A Quick Note on “Borders”


by Thomas Knapp
http://c4ss.org/content/20545
A Quick Note on “Borders”

Note: Here is the comment I’ve just left on C4SS: “The last time you argued with me about mass-immigration, you did a piss-poor job. Now, instead of coming back with better arguments, you quote a dozen of my words and call me a nazi. I am not impressed.” SIG

Immigration is an issue on which there logically should be very little daylight between factions of the libertarian movement. It’s not that complicated: “National borders” are imaginary lines drawn on the ground by over-grown street gangs, and no one owes them any recognition whatsoever.

Alas, logic seems to have little weight in the argument, and lots of alleged libertarians have come up with lots of ways to get around the facts and arrive at the results they prefer.

Some of those ways are just silly, e.g. Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s suggestion that we should — just this once! — pretend that the state is a legitimate property owner, whose preferred disposition of its property just happens to match Hoppe’s own ideas on whom should and should not be allowed to pass over that property and under what conditions.

Lately, however, the arguments are getting beyond silly and into purely bizarre (“[The ruling class] wishes to avoid more than token identification with the English people at large. … State-sponsored mass immigration has been the most obvious evidence of this desire.” ) and superstitious (“[I]f there’s national will to address it as a problem that threatens the foundations of a society, then a Nation has every right to do so.”) territory.

What’s up with that? If the subject were anything but immigration, libertarians would recognize the forgoing as the combination of Hitlerian ethnic pseudo-science and aboriginal witch doctor bullshit (but I repeat myself) that it is.

55 responses to “A Quick Note on “Borders”

  1. lowlywhisper

    Borders exist, they are important to people and they have consequences. Theory is fine and dandy, keeps the egg heads busy and out of trouble, but people live in the real world.

    • And in the real world, borders are having concrete and destructive consequences. In my piece “The Brutality of Border Security,” I discussed a few of the ways America’s border militarization is violating people’s basic human rights. http://c4ss.org/content/20083

      Libertarian economist Bryan Caplan also argues that borders forcibly keep people in poverty, and that opening borders would permit far more upward mobility while not having any particularly serious economic drawbacks. http://openborders.info/bryan-caplan/

      So yes, “Borders exist, they are important to people and they have consequences.” Those consequences include impeding freedom of movement, authorizing government thugs to kill people, diverting resources towards crony capitalist security contractors, and forcibly keeping the world’s poor impoverished. In “the real world,” abolishing or opening borders is a moral imperative.

  2. Quoth the estimable Dr. Gabb:

    “The last time you argued with me about mass-immigration, you did a piss-poor job”

    The concept of argument presupposes two competing sets of factual claims which can be set against each other, verified, compared, etc. When one side relies on fact and the other on mystical mumbo jumbo, it’s not an “argument,” it’s just me stating facts and you demanding that your superstitions be treated as facts.

    “Now, instead of coming back with better arguments, you quote a dozen of my words and call me a nazi.”

    I wasn’t “coming back” for more “argument.” As the title indicates, the post was intended as a “note” (“A brief remark; a marginal comment or explanation; hence, an annotation on a text or author; a comment; a critical, explanatory, or illustrative observation.”). My inclusion of your dozen words was by way of acknowledging that someone of reptuation takes the side he takes. It was actually the other link, which was called to my attention this morning, which motivated the post.

    And no, I didn’t call you a Nazi. Surely your reading skills aren’t THAT atrophied.

    To be honest, I don’t have a problem with mysticism per se — I’ve got religious beliefs myself. I just don’t expect my superstitions to be treated as testable factual claims for the purpose of “argument.”

  3. The regular commenting here is giving me fits (I seem to recall that Sean has mentioned recent problems with it), so I’m coming via Facebook.

    Quoth the estimable Dr. Gabb:

    “The last time you argued with me about mass-immigration, you did a piss-poor job”

    The concept of argument presupposes two competing sets of factual claims which can be set against each other, verified, compared, etc. When one side relies on fact and the other on mystical mumbo jumbo, it’s not an “argument,” it’s just me stating facts and you demanding that your superstitions be treated as facts.

    “Now, instead of coming back with better arguments, you quote a dozen of my words and call me a nazi.”

    I wasn’t “coming back” for more “argument.” As the title indicates, the post was intended as a “note” (“A brief remark; a marginal comment or explanation; hence, an annotation on a text or author; a comment; a critical, explanatory, or illustrative observation.”). My inclusion of your dozen words was by way of acknowledging that someone of reptuation takes the side he takes. It was actually the other link, which was called to my attention this morning, which motivated the post.

    And no, I didn’t call you a Nazi. Surely your reading skills aren’t THAT atrophied.

    I don’t have a problem with mysticism per se — I’ve got religious beliefs myself. I just don’t expect my superstitions to be treated as testable factual claims for the purpose of “argument.”

