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Post 0

Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 6:04amSanction this postReply
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I donít think it makes me a collectivist when I think people in a geographic area have a birthright not to be invaded by foreign immigrants. Here I think objectivists can defer to the democratic process as to how many and what kind of immigrants they want. Freedom would not last when freedom loving people were swamped by 3rd worlders. Over time we will see that western institutions will come under increasing pressure in Europe and America to make room for Shari'a Law and other types of abominations.
Wouldn't what you propose result in first world countries being invaded by 3rd worlders until the pay for unskilled work was approximately reduced to what it is in India.
How long do you do you think the great cultures would have lasted with an idea such as that.
You are proposing anarchy instead of freedom. Galtís gulch just wouldnít be the same with 1000 slum dwellers around the corner from Johnís place.
This is so totally pie in the sky that I would say that it would be one of the last reforms on the road to an ideal world but in the meantime it will accelerate the decline of the US and the west in general.
The immigration laws need a lot of improving in the US but they should reflect a more rational approach to getting better quality immigrants.

Post 1

Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 10:57amSanction this postReply
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Imagine that a group of 1,000 people set off to settle a large, uninhabited island for the purpose of creating a free country. They call the new country Freelandia. Being freedom-loving people, they adopt a policy of open immigration.

Tribal warfare breaks out in the nearest continental country. Word gets out that this country has plenty of food, no crime, and welcomes immigrants. Hundreds of people swarm to the country. They're afraid to go back to their native land, so they become citizens. As citizens of Freelandia, they have a vote. Being Muslims, they vote for Muslim candidates. Within a few months, Muslims are a majority. An Islamic fundamentalist candidate wins the presidency and decrees that everyone on the island must convert to Islam or leave.

Fearing oppression and the rise of an authoritarian police state, the freedom-loving minority flees the island.

For Freelandia, "open immigration" was a self-destructive, ultimately suicidal policy. Will the same hold true for the U.S., Europe, Australia, and New Zealand over the course of the next several decades?

A countryís immigration policy is highly context-dependent. It cannot be deduced automatically from philosophical principles. Merely because open immigration would be ideal in a rational world does not mean that it is ideal in THIS world and for ALL countries. If Israel, for example, adopted an open immigration policy, it would be ensuring its own destruction within a matter of months (if not days) due to the fact that it is surrounded and vastly outnumbered by hostile neighbors.

There are no moral obligations on the part of the government of a free country to citizens of other countries who wish immigrate. Even in an ideal world, a government may turn away immigrants who carry deadly contagious diseases or are otherwise identified as likely to be a threat to the citizens. Granting immigrants (and their children) votes is like granting them weapons that can be used to steal from and ultimately enslave other people. Therefore, mass immigration can be (in certain contexts) a political threat to the rights of its citizens. In such a situation, a government may take steps to restrict immigration, and I would suggest that it must. A government that fails to stop an INVASION is a government that fails in its most fundamental duty.

-Logan
www.individualistvoice.com

Post 2

Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 5:11pmSanction this postReply
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Logan - your arguments are correct only given the premise that Freelandia is a democracy where voters *can* vote to steal other peoples money (i.e. unlimited, not limited by a carefully written Constitution).

Should Freelandia have a Constitution that prohibits such things as religious law, compulsory taxation etc., then unlimited immigration isn't a problem.

Post 3

Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 7:14pmSanction this postReply
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Duncan - The US has a constitution.

Post 4

Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 7:53pmSanction this postReply
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If you read the whole post it is patently obvious from the context that Duncan was *not* referring to the US constitution.

He was referring to '...a Constitution that prohibits such things as religious law, compulsory taxation etc....'

It is important not to selectively quote one's adversaries...straw man arguments etc etc.

Post 5

Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 9:00pmSanction this postReply
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A Constitution is just a set of ideas. Politicians, judges, and ultimately the citizens must accept and support the ideas set forth in any Constitution in order for it to continue to have the force of law.

-Logan

Post 6

Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 9:13pmSanction this postReply
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Well, the whole immigration argument is based on the premise of the "nation state" - and its right to control its citizens.

What if the argument was about a private city.

Let's say you buy an apartment in this private city. In such a case, you'd be expected to sign up to the "body corporate" bylaws of the city - the code of conduct that has been applied to this private city, to which all dwellers agree to before moving in.

If you agreed, signed up, then purchased your apartment, would you think your rights were infringed if the body corporate took you to task for getting married to someone outside the city - and moving him/her into your apartment?

