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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Open borders is anti-libertarian

It turns out that even Murray Rothbard turned against open borders before he died, as evidenced by this essay published in the Journal of Libertarian Studies in the fateful year of 1994, the year NAFTA went live.
On the recent edition of Mises Weekends, Jeff Deist interviews Dr. Jörg Guido Hülsmann.  The topic is “Nation, State, and Borders.”  It is a worthwhile interview.  Fair warning: Hülsmann offers views similar to those of Hans Hoppe on these matters.  Quite importantly, he makes the distinction of nation vs. state.  It is a distinction worth internalizing for those who want to consider the application of libertarian theory in this world populated by humans.

From the interview, I learned of an essay written by Murray Rothbard in 1994, entitled Nations by Consent: Decomposing the Nation-State.  As is often the case, when I discover something of Rothbard’s I find myself torn between excitement and depression: excitement because I have somehow worked my way to a conclusion similar to his, and depression because all I have done is somehow worked my way to a conclusion similar to his.
It's a very interesting essay, all the more so due to it being almost entirely unread in libertarian circles. To his credit, Rothbard, despite his dedication to praxeology, admits that his reason has been demonstrated to be wrong on the basis of events:
Open-Borders, or the Camp of the Saints Problem

The "nation", of course, is not the same thing as the state, a difference that earlier libertarians and classical liberals such as Ludwig von Mises and Albert Jay Nock understood full well. Contemporary libertarians often assume, mistakenly, that individuals are bound to each other only by the nexus of market exchange. They forget that everyone is necessarily born into a family, a language, and a culture. Every person is born into one or several overlapping communities, usually including an ethnic group, with specific values, cultures, religious beliefs, and traditions. He is generally born into a "country". He is always born into a specific historical context of time and place, meaning neighborhood and land area....

The question of open borders, or free immigration, has become an accelerating problem for classical liberals. This is first, because the welfare state increasingly subsidizes immigrants to enter and receive permanent assistance, and second, because cultural boundaries have become increasingly swamped. I began to rethink my views on immigration when, as the Soviet Union collapsed, it became clear that ethnic Russians had been encouraged to flood into Estonia and Latvia in order to destroy the cultures and languages of these peoples.

Previously it had been easy to dismiss as unrealistic Jean Raspail's anti-immigration novel The Camp of the Saints, in which virtually the entire population of India decides to move, in small boats, into France, and the French, infected by liberal ideology, cannot summon the will to prevent economic and cultural national destruction. As culture and welfare-state problems have intensified, it became impossible to dismiss Raspail's concerns any longer.
It is even less easy to dismiss in light of the 61-million strong invasion of the USA and the recent European migrant crisis. But it was always an observably stupid dismissal in the first place, a logically fallacious appeal to subjective incredulity.

It's very satisfying to not only be confident that I was correct to reject the open borders position - although I did so on purely logical grounds - but that one of the great libertarian thinkers eventually came around on the very important issue as well, although I am rather less certain that the same can be said of Mises. It increasingly appears that National Libertarianism, as I describe it, is the only viable libertarianism.

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64 Comments:

Blogger kurt9 April 12, 2016 11:03 AM  

Milton Friedman also was against open borders. You can have a social welfare system or you can have immigration, but you cannot have both. I am not surprised that Murray Rothbard was also opposed to unlimited immigration.

Blogger Richard Stone April 12, 2016 11:10 AM  

"Previously it had been easy to dismiss as unrealistic Jean Raspail's anti-immigration novel The Camp of the Saints, in which virtually the entire population of India decides to move, in small boats, into France, and the French, infected by liberal ideology, cannot summon the will to prevent economic and cultural national destruction. As culture and welfare-state problems have intensified, it became impossible to dismiss Raspail's concerns any longer."

Funny, I just finished this novel.

From people who talked to Rothbard, they always commented on how down-to-earth he was. A true intellectual as opposed to an ivory tower poser. It doesn't surprise me he was so willing to change his views in light of new evidence.

