Yeah, it sucks

Many of the commenters to my post on immigration seem to have made the following leap:

"Patri says that X has significant bad consequences. Therefore Patri is against X, and believes it is right to stop X"

First of all, this is fallacious. The consequent does not at all imply the antecedent.

Second, the arguments about how it is wrong to coerce ignored the fact that I am weighing *coercion against coercion*. The coins on each side of the balance are in the same denomination, thus it is a fair comparison. It is all well and good to say that we shouldn't coerce people because of their political beliefs - but what about when those political beliefs lead to us being coerced?

Here is the obvious thought experiment: Suppose that I live on an island controlled by powerful robots. The robots are whimsical, and have mandated a democratic system where they enforce whatever rules the humans vote on. There are currently 5 of us on the island, 3 of whom are libertarians, and 2 of whom are communists. A communist couple wants to move in, and the matter is put to a vote. Do you vote to stop them?

If you truly believe that my point is absurd, and that future political consequences like increased democratic coercion are irrelevant, then you will be adamant about letting the communists move in to destroy your freedom. Is that how you actually feel?

Several people gave the classic reductio ad absurdum for immigration and extended my argument to reproduction. And it does indeed apply. Consider the thought experiment above, and add that the 3 libertarians on the island are all male, and the 2 communists are a couple. Have I mentioned that they think you are evil bourgeoisie who are exploiting them? Now, do you vote to keep them from reproducing? If not, in a generation you will be a minority, and the coconut plants on the island will be watered by your blood when your Comrades conduct their first purge.

Yeah, it sucks to have to consider these tradeoffs. It sucks that we live in a world where our rights can be voted away, and it sucks that by helping people to increase their own freedom, we might be decreasing our own. It sucks that we live in a political system where treating women like real people means giving them a part in the coercion, and that this results in higher taxes and lower freedom for everyone. It sucks that we live in a system where the beliefs of whoever reproduces the most get imposed on everyone else.

And I'm not saying that this means we should stop letting women vote, or sterilize non-libertarians, or build a wall to keep immigrants out. I'm just pointing out the uncomfortable consequences of focusing only on immediate freedom and not considering future freedom as well. And the uncomfortable implications of living under a system where the majority can vote to coerce the minority.

Do with that what you will, but if you ignore it, you deny reality.

p.s. The same argument applies to preemptive wars. If you believe it can be right to attack to prevent future attacks, how is this any different?

p.p.s. There were a bunch of good points made by commenters as well, which I have acknowledged in the comments on the previous post.

p.p.p.s. Note that the dynamic nature of the political scheme I advocate (dynamic geography) prevents the need for pre-emptive coercion. We can let everyone into our floating city because if they turn out to be bad, we can always detach and go form a new floating city elsewhere.

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As you've drawn the scenario

As you've drawn the scenario with the robots, the island is effectively the collective property of the inhabitants. Presumably, secession won't work - the robots only respect presence on the island. And neither will privatization, or any other kind of reform. You could vote in reforms, but they'd be undone as soon as you lose your majority.

In other words, I am assuming the intent of this scenario is to explore the idea of what's moral and/or prudent in a true collective property. You have the power, and therefore the duty, to maintain it as well as possible.

I'd agree that then immigration limitations may be wise. And it's morally acceptable because you can exclude people from immigration without initiating coercion.

But there's a significant difference between that and "keeping from reproducing" those already present. There's no libertarian way to prevent free people from reproducing. It would require initiation of force to do so. I'd suggest two morally-acceptable means to deal with this problem. One is to try to persuade the couple and/or their offspring-to-be. The other is to vote in more libertarians before the offspring come of age.

One dodge that may or may not work, would be to (democratically) limit the democratic system. For example, you might hold a vote on retracting the right to vote from communists. Depending on how the robots worked, this might be an excellent solution to the problem. Another alternative might be to keep raising the voting age every year, so that the new voters never actually get to vote, at least not until a libertarian dies.

Ooh! Ooh! I love these

Ooh! Ooh! I love these games! Next, let's play the one where the robots make loud noises outside your window and keep you awake every night unless you kill a puppy every morning.

Your thought experiment is of little help in discussing the immigration issue. The immigrants aren't conveniently labeled "communist" and "libertarian" with color-coded nametags. Neither are the people already on the island, for that matter. Communists have children that grow up libertarian and vice-versa. And people change their minds about things over time.

