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Open the Borders, End the Housing Glut

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I'm having trouble trying to quantify your crappy attitude. Are you "anti-immigration"?

I'm trying to quantify what you mean by "quantify." :lol: Does it mean something like "I'm having trouble trying to file this under one of my preconceived categories?" :P

Anyway, in terms of pre-existing categories, one could say in a somewhat crude way that I am pro-immigration but anti-immigrant. I hold that the government should respect the right to free association, which includes hiring foreigners, or selling or renting your home to them. But I don't think that doing so is always a good idea; while I am usually trusting and open towards individuals who I know grew up in a more or less rational culture, I think reason demands that one should be, at least initially, cautious with people who hail from places dominated by anti-life ideas.

While the right to immigrate should be (almost) automatic as far as the government is concerned, the decision by the prospective employers, hosts, etc. of the would-be immigrant to accept him is always a choice in a free society, and should be weighed very carefully. If someone is a truly virtuous and freedom-loving individual, Americans should welcome him with open arms--and call him an American, not an immigrant. But if someone would not make a good American, then Americans are better off not having him in America.

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a democratic rights respecting island

Contradiction in terms. :lol: Democracy and rights don't mix. But your point is valid, of course: if a country that is a mixture between capitalism and democracy allows random immigrants to vote, it is not the capitalist element that is going to become stronger.

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Do you see where we are coming from or should we go get white hoods and a cross?

That's such a stupid question, I'm not even going to respond to it.

As to the rest of your post, are you saying that until we have a completely moral government, it's okay to violate rights and make inaccurate judgements?

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I think I was unclear. Obviously I am generalizing, but when dealing with social metaphysics, it is impossible to avoid.

Ok, I let this one slip several times, but this at least the third time. What you call 'social metaphysics' is actually a pile of incoherent garbage that can be filed under the category of pure, unrestrained collectivism. I assume you are using the term in the context of its actual meaning, which is to say that whatever the majority of people agree on is what metaphysically exists. And to say that your opponents are engaged in relativism is ludicrous. Your entire position, beginning with your basis of 'social metaphysics', is grounded in relativity. So, to sum up, your repeated usage of the term has demonstrated that you have not seriously read Rand's work. If you had, you would notice that she deals neatly with the issue of social metaphysics in the aptly titled chapter "The Argument From Intimidation" in VOS, in addition to the work done by Nathienal Brandon in his essay from the November 1962 issue of The Objectivist Newsletter titled"Social Metaphysics". Perhaps not ironically, your argument really comes down to nothing except intimidation, eloquently demonstrating Rand's point.

Edited by adrock3215

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What we are arguing, rather, is that people's culture, defined by their politics and behaviors generally, is usually a good indicator of the majority of their characters.

Ahh, so you're abdicating your responsibility to judge people based on their character. That's nice, but why don't you try reading Rand's work sometime. It's like she's talking about you:

Morality is the province of philosophical judgment, not of psychological diagnosis. Moral judgment must be objective, i.e., based on perceivable, demonstrable facts. A man’s moral character must be judged on the basis of his actions, his statements and his conscious convictions—not on the basis of inferences (usually, spurious) about his subconscious.
Edited by adrock3215

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Business owners are usually somewhat tied to their businesses. Contacts, equipment, buildings, employees, etc are difficult to move.

You do not have to be a business owner in order to be a producer. It is the mindset (of a trader and not a moocher) that I was refering to.

One does not have to move their business - they can sell it and invest that money in something similar or new in US. Many people would do so if there was such possiblity. Many immigrants think long term - about their future and the future of their children (my parents did - they actually owned businesses while living in Poland but decided to start from scratch in America).

Further, if they are illegally here, getting a license to operate any business would be an impossibility.

But we are talking here about opening possibilities for legal immigration.

And it seems to be the consensus that the saintlike folks who come here illegally would never commit any other crime like identity theft.

I am not denying the fact that some of them are not saints (same way many Americans are not saints either). But some of it IS driven by circumstances. Many illegals (other than a fact that they are illegally in a country) have never commited a crime and never would. Most of the immigration related crime is done with the aid of Americans who work for government (and not necessarily legal immigrants or first generation but few generation Americans).

Which leads me to the only possible conclusion that these are not the self starters that I keep hearing about or they are committing fraud on an unbelievable scale.

Your whole country was started by immigrants. People did not evolve to something more scum in the last 60 years. There have always been people who have been making the same kind of arguments as you are today about the newcommers.

