Friday, July 10, 2009

Of immigrants and anarchists

Vin Suprynowicz writes about some feedback he got from a group of young anarchists, who apparently think that a Libertarian has no right to complain about illegal immigrants, for a variety of "anarchistic" reasons. Vin goes on to eviscerate these silly little boys and point out the many ways in which border enforcement is essential to our liberty and security.

Personally I think in a proper economic system, immigration would be a non issue. There would be no incentives to come here and not work. No free health care or subsidies for example. Those who really wanted to work would be no problem and if there was work for them they would be welcome.

However border enforcement is on the list of things I feel is a legitimate function of government. There are not many things on that list, but protecting the security of the nation from invasion is one of them. Of course as with most things the power of the Federal government should be limited and executed primarily through the actions of the states.


  1. Huh. I assumed Suprynowicz was more principled.

  2. As an anarchist and not a minarchist, I don't believe anything is a legitimate function of government.

    Immigrants, however, whether legal or "illegal", are of course not all angels. Some people however ("conservatives") only seem to get really riled up about welfare programs when "illegal aliens" use them. Same with publik skools.

    The solution is to eliminate all those things for everyone, for the real issue there is the theft through taxation and redistribution of wealth that occurs. And government can't manage those things effectively anyway.

    As for Vin's example of immigrants violating private property, that of course is a separate issue. If crossing the border to seek work wasn't illegal in the first place, however, and if it also wasn't illegal to truly defend your property from trespassers, those problems would disappear or be reduced.

  3. @SE

    On that I agree completely. As I said if the incentives were removed there would be little problem with immigration and if the legal right to defend personal property truly belonged to the individual then criminals immigrant or otherwise would be less of a problem.

    I am no anarchist, though most people consider me one. My views are a bit undefined, more of a Jeffersonian originalist. I consider the original Constitution of the US to be workable, the Articles of the Confederation even better. I

    deally I would allow both state and local governments certain administrative functions, with the federal being more of a management body, largely for the purpose of enforcing agreements between the states, pursuing interstate criminals, and coordinating the state militias in times of invasion.

    The President would have so little to do he would need an actual job. The legislature could meet one day a year and still not be busy, and the Federal court would only have jurisdiction over disputes between states.

    The Federal government could be small enough to be supported by voluntary contributions from the states as was originally intended.

    The states would have less authority than originally intended but the same independence. Their functions would be similar to the Fed. except regarding enforcement of contracts, and organization of the state militias.

    The local governments would be the only ones actually making laws and even then they would only exist at the consent of the governed, who, being the militia and having all the real power would have a strong veto.

    I realize to an anarchist this may well seem horribly intrusive, but I see a useful need for such organization. Also it is important to remember that the problems we wish to be gone. Entitlements, lack of freedom, government corruption etc. Don't just go away because we dislike them. Both anarchists and individualists are the minority and are stuck with the consequences of the idiot majorities actions. Vin was talking from pragmatism. Since the consequences of illegal immigration cause harm and increase Federal socialism, enforcing the border is less intrusive than the increased taxes and bloated law enforcement and prison system that results from not doing so. That is why the fed doesn't want to enforce the border. They want increased taxes, bloated police agencies, and big prisons they want to use them on you.

  4. Ryk, you make some good points, as always.

    A really small government restricted to just a few functions would be great, I just don't know how realistic that would be (can any government, once in place, ever be contained?).

    We basically agree though. There are issues that divide libertarians, and the minarchist/anarchist division is only one of those. But more unites than divides us.

    Thanks again for another thought-provoking post.

  5. "However border enforcement is on the list of things I feel is a legitimate function of government."

    What's a border?

  6. Border enforcement is socialism. I don't want to pay for your problem with people with funny hats.


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