Thoughts On Intra-Libertarian Cooperation, or “John Doesn’t Play Well With Others”

Roderick Long has posted a brief call for courtesy amidst the angry debate between various factions of libertarian types. I can see his intent, but I don’t agree.

Let’s get something straight: I’m not here for the libertarian movement. I judge that the libertarian movement (whatever it is, with whatever sorts of people graft themselves onto it) is a waste of time at best. And I don’t care overmuch about you, Gentle Reader, either. Specifically, I don’t care whether I convince you of anything in particular.

I’m here for me.

I judge that having a worldview that’s more in accordance with reality is of value to me. As Mencken put it,

I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.

Thus, I continually look for things that refine my perception of reality. If those things come without effort on my part, that’s fine. If I have to work for them, then that’s fine too. An example of something that came without effort on my part is this entry on the subject of abortion by fellow No-Treason’er Joshua Holmes. I’d thought about the subject in passing before, even gathered tantalizing hints from other people I respect, but Holmes knocked the argument out of the park in seven paragraphs. Something that took a tiny bit of effort was getting this correction from Stephan Kinsella. Despite the sharp tone of the discussion, I could and did recognize that I was wrong. And by doing so, I’m personally better off. I judge that neither Kinsella nor Holmes were looking to do me any favors there, they wrote what they did for their own purposes. And that’s just fine with me.

So what’s wrong with a sharp tone, anyway? Given my goals (which again explicilty do not consist of persuading anyone of much of anything) it’s at worst irrelevant. In actuality though, I judge blunt honesty to be a benefit. “I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie.” I have no problem whatsoever with exposing my ideas to the criticism of others, I judge that they can stand or fail on their own merits. I don’t ask for or expect any quarter whatsoever if I’m wrong: instead it’s in my interests to be corrected as quickly as possible.

My goals as a principled individualist are perhaps different from those who view themselves as part of some greater movement. I have no desire to build coalitions with or gently persuade people who can’t deal with blunt honesty. To put it quite simply, people who can’t handle criticism aren’t going to be of any use to me at all: I judge that folks who crack when their flaws are exposed are never going to have a signifigant amount of ability to expose mine.

I don’t expect many people to agree with any part of the above. I flies in the face of what a political movement is supposed to be about, but I’m not a part of any movement. I’m looking to better my own self, and if other people gain value from my content, that’s just gravy for them. To sum it up once again, I’m here for me.

110 thoughts on “Thoughts On Intra-Libertarian Cooperation, or “John Doesn’t Play Well With Others”

  1. billy-jay says:

    You seem to be doing well. Rock on.

  2. Tiny Tim says:

    It won’t be heard, since most libertarians are “movementarians” i.e. collectivists.

    Witness the Leninist behaviour of the Rothbardians on this very site. Understand to them, the Party is All. You must submit to the Party Line or else be Purged. Nevermind the hypocrites and net-tax-comsumers in the midst of the Libertarian Vanguard, turn your eyes away and your mind off, because the Party is Always Right.

    But regardless, I admire what you are attempting.

  3. FuUrther calls for civility can be found in Long’s comments buried here. Why do you think the fact that you write for your own purposes instead of for a libertarian movement implies Roderick’s plea for courtesy and civility is wrong? Just because one is selfish does not mean one is rude.

  4. Joshua Holmes says:

    Crap, I had forgotten I even wrote that.

  5. Check, morality is irrelevant. Check, your obnoxious. Thanks for the reminder, as if I needed any.

  6. almost forgot: check, you just spent a whole lotta time and took up a whole lot of space trying to justify being obnoxious, when you could have (pretty accurately) summrized your thoughts on the matter as, “FU”.

  7. jomama says:

    Nice to hear someone else found the same bag.

  8. John Lopez says:

    Kinsella:

    Why do you think the fact that you write for your own purposes instead of for a libertarian movement implies Roderick’s plea for courtesy and civility is wrong?

    “Wrong”? I’m not sure what you mean by that. I stated that niceness doesn’t suit my purposes.

    Just because one is selfish does not mean one is rude.

    I never said that that was the case. Intra-libertarian rudeness generally does me more good than harm, I’d rather see honest discussion than verbal fig leaves. But nobody has to go out of their way to do anything for me.

  9. It’s an endless sea of skulls of mush out there and those who can’t evaluate arguments regardless of rhetoric are of little use to me here.

    Long wrote:

    C’mon guys, ratcheting up one’s own rhetoric is rarely the most effective strategy for getting one’s opponent to moderate his rhetoric.

    Like Lopez I don’t care at all if anyone moderates their rhetoric. Rhetoric doesn’t change reality, it doesn’t make arguments more or less valid and it doesn’t interfere much with my evaluation of arguments. I often employ confrontational rhetoric to get directly to the point I’m addressing.

    I find polarization clarifying, it helps me see how people are thinking.

    Kinsella wrote:

    Why do you think the fact that you write for your own purposes instead of for a libertarian movement implies Roderick’s plea for courtesy and civility is wrong?

    I don’t care if you find me courteous or civil. Why should I? Anyone who can’t think straight in the face of what they consider incivility ought to learn.

  10. John Purdy says:

    I find polarization clarifying, it helps me see how people are thinking.
    That’s your choice and interpretation. I find it distorts and over-simplifies what people are thinking.

    I don’t care if you find me courteous or civil. Why should I? Anyone who can’t think straight in the face of what they consider incivility ought to learn.
    I hope you treat your clients with civility. But at the end of the day the world has become just little more unpleasant and dark – courtesy of JTK. That’s not how I want to go out. It mystifies me that you would.

  11. John Lopez says:

    I find it distorts and over-simplifies what people are thinking.

    Given that most people aren’t thinking too clearly, that doesn’t detract too much.

    But at the end of the day the world has become just little more unpleasant and dark – courtesy of JTK.

    Telling the truth hardly makes things more dark or unpleasant, it just exposes more of what’s there.

  12. John Purdy says:

    But Mr. Kennedy wasn’t only talking about “speaking the truth” even the blunt kind – he was quite specific about incivility not quite the same thing wouldn’t you say?

  13. H8Neocons says:

    Who here is libertarian? I only see more filthy neocons.

  14. Stefan says:

    I don’t get it, why do random comments occassionally appear accusing everyone here of being neocon, or leninist, or paleo, or communists, etc.

    What’s up with that?

  15. Tom G. Palmer says:

    Reading a plea for civility from Mr. Kinsella is remarkably like reading a plea for thoughtfulness and moderation from Justin Raimondo.

  16. John Lopez says:

    Purdy,

    Incivility per se doesn’t detract from the issues at hand. If someone judges me wrong, gives evidence, and calls me a stupid motherfucker while doing so, I can seperate their invective from their argument. In fact I find most calls for “civility” from free-market types to be thinly-disguised calls for shutting up and getting with the program (Long’s previous mention explicitly excepted.).

    Often the truth is quite uncivil: if someone is, say, advocating that armed men with guns interfere with my peaceful use of my property, it’s perfectly correct and quite impolite of me to tell them to shut their stupid cake hole. You’ll find that quite a bit of the material that’s blogged on this site involves similar things: someone trying to clap The Gun up against someone else’s head. That sort of cheerleading doesn’t deserve politeness, in fact it’s best exposed by rudeness. Rudeness as in: “Who the fuck are *you* to tell *me* what to do with *my stuff*, pal?”

    In any case, as JTK said, folks who can’t seperate argument from style are of no use to me. Maybe they do something for the folks who’re trying to produce freedom like they’re running some sort of Glorious People’s Movement, I dunno.

    But I need thinkers, not emoters.

  17. John Lopez says:

    Stefan,

    There’s a number of anonymous commenters that poke subtle fun at the Lewrockwell.com types by calling us neocons, etc., as certain LRC’ers also do.

    And that’s fine.

  18. John Purdy says:

    Lopez,
    Your very way of framing the point speaks volumes.
    if someone is, say, advocating that armed men with guns interfere with my peaceful use of my property, it’s perfectly correct and quite impolite of me to tell them to shut their stupid cake hole.
    Yes, but how many people have actually advocated that to you in precisely those words? If,on the other hand, someone offers the argument that society depends on everyone accepting moral obligations that go beyond their own immediate self-interest or that their own long term fully informed self-interest entails limitations on some freedoms, such as disposal of property, is it wise to tell him to “shut his stupid pie hole”?

    You are the one drawing the inference that this hypothetical debater believes that this must and should always come down to armed enforcers and is therefore undeserving of a civil response. You draw this inference because your reasoning leads you to believe this is the inevitable outcome and one that is immoral. The debater may not see that and if so you have an opportunity to educate rather than denigrate.

    It’s your website, do as you please, I just believe (and see from practice) that a modicum of civility and restraint has beneficial effects on debate and that the opposite simply inflames beyond what is necessary or even just.
    Just my two cents.

  19. John Purdy,

    Lopez and Kennedy (and perhaps other No Treason folk) are not interested in persuading others to accept their views so they find no reason to be civil to those who don’t already share their own viewpoints. (Although Kennedy, bless his heart, is generally civil in spite of himself)

    I don’t really disagree with this strategy, given the goals they are trying to achieve, although I personally find excessive insults distracting and uninteresting. To each his own.

  20. Tom Palmer: “Reading a plea for civility from Mr. Kinsella is remarkably like reading a plea for thoughtfulness and moderation from Justin Raimondo.”

    Palmer is one of the most unfair and incivil libertarians I have ever come across. Just as violence is not per se immoral but is justified in response to initiated violence, so incivility directed at those who employ it is not necessarily unjustified. Palmer has long had a vendetta against certain people including other great libertarian individuals and institutions and continues to malign and personally attack. For him to complain of incivility is what is quite rich.

    What bugs Palmer is that I and others don’t take his shrill cries seriously. The PC emperors are finally being revealed to have no clothes, and they don’t like it. Their whining and name-calling is just the thrashing of a dying beast.

  21. Tom Palmer and his fellow Seriosos have made themselves laughingstocks and their silly little foot-stamping petulant cries of “bigotry” into ignored yelpings. Just as blacks have taken on the N-word and use it familiarly among themselves–in part a backlash from it being used as a pejorative against them; so we “bigots” (and that means everyone alive–we are all bigots according to the Princess and the Pea standards employed by our ridiculous, self-enthroned Grand Inquisitors) are doing to treat the word as the joke it has become. Ya dig, mah bigot?

  22. John Purdy says:

    Micha Ghertner,

    Lopez and Kennedy (and perhaps other No Treason folk) are not interested in persuading others to accept their views…
    Okay, although I’ll admit I don’t quite see the point in having a public website with a forum if it is not to persuade but that’s their choice – maybe it’s a form of entertainment for them I don’t know.

    My issue is that this enormous vituperation of people who are in the same ballpark but disagree on points (even if they are important) is remarkably and disturbingly similar to how the Marxist-Leninist were (are). Moreover the emotional drive that lies behind this seems to me to be a form of moral rationalism, the idea that true reason leads inexorably and inevitably to one and only one correct line. Anyone deviating from this line is either mad or bad. By definition they cannot be motivated by true reason or morality.

    The philosopher Walter Kaufmann describes moral rationalism and its related phenomenon Manichaeism as strategies of “decidophobia.” I see a lot of this among libertarians (the LRC folks are regrettably included).

    My opinion is that people who truly wish to think for themselves need to at least pay some attention to decidophobia and the extent to which it influences their thinking.

    For me, civility toward opposing opinions (except in “self-defence”) is an emotional discipline. But I do not claim I can prove its value apodictically. It’s a moral choice.

  23. Stefan says:

    Okay, although I’ll admit I don’t quite see the point in having a public website with a forum if it is not to persuade but that’s their choice – maybe it’s a form of entertainment for them I don’t know.

