11 comments

  1. Keith: With all due respects to your analysis, is there some Moral Imperative to except the Dredges from the Third World that are streaming through our borders ?
    I’m sympathetic to their suffering, but I don’t want them…..I’m the UberNIMBY.
    Border Patrol has a notorious record on the border states that bound Mexico of thuggery on Citizens that happen to come into contact with them. It’s a Rat’s Nest to be sure. Just do away with it ?
    AOC: A silly Little Girl to be sure.

    • My views on immigration don’t fall into any of the usual categories because I don’t think any of the usual factions in the debate are looking into the big picture in terms of how mass migration actually works in the 21st century.

      First, we have to consider the various ways in which imperialism creates dislocations that generate mass migration. Taylor Summers discusses that a bit in this article: https://medium.com/@Royal_Sunflower/outline-of-a-sane-immigration-system-dcf26dd48efa

      Second, we have to consider the ways in which the ruling class/power elites benefit from and promote mass immigration. This is a transcript of a talk I gave to a right-wing group some years ago on that topic: https://attackthesystem.com/2011/09/19/totalitarian-humanism-and-mass-immigration/ Of course, I could also flesh out this critique by pointing out the various elite and/or state sectors that benefit from immigration enforcement (the police state/alphabet soup agencies, private contractors that build detention centers, etc, but that’s fairly obvious).

      Third, if were are anarchists, or at least libertarians or decentralists of some kind, we have to consider how migration would actually work in a stateless, nearly stateless, or radically decentralized society. I have some thoughts on that here: https://attackthesystem.com/2013/02/26/the-state-means-of-production-and-means-of-immigration/

      Fourth, we have to consider whether feds or the immigrants are a greater problem. I think it’s obvious that it’s the former rather than the latter (although I have readers who don’t agree obviously). On a meta-political level, I’d say we and the illegals have the same enemy, although for differents reason in some instances. Ultimately, my perspective comes down to one of global solidarity against the empire, with decentralized borders, a perspective similar to what Derrick Broze and John Vibes outline in this: https://attackthesystem.com/2017/06/21/the-revolutionary-potential-of-illegal-immigrants/

      Generally, leftists find my views on this question to be too conservative, and right-wingers find my views to be too libertarian.

  2. Keith: Since I can’t and won’t identify with either the left or right, lets just say I find your views a bit theoretical…:-).
    Any thoughts on Andrew Yang, the Fortune Cookie of the moment ?
    Is he a closet, crypto Libertarian infiltrating the Democratic Party as some are suggesting ?

    • I don’t think he’s a libertarian as much as business/tech industry progressive or maybe a “radical center” type who is mostly focused on the impact of technology and science on politics and society. He does seem to have some libertarian leanings. I think he’s a serious thinker, and not just a scamster or careerist like most of the other candidates.

  3. A case for borders?
    I have been following this debate on immigration for awhile and you and I might have similar views but I don’t want to assume. Is there a case that can be made for borders of some kind. I think Trump and his wall on some level are all optics and hides the fact that much of this incarceration/border control has been a bipartisan issue. Democrats are no closer to the open borders position and ironically in some bizarre fashion many on the right actually might be functionally more open borders considering the influence of libertarian free market capitalism of the non Hoppean/late Rothbard variety which is very open borders and has very strong imperative to acquire cheap labor to produce cheap goods. I think it should come of no surprise that CATO, Reason, and FEE.org are all open borders to high degree and they are very influential in the right. Awhile back Ann Coulter praised Bernie Sanders for calling open borders a Koch brother conspiracy. I think in this regard this is no conspiracy. The waters can get even murkier in this debate as well.
    According to Thad Russel the term illegal alien itself came from some latin american leftist.

    Is there a theoretical and practical case for borders of some variety regardless if one is anarchist or libertarian of some kind or is the open borders case the only case? I think the best argument for borders is (1) that borders are where one state ends and another state begins as well as the (2) existing native population does not want to be overrun or have there culture changed by the newcomers.

