On Immigration and Discrimination

A Facebook reader raises this question for anarchists and libertarians:

Imagine someone seizes the property of a thousand people in an area and forces them into a commune. The newly -crowned dictator then invites a thousand other people into the commune against the wishes of the original thousand, and then forces the two groups to associate and trade with one another. Is this not what actually happens when the state dominates a territory, opens its borders against the wishes of most of its subjects, and forces it inhabitants to associate and trade with the newcomers through anti-discrimination laws?

It is interesting that our anarchist and libertarian comrades of leftist inclinations do not criticize anti-discrimination laws, to the degree they criticize them at all, with the same zeal with which they criticize anti-immigration laws.  Is is really their anarchist and libertarian ideals that motivate them on these issues, or are they more motivated by a desire to advance their own wider preferences for cultural cosmopolitanism and egalitarianism? It’s not that they’re “wrong” for holding these preferences? But do these have anything to do with the wider anarchist/libertarian paradigm per se? Or is it simply a matter of special pleading on behalf of favorite groups and individual preferences?

Of course, anarchists and libertarians officially do not believe in states beyond the level of voluntary collectives, proprietarian communities, or non-state tribal associations depending on what kinds of anarchists or libertarians they are. But there’s noting in any of these particular theories that could legitimately justify state imposed immigration law OR state imposed discrimination law. Of course, there’s the thorny question of how these matters should handled within the context of the actually existing state system, and there’s certainly enough grey area on these questions for reasonable differences of opinion to exist. And libertarians and anarchists of the Right have their own hypocrisies to match those of the Left.  But I have to wonder to what degree some anarchists and libertarians are ultimately going to be willing to trade in a social democracy run by leftists for an anarchism that reflects a genuine cultural and ideological pluralism,  and which includes communities and institutions where “conservative” values of different kinds might well thrive.

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