I keep hearing the radio blabbermouths criticizing Obama and the Left on their socialist/fascist ObamaCare disaster and other terrible policies. Unfortunately, they include the immigration issue as part of their complaints. Conservatives are collectivists as much as the Left, and they do not understand the importance of private property and free markets, including in the immigration issue. So I am reposting this article I had on LewRockwell.com last year.
A Disagreement With Collectivist Anti-Business Conservatives on Immigration
June 27, 2012
Copyright © 2012 by LewRockwell.com (Link to article)
The conservatives are up in arms over Barack Obama’s “executive order” regarding immigration and deportation laws, his granting amnesty to about a million young people whose parents brought them over to the U.S. when they were children. “He’s pandering to the Hispanics in an election year,” they cry. “Obama is inviting more ‘invaders’ into the country, a whole new group of voters for Democrats!” and so forth.
Of course Obama’s move is political. Does Obama really care about the lives of all these people, and about protecting them from immoral deportations? Not really, given how deportations have skyrocketed in record numbers during his administration.
But very briefly for those worried about Obama’s Executive Orders: Yes, there is a huge problem if those orders involve further dictatorial intrusions, restrictions on our liberty, or property or wealth confiscations.
But I have no problem if such an Executive Order involves ignoring or nullifying existing intrusions, restrictions or confiscations.
When an act of positive law, an ordinance, government-imposed mandate or restriction violates someone’s life and liberty, then that is an immoral act of positive law (enforced by armed police), and it must be repealed forthwith.
It doesn’t matter who repeals it, Congress or the President, struck down by courts, nullified by the people – whatever – or whether “proper constitutional procedures” are followed. If something is an immoral act of aggression against innocent human beings, get rid of it, immediately!
Philosophically and morally, the conservatives who see entrants not officially authorized by the U.S. government as “invaders,” do not realize how communistic their views of State-controlled exclusion really are.
The conservatives support the federal government’s central planning of the population as far as who gets in and who doesn’t. And with such central planning, they thus support the collective ownership of the entire territory. However, when the collective assumes ownership and control of an entire territory, then everything within the territory goes with that collective (or State) control.
It is impossible to empower a collective population with that kind of group territorial ownership but at the same time say that each individual, each parcel of “private” property, and each business within the territory is privately owned, and that each private owner has ultimate control and sovereignty of one’s property, business, and one’s life. In reality, each individual is merely “renting space,” and is owned by the collective.
Part of this communistic approach to things by the conservatives can be seen in their apparent obsession with citizenship. Do you see how some conservatives are obsessed with Obama’s citizenship, like that matters? Oh, the constitution says something about “eligibility,” but the Constitution itself is extremely flawed.
But being a “citizen” really does go with that idea of collective ownership of the territory and of everything and everyone within it.
Is an individual more a citizen of the government than of the country or of the territory? Unfortunately, many people conflate the country of America with the government.
Citizenship is really a euphemism for how the government owns us. And the more imperialistic and hegemonic the U.S. government has become, the more it has claimed ownership over other territories, foreign lands and economies, and the foreigners themselves.
What we have now is a contradiction of the principles of liberty and self-ownership, as referenced in the American Declaration of Independence.
Sadly, there are many narcissistic people who want to believe that the individual’s rights to life and liberty mentioned in the Declaration only apply to Americans. But no, all human beings have inalienable rights to life and liberty.
So, if we accept the premise that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” and that such rights are natural, inherent rights that each individual has as a human being, then we would have to acknowledge that of course all human beings have a right to freedom of movement, freedom of travel, and the right to migrate anywhere in the world, as long as they don’t trespass on private property.
Actually, as consumers of goods and services in America, we should want to have as many people migrating to America as we can have. The more immigrants, the more people who are available not only as laborers, but as businesspeople and entrepreneurs to employ more Americans.
The immigration issue shows the conservatives’ contempt for consumers, and for private property rights and freedom of contract. The conservatives approve of the intruder government’s seizure of and control over private businesses and contracts between employers and laborers, at the ultimate expense of consumers.
These central planning intrusions not only violate the property and contract rights of both business owners and workers in the moral sense, but such government intrusions have shown to be impractical, and cause distortions in markets.
Or planned chaos, as Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises would call it. And as Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger noted in Immigration Socialism versus Freedom and the Free Market,
Hayek pointed out that the central planner, no matter how brilliant, can never possess the requisite knowledge and expertise to plan and direct a complex market activity. One of the primary reasons for that inability is that market conditions, which turn on ever-changing subjective valuations of people, are changing constantly, and they’re different in every particular locale across the land.
With the idea of immigration freedom, Hornberger compares the freedom to travel, work and establish voluntary employment contracts with how Americans of different U.S. states interact:
After all, look at the United States, the largest free-trade and free-movement zone in history. People are free to cross borders of the different states. No border patrol. No customs. No interstate checkpoints. No passports. No papers. It works the same way when people cross from county to county.