    One thing that tends to get left out of the discussion of borders is that borders are places where states agents cannot cross unless you want to start a war (at least in theory…whether the CIA follows that is another question!… the cia doesn’t believe in borders!). This a huge and might I add monumental benefit. It seems as if the nonintervention principle that so many antiwar people have would be meaningless/useless if you have an intellectual model of the world that says borders are just arbitrary socially constructed lines by states. If the territory of “iran” or “vietnam” is just an arbitrary slab of the earth with a state then why shouldn’t the US (another arbitrary section of the earth with a state) bomb it if many people in the US government and a non zero plurality of the population in that piece of territory want to bomb it or do a regime change? Why not? What is also wrong with colonialism then if borders are meaningless? Many of the arguments against colonialism (which include the arguments made by the American revolutionaries) only make sense in a world where there are different sections of land divided up between different competing sovereign states run by the local people who live there. Edward Snowden fled to Russia. Communist dissidents would flee to the west. Drug dealers flee to Mexico. Assange fled to the Ecudarian Embassy. Draft dodgers would flee to Canada in vietam war. Fascists would flee to argentina. Jews would flee to Isreal. Puritans would flee to new England. Anabaptists would flee catholic and some Lutheran countries.

    You can only flee to another area if and only if there is a better place to flee. It appears that in an open borders world would be the place for transitional empires, multinational corporations, armies, NGOs, and IGOs (EU and UN for example) to dominate and run around exploiting people. This sounds like a nightmare regardless if you are a Hoppean, Marxist, or Christian conservative… only the free market liberal capitalists and maybe some progressive globalist liberals might find this to be the new garden of eden. I think Hans Hoppe once said that to him open borders is a place where the US dollar and army can dominate.
    In many sense the immigrants from wherever to another place are fleeing something. They need to get away from something (other states) and want to go to what they perceive is a better place. Moving away from the sh-th-le states. This again only makes sense if there are different sections of the earth with different states of various degrees of tyranny. The US for all its problems at least internally is a fairly nice place to live much better than a north korea or tsarist Russia or fascist Germany unless you are the most devout monarchists, communist or fascist. Is this not why people want to immigrant here (as well as Germany, Nordic countries, and Canada)?

    The problem is that on the domestic level for those living in the nicer sections of the earth with less tyrannical states have a huge skepticism (to say all this skepticism is merely “racism” is nonsense to me) about these new people who came from societies which were dysfunctional or tyrannical. You recently had an episode with Todd lewis on theories of development and you both (as well as I) don’t believe in what I would call the magic dirt theory. The magic dirt theory is exactly what it sounds and it appears what many open borders advocates have in mind. I don’t think there is anything special about the ground underneath the US or Germany or South Korea. I think it’s the existing culture. If that existing culture gets overwhelmed then a more tyrannical society might develop. If the population/culture of mainalind china and India switched I think within 10 years what is now known as China would be india and vice versa. Also if you put all the Chinese people into India there would be chaos (yes chaos). I am not saying there is one monolithic “culture” but rather a stew of cultures brewing in a pot in a society such as the US or Germany. People like to say that migrants add to the culture but that is not always clear and when you cite various migration movements it becomes even less clear! Is there not always a huge tail risk of immigration going horribly wrong and overwhelming the less tyrannical society for example? It appears many things can go into the stew but there are things regardless of the subjectivity of one’s tastes are basically inedible together or cause serious troubles. Thus, don’t good fences make good neighbors and some individuals/groups/ideas don’t mix very well? Is not separating the Catholics and protestants for example into two different societies was an improvement over just having them in the same area? I just see problems with many immigrant groups coming into western societies especially at the industrial scale that would occur if the controls were dropped.

    Any thoughts or objections on my case for borders?

    • I will push back:
      I have no respect whatsoever for the borders of “Iran” or “Vietnam”, and I am against the US government doing anything, anywhere – whether in Delaware or Ho-Chi Min City. So, no, I have zero respect for muhBoarders; I don’t give a shit about normie cultures (which are generally trash no matter what), and I am in favor of imploding the welfare state and increasing division to destroy American (especially Federal) political order.

      The only “borders” I give a shit about are those that individual people have negotiated out and are willing to defend with their own weapons. Everyone else can get fucked, China’s borders are no more ‘legitimate’ than America’s and “Texas” is a parking lot, not a ‘state’.

      I also reject the HHH/Dave Smith idea that “teh public” or “teh taxpayer” has any right to exclude people from “public” property, because that money is all shuffled around, half of them have FAKE jobs created by government regulation, anyway; in other words NO ONE owns public property and I want to see the tragedy of the commons in full effect there.

      Also most of muhCuntry are vast empty wildernesses and anyone who claims to ‘own’ these areas can get fucking gassed.