    That’s one possibility; none of us knows Lopez or Kennedy in person, however, so this is a wild guess at best. Besides, Lopez explicitly said in the topic post that he’s here just here to learn new things and become a better thinker by hearing intelligent arguments others have to give. Now it might be that by being more polite Lopez will further this goal, but evidently he thinks it will not.

    Anyone deviating from this line is either mad or bad. By definition they cannot be motivated by true reason or morality.

    I agree that “decidophobia” as you put it is bad, but it’s not clear to me that’s a condition afflicting no-treasonites. The worst example I can think of is Kennedy’s recent remarks on the Mises blog, which while perhaps inappropriate didn’t merit beign banned from the blog. Examples, please?

  24. John Lopez says:

    Purdy:

    Yes, but how many people have actually advocated that to you in precisely those words?

    Who cares what sort of polysylabic malarkey they clothe their viewpoints in? I’m just as dead from the bullet that lies at the end of “The needs of The Peepul outweigh this slight inconvenience to you, Citizen.” as I am from the one behind “Gimme your shit, you Mex bastard!”

    I vastly prefer to have the root issue of private property drug right out in the middle of the floor, because: a) that’s what it boils down to, and b) the other side has the most to gain from obfuscation.

    And that’s why no-one uses ‘precisely those words’, because every last one of ’em is desperate to avoid noticing that they are wishing for bloody-handed murder.

    I point that inconvenient fact out, and I’m not nice about it. That horrfies most libertarian types, because most libertarian types think that they can hand-hold every last little black-hearted voting feeb into letting them alone.

    Like lambs have something to gain by talking nice to coyotes.

    Moreover the emotional drive that lies behind this seems to me to be a form of moral rationalism, the idea that true reason leads inexorably and inevitably to one and only one correct line.

    There is only one correct line, that’s obvious from the identity principle. However, I don’t kid myself that I have a perfect understanding of reality.

    It’s a moral choice.

    Civility is neither moral nor immoral. You’re conflating vices with crimes. Vices Are Not Crimes. And vices are often incredibly problematic to uncover in others.

  25. Stefan says:

    because most libertarian types think that they can hand-hold every last little black-hearted voting feeb into letting them alone.

    Hope springs eternal, huh?

    the other side has the most to gain from obfuscation.

    This is probably the most important point Lopez has made on this thread. Cloaking statism and violence in fancy or imprecise language is not a small one-time event, but rather an extremely common characteristic found among non-libertarians. So when libertarians argue with non-libertarians you shouldn’t be surprised by the libertarian’s bluntness–often this is an essential part, as Lopez points out, of identifying what the other person is in prinicple advocating.

  26. John Lopez says:

    Two more things:

    The debater may not see that and if so you have an opportunity to educate rather than denigrate.

    I’m not here to educate other folks: like I said, if they gain value from my content, that’s their own lookout. Also again, if someone’s denigrated by me speaking my piece, then they aren’t of much use to me. For my purposes it’s better to cull them from the discussion early on.

    And yes, I do enjoy this: I’m no “activist”, bravely slogging on despite my sorrow and weariness, working for the Greater Good of all the people. To put it as succinctly as possible, fuck that. I contribute to this weblog for no other reason than my personal benefit, and I don’t care that much about it that I’d do it if it weren’t fun.

  27. Lopez, is it fun to be a loser? Just curious.

  28. John Lopez says:

    Once again Lawyer Kinsella proves he is quite intellectually distinguished.

    Technically speaking.

    P.S.: since you’re a self-described bigot, Kinsella, why don’t you use racial epithets instead of the trite, fratboy-esque “loser”? You could even disguise them with, say, pseudo-scientific wild-ass guesses about how the various voting factions of blacks, Jews, and orientals affect the average IQs of the major political parties.

    Not that you’ve ever done that, or anything.

  29. Mo Sonnenwirth says:

    Kuntseller is no bigot, is he? But he is SO clever in his comments to those who don’t approve of his and some of his fellow LRC Rotweilers (and not everyone who writes for LRC is a dog; There’s just a particular bunch of sorry folks there…).

    “For him to complain of incivility is what is quite rich.”

    Say it ain’t so, Stuffed-one! Saying someone else is uncivil? Not that you’d be uncivil to anyone who disagrees with YOU..oh my no. You respond like a true gentleman and scholar. I feel so beaten down with how you were able to tear down every one of my arguments on another site with your sarcasm. I am so humbled.

    (I am in awe of his rapier wit, and the way he misspelled my name to start out when responding to a comment I made (in which I also lost my cool and sunk to calling him a “bigoted asshole”..for which I do apologize, though I have to thnk of which word I should apologize for now…))

    That deliberate not having the decency to use my real or correctly spelled name, or changing my name to “Sonnenschein”… really proved you are one clever dude. That really added to your stature, Steven Cuntswelling. (Actually, I understand why you did it. It’s kind of fun to play in the sandbox again, isn’t it Steffon?)

    “It’s your website, do as you please, I just believe (and see from practice) that a modicum of civility and restraint has beneficial effects on debate and that the opposite simply inflames beyond what is necessary or even just.”

    I do apologize for my being uncivil to everyone BUT Steffie KannedSalad. But the way he responds to attacks on those who happen not to be very pleased with views on LRC clarifies the debate…i.e. its a waste of time to palaver with folks who are far too clever for themselves and the rest of us and will do everything they can to defend the Klan. Oops. Freudian slip. Wrong “clan” of course! (Weak, I know, but I am not a clever person like S.K.)

    SONNENWIRTH

    (Get it right, be a mensch, S.K. I don’t like you and what you have to say, you don’t like me and what I have to say…but to resort to deliberately writing my name wrong? Big man.

  30. John Lopez says:

    Mo Sonnenwirth,

    I have to say that despite my explicit endorsement of incivility, I find those comments to be somewhat uncalled-for.

    Specifically, I am speaking of the comparison of Rottweilers to certain LRC’ers, and the nickname “Cuntseller”.

    Rotties are very nice dogs, and I’m sure that the vast majority of prostitutes are honest, decent folks. As such, I judge that the comparison of dogs and hookers to the afore-mentioned individuals is a disservice to both Rottweilers and prostitutes.

  31. Rad Geek says:

    I agree with most of the things that Lopez has to say about (in)civility and clarity of argument. But I’m a bit baffled by this:

    Civility is neither moral nor immoral. You’re conflating vices with crimes. Vices Are Not Crimes. And vices are often incredibly problematic to uncover in others.

    It’s certainly true that vices are not crimes. But since when does “immoral” mean the same thing as “criminal”? Given the choice, I’d say it’s far closer to being synonymous with “vicious” than it is with “criminal.”

    There are lots of rotten things you can do without violating anybody’s rights. The fact that they’re non-violent doesn’t mean that no moral judgment can be rendered on them; it just means that moral judgments about them can’t (legitimately) be enforced at gunpoint.

    (For what it’s worth, I don’t think that incivility as Lopez practices it is vicious, either. Incivility can be a vice, but only when it’s practiced in a way that detracts from the conversation; and Lopez’s approach doesn’t usually do that.)

  32. Billy Beck says:

    “I never liked any of you sonsofbitches, but I always wished I could have.”

  33. John Lopez says:

    RG:

    There are lots of rotten things you can do without violating anybody’s rights.

    So what’s the problem, then? Peaceful white seperatists might well be rotten and do rotten things, but I don’t see them as being immoral. Stupid, perhaps.

    Do folks really have a moral obligation to be non-rotten? Obligation derived how?

  34. Lopez:

    “P.S.: since you’re a self-described bigot, Kinsella,”

    What up, my bigot!

    “why don’t you use racial epithets instead of the trite, fratboy-esque “loser”?”

    Because I’m not a real bigot. You jackasses have denuded the term of its meaning.

    “You could even disguise them with, say, pseudo-scientific wild-ass guesses about how the various voting factions of blacks, Jews, and orientals affect the average IQs of the major political parties.”

    Ahhh, so it’s now “bigoted” to recognize there ARE races, and differences between them. Nice. Only the witty-bitty minorities get to do this, eh? Screw that. I am not playing by your rigged rules dude.

    Sonnenwirth:

    “Get it right, be a mensch, S.K. I don’t like you and what you have to say, you don’t like me and what I have to say…but to resort to deliberately writing my name wrong? Big man.”

    I don’t remember if I did that. Probably couldn’t remember and dind’t have time to go cut and paste. Who cares. Make fun of my name if you want; I was called cuntsmeller in high school. Down here in Hispanic Houston I often am mistaken for Consuelo or even Gonzales.

    By the way, I am generally extremely civil when people stick to *substance*, no matter how much I disagree. When they start getting personal, or incivil, then I react in kind. I don’t apologize for it. I am also often blunt and to the point, which I don’t regard as incivil; but lots of people are pussies and get distracted by it.

    For example, your boy Lopez there is one of these open borders egalitarian types who likes to label anyone who does not favor open borders–i.e., 99% of all Americans including 90% at least of all libertarians–as nativists and racists. The bleating of goats does not require civility.

  35. John Lopez says:

    Kinsella:

    Because I’m not a real bigot.

    Ah. The Digital Brownshirts redux.

    (Hint: That never works.)

    Ahhh, so it’s now “bigoted” to recognize there ARE races, and differences between them. Nice.

    Given that you’ve previously denied having a reading comprehension problem, I’ll instead suggest that you can’t think clearly when you get worked up.

    I don’t remember…

    Kinsella’s memory is noticeably poor when he’s in the wrong. And this isn’t to suggest dishonesty or anything, it could very well be a blank-out.

    For example, your boy Lopez there is one of these open borders egalitarian types who likes to label anyone who does not favor open borders–i.e., 99% of all Americans including 90% at least of all libertarians–as nativists and racists.

    You do have a citation for that charge, right? Post it up, Kinsella: show the inlookers that you can back up your assertions with facts.

  36. Do folks really have a moral obligation to be non-rotten? Obligation derived how?

    Golden rule? Makes about as much sense as any other moral derivation. Probably a lot more if its popularity is any indication.

  37. Because I’m not a real bigot. You jackasses have denuded the term of its meaning.

    What is its meaning, Kinsella? Care to share your definition? I’ve asked you this question repeatedly and you have consistently refused to answer. No doubt because you know any reasonable definition you give would trap you in your own apologia.

  38. Ghertner: “What is its meaning, Kinsella? Care to share your definition? I’ve asked you this question repeatedly and you have consistently refused to answer. No doubt because you know any reasonable definition you give would trap you in your own apologia.”

    I’m not running around like a yapping dog making the charge, asshole. You fucking define it, and in a way that is not absurd and silly and does not trap you and your bleating college buddies in its net too.

  39. Lopez:

    “NSK: “For example, your boy Lopez there is one of these open borders egalitarian types who likes to label anyone who does not favor open borders–i.e., 99% of all Americans including 90% at least of all libertarians–as nativists and racists.”

    “You do have a citation for that charge, right? Post it up, Kinsella: show the inlookers that you can back up your assertions with facts.”

    Try here, my bigot. Link.

    Where you said, “The only people I wouldn’t want in my neigborhood is fucking racists like you.”

    My my, everyone is a “racist”. Do you use a night-light at night to keep them away? BOO!

    [Edit: fixed the link. See comments about long URLs below. JL]

  40. John Lopez says:

    Pay attention now Kinsella, because this is important:

    That quote wasn’t from me.

    That quote comes from this post. If you go back and read it, you will note that Micha Ghertner (posting under a nym, a nym which was identified as his in your own fucking citation, by the way) was the one who said that.

    Got all that? Good. Now, go find a citation where I said what you claimed I did.

  41. A Theory of Lopez’s Theory on Incivility

    As I have noted elsewhere, many nutjobs, conspiracy theorists, losers, racists, cranks, etc., associate with movements like libertarianism, conservatism, militias, common law courts, etc. I think the reason is, in part, that when a view is marginalized by mainstream American–e.g., libertarianism, militias, etc.–then successful people tend not to associate with it, since they have something to lose. Some of us have the fortitude and type of careers that allow us to swim against the tide anyway, yet still keep a foot in a successful career, but not everyone.