Anonymous RS April 12, 2016 11:15 AM  

Please, please go on Tom Woods's show and discuss this. Dude loves him some Murray and I guarantee its just something he's never considered.

Blogger CarpeOro April 12, 2016 11:26 AM  

Did a quick search on "Camp of the Saints". You can almost be 100% certain your on the right track if the Southern Poverty Law Center vilifies you. Need to add that to my reading, maybe get a copy for the churchians with the congregation that is declining that I attend sometimes (typical story of the road to you know where being paved with good intentions).

Anonymous Jack Amok April 12, 2016 11:35 AM  

But it was always an observably stupid dismissal in the first place, a logically fallacious appeal to subjective incredulity.

It's always been a dismissal rooted in linear thinking, in believing things will fundamentally stay the same no matter what changes occur. A perfect definition of "idiocy."

And solipsistic idiocy on the part of the Left, who always believe they can make fundamental changes, but only the changes they propose. They think it's impossible anything unintended could also happen.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 12, 2016 11:37 AM  

While national libertarianism sounds good on first pass, it also forces one to confront the inevitable: The USA is not a nation. It is several nations, jammed together as was the USSR, tolerated for a long time because those various USA nations largely kept to themselves and (with the exception of Lincoln's War) left each other alone. (And people were too fat, dumb and happy to care.)

Since 1865 this live-and-let-live of the early Republic has evaporated as Progressivism and now its bastard child, social justice, seized the levers of state power.

What is Section 8 if NOT analogous to pushing ethnic Russians into the Balkans? What is SJW entryism if NOT the same thing on the level of the firm? What are World Wars F, G & T if not what Tom Kratman describes in his "Our Social Justice Armed Forces" series at everyjoe.com?

The future is the end of the nation-state (per Creveld) and the return to the nation. The rejection of the social justice cult is but the very beginning of an upheaval in human social organization larger than that of the 16th-17th centuries. And will will likely be bloodier, too, because there are so many more people now available to bleed.

We are witnessing the reversal of trends that began centuries ago.

Blogger FALPhil April 12, 2016 11:49 AM  

I am like Bionic Mosquito - I get excited and depressed at the same time, too.

Open borders is something that I have done a 180 with. Being fundamentally a libertarian, I cannot reconcile that being on the wrong end of mass migration, my desire for laissez faire libertarianism becomes a moot point. It took 20 years, but I came to that conclusion around 2005, when I realized that my company was hiring scads of H1Bs so they could justify not giving me a raise.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 12, 2016 11:49 AM  

@6 dc.sunsets, national libertarianism sounds good on 2nd pass, then, too.

I'm okay with the Norse-Germano Midwest, which would be allied closely with both the Great Plains Nation and on peaceful terms with Tex-Oklahoma. The Confederacy would have a hard border against the Nor'Eastern Yankee, and Mexifornia could experience a human trafficking renaissance.

Of course, in all cases, Baltimore, Detroit, Miami and Minneapolis would need to be purged of their various incompatibles, cancers and government funded wastelands, but for the most part, aside from that forceful respect for the native homeland repatriation of the unwanted, those nations would be significantly improved, especially if they more dynamically separated from the existing small Native countries.

Blogger Reallynewguy April 12, 2016 11:56 AM  

It seems most libertarians now in favor of open borders. Hoppe, Rothbard and Cantwell seem to be the few sane exceptions.

Blogger kurt9 April 12, 2016 11:59 AM  

From people who talked to Rothbard, they always commented on how down-to-earth he was. A true intellectual as opposed to an ivory tower poser. It doesn't surprise me he was so willing to change his views in light of new evidence.

Its even better than that. Rothbard's wife was a practicing Baptist. The Ayn Rand people had a fit over this. They hassled him and his wife about it. Rothbard has a particularly humorous account about how he left the Ayn Rand cult in the August 1989 edition of "Liberty" magazine. I've read it and can tell you it is truly roll on the floor funny. Jerome Tucille also describes this in his book "It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand". Rothbard describes the Tucille account as not being completely correct but having depicted the spirit of it 100% perfectly.