Here's a similar thought experiment for you. There's a thousand people on the island, and 800 of them are communists, but you can't tell who they are. There's another hundred people who want to get onto the island, and sixty of them are communists, but you can't tell who they are either. How many of the people trying to get onto the island do you tell the robots to kill?

You said: "[T]he question of how libertarians should feel about actual immigration laws in the real world is a question about what we can achieve, not what we can imagine." In the real world we don't have to zealously protect our precious free world from the evil hordes of statists trying to break down our doors to come in. We've got more than enough troubles with the statists already on the inside without us becoming statist collaborators willing to oppress individuals based on group characteristics simply because we think that some of them might be statists. Libertarians should feel about actual immigration laws the way we feel about actual drug laws: oppose them every step of the way, even though we're not likely to make much progress because we are a tiny minority on this island of democratic robots.

Maybe someday we can smash the robots. Maybe the more prosperous we are, the less we'll care about opressing each other. Maybe some of those nice people asking to come in will help us.

I love these experiments

I love these experiments too, well done. That said, perhaps we could try to buy out the communists? You know, I give you money, you agree to leave and never come back. In all honesty, we should be willing to pay up to the amount we value our liberty.

Problem would be enforcement, but since the robots are on our side, we could pass rules that "once you accept payment the robots will kill you." It is extreme but it was voluntary...

Of course, if you could vote "no further elections can be held" then it would be easy. Set up a constitution with good laws against force/violence and end all further elections. Or, if desired, just pass the constitution and set out certain liberties that are reserved to the people.

Such a system would work perfectly in America, too, if only we could replace Supreme Court Judges with Robots.

The answer is simple: shoot

The answer is simple: shoot the robots.

Actually, I'm still not sure

Actually, I'm still not sure what Patri is asking. Boiled down it seems to be, "you live in a statist dystopia, and can't change that, but you have the power to reform immigration; what would you do?"

Democracy is the most

Democracy is the most ridiculous form of social organization ever devised. As a market anarchist, I think it should, at best, be used within organizations who choose to do so - although we already have an alternative, called IC (Informed Consensus). IC is already used in science, in most corporations and in most of our daily lives. Your example of the island is absolutely ridiculous and not worth any consideration.

Democracy is the most

Democracy is the most ridiculous form of social organization ever devised.

What about dictatorship? Empire? Tribal rule by alpha-males? Divine right of kings?

I think it should, at best, be used within organizations who choose to do so - although we already have an alternative, called IC (Informed Consensus). IC is already used in science, in most corporations and in most of our daily lives. Your example of the island is absolutely ridiculous and not worth any consideration.

Perhaps you missed the point of Patri's thought experiment (even though it's stated clearly and repeatedly reinforced every time he uses the phrase "it sucks"). The island is a metaphor for current reality taken to extreme conditions, not something he thinks ought to exist: it sucks that it simply does. Is dealing with reality to be avoided? Are there no tradeoffs? Do shades of gray not exist?

[fingers in ears]-- "la la la la la la la"

Maybe the more prosperous we

Maybe the more prosperous we are, the less we’ll care about opressing each other.

The evidence so far is that, economically at least, the more prosperous we are, the more money our government steals. Taxes were much lower back when they were actually taking food out of people's mouths, because the victims fought back harder.

Many thought experiments are

Many thought experiments are contrived stretches in ridiculous situations, but I do not believe this to be one of them. From my perspective, the democracy I live in is like a giant capricious robot, over which I have no individual control, but which is (to some degree) controlled by the philosophical beliefs of the voters. And those philosophical beliefs are related to demographics.

The only thing contrived about the example is that each of the 3 libertarians is a swing voter, with significant say in the final outcome, while I have little power to affect immigration policy.

But if you think the government is not a huge whimsical robot overlord, well, we live in very different worlds.

Under your example, you

Under your example, you still get the same effect by stopping non-libertarians from breeding. If you support restricting immigration because of what people might vote to do, you should do the same for parents with non-libertarian views.

- Josh

The point about living under

The point about living under a government that allows people to vote away their rights is extremely good. That's one of the things that you and others need to hammer into everybody's brain. Maybe after a while we could start to see some reforms such that the only way to "vote" your rights away is to volutarily join some cult.

Or maybe we need a clause like what was put into the Iraqi constitution where Islamic law trumps any other law. Instead of Islamic law, I would suggest wording it Natural law or even two of Moses' 10 commandments: don't kill and don't steal. Ideally though codifying the first part of the Declaration of Independence would be the perfect American solution.

