march.
That story won’t fly.
A family with $5,000 could have paid for passports, visas, and plane tickets to fly to a United States airport with an official port-of-entry and applied for political asylum legally.
Throughout history there have been long marches. Some of them, like the forced relocation of the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations under the Indian Removal Act signed by President Andrew Jackson—the Trail of Tears—is an example of a tragic march.
The marches of Atilla the Hun’s hordes, or Genghis Khan’s, or Julius Caesar’s—are different. Even if on horseback—much less in twentieth century motor vehicles and tanks—a caravan becomes a convoy.
There is discussion that some of the marchers may board trains. Trains, also, have a mixed reputation, from being used to shoot bison, to troop transports, to transporting European Jews to Nazi concentration camps.
Then again, sometimes trains just carry Mommy and little Johnny to visit Aunt Matilda.
What is the first difference between a caravan and an army?
Are any of the Caravan marchers carrying arms? There has been no reporting to the affirmative. But that doesn’t mean caches of military grade or militia grade arms might not be waiting for them when they reach the United States border. That could depend entirely on who organized this long march and who is embedded in it from military, paramilitary, or gangs.
The marchers could be entirely benign. They could be troops from a military power. They could be gang members. We just don’t know.
What we do know is that it is a well-organized and well-financed horde.
Even if the young men among them do not have caches of arms awaiting them might not they arm themselves with pointy sticks, machetes, rocks, broken bottles, and other handy and potentially lethal items if they’re bound-and-determined to get past layers of U.S. border guards and United States troops deployed to stop them?
Even if the United States forces are not in tanks or armed with M-16’s but are only deployed with “non lethal” rubber bullets, crowd-control gasses, high-pressure water hoses, and cattle prods, how many could die?
You only need to look at a Mad Max movie to see how attackers can use women and children as human shields.
Will this happen?
I don’t know. But what I do know is that the pro-globalist major media would spin any attempt at national border defense against a violent mass crossing as the fault of the United States border defenders.
If we lived in a world without passports—as was Europe prior to World War One—migration would not engender either violent offense or violent defense.
But since we don’t live in a borderless world, even an open-borders / pro right to work libertarian/anarchist/Agorist like me has to ask these inconvenient questions.
On Facebook where I linked this article D Frank Robinson commented:
Confused. One has the right to travel but only if unarmed? Let me read that again.
It’s not like nobody’s thought of that before. L Neil
Smith in The Probability Broach had an alternate world modern
Continental Congress wrestle with that precise issue and conclude that until
they start shooting an army is just a bunch of armed dudes out for a stroll.
Ask L Neil whether he still agrees with that approach.
Seven thousand dudes conceal-carrying Glocks wouldn’t bother me as much as them arming themselves with pointy sticks, broken bottles, and rocks. One signals being civilized. Want to guess which one doesn’t?
In this same Facebook discussion Rich Freeman Paul wrote:
Guilty until proven innocent?
No, but if a crowd starts marching toward you how trusting do you feel like being?
Rich Freeman Paul replied:
If there are seven thousand of them, and three hundred million of us, not that worried.
How damaging can a much smaller crowd be if they riot?
As someone living in Los Angeles during the 1992 Rodney King riots, pretty
damn. Over a thousand buildings set on fire. And even if they don’t riot the
ordinary food, water, and sanitation needs of 7,000 pilgrims is massive—and
Am I arguing both sides?
Also from Facebook:
Erich Georg Kohlhöfer wrote:
Even a well educated person can’t just go wherever he pleases. He first needs to find out whether he can find a job and get accommodation that he likes and can afford. If he can’t, he can’t just arrive and say, “Here I am.”
There’s an entire category of just such people who prior to 9/11 didn’t even need a visa. They were an essential part of many countries’ economy. They’re called “tourists.” They could even buy property, open factories, and employ thousands of workers—just so long as they, themselves, didn’t “work.”
Erich Georg Kohlhöfer replied:
This is just crazy, did they stay for ever? Did they pay their own way?
Aha! You’ve put your finger on it. If you’re rich you’re welcome. It used to be if you were willing to work you were also welcome. But that changed when unions started “protecting” jobs from competition and government started paying people not to work. Don’t blame foreigners for not knowing that this isn’t still a free country.
Erich Georg Kohlhöfer replied:
BS, what if there is no work for you? You cannot just go somewhere on the assumption that there will be, and if there is not, expect others to pick up the tab.
I replied to Erich Georg Kohlhöfer:
Apply that standard to native-born. If I was born in New York am I not allowed to move to Los Angeles unless there’s a certain job waiting for me?
Erich Georg Kohlhöfer replied:
That is my exact point. You can go there, but you won’t be able to stay there if you cannot sustain yourself, you will have to go back to wherever you came from.
And that would be true even without borders.
When in 1975 I moved out of my parents’ New York City apartment to one in Long Beach, California—no job waiting for me, only a couple of months’ rent and food in savings, and five chapters of a first novel the odds were against my ever selling—my prospects were such that I might have failed and had to return home. I didn’t, but the argument that I might have to return home didn’t wash on me and it doesn’t wash on someone taking an even bigger risk by seeking work in a country whose language they have yet to master.
© 2018 by The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved. Web and email links with attribution permitted and encouraged. Other reprints permitted only with prior permission of the author.
J. Neil Schulman is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, radio
personality, filmmaker, composer, and actor. His dozen books include
the novels Alongside Night and The Rainbow Cadenza,
both of which won the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Prometheus
Award for best libertarian novel, and the anthology Nasty, Brutish,
And Short Stories.
Read more about him.
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