Who say libertarians don't have a sense of humor.

Blogger Nate April 12, 2016 12:00 PM  

its really to see you come around to my position on Free Trade after all these years.

I recall arguing here way back in 2005 that free trade was a bad idea because there are many industries that are to vital to the national interest to be outsourced.

Of course back then I was called a commie for saying such things.

The fact is... the whole concept of prepping is an excellent argument against Free Trade.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 12, 2016 12:06 PM  

Who say libertarians don't have a sense of humor.

https://youtu.be/KIk5C2qsRH8

I don't know how one can watch this and not laugh out loud when the subject of Ayn Rand & Objectivism comes up.

Blogger Krul April 12, 2016 12:07 PM  

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Blogger VFM #7634 April 12, 2016 12:09 PM  

The USA is not a nation. It is several nations, jammed together as was the USSR, tolerated for a long time because those various USA nations largely kept to themselves and (with the exception of Lincoln's War) left each other alone.

The USA is far worse off than the USSR.

At least the Soviets made some effort to make their constituent republics match their ethnic groups, and so the Soviet breakup involved a relatively unmessy splitting apart into the various SSRs.

All 50 U.S. states are complete clusterfecks like Bosnia.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents April 12, 2016 12:09 PM  

Never mind who came to their senses first, this is great.
Libertarians of the Reason camp tend towards appeal to authority, and who better than this can be used to beat them over the head?

Second, those Libertarians who actually do reason should be persuadable via this article.

@4 I did not know the SPLC disapproved of Raspail's novel but it is hardly a surprise. If they could get away with burning books there is no doubt they would do so.

Ironic that Rothbard in 1994 cites Yugoslavia and the Balkans as evidence open borders doesn't work, when it was obvious by then that Reagan's 1986 amnesty was flooding the low end of the labor market, thereby putting a lot of poor people on welfare. He looked at Europe, when all he had to do was look at the local grocery store to see who was sacking - local high school students, or illegal aliens?

PS: The first time I heard about Camp of the Saints I laughed out loud, because in those days I just knew that the French would never let that happen, they'd sink any such ships just as they sank the Rainbow Warrior. Alors, times changed.

Blogger Krul April 12, 2016 12:09 PM  

@12

"Would you like a cigarette? This is a particularly rational brand."

LOL

Blogger August April 12, 2016 12:19 PM  

If those who wanted foreign workers had to accept liability for those workers, this wouldn't even be an issue. There wouldn't even need to be a state policy.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 12, 2016 12:25 PM  

My past libertarianism now looks like a perverse marriage of "blank slate" and "magic dirt."

It is a head-spinning revelation to see how closely related are all universalist-Utopian frameworks, despite the superficial chasms between all variants of equalist-collectivism (Marxist-Leninist Communism, National Socialism, Social Democracy and Corporatism) and libertarianism.

All of these begin with the premise that people are the same in some fundamental way.

All reject differences in culture as cosmetic. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 12, 2016 12:33 PM  

Only the loosest of polities could be created by stitching together people of differing cultures. The moment forced mixing, or forced redistribution of power or wealth between members of different cultures began, the seeds for either civil war (to control who benefited from redistribution) or dissolution are planted.

Those seeds were planted several times in the USA (1865, 1913, 1935, and 1965 most notably) and they are all beginning to flower.

Wait until the asset bubble bursts and a sudden realization of poverty washes over the West.