    So these movements tend to draw disproportionate numbers of those who have little to lose–i.e., losers, uneducated, those on the bottom rungs of society. This is why, for example, at libertarian-party or similar events I’ve spoken at or attended, where, e.g., the topic might be something academic like whether decentralized legal systems (judge-made law, courts, common law, Roman law) are superior to centralized, legislation-based systems, many of the people who show up are uneducated Harley riders who ask you over and over again about the nutball “common law court” stuff (this happened to me one time at a FEE-sponsored discussion group in Valley Forge), or ask you to show where in the tax code you are “required” to pay income tax, etc.

    And this is why militia movements, for example, which in the older days would have upstanding citizens and “patriots” as its supporters, now are populated with gun nuts, racists, skinheads, anti-semites, etc. These are the type of people who have nothing to lose so have the luxury of joining a marginalized movement, thereby making it even more marginalized and crankish.

    So it’s understandable that the only people willing, by and large, to openly challenge mainstream views by endorsing views marginalized or ridiculed by conventional society are those with little to lose. Sometimes someone with stature or courage or backbone will buck the trend, or become martyrs, but by and large, it’s understandable why those with little to lose–who are either losers, or retired billionaires–predominate.

    (As an aside–something like this has been true for some time regarding politically correctness. For a couple decades now there were things you just could not say or question–especially if you were (no offense, Lopez) a white male). But just as explicit socialism has crumbled along with the Soviet empire, so the majority are starting to shrug, like Atlas, the burden continually placed on them by the PC Seriosos. They are sick of being told they are evil for being white or in the majority, or for holding preferences similar to those held by the whining minorities or special interests; and the escalating, shrill cries of the politically-correct have become ever more absurd, making them sound ever more like bleaters. They have diluted and distorted and twisted concepts like racism, bigotry, anti-semitism so much that no one bats an eye any more when a dimwit cries “racist!”; people roll their eyes and move on. And this is as it should be. So my point here is that it’s becoming more and more acceptable to be “politically incorrect” as the PC standards are revealed as being hypocritical, strange, unfair. Again, no offense, Lopez.)

    This brings me to my point, though. Lopez (and Kennedy? I can’t recall) seems remarkably passionate about not following any rules of civility. I suspect one reason for this is he is just a marginal nobody with nothing to lose. While I do criticize him elsewhere, I don’t mean this to be a criticism at all, just a hypothesis. From what I know of Lopez, he is a blogger and a blogger only; no real publications or books, no credentials or status, no “name,” etc. This is true of most of us so again, I don’t mean this to be a criticism at all. It’s in part a suggested explanation as to why some blogger types will be so incivil–because they have nothing to lose–no book deals, no TV interviews, no teaching positions, etc.

    Now, no doubt some might try to rebut this by saying that I, Kinsella, am also incivil. This would be ridiculous, for a few reasons.

    First, so what? So what if it applies to me too? So what if I’m a hypocrit? It does not mean I’m wrong.

    Second, I am not generally incivil, but only to the marginalized losers who are incivil because of this status. Mainstream society does not frown too much on responding to losers, as long as one is not a loser himself.

  42. A Theory of Lopez’s Incivility. Keeps getting blocked so I have posted it on my blog. Link.

    [Edit – fixed the link. Folks, long URLs fuck up the blog layout and are ugly besides. Learn to code them or use tinyurl. Also note that comments may be held for moderation by the blog software, please don’t resubmit them.

    Kinsella: I approved the one with the paragraph breaks as it’s more readable. JL]

  43. Lopez:

    “Pay attention now Kinsella,”

    Bigot, you can’t order this bigot around! Sheee-it, what kind ‘o bigot you think you is?

    “because this is important:”

    Why, no, it’s not. Or, as Roark said to Toohey, “But I don’t think of you.”

    “That quote wasn’t from me.

    “That quote comes from this post. If you go back and read it, you will note that Micha Ghertner (posting under a nym, a nym which was identified as his in your own fucking citation, by the way) was the one who said that.”

    Ghertner, Lopez, what’s the difference. You bigots is both dimwit-Seriosos.

    “Got all that? Good. Now, go find a citation where I said what you claimed I did.”

    Nahh, who gives a rat’s ass? Here’s what I WILL DO. I will assert NOW that it will be ASSUMED, unless and until you explicitly deny it, that you DO in fact maintain that those who oppose open border are “nativists and racists.” You have certainly said enough stupid PC things to justify this assumption. So, that is the current assumption. You are free to rebut it. If you don’t, it will hereinafter be assumed as being true.

    Don’t play stupid games with me, my bigot. It does not matter that I find a “link” or if you have written those words before. Bigot, quit evading and wasting time, when you could simply either deny or admit the charge, and save us all time. Better to cut to the chase, doughboy.

  44. John Lopez says:

    Kinsella:

    Here’s what I WILL DO. I will assert NOW that it will be ASSUMED, unless and until you explicitly deny it, that you DO in fact maintain that those who oppose open border are “nativists and racists.”

    I don’t think that everyone who is against open borders is a nativist and/or a racist.

  45. John Lopez says:

    Actually, that “theory of a theory” isn’t too bad. It falls down a bit at the end with the appeal to mainstream society (in contrast with the first paragraph), but that’s more irrelevant than wrong. I find the use of the term “loser” to be a little inconsistent within the piece as well, that probably needs to be clarified.

    Kinsella does make an important point that I’ve seen made before, here:

    alternate history scenario:
    The South wins the Civil War. In defiance of economic logic, black slavery continues in the CSA into the present, under a strict moralistic fundamentalist govt.
    Result: disgruntled southern libertarians wax nostalgic about the philosophical superiority of the Northern cause.

    Holy shit, Vroman, I was just about to post that same scenario.

    I think the “pro-liberty” ranks are stuffed to the gills with folks who are little more than contrarians.

  46. I think the “pro-liberty” ranks are stuffed to the gills with folks who are little more than contrarians.

    Oh this is so right. One day soon, I’m writing a piece called something like “The Disaster of Libertarian Contrarianism” where I want to argue that the apparent desire to be against what the “mainstream” is for has been diastrous for libertarianism. Sometimes, the mainstream is right, you know.

  47. Lopez, “I don’t think that everyone who is against open borders is a nativist and/or a racist.”

    See how easy that was? And it avoided us having to go URL hunting. But go ahead and go above and beyond–save a bit more time by specifying what you actually do think, instead of being miserly and saying only what you don’t think.

  48. “Oh this is so right. One day soon, I’m writing a piece called something like “The Disaster of Libertarian Contrarianism” where I want to argue that the apparent desire to be against what the “mainstream” is for has been diastrous for libertarianism. Sometimes, the mainstream is right, you know.”

    This might be interesting Steve. In broad outline I think I might agree with you, but I suspect that in your application, I won’t. But we’ll see. Some of the paleos in a sense buck this trend, by refusing to join the contrarian libertine traditional authority-hating libertarians. I think you should be careful to distinguish between strategy/tactics, and subsantive truth. You sound like you are aiming at the former when you talk aout “disaster”. I agree that we ought to pick our battles: focus on the most important things, like cutting taxes. Minor matters like abortion can wait.

    However, just because knee-jerk contrarianism may be problematic and the mainstream is sometimes right does not mean they always are. It would just be an appeal to authority in any particular case, so you’d need to be careful not to do that either.

    Also, psychologizing is useful and interesting but fraught with peril. So there’s a need to distinguish between the merit of an idea and the motivations of those to propose them.

  49. John Lopez says:

    See how easy that was? And it avoided us having to go URL hunting.

    And avoided you having to admit that you were fabricating nonsense out of thin air. Which you were. Or maybe you “don’t remember”?

    And I have specified quite clearly what I think, virtually every time that the immigration issue has been on the table. Here, for instance:

    Closing borders requires the initiation of force against peaceful travellers.

    How you read ‘All advocates of closed borders are racists and nativists’ out of that is beyond me.

  50. “How you read ‘All advocates of closed borders are racists and nativists’ out of that is beyond me.”

    The other dude said Micha, you are right, I now see. I thought he meant you. I must have had a brain fart.

  51. Kinsella,

    I’m not running around like a yapping dog making the charge, asshole. You fucking define it, and in a way that is not absurd and silly and does not trap you and your bleating college buddies in its net too.

    Charles Johnson already adequately defined it previously in one of these No-Treason threads, and you never responded. I’m not going to waste my time looking up those posts since it will most likely be a waste of time when you choose to ignore it again.

    So the burden is on you. The anti-bigotry side has spoken; it is now time for your side to speak up and explain whether or not you believe such a thing as bigotry is possible, and if so, what it consists of and how it can be identified.

  52. John Lopez says:

    Ghertner,

    It’s obvious that Kinsella is too stupid to use successfully use search tools and too dishonest to come to grips with what he would find there, if he did.

    My prediction: he’ll continue to chatter and foam, here or elsewhere.

  53. Ghertner and Lopez–the only “burden” here is the one you two will suffer under having to live as politically-correct, brainwashed idiots.

  54. Rad Geek says:

    Ghertner:

    Charles Johnson already adequately defined it previously in one of these No-Treason threads, and you never responded. I’m not going to waste my time looking up those posts since it will most likely be a waste of time when you choose to ignore it again.

    Probably, but I keep links to my offsite comments around, so the marginal cost is lower for me to dig them up. So here’s the definition and the clarification. In case you hate following hyperlinks, the definition is:

    bigot, n.: One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

    … let’s add the qualifier: a bigot is one whose partiality towards members of one’s own group and intolerance of those who differ is irrational.

    Ghertner apparently accepts this definition; I don’t know whether or not Lopez does.

    Kinsella:

    Here’s what I WILL DO. I will assert NOW that it will be ASSUMED, unless and until you explicitly deny it, that you DO in fact maintain that those who oppose open border are “nativists and racists.”

    Lopez:

    I don’t think that everyone who is against open borders is a nativist and/or a racist.

    That’s Lopez’s prerogative of course. But I’ll be your huckleberry even if he won’t. I think that everyone who is against open borders is against it for bigoted reasons; that’s because there are no non-bigoted reasons to oppose open borders. They aren’t necessarily racist or nativist reasons (there are imaginable immigration policies that are based on socioeconomic class or sexuality or religion rather than race or nationality, for example), but I take it that the general claim of bigotry is what you’re interested in rather than its specific application in claims of racism or nativism.

    Does advocating something for bigoted reasons always make you a bigot? I don’t know. Maybe in one sense and not in another sense. I don’t care much anyway.

    So everyone who opposes open borders is, therefore, advocating a policy for bigoted reasons. Now what?

  55. And for the record, I proudly stand behind all of the comments I made in this anti-state thread (I’m Spallenzani), which has been linked around recently in order to somehow make me look bad for implying that the anti-immigration side likely operates from nefarious motives.

  56. John Lopez says:

    RG:

    I think that everyone who is against open borders is against it for bigoted reasons…

    I judge that a large portion of the populance operates from a position of epistemological ignorance that borders on outright superstition. That coupled with their instrumental rationality means, in a nutshell, that most folks’ opinions on any given moral subject are as fucked up as a football bat.

    That said, it then follows that someone can be against open borders because they haven’t given the matter too much thought and they don’t have the tools to think about it even if they did. There’s plenty of “law-n-order” asshole conservatives that are against illegal immigrants simply because they’re breaking the law.

    They may be bigots (I’d stipulate the definition quoted above), but they aren’t willfully so.

    All that aside, the choices in the particular issue at hand (Kinsella) boil down to either him being against free immigration for bigoted reasons (that is, proceeding to his conclusion from bigotry) or him being against immigration because he’s as butt-ignorant as the voting masses, or both.

    I’d judge that it’s a little of both, a bit of good ol’-fashioned “northern European cultural superiority” (wink-wink-nudge-nudge) combined with a willful ignorance when it comes to questioning his own position and motivations and a blind acceptance of what the “great men” have written about the subject.