    In additional comments over at C4SS, you note that there are different varieties of libertarianism, and that being of a variety other than me doesn’t make you a fool or a villain.

    I agree 100%. There are different varieties of libertarianism. Superstitious authoritarianism isn’t one of them. Being a superstitious authoritarian on immigration doesn’t make you a fool or a villain. It just makes you a superstitious authoritarian on immigration.

    • I’ve currently lost all heart for flame wars. Beside, so long as he isn’t talking self-righteously about immigration, I rather value Thomas. All I’ll say is that I do not think mass-immigration would make England more free than it is. Indeed, it would make England much less free. I may be wrong about the matters of fact on which this thought rests, but I do not think I can be called superstitious.

      I will make no comment on what mass-immigration would do for America, except to wish the open borders people there the very best of luck.

      • Dr. Gabb,

        We can already see what open borders do for America, because we always have had and always will have open borders.

        We have nearly 100,000 miles of border and coastline. Any and all attempts to “secure” them have been and will continue to be futile: That is, the overwhelming majority of those who attempt to get in will get in, and only an infinitesimal fraction will be caught either trying to get in or after they’ve got in.

        The only real down side I’ve seen to our open borders is that we spend a lot of money maintaining a police state which will never, ever, ever cause them to be anything other than open, but that has a lot of vile side effects.

        • My belief in an open borders policy for America rests on two hopes:

          1. The more go to America, the fewer will come to England;
          2. The more go to America, the less every else needs to worry about American hegemony.

          I might also mention that I haven’t finished brooding yet over the Stab in the Back at Suez.

  4. Contrary to the impression of all the heated arguments – a lot of common ground exists.

    No libertarian (anarcho capitalist or minarchist ) believes in the “right to vote” for illegals, or any other “positive right” – and that includes the “public services”. Nor does any libertarian believe in the destruction of freedom of association – non association by “anti discrimination” regulations.

    Nor does any libertarian believe in a right for migrants to invade private property (whether that of villagers on Italian islands – or ranchers in Arizona).

    If all the above conditions were met “mass immigration” would not be an issue – because it would not exist.

    As for nations and borders – they exist if people say they exist.

    This need not involve state regulations or taxation.

  5. By the way… does anyone know if the oft repeated story, that Adolf Hitler was an illegal immigrant to Germany (with no legal right to vote or stand for office), is true?

    Would not four years in the Bavarian Army (in wartime) have given him legal status?

  6. Nick diPerna

    Open boarders would be fine in a free world, but within the current UK framework; it’s been a disaster for poorer people who have to compete with immigrants for jobs, hospital waiting lists, housing and school placements – not to mention; disproportionally contribute towards the welfare state (poorer people pay the highest proportion of taxes and bear the brunt of inflation).

    Firms get loads of cheap labour who never complain about working conditions, and existing property owners see their house values and rent income increase exponentially. Low earners haven’t a change in getting on the property ladder.

    Government departments expand to cope with the influx; giving a rise in opportunities for talentless bureaucrats and legal people. If teachers and doctors for instance, were all sacked tomorrow and told they would have to reapply for their positions with temporary contracts paying minimum wage – you would see a very different attitude towards mass immigration IMHO. Unions and the low skills of the majority of immigrants protects the white collars. Before you consider opening boarders, you first need a level playing field.

      • Nick diPerna

        I’m new to libertarian thinking (actually, all political thinking…), but one has to look suspiciously upon pick & mix policies that only benefit the well-heeled.

        Now if an open boarder policy corresponded with, say a reduction in corporate welfare and public-sector protectionism, then it could be justified. It hardly seems equitable in my way of thinking when some groups, through state power, have everything to gain, and the less represented have everything to lose. It comes across as a ‘vulgar libertarianism’ defending an established order, rather than being a vehicle towards radical free-market principles.

        • Nick,

          Welcome to the fractious world of libertarian debate!

          My “Stockholm libertarianism” rant is actually just my riff on a fairly well-explored holding of (some) libertarians. I’m not a Rothbardian, but for more in that vein, he’s the go-to guy. Here’s the Rothbard Caucus’s platform plank on the subject:

          —–
          The removal of a harmful government policy should never be held up as a condition for removing another, for this throws self-imposed barriers in the path of liberty and removes potential pressures for change. For example, saying that borders may be opened only after welfare is eliminated is unacceptable; the proper position is to push for both changes. Should we succeed in achieving open borders only to find that welfare burdens are increased, this should be used as an additional argument to abolish welfare.
          —–

          The immigration position of some here is not a “particular order” argument, but rather an article from premises relating to ethnic and national identities and so forth.

      • Nick diPerna

        “Welcome to the fractious world of libertarian debate!”
        Thanks Thomas.

        “the proper position is to push for both changes. Should we succeed in achieving open borders only to find that welfare burdens are increased, this should be used as an additional argument to abolish welfare.”