The libertarians, if they

The libertarians, if they chose to vote, should vote to admit the communists as non-voting residents.

I love it that Patri went

I love it that Patri went back and added this picture. Just to make it clear what he's talking about. These are BIG robots.

the 3 libertarians on the

the 3 libertarians on the island are all male, and the 2 communists are a couple.

Perhaps if you allow them to reproduce, they will give birth to Ayn Rand.

Patri's thought experiment

Patri's thought experiment is going to be played out on the small screen, in part, for Battlestar Galactica's Season 3. :)

Patri: I'm totally with you

Patri: I'm totally with you on the robots thing. In fact, I'll go you one better. Ever play a board game called Wiz War? One of the monsters that wanders around the dungeon menacing players is called "The Democratic Monster". Every player gets to move it on their turn, so by turns it chases and attacks everyone. Government is like that, too.

My problem with your thought experiment is in the details. It's not just that the libertarians aren't swing voters, they aren't even visible as a demographic. And the communists trying to come in aren't enough to make a new majority, they're a few percent of the existing population. And once they get here, the newly-immigrated communists can't control the robots - immigrants can't vote unless naturalized, which 1) takes considerable time and 2) has various restrictions on it and 3) doesn't happen for about half of the eligible population anyway.

And most importantly, not everyone trying to come in is a statist.

These things make a difference for a libertarian trying to come to grips with the implications of various immigration policies in the real world, which is why I deem your robot island scenario unhelpful. Yes, government is a robot that responds to demographics. But trying to save ourselves from the demographic robots by oppressing other people based on their demographics is not simply a matter of using coercion to fight coercion, as you've been trying to point out. It's just plain wrong.

Yeah, as you say, it sucks. But what sucks isn't the statist tendencies of the people who want to live here, it's the statist tendencies of those who already do. If you want things to suck less, being worried about unfettered immigration is a dumb way to spend your energies.

Eddie - I agree with your

Eddie - I agree with your entire 2nd paragraph ("My problem with..."), but not the rest. It is certainly true that the impact of immigrants is limited. But it is still a matter of balancing coercion against coercion - there is no "just plain wrong" about it.

I don't understand how the statements in your final paragraph can be consistent. You say:

A) The statist tendencies of those already here cause suckiness.
B) The statist tendencies of people who don't live here won't cause suckiness.

When the people who don't live here come and live here, they become "people who live here". If they have statist tendencies, would they not then contribute to (A)?

Patri, How do you feel about

Patri,
How do you feel about the coercion of people who are already here? It seems to me to be really important, but not get much attention. Say, for the sake of argument, that you feel immigration is really harmful, and are willing to give the government a fair amount of power to stop it. I don't really care about immigration. The government, however, is going to impose your preferences. Imagine how it might work. First, there's a national ID card that identifies everyone as a citizen. I have privacy concerns about having all my info encoded on a little card I have to produce for the cops on demand, but I have to participate, since we're implementing your preferences about immigration.
Next comes the giant database of everyone who is eligible to work in the United States, to prevent employers from hiring anyone illegal. It's maintained about as well as the no-fly list, and I'm incorrectly classified on it and unable to get the government to rectify its mistake, costing me job opportunities. Next is the delegation of power to enforce immigration law to local cops. I am not Mexican but am sometimes mistaken for it because of my appearance. So I start having run-ins with the cops whose job now includes making sure everybody's legal. My business has to do mountains of paperwork to hire someone, and is faced with exorbitant penalties (I have heard felony charges suggested) if they hire someone who is not legally allowed to work. Lastly, there's a massive border enforcement bureaucracy, which includes the giant wall built across the border, all funded with my tax dollars. Once the giant wall goes up, there's a whole new set of questions. What do you do with people trying to get over the wall? Do you shoot them to keep them out, sort of like the Berlin Wall? I really don't want the government using my money and deadly force to keep immigrants out, but again, it's your preferences being implemented. It seems this could result in a greater amount of coercion, not just of immigrants trying to come in, but of your fellow citizens who are already here. In a way, it reminds me of the rhetoric about fighting terrorism: we need to be less free in order to preserve our freedom. Do you feel that's a significant cost, and how does it factor in?

Ian: here's my problem with

Ian: here's my problem with what you've written. Since we know that 90% of blacks will vote to steal our money (aka vote Democrat), by your logic we would be morally justified in deporting all blacks.

I'm puzzled at the willingness to classify people that these threads have revealed. Are people only individuals when they're born in the US?