    His faux-outraged denial is telling as well: “The guilty flee when none pursueth”.

    Dude, you aren’t going to get anything coherent out of Kinsella, because he lacks the ability to engage in honest discussion. He’s an irrational evangelist. You aren’t assuming his conclusion along with him like a good little paleocreep, so he’s reduced to squealing incoherency about || that quick.

  57. Lopez,

    Am I a paleocreep, or even a paleo? Really? How do you know? You idiots are always getting personal. You know nothing about me. Or Hoppe.

    “I’d judge that it’s a little of both, a bit of good ol’-fashioned “northern European cultural superiority” (wink-wink-nudge-nudge) combined with a willful ignorance when it comes to questioning his own position and motivations and a blind acceptance of what the “great men” have written about the subject.”

    Even if I were opposed to open immigration because I was concerned about our culture being diluted or lost, why would that be a bigoted view of our “superiority”? Can’t someone like their own culture merely because it’s theirs, without having to believe it’s “superior”? And anyway, why is it bigoted or racist to believe one’s own culture *is* superior? So what? Why are white Christians the only group that is not allowed to want and like their own culture? Every other nation is less diverse and has their own race or culture, and most of them try to preserve it. The Jews in Israel favor Jewish immigrants. France is worried about English eroding the French language. Etc. Why is only America the subject of our such attacks?

    As for ignorance, etc., some of us are concerned with individual rights, and we believe opening the borders *and changing nothing else* would lead to more rights violations.

  58. Joshua Holmes says:

    Every other nation is less diverse and has their own race or culture, and most of them try to preserve it. The Jews in Israel favor Jewish immigrants. France is worried about English eroding the French language. Etc.

    I suppose, if France and Israel jump off a bridge, you will, too.

    Seriously, do you want to pattern American policy about much of anything on European policy? That’s not going to lead to many conclusions you’ll find acceptable.

    Why is only America the subject of our such attacks?

    It’s not, it’s just a product of all of us being Americans discussing a book by a guy who lives in America. It’s also because America, warts and all, is the best fucking place on Earth and has been for more than a century. People want to come to America in droves. They’re not lining up to get into Outer Mongolia.

    As for ignorance, etc., some of us are concerned with individual rights, and we believe opening the borders *and changing nothing else* would lead to more rights violations.

    Robert Nozick shredded utilitarianism of rights years ago in Anarchy, State, and Utopia. In the paperback edition I have, the argument is on pages 28-33. Briefly, rights are not means to a higher goal, they are themselves the goal.

  59. Rights are side-constraints on permissible action, and not a desideratum to be maximized. The act of maintaining closed-borders entails violating rights; the act of opening borders does not. One cannot be a strict natural rights libertarians and oppose opening the country’s borders.

  60. John Lopez says:

    You know nothing about me. Or Hoppe.

    I know that neither of you can think straight about immigration. But since you’re broached the subject, maybe you can set the record straight on exactly why that is.

    Why is only America the subject of our such attacks?

    For the same exact reason that I attack democracy rather than the divine right of kings: it’s what affects me.

    As for ignorance, etc., some of us are concerned with individual rights,…

    No you’re not, you’re concerned about being able to continue to free-ride off of the State’s production of violence.

  61. “Rights are side-constraints on permissible action, and not a desideratum to be maximized. The act of maintaining closed-borders entails violating rights; the act of opening borders does not. One cannot be a strict natural rights libertarians and oppose opening the country’s borders”

    I am not a natural rights libertarian, strictly understood. Nor is HHH.

    The act of opening borders does violate rights, if you change nothing else. That is why I would advocate opening borders only if other changes happen. This is common sense.

    Just go to any Wal-Mart at 5:00 on a weekday afternoon and you will see.

  62. I am not a natural rights libertarian, strictly understood. Nor is HHH.

    So you two are natural rights utilitarians? You are willing to actively violate some people’s rights if it helps alleviate the violation of large number of rights elsewhere?

    (The Austrian inside me might mention something about interpersonal comparisons of natural rights at this point, but the Austrian inside me is not very vocal.)

  63. lung says:

    lung knows the secrets of the chariot.

    lung is a natural rights lung.

    (ominous silence)

  64. John Lopez says:

    Just go to any Wal-Mart at 5:00 on a weekday afternoon and you will see.

    Lawyer Kinsella is against everyday low prices as well!

  65. Joshua Holmes says:

    The act of opening borders does violate rights, if you change nothing else.

    The act of opening borders may lead to rights violations, but the act of opening borders, itself, is a rights-positive action. Separate the actions, and deal with each one in a libertarian way.

  66. Andy Stedman says:

    Ending welfare, and doing nothing else, would increase rights violations as some of those who are on welfare would turn to crime (or just do more of it) rather than get a job. Assume that the government still extracts the same amount of money from taxpayers, it just spends the savings on more marble edifices and aircraft carriers.

  67. Andy,

    Assume people will steal more if you provide them with less stolen goods? I’m not sure that’s true in general. I know it’s false in some particular cases. Some might violate less rights.

    The equation of crime with rights violations is not strictly correct, but I know what you meant.

    Anyway, Hoppe says that other evils produced by the welfare state must be treated as analytically distinct from immigration. His fans like Kinsella routinely fail to do so.

    I was just at a Walmart at 5 pm the other day. I didn’t see any support for Kinsella’s argument. But that’s nothing new.

  68. “Anyway, Hoppe says that other evils produced by the welfare state must be treated as analytically distinct from immigration. His fans like Kinsella routinely fail to do so.”

    How can any libertarian read his magisterial A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism and not be a fan? Seriously.

  69. Ghertner: “So you two are natural rights utilitarians? You are willing to actively violate some people’s rights if it helps alleviate the violation of large number of rights elsewhere?”

    No. I mean we both believe in individual rights but not on traditional “natural rights” grounds.

    See Hoppe’s monumental treatise A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, note 7, p. 234-235:

    [ TAB ] The relationship between our approach and a �natural rights� approach can now be described in some detail, too. The natural law or natural rights tradition of philosophic thought holds that universally valid norms can be discerned by means of reason as grounded in the very nature of man. It has been a common quarrel with this position, even on the part of sympathetic readers, that the concept of human nature is far �too diffuse and varied to provide a determinate set of contents of natural law� (A. Gewirth, �Law, Action, and Morality�…). Furthermore, its description of rationality is equally ambiguous in that it does not seem to distinguish between the role of reason in establishing empirical laws of nature on the one hand, and normative laws of human conduct on the other. (Cf., for instance, the discussion in H. Veatch, Human Rights, Baton Rouge, 1985, p.62-67.)
    [ TAB ] In recognizing the narrower concept of argumentation (instead of the wider one of human nature) as the necessary starting point in deriving an ethic, and in assigning to moral reasoning the status of a priori reasoning, clearly to be distinguished from the role of reason performed in empirical research, our approach not only claims to avoid these difficulties from the outset, but claims thereby to be at once more straightforward and rigorous. Still, to thus dissociate myself from the natural rights tradition is not to say that I could not agree with its critical assessment of most of contemporary ethical theory; indeed I do agree with H. Veatch�s complementary refutation of all desire (teleological, utilitarian) ethics as well as all duty (deontological) ethics (see Human Rights, Baton Rouge, 1985, Chapter 1). Nor do I claim that it is impossible to interpret my approach as falling in a �rightly conceived� natural rights tradition after all.
    [ TAB ] What I claim, though, is that the following approach is clearly out of line with what the natural rights approach has actually come to be, and that it owes nothing to this tradition as it stands.

  70. What-it-is-Holmes say, “The act of opening borders may lead to rights violations, but the act of opening borders, itself, is a rights-positive action. Separate the actions, and deal with each one in a libertarian way.”

    Well, characterizing what “the action” is, is the troublesome issue–akin to identifying the “maxim” of an action.

    Someone might maintain that “opening borders” is the action of “granting to additional people the right to trespass against my property by means of government roads and affirmative action laws.” For example.

  71. lung says:

    Only if that someone would prefer to bash immigrants as opposed to bashing the State. (which might be injurious to his lawyering career, or cause the rotting corpse of Sam Francis to place peevish midnight phonecalls to his domicile, or something.)

  72. lung says:

    note:

    1. that last comment is by john. lung is too cute to capitalize. that is how you can tell.

    2. stephen kinsella has a giant head full of poo! it is stinky and smelly! (tee-hee)

    lung,
    accept no substitutes

    (ps: lung loves w.)

  73. Kinsella,

    You didn’t really answer my question (not that I am surprised). I know that Hoppe’s Argumentation Ethics is of a different kind than traditional Lockean Natural Rights. What I asked, though, is whether you are willing to actively violate some people’s rights if it helps alleviate the violation of larger number of rights elsewhere. And I hinted to the problem of interpersonal comparisons, which you Austrians seem to like when it fits your purposes.

  74. G-dog:

    “You didn’t really answer my question (not that I am surprised). I know that Hoppe’s Argumentation Ethics is of a different kind than traditional Lockean Natural Rights. What I asked, though, is whether you are willing to actively violate some people’s rights if it helps alleviate the violation of larger number of rights elsewhere.”

    I have no problem with someone being invited to an owner’s private property so long as that invitee does not pose a threat to innocent people.

    What about the idea that so long as government owns public property it must use it, insofar as it does not return it, as the owners wish it? Clearly some owners would not want it used for “open borders” purposes; while others (a very small minority) would. Why is it obvious to you that the state, as caretaker of land owned by at least some American citizens, has an obligation to permit this property to be used by any and all comers? Let’s say my small city uses my taxes to build a rec center down the street. Sure, a private solution is preferred. But so long as they are taxing me to construct and operate it, isn’t it better for me if they limit its use to residents, instead of opening it to all? If one out of 10,000 citizens wants it opened to all, does that mean it is some kind of rights violation of *outsiders’ rights* if it restrics entry? After all, if we citizens had voluntarily built it, surely we would establish restrictions on entry. Surely you can see the analogy to immigration policy.

    The point is not here to prove the anti-open-borders case one way or the other. The point is rather to demonstrate that a libertarian can in good faith oppose open borders, and based on his view in individual rights. He believes rights will be violated further or to a greater degree, if there are open borders *with no other changes*.

    In the rec center case: the best solution would be to return it to the owners. Absent that, their rights are being violated by being taxed, so it helps to give them some restitution if the rec center provides a value to them–clearly this is a greater value to them if it is restricted to them instead of being open to all. If you take my money, you have an obligation to return it; if you don’t, then if you spend it, you have an obligation to spend it on me; if you don’t, if you spend it on others, it’s even worse.

    Why do you judgmental “know it all” cocksure libertarians leap to personal attacks and bad motivations when someone disagrees with your plumbline views? Does it ever occur to you there is room for reasonable debate on some issues? Does it occur to you that someone like Hoppe who has with his monumental output demonstrated a passionate interesti nin liberty, deserves a bit of the benefit of the doubt, from young, cocksure libertarians?

    Let me ask you what specifically you disagree with in Hoppe’s comments here:

    According to proponents of unconditional free immigration, the U.S. qua high-wage area would invariably benefit from free immigration; hence, it should enact a policy of open borders, regardless of any existing conditions, i.e., even if the U.S. were ensnarled in protectionism and domestic welfare. Yet surely, such a proposal strikes a reasonable person as fantastic. Assume that the U.S., or better still Switzerland, declared that there would no longer be any border controls, that anyone who could pay the fare might enter the country, and, as a resident then be entitled to every �normal� domestic welfare provision. Can there be any doubt how disastrous such an experiment would turn out in the present world?. The U.S., and Switzerland even faster, would be overrun by millions of third-world immigrants, because life on and off American and Swiss public streets is comfortable compared to life in many areas of the third world. Welfare costs would skyrocket, and the strangled economy disintegrate and collapse, as the subsistence fund�the stock of capital accumulated in and
    inherited from the past�was plundered. Civilization in the U.S. and Switzerland would vanish, just as it once did from Rome and Greece.