        But once the rulers and upper-middle get what they want (i.e., open boarders) – it is highly likely they will just leave things at that. After all, they are the ones ‘holding the guns’ – not the people on the sharp end of immigration who have just helped the rich get richer.

        As to ethnic and national identities and so forth…. When I see an Asian person being interviewed on American news, I don’t see an Asian – I see an American. Us Europeans only have our traditions and national identities to cling onto (not an American dream) and immigrants don’t tend to assimilate. It will be a long time before with have a universal identity (or ideal) that transcends nation and race as in America. 2000 years of local history and traditions don’t just vanish overnight. Excuse my oversimplifications.

  7. Paul,

    Hitler’s “emigration status” appears to have been up in the air for some time.

    He moved to Munich after being deemed physically unfit for military service in Vienna, joined the German army, won the Iron Cross, and remained in Bavaria after the war.

    After the Beer Hall Putsch, one Bavarian official looked into deporting him as an “undesirable alien,” but Austria declined to accept him back. He renounced his Austrian citizenship in 1925, shortly after getting out of prison, but did not become a German citizen until late 1922 or early 1933, shortly before becoming chancellor.

  8. Thomas

    The legal dispute would appear to be whether Hitler became a German citizen in 1922 or in 1933.

    Still the German attitude to law had became flexible for some time – in theory since the Positivist (and Historicist) defeat of their Natural Law foes, and in practice since Bismark’s defeat of his opponents (or rather since his boasting of using underhand methods to do so – itself a mocking of the high moral seriousness, especially considering personal character and conduct, for which the German lands were famous in the early 19th century).

    An example would be the method Imperial Germany used to give itself a “legal” reason to declare war on France in 1914 – a staged attack by France upon Germany (Hitler used the same method in 1939 – officially the Poles has attacked, he even had prisoners dressed up in German uniforms and shot, to serve as “casualties of the Polish attack”).

    The form of law – without its moral content.

    But then that was just reflecting a near universal intellectual and moral collapse among the elite – In the United States reflected by the decline of the Common Sense School and the rise of the Pragmatists.

    Even the “conservative” part of the elite end up (politely) mocking moral principles – I was struck by that as I read Economics and the Public Welfare by Benjamin Anderson.

    Anderson shared a lot of philosophical assumptions (mocking the very idea of universal principles of right and wrong) with the Progressives he was the enemy of.

  9. C H Ingoldby

    This is one of those areas that libertarians so often trip up.

    Peoples and cultures are real. Borders are real and not just imaginary lines drawn by States. Peoples have national identities, to just dismiss those as irrational or ‘nazi’ is foolish. The nation is not an invention of the State that is imposed on people, it is a real organic outgrowth of peoples identity.

    When libertarianism tries to fight human nature it will always lose. It is at its strongest when it works with and promotes the best of human nature. Utopian internationalism is the bastardised nonsense of Trotskites and is ultimately totalitarian in implication.

    • This is why I’ve been arguing for some time that we need a Euro-Libertarianism. Currently libertariansm (like, in fact leftism) is dominated by the American form, which has certian cultural speicifities.

      In particular, Europe has an ancient history and a concept of “peoples”. France is where the French live, England is where the English live, and so on. America has none of this. It is a nation without a people. Being an American has no ethnic nature; it is entirely a formal legal matter of citizenship. Hence, Americans attach their “peopleness” by hyphenation- African-American, German-American, Asian-American, Irish-American, and so on, retaining a sense of what “people” they are independent of their nationality. And hence, the idea of “multiculturalism”. (Yes, a term first coined by Canada, but the ideology is American forms of citizenship. Canada, being another recent colonial construct, has some of the same problem).

      None of this fits well to the Old World, and is really a matter of different mentalities. I believe that a successful Euro-Libertarianism will need to appeal to the strong Old World sense of nationality and ethnicity, and the recognition of “peoples” as having homelands. And that, which would no doubt horrify Thomas as “mysticism” means borders.

  10. It comes down to a question of whether property owners have a right to deny access to their land to others, arbitrarily. If as a libertarian you believe that to be their right, then you cannot be ideologically in favour of open borders; though you may pragmatically advise property owners to operate such a policy.

    I think the counter-argument would be that current nation states are not legitimate libertarian properties (or property collectives). This may well be true; but if so it actually renders all argument irrelevant since their right to have any policy- including open borders- unsupportable. For instance, an illegitimate state operating an open borders policy is enacting unjust domain over the properties of its citizens- ergo they have no right to impose that open borders policy either. In other words, any policy of a current State is illegitimate, and it is pointless for a libertarian to argue for or against any current State policy.

    The bottom line then being that any genuine libertarian cannot argue for open borders. In a legitimate situation, he is trying to nullify individuals’ property rights. In an illegitimate situation, he is supporting the actions of an illegitimate State against its oppressed citizens. Neither is valid libertarianism.

    • “It comes down to a question of whether property owners have a right to deny access to their land to others, arbitrarily . . .”