Seriously: Wouldn't

Seriously: Wouldn't libertarians vote to have the robots dismantle themselves?

Not I, I need them to

Not I, I need them to interpret and enforce the constitution :mrgreen:

Patri: I don’t understand

Patri:

I don’t understand how the statements in your final paragraph can be consistent. You say:

A) The statist tendencies of those already here cause suckiness.
B) The statist tendencies of people who don’t live here won’t cause suckiness.

Not quite what I was implying. More like this:

A) The statist tendencies of those who already live here are the primary cause of all the suckiness that we are mired in and are what we should be worrying about, i.e. doing what we can to either eliminate or ameliorate them (the tendencies, that is, not the people).

B) The statist tendencies of those who want to come here, while certainly harmful, are not a sufficiently significant cause of The Suck for us to be trying to stop The Suck by keeping them out. It wouldn't help, it might actually hurt, and it would be morally questionable in any case.

It is certainly true that the impact of immigrants is limited. But it is still a matter of balancing coercion against coercion - there is no “just plain wrong” about it.

Sometimes the balance of coercion is so clear that it crosses the line from maybe-justifiable to clearly-wrong. This is one of those cases. In the real world, anyway. In robotland, you can always construct a scenario that reveals the underlying tension between two opposed moral precepts; in the real world, real factors often make such tensions irrelevant. This is one of those cases.

I’m puzzled at the

I’m puzzled at the willingness to classify people that these threads have revealed. Are people only individuals when they’re born in the US?

Eddie, it's worse than that. The implication of the argument you are opposing here is that people born in the US whose parents or grandparents came from south of the border (as opposed to north of the border or from east or west apparently) don't count as individuals either.

eddie wrote: "Ian: here’s

eddie wrote: "Ian: here’s my problem with what you’ve written. Since we know that 90% of blacks will vote to steal our money (aka vote Democrat), by your logic we would be morally justified in deporting all blacks. I’m puzzled at the willingness to classify people that these threads have revealed. Are people only individuals when they’re born in the US?"

Frank McGahon wrote: "Eddie, it’s worse than that. The implication of the argument you are opposing here is that people born in the US whose parents or grandparents came from south of the border (as opposed to north of the border or from east or west apparently) don’t count as individuals either."

To respond to the two points being made here:

1. The ancestors of the blacks who are now US citizens did not not ask to come here. Furthermore, their descendants are now bona fide US citizens. It's not true that "by your logic we would be morally justified in deporting all blacks" because I was adressing a different question: "do we want to give the vote to a new large group of people (who are *not* currently citizens) who will vote to make the rest of us worse off."

2. Regarding the implication that because I don't favor citizenship for an imported mexican underclass, I don't consider them to be individuals: please read my second post above: if we import them, we potentially make *both* groups of people (mexico's poor and current USians) worse off than if we don't import. Please don't assume that I don't have love for my fellow man just because I think it's a good idea to pick and choose who we allow to enter the US and become citizens. By your logic, there would be no reason to deny a violent, dangerous man the right to spend the night in your house... after all, if you shut him out, he "doesn't count as an individual."

[off topic] Just because

[off topic] Just because they vote democrat doesn't mean they support south american statism. More likely, they support quota systems and therefore vote with that party. Meanwhile, the actual destruction wraught by such systems is fairly manageable and largely born by the minorities themselves.

[on topic]That said, this is all irrelevant if you can manage to set up a constitutional government which requires supra-majorities (4/5) to revoke certain innalienable rights such as to life, liberty, and property. You will, of course, leave realms for the communists to wear themselves out over. For example, allow them to set up state enterprises, but not monopolies. A generation after every attempt at statist economics they will politically ruin themselves with their failed experiments.

All you have to do is set up the system in a sufficiently controlled way to allow them to fail, repeatedly, without damaging the fundamentals.

A good example would be in the 19th century when the U.S. Congress set up a state enterprise to make plate steel for armor in hopes that it would be cheaper than the commercially available plate steel. A few members of congress had been calling for such behavior for decades. After a number of years of operation, however, due to poor quality and escalating costs it was shut down and never heard from again.

Sometimes legislators are like children, you must allow them access to the hot stove for learning purposes while making sure they don't end up burning the house down.

re: Wiz War I'm rather

re: Wiz War

I'm rather partial to "Thumb of God," myself...

eddie wrote: "Your thought

eddie wrote: "Your thought experiment is of little help in discussing the immigration issue. The immigrants aren’t conveniently labeled “communist” and “libertarian” with color-coded nametags. Neither are the people already on the island, for that matter."