    What about here (discussed/quoted here):

    It is not difficult to predict the consequences of an open border policy in the present world. If Switzerland, Austria, Germany or Italy, for instance, freely admitted everyone who made it to their borders and demanded entry, these countries would quickly be overrun by millions of third-world immigrants from Albania, Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria, for example. As the more perceptive open-border advocates realize, the domestic state-welfare programs and provisions would collapse as a consequence. This would not be a reason for concern, for surely, in order to regain effective protection of person and property the welfare state must be abolished. But then there is the great leap�or the gaping hole�in the open border argument: out of the ruins of the democratic welfare states, we are led to believe, a new natural order will somehow emerge.

    The first error in this line of reasoning can be readily identified. Once the welfare states have collapsed under their own weight, the masses of immigrants who have brought this about are still there. They have not been miraculously transformed into Swiss, Austrians, Bavarians or Lombards, but remain what they are: Zulus, Hindus, Ibos, Albanians, or Bangladeshis. Assimilation can work when the number of immigrants is small. It is entirely impossible, however, if immigration occurs on a mass scale. In that case, immigrants will simply transport their own ethno-culture onto the new territory. Accordingly, when the welfare state has imploded there will be a multitude of �little� (or not so little) Calcuttas, Daccas, Lagoses, and Tiranas strewn all over Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. It betrays a breathtaking sociological naiveté to believe that a natural order will emerge out of this admixture. Based on all historical experience with such forms of multiculturalism, it can safely be predicted that in fact the result will be civil war. There will be widespread plundering and squatterism leading to massive capital consumption, and civilization as we know it will disappear from Switzerland, Austria and Italy. Furthermore, the host population will quickly be outbred and, ultimately, physically displaced by their �guests.� There will still be Alps in Switzerland and Austria, but no Swiss or Austrians.

  75. Rad Geek says:

    Kinsella:

    Surely you can see the analogy to immigration policy.

    I sure can’t. Here’s why: immigration policy, as we know it today, is practiced against people whether they are using government “property” or not. (Would you propose using force to stop me if I operate a helicopter service to transport Mexican immigrants from Mexico to a house that they have rented, and from their house to their place of work, without using any government roads? La Migra would.)

    Of course, if you want to claim that your attacks on “open borders” don’t have anything to do with immigration policy as currently practiced–or, for that matter, with borders (since you’re proposing enforcement at the entry to roads etc., not necessarily at the border)–you can do that. But then it’s incumbent on you to explain how your proposals for pre-anarchic immigration policy are relevantly different from those of the assorted Know-Nothing blowhards who are calling on La Migra and the Border Patrol to escalate their war on immigrants rather than fundamentally change their approach.

    Once you’ve done that, it’s still incumbent to you to explain how imposing the restriction on coercively monopolized resources (e.g. roads) is morally any different from stationing gunmen to enforce the restriction on private resources against the owners’ will. If there is a salient difference, what is it? If not, then how are you not advocating a violation of rights?

    Lopez:

    That said, it then follows that someone can be against open borders because they haven’t given the matter too much thought and they don’t have the tools to think about it even if they did. There’s plenty of “law-n-order” asshole conservatives that are against illegal immigrants simply because they’re breaking the law.

    Sure, but I don’t think that means that their reasons aren’t bigoted. It just means that the dominant form of bigotry at work is either (a) bigotry against non-citizens as such, rather than against a particular racial or ethnic or socioeconomic group (believing that the government has more-or-less unlimited authority to impose coercive restrictions on non-citizens that they wouldn’t accept if placed on citizens), or (b) bigotry against civilians as such (believing that, among other things, the government has the unlimited authority to attack anyone it sees fit if the right background conditions–e.g., an allegedly worthy goal, or alleged majority support–obtain). I think most conservative “law-n-order” immigration creeps are creeps of type (a); although there are probably some straight-up type (b) totalitarians, too. Either way, the reasons they have for supporting assaults on immigrants comes down to collectivist group-warfare; I take that to be, as such, a violent form of bigotry.

  76. I didn’t notice Stephan’s last comment above until Rad Geek just responded to it, and I don’t really feel like responding to the post in full, but I will make a few comments.

    No one “owns” public property except for the government. The government has an obligation to compensate the tax-payers it has stolen from to pay for this property, if possible, but the tax-payers as a group do not have any rightful say in how that property should be used until it is given back to them. How would this be accomplished if otherwise? By majority vote? The great critic of democracy, HHH, wants to resurrect this God despite his previous claims of its failure? What could be more absurd? Even if we assume that the majority of taxpayers are anti-immigration, why should their opinion carry more weight than the minority who are pro-immigration? This argument is way outside the bounds of libertarian thought.

    Second, for a group of people who consider themselves economists, its interesting that they hold everything constant in their predictions of what would happen with a large increase in immigrants. Surely, such a change would have no influence on public policy: the popularity of welfare would no doubt remain fixed. Please.

    Third, I always find it amusing when anti-immigration libertarians are so concerned with the stability and smooth functioning of the welfare state. God forbid we should put a strain on the system, for that way leads to anarchy chaos.

  77. The second to last word in the previous post was supposed to have a strikeout tag, but that didn’t seem to work properly.

  78. John Sabotta says:

    That’s too bad; I rather like the idea of “anarchy chaos”

  79. Rad Geek says:

    Kinsella wants to know what, specifically, Ghertner would disagree in in Hoppe’s comments pasted above. I don’t know about Micha, but as for myself there are so many places that I don’t know where to start. More or less arbitrarily, here’s one passage that struck me as, frankly, particularly laughable:

    Accordingly, when the welfare state has imploded there will be a multitude of “little” (or not so little) Calcuttas, Daccas, Lagoses, and Tiranas strewn all over Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. It betrays a breathtaking sociological naivete to believe that a natural order will emerge out of this admixture. Based on all historical experience with such forms of multiculturalism, it can safely be predicted that in fact the result will be civil war.

    For starters, I deny that there is such a thing as a “natural order;” I think the notion, at least as Hoppe deploys it, is dangerous, anti-human nonsense. (The most important part of our nature as human beings is our capacity for creating things anew and making and remaking our social relationships.) Maybe you could explain what you think a “natural order” means, Stephan, and why you think we should aim at getting one to coalesce.

    For the follow-up, I had a good hard laugh when Hoppe predicted civil war inevitably following from the formation of ethno-linguistic enclaves–in Switzerland–and accused his opponents of a “breathtaking sociological naivete.” Switzerland is, in case you haven’t noticed, already a multi-ethnic, polyglot society; it has, compared to the rest of Europe, been remarkably peaceful and prosperous for over 700 years. While we’re at it, somewhere around 20% of the population are already resident foreigners or temporary foreign workers. Somehow, the Swiss seem to manage. This has a lot to do with tolerance, military neutrality, and an intensely decentralist political system, and very little to do with ridiculous notions like a Swiss “national identity.” (There is no Swiss nation at all.)

    So why does Hoppe believe that the formation of new ethno-linguistic enclaves in Switzerland would inevitably lead to civil war when Switzerland has been a loosely-affiliated collection of ethno-linguistic enclaves for 700 years? He doesn’t say. It is, apparently, supposed to be taken as more or less self-evident; certainly anyone who doesn’t buy it is accused of “breathtaking sociological naivete.” Yet the facts are already on the ground. Res ipso loquitor.

  80. Rad Geek:

    “Kinsella:

    ” Surely you can see the analogy to immigration policy.

    “I sure can’t. Here’s why: immigration policy, as we know it today, is practiced against people whether they are using government “property” or not. (Would you propose using force to stop me if I operate a helicopter service to transport Mexican immigrants from Mexico to a house that they have rented, and from their house to their place of work, without using any government roads? La Migra would.)”

    Well. In my view the American people as taxpayers–or some of them–are true “owners” of public land. The feds possess and control them. It ought to give it back and privatize. Failing that, it ought to use the land in the true owner’s interests. If there are conflicting interests there is no way to satisfy everyone but the most reasonable course would be to do what the overwhelming majority of true owners wants. Almost every American would want SOME restrictions on immigration, and it seems clear that a private monarch-owner would also do this. Therefore it seems reasonable for the feds to issue a rule barring some immigrants from using the roads etc.

    Now, if you wanted to fly an immigrant barred from public property to your land and keep him there, I would agree, that is your right. But this is impracticable. Virtually every immigrant brought in is going to end up using public property. Keeping them from committing this trespass is reasonable. I would not oppose immigration only onto private property, but as soon as he is caught on public properyt he would be jailed for trespass. Which is basically the same thing as today’s immigration polices.

    “Once you’ve done that, it’s still incumbent to you to explain how imposing the restriction on coercively monopolized resources (e.g. roads) is morally any different from stationing gunmen to enforce the restriction on private resources against the owners’ will. If there is a salient difference, what is it? If not, then how are you not advocating a violation of rights?”

    Because if the state steals property from me but then uses it in a way I would want it used, it does me less damage than if it uses it in a way totally unlike how I would want it used. This is just restitution theory. Again: my neighborhood has a public pool, which my tax dollars help pay for. They should privatize it. But if they don’t, letting me use the pool is some payback. If they let everyone in, even non-citizens, I am harmed because the pool is less useufl to me. This is really not that complicated.

    Later, RG said:

    “one passage that struck me as, frankly, particularly laughable:

    ” Accordingly, when the welfare state has imploded there will be a multitude of “little” (or not so little) Calcuttas, Daccas, Lagoses, and Tiranas strewn all over Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. It betrays a breathtaking sociological naivete to believe that a natural order will emerge out of this admixture. Based on all historical experience with such forms of multiculturalism, it can safely be predicted that in fact the result will be civil war.

    “For starters, I deny that there is such a thing as a “natural order;” I think the notion, at least as Hoppe deploys it, is dangerous, anti-human nonsense.”

    doesn’t “anti-human” require an idea of the natural way of things? you mean anti-human-NATURE don’t you?

    ” (The most important part of our nature as human beings is our capacity for creating things anew and making and remaking our social relationships.) Maybe you could explain what you think a “natural order” means, Stephan, and why you think we should aim at getting one to coalesce.”

    I think by this he means (I have not re-read lately) the order that would arise in absence of governemnt–the natural elites and social structures that would substitute for things the state does badly now. Authority, morals, tradition, etc.

    “For the follow-up, I had a good hard laugh when Hoppe predicted civil war inevitably following from the formation of ethno-linguistic enclaves–in Switzerland–and accused his opponents of a “breathtaking sociological naivete.” Switzerland is, in case you haven’t noticed, already a multi-ethnic, polyglot society; it has, compared to the rest of Europe, been remarkably peaceful and prosperous for over 700 years.”

    I think this is just ridiculous. It is quite clear if Switzerland had open borders then it would radically change.

    “So why does Hoppe believe that the formation of new ethno-linguistic enclaves in Switzerland would inevitably lead to civil war when Switzerland has been a loosely-affiliated collection of ethno-linguistic enclaves for 700 years? He doesn’t say. It is, apparently, supposed to be taken as more or less self-evident;”

    It is quite obvious. Are you saying that if you did believe this, you might agree with his conclusions? Is your difference only an empirical one?

  81. Micha: “No one “owns” public property except for the government. The government has an obligation to compensate the tax-payers it has stolen from to pay for this property, if possible, but the tax-payers as a group do not have any rightful say in how that property should be used until it is given back to them.”

    How do you konw this? This is just your opinion. Anyway, I asked you if you think reasonable libertarians can have a different view on this, not whether you necessarily agree with them. And on this issue–don’t you think it’s reasonable for a libertairan to believe that if gov’t owns property that shoudl belong to citizens, then at the leasti t should use it for their benefit? For example, if the state taxes me, wouldn’t it be better for them to use it to, say, fund a library or patch up a road, rather than to pay cops to arrest drug dealers or shoot Iraqis? Is there no moral or libertarian difference? Is it all or nothing?