Blogger Gapeseed April 12, 2016 12:34 PM  

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Blogger Gapeseed April 12, 2016 12:35 PM  

Vox changed my mind on free trade and open borders, and I am one stubborn mule.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 12, 2016 12:43 PM  

Political Correctness is the new religion (yes it is) and it has 3 deadly sins, sexism, racism and homophobia. Even the stalwart intellectuals at the Christian remnant outfit Chronicles spend time scolding its readers and the alt-right over the deadly sin of racism, never mind the lower mid-wits at NR. With them you get the full trifecta scolding.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian April 12, 2016 12:45 PM  

Doing my best to get The Next Great VD Interview with the Right Stuff. biz:

https://radio.therightstuff.biz/2016/04/09/fash-the-nation-week-34/#disqus_thread

Boys,

When are you going to get @VoxDay on the shows. He is willing to be on it. Last Shoah, y'all stated that you need to have an (ex) libertarian round table, he would fit that perfectly.

Reactionary Tree loves this idea, but Seventh Son keeps on ignoring this. Don't punk out on this, we need to circle up the allies on the right.

Vox is perhaps the only one in the blog world that is actually collecting scalps (pun intended) and actively fire bombing (trigger?) the left. Other than the shit posters, the only true man of action out there.

Get Him On.

Get the only National Libertarian (you don't have to be a NAZI you can be a NALI) on the radio show!

Blogger seeingsights April 12, 2016 12:46 PM  

Yep, immigration is very problematic in the context of the welfare-regulatory state. I favor immigration base on a formula, the basic idea being that a British doctor is much more likely to be positive to society than a 20 year old male from Syria. Yet under our current system a BRitish doctor would have more paperwork and wait times to immigrate than a Syrian migrant

Blogger seeingsights April 12, 2016 12:50 PM  

On a related note, as a libertarian I already recognize such exceptions to free trade. Just one example, if the exporting country sells goods by slave labor. That example does not have a level playing field for free trade. Someone else mentioned national security issues. Yes , I mean advanced US weapons should not be sold to our enemies and perhaps not at all

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents April 12, 2016 12:57 PM  

dc.sunsets
My past libertarianism now looks like a perverse marriage of "blank slate" and "magic dirt."

I think that many university / thinktank / etc. people are prone to this because when you are around intelligent people all day, it's easy to get the misconception that all people are equally intelligent. The ongoing stratification of the US, where middle class people rarely mix with even upper middle class people exacerbates this. If you never spend any time with midwits, you can't really understand how they think and act.

The blank slate fallacy has got to be one of the deadliest misconceptions of all time.

Anonymous BGKB April 12, 2016 1:01 PM  

All 50 U.S. states are complete clusterfecks like Bosnia.

At least there wont be an America to kill Whites to protect 3rd world moslem illegal aliens.

If those who wanted foreign workers had to accept liability for those workers,

Forget liability just paying the full normal costs, if they fall at work its workers comp not send to ER no habla.

OT: Stopped in at the red cross at the nearest die verse city yesterday and asked what happened to the pics of the 5+ gallon donors. Didn't get a STR8 answer. http://www.redcrossblood.org/donation-centers/

Blogger August April 12, 2016 1:01 PM  

The magical part of libertarianism was the egalitarian influence. At some point you have to switch from this idea that if you just explain it right people will agree with you, to we need power to implement principle. But you don't have to go far. No one is going to import a bunch of aggressive low IQ people if they had to assume liability for it. They'll do it as long as they can pass the damage on to us while taking profits, or achieving their political ends, or both.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents April 12, 2016 1:03 PM  

dc.sunsets


All reject differences in culture as cosmetic. Nothing could be further from the truth.


Meanwhile, Greg Cochran estimates how long ago the pygmies and the bushmen split off from the rest of Africans. About 300,000 years ago, making them "Paleoafricans".

There are clear, obvious differences between the bushmen and other Africans, and they aren't due to nurture. This is one of the things that we are prohibited from Noticing.

Anonymous Anonymous April 12, 2016 1:03 PM  

Did anyone send this Rothbard essay to Jeffrey Tucker yet?

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents April 12, 2016 1:08 PM  

August
No one is going to import a bunch of aggressive low IQ people if they had to assume liability for it. They'll do it as long as they can pass the damage on to us while taking profits, or achieving their political ends, or both.

