Thought-provoking article from the Mises Institute on immigration:
Shortly before his death, Murray Rothbard published an article called “Nations by Consent: Decomposing the Nation State.” He had begun rethinking the assumption that libertarianism committed us to open borders.
And here Murray posed the problem…: in a fully private-property society, people would have to be invited onto whatever property they traveled through or settled on.
If every piece of land in a country were owned by some person, group, or corporation, this would mean that no person could enter unless invited to enter and allowed to rent or purchase property. A totally privatized country would be as closed as the particular property owners desire. It seems clear, then, that the regime of open borders that exists de facto in the U.S. and Western Europe really amounts to a compulsory opening by the central state, the state in charge of all streets and public land areas, and does not genuinely reflect the wishes of the proprietors.
That’s private ownership. What about public ownership?
…we have to look more closely at what public property really is and who, if anyone, can be said to be its true owner… There are two positions we must reject: that public property is owned by the government, or that public property is unowned, and is therefore comparable to land in the state of nature, before individual property titles to particular parcels of land have been established.
Certainly we cannot say public property is owned by the government, since government may not legitimately own anything. Government acquires its property by force, usually via the intermediary of taxation. A libertarian cannot accept that kind of property acquisition as morally legitimate, since it involves the initiation of force (the extraction of tax dollars) on innocent people. Hence government’s pretended property titles are illegitimate.
But neither can we say that public property is unowned. Property in the possession of a thief is not unowned, even if at the moment it does not happen to be held by the rightful owner. The same goes for so-called public property. It was purchased and developed by means of money seized from the taxpayers. They are the true owners.
So in this view, all state ownership is theft.
In an anarcho-capitalist world, with all property privately owned, “immigration” would be up to each individual property owner to decide. Right now, on the other hand, immigration decisions are made by a central authority, with the wishes of property owners completely disregarded. The correct way to proceed, therefore, is to decentralize decision-making on immigration to the lowest possible level, so that we approach ever more closely the proper libertarian position, in which individual property owners consent to the various movements of peoples.
… it’s bad enough we have to be looted, spied on, and kicked around by the state. Should we also have to pay for the privilege of cultural destructionism, an outcome the vast majority of the state’s taxpaying subjects do not want and would actively prevent if they lived in a free society and were allowed to do so?
Is there no role at all for the state in the libertarian view?
Once free to be creative and innovative in their own practices, doctors are becoming more like assembly-line workers, constrained by rules and regulations aimed to systemize their craft. It’s no surprise that retirement is starting to look more attractive…
Universities have become almost completely detached politically from the rest of society. The overwhelming majority of academics are now firmly on the Left; the academic echo-chamber is even more stultifying than Twitter’s. Neil Gross and Solon Simmons, the experts in this field, calculated that just 9.2 per cent of US academics are conservative, with 44 per cent describing themselves as liberals and 46 per cent as moderates.
Henry Kissinger on Syria and the Middle East:
Defeating Islamic State should take precedence over regime change in Syria, Henry Kissinger has argued, adding that Russia’s intervention may help re-establish order in the Middle East that was once entirely dominated by the US.
“The destruction of ISIS is more urgent than the overthrow of Bashar Assad,” the elderly US statesman, who served as Secretary of State to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Friday.