    ” How would this be accomplished if otherwise? By majority vote?”

    Great questions–that’s why this issue is DEBATABLE.

    “The great critic of democracy, HHH, wants to resurrect this God despite his previous claims of its failure? What could be more absurd?”

    So you disagree..? But is it debatable? He is against both democracy and monarchy but says in many ways monarchy is preferable. Likewise, even though he thinks there are problems /w democrachy, he advocates they follow policies that reduce rights invasions–even if it is unlikely they will do so. Similary, you and I, I am sure, would want the state to stop passing laws outlawing victimless crimes… even though such hope is vain. Similarly, Hoppe might say (I am not sure) that public property, if it is not given back (optimal solution), should at least be used, say, as a monarch would, since this is likely to be more in the interest of most of the owners, and thus lead to the greater overall restitution. This is an imperfect solution. So what? So is yours–use the property as 0.1% of the owners want.

    “Even if we assume that the majority of taxpayers are anti-immigration, why should their opinion carry more weight than the minority who are pro-immigration? This argument is way outside the bounds of libertarian thought.”

    What is the alternative–do what the extreme minority wants?

    “Second, for a group of people who consider themselves economists, its interesting that they hold everything constant in their predictions of what would happen with a large increase in immigrants. Surely, such a change would have no influence on public policy: the popularity of welfare would no doubt remain fixed. Please.”

    This is not the point. The point is this is a multifaceted question that reasonable libertarians can disagree on. Young cocksure punks might think otherwise.

    “Third, I always find it amusing when anti-immigration libertarians are so concerned with the stability and smooth functioning of the welfare state. God forbid we should put a strain on the system, for that way leads to chaos.”

    Oh, well if you are arguing for the “worse is better” strategy–that, too, is arguable. Some think “worse is worse”. Surely reasonable libertarians can disagree on this without being accused of bigotry etc.

  82. “The great critic of democracy, HHH, wants to resurrect this God despite his previous claims of its failure? What could be more absurd?”

    So you disagree..? But is it debatable?

    No, it is not debatable. Either coercive democracy makes sense as a method of social decision making or it doesn’t. There is no debating the absurdity of writing a book about how terrible democracy is and at the same time gladly embracing it when it can be used to keep out the furriners.

    And let’s not even begin to talk about the absurdities of the anti-immigrant theory of public property when issues like child birth enter the picture (credited to Gene Callahan’s excellent article).

    What is the alternative–do what the extreme minority wants?

    The alternative is to stop supporting the state in all of its capacities. It’s absolutely shocking that this needs to be explained to an anarchist.

    Surely reasonable libertarians can disagree on this without being accused of bigotry etc.

    Perhaps some can. Hoppe is not one of them.

  83. John Lopez says:

    Kinsella:

    What is the alternative–do what the extreme minority wants?

    File that one under: Things That Make You Go “What the fuck!?”

    “What is the alternative” to mass popular politics? Um, ‘Stop doing that.’?

    Nevermind: I don’t suppose it’s of any use at this point to explain to a self-described “libertarian” or “anarcho-capitalist” how unimportant the mass support for any particular idea is in regards to that idea’s ethical standing. Or to explain the concept that socialist calculation does not work, even if you say “But that’s what the king would do!”

    Yeah: let’s all take a fucking opinion poll so’s we can judge the best way to rule other folks’ lives.

  84. Fuckin’ hilarious. All hail the anarchist moral majority!

  85. Ghertner the resolute and cocksure:

    No, it is not debatable. Either coercive democracy makes sense as a method of social decision making or it doesn’t. There is no debating the absurdity of writing a book about how terrible democracy is and at the same time gladly embracing it when it can be used to keep out the furriners.

    And let’s not even begin to talk about the absurdities of the anti-immigrant theory of public property when issues like child birth enter the picture (credited to Gene Callahan’s excellent article).

    Gene’s article was more gadfly-ish than serious, I think. Anyway, most people want kids so it would not be in the owners’ interst to ban kids from public property.

    Amazing that you think it’s not even debatable. Wow, you have it all figured out. So easy.

    If you have a situation where the state possesses property it has in effect stolen from legitimate owners, it does indeed have a moral duty to minimize the harm to them, to give them some retribution. What you are asserting here is that it is not even debatable, not even possibly reasonable, to hold the view that: in this case the state, as caretaker-owners, ought to use the property in “reasonable” ways. YOu seem to think the state has no duty to use the property in a reasonable way… or that it should NOT do so… or that there is no “reasonable” way despite the fact that you seem to want it ot act in a certain way (let all foreigners in–i.e., use the property as 0.1% of the owners want it used, instead of using it as 99.9% of the owners would prefer it to be used).

    “What is the alternative–do what the extreme minority wants?”

    The alternative is to stop supporting the state in all of its capacities. It’s absolutely shocking that this needs to be explained to an anarchist.

    I have no idea what you mean by “stop supporting the state”. We are not supporting the state. We readily admit that the state should be abolished… if this occurred there would be no difference in our views,,, there would be no border control, no borders, etc. We simply say that so long as the state owns public property it is a reasonable position to take that the state ought to use the property as a reasonable owner would. It is amazing to me that you would say this is not a reasonable position, as a general matter.

    Then it merely becomes what a question of “reasonable” is. I think Hoppe’s suggestion of using the thought experiment of “what would a private owner–i.e., monarch–do” as a proxy for what is “reasonable” is at least worth exploring. Evidently you do not. You have it alllll figured out. Nice and neat.

  86. Lopez: “Yeah: let’s all take a fucking opinion poll so’s we can judge the best way to rule other folks’ lives.”

    Assuming the state holds public property that it should return to the owners, but is NOT returning, how should the state, in your opinion, use the property? What should the state do with public property, assuming it does not do what it should, and privatize it? I.e., what is the second-best thing the state should do with public property? Are you saying there are no standards at all that the libertarian can support? If so, I don’t see how you can argue against the proposition that the state should use the property “as a reasonable owner would” (and then it’s an empirical question or judgment as to what that is).

    And if you do think there are standards for what is a libertarianly second-best use of public property by the state, then what are they? It seems you are saying the state should use the public property as a certain extreme minority would want it used. What is your reasoning for this? Why do you just assume that this is okay but that people who say the type of use preferred by the overwhelming majority is unlibertarian?

    Surely, when we speak of restitution, more restitution is better than less restitution, ceteris paribus. If the state can restitute 10,000 people, this is better than restituting 1, no?

  87. Joshua Holmes says:

    If you have a situation where the state possesses property it has in effect stolen from legitimate owners, it does indeed have a moral duty to minimize the harm to them, to give them some retribution.

    This has a couple of serious problems:

    1. In most cases, most immigrants aren’t coming in through channels that were once privately-owned and were state-appropriated. For instance, if immigrants are coming by van along a government highway, the government likely appropriated the money to pay for the highway a long time ago and simply paid for the construction of the highway. In the case of old highways or railroad lines, almost everyone who was a victim of the taxation is dead.

    2. Where immigrants are coming in through those channels, those channels have been adversely possessed for so long that it’s difficult to say who else has a right to them besides the state. If immigrants are coming in through New York City Harbour, it’s hard to say when, if ever, the Harbour was privately owned. If it ever were, it’s certainly been adversely possessed for long enough to be considered property of NYC, New York, or the US.

    3. Immigration controls still apply even if I own beachfront property and gladly take boatloads of Cubanos or Hmong. They apply even if the land was never brought under ownership and remains with the Crown by droit ancien. Immigration controls are overbroad.

    – Josh

  88. Holmes:

    In most cases, most immigrants aren’t coming in through channels that were once privately-owned and were state-appropriated. For instance, if immigrants are coming by van along a government highway, the government likely appropriated the money to pay for the highway a long time ago and simply paid for the construction of the highway. In the case of old highways or railroad lines, almost everyone who was a victim of the taxation is dead.

    I was not here trying to argue the position but to show that there are reasonable views on this evne if you don’t accept them.

    2. Where immigrants are coming in through those channels, those channels have been adversely possessed for so long that it’s difficult to say who else has a right to them besides the state. If immigrants are coming in through New York City Harbour, it’s hard to say when, if ever, the Harbour was privately owned. If it ever were, it’s certainly been adversely possessed for long enough to be considered property of NYC, New York, or the US.

    Holmes here just throws out the “adverse possession” idea–which is borrowed from conventional legal doctrine–as if it has obvious relevance to libertarian theory. Does it? I did not know that. In any event, even if it does, does it apply to the state? If you’re going to throw out random legal doctrines as if they have obvious libertarian bona fides–how about the doctrine of unclean hands?

    The point is that yes, it is difficult to tell who the state owes the land to. Libertarians have written on this to some degree… I believe Walter Block argues the roads shoudl be returned to adjoining property owners or something like that. Or it could be returned in shares to taxpayers. THe fact that they are dead is not relevant; their heirs would hvae inherited the claim. OR so it could be argued. IF you want to argue adverse possession, truly argue this–then, the state simply owns it! If so, they have a right to do what they want, and one thing they would do is try to please the citizenry, almost all of which oppose open borders.

    I am assuming, of course, that some reasonable, sincere libertarians could hold the view that the true owners of roads etc. are taxpaying citizens, and that the state ought to restitute them by using the property as they would wish. And it is clear that more restitution ceteris paribus is better than less. Adopting a rule favored by 1 out of 10,000 gives less restitution than adopting a rule favored by 9,999 out of 10,000. YOu can argue against this, but it is not a decent argument IMO to say that because you are the 1 out of 10,000, then the advocate of the general principle is a bigot or “obviously” non-libertarian.

    3. Immigration controls still apply even if I own beachfront property and gladly take boatloads of Cubanos or Hmong. They apply even if the land was never brought under ownership and remains with the Crown by droit ancien. Immigration controls are overbroad.

    Okay. But you open borders nuts are overbroad too–you want not only the right to have your immigrants as guests on your property, but you insist on them having the right to leave your property and hop onto and use public property. TEll you what–if you will agree to drop your insistence they have a right to use public property, I’ll meet you half-way and agree that if you can find a way to get them on your property without using public proprty, and keep them on your property, I have no objection and would agree the federal law should not stop it. Do we have a deal?

  89. Joshua Holmes says:

    I tend to think adverse possession holds some relevance to libertarian theory. After all, if it doesn’t, basically every white person living in America is a thief. I don’t buy that notion.

    If taxpayers are the proper owners of government property, it has to be argued what kind of property arrangement this is. Joint property ownership comes in several forms, and each of those separate forms would dictate different ways the owner’s agent (the state) would have to deal with immigration.

    Of course, if taxpayers are co-owners, it makes sense that not only do I allow them to use my personal property, but also the property I own through my agent the state.

    This rathole keeps getting deeper for you closed-borders fellas.

  90. John Lopez says:

    Kinsella:

    Assuming the state holds public property that it should return to the owners…

    One step at a time: for that argument to even proceed, it needs to be shown who owns what. Who owns “public property”, and why?

  91. Holmes:

    I tend to think adverse possession holds some relevance to libertarian theory. After all, if it doesn’t, basically every white person living in America is a thief. I don’t buy that notion.

    This sounds similar to the argument biblethumpers put forward for the existence of God: if there is no God, life is unbearable. Therefore, there must be a God.

    Of course libertarianism is all about respecting property rights. This of course means that whoever has the *better title* to a given resource is entitled to it. If an ancestor of a given Indian can show that your house is on his property–yes, he is entitled to it. Why your “not buying it” is relevant, I have no idea. In a free society, this is what property title insurance would be for.

    Now. Perhaps something similar to the common law’s adverse possession rules would indeed arise in a developed libertarian legal order. For various reasons. But even the actual adverse possession law has many qualifications and exceptions. You can’t just assert the term–and apply it to the state–as if it’s that easy.

