Liberty for Whom?


By Michael Parish

Regular followers of this blog will know that I am unyielding in my contempt for the left-liberarian tendency, whose proponents I and others have engaged in debate to no effect. Hence the disproportionate amount of space I dedicate to sliming them here. As of late, the main point of contention between us has been the immigration cesspool, and its attendant implications vis a vis political philsosophy. I recently came across this slice of bleeding heart bullshit at the C4SS blog, courtesy of site regular (and ALL auxiliary member) Darien Worden. Analyze this…

“Liberty For All Means Immigrants Too”

But of course. We can’t forget the precious immigrants.

“It is dissapointing to see people express concern for liberty while advocating government restrictions on the liberty of immigrants. Immigrants should not be seen as a threat to liberty, but as potential allies in the fight for liberty.”

You can only buy into this if your understanding of our social-democratic system is seriously lacking. As they emerge as a demographic in this country, the immigrants and their children will likely evolve into another whining interest group, thumping a list of grievances and corresponding demands…and, in the name of “inclusiveness”, the managerial regime will expand to accomodate them. This is another foot deeper into the same quicksand we’re already mired in, not a rope to assist in our escape.

Liberty means nothing if the freedom of any group is placed above individual liberty. And people do not stop being individuals if they are born in a different country. All individuals have the right to claim the fullest liberty to do as they will, as long as they do not violate the liberty of others. Moving to a different part of the world and trying to improve one’s life-with or without permission from a government-does not violate anyone’s liberty.”

And….here comes the Jacobin universalism. Suddenly, everyone everywhere possesses the inaliable right to live wherever they fancy…because this guy says so. Might I inquire as to where this right originates and why it is universally applicable? Given that liberty is a relativist concept, possessing no quantitative or qualitative property, it would be far more sensible to view rights as concieved through the particulars of cultures…of which each individual is a part. That someone uproots from their place of origin and moves elsewhere is of relevance not to states, but to the peoples already established in their immigration destination.

National borders are invasive of liberty. Most, including the U.S.-Mexico border, were drawn by conquest at the orders of elitists in capitols. Borders designate which politicians are to control which people. They invade the lives of individuals who want to interact with people on the other side or to escape the conditions that governments have inflicted on people within certain boundaries.

No one has the “right” to move wherever they choose irrespective of the wishes of those native to the place they’ll be moving. As such, national borders are hardly “invasive of liberty.” Borders are drawn by cultural groups to represent where one regional identity ends and the next begins. That the dominant group on side doesn’t care to interact with the next does not constitute a rights violation. If governments have inflicted undesirable conditions on their citizens then the optimal course of action would be to remain and fight said government, not escape from their troubles in a foreign land. I am weary of this sort of legal-material reductionism.

“The reality of border enforcement is brutal and draconian. Patrols at the safest crossings send immigrants into the most dangerous desert areas. Many die slowly, and others tresspass desperately. A series of secret prisons, some in warehouses not designed for long term confinement, form a modern American gulag system. New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee has documented much of evidence of widespread, pervasive abuse of immigration detainees. One of the many who died in Immigration and Customs Detention was Jason Ng. A father of two who was arrested for immigration paperwork violations compounded by by beauracratic error, Ng died after being refused medical treatment. “

I’m the very last person to wave pom poms for the American police state, but I must point out that for every illegal that suffers in detention a great many more make it into the country, resulting in deleterious effects on the well-being of those already here. In order to prevent abuses of the sort he (rightly) deplores here, I would advocate dissolving the police state and restoring control over immigration at the state and local level, where the issue can be handled on a human scale.

Studies suggest that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than natives. But whatever the case, punishing people for crimes other individuals have committed is fundamentally unjust. And crime is incentivized by any form of prohibition, including The War On Drugs, and by locking people out of the mainstream by assigning them the status of “illegal” humans.

He’s correct in pointing out the dubiousness of prohibition, but the notion that lawbreaking on the part of immigrants can be blamed on alienation over their legal status is laughable. Also, the title “human”, when devoid of any concrete particulars, is as meaningless as a blank slate.

“Immigrants do not generally take advantage of the U.S. welfare system anymore than natives do. In the article “Immigration: An Open Or Closed Door”, The International Society For Individual Rights notes that immigrants pay much in taxes and recieve little benefits from services. And if they did pay less in taxes, that just means the monster state gets less to use to harm people.”