It didn’t have to be that way. The Framers could have said, “Each state shall have the sovereign prerogative of controlling its borders from the people of other states.” Thank goodness they didn’t do that, because if they had, there is no doubt that many a state government would today be exercising that power, to protect its state from competing workers and producers …
The same principle of free trade and free movements of people that characterize the domestic United States is what should be adopted for international borders as well: people freely crossing back and forth, visiting, touring, buying, selling, investing, opening businesses, working, and living their lives as easily as people do domestically.
The true moral defense of private property rights and contract rights in immigration, labor and employment is this: Each individual has a right of ownership of one’s own life. The businessperson has started one’s business with one’s own effort, labor and capital. Therefore, that individual has a God-given right to do with one’s own property whatever one wishes, as long as one does not violate the persons or property of others.
That means that any third party who interferes with that individual’s business, including the contracts that such a businessperson establishes voluntarily with one’s customers and employees, that third party is being an intruder, a trespasser.
Such intruders and trespassers include government bureaucrats and their armed agents attempting to enforce artificial socialist controls over the lives, property and businesses of others.
And from the laborers’ perspective, the foreign worker has right to work, earn an income to support one’s family, and has a right to travel as long as one doesn’t trespass on private property, and has a right to establish voluntary contracts with employers.
And consumers have a right to trade their wealth with the businesspeople and seek the best quality service or goods at the best price, and it’s no one else’s business.
The current collective- and government-ownership of the territory, businesses, labor and the people effects in an egregious diminution of liberty and is a disservice to consumers.
The current socialist, central planning control over businesses forces the consumers to be served by only non-immigrant workers, many of whom may be less qualified than immigrant workers may be.
In a free society of private property and the sanctity of private contracts, the consumers would rule and be better served by the producers of goods and services, the employees of whom being the best available workers according to the producers’ own judgments and the consumers’ satisfaction – but NOT according to non-productive government bureaucrats!
Alas, conservatives prefer the current situation of socialist government controls, economic central planning, restrictions, intrusions, even police state policies such as the Arizona “Your Papers, Please” law, and arrests and deportations, in the immigration issue.
Further, many people erroneously view immigrants as draining America’s wealth and productivity and making us less safe in our communities. I would agree that the welfare state has acted as a magnet for the foreign-born non-productive class.
But at the same time, America had also been a magnet for the very productive and motivated amongst foreigners wanting to come here for a better life for themselves and for their families. (But not so much now for foreigners, or for native-born Americans, unfortunately.)
In fact, a major recent study has shown that, with large changes in immigration laws since 1965, there is “no evidence that (immigrants) have reshaped the social fabric in harmful ways,” and concluded that “America is neither less safe because of immigration nor is it worse off economically.”
However, what really have reshaped America’s social fabric are the welfare state policies of FDR and LBJ, and government’s seizure of control over education, which have added to the destruction of the family and the discouragement of independent living and critical thinking among the general population.
America is worse off economically not because of immigrants but because of the obscene growth of the government sector, which siphons wealth from the productive sector.
And America is worse off economically because of government’s intrusions in Americans’ economic lives, with taxation-thefts and regulatory trespasses, and especially because of government bureaucrats’ imbecilic fiscal and monetary central planning.
And America is less safe not because of foreign immigrants but because of the growing police state, and because of U.S. government foreign policy, which for many decades – certainly well before 9/11 – has consisted of invading and occupying foreign lands, interfering with foreign peoples’ business, and bullying and provoking foreigners.
But when some of these collectivist-conservatives on the radio bark about immigrants as “intruders” who “don’t belong in our country,” there is a definite need for clarification on who the real intruders are.
The ones who really don’t belong in America are the communist-oriented non-productive bureaucrats in Washington. The legislators who make laws that violate our liberty, their aides who actually write the bad laws that are really meant to favor special interests and established businesses, the contractors, the government “workers” with their bloated pensions.
In other words, the non-productive government sector, many of whom are hostile to the very principles of private property and individual freedom that made America the once-great nation that it was.
Those are the real intruders, the true foreign invaders occupying our precious lands. They are the ones who should be given a dishonorable discharge, deported, exiled, given the heave-ho, and taken away to places more acceptable to them, such as North Korea or Iran or Cuba, rather than their continually making America into their Soviet-style police-state paradise of plunder and pillage and siphoning off the hard labor of the productive class.
Those non-productive Washington prison wardens really ought to cut the government’s shackles that tie us down, enslave and imprison us. So too should they cut the shackles of the entrepreneurial immigrants who would otherwise start businesses, provide jobs, and provide goods and services to consumers (that non-productive government bureaucrats don’t do!).
More people are now realizing how impossible it is for Washington central planners to run things in a territory as large and populated as the U.S. So, eventually we will have to break up into smaller sections or just return sovereignty and independence to each state. Obviously, migration into states would then be handled much more easily.
Perhaps President Obama has only begun to set people free, first with the immigration issue. Maybe next by ending the illicit and immoral drug war. (Or maybe not.)
But as long as Executive Orders set people free, how could anyone in his right mind oppose them?