Not true. (to a reasonable approximation.)

For example, if a US citizen is black, I can predict with 90% certainty which of the two parties they will vote for in the next presidential election.

To a less extreme degree, the way a hispanic immigrant will vote, if given citizenship, is predictable.

And, because hispanic immigrants underachieve compared to citizens--as do their descendants!--they will continue to vote for redistribution to correct the obviously racist society (in their view) that "holds them back."

So, by importing Mexico's underclass, we import latin american government, with all of its corruption, waste, brutality, inequality, and racial strife.

Another note - reading a

Another note - reading a post like mine above, many people would conclude that I hate mexico's poor and would like to see them continue to suffer in abject poverty.

On the contrary, I would very much like to help them... but that's much easier to do if they are in Mexico rather then living here voting to redistribute wealth to themselves.

Why? Technologies that can help bring people out of poverty - like new farming methods - are developed almost solely by the inhabitants of rich, free countries. If we ever develop technologies to raise adult IQ (say, by 10 points or so) it would be an incredible tool to help mexico's underclass with. (and the rest of the world, for that matter.) But the odds are much lower that such a thing would be developed in a US impoverished by latin american statism.

Patri, In your thought

Patri,

In your thought experiment you must presumably choose between employing deadly force to repel immigrants and being enslaved yourself.

Doesn't the fact that in reality you have countless alternative ways to advance your interests, ways that don't entail aggression against anyone, count for an awful lot?

Ian: my point had less to do

Ian: my point had less to do with citizenship and ancestry and more to do with treating people as part of a demographic group instead of as individuals.

You believe that to a certain degree hispanic immigrants are underachievers and will, when given citizenship (which I will once again point out is not the same as being given permission to enter, reside, and work), vote for redistributive policies. I'm not convinced of this, but I won't dispute your claim.

What I will dispute is the notion that even if this were demonstrably true for hispanics as a class, such that by examining a person's culture, language, skin color, and place of birth you could know that they were, say, 80% likely to be redistributionists - I believe it is immoral to decide what rights or privileges a person should have (especially something as fundamental as the right to live and work where they can find willing landlords and employers) based on their culture, language, skin color, or place of birth.

If we could ask each person "Who would you vote for?" and believe their answers, I'd have no problem denying the right to vote to anyone who didn't answer "why, the Libertarian candidate, of course!" But that's treating each person as an individual and holding them accountable for their own actions. To condemn every person who belongs to some ethnic group for the behavior of the median person with certain ethnic traits (let alone something as trivial as place of birth) is unconscionable. For libertarians, anyway. At least, it ought to be.

Read Thomas Sowell's "Ethnic

Read Thomas Sowell's "Ethnic America". Irish used to be "underacheivers", before they moved into their current above-average position; Jews used to be thought of as low-IQ. Sometimes it takes a while for people to get used to having relatively secure property rights.

Your thought experiments are all very well, but just call the hypothetical evil immigrants "orcs" to distinguish them from real ethnic groups. Mexicans aren't orcs. While Central American governments are very bad, it's the US taxpayer that pays for them! Locals have no voice.

All ethnic groups eventually lose their redistributionist tendencies as they get richer.... well, maybe all but one. Can anyone think of an ethinic group with well-above-average incomes and wealth which still votes primarily for openly redistributionist politicians? (Hint: it's not the Jamaicans, who according to Sowell climbed the ladder much faster than the Irish).

Memo To Patri: I Got Yer

Memo To Patri: I Got Yer Tradeoff Right Here
Patri,
You write on immigration:
If you believe (as Russell claims to) that in a country like the US, an influx of people hostile to freedom will reduce the freedom of people in that country, one is led inexorably to an uncomfortable conclusion. Namely...

"Yeah, it sucks to have to

"Yeah, it sucks to have to consider these tradeoffs." says Patri.

Then stop considering them, because the only concern of any decent human being is acting with justice and honor towards other human beings. If the consequences are bad, well, then, that's just too fucking bad

Virtue is often unrewarded. Human history is inevitably tragic. So what? Do the right thing anyway. You have no right to keep people from moving where they want just because you dislike their politics or the color of their skin. You have no right to make those "tradeoffs".

If that leads to bad consequences, then stand up and accept them, because justice is more important than a comfortable life.

