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Why Conservatives Are Socialists

I have written quite a few posts and articles on the immigration issue now. More recently I responded to Lew Rockwell’s reiteration of his and Hans Hoppe’s claim that “taxpayers own public property.”

But I wanted to clarify here how the nationalists who oppose freedom in immigration, labor and employment are really socialists in their wanting central planners to take charge over who is “allowed” to enter the territory, regardless of what private property owners want.

The nationalists such as Donald Trump and conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh want to require that people have citizenship in the U.S. to qualify for this or that, or to work, etc. And my contention is that you can’t have both a “free market” and a requirement of citizenship at the same time. It’s either one or the other.

You see, the nationalists and conservatives want to continue keeping foreigners from entering “our” country without the permission of the central planners in Washington. And they say that you don’t “belong” in the country unless you have citizenship. So this citizenship thing really is an authorization.

But I thought all human beings had “unalienable rights,” among them the rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Those are rights which preexist the formation of any government, and which preexist the formation of a country as well. Right?

Do people have a right to exist and live their lives as granted to them by the ruling bureaucrats? Or do they have a right to exist and live their lives, period? As long as one is peaceful, of course. As Leonard Read would say, Anything that’s peaceful (.pdf).

In the rights to life and liberty one has a natural right to self-ownership. And for those who reject the idea of natural rights, I get that, and will say that we have freedom, period. Until someone comes along and violates that freedom.

And what is the “free market”? It is a market that is free of external intrusions or violations, i.e. governmental restrictions, prohibitions, mandates, controls, reporting requirements, tax-thefts, etc. It is also a market that is not restricted by a government-drawn border. If this person over here wants to trade with that person over there, they trade. As long as they are peaceful. That’s the “free market.” And third parties may not intrude.

But the “citizenship” requirement makes the traders not self-owners but owned by the government. You may not even be in the territory unless you have “authorization,” that is, no longer a self-owner. And that is a part of the nationalists’ belief in some kind of communal ownership of the entire territory by the citizens (or by “taxpayers”). But, if you have a communal ownership of an entire territory, then those who think they own “private” property within the territory are mistaken. Because with the idea of “authorized citizens” who communally own the territory is their ownership (or control) of all “private” property within the territory, each business, residence, etc. In my view, control is a de facto ownership.

And all this is what socialism is. Another example is the drug war that most conservatives love. When the government dictates what you may or may not put into your own body, then the government has a de facto ownership of your body. One of the most important means of production is the people, which includes their physical bodies. When there is private ownership of the means of production the individual owns one’s own body. And that is where the principle of non-aggression comes from, by the way. The individual has self-ownership and the physical aggression against one’s body by others is a violation — but, in statist theory, not entirely a violation if the aggressor claims to be the actual owner, such as the government in its enforcement of dictating to you what drugs or foods you may or may not put into your own body. The drug war is a socialist crusade by intrusive social activists who covet the lives and bodies of others, in my view.

In regards to the immigration issue and trade and commerce, the collectivist conservatives and nationalists want to arrest “unauthorized entrants” even if they are acting peacefully, and the collectivists want to arrest businessmen who employ the peaceful, non-criminal workers even if the employers are being peaceful. This is not an example of the “free market.” This is a socialist utopia. It is utopia because this scheme of government control doesn’t even work!

A free market is not under the control of the community, as though the community in general takes part in the ownership of each business or each worker’s life within the community. A free market is not under the control of government bureaucrats or their armed enforcers. A free market is controlled by the legitimate owners who own the property being traded, including the businesses and the labor of the workers. Free traders do not need permission from outsiders or third parties who are not a part of the voluntary contracts established by the traders. And again, traders also include people selling their labor to others.

And this doesn’t just apply to the immigration issue. Any kind of trade, or peaceful, mutually beneficial activity.

The anti-market people on the nationalism side are advocating socialism, which is government ownership of the means of production. The private ownership of the means of production is not divided by government borders. The separation or dividing up of the means of production by that which is within the border and that which is outside the border is socialism, because those in charge (government rulers and bureaucrats) have seized control (i.e. ownership) over the means of production. In their dictating to businesses whom the businesses may or may not hire the bureaucrats are seizing control (i.e. ownership) over the businesses.

In a free market, business owners hire whomever they want. They are the authorities over their own businesses, not bureaucrats. No need for government authorization. And I think there is a kind of envy going on with the police-statists’ desire to arrest honest businesspeople for hiring “unauthorized workers.” That’s just my view on that.

As far as what is causing so many people to take the nationalist-collectivist view, and in a deeply emotional way? Who knows? And it’s definitely an emotional thing. Nationalism does not seem to be rational, in my view.

The American Founders were not nationalists, by the way. They were individualists. They (supposedly) believed in individual liberty and private property, not some kind of collective ownership of property.  And they were not authoritarians in the political sense. They believed in bottom-up rule, not top-down rule. Those who were nationalists at the time of the American Revolution were loyal to their nation at the time, the British regime. They were the ones who turned in “traitors” (i.e. the Revolutionaries). As written in the Declaration of Independence, the early Americans wanted immigrants to come and they complained about the British King’s interference in that matter.

Note: This post was slightly edited (with 3 words added) since originally posted.

Published inBureaucracyImmigrationLibertarianismSocialismTrade