  4. First, Like Marxists, and marx himself (whatever I am I am not a Marxist), you seem to be in favor of acceleration ism. What needs to occur is a giant cataclysm or catastrophe then we can bring about the revolution! #sarcasm. To a certain extent that is how one got fascism and communism. World War I was a giant man made cataclysm and it made Russia into a Communist state and within 13 years Germany, Austria, and Italy into fascists ones. Turning the US into a dysfunctional country will solve the problem of immigrants wanting to come here! Great, one draconian solution is to make the said “country” or slab of territory of the earth unlivable or no different than the places they are coming from. (Or you will just create a counterrevolution as well in an attempt to maintain their livability). The “US” governement did a great job doing that to “Iraq” “Syria” and “Libya” to name a few. It seems that the same process is at work internally in the US as well at work abroad. Why have open borders if everywhere in the world is a sh-th-le? No need to travel let alone migrate to a better place.

    Second I am glad you are consistent in pointing out that the government of “iran” is no more or less ilelgiimaite or legitimate then the government of “US” or “Vietnam.”

    Third. , go tell zero books, Jacobin, Bernie Bros, Douglas Lain, Richard Wolfe, Slavoj Zizek, Michael Brooks, Matt Bruenig, and Sam Seder that you are in favor of imploding the welfare state. I am perfectly fine with doing that per se but that is often one of the criticism that Randian objectivists, free market capitalists, and ancaps get. Michel Foucault basically called for the same thing and Jacobin chastised him for that. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/12/foucault-interview/
    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/12/michel-foucault-responsibility-socialist/

    Fourth, as far as the issue of “no one owns public property” or the “only borders that I care about are the ones people are willing to defend with there own weapons.” One of the problems with this is many people are calling for the disarmament of vast swathes of the population. Many Marxists and socialists and prodhun type people think one can’t even own land (property is theft) to begin with so then how can you defend it? This large scale disarmament has already occurred in Australia and much of Europe so I don’t see why it can’t happen here. I don’t think in some parts of the world woman can even carry pepper spray. On a macro level (again to relate to comment two… we live in a world dominated by states) the only way to protect oneself against the “US” is to own nuclear weapons. This is true wherever you are. France developed its nuclear program to protect itself from the Soviet AND THE AMERICANS. Americans sent carrier equipped U2 spy planes to spy on French nuclear testing in the pacific. ISreali developed its nuclear weapons from France as well to protect itself against the americans largely. Isreali internally has a cautious approach to American aid. Libya should have kept its nuclear weapons and I hope for the sake of Iran and the US, Iran develops its own program, so we don’t have a repeat of either Iraq or worse some version of WWI. Although, you might want to root for this because you seem to be an advocate of accelerationism! (point number 1).

    Five, I want to return to the “no one owns public property” point. There are plenty of vast sections of land I would like to keep that way and in theory I would be willing to defend at some non zero cost.. I may be a loclaist/some kind of anarchist but I don’t see any problem with Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Jaú National Park in Brazil, or Yellowstone national park in the US. I would hope an anarchist society still has national parks with large swathes of land we don’t allow people (outside of maybe thru hikers) to not live in and are willing to defend. The said government of Brazil, US, and Tanzania may be illegitimate but I don’t see this part of the government as being illegitimate.
    In Ethiopia churches are the only places where forests still exist… https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/01/ethiopian-church-forest-conservation-biodiversity/

    6, the fake jobs comment. This again is one of the more interesting ones and I have no easy answer but of course you are probably an acceraltionists and want to make as much of the earth as unlivable as possible. Thad Russel and a randian objectivist were arguing as well as BEn Burgis and Dave smith. They pointed out similar things regarding theft and fake jobs. If it is okay to steel from walmart or the US government then why is it not okay to steel some old ladies social security check? The marxist BEn Burgis in his debate with Dave SMith said similar things that state employees and reciepient of welfare under libertarian theory must start protecting their wallets from libertarians!

    7, Finally, One of the most interesting pro immigration arguments is what I would call the bernie madoff approach to immigration. One of the ways the US or Europe can pay for its entitlement programs as well its military programs is to bring in more immigrants to prop up there entitlement programs and grow there tax base. Bring in people so that they can work and thus pay taxes into the coffers of the US. Thus, in order to pay off the debt from the iraq war or cold war as well as to pay off lavish salaries of some of its government agents and contractors we need foreigners to come in and then collect there taxes from there said labor. This might work and this might be the best argument for open borders but I am not impressed.

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