      No, it does not come down to that at all. I am quite happy to welcome undocumented immigrants onto my property; so what it comes down to is a question of whether or not other people, who do not own my property, have a right to deny access to my land to others, arbitrarily. Of course they do not. They have no right to do anything but keep their preferences, and their borders, on their own property, not on mine.

      “This may well be true; but if so it actually renders all argument irrelevant since their right to have any policy- including open borders- unsupportable. For instance, an illegitimate state operating an open borders policy is enacting unjust domain over the properties of its citizens-”

      Horsefeathers, sir. This is absurd.

      Of course you are right that in my view, no nation-state can legitimately have any policy at all, because no nation-state can legitimately exist. But the mistake here is in trying to treat political demands for amnesty or open borders as if they were demands for an active policy in the first place. They are not demands for government action; they are specifically demands for a structured sort of in-action, and they cannot reasonably be described as “actions of an illegitimate State against its oppressed citizens.” They are not impositions of “unjust domain over the properties of its citizens” because the property rights of a states’ citizens don’t include the right to force immigrants off of other people’s property in the neighborhood. Nothing is being imposed upon them, any more than the absence of war is somehow the political imposition of “peace” on unwilling civilians; or, at least, if you are going to claim that a state without border restrictions “is enacting unjust domain over the properties of its citizens” in virtue of its lack of border restrictions, then you will have to tell me whose property rights are being restricted by the open borders, and how they are being restricted by government’s simple refusal to harass or detain international migrants.

  11. Also, tangentially on topic-

    Is it just me that has noticed how quite our press is being about these mosque bombings, now that the arrested suspects turn out to be recently arrived Ukrainians?

    • Um, I meant “quiet”, not “quite”.

    • Nick diPerna

      “arrested suspects turn out to be recently arrived Ukrainians?”

      The real problem of racism lies more with the new arrivals from my own personal experience.

  12. Nick diPerna

    Just saw this by good old Keith:

  13. I’m confused here but I think it’s because this is such a dumb debate.

    You’re all talking as if mass immigration is the same thing as having no borders. The term mass immigration only has any meaning if there are such things as borders.

    Keith is self-evidently correct: of course there should be no borders and no government. SIG, etc., are correct, mass immigration is a means by which the political classes manipulate demographics to their own ends. But that only works because we don’t have individual liberty and sovereignty.

    The fact that collectivists – of both left and right persuasions – are resorting to mass immigration to societies and foment conflict is a sign of success of libertarian ideals. These people are desperate not to lose their power.

    Until you guys define your terms and actually start arguing about the same things you’ll continue to argue past each other.

    Also, I’m constantly mystified by this reverence for a mythical “western civilisation” which is, as far as I can see, is implied to be fundamentally the product of white-skinned people. For some reason, Ancient Greece has a very strong say in the course of this. And you guys are claiming *borders* are imaginary? Get a grip!

    Liberty will triumph not because of a philosophical tradition, culture, or race but because *it is the only way to human happiness* whatever colour, culture, race, WHY, you are. It doesn’t matter what else happens as long as people are shown the truth of that. I get the impression most of you don’t really believe in your hearts what you profess to believe.

    What we have now is broken. Let them open the borders and try and micromanage everything, bring it on – out of chaos comes opportunity. Life is change.

  14. C H Ingoldby

    ”The term mass immigration only has any meaning if there are such things as borders.”

    No. mass immigration is the mass movement of people from one place to another. If you ‘abolish’ borders you might pedantically argue that it is no longer called ‘immigration’ but it still is immigration.

    As to mass immigration being a sign of the success of libertarian ideals. That really is delusional. Mass immigration is being used (as has been openly admitted by the last Labour government) as a means of building the State’s client groups and embedding leftwing ideology in the nation.

    Mass immigration adds huge numbers of supporters for the ‘welfare state’, it is the direct and practical enemy of actual libertarianism.

    • @C H Ingoldby the correct term you are searching for is “migration.” If they come and try and take your stuff by force it’s “invasion.” The welfare state is only possible if there are a state and borders. You’re proving my point except you can’t understand it. No wonder the debate goes nowhere.

      • John Pate FTW.

        Capital flows to where it can be most profitably invested. That includes human capital, i.e. labor.

        Most libertarians don’t even have to stop and think about whether or not it’s OK for me to buy/sell something across a “national border” … until and unless that thing happens to be my availability to roof a house or pick tomatoes, at which point some become raving statists in the name of anti-statism.

        The proper answer to “we can’t have open borders and a welfare state” is “well, get rid of the welfare state, then.”

        • Thomas, there is no hope currently of getting rid of the welfare state. I appreciate the Rothbardian argument, but it is actually broken. If we say, “We want A and B” but can only realistically have “A, not B”, we must then assess whether-

          “A, not B” is a superior condition to “not A, not B” and/or

          “A, not B” will lead to “not A, not B”.

