Category: immigration parable

Open Borders Sophistry

Comically flimsy arguments from the open borders “braintrust.”

When we close borders, we aren’t doing the same thing as putting fences around our houses. Suppose there is a neighborhood made up of 10 landowners. 8 out of 10 of them vote to keep out all foreigners. 1 out of 10, Larry, votes to let them in because he wants to rent his house to them. 1 of them votes to let them in because he’s a decent human being, but he doesn’t himself plan to rent his house. When the 8 put up a fence around the neighborhood, they don’t merely keep immigrants off their own property. Rather, they keep the immigrants off Larry’s property, against his will. 

Far from protecting property rights, immigration restrictions abrogate the rights of property owners who want to rent their property to the excluded migrants, associate with them, or employ them on their land.

Putting aside the judgmental moral posturing that letting immigrants invade your territory makes you a “decent human being” (will Israel become more “decent” and let in the great unwashed from the Third World…or merely some of their Arab neighbors?), this argument can be neatly turned on its head.  Imagine 8 of 10 landowners want to let in migrant invaders, but Larry objects because he doesn’t like aliens, doesn’t want to see them or associate with them, doesn’t want to see them employed to drive down local wages, doesn’t want his property values to decline, doesn’t want to be criminally victimized by aliens, doesn’t want his womanfolk groped (or worse) by them, he just doesn’t want them, no sir, no way.  The other landowner objects to immigrants because, as a decent human being, he opposes genocide against his own people, he doesn’t want the carrying capacity of his neighborhood filled with aliens, he wants to preserve the land for his posterity and that of his co-ethnic neighbors, he doesn’t want his ethnic genetic interests abrogated by a genetically alien influx, and he doesn’t want his civilization ruined by culturally incompatible peoples.  But the other eight get their way!  In come the hordes!  Against their will, Larry and the other landowner see their neighborhood, their way of life, everything they hold dear, submerged under the tidal wave of an alien flood. Thus, far from protecting property rights, mass immigration abrogates the rights of property owners who want to keep their property and surrounding land excluded from migrants, not associating with them, or employing them on the common land.  Far from protecting the common social good, the collective goods, the social common, mass immigration fritters away the fruits of social goods to free-riding aliens and selfish, short-sighted natives who (think they) benefit from the invasion.

Looks like we have a conflict of interests, exactly the kind of thing the state is designed to adjudicate.  There are no unlimited “property rights” in any reasonable organized society, and certainly not in the ”liberal democracies” that open borders fanatics lionize.  Taxation, jury duty and the military draft (or merely selective service registration) – isn’t one’s self, one’s life, and one’s time the highest levels of property? – and laws and restrictions of all kinds, including “fair housing laws” and the like. Whither property rights? Interestingly, freedom of association is abrogated within the nation without question from the Left, but open borders now looms as a freedom of association and property rights issue.  What hypocrites!  What low rent, low life scumbags!  What unmitigated sophistry!

An Immigration Parable

Conservatism in action.
A rat-faced leering levantine named Moshe Finkelstein talks to square-jawed red state White conservative John Smith.
Finkelstein: Hello, Mr Smith!  I am the new president of the local chamber of commerce, here to talk to you today about economic growth.
Smith: Hello, sir.
Finkelstein: I know you are a good conservative, a fiscal conservative, a patriot, a free market conservative.  You value economic growth, do you not?
Smith: You’re damn right I do!  The business of America is business!  I founded my own company, I’m a “go-getter” and if I can make it, anyone can!  This is the land of opportunity!
Finkelstein: I’m glad you think so.  So, let’s look at opportunities – what if I told you that the Smith family could maximize its economic growth, increase its output, have a better standard of living?
Smith: Keep on talking, I like what I’m hearing!  This is red meat conservatism, I tell ya!
Finkelstein: Now, you admit that others may be even better than you at making money?  Right?  I mean, as you said, if you can make it, anyone can!  
Smith: Sure, it’s a big world out there. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, but sure some could do better!  When I go to church the pastor tells us pride is a sin, so I’m not boastful.
Finkelstein: You know, there’s the family in China named Chang – I can prove to you they are better for optimizing economic growth than you, your wife and children.
Smith: Sure, China’s a big country, lots of people. No doubt some are better at business than we Smiths are. So?
Finkelstein: Well, the economic growth of the Smith family would be maximized, the Smith standard of living would be improved, if the Changs come to America, move into your home, replace you, and take over your lives.  Why, they’ll even change their name to Smith!  Mr. Chang will take over your business and the Chang kids – well, now they’re the Smith kids – will take the place of your own children in school. They’ll get better grades, I’ll tell you that for nothing!  Just read Lynn and Derbyshire – good conservatives! – and they’ll tell you!
Smith: Wha?  What happens to us?
Finkelstein: You’re out. Does it matter?  You’re the past.  Just fade away, die out.  Look, just sign on the dotted line here, and we can begin the process of importing the Changs here.  Don’t you care about the well being of the Smith family?  Don’t you want the best growth, the best living standards, for the Smiths?
Smith: But it won’t be us!  Someone else will be benefiting!  All this growth and standards will be accruing to someone else! What difference if they call themselves Chang or Smith?  This is crazy!
Finkelstein (shaking his head sadly): You are really narrow minded, a relic of the past. You  are on the wrong side of history! The future of the Smith family beings to the Changs – what are you, a racist?
Smith: No, but I…,
Finkelstein (pointing and sputtering): I can’t believe what I’m hearing.  Out of your selfishness, your bigotry in favor of your family, your fear of competition, you want to prevent a better qualified family to have the opportunity to build the Smith name, to create new economic growth for the Smiths and for the community!  I’m reporting you!  Racist!  Bigot! Hater!  To your church! The media! The watchdog groups! It’s a hate crime!
Smith: Now, wait, I’m no racist, I just want to protect my family.
Finkelstein: The Changs are your family now.  Why don’t you protect them?  
Smith: I guess you are right.  We’ll prepare to move out, give all we have to the….well, to the Smiths.
Finkelstein: It’ll all turn out right.  Maybe future generations of the new Smiths will listen to country music and watch NASCAR just like you do.  It’s all good!
Smith: I have a question. I’m sure there are other families like the Changs/Smiths.  Maybe the Finkelstein family would benefit by being replaced by them?
Finkelstein: YOU ANTI-SEMITIC SCUM!  Lock him up!  Hate crime! Oy vey, I’ve been assaulted!