Friday, February 1, 2008

Open Borders Mean Big Government

I am a paleo-libertarian who does not believe in open borders. Why? Because the only way a country can have open borders is if it has a huge federal government. Right now, we have a huge federal government, so we have open borders. It overrules the states, counties, cities, neighborhoods, and individuals.

One of the reasons the federal government overrules everyone is because corporations want cheap labor, and those corporations have immense influence on the feds. Another reason is that the lowered wages diguises the inflation created by the Federal Reserve Bank -- which is neither federal, a reserve, or a bank.

Under a purely libertarian, anarcho-capitalist, society (which will never exist), all property would be private. Contrary to the belief the borders would be open, the truth is the exact opposite. There would not be mass immigration, because the property owners would not stand for it.

I was raised in an area with a bunch of farmers who owned very large tracts of land. I learned at a very young age I was to never trespass on their property without permission. All those old boys had shotguns. When the government doesn't interfere, people will energetically defend their property.

One guy I knew decided to steal watermelons from a farmer. I know that sounds like something out of a country-and-western song, but he actually tried it one night. He got a charge of rock salt in his butt. He told me later that for a year he thought he would never have kids, because some of that rock salt landed in a very sensitive area, and that area wouldn't work for that year.

Then there was the farmer who owned the land on which my subdivision was built. One night many decades ago he caught a burglar breaking into his home. Years later he mentioned the incident to the police. The cops shrugged. Why dig the guy up? He's still under the intersection near my grade school.

When I was a teenager I used to hike and camp a lot. I met other hikers, who did a lot more hiking than I did. I stayed off of private property. They didn't, but in every case they asked permission to cross the property. One hiker told me once the owner met him in his truck with a shotgun across his lap. Once he explained why he was hiking up the guy's driveway, he got his permission.

It may sound like these country people are crazy, but they're not. I still occasionally eat dinner with these people. They're friendly in a way most people never see. Neighbors walk in and out without knocking. I've seen them fall asleep on the floor in front of the TV after eating. No one said a word. But they will defend their property from strangers.

Occasionally libertarians tell me, "Well, immigrants would pay to cross the property." Say what? Where are millions of poor immigrants going to get the money to pay for such a thing? It also assumes the owners place money above all, that all people are what incompetent economists call "economic man." The only people I've seen do that are people who don't have any money. People who have money have other priorities.

I guess these "libertarians" believe property owners are going to stand outside all night with a flashlight and catch illegal immigrants crossing their property and charge them a dollar. Ludicrous.

I've had defenders of open borders tell me they want to destroy neighborhoods and other voluntary associations. This is libertarian? It sounds more like leftism to me, because the essence of leftism is the desire to destroy existing institutions in the naive belief all the "goodness" in human nature will just pop up. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn made the comment -- and I agree completely -- that leftists don't merely misunderstand human nature, they don't understand it at all.That's why I get comments about millions of immigrants paying to cross private property. Such a belief is literally in orbit because of its unreality.

I also get the comment, "I should be able to hire whom I want." True. But how are those people they want to hire going to get there, when they have to cross other's property, and the property owners won't let them?

None seem to understand that illegal immigrants use the federal interstate highway system, which was originally built to transport the federal military. Even today, the military, if need be, has precedence over civilians to use that system.

My stupid pug has enough sense to defend what he thinks is his property. It's mine, but if he thinks it's his, that's fine with me. Even a Pomeranian will defend its territory. Yet the defenders of open borders think thousands if not millions of people will allow mass migration across their private property? What planet do these people live on, to believe such a thing?

Pat Buchanan said it best: "The peril of ideology is that it rarely comports with reality and is contradicted by history, thus leading inevitably to disillusionment and tragedy."

What am I supposed to think, when libertarians who claim to despise the federal government above all, support policies that can only exist because of that same despicable government? They live in a fantasyland, that's what I think.


Kent McManigal said...

"Borders" as usually defined by people means "government borders". Since government should not own any property, it should have no borders to defend. Private property, owned by actual people, can be legitimately defended.

perlhaqr said...

Your thesis seems to imagine a world without roads. Even if there aren't federal roads, or even state roads, the world will require roads. Or the question isn't "how will the immigrants get to the people who want to hire them?", but "how will anybody get anywhere?"

In a purely libertarian, anarcho-capitalist society, there won't be any way to distinguish "Americans" from "illegal immigrants", because all the "Americans" are going to be, essentially, sovereign states. So the people who own the roads, and charge for their use, have no real metric for establishing who is an "American", and who isn't. And why would they care who uses those roads, anyway, as long as the users pay for the privilege?


An interesting side effect of this thought experiment is the amorphic and amoebic nature of such a "country", if it can be called such. Imagine the current boundaries of the United States, divided among private property owners. Each one is a country. Some of those will border other, much larger countries. Like Mexico.

There's really no need for people on that side of the border to not also declare their landholdings independant nations as well. Liberty spreads like a disease.