Satan is alive and well on Planet Earth

Is there any well-known argument against immigration that, at its heart, isn't racist?  Of course I want to believe people are as genuine as possible when they say they don't mind immigration, they just don't like "illegal" immigration, or that "they" should learn English simply because it they'll have an easier time in "our" country if they do.  But 100% of my anecdotal evidence points to racism, specifically anti-Hispanic racism.  Some of it is passive unease, some of it is not feeling like assuming the White Man's Burden right now, and unfortunately some of it is quite a bit stronger.  None of it's intellectually healthy reasoning.

Maybe I haven't heard all the arguments that Lou Dobbs has come up with.  Anyone?

 

Note 1: This issue doesn't cross paths with the pattern that Anastasia linked to yesterday, but that pattern is still worth considering (and so is Anastasia's commentary):

The GOP Narcissists aren’t the exception to the rule— they ARE the
rule. They personify the very sexuality they campaign against. If they
vote against gays, we know they’re queer. If they’re hopped up about
“child porn,” we can guess their internet habits. If they hold up
monogamous marriage as a Christian ideal, we know they’re adulterous,
blasphemous fools.

Note 2: Somebody out there just thought of HHH as a counterargument.  Try again. 

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Well, there's the economic argument

Open borders are incompatible with a welfare state. If you pay people merely to be here, and give them no reason to stay elsewhere, you'll select for the worst possible immigrants.

Fortunately, the US selects for better immigrants by offering lots of economic opportunities.

It's not a racist argument: one could easily make it about, say, paying people to move from Wyoming to New York, and funding this subsidy by taxing successful New Yorkers.

Immigration arguments

I think there are a number of well-known arguments that are not racist, whether or not they are correct.

1. They will come to collect welfare. That argument applies to all races.

2. They will compete with poor Americans for low skill jobs, making poor Americans worse off.

That argument is nationalist, since it gives much higher weight to the welfare of poor Americans than to that of the poorer immigrants, but it isn't racist--the poor Americans imagined might easily be black.

3. They will change our culture in ways we don't like.

There are lots of countries in the world that are less pleasant places to live than the U.S., some inhabited mostly by people of European origin--Russia, for instance. It isn't absurd to argue that what makes the U.S. special is a particular culture and we shouldn't risk it.

4. Immigrants from different cultures will lead to cultural inhomogeneity which will lead to confllict which will make things worse.

I expect I could think up one or two more if I tried.

I'm not sure how loosely you are using "racist." Anti-immigration sentiment has been a feature of American politics for a very long time, and much of it was directed against white European immigrants--Irish, Italians, Jews from eastern Europe--as well as against orientals.

And yet....

I'm not sure how loosely you are using "racist." Anti-immigration sentiment has been a feature of American politics for a very long time, and much of it was directed against white European immigrants--Irish, Italians, Jews from eastern Europe--as well as against orientals.

Yet America seems better off for having had all of these groups come in, not only from an economic standpoint but from a cultural one. I don't think it will be any different in the case of Mexican immigrants.

Verily  

Verily

 

Property and Immigration

A while back I heard a story about a rancher who, in the middle of the night, was awakened by some people on his property. They were illegal, not only in the sense that they were in this country illegally, but they were also trespassing.

The rancher eventually got the law out there to arrest these trespassers. Unfortunately, the courts decided the rancher was an evil bastard and awarded his ranch to the illegals.

I don't think it's racism; I think many citizens know the government puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating with illegal immigrants. At the core of it, the anti-immigration people fear losing property.

Interestingly, many southern governments used a racism as a way to get poor whites to vote counter to their own interests. The poor whites had more in common with their poor black counterparts, but the massive Democrat machine needed the poor whites to maintain their majority. I'm using this example to point out how the political rhetoric can be racist but the core issue is something else altogether.

- There's the union

There's the union argument: we don't want immigrants because they will break our labor cartel. It's close to the nationalist argument mentioned by David Friedman without even the hypocrisy. (quite similar are the immigrant officer's argument and the coyote's argument)

- There's the crime argument: immigrants are more likely to commit crimes. I don't think it's true but one could genuinely believe it without being racist, (by thinking the educational system is not good in the other countries for example(

- There's the public health argument along the same lines.

- There's the other country argument: immigrants are needed by their peers in their home country to develop it so they should stay there. Common among antiglobalization crowd. The immigrants generally send money home and are much more productive in other country so this argument is rubbish (as well as totalitarian obviously).

HHH

Somebody out there just thought of HHH as a counterargument. Try again.

Are you calling Hoppe a racist?

The root of Hoppe's argument

The root of Hoppe's argument lies on the right to be xenophobic, it does not mean that Hoppe is xenophobic, but he's argument is not a counterargument in the present discussion.

Now from what I've read from him, I believe HHH definitely is xenophobic albeit the rothbardian, non agressive kind.

 

Need more detail

The right to be xenophobic derives from the right to dislike something, and the right to dislike something surely is absolute in any libertarian scheme, since dislike occurs in the mind and self-ownership includes ownership of one's own mind. Therefore we can conclude that, if he does not actually do so, Hoppe can slightly modify his argument so as to derive his conclusion about immigration from fundamental rights that anyone remotely libertarian must respect.