Well, that would depend upon whether "importing" a partner from outside was actually prohibited by the body corporate bylaws or not.

If it was, then presumably, you'd have no right to bring your partner to live with you.

If it was not against the "law" - then you could.

Obviously, you would carefully check on the bylaws before buying into any particular private city - to make sure you were prepared to abide by them.

This is rational, and this provides choice - because, in this scenario, there would be many private cities to choose from. All you would need to do is find a private city where bringing a future partner is not a problem.

The Body Corporate bylaws would be like a political constitution. Such societies would not be democracies - but republics.

Now, trouble is - in the nation state world we live in, we do not have a choice of nation state. We are born into it, and it claims us as its own. And we have to jump through hoops to change our state.

So, at root, the nation state causes us to automatically lose our freedom of association - because we are forced into a contract we never chose - and to which we are stuck with, due to an accident of birth.

Post 7

Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 3:22pmSanction this postReply
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Ayn Rand was an immigrant from a thoroughly collectivistic culture and yet she is also our best defence against the evils of altruism.

Most people are sheeple and so would be the majority of our immigrants. They listen to what we say. If we as a country are convinced that capitalism is evil, selfishness is evil should we really be surprised when they accept these ideas.

The principal of open-immigration is contextual presuposing a rational society as only a rational society. Yet even in todays culture people demand even more restrictions on what little freedom of movement exists in the world. 99% of those who argue against immigration adopt entirely tribalist, collectivist, socialist premises.

Should we be pandering to their prejudices or become a voice for reason? we can't be both.

I wonder what would happen if Ayn Rand was alive today and born an Iranian, would she be allowed entry into America under the current conditions?

Post 8

Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 5:44amSanction this postReply
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I don't understand the objections to immigration. If somebody from Pakistan wants to come to the States to earn his living, can haul his own mass, and is willing to obey the law and respect others' rights, then I say he's welcome to do so.

I wouldn't give him citizenship right away, but quite frankly I wouldn't treat the native-born as citizens either. Citizenship, having an actual voice in how the government is run, should be earned.

Post 9

Friday, June 27, 2003 - 10:53pmSanction this postReply
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Who wants citizenship? It's a crock. Citizenship is simply a document telling you that you belong to a particular state - and is at the root of the "immigration" problem. Citizenship is like a slave holding a certificate of ownership to a slave owner.

Unfortunately, on a practical level we're stuck with it - until we move beyond the philosophy that underpins it - but that doesn't make it any more acceptable.

There was a time, long ago, when one could travel without a passport. Travel was freely available to those who could afford it.

Now, travel is relatively cheap - but depends entirely upon having a state document called a passport - not the "right" to "pass" - but a state-granted privilege. (Check the wording in your passport.)

By the way, citizenship is not "having an actual voice in how the government is run" - that's a laughable myth, based on the error of thinking that democracy somehow allows you some control of your destiny.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Democracy, like citizenship, is a tool of deception, a way to make people think they are free and in control. It's a way of allowing people to vent off anger and frustration, by providing the illusion of "inclusion" and of participation in decision making.

Post 10

Monday, June 30, 2003 - 2:43amSanction this postReply
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Good article, and bang on. The welfare state not only violates all natural law but is also largely responsible for the hating of otherwise industrious immigrants.
Lets dump the unethical nation state.

Post 11

Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 1:27pmSanction this postReply
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There is a surprisingly xenophobic view among some otherwise Capitalist/Objectivist intellectuals that the open, unrestricted immigration policy of laissez faire Capitalism (as best presented in Dr. George Reisman's Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics) would lead to an invasion and takeover of the semi-capitalist United States, or as Dr. Reisman expresses it: "The ... objection to the freedom of immigration is a noneconomic argument to the effect that it means turning the country over to foreigners and thus destroying its language and culture".

Dr. Reisman continues: "The fact is that for a capitalist country the opposite is true. The freedom of immigration is the principal means of extending the language and culture of such a country. For the immigrants come voluntarily, in order to take advantage of freedom and to benefit themselves. They come with the knowledge that they are now in a better country than the one they left behind, and so are well disposed to learning its language and absorbing its culture. And because they come from many different lands, each with its own language, the language of the new country is the logical common ground for them to choose in dealing with one another. Learning it is also virtually indispensable for practical success, since almost all of the existing wealth of the country is in the hands either of its native inhabitants or of earlier immigrants who have learned the language to be able to deal with the native inhabitants. It was in just this way that English came to be the language of tens of millions of people who originally did not speak English; people who, along with learning English, made the most important parts of Anglo-Saxon culture their own, such as the idea of the rule of law and the sanctity of private properly.