    If taxpayers are the proper owners of government property, it has to be argued what kind of property arrangement this is. Joint property ownership comes in several forms, and each of those separate forms would dictate different ways the owner’s agent (the state) would have to deal with immigration.

    Sure, it’s messy. But the basic idea is the state is a caretaker of propert owned by a number of joint owners or claimants. Even the notion of returning the property or privatizing it is controversial. How do you do it–sell shares? What? Etc. This is all debatable. So what?

    Of course, if taxpayers are co-owners, it makes sense that not only do I allow them to use my personal property, but also the property I own through my agent the state.

    9,999 out of 10,000 taxpayers do not want it used in this way. Why do you keep ignoring this?

    Lopez:

    “Assuming the state holds public property that it should return to the owners… ” One step at a time: for that argument to even proceed, it needs to be shown who owns what. Who owns “public property”, and why?

    Not the state, Lopez. Why don’t you tell me? You keep asserting that the state has some obligation to let anyone use the roads. Why? Is it because the state DOES own the roads, but for some reason you know the Moral Set of State Road Rules? Or do you say the state does not own the roads and should return it? If the latter, to whom should it retrn it? And in the meantime–how “should” it use the roads? Does it matter at all? Apparently you think it does. But won’t justify it.

    Your argument is akin to this one: “The state owns public roads. Because the state has no right to exist, or is criminal, or its laws are unfair, or some citizens want to drive 200mph on the roads–it is wrong for the state to set speed limits on the Interstate. Anyone who advocates the state setting speed limits on the Interstate system is not a libertarian and is probably a bigot or nativist. It’s just obvious that if the state owns a road, it should have no speed limits. Every good libertarian knows that. And while we’re at it–state liquor stores should have no locks on the doors, and should not charge anything at all–they ought to give me as much free tequila as I want, man! Yeah! WOOOO!!”

  92. John Lopez says:

    Kinsella:

    Not the state, Lopez. Why don’t you tell me?

    The property-rights situation of “public property” is so tangled that it’s impossible to sort out. The State obviously doesn’t own it, but it’s not possible to say who does.

    Anyone who advocates the state setting speed limits on the Interstate system is not a libertarian and is probably a bigot or nativist.

    If what you’re trying to accomplish here is to prove that you’re as stupid and overwrought as Karen DeCoster, you’re doing fine.

  93. Lopez: “The property-rights situation of “public property” is so tangled that it’s impossible to sort out. The State obviously doesn’t own it, but it’s not possible to say who does.”

    What you simpletons don’t realize is in any workable libertarian legal system the question will rarely be who is the “absolute” owner of anything. The question is always, as between two possible claimants, who has better title? As between the state, and a group of taxpayers, the latter has better title. This is so even if it is not clear whether taxpayer 1 has a better claim or a claim to “more” restitution than taxpayer 2. IF all we know is that T1, T2, … Tn all have a better claim than the state, but the relative claims of T1…Tn are unclear or indeterminible, then the only just result is to award it to them on a per-head basis. But I do think we can do a bit better than that, based on amount of taxes paid, for example.

    I have discussed the notion of “better title” here.

  94. John Lopez says:

    What you simpletons don’t realize is in any workable libertarian legal system the question will rarely be who is the “absolute” owner of anything.

    I dunno who you’re quoting there, but it isn’t me. Maybe Mr. Strawman, he seems to come up frequently in what you try and pass off as your arguments.

  95. Often, when a participant refuses to explicitly state his position but leaves is murky and under the surface, I’ll make a guess as to what it might be, sometimes even making it a bit more extreme than the gadfly-opponent may believe, just to get him to state his position.

  96. John Lopez says:

    Often, when a participant refuses to explicitly state his position but leaves is murky and under the surface, I’ll make a guess as to what it might be…

    …Because you’re so fundamentally dishonest that it never dawned on you that folks would respond truthfully if you merely asked.

  97. “..Because you’re so fundamentally dishonest that it never dawned on you that folks would respond truthfully if you merely asked.”

    Funny–instead of here just spelling out your position, you evade yet again.

  98. John Lopez says:

    Let’s see: you threw up a strawman, which I promptly pointed out as being such. You then proposed a lame excuse for strawmaning, and I showed quite clearly that such was not necessary for honest discussion.

    Now you’re bleating that I’m “evading” your non-existent inquiry.

    Dissecting dishonest nonsense doesn’t suit my purposes, Kinsella. If you want to get your act together, then do so. Otherwise, I think we’re done, here.

  99. Lopez, I simply point out repeatedly and on such an elementary level that even you can understand–that either the state owns public property, in which case it is free as owners to set limits on immigration–or there are other owners, co-owners one might say. I never said it was easy to figure out who they are or in what ownership percentages. Duh.

    The obvious true owners or “rightful” owners are the taxpayers–since their stolen money is used to purchase and maintain public property. HOWEVER you select the relevant taxpayers and weight their relative co-ownership and/or restition shares, there can be little doubt that the overwhelming majority of them would be opposed to open borders, and therefore wold oppose the state-as-caretaker-of-their-property from allowing any and all comers.

    Now, this is just an empirical background fact, which you seek to evade by asking who the owners are. It does not matter–any cross section of taxpayers or citizens or possible owners will be overwhelmingly anti-open-borders since almost everyone is anti-open-borders.

    And I have asked a simple question. If the state does not own it, the best result is that it somehow returns the property to private hands, preferably that of the owners. But as this is not in the cards, the question is: does libertarianism have anything to say about the second-best use of the property? Lopez wants to have it both ways (and if not–feel free to correct me with actually specifying your view, Lopez… see-gotcha). He wants to act as if second-best does not matter… yet to advocate a particular second-best result himself. He wants to say the state ought to use property co-owned by thousands or millions of people as only 1% or less of them want it used, while denouncing the idea that the state ought instead to use it as a reasonable owner would, which would mean taking into account the fact that virtually every co-owner other than a few isolated egalitarians wans entry restricted to some degree. This is rich.

    In short: the Lopez’s have no ground to stand on. If they say the state does not own property then they have to have a view as to how it should use the rightful owners’ property until it is returned or sold to pay restitution. So if they say public property should be open to all comers, they take a position on what the second-best solution is. Then they have no grounds for complaining if opponents also have a view as to what the second-best choice is. He sounds like a blithering idiot for not agreeing that it is a reasonable view that the state, if and so long as it possesses property rightfully co-owned by others, ought to act like a reasonable owner would. And that a reasonable owner would, of course, not open the property to all comers.

    Again: think of the neighborhood pool/park example. In my little 2-square-mile city, my property taxes help pay for a local pool and park. Entry to outsiders is very expensive; the price is nominal to citizens. So I am robbed in the form of taxes; but some amends are made to me: I am given the right to use a given facility for a low price. That is worth something. If, instead, I am taxed the same but the right is only to use a facility crowded with outsiders since the admission price is lowered for everyone, then my right is worth much less. My restituion is less; and therefore, the overall violation done to me is increased. This is elementary to all but results-oriented modern PC egalitarian dimwit-Serioso libertarians.

    Likewise with public property. Let’s make it plain. Say Lopez (I’m going to be generous and assume he’s both a taxpayer and citizen) and I and thousands of others are rightful co-owners of, say, the federal Interstate highway system. Let’s even say we are equal owners, based on per-head not per-tax shares. Fine. Now Lopez wants the highways open to all. I don’t. That is my preference as an owner. It is neither libertairan nor unlibertarian. Our preferences are preferences as consumers or owners.

    And I posit that virtually all of my co-owners will agree with me. Not Lopez. In such a case, what does libertarian justice require? That we go with the minority? With the lowest common denominator (no offense, Lopez)? I simply say that if a libertarian believes the second best solution is for the state to act as a reasonable owner/caretaker, and that this means having some limits on who can enter, then this is itself a reasonable, libertarian view. I don’t say that the opposite, open-borders view is unlibertarian. I realize we can disagree. But Mr. Lopez and his ilk all think their view is not only rihgt, but that everyone else is manifestly wrong and unlibertarian just by virtue of being wrong. And in this parochialism they show themselves to be utter dunderheads.

    Incidentally: I don’t expect Lopez to have the intellect, honesty, or integrity to even respond to these questions appropriately. My main goal in engaging him is for the benefit of onlookers: at least they can see how hollow Lopez and his ilk are. And if Lopez does manage to reply this time without evasion, it’s just lagniappe.

  100. Pham Nuwen says:

    Stephen,

    Thanks for illustrating exactly why the Minarchist(Minimal State) view of libertarianism is just for the most part tends to be as dunderheaded and flat out silly as the rest of the authoritarian, conservative, liberal, marxist, and socialist ranting in favor of the State.

    Your arguements here basically highlight why almost any concievable form a State is undesirable to anyone who belives in freedom, and rational principled living.

    I always though the idea behind libertarianism was the desire to have a non-coercive State (or possibly no State), not to have a marginally less-coersive one than we have now. So yes I would characterize the views you have presented as unlibertarian. If that makes me one of Lopez’s ilk, then at least I can take comfort that I’m in good company.

  101. John Lopez says:

    We’re done here, Kinsella.

  102. Rad Geek says:

    Here’s how Kinsella answers my question about immigration onto private property and the use of helicopter shuttle services:

    I would not oppose immigration only onto private property, but as soon as he is caught on public [property] he would be jailed for trespass. Which is basically the same thing as today’s immigration polices.

    No, it’s not. If you were arrested for criminal trespass you would be charged with either a misdemeanor or a low-grade felony (depending on the state and the nature of the offense). The likely punishment would be a fine. It would not be sustained imprisonment and it sure as hell would not be the solution currently favored by La Migra–deportation, i.e., exile and confiscation of property. If you’re seriously proposing that we treat undocumented immigrants like trespassers then simple considerations of proportionality would mean that federal immigration policy as it currently stands would have to be completely dismantled and reconfigured to look more like the issuing of traffic tickets.

    That’s not to say, though, that the trespass-on-public-property argument works in the first place. It doesn’t. Quite frankly, it’s crap. Here’s what Kinsella used to back it up earlier:

    Well. In my view the American people as taxpayers–or some of them–are true “owners” of public land.

    Of course, the “or some of them” is necessary to do your mischief. Because, as you know, or ought to by now, immigrants pay taxes too. Among other taxes, they pay gasoline taxes more or less in proportion to their use of roads.

    Ergo, it seems that as soon as an immigrant has filled ‘er up, he has (thereby) become an American taxpayer, and (thereby) gained as good a claim to access to the roads as anyone else.

    You might claim:

    1. That a driving (i.e., taxpaying) immigrant does own a share of the roads like everyone else, but the decision of the majority of the joint owners overrules the individual’s decision to allow herself to access the road. But it’s an awfully strange kind of joint ownership in which the majority of the owners can simply categorically exclude another owner from accessing the commonly-held property no matter what.

    2. That once immigrants have paid taxes they have access to the roads, but all you propose is a policy that would close government-controlled property to people who haven’t paid taxes yet, and so do not yet have any ownership claim. But there are lots of ways that an immigrant who has never set foot on a government road could go about acquiring shares of ownership if that’s how it really is–for example, by paying an agent to purchase some taxed gasoline on her behalf, and then using her newly-bought shares in the government roads to drive out and get it. Or by buying it from someone else who’s willing to sell their shares. (I, for one, have no particular interest in owning or investing in highways, and would be glad to sell.)

    That said, note that all of this is predicated on a particular theory about what the “ownership” of the roads amounts to in the first place. Even though I don’t think that theory proves what you want it to, I think it’s frankly ridiculous on its face, and ridiculous in ways that undermine the possibility of alternatives giving you the results you think you can get from this theory. In particular, to get the policy outcome that it’s licit for majority opinion to close down the entire road system (and all other government-controlled land) to immigrants, you have to hold:

    1. That everyone in the shareholding class owns a share in the entire network of roads

    2. That they own all the parts of the network of roads equally (so, for example, you have as much of a say as I do about how to dispose of the roads between my apartment and some place that an immigrant guest of mine might work)

    3. That the terms of this joint ownership are such that a sufficiently large number of shareholders can overrule the decisions made by one of the shareholders for non-interfering use of any part of the network. (Such as, for example, driving an immigrant guest from my apartment to her place of work.)