It is usually implicitly

It is usually implicitly assumed that the US will always remain "powerful enough" no matter what policy changes we make; so we focus entirely on matters like compassion and universal justice. Generally, there's nothing wrong with this. But immigration policy is sufficiently relevant to the US's future power that it is reckless to make this assumption here. There isn't a single Latin American economy that is even trying to seriously compete in high tech. Why?

Others have pointed out that this type of argument suggests we should deport blacks. This ignores the fact that the blacks are already citizens. Patri is interested in maximizing the amount of liberty he and his descendants experience in this world. Not some other hypothetical world where gravity doesn't exist, or red looks blue, or whatever. Deporting citizens simply isn't an option. Exercising some discretion regarding who gets to become a citizen is an option, and indeed our top economic competitors all use this to select for high-skilled immigrants.

"Then stop considering them, because the only concern of any decent human being is acting with justice and honor towards other human beings. If the consequences are bad, well, then, that’s just too fucking bad."

What you are blind to is the fact that, when you stop thinking of the consequences of your own actions, all you are doing is giving more power to those who do continue to think about them. This might be perfectly fine; maybe when China or some other nation becomes dominant while the US declines, the world will be "better off" as a result. But I'd certainly make sure I was fine with such an outcome before I advocated policies nearly guaranteed to bring it about. Maybe I'm just a pessimist, but China's evolution into a libertarian paradise does not yet look assured to me, so I'm not ready to base my politics around the assumption that's going to occur. (Instead, I base my politics around trying to make that happen in the first place.)

[...] him. What’s wrong

[...] him. What’s wrong with that, Kennedy? Isn’t it at least worth considering the future liberty you might gain? A picture of this illegal immigrant is reproduced bel [...]

Dog: I'm disheartened to see

Dog: I'm disheartened to see that your reason for not deporting blacks is that we couldn't get away with it, not that it would be wrong to do it.

Incidentally, the same argument shows that we should be deporting whites, too, since almost all of them are statists of one stripe or another. Not just the statist whites - all whites.

Isn't demography fun?

Call me when we start treating people as individuals again. Until then, I'll be out arresting all the teenagers I can find because most of them commit crimes like shoplifting, vandalism, and underage drinking.

Dog, Suppose I'm planning to

Dog,

Suppose I'm planning to hire a bunch of illegal immigrants to do landscaping work for me. Or computer programming. How many of these wetbacks would you personally be willing to shoot to preserve whatever the heck it is you want to preserve in America?

Patri, Getting back to your

Patri,

Getting back to your example, have you considered the fact that political irrationality (for instance, communism) is not nearly as sustainable in a group of 7 as it is in a group of mundreds of millions? If the commies on your island enslave you they will bear significant costs because you'll be far less productive as a slave. Tiny experiments in communism usually break down harmlessly.

Almost everyone becomes more politically rational when they must bear the costs of their decisions.

"Call me when we start

"Call me when we start treating people as individuals again. Until then, I’ll be out arresting all the teenagers I can find because most of them commit crimes like shoplifting, vandalism, and underage drinking."

Isn't evaluating people as individuals the whole point of an immigration policy, rather than the complete lack of one that you are proposing?

I'm a second generation immigrant myself. My parents EARNED their citizenship. Nobody said "keep ALL Mexicans out". The questions are (i) do we make Mexicans play by the same rules everyone else has to? (ii) What are the right rules, anyway?

(i) should be a no-brainer. (ii) is more interesting, and was the one I provided a partial answer to with my previous comment.

"Suppose I’m planning to hire a bunch of illegal immigrants to do landscaping work for me. Or computer programming. How many of these wetbacks would you personally be willing to shoot to preserve whatever the heck it is you want to preserve in America?"

I'm not shooting anybody unless a sensible set of policies are in place and shooting would be necessary to enforce them. A credible threat of force handles 99+% of real world situations. But in the rare case where someone is actively trying to demonstrate the threat is not credible, yes, I would use force, most likely starting with imprisonment of the employer. I am a minarchist, not an anarchist. My goal is to minimize the government's use of force, not eliminate it, because eliminating it simply causes other entities to rise up and take the government's place, and these other entities are practically guaranteed to use far, far more force than government. It is better to deal with one partially-out-of-control robot than ten of them.

Dog, I'm the employer in

Dog,

I'm the employer in this example. If I resisted imprisonment sufficiently you would shoot me for hiring Mexican landscapers?

eddie wrote: "To condemn

eddie wrote: "To condemn every person who belongs to some ethnic group for the behavior of the median person with certain ethnic traits (let alone something as trivial as place of birth) is unconscionable."

