15A056 Ending Mass Migration by Jim Davies, 11/18/2015
It's swamping Europe, and has been a serious problem there for many years past; tens of thousands are migrating monthly from war-torn Arab countries and bringing discord with them. Their culture and religion do not fit those of the host country. Mayhem results.
France is a case in point; 11% of its population is now Muslim and most of those immigrants came from North Africa, notably the former colony of Algeria. Values and beliefs clash with those of the host and tensions are high; a whimsical illustration appeared not long ago in the London Telegraph, after a law forbade the use of the burka, but gave no trouble to topless sunbathers. This year as is well known French Muslims became enraged at being belittled by the magazine Charlie Hebdo and massacred its staff; last week others ran riot with maching guns and sprayed bullets on Parisian concertgoers and restaurant diners, killing over 120.
The clash results not just from xenophobia, but is at least partly the fault of the newcomers. They keep themselves in enclaves (nothing unusual there, as American experience abundantly confirms) but make no attempt either to learn the local language or join in its customs; young Muslim men have so little respect for "infidel" girls as to raise the rape rate by an order of magnitude. They survive largely on welfare and so are a burden on their neighbors who gave them shelter. The huge influx of 2015 appears to be a search for work and peace, but we shall see; some, already, are accusing the bulk of those Syrian refugees of being welfare-shoppers. If that is so, it is of course wholly different from the American experience and repugnant to the anarchist principle that since every person owns his own labor, he is properly free to offer it to anyone in any place on the planet - but also that, having earned its fruits, he is entitled to keep them all.
The continuing flood has prompted governments to close their borders, at least to asylum seekers, and the French one briefly sealed them altogether after the 11/13 savagery. Political movements have mushroomed across the Continent, in favor of ending all immigration.
So there is a serious, real problem, springing from two key facts: (a) the volumes are vast; this is not a matter of importing a few individuals, and (b) there is small chance of cultural assimilation; this is not a matter of a Northward flow of Mexicans, who share a religion with a large minority of US natives and who speak a language widely spoken here already - and who, in very great part, are here only in search of work opportunity, not welfare.
What solution is consistent with libertarian principles?
First and foremost, it is not to abandon those principles, as unfortunately was done even by such luminaries as Hans-Hermann Hoppe and recently by even Lew Rockwell; my critique of the former's paper, upon which the latter relies, appears here. Each uses the argument that nobody has a right to immigrate to privately owned land (quite correct) but that government ("public") land is actually privately owned by taxpayers, who were forced to buy it! Such convoluted reasoning is very typical of our statist adversaries, but suits those professing a belief in liberty very ill indeed. To allege that government land is really private land is an obvious and flagrant contradiction and should have no place in rational scholarship.
My earlier ZGBlog spells out some reasons why paying taxes entitles the victim to nothing - certainly not to land ownership rights - and additional ones are that even if they did, (a) the adminstration of such rights would be impossible in practice, and (b) in any case, the premise that governments used taxpayer money to purchase land is blatantly false. Let's pause to examine each of these.
Regarding (a), imagine a thief stole from you $50,000 cash, takes it to Vegas and plays the tables. He loses all but a tenth of it, at four different casinos. Do you have a rightful claim on the casino companies? - hardly. They took the money in good faith. Why should they now lose it? Then suppose that the theft was not by a single thief but by a Mafia family, whose 100 members shared the loot and spent it on 200 different purchases. How exactly are you going to recover your $50K from the 200 merchants who exchanged valuable goods in exchange for parts of it? - how are restaurateurs who served them meals going to recover what was eaten? Or how are the young ladies in houses of ill repute to be made to take back the services they provided for the money?
What is impractical for private theft is even more ridiculous for government thieves. Your money is lost for ever, frittered away on a huge range of savagery worldwide.
Regarding (b), no previously unclaimed land was ever purchased by government. Title was always obtained by fiat and force, or the threat of it. When English monarchs lusted after colonies in North America, they issued edicts declaring land here to be theirs, and chartered settlers to go and enforce the edicts. They never spent a penny of taxpayer loot, except later to defend "their" land or to conquer some "owned" by a rival government.
Was Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase an exception? - no. That great swath of land was indeed bought with tax money, but payment was made to the government of France, which had acquired it as above by the stroke of a pen. Wilderness becomes owned when a claimant "mixes his labor" with it, and no government ever invested such labor - such a thing is beyond their ability.
So the Hoppe/Rockwell argument that foreigners would be trespassing on privately owned land were they to immigrate freely is flat bogus, for all these reasons and possibly more. If mass, damaging immigration is to end, without violation of anarchist principles, supporting government erection of barriers is asolutely not the way to do it.
The real problem of ruinous immigration can be solved by using anarchist principles, however, instead of by tossing them overboard. The first is that every person has the natural right to offer his own labor anywhere. So if a Syrian pharmacist wishes to work in a German pharmacy, he's 100% free to apply; and if his offer is accepted, then to move, with family, to take up the job. By paying his own way (of course!) nobody else's rights are damaged.
Anarchism also and above all means the termination of all government, and therefore of all war; and war is intricately mixed in with the current mass-immigration crisis above, for the Syrian refugee stream results directly from vicious squabbling in their home country between the existing (Assad) government and a range of rebels who wish to replace it and exclude the others. Some of them have been actively supported by the US government, which has openly called for "regime change" just as if Syria were any of its business. The chaos that has resulted made life there almost impossible, and results directly from those actions by actual and wannabe governments. Note: chaos and mayhem are government products, not those of anarchy.
So what anarchist principle applies here? - to take action that will terminate government. It's not hard; it means doing what has been repeatedly encouraged on this Blog - here, for example - and noting that once government implodes here in the USA, the rest of the world will follow rather swiftly. Then war too will terminate, and that major motivator for large scale emigration will cease to exist.
Simultaneously, termination of government will automatically end the other possible major motivator for immigration: welfare. There will be no "welfare entitlement" for anyone, native or newcomer. Accordingly, everyone who does choose to move around the world will do so only after securing a living at his destination. I think this will drastically reduce the size of the problem, for work and business opportunities are closely tied to language abilities and cultural affinity. There may well be ongoing migration - but it will be natural, without the artificial stimuli of the welfare carrot or the warfare stick.
"But, but, but...!" - an objector may say. "We can't wait for governments to vanish, before the mass-migration problem is solved! We need a fix at once!"
Yes, friend, you can wait, and you will wait, for you have no alternative; for as long as governments persist and operate tax farms they call "countries", the stick of war and the carrot of welfare will continue. If you seriously want an end to unnatural, ruinous migration you have no choice but to end their era. The means is ready, and the process can be very fast. The action, and the speed, is up to you.