          And there are good reasons to think that neither of those can be answered, on this issue, with “yes”. Indeed, there is a very strong argument (already expressed here) that “A, not B” severely reduces and even reduces to zero the possibility of “not A, not B”.

          As to your particular point in this comment, it is important to distinguish between persons and labour. The two are often confused in both leftist and rightist thinking (not least because both get their economics ultimately from Adam Smith, a labour-focussed Calvinist). Labour is a service which can be rendered by persons. But immigration is not about the movement of labour, it is about the movement of persons, and furthermore, the permanent integration of said persons into a community.

          The only time persons and labour are the same thing is under slavery systems. African (for instance) slave labour was imported without their admission to the community. They were labour, not persons. (Hence, the US Constitution did not apply to them). I hardly think we wish to return to that way of doing things.

          So this is the issue; immigration is about not the free movemnt of “labour units”, but the incoporation of persons into citizen collectives, and whether those citizen collectives are obligated to accept any new member who applies. In any formulation of anarchism that I have seen, the answer to that would be no. If you set up a free love vegan commune, you’re not obligated to include anyone who asks to join, and in practise would probably have to have a rather strict admissions policy, else be overwhelmed by horny ominivores. The same applies here.

          With the usual caveat as mentioned above thtt if you deny the legitimacy of “the USA” or “The UK” as valid collectives, the whole point becomes moot anyway.

          So, with our hypothetical anarchist thought experiment, the first thing we need to grasp is that in such a system, there will be no free movement of people; only the right to ask to move, and to be refused if the place you want to move to don’t want to let you in. It will be a world of very clear borders.

          • IanB,

            You write:

            “there is no hope currently of getting rid of the welfare state”

            Nor is there any hope — not currently, and not ever — of controlling human movement across imaginary magical turf lines drawn on the ground by street gangs, if those lines are of more than trivial length.

            You can build a police state on the pretext of exercising such control, but at the end of the day you’ll just have the police state, not the control.

            So the question is not one of what can be done. The question is whether you want to take the libertarian approach that happens to accord with reality, or the authoritarian approach that doesn’t.

        • Thomas-

          That isn’t true. Taking the practical case of physical movement, Britain in particular is an island, surrounded by a natural moat. It is actually quite feasible to prevent entry on any significant scale.

          But that isn’t really the point. “Open immigration” is the assumption that arrivers will be granted community membership; access to welfare (in this particular case) and so on. This is an entirely feasible thing to prevent, since the granting of citizenship is an active action by the State.

          But, of course, this is not the real matter anyway. We can’t actually stop theft, rape or murder. That isn’t an argument for legalisation. There is a matter of principle here.

          I wonder what your position is on a voluntary communal situation, e.g. my vegan free love community. Are they allowed a fence, and are they allowed to eject those who climb over it without permission? Or is such an ejection a violation of the incomer’s rights? My experience is that you’re a keen deontologist, so I’d be interested to know what your position is on this.

          • “Taking the practical case of physical movement, Britain in particular is an island, surrounded by a natural moat. It is actually quite feasible to prevent entry on any significant scale.”

            Zero chance of that. For one thing, Britain is not an island. It is more than a thousand islands. But just sticking to the main island, it has about 11,000 miles of coastline. If the entirety of the UK’s armed forces, active and reserve, were assigned to guard the coastline in eight hour shifts, seven days a week, they’d be stretched to about 10 troops per mile. Anyone who wants to get into Great Britain is going to get into Great Britain.

            “We can’t actually stop theft, rape or murder. That isn’t an argument for legalisation.”

            Of course not. The argument for legalization is that until and unless someone initiates force against you, it’s none of your fucking business where he goes.

            “I wonder what your position is on a voluntary communal situation, e.g. my vegan free love community. Are they allowed a fence, and are they allowed to eject those who climb over it without permission?”

            If that commune has a valid property claim over some particular piece of land, of course it is within their rights to exercise that claim.

            The state has no valid property claim over anything. It is a criminal gang which “owns” nothing it hasn’t stolen.

        • Thomas,

          I’m not much interested in the State in this context, it’s just a particular mechanism that happens to exist as an accident of history. It was nearly a Republic, for instance. Luckily that didn’t last. But I’m more interested in people.

          Can I take it that you don’t think that, say, the English, have a legitimate property claim to England? If so, how do we acquire one?

        • @Ian B – English common law recognises both jus sanguinis and jus soli as making a natural born citizen. I think you’re trying to say you think the common law should be modified to eliminate jus soli?

        • John, I’m trying to ascertain what Thomas considers a valid property claim, not trying to define it myself at this moment.

          • “Can I take it that you don’t think that, say, the English, have a legitimate property claim to England? If so, how do we acquire one?”

            I suppose that if “the English” voluntarily and unanimously get together to self-identify and accept each others’ identification as such, they might at some point begin to resemble an organization capable of exercising a legitimate collective property claim with respect to the individually legitimately homesteaded claims of its members, provided those members consent.