Nor am I suggesting it! There are plenty of intelligent, well behaved, overachieving mexicans. (and africans, and middle easterners) I simply want to selectively allow *only those who are* to become citizens. Many countries (i've heard canada does) have aptitute tests for prospective citizens. Why would it be wrong for us to do the same? A vote is a powerful thing, we should take care who we give it to.

Bill Walker wrote: "Read Thomas Sowell’s “Ethnic America". Irish used to be “underacheivers", before they moved into their current above-average position; Jews used to be thought of as low-IQ. Sometimes it takes a while for people to get used to having relatively secure property rights."

I think steve sailer has debunked the assertion that ashkenazi jews were ever considered low-iq. (if challenged I'll try to dig up the reference.) As for the irish, their IQ increase is testimony that IQ is not solely genetic. However, the genetic component is still very, very significant. For example, blacks in the US average about 15 IQ points higher than blacks in africa... (i'd guess due to vastly better nutrition and education) but this is still 15 points lower than the white average. Now, not everyone is average, the black and white bell curves overlap significantly, but it's still a big, big difference.

More surprising to me is the fact that IQ scores and criminality are correlated... the relative murder rates of asians, whites, latinos, and blacks in the US apparently vary widely.

I understand that these facts can make a person very, very uncomfortable, but as far as I can tell they are facts. And the best way to change reality is to start by acknowledging reality.

Privatize "The Border":

Privatize "The Border": decriminalize discrimination.

"I’m the employer in this

"I’m the employer in this example. If I resisted imprisonment sufficiently you would shoot me for hiring Mexican landscapers?"

I said "...in the rare case where someone is actively trying to demonstrate the threat is not credible, yes, I would use force..."

Trying to get your landscaping done cheap is one thing. Actively attacking the government by going through extreme effort to give it a binary choice between shooting you and junking a key law is another matter entirely. The US has a political process for changing bad laws. Work within the system, or decide you don't actually want to be a US citizen.

The strongest argument

The strongest argument against minarchy is yourself, Mr. Dog, and your running dog of a blog, where vile neo-racialism and vulgar materialistic scientism naturally lead to the kind of tyrannical solutions you advocate here.

Here's a rubber bone for you to choke on, Mr. Dog:

"But, as Churchill observed, in war it is not possible to guarantee success; it is possible only to deserve it. We must be prepared to recognize that sometimes the undeserving succeed, and the deserving fail. But it is never better to be undeserving than deserving. It is never better to be a successful tyrant than a failed enemy of tyranny. Noble failure ought to be preferred to vulgar success. What constitutes the human good, or human goods, is not a matter of chance, however much the outcome of human action is subject to chance. What constitutes the human good cannot be discovered, or determined, by any examination of the evolutionary process." - Harry V. Jaffa

Cattlearchy is a disgusting place.

"The strongest argument

"The strongest argument against minarchy is yourself, Mr. Dog, and your running dog of a blog, where vile neo-racialism and vulgar materialistic scientism naturally lead to the kind of tyrannical solutions you advocate here."

Yay, the tried and true ad hominem attack.

It is useful to have faith that force is not necessary to solve a given problem. If you looked at some of the comment threads in my blog, you'd notice that "selfishgene" in particular has very strong faith, and from this frame of reference he is frequently able to point out ways in which my solutions can be improved. You'll also notice that I always appreciate it when he does so. If you still choose to dismiss my arguments that's your prerogative, but I think there is plenty of evidence on my "running dog of a blog" that I am worth engaging.

The conclusion of Ian Erickson's last post is worth repeating: "I understand that these facts can make a person very, very uncomfortable, but as far as I can tell they are facts. And the best way to change reality is to start by acknowledging reality." You can continue to whine about reality and metaphorically shoot the messengers. Or you could join us and actually try to improve it. (With language usage like "Cattlearchy", though, I'm not gonna hold my breath for the latter to happen...)