Oh I beg to differ, as the exorbitant cost of immigration to native inhabitants has been well documented, by Peter Brimelow and others. Given their undocumented status they do not pay income taxes, which is the largest of them all, and the state’s main source of revenue. “And if they did pay less in taxes” that would just mean U.S. citizens are getting fucked over.

“Immigrants do not take jobs from natives. Soceity does not contain a fixes number of jobs or a fixed amount of wealth. Jobs are created when there is a demand that needs to be filled, and value is created by production and trade-by the interactions of numerous individuals. Politicians, not workers, make the economy more rigid and less productive. They stunt economic growth through land use regulations, restrictions that hamper starting businesses,corporate welfare, inflation, and military-industrial complex waste.

Actually by agreeing to work for lower wages immigrants do take jobs from natives, which those doing the hiring are more than happy to give them. Oh, and we’re all familar with free market basics and the workings of the U.S. corporate state, buddy.

“And no one has a higher claim to a job because of national or ethnic status. Supporting nationalist ideas of privelege means standing with the politicians who are making things worse, instead of with people trying to get by. Those concerned about job loss or wage reduction should stand with immigrants for higher wages and better conditions instead of deepening the divisions that can be used against workers.”

In an organically constituted society the economy exists to serve pre-existing social relations, rather than serve as the basis for social relations (which is all left-libertarianism is, aside from rationalized abstractions.) This naturally leads to preferential hiring for the native-born. This is not “privelege”, it’s common sense. Supporting open borders means standing with the Reagan, Bush, and Bush The Second, all of whom supported mass immigration and amnesty, and with the industrialists who bak-roll the entire pro-immigration agenda in this country…instead of the majority of the native population who hold dim views on this mass exodus. Those concerned about job loss and wage reduction should consciously reject the multiculti mantra of “diversity” that’s used to Trojan Horse these sagging economic fortunes.

An aspect of culture that cannot survive without being enforced by government agencies is unfit to exist. English has been around long enough and is spoken in enough places that it can easily continue to be an language of communication between multiple ethnic groups. And there is nothing wrong with teaching English to immigrants or knowing other languages. What business is it of anyone else’s is some people want to talk to each other differently. Culture is enhanced by interaction. If it is locked in place by isolation it is more likely to stagnte than strengthen.”

Agreed wholeheartedly. This is why bilingual voting cards, multiple language instructions, and other accomodations for Spanish speakers need to be abandoned.

“Immigrants, including illegal immigrants, have good reason to be against the government and for true liberty. Wide-spread cooperation among immigrant and native born freedom lovers will make our would-be masters tremble at the sound of advancing liberty.”

This is true, but immigrants generally are not “freedom lovers” (is this a return of Bush-speak?!)…they’re just here into integrate themsleves into the system as it currently exists, not fundamentally realter it in ways that extend beyond language. Oh, and I highly doubt a handful of Mexicans posting on the C4SS message board will induce any trembling in our masters.

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2 replies »

  1. I might buy the argument that more immigrants = more liberty if there were some evidence for it. For example, if we saw illegal immigrants joining anarchist movements in the USA, or perhaps signing up with the libertarian party. But these do not seem to be in evidence very much. Indeed, I had some dealings with the anarchist movement in my city a few years back, and it seemed to be composed mainly of young white punk rockers. Just as the local Libertarian Party seemed to be composed mainly of middle aged hippies. It might give one pause to consider that the most militant anti-statist groups are composed largely (but not exclusively) of white people…and will the change in demographics undermine the anti-statist sector of American politics?

    Another issue is that of permeability of borders. The open borders argument might make some sense if it worked both ways. If, for example, one could freely cross the border into Mexico to gain employment and plug into their social programs. I understand the Mexican government has policies in this regard not quite as liberal as the USA. But even if it did, it wouldn’t make a difference because given the relatively higher level of wealth in the USA, the population movement would become largely one way: working class and underclass Mexicans (and other third worlders) moving to the USA; upper class Americans moving to Mexico for possible tax shelters or retirement.

    We can see this in other forms. Thus, while NAFTA has opened up the continent for corporate free trade, we see a clamp down on travel for your average citizen. Simply getting on an airline can be an Orwellian experience, and woe unto the traveler who fails to remove their shoes in supplication to their DHS overlords!

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