            I’ve never heard of “the English,” or any other similarly large amorphous mob defined by and for the benefit of politicians, getting its act together to anything like such an extent, though. And absent that, the idea that someone born, raised and living in Glasgow has a magical faerie “collective property right” in this or that 10-foot section of coastline outside of Cardiff, is absurd.

  15. C H Ingoldby

    @John Pate, I was pointing out that you are arguing about the exact terminology used but that does not alter the realities of what actually happens.

    Changing the word does not change the reality.

    Abolishing the border does not abolish the State.

    A shame that you choose to descend to attempting to redefine definitions rather than honestly engaging in actual discussion about realities.

    With respect, you need to pull your head out of your arse.

    • @C H Ingoldby if you want to turn the debate to mass migration say so but stop pretending you’re talking about the same thing as mass immigration. You’re the one who is arguing dishonestly and you’re the one who is redefining words to mean what you want them to mean.

  16. Mail Online today:

    “Nearly half a million immigrants have been given taxpayer-funded homes over the past decade.

    The revelation comes as the number of families on the waiting list for social housing hits a record 1.8million. Most are British born.

    Of the four million migrants who arrived between 2001 and 2011, 469,843 were allocated council or housing association properties.

    Around 1.2million foreigners now live in social housing – one in eight of the total. In London the figure is thought to be as high as one in five.

    The national census statistics, which were released yesterday, highlight fears about increased pressure on public services when Romanians and Bulgarians win free access to jobs in this country in January.

    Assuming each unit is occupied by four people, that would put the housing costs of post-2001 migrants at between £5billion and £8billion.

    Sir Andrew Green, of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said: ‘The figures serve to underline the huge costs of mass immigration – costs often ignored by the immigration lobby.’

    While most migrants would expect a modest home, some councils have spent huge amounts of public money on housing families who arrive on their doorstep. Somali asylum seeker Saeed Khaliif was given a £2million home in one of the country’s most exclusive neighbourhoods in 2011. The 49-year-old was granted housing benefits of almost £8,000 a month to live in the six-bedroom property with his wife Sayida and their children.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2379478/Revealed-How-500-000-immigrants-given-social-housing-decade-number-families-waiting-list-hits-record-high.html

  17. C H Ingoldby

    @John Pate, You are using the typical dishonest leftist tactic of trying to redefine the meanings of words rather than actually considering actual facts and ideas.

    Dishonest behaviour that very clearly highlights exactly who and what you are.

    • @C H Ingoldby either your as dumb as a bag hammers or you’re the troll. As Billy Beck says, “words have meanings” and you’re trying to steer the debate by lumping all sorts of issues into one pot by redefining the language. Most hilarious and telling is your statement, “Abolishing the border does not abolish the State.”

      • C H Ingoldby

        You are displaying the typical dishonest of a leftist.

        Trying to redefine the meanings of words. Just say that mass immigration is no longer called mass immigration and suddenly there isn’t any mass immigration!

        Dishonest and contemptible.

        As for your assertion that abolishing borders would abolish the State, it is apparent that you have no interest in observing actual objective reality. Looking at reality, with the defacto end of border control between California and Mexico as an example, the mass immigration has resulted in the strengthening of the State as a huge client group for its ‘services’ has arrived.

        But objective reality is of no concern to dishonest leftists such as yourself.

  18. Is there really no ethnic angle to being American? it would be nice to think so – and certainly there were different ethnic groups in America from the start. And not just the distinction between Americans and the tribes (specifically the tribes – if Indians left the tribes it was surprisingly easy for them to become Americans as intermarriage was common, hence the “American Eagle look” – the ancestors of these people did not really mate with eagles). Or the distinction between white and black (perhaps the Jefferson quote, the full quote – they only put the nice sounding bit on his memorial, is a word of warning on just how difficult that problem is).

    There were also…..

    Large numbers of Germans – who tend to be quiet hard working types (see Thomas Sowell’s “Ethnic America”) but rarely ….

    People of English and Scots forefathers (most English) who formed the political leadership.

    And the “Rednecks” (the “Scots Irish” – i.e. Protestant irish) who did most of the actual killing (as they do in all the wars of America – including the Civil War – where the won the most medals and so on, on BOTH sides).

    But do all ethnic groups feel equally American?

    “Scots Irish” rarely use this term about themselves – they tend to say “American” when asked about their ethnic origins. Catholic Irish tend to remember they are Irish – but also feel strongly (very strongly) American.

    But do all ethnic groups feel the same?

    Do they feel a strong attachment to a group of white men with names like Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Hancock, and the heros of American history such as Andrew Jackson (who, as a boy, cried when an English officer cut him across the face with a sabre for refusing to shine his boots – only to be beaten by his mother for crying “boys do not cry, boys FIGHT!” – the Scots Irish code in a nutshell although it does not cover the odd thing of loving the enemy at the same time as hating them, admiring the people you kill tends to strike, for example, the German as very odd).