IOW the risk is socialized while the profit is private.

Paging George Soros.

Blogger Josh April 12, 2016 1:17 PM  

Libertarians of the Reason camp tend towards appeal to authority, and who better than this can be used to beat them over the head?

Wouldn't work, because Reason has hated Rothbard for decades.

Blogger VFM #7634 April 12, 2016 1:20 PM  

No one is going to import a bunch of aggressive low IQ people if they had to assume liability for it. They'll do it as long as they can pass the damage on to us while taking profits, or achieving their political ends, or both.

@28 August
Same reason why cucks like Ben Shapiro constantly cuck about "racism" and go full white-knight: there has been absolutely no penalty for doing so.

Similarly, a large part of cuck rage at the alt-right is the fact that penalties have started to emerge. While there was no penalty, they could safely me-too the SJWs. No longer: they now have to choose a side, whether SJW or alt-right, or else take withering fire from two different directions.

Blogger praetorian April 12, 2016 1:26 PM  

It is too bad that, as far as I am aware, Rothbard didn't take this realization forward to economic analysis, and consider international trade flows in the face of restricted international labor flows.

the whole concept of prepping is an excellent argument against Free Trade.

Yes. The ability to specialize is predicated on being able to trust the people that you are delegating other activities to to not fuck you over, particularly for what Taleb calls absorbing barriers, such as death. Yes, market mechanisms can overcome low trust environments to some extent, in some cases and for some production mechanisms, but you need both for a truly flourishing economy.

Too bad we are throwing away that moral infrastructure for sentimental qualms.

Blogger pyrrhus April 12, 2016 1:32 PM  

@29 Yes, the clear evidence is that differences between people are genetic and the x factor, where nurture plays little part in the x.

Anonymous notbob April 12, 2016 1:34 PM  

[ ] democracy
[ ] immigration
[ ] welfare
Pick at most one.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 12, 2016 1:39 PM  

no penalty for doing so.

AC's r/K offers an interesting perspective.

Opposition to the Social Justice narrative is emerging among people who often have zero personal interaction with (white frat-boy) rape-obsessed feminists, culturally alien blacks/browns or flaming LGBT-ers. I suggest that it's people moved to the economic margin who no longer "feel" the warmth of unlimited resources who are early-adopters from the mainstream.

As the early part of the cresting tidal wave gains notice, cucks have to rend their clothes and fleck spittle on the next row during the Two Minutes Hate, lest they be excommunicated from their nifty pundit-pulpits. The Shapiro's of the world are pure cowardice.

Tolerance for the cultural, social, financial and economic insanity of the Cult was easy when almost everyone "felt" rich.

As the credit bubble loses its ability to disguise the underlying spread of hardship, hardship will erode tolerance for the intolerable. Central banks don't create wealth; nothing their managers do will "make useful stuff," and as the illusion fades, reality will become increasingly difficult to ignore.

Lenin's famous dictum, "who-whom" strikes me as translating today into "tolerable-intolerable." The Leftist Cult's "intolerance of intolerance" is in a leg-lock/tendon-ripping shift to "intolerance of the intolerable."

Blogger tz April 12, 2016 1:40 PM  

The problem is not merely in the context of the welfare-regulatory state.

Libertarians require a fairly high-trust, high virtue, high intelligence culture.

The nonsense of rube goldberg private organizations are created in a futile attempt to try to get the NAP to function in a low-trust, etc. culture.

(DRO - Dispute Resolution Organations) end up with a less just, more complex, and even more expensive even though it would be more efficient system of controlling behavior - efficient tyrannical liberty).

One easy divide - Do they own a gun and know how to use it? If you outsource the security of your life and property and that of your family, it won't be as good, whether it is the public or private police.

The insane part are the Libertarians moving to the most regulated areas like NY and CA instead of the most anarchic ones. SF and SLC are both high tech areas, both don't like control, but nearly opposite in what they consider that to be.

