Thursday, February 5, 2009

Immigration, immigration, immigration

Having stirred up such a controversy with my immigration remarks, I'm seriously considering doing a whole series of posts on disagreements I have with the libertarian platform. The blog could use a little action, after all. That's what it's for. How would all you libertarians out there feel about my opposition to abortion (I'm pro-life), or -gasp!- democracy (at least, the universal franchise aspect of it)? I sense that Ben is tiring of the immigration debate. He's right, it could easily degenerate into the old pro/anti-debate, however, I do not intend to let it. He has again made some good points. I suspect he could make a lot more, as could I. (although I wonder, did Ben actually read carefully the posts he linked to?
Moreover, in the pages that follow, we show that on several of these issues the community is not only more liberal than commonly thought, but quite liberal in absolute terms as well.
Doesn't really seem to suport the overall thesis. Sure, they voted Republican (although I'm beginning to doubt that that counts for much), but it doesn't seem that they are exactly kindred spirits.) Anyway, it is certainly true that the Constitution ought to be iron-clad, but the fact is that in practice it is not. Words on paper don't mean much among heathen like ourselves. They certainly won't stop a bullet. Again, physical reality intervenes into the ideal, namely because we human beings are far from ideal ourselves. I wouldn't dream of defending the socialism of the California system. Perhaps it was a bad example. I meant it as an example of how an open culture can get wiped out/displaced by open borders. Ben is right, their system is badly, badly, flawed, and there are plenty of moochers to go around. But who created the system? It is a democracy, after all. If the system is flawed, what does it say of the people who made it? But I forget, Ben does not subscribe to my "government reflects culture" thesis, which leads him to believe that millions of people out there yearn to be free and that we ought to help them out, in this specific case, by letting them come here (or us go there) freely. Once again, it seems the debate centers around a point of contention that we've had between us for some time. Whereas I don't necessarily disagree that there are people out there who yearn to be free, I do very much doubt a) that their ideas are even remotely similar to ours, or even to what we might guess them to be b) that their ideas are compatible with a classical-liberal social order, and, supposing they did manage to satisfy these two, c) their capacity to stably propagate a classical-liberal social order due to issues of ethics and personal discipline. I know I'm not supposed to say things like that. But it is what I observe to be true, even, sadly, of myself and my fellow Americans. And what would a blog be worth if it didn't air ideas that stirred up the pot a bit? If you wanted PC gobbledygook, you should have turned on the TV. Pleasant sounding fiction isn't my gig. Maybe Oprah is the show for you. The reality is that these are actually very high barriers for fallen beings like ourselves. We're not angels; not even close. I forget, I'm not supposed to be arguing again...but it really is such a fascinating topic, and I just can't help myself! And I don't really think these are the tired arguments you see in the mainstream pro/anti-immigration debates you see all the time. Nobody has said anything about "jobs Americans won't do" or "welfare costs," "public school" or the like. (I intended my California reference to be with respect to cultural displacement. I probably should have picked a better link, but that was the first that came to mind. I could have just as easily talked about the Americans who came to Texas when it was still a part of Mexico and started a revolution! Or, for that matter, the British who colonized Hong Kong...) I have no interest in these as issues, as I consider them all to be problems of socialism (or economic ignorance in the jobs case), not immigration. So it is worthwhile, in my opinion. Many thanks to Ben! I'll leave it alone now...

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