    To the new Americans what do people like Andrew Jackson or Kit Carson matter? Does Sam Houston matter? Or Audie Murphy (oh yes – he was playing himself in all those films, he really had done stuff like that).

    Not so long ago a shared culture was assumed – anyone could go and see a Gary Cooper or James Stewart film and identify with the main character.

    is that true of most children now?

    Perhaps they DO – after all John Wayne (Mr Marion Morrison in real life) married a Mexican lady, and the children seem to be just as American as people whose necks go red in the sun (and is having sensitive skin something to boast about anyway?)

    Or perhaps they do not – I simply do not know.

    • Paul,

      There all kinds of “ethnic angles” to being American.

      As far as “a shared culture” being “assumed,” well no — at least not for more than a brief period following World War II, after 16 million men had been put under arms and told for the first time that they’d all be speaking English, not their usual languages.

      The 20th century prior to World War II had been a struggle in that respect, e.g. imprisoning nuns for teaching school in German, etc.

      And the post-WWII mono-culture was an illusion even for the brief time that it lasted. There’s never been a time in America when you couldn’t go into any of the larger metropolitan areas and find neighborhoods where you wouldn’t hear a word of English an hour.

  19. As for European nations…..

    Perhaps the best essay on the mixed nature of real (as opposed to the propaganda) nature of European nations (including the United Kingdom) is M.J. Oakeshott’s “On The Character Of A Modern European State” (the historical, NOT the racial process,, that created them) in his “On Human Conduct”.

    The question is – do the new immigrants wish to be part of this historical identity? Be French, be British? And so on.

    At least with Islamic immigration – the truth (whether we like it or not) would appear to be “no”

    Both the French policy of trying to force French culture on the Muslims (banning certain forms of dress and so on), and the British policy (basically bending over backwards and hoping for the best) appear to have failed.

    It is the sincere (and well meaning) position of Islam that all (including non Muslims) benefit from Islamic rule. Regarding religion as a matter for “inside the community” or regarding parts of scripture (for example the punishment for certain moral offenses) as needing fundamental “interpretation” – these are NOT Islamic doctrines.

    Islam makes universal claims (not over this or that bit of land – but over all land everywhere) and holds scripture to the be word of God – with the filter of human frailty.

    Hence the old Islamic cry of “raise your hand” (originally against the Jewish practice of placing one’s hand over certain passages of scripture – in case one read them whilst reading aloud). To Islam no statement in scripture can be evil – as the will of God is the definition of “good” and “evil” (the idea of morally checking scripture against something outside it, reason – natural law, is un Islamic).

    Islam is a clear and consistent faith (which is why 18th century philosophers admired it – it was not just their hatred of Christianity) – the idea that its followers would want to assimilate into the West (after all these centuries of conflict) is (non cons please note) absurd.

    This makes the demographic position (one without precedent in modern European history) interesting.

  20. Yes Thomas – I am aware of the persecution of German speakers, but I was under the impression that was a World War One thing.

    And an odd thing at that – for it was those who were most influenced by German political ideas (specifically collectivist ideas) who led the persecution of German culture. Woodrow Wilson and Richard Ely (both products of the German education system – and whose political and economic ideas were straight from the German Historical School).

    Almost as if to them, America could not be the new Germany (a Germany purified of such fuddy duddy things as nobles and an hereditary monarchy) till the old Germany (even the German language) was destroyed.

    As for American cities – I do not doubt what you say, but it is a question of scale.

    When the minority became the majority – they are not a minority any more (the Americans become the minority).

    Also whatever the power the German language once had in America – the United States did not have a border with Germany, and there was not a large scale movement in American schools and colleges claiming that the land had been “stolen from Germany” (that the war aims of the Mexican government in 1848 were just as expansionist as American war aims, is left out of modern textbooks).

    I accept that what matters is the ideas (the principles) that people hold – not the colour of their skin. But there are indications that the ideas that many hold are not pro American.

    Still – to an anarcho capitalist the matter may seem unimportant (even silly).

    • Paul,

      My recollection is that the Declaration of Independence was printed in English, French, German, Dutch and Spanish.

      The reason it was printed in English, French, German, Dutch and Spanish is that there were Americans who spoke all of those languages.

      Yes, English was predominant in the 13 colonies because by that particular point Britain had achieved dominance on the east coast, but the idea that America has ever been anything close to monolithic in culture is pure hogwash. The closest it ever got was in the immediate post-World War II period, and that wasn’t especially close.

      It may be that the European experience is different. After all, the US came into existence just as the Industrial Revolution was cranking up — faster travel, faster communication, etc. — while the European states had centuries of less volatile circumstances behind them already at that point.