I am a libertarian. Therefore, assuming Hoppe's argument is sound given his premises (including the premise of the right to be xenophobic), I am logically constrained to accept his conclusion. This is a logical requirement and derives purely from the fact that I am a libertarian. If, as you argue, the argument is fundamentally racist, then it follows that at least one argument that logically follows from fundamental libertarian premises is fundamentally racist. Since logic itself is not racist, therefore fundamental libertarian premises are racist.

Or perhaps you'd like to add more detai about this "right to be xenophobic" that you mention. Maybe it is something different from what it at first seems.

Therefore we can conclude

Therefore we can conclude that, if he does not actually do so, Hoppe
can slightly modify his argument so as to derive his conclusion about
immigration from fundamental rights that anyone remotely libertarian
must respect.

Hum no. You can have good premises and faulty reasoning. Hoppe's argument is logically inconsistent, it's just one more form of social contract. What Hoppe claims is that if the state where not there, people would naturally protect themselves against immigration through property rules, therefore it is the duty of the state to uphold that contract. Well tough luck for HHH there is no such contract, period. Furthemore HHH treats the roads as owned in coproperty by the citizens of a state which is wrong, the roads are land occupied by the government (something Rothbard understood properly).

Similarly, Hoppe's believe that private cities who would expell homosexuals would naturally thrive more than the others and therefore that in a free society, most places would implement this rule such that homosexuality would de facto be outlawed. If one accepts his argument against immigration ("I think without a State that's what we'd agree on so let's pretend we actually agreed on it") then one should logically support banning of immigration.

I, for myself, think that -shouldn't the state prevent people from freely contracting - people would naturally and unanimously agree that anyone eating a banana should do a funny monkey dance, therefore it is the duty of the State to impose this as a law.

Let's get back to the original subject. True or false, libertarian or not, Hoppe's argument is rooted in xenophobia therefore it is not a counterexample to the question asked in this blog entry. If Hoppe's argument was true and libertarian I'd accept it, regardless of its xenophobic root. It is not.

I don't see it

Hum no. You can have good premises and faulty reasoning.

I myself wrote "assuming Hoppe's argument is sound." You're echoing my own qualification, and doing so as if you were contradicting me.

All you have demonstrated here (assuming your characterization is correct) is that Hoppe's argument is flawed - or rather, that it relies on premises which most libertarians do not share. But that was not at issue. At issue was whether his argument was racist. Apparently it is not.

Here are some of the premises (insofar as I was able to glean them from your description):

The government is obligated to enforce the property rules that people would have created in anarchy.

People in anarchy would create property rules that would somehow (not explained here) have the effect of impeding immigration.

Roads are co-property of the people and the government.

Cities free of homosexuals would thrive.

I see nothing here that is rooted in racism.

Hoppe's argument is rooted in xenophobia

I don't see that in the description you've given of it.

 

I myself wrote "assuming

I myself wrote "assuming Hoppe's argument is sound." You're echoing my
own qualification, and doing so as if you were contradicting me.

Sorry, I read "I am a libertarian, therefore assuming that Hoppe's argument is sound" which now that I think of it was really really odd.

At issue was whether his argument was racist. Apparently it is not.

I think the original poster meant xenophobic, I'll assume that's what you mean too.

Here are some of the premises (insofar as I was able to glean them from your description):The government is obligated to enforce the property rules that people would have created in anarchy.

Yes

People in anarchy would create property rules that would somehow (not explained here) have the effect of impeding immigration.

.... in order to protect themselves from the integration of foreigners explicitely states HHH.

That is xenophobia. No moral or value judgment here, it's just a fact.

Circular logic

That is xenophobia. No moral or value judgment here, it's just a fact.

That's circular logic. The challenge was to find an argument for immigration controls that isn't xenophobic (I'm taking on the assumption about what Randall meant that you propose). And here you're saying that immigration controls are ipso facto xenophobic.

So the challenge boils down to, "show me an argument for something ipso facto xenophobic, that isn't xenophobic."

What Randall is trying to imply with his challenge is that immigration controls are xenophobic. His argument is simple: it amounts to a challenge to others to show him an argument for it that isn't xenophobic. People's failure to come up with a non-xenophobic argument for immigration controls will be Randall's evidence that wanting immigration controls is xenophobic.

But in order to defend Randall's argument and therefore the conclusion, you have claimed that wanting immigration controls is ipso facto xenophobic. But that's just what Randall was trying to show with his argument. So you're assuming the conclusion.

 

And here you're saying that

And here you're saying that immigration controls are ipso facto xenophobic.

No I don't. I even mentionned in another post arguments for immigration controls that were not xenophobic.

It seems however that I have misinterpreted Randall's use of "racism" which I though was used in place of xenophobic (as is often the case in France). From his other blog entry I can see he actually meant racism. I don't think the root of Hoppe's argument is racist, but as I explained it is in my opinion xenophobic.

Commerce overcomes xenophobia

I watched a scene from Deadwood last night (I watch them on DVD through Netflix, so I'm behind the times). It's in the following youtube clip between 2:01 and 4:54, where George Hearst gives a speech to Odell--a black man he nearly killed earlier for insulting him--on the civilizing power of gold, or "the color".

It's a great demonstration of how xenophobia is overcome through the ability of any member of our species to raise their station through cooperative behavior.