    If you don’t have all of (1)-(3), then the trespassing-on-the-roads argument never gets off the ground–since to get the conclusion that approximating the enforcement of private property rights on roads, you first need to show that the entire network of roads–not just this or that byway–can be closed to immigrants. But (1), (2), and (3) are all obviously false; insofar as there are any legitimate property claims that can be disentangled here, you’ll have a decentralized patchwork of claims over different parts of the road system, not a giant joint stock corporation in the road network as a whole. There are good reasons to think that I have some legitimate property claim to the street outside my house; some mootable reasons to think that I have some rightful claim in the major thoroughfares in my city; very little reason to think I have any claim on the interstates; and no reason whatsoever to think I have any claim to the roads in front of your house.

    This is connected with your sympathy for monarchist immigration policy:

    Almost every American would want SOME restrictions on immigration, and it seems clear that a private monarch-owner would also do this.

    But why should anyone care what One Big Cartel on the whole goddamn continent-spanning network of roads and government-controlled property would do? That’s not at all interesting for the property rights that would arise in a free society (in which the OBC would collapse due to calculational chaos); it’s not at all interesting for the issue of property rights in this vale of tears (in which neither I nor the collective of American taxpayers nor any monarch has any just claim on the road in front of your house); and it’s not even interesting for the sorting out of utilitarian considerations (since the decisions of OBCs are not reliably efficient).

    So why bring it up?

    Regarding Switzerland:

    I think this is just ridiculous. It is quite clear if Switzerland had open borders then it would radically change.

    Of course it would radically change. Everything changes. So what? The question isn’t whether it would change or not but whether the change would be damaging. And why in the world would it be? Because the Swiss would have to figure out how to cope with enclaves of people who have a different religion or speak another language? Well, gee, the whole bloody country is nothing but a loose confederation of unassimilated ethno-linguistic enclaves. Of all the countries in the world to pick for your example of how large-scale immigration and “multiculturalism” would inevitably lead to catastrophe and civil war, Switzerland is so unhelpful to Hoppe that the choice seems downright perverse.

    Are you saying that if you did believe this, you might agree with his conclusions? Is your difference only an empirical one?

    No. Utilitarian considerations about the plausible effects of large-scale immigration don’t have anything to say to the permissibility of using violence against peaceful immigrants.

    However, Hoppe is making a sociological claim in the passages that you quoted above, in addition to his claim about justice. Although I don’t think he would have made the case for immigration restrictions if he were right about the plausible consequences of large-scale immigration in a statist world, it’s also worth pointing out that he’s also wrong on what the plausible consequences actually are.

  103. Pham Nuwen writes, “Thanks for illustrating exactly why the Minarchist(Minimal State) view of libertarianism is just for the most part tends to be as dunderheaded and flat out silly as the rest of the authoritarian, conservative, liberal, marxist, and socialist ranting in favor of the State.”

    Dude, I’m an anarchist, not a minarchist. Duh. Of course this illustrates exactly why the state is problematic. It causes lose-lose situations. The Lopezians don’t seem to realize this. They think that even though there is a state, we can have it do “the right” thing. They don’t realize that their open borders immigration policy has victims, just as the non-open borders immigration policy does.

    “I always though the idea behind libertarianism was the desire to have a non-coercive State (or possibly no State), not to have a marginally less-coersive one than we have now. So yes I would characterize the views you have presented as unlibertarian. If that makes me one of Lopez’s ilk, then at least I can take comfort that I’m in good company.”

    The idea behind libertarianism is that aggression is unjustified, and that aggression is defined by rights which are based on the homesteading principle.

  104. Geek:

    Here’s how Kinsella answers my question about immigration onto private property and the use of helicopter shuttle services:

    ” I would not oppose immigration only onto private property, but as soon as he is caught on public [property] he would be jailed for trespass. Which is basically the same thing as today’s immigration polices.

    No, it’s not. If you were arrested for criminal trespass you would be charged with either a misdemeanor or a low-grade felony (depending on the state and the nature of the offense). The likely punishment would be a fine. It would not be sustained imprisonment and it sure as hell would not be the solution currently favored by La Migra–deportation, i.e., exile and confiscation of property. If you’re seriously proposing that we treat undocumented immigrants like trespassers then simple considerations of proportionality would mean that federal immigration policy as it currently stands would have to be completely dismantled and reconfigured to look more like the issuing of traffic tickets.

    What I am saying is the if feds have a rule that specified immigrants are not permitted on public property, then it would be trespass when they entered it, which woudl be punishable as a crime. The details of the punishment or response to the crime are boring. Deport them, whatever. Who cares. The point is if you had such a rule, it would be similar in practice to today’s system. And you open borders egalitarians woudl oppose it anyway, just as you oppose the current system. That alone shows they are similar–you would vociferously oppose them both.

    That’s not to say, though, that the trespass-on-public-property argument works in the first place. It doesn’t. Quite frankly, it’s crap. Here’s what Kinsella used to back it up earlier:

    ” Well. In my view the American people as taxpayers–or some of them–are true “owners” of public land.

    Of course, the “or some of them” is necessary to do your mischief.

    No, it’s not, not at all. Whether it’s all citizens or taxpayers, or only some of them, does not affect my argument. It rests only on the notion that it’s rightfully co-owned by a group of people who have differing views on how that property should be used–but who overwhelmingly oppose it being used for unlimited immigration.

    Because, as you know, or ought to by now, immigrants pay taxes too.

    The problem with this argument is as follows. Suppose at time 0 there are 100 million taxpayers with a claim to public property. The feds as caretakers establish a rule allowing citizens to use the property and a certain limited number of immigrants who follow certain rules (apply for residency, whatever), but prohibiting all other foreigners. Now, a given foreigner enters public property without permission, thereby committing trespass. He is now a criminal. Part of his punishment is that he has no right to complain about taxes he pays, and the rest of the punishment is he will be deported if he is caught. Simple. By being a trespasser, he gives up his right to *acquire* ownership of the road. For me, taxation is theft and therefore I acquire a piece of the property owned by the state, as resitution. But taking money from a trespasser is not theft. He is not owed restitution. It’s like a burglar suing the homeowner if he is injured by a dangerous condition in the home.

    You might claim: 1. That a driving (i.e., taxpaying) immigrant does own a share of the roads like everyone else, but the decision of the majority of the joint owners overrules the individual’s decision to allow herself to access the road. But it’s an awfully strange kind of joint ownership in which the majority of the owners can simply categorically exclude another owner from accessing the commonly-held property no matter what.

    See above. The ILLEGAL immigrant is not a co-owner in the first place.

    That said, note that all of this is predicated on a particular theory about what the “ownership” of the roads amounts to in the first place. Even though I don’t think that theory proves what you want it to, I think it’s frankly ridiculous on its face,

    Federal roads are owned by someone. They are controlled by the state. Legally, they have the right to control, so legally they are the owner. For the libertarian, legal rights are not dispositive of actual rights. We would say the rightful owner might be someone else. If this is the case, the state is merely a possessor and has a duty to minimize the harm done to its victims. The state has to use the property somehow. Since owners are many and diverse, it is literally impossible to use the property as all rightful co-owners wish. If it uses it in a reasonable way so as to benefit many or most of the taxpayer-co-owners, this is better than using it in a way that benefits none or few of them.

    THe theory is not ridiculous at all; it is just logical. Either the state (rightfully) owns the property or it does not. If it does, you people have no *principled* objection to limited immigration policy being enforced with respect to public property. If it does not, then the real owners are the taxpaying citizens and legal residents; and since they will not have unanimous agreement on how the property is used, it cannot be said that a given rule of use that benefits the vast majority of them is more unlibertarian than a given rule of use that benefits only a small fraction of the owners to the detriment of the rest.

    You people want to act as if your view is lily-white; it is not. You advocate a rule that uses public property in a way contrary to the wishes of 99% of the owners, for the benefit of a few radical wackos; I advocate a rule that uses the property as most reasonable owners would, and that 99% of the owners agree with. Under both rules, EVERYONE is victimized b/c it’s a second-best solution–the property should be privatized. BUt if it’s not, then it is reasonable to say–and certainly not unlibertarian–that it’s better to have a rule of use that only slightly harms 99% than one that drastically harms them.

    to get the policy outcome that it’s licit for majority opinion to close down the entire road system (and all other government-controlled land) to immigrants, you have to hold: 1. That everyone in the shareholding class owns a share in the entire network of roads

    No; just that a large number of taxpayers do.

    2. That they own all the parts of the network of roads equally (so, for example, you have as much of a say as I do about how to dispose of the roads between my apartment and some place that an immigrant guest of mine might work)

    No, this is not true either. The number of open borders nuts is so marginal that no matter how you weight shares, the overwhelming ownership-percentage will still oppose open borders.

    3. That the terms of this joint ownership are such that a sufficiently large number of shareholders can overrule the decisions made by one of the shareholders for non-interfering use of any part of the network. (Such as, for example, driving an immigrant guest from my apartment to her place of work.)

    Again, you fail to see that with disagreeing co-owners, the rule will necessarily “overrule” the wishes of some. Your proposed rule does this, as does mine. So don’t pretend to be all lily white and castigate my proposal as unlibertarain. At least my proposed rule is what a reasonable owner would do (as seen by the proxy of what a monarch would do).

    This is connected with your sympathy for monarchist immigration policy:

    ” Almost every American would want SOME restrictions on immigration, and it seems clear that a private monarch-owner would also do this.

    But why should anyone care what One Big Cartel on the whole goddamn continent-spanning network of roads and government-controlled property would do?

    If we accept the premise that the state possesses the roads but the rightful owners are the citizens, and the idea that the state ought therefore to at the least use the roads in a way to benefit the owners, it is reasonable to say it ought to run it like a reasonable caretaker would. So as to benefit the co-owners as a whole. Again, imagine my city pool example: a small city builds a pool using tax dollars of the 5000 citizens in a small city. They could have used the money for a big personal spending spree for the city councilmembers, but at least, they used it to construct a pool. This provides some kind of in-kind benefit to the taxpayers. To make it plain: I pay $500 a year for it in taxes; it’s better for me if I get the right-to-use-a-pool than if the money is wasted on personal spending by the government officials. Now this right to use the pool is more valuable to me if the pool is not overcrowded with people from outside my city. So I would prefer them not open the pool up to everyone, but to limit it to residents of the city, or some reasonable rules like this. In fact, probably every single taxpayer in the city would support such a rule.

    In the case of the nominal owner of the federal public lands and roads, it is therefore useful to ask, “what would a reasonable owner do?” “Act as a reasonable owner/caretaker would” is a useful standard to apply to the state–you are likely to get more in-kind restitution paid back to the victims than if it has no rules guiding its second-best use of public property. And if that is the question, clearl, in the case of the federal government, it’s useful to consider what a monarch would do, as he is analogous in many ways to a private owner of a country. If it is clear he would exclude many immigrants, that is a factor to consider in weighing the reasonableness of the immigration policy of the feds.

    None of this is rocket science.

  105. Mark Vine says:

    “I’m looking to better my own self, and if other people gain value from my content, that’s just gravy for them.”

    I just have to ask – have you read Albert Nock? This is the very essence of him. He defended that one must occupy oneself solely with bettering one’s person. “One improved unit”, according to Nock, would indirectly be a greater asset to society then all the States’ policies.

    I breathe a bit easier when I find people such as you who, as I, subscribe to such views. Not all is lost!

  106. John Lopez says:

    I have a copy of Our Enemy, The State kicking around somewhere, but I never got very far into it. Which of his works do you recommend?

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