  21. Thomas – I repeat my point about when a minority becomes a majority, they are not a minority any more (the ex majority becomes the minority). Scale is important – or “demography is destiny” as the French say.

    Do (for example) the people from Mexico regard John Adams or Benjamin Franklin, or Kit Carson, or George Patton or Douglas McArthur as figures from their history?

    Do even their children view American history as “their history”?

    Or do they celebrate the Mexican Independence Day (not the American one) and believe the Mexican flag (not the American flag) to be their flag?

    This is not a racial matter (without going into a New York Times style tap dance about “white Hispanics” a term they started to use to hit George Zimmerman over the head, even though he is not white) it is a matter of cultural and political loyalty.

    Although, I fully accept, that to an Anarcho Capitalist it all may seem silly.

    To other people cultural (and political) assimilation is rather important.

    However, practical steps could be taken.

    For example, an end to the State education system.

    Even in Texas (which rejected Comrade Barack’s “Common Core” in education) – some 80% of government schools were found to teaching “Social Justice” doctrines (and other radically anti American indeed anti Western principles).

    The Constitution of Texas should be amended to get rid of the government schools – they do not serve the purpose of assimilation (rather the reverse).

    • Paul,

      I don’t know a lot of first-generation immigrants, so I can’t really say what flag they prefer or what political government they think of as “theirs.”

      Of the immigrants I do know, at least casually, most seem to be completely disinterested in politics — they came to the US for economic reasons, not political reasons, and their only view of government is that they wish it would stay the hell off their backs.

      I know, from reading stuff online, that there are Mexican immigrants and even later-generation descendants of Mexican immigrants, who regard what is now the southwest US as “stolen” and envision a “reconquista.” I suspect that the size and influence of that movement is propagandistically overblown, though. When I lived near the center of latino immigration in St. Louis, Missouri, ate at their restaurants, shopped at their “ethnic” groceries, etc., most of the people just seemed to be regular sorts who wanted to earn a living.

      Some time back — when I still worked a factory job — I had a chance to watch an immigrant “assimilate.” She was a Kosovo refugee, and went to work in the cafeteria at the factory. The day she started, she apparently spoke about 10 words of English. Six months later her English was very good, and when I asked her if she missed her home, she said “no — America is my country now.”

  22. “just wanted the government to get the Hell off their backs” – that sounds good.

    However, the Pew Research Centre says that at least 75% of them want even more government (more government help in education, healthcare, welfare – and on and on).

    Who to believe?

    I just do not know.

    By the way – someone who has come from the other side of the world, and now lives in a different community, is far more likely to assimilate than someone who has just crossed a border and still lives among people who are of the same cultural community as they did the other side of the border.

    This does indeed male borders meaningless – but in a very bad way.

    The racial angle….

    Often massively overplayed.

    In Belgium the French speakers and the Flemish speakers are physically identical – but detest each other (for cultural and political reasons – not just linguistic ones, they have a totally different view of history).. People who do not understand Mark Steyn (the Canadian American who speaks with an English accent) would do well to remember he is actually Flemish (not only his family – he spent his summers in Flanders in his youth) it explains a lot about him (his interest in cultural conflict and demographic competition).

    In Ulster in spite of the claims that “I can tell them by sight” (lots of talk about eyes and nostrils – I kid you not) the Catholics and Protestants are the same race (the Scots were an Irish tribe – and there are English on both sides, for example the S.F. leader is Gerry Adams whose forefather was Colonel John Adams of Lincolnshire – not far away from where I am typing this).

    In Israel also (contrary to the media and academia – with their obsession with “white Israel”) many of the Jews and Muslims (there are too few Christians to be a factor) are physically the same (many, perhaps most, modern Israeli Jews are racially Middle Eastern in physical appearance – although not in dress).

    Yet in all these cases the historical, cultural, and political hatred is intense.

    However, perhaps the Belgium case is the most amusing.

    “Good news – after centuries of conflict who gets Brussels has been settled!”.

    “Bad news – it is the Muslims”.

    Oh well it is one way of ending cultural-political conflicts – much as the endless disputes between different factions of Christians in the Byzantine Empire (and between Christian cities and Jewish Berber tribes in North Africa) were settled by Islamic conquest.

  23. Ricardo Ben-Safed

    OTOH…In regard to “Lord Acton’s Theory of Nationality” is a quote by the same Lord Acton “The coexistence of several nations under the same state is a test as well as the best security of its freedom.”

    Well, Lord Acton is not well known for his Libertarian pov…though in the religious controversy about the “Infallibility of the Pope” in 1870….never reconciled his thinking philosophy to that Roman idea.

    Back to Lord Acton and another quote: It is “easier to find people fit to govern themselves, than people fit to govern others.”

    Lord Acton envisaged society not as an aggregate of individuals each pursuing his own happiness, but as an organism in which there is growth as well as diversity.

    Yes…it seems he thought a constitutional monarchy best!

    …a wise man!