I don't know why. Just seems to be the case.

I don't agree.

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That's disgusting. You should try reading some of Rand's work.

I think some people need to check out the essay Racism in Virtue of Selfishness as well. Jeez! :lol:

Seriously, some of you need to read or reread Racism in VoS. My O'ist group just discussed it this past weekend so it's fresh on my mind. I think once you have read/reread it, then view what you said above, you'll see the flaw in your thinking.

...

Since you seem to be refusing to look for yourself, I quote Rand from her essay Racism ...

I don't think they are racists; however, I think some of their comments are and I don't think they even realize it which is why I urged them to read or reread Rand's essay to further educate themselves.

But have you actually read Rand's work? Don't come back claiming that you have, because what I mean is: have you actually read it? Rand's position is that the purpose of government is to protect individual rights. Let's be generous and say that you agree with that principle (quite frankly, I haven't seen any evidence that you do).

So, to sum up, your repeated usage of the term has demonstrated that you have not seriously read Rand's work.

That's nice, but why don't you try reading Rand's work sometime.

These are examples, just from this topic, of just two people, increasingly beligerantly stating their belief that they are the only ones who have ever picked up an Ayn Rand book.

When is enough enough?

Especially since these are also your posts, and they all contain ideas that are contrary to Objectivism:

1. From adrock:

My advice to people who want to come here but can't get a visa, or who want to come here but have to wait 5 years to get one, is that they should consider coming illegally. While here they should take advantage of as many free social services as they can.

As if 'American culture' (whatever that is) is some sacred treasure.

As a legal citizen, I've taken advantage of as many social services as possible when I have had the opportunity.

Unfortunately, the man was a sack of shit. He had gotten laid off from his other job, and he wanted to collect unemployment benefits, despite the fact that he still worked for me. So, on a few occassions, he would bring me papers, and I would write that he made less than he did.

2. K-Mac:

The main problem I have with her is that she started out the discussion by accusing everyone of racism, without ever backing up her accusations. In fact she didn't say anything of substance beyond that.

She did try to define tribalism though, I'm sure And would love that:

Why some of you want to prevent certain people from coming because of their country of origin, educational level, job skills, etc., is nothing but pure tribalism...

Is that what tribalism is? Taking education and skills into consideration?

Here's another attempt:

Tribalism occurs anytime you lump all members of any group together as one collective, and it's just a lazy way to get out of individual judgement.

Really? So lumping all al-Qaeda members together would be a despicable act of tribalism as well? How'bout them KKK boys? The adult members of the Westboro Baptist Church? There's a fine group for ya'.

By the way, if you frown upon discriminating against regions of the globe, why don't you prove you tolerant nature by moving to the Congo? Is it because they'd burn you as a wich the first time your cellphone rings, and that would be that?

Edited by Jake_Ellison

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QUOTE (~Sophia~ @ Dec 17 2008, 11:08 PM) post_snapback.gifYour country is still the most free in the world. Why it would be mostly the moochers and not freedom lovers?

Because evil feeds on good. If a country is full of moochers, they can't all feed on the few productive members of society. They will have to come to a country that still produces, or die feeding on each other. Evil doesn't survive on its own (by definition, it is contrary to what life requires: production).

Please provide evidence that it is evil people who mostly emigrate. Evil is a moral concepts which is an attribute of an individual. This is collectivism of it's worse kind. Discussting.

BTW, I am an example of the "evil" you speak about.

As far as Canada goes, you guys don't have that much illegal immigration precisely because you do have a selection process.

We don't have illegals problem because there is a merit system a one can go through here (just like I did) based on which Canada grants permission for legal stay.

Students and people who are already qualified to receive a work visa. I'm sure they are above average: that's how they got there, they went through a selection process.

Those are very limited, many are rejected based on quota, plus work visa, if one wants to take this route toward legal stay, can make one into a slave for many years. Every time you change an employer the process (which takes over 5 years) starts over even when you have done everything right - that puts you at the mercy of your current employer and many take an advantage of that in many ways. Many people do not apply for work visas just due to that fact alone.

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You know, I am very much a student of Objectivism. I come here to try and learn something. Your false accusations, name calling and blatant refusal to read my posts and understand them for what they are, are not only annoying, but highly frustrating. You are obviously not someone who can make a rational argument that I can understand, much less learn anything from. Actually, I have learned something...you are not someone to pay attention to on this forum.

EDIT: That was for Jake, not Sophia. :lol:

Edited by K-Mac

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Please provide evidence that it is evil people who mostly emigrate. Evil is a moral concepts which is an attribute of an individual. This is collectivism of it's worse kind.

I disagree. Evil is that which "negates, opposes or destroys" life and reason. It can be an attribute of an idea, ideology, etc.

Sure, it can also refer to an individual. (though not in the sense I used it in)

The idea that socialism for instance is evil is a perfectly valid one.

Saying that people from a socialist country will bring that ideology along with them is not collectivism. (if that's what you are referring to when you are using that word. I wish you had explained what exactly you are calling collectivist.)

Discussting.

As far as what emotions my thoughts cause in you, I really don't care, so you might as well not mention them.

Here's what I meant by evil:

The standard of value of the Objectivist ethics—the standard by which one judges what is good or evil—is man’s life, or: that which is required for man’s survival qua man.

Since reason is man’s basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is the evil.

(The Virtue of Selfishness)

Edited by Jake_Ellison

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I disagree. Evil is that which "negates, opposes or destroys" life and reason. It can be an attribute of an idea, ideology, etc. Sure, it can also refer to an individual. (though not in the sense I used it in)

The idea that socialism for instance is evil is a perfectly valid one.

Saying that people from a socialist country will bring that ideology along with them is not collectivism. (if that's what you are referring to when you are using that word. I wish you had explained what exactly you are calling collectivist.)

I am from a socialist country.

Collectivism - means the subjugation of the individual rights to a group - whether to a race, class, or state. It holds that, in human affairs, the collective...the nation...is the unit of reality and not an individual.

We are not discussing how ideas can/can not be evaluated in the abstract.

The answer to the general question "are...(insert an ideology, or region, or race, or country).... necessarily evil" is NO. Such notion IS collectivism. People ought to be morally evaluated on individual bases.

Edited by ~Sophia~

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Can I ask which one? (Just being curious.) :lol:

I left Poland with my family at the age of 17 (so I was not a small child). US was our desired destination but we could not legalize our stay. That is the reason I live in Canada. We went through Canadian point system and my family was rated very highly (we spoke English and both of my parents have post graduate engeneering degrees). As a Canadian it would be much easier today but I have not bothered as my family lives here (and I have a kid). That is my story (short version of it).

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Jake, please write the entirety of your argument in premise-conclusion form.

Ex:

P1: _____

P2: _____

Conclusion: _____

P1: I have a right to self defense and property.

P2: An immediate "open borders" policy would cause tens of millions of poor people to come here suddenly, and find themselves unable to get a job in the short term (because of the minimum wage laws), hence rely on welfare, which would be taken from me, until the system ultimately collapses.

............................

Conclusion: I have the moral right to defend against such an event by any means necessary, including by insisting that opening up the borders should be a gradual process that would at least allow the system to adjust itself without our current leadership driving it into another Great Depression, at a point in time where the US is already in a vulnerable position.

This is not a utilitarian approach, but a principled one.

If you want to argue against this, you'll have to argue against my assertion that these things will happen, not just say "you have no right to restrict people's movements". A scenarion such as I described does give me the right to do whatever will prevent it.

Edited by Jake_Ellison

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If you want to argue against this, you'll have to argue against my assertion that these things will happen, not just say "you have no right to restrict people's movements". A scenarion such as I described does give me the right to do whatever will prevent it.

Actually, it doesn't. By the same logic, you should go find the nearest welfare recipient, beat their ass, tie them up, and call the police because they stole from you. There's a difference between "Joe stole my bike" and institutionalized ("the government steals taxes from my paycheck") theft. I could be the beneficiary of government theft without being liable for the theft. If you were to claim otherwise, you would have to justify how you are able to use the public road system or walk through a public park.

Without recognizing this crucial difference, you are making the mistake of blaming the people who benefit from a particular system, for that particular system's existence. It is not an immigrants fault that theft has been legalized and institutionalized in the United States. It has nothing to do with him or her.

In summation: Why is it the immigrants fault that we have a welfare system, and, if it is not his fault, why should he be punished for its existence?

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Jake, I think K-Mac's suggestion that people read the racism article was a good one. I think it's appropriate, not because everyone here is a racist, but because the article speaks to how to correctly judge people. Judging people by way of their country of origin is inappropriate - this is a logical application of the ideas in that essay. I agree with