"The immigrants, of course, do not merely absorb their new country's culture. They help to make it better. They contribute to it not only all their business, scientific, and artistic achievements, and what is valuable in their own heritage, but, perhaps most important of all, a constantly renewed sense of personal ambition and personal achievement. They are a fresh inspiration in every generation.

"The fact that while two hundred years ago English was the native language of perhaps 12 million people out of a world population of 1 billion, and is today the native language of over 350 million people out of a world population of about 4 billion, is due principally to the existence of the freedom of immigration into the United States. The ability of the United States to become the leading economic and military power in the world would not have been possible without its freedom of immigration, which both attracted the numbers and powerfully contributed to their per capita productivity. Had the United States adhered to its policy of free immigration--along with the rest of its freedom--it is probable that today it would have a population approximately twice as large and a standard of living at least twice as high as the population and standard of living it presently has. As such, it would so far surpass any combination of external powers as to be absolutely unassailable." (end of quote from Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics)

Before continuing, let me recommend Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics to all who are serious about understanding the nature of laissez faire Capitalism. Now that it is available on inexpensive CD-ROM, there can be no excuse for any serious Objectivist not to have and read it. It is available at The Jefferson School at http://www.capitalism.net/

The idea that some culture could flood us with immigrants, take over and subvert our political structure is xenophobic, racist, conspiracy theory at its worst. Those who continue to advance such a theory should check their premises because the theory, which defies logic, also does not hold up against the evidence of history. All of the evidence from the history of free immigration in this country refutes such a theory. It makes for nice horror fantasy stories, but little else.

In spite of large communities of Islamic and other religious groups in the United States, none has been able (nor foolish enough to attempt) to repeal the First Amendment, even on a local level. Even the dominant Christians have been unable to do accomplish such a feat, which, of course has not prevented them from trying. An argument could be made that we need more non-Christian immigrants to counter recent attempts by Christians to subvert our freedom of religion heritage.

Furthermore, immigrants that I know personally, leave their monolithic, state enforced religious countries and welcome the opportunity to cease practicing the religion in which they were raised.

The idea that free immigration will allow the Chinese to invade and take over our country (or Australia, which has the land mass of the US and the population of California) is also ludicrous. Any member of a Chinese "immigrant invasion" force would need survival resources such as food and housing. If the Chinese government could provide these resources, it would not need to send this hypothetical immigrant army, and if it could not provide the resources, the immigrants themselves will embrace the opportunities that a Capitalist country would offer to free themselves from their tyrannical past, as described by Dr. Reisman above. U.S. history has shown that such is the way that free immigration does indeed work in the real world.

Dennis Wilson

Post 12

Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 3:06pmSanction this postReply
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Why do some people talk about Third Worlders as barbaric? I am a "3rd worlder", and I have neve associated to hang a black person just as it used to happen in the US 50 years ago. Who is a barbarian? The problem is that we usually think that the "others" are barbarians, never us. This is a collectivistic viewpoint that must be banned from our minds.
I don't understand as well why many of you take for granted that the USA is the champion of liberty and free market. That, unfortunately is false.
Inmigration is caused by poverty and poverty is caused by protectionismo in the developed countries. Not because of capitalism, but because of LACK of capitalism. Ask you government how much money is used to subsidize farmers. This subsidies cause the death of 6,300 people of the 3rd world EACH DAY. That means, a Boeing plane crashing every hour every day of the year. Stop protectionism, promote true free market in all the world, and capitalism and richness will flourish in all the world. Then, inmigration will not be an issue, because everyone will be able to move to any part of the world. That would be authentic fair trade

Post 13

Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 4:58pmSanction this postReply
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Daniel,

I don't think it's entirely accurate to say that poverty is caused by protectionism in the first world. You're right, though, that capitalism is the answer.

While I support unilateral free trade by every country and the abolition of all supports and market interference, it should be noted that while 3rd world nations are demanding open markets in the first world, most third world nations are also protectionist and won't open their own markets in a reciprocal manner. So we have first world countries with too many farmers and governments propping them up so they stay in business, and third world countries with too many farmers with governments that protect the farmers and seek markets for export. There are just too many farmers! Farmers in both worlds need to change their professions, but as long as we have government interference on both sides, this won't happen.