Far be it from me to pretend

Far be it from me to pretend that I or, I suspect most people, can follow the intricacies of these and similar arguments. This in its self shows that is not the way these things are settled in real life.
However, concerning the matter of immigration into a purely anarcho -capitalist organized entity, I see a rather easy technical solution. Since all property is owned by individuals, no one has the right to use or trespass upon this property without the owner’s permission. Thus anyone trespassing on the property of the owners of the borderlands of the entity are aggressors and breakers of the natural law of property ownership.
This is not just a matter of theory, as many ranchers on the border of the Southwestern US have fences cut, cattle butchered or let loose, and find plies of human waste on their property.
Free public streets and other facilities are nonexistent in anarcho-capitalist lands, or at least need not exist. There are similar streets in many places where you can’t get in unless you make contractual arrangements which have limitations. Disney World and Bush Garden come to mind. If I tried to immigrate there I couldn’t. Aggressors who improperly trespass on them or otherwise break their contract with their owners may be rightly expelled.
One might counter argue that it is each person has the right to go anywhere and that no one owns the earth and that by being born each person disserves his equal share of its natural and human created resources. But that is a different philosophical position than anarcho- capitalism, I think. That is more like socialist humanism. Actually I think a middle ground must be found, somehow.

Dog, So you would be willing

Dog,

So you would be willing to shoot me dead yourself if that's what it took to enforce a law saying I couldn't hire Mexican landscapers?

I want to be crystal clear on this.

Dog, "I’m not actually

Dog,

"I’m not actually shooting until you’ve broken other laws (successfully resisting arrest?), but yes, the ultimate purpose of shooting would be to prevent the enforcement algorithm from having a loophole that everyone else can then exploit."

Hence Ruby Ridge. Lon Horiuchi was closing a loophole. Thanks for helping illustrate the principle.

I submit that Patri is completely unwilling to close such loopholes which means calculating the "tradeoffs", at least for him, is much simpler than he's making it out to be.

Patri’s robot controlled

Patri’s robot controlled world is a dystopian caricature of what Americans have now, minus the Bill of Rights, Representative Democracy, Federalism and the protection of enlightened self-interest which insures the workings of the free market. Our system seems to be working comparatively well but let’s pretend that there is an alternative world based on small entity anarcho- capitalism and polycentric law. No minarchy allowed. Let’s go all the way.
Immigration in an anarcho -capitalist organized entity, is easily handled. Since all property is owned by individuals, no one has the right to use or enter this property without the owner’s permission. Thus trespassers on the property of the borderlands are aggressors breaking of the natural laws of property ownership.
This is not just a matter of theory, as many ranchers on the borders of the Southwestern US have fences cut, cattle butchered or let loose, and find piles of garbage and human waste on their property.
If some property owner/citizen decides to hire or just out of the kindness of his heart invite non-citizens in, he would have to finance their keep or pay them enough that they would not become a drain on the public. Thus prevailing wages would have to be paid. No more expecting the public to provide medical care and schooling for the visitor and her family. (It is like this in almost foreign countries today)

Free public streets and other facilities need not existent in anarcho-capitalist lands. There are similar places now where you can’t get in unless you make contractual arrangements with the owners which have limitations. Disney World and Bush Gardens come to mind. If I tried to immigrate into the Epcot Center I would be thrown out. Aggressors who trespass or otherwise break their contract are rightly expelled.

Since these entities would be governed by polycentric law, they would have to pay for their own police force. Since they need only expel aggressors or law breakers no jails or expensive court system would be needed. The citizens would need only finance security police similar to in Disney and simply expel undesirables.

What happens to those expelled from each community? As all territory would be controlled by self sufficient polycentric territories which could also vote out trespassers and misfits, you would soon develop a rather large class of undesirables who would not be wanted anywhere. It is interesting to look back to medieval times before they had jails and formal laws. If social control or corporal punishment didn’t work they were run out of town. I think these people became road bandits, starved, or when cities evolved lived in slums there. So now part of the polycentric community’s expenses would be to build walls and fences around the city and supply armed guards for people traveling between polycentric anarcho-capitalist entities, and so on. Since all explosives and other weapons are legal you have to travel in Abram’s Tanks, which tear up the road, which must be repaired. The tanks use 5 gallons of diesel per mile and the road toll is $50 dollars per ten miles.

Since there are no laws against people having fun, all those susceptible to become heroin addicts do so and quit work. They earn drug money by selling drugs outside the local high school. Expel them. Who takes care of the disabled? If your family and friends won’t take care of them, expel them. This town and the one up river don’t require vaccinations for hepatitis and typhoid and the one up river has a big chicken rendering plant. They save money by dumping their untreated sewage in the river where we get drinking water. Twenty babies have recently died. Negotiations have broken down so we are sending a hundred men up the river tonight to burn them out.

Voting against admitting the

Voting against admitting the communist couple is a legitimate act of self-defense.

For a little light reading that touches on an externally imposed democracy, I recommend Buck Godot: Zap Gun For Hire.