07 September 2006

That temperate love of liberty

I notice (via Mangan) libertarian economist Don Boudreaux thinks the Janjaweed have the right to move en masse to your hometown.1 And not just the Janjaweed, but also the Tamil Tigers, the Lord’s Resistance Army, Hezbollah, the Interahamwe - and many more, as the saying goes.

Many, many, more, if Boudreaux had his way, because he believes everyone from everywhere has an inalienable right to move en masse to America - this in a world where more than 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day. I've described libertarianism as applied autism, I’m now beginning to realize what a terrible aspersion on autistics that was.

I’m weary of refuting libertarian immigration idiocy, thankfully Alexander Hamilton did so more than 200 years ago:
The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias and prejudice; and on the love of country, which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family. The opinion advanced in [Jefferson’s] Notes on Virginia is undoubtedly correct, that foreigners will generally be apt to bring with them attachments to the persons they have left behind; to the country of their nativity, and to its particular customs and manners. They will also entertain opinions on government congenial with those under which they have lived; or if they should be led hither from a preference to ours, how extremely unlikely is it that they will bring with them that temperate love of liberty, so essential to real republicanism?…
In the recommendation to admit indiscriminately foreign emigrants of every description to the privileges of American citizens, on their first entrance into our country, there is an attempt to break down every pale which has been erected for the preservation of a national spirit and a national character; and to let in the most powerful means of perverting and corrupting both the one and the other.


1For some reason Boudreaux’s radical free market ethos doesn’t prevent him from suckling at the teat of government: he’s employed at a public university.

2 comments:

  1. Boudreaux's assertion that "no government creates rights" in not supported by evidence. Members of anarchic societies have, without exception, fewer rights than members of governed societies - even those societies governed badly - and such rights as they have are generally enforced with less vigour, being upheld, of course, by none but the individuals concerned.

    As with all "libertarian" arguments, Boudreaux's denies one set of rights in favour of another (I talk as though I know him - I've never heard of him before, and doubt I will again). Applied autism? Maybe. Applied boretism, definitiely!

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  2. Libertarians are a species of liberal, and like all liberals they are unable to reconcile their liberal principles with those that don't share them. They differ from ordinary liberals in that ordinary liberals discard civilization for sentimental qualms, libertarians do so for the sake of philosophical debating points.

    "As with all "libertarian" arguments, Boudreaux's denies one set of rights in favour of another "

    Yes, I would say by refusing to concede some principles cannot be reconciled, they put themselves in the absurd position of arguing in favor of importing millions of people who have little interest in or even are hostile to liberty, and whose presence reduces the liberty of those born here - for the sake of liberty.

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