Post 14

Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 8:30amSanction this postReply
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Jeff:

I think you are wrong. First, you cannot generalize about trade policies in all the Third World. In South America, all countries have already opened their markets, however, the rich nations have kept their protectionistic policies. Second: you cannot compare the protection that a rich country can offer to their farmers and the one that a poor country can offer. I think you have no idea how farmers live in South America. They have no protection, no access to market, and they sell their products for ridiculous prices. There are not too many farmers in the Third world! There are TOO MANY protected farmers in the first world. No State policy should tell us how many farmers must be in the market. It should be only a matter of competition and fair trade. Farmer's children in the Third World have no other choice but to leave the country and migrate. Otherwise, they would starve.

Post 15

Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 10:40pmSanction this postReply
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Daniel,

According to the Economist, the countries that were recently demanding a lowering of supports in the first world at the Cancun conference were themselves unwilling to reduce their barriers, which is what the first world countries were generally demanding in exchange. I would give you the link, but it's old and now requires a subscription to read.

There are too many farmers in the entire world -- we know this because that is what market prices tell us. Prices and farmers are supported by every country that I'm aware of. I'm sure there's a country out there somewhere without supports or protections, but if so it's the rare exception Ė and it doesnít matter. If even one country has price supports or import tariffs then the world price of food is artificially low. It doesnít matter which country. The marginal producers of food, in whatever country they live in, should stop farming and do something more productive if possible. And consumers in countries with lower supports and barriers should enjoy their nice subsidized food Ė subsidized by the taxpayers of the more socialist countries.

It strikes me as arbitrary to say that the marginal First World farmers should switch jobs (which they would only be forced to do if their government ended supports.) Why not Third World farmers? (Which they would only do if their governments ended tariffs.) It would be to anyone and everyone's advantage for their country to unilaterally free up trade. The First World governments should end supports and protections and let their farmers switch professions to something more profitable; the third world governments should end supports and protections and let their farmers switch to something more profitable. They should both do it. To lay it all on the First World makes no sense.

Post 16

Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 9:15amSanction this postReply
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Jeff:

600 billion dollars are used every year to support farmers in the First World. There is no way that Third World farmers can get this support.

You are totally unaware of economical conditions in the poorest countries. You can only stop farming if there is something else you can do: but there are no legal options, because the lack of capital in poor markets makes it impossible. What job would you do in a market in which all demands are saturated? If you leave the onbly thing that you have, you will starve to death. That is a fact, because there are no jobs availabe.

Thus, farmers in South America are involved in an economy of survival: they have no acces to technology, nor receive any help from their governments. In Peru, a farmer's income is no more than 600 dollars a year. Some of them can produce coca, the leave that is used by drug dealers to produce cocaine. Others, need to look for other markets that may offer other possibilites: that is, migrating. Unfortunately, these means that they are to become illegal aliens in Europe or the U.S.
The failure of Cancun was caused because of the ressistance of the First World in reducing barriers and discuss Singapore issues. This does not make me happy at all, because it means that markets of the First World will be closed. Why don't we just admit that so-called "capitalist democracies" are protectionist systems, which demand others that they open their markets while they for keep for themselves priviligies that empoverish even more and more the Third World?
I truly believe in capitalism and free trade, that is why I am so critical with the world system.

Post 17

Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 9:20amSanction this postReply
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Just to add that in the very moment the First Wolrd stops protecting its farmers, that would inmediately benefit 3rd World farmers, who produce at very low prices, but cannot sell their pruducts in rich markets which are protected. Farmers of the 3rd world would not have to switch to other jobs, farmers of the Fist World would.

Post 18

Monday, September 29, 2003 - 3:07pmSanction this postReply
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Daniel,

In theory, farmers in the Third World could work, say, in Nike factories, or other industries as many of them do. Probably the only thing stopping more of that from happening is a lack of Capitalism in their own countries, so that foreign investors are hesitant to bring their capital in when it might get Nationalized or the regulations make it prohibitive. Or there's a lack of sufficient infrastructure which could be built by foreign investors if they thought the business climate were stable enough to warrant the investment. The point is, an increase in Capitalism in either the first or second worlds would solve the problem of the world overproduction of food. Rather than blaming the other guy, why not help to bring freedom at home? It might be more productive.

Post 19

Saturday, October 11, 2003 - 11:36amSanction this postReply
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I'm fat!!!!!! And the US has a constitution
P>S> I know you can't start a sentence with and, but I just did.... cause I'm fat

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