Liberty can only exist in a garden or greenhouse, not in the wild. Both having to have a culture that raises virtuous children, and not letting in vicious snakes are two sides of the same coin.

Libertarians normally complain against "the state", but often they are complaining about nature and reality itself. Castro street's libertarians become socialists when they contract HIV.

I just heard another news bite that another company won't do business in NC over the lgbt law. Go ahead, go to NYC or SF or else in CA where there are tyrannical regulations and confiscatory tax rates, but virtue-signaling should be worth it.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents April 12, 2016 1:47 PM  

The insane part are the Libertarians moving to the most regulated areas like NY and CA instead of the most anarchic ones.

No way! They're all moving to New Hampshire, because Free State Project, and look how that's working out!

Anonymous dudemanhey April 12, 2016 1:48 PM  

Here in rural NC, there are many white southerners that have always understood the cultural aspect of political philosophy, going back generations.

We've been abandoned by free-traders, egalitarians, (and now the perverts) of the Democrat party for generations now; and the GOP is no-where to turn to because we only get corporate sell out hucksters like Richard Burr et al.

My grand-fathers, great-grandfathers, etc - & their ilk - built this country. But they were racist as fuck lololzlzolz bc they were honest!

We've always been against "free-trade" & immigration & bullshit egalitarians....but literally have had no political to party to represent us for 40 years!

enter Donald J Trump.

is he for real or just pandering to the forgotten middle-American, hard-working whites of the South, Rust Belt, Fly-Over country??

Blogger tz April 12, 2016 1:49 PM  

@28 No one is going to import a bunch of aggressive low IQ people if they had to assume liability for it.
It's worse. They are invaders and it isn't about importing them but whether you can take action to actively prevent them from invading.
And as I asked about how many Libertarians own guns (Christian Constitutionalists almost all do).
Having our government whack the hornet's nests was a bad idea, but now the problem is if we have enough bug spray and insect clothing.
There would be no problem if the libertarians were armed and would shoot these people violating the NAP (robbery, rape). But defense or even doing anything when the NAP is violated is also just something purely theoretical for most libertarians.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents April 12, 2016 1:53 PM  

@28 No one is going to import a bunch of aggressive low IQ people if they had to assume liability for it.

tz
It's worse. They are invaders and it isn't about importing them but whether you can take action to actively prevent them from invading.

They are invaders, and colonizers.

Few of the libertarians I have known over the years owned a gun or could hit a billboard at 20 feet with one. All theory, no practice.

Blogger The Gray Man April 12, 2016 1:55 PM  

Vox,

That essay is what turned me against open borders completely. I read that in 2009.

Every time I have a discussion with a libertarian and cite that article, they dismiss it as if it doesn't actually mean anything since it was shortly before Rothbard's death.

I'm glad that you found someone else from LRC citing the article, and I am glad you're aware of it. It is very useful.

Blogger LibertyPortraits April 12, 2016 2:00 PM  

I've put behind me my hero-worshipping days, but this is some nice revelatory news about Rothbard. Other than his stance on abortion (from Libertarian Manifesto), which maybe he changed later, I dunno, he's always impressed me for his insight and now he's taken it to another level. VD also deserves special mention for his almost offhand discovery of knowledge like this.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 12, 2016 2:01 PM  

I'm sure this is beneath everyone except me but if I were in an argument with a Libertoon I would just say "Magic Dirt" a few times thruout the convo.

Anonymous Mature-Craig April 12, 2016 2:13 PM  

Praxeology: the study of human conduct

Blogger bob k. mando April 12, 2016 2:21 PM  

Every person is born into one or several overlapping communities, usually including an ethnic group, with specific values, cultures, religious beliefs, and traditions. He is generally born into a "country".


exactly so.

and the pretension that these things ( language, culture, religion, etc ) do NOT matter comes directly from Marx and the delusion of the universal Proletariat.

this is what i was saying when i pointed out that fascisms / national socialisms have an inherent advantage against International Socialism ... because, whatever the IntSocs may pretend, any idiot can see that when Pablo "no habla Englais", there's damn well going to be problems in an English speaking country.


ie - to the extent that Libertarians advocate a universalist or internationalist ideology is the extent to which their thinking has been corrupted by Marxian principles.

because their foundations and stipulations are patently absurd.

Blogger teh y April 12, 2016 2:36 PM  

the problem with a purely open borders system is that it coincides with democracy.

usually people who have terrible ideas (let's say, socialism), will by the power of the free market eventually lose all their power. Even if it takes a while in some cases, such as the Soviet Union, eventually they will end up a powerless shell, as did happen in the end. As such, their power to influence people over to their bad ideas becomes marginalized (the soviet union countries ditching communism, basically).

However, in a democracy, one vote is one vote. Imagine if all the people of the Soviet Union (or perhaps a large socialist country), emigrated to the U.S.A. and became citizens with voting rights. Theoretically, they should be poor and therefore marginalized - i.e. their power to convince suppressed (not trying to use a social justice term here), so they wouldn't be that much of an issue and the society could gradually show them the way.

However, with democracy, you can easily enact policies that don't work at all in the free market because you like them. Normally this would only work within one country, meaning the citizens can only do damage to themselves, but with open borders...

A great example of this is, say, California and the other states. California is failing pretty miserably, so most other states are not convinced to follow in their example...but Californians that move away from there still agree with those policies and will vote in their favor. I'm not against immigration in and of itself, but it seems pretty clear that full-on open borders is a terrible idea - the whole point of countries are that not everyone agrees on how to run a country, so people can make different decisions and then deal with the consequences of those decisions. With open borders, if you fail, you just run over and mooch off of someone else's success.

Anonymous A Visitor April 12, 2016 2:43 PM  

The "nation", of course, is not the same thing as the state, a difference that earlier libertarians and classical liberals such as Ludwig von Mises and Albert Jay Nock understood full well. Contemporary libertarians often assume, mistakenly, that individuals are bound to each other only by the nexus of market exchange. They forget that everyone is necessarily born into a family, a language, and a culture. Every person is born into one or several overlapping communities, usually including an ethnic group, with specific values, cultures, religious beliefs, and traditions. He is generally born into a "country". He is always born into a specific historical context of time and place, meaning neighborhood and land area....

The question of open borders, or free immigration, has become an accelerating problem for classical liberals. This is first, because the welfare state increasingly subsidizes immigrants to enter and receive permanent assistance, and second, because cultural boundaries have become increasingly swamped. I began to rethink my views on immigration when, as the Soviet Union collapsed, it became clear that ethnic Russians had been encouraged to flood into Estonia and Latvia in order to destroy the cultures and languages of these peoples.

Previously it had been easy to dismiss as unrealistic Jean Raspail's anti-immigration novel The Camp of the Saints, in which virtually the entire population of India decides to move, in small boats, into France, and the French, infected by liberal ideology, cannot summon the will to prevent economic and cultural national destruction. As culture and welfare-state problems have intensified, it became impossible to dismiss Raspail's concerns any longer.

That first paragraph is basic international relations. I guess I'm in disbelief that people could confuse a nation and a state. The funny thing about subsidizing immigrants is per federal law, you can only be admitted to the U.S. if it is felt you won't be a public charge. Yet another aspect of immigration law that is not enforced...

I've never read The Camp of the Saints but read a plot synopsis years ago. It's amazing how prescient Jean Raspail was.

"t's very satisfying to not only be confident that I was correct to reject the open borders position..." It took me until undergrad to do so. All my experiences from junior year on simply solidified my current position.

@4 That's a good point about the $PLC.

"The future is the end of the nation-state (per Creveld) and the return to the nation. The rejection of the social justice cult is but the very beginning of an upheaval in human social organization larger than that of the 16th-17th centuries. And will will likely be bloodier, too, because there are so many more people now available to bleed."

@6 But but but but Francis Fukuyama and The End of History! YOU HATE PROGRESS!!!

@11 We had it jammed down our throats in undergrad that free trade was good. It took looking outside the classroom to see the truth (shocker, I know!).

@15 Never heard of the Rainbow Warrior. Read up on it and must say, what a mess.

@22 You forgot global warming I mean cooling I mean climate changing being a part of it too.

@26 A relative that is in academia is a perfect example.

Blogger Retrenched April 12, 2016 3:23 PM  

Open borders libertarianism is self-destroying. How could it not be when they want to import a nearly infinite number of new voters who oppose everything they stand for?

Blogger dc.sunsets April 12, 2016 4:10 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous DE-173/Code 19/Vox Nox April 12, 2016 4:28 PM  

Geez,this will be interesting to die-hards like Don Boudreaux of George Mason and Cafe Hayek.

Anonymous Mature-Craig April 12, 2016 4:29 PM  

one of the great libertarian thinkers eventually came around on the very important issue as well congratulations! I find it very satisfying when I am able to persuade someone to think as I do on some matter

Blogger Akulkis April 12, 2016 6:23 PM  

What would happen if the SPLC was burned to the ground?

Blogger Rusty Fife April 12, 2016 7:10 PM  

Akulkis wrote:What would happen if the SPLC was burned to the ground?

The FBI would come looking for you.

Anonymous Mature-Craig April 12, 2016 7:11 PM  

one thing I think is for sure though, the country needs to come up with -widely-agreed-upon-solutions-to-thwart-illegal-immigration-

Blogger Rusty Fife April 12, 2016 7:13 PM  

Mature-Craig wrote:one thing I think is for sure though, the country needs to come up with -widely-agreed-upon-solutions-to-thwart-illegal-immigration-

Enforce the existing laws. The laws were widely agreed upon to pass in the first place.

Blogger Rusty Fife April 12, 2016 7:18 PM  

Mature-Craig wrote:one thing I think is for sure though, the country needs to come up with -widely-agreed-upon-solutions-to-thwart-illegal-immigration-

It's like assembling IKEA furniture; sure you ignore instructions at first. Eventually, you have to RTFB. Sometimes the distructions need to be clarified to finish the build.

We have the laws. Enforce those, we can tweak them later.

Blogger Samuel Nock April 12, 2016 7:20 PM  

As Steve Sailer, riffing on Stalin, said:

"Libertarianism in one country!"

Anonymous Mature-Craig April 12, 2016 7:43 PM  

If a wall is not feasible today, perhaps a wall will be feasible tomorrow. I don't see any logic in the opposition to a wall other than it being -not-entirely-feasible-and difficult- like switching to ethanol,

Blogger 1337kestrel April 12, 2016 8:20 PM  

I never really saw nationalism as antithetical to libertarianism or any strain of anarchism. A utopian ideology presupposes certain conditions- a certain degree of rationality and time preference, or a certain level of technology, etc. If those conditions exist in one geographical area but not another, or one group but not another, then obviously there will be a border between the utopia and the savages.

Libertarianism as a principle simply means maximizing liberty, which is entirely practical by definition; whereas specific programs or anarchist ideologies ("Never initiate the use of force") are arguably impractical. If "maximising liberty" means excluding (or listing) those who hate liberty, then so be it.

All this is obvious, it's just that there's been a lot of well founded hate toward "libertarians" lately.

Blogger Joe A. April 13, 2016 6:30 PM  

Maybe Tom Woods needs to read this Murray Rothbard piece.

Blogger Old Odd Jobs April 17, 2016 4:13 AM  

"Maybe Tom Woods needs to read this Murray Rothbard piece."

Tom Woods does not go in for open borders, afaik

Blogger Harry-ca-Nab May 06, 2016 2:51 AM  

Good to see a reference to Raspails Camp of Saints.

It amazes me that this book is not on everyone's lips as his book foreshadowed today's European third world invasion.

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