Monday, September 12, 2011

Do immigration "laws" only hurt "illegals"?

It bothers me deeply when people say that all the "laws" and policies enacted to crack down on "illegal immigrants" only affect the "illegal immigrants".

No they don't.

Let's say a "law" was passed that made glued-on fake beards illegal. You have a beard, but for some reason someone thinks it might look fake. How would it feel to be harassed constantly by enforcers trying to score by kidnapping you for having a fake beard? Even if they had to let you go after pulling at your whiskers- wouldn't you feel like a second-class human? What if you resisted? Or the lying cop claimed you resisted after he killed you for not bowing low enough, quickly enough?

Statists might claim you could just shave it off to avoid the hassle. Sure, but what if you had some terrible scarring you wished to cover up, and since you liked the beard anyway, it was a natural solution?

Statists will say, as they always do, that it isn't beards they have a problem with, but "illegal" beards. What's the difference if it results in your constantly being targeted by enforcers?

Do NOT enforce immigration "laws" on my behalf! I do NOT consent!



  1. Hi Kent,

    "Illegal aliens" lack permission to exist, a permission most of us have by an accident of geography. It's a permission I don't think anyone has the "power" to grant or deny. One of the arguments for denying that permission is that the "illegals" are mooching off the taxpayers (sheeple slaves), with free food, medicine, housing, etc… The "illegals" I know and work with live very quietly on their own steam and try very hard to not attract attention.

    A man should be able to move anywhere on this planet where he thought he might improve his situation. Sadly, most Tea Party "freedom advocates" want ramped-up "enforcement" of immigration laws.


  2. I like your argument, and I think I agree with you in principle.

    However, I'm rather more sympathetic to the arguments for denying in the current state. Undergroundcarpenter brings up "mooching off taxpayers", which is something that I think has to become not merely rare, but *split from nations as we know them* before free immigration becomes feasible.
    Nations still show their roots as gross clans and extended families. The word "nation" is from "natus", birth. One can view welfare as an outgrowth of the familial tendency to care for one's own, and this tendency is joined at the hip to the corresponding principles of not adopting willy-nilly, having one's own house, strangers needing an invitation to enter, etc. It's seemingly all of a piece with patriotism and the idea that one's [family/nation] has a special place in one's life by accident of birth.

    I think it would be useful to separate the nation-as-system (the laws, the regulations, the institutions, the access to companies and jobs) from the nation-as-family (welfare, nationalism, patriotism, birth citizenship, restricted immigration).

    WRT to the nation-as-system, it should be an individual's choice who he wants to work for without needing a ton of visa and immigration paperwork, what rules he has for governing his interactions with others, etc.

    But WRT the nation-as-family, it should be a family's choice to be exclusionary, and to impose draconian limits as to who can come over and play in their garden.

  3. Erik,

    I'm confused. You say you agree with Kent's argument "in principle", but then busily start separating the "nation-as-system" from the "nation-as-family", whatever that means. Keep your visions of "arranging society" for that shining day when you hold the reins of power and can mold the clay of humanity as you see fit.

    Let me break it to you gently, son. Kent is an anarchist. Don't say you agree with him "in principle" unless you do.


  4. Erik,

    You say "One can view welfare as an outgrowth of the familial tendency to care for one's own...". If my family took care of some of its members by stealing from other members at gunpoint, I would renounce that family.

    If the "nation" actually owned my property it could say who can come play in my garden. It obviously acts as though it does, but in doing so it commits more theft at gunpoint.

    Family members can have disagreements over who is allowed to come visit. My daughter has some friends who annoy me, and if I were a tyrant I would bar them from "my" property. But it is also her property. A family which is not dysfunctional doesn't rule other family members, but operates by unanimous consent. Anything less is wrong.

  5. Carpenter,
    I have little to no interest in "molding the clay of humanity". I want to see the two conceptions of the nation separated because I think that they often end up at cross purposes and deserve different treatment. To borrow one of Moldbug's examples, if the word "stellatry" were used about the predictions of both astrology and astronomy, I might reasonably want stellatry-of-persons separated from stellatry-of-the-firmament. Would this also put me at odds with anarchists? I hope not - anarchism shouldn't be status quo bias.

    If I ever came to hold the reins of power, my first act would probably be to order the local legislative body to take an extended vacation, then take one myself and leave orders not to be disturbed for anything less than a war while I have a nice long think on what to do next. In the meantime, people can sort out their own lives. (Blunt Object has a longer treatment of why dissolving the State immediately is too questionable for me - in short, the transition would be messy and a lot of unprepared people might die and I'm not convinced that it's worth breaking that many eggs to make a stateless omelette compared to winding the system down as people learn to live without it.)

    I had a long comment to you, but it seems the comment form ate it. Is there a limit on comment length or something?

    Summary of what I was saying: open borders is easier if we end national welfare, or at least separate the two.
    Alternate take: spreading anarchism seems to require the eventual dissolution or near-dissolution of the state anyway, so I'd rank getting immigrants access to unrestricted dealing with you over getting them access to the state per se.
    Footnote: Humans are not blank slates and will have non-anarchist drives that I think it's important to account for.
    Question: have you covered family operation somewhere in your archives that I could read at length? I stumbled in here from Aretae recently and haven't read that much yet.

  6. Erik,

    "winding the system down" kinda reminds me of communists thinking their brutal state will wither away as people embrace proletarian equality and seize the means of production. Or better yet, how a heroin addict, cigarette smoker, or alcoholic can "taper off" his habit to ease "the transition" to a habit-less life. Have you noticed that every politician gets elected on a sincere promise to shrink government? Any day now, the Tea Party will put government back on a Constitutional leash.

    People will not learn to live without a belief system they hold dearly. Most people clutch statism to their breast like a Christian holds his faith. We will not wake up some day to a "messy" transition to state-less freedom. Freedom can't be organized. How can you convince 300 million Americanos that their government does them more harm than good, and that they need to question their most closely-held beliefs?

    Erik, please elaborate on "non-anarchist drives" and "getting immigrants access to unrestricted dealing with you".


  7. Carpenter,
    You remind me of the cynical observation that nobody who campaigns for public office can possibly be fit for it.

    As in initial suggestion working towards convincing 300 million Americans, how about riffing off the "(N amount of people are) good without God" atheist ads and replacing "God" with "government". Those ads have greatly annoyed a lot of Christians, which suggests to me that they're having an effect and that Christians don't like it.

    A "non-anarchist drive" I'm thinking of is family formation. Humans, like all other evolved species, are put together by a process of clumsy hacks that selects in favor of semirandom things that promote reproduction and the survival of the next generation. This applies both on a genetic and cultural level. If for example some group of anarchists decided to neither reproduce (or donate to sperm banks, etc) nor blog (or write pamphlets, etc) then that branch of anarchism would become extinct in a generation. Their anarchism might be reinvented independently, but by hypothesis it wouldn't be reproduced.

    Therefore humans tend to have a desire (drive? tendency? evolved subconscious habit?) for families. More precisely, women have a desire to acquire committed providers for their children [men partially replaced by state welfare here in some modern countries], men have a desire to find faithful women who can be known to bear /their/ children [since paternity was hard to check for most of evolutionary history], and everyone has a desire to promote their genetic relatives, which generally works out to something roughly family-like. These desires are shaped by genes, and reinforced by culture, resulting in what I call "meta-rational" strategies that are irrational for any given individual but rational for the group as a whole or for the gene/meme being spread, and so rational if you condition on the assumption that one's nearby fellows are using a similar strategy to one's own strategy.

    Due to feedback loops, and because evolution doesn't care *why* anyone is reproducing or dying, just that they are, culture can slowly, partly, fragmentarily get embedded back into genes, as detailed in books like The Ten-Thousand Year Explosion. To take a common example, beer. Peoples of Euro-Levantine descent, who have lived with beer a long time, tend to have higher alcohol tolerances, while those introduced to it more recently, such Australian Aborigines, suffer alcoholism at the drop of a hat (or bottle).

    The oldest known beer (substance chemically identifiable as beer) is dated back five thousand years at Godin Tepe, with estimated history of beer going back to invention around 11-12k years ago. Family arrangements are older, so stronger.

    I apologize if my walls of text are annoying; I'm trying to explain my thought process in detail to people that I have few shared assumptions and little shared knowledge with (beyond the universal-to-1st-world-countries baseline) and I'm not sure if I'm getting through.

  8. Erik,
    " borders is easier if we end national welfare..."

    Yes, because liberty is not a piecemeal proposition. It is inextricably intertwined, each bit with every other bit. This is why it will probably never get far if you try to implement it gently, a bit at a time, in order to save people from the consequences of their addiction to the State. It is sad, and I am willing to help (that's why I blog), but I didn't ever lie to people and tell them that giving up their sovereignty was a good idea. Those who did spread that lie are the ones who should be held accountable for the harm their lies cause. "Welfare" is not sustainable. It has to die. Charity needs to be allowed to bloom again, as it did before "welfare" displaced it.

    As anarchism spreads, the State will wither. There is no need to abolish it. It is a lie, based on lies, perpetuated by lies. Truth will make it evaporate. And, to that end, I would strongly suggest you enroll in TOLFA (The On Line Freedom Academy).

    By "non-anarchist drives" do you mean that they seek a leader? There is a big difference between a ruler and a leader. Leader = good. Ruler, not so much.

    I don't know what you mean by "family operation". A family, like any other voluntary group, should function by unanimous consent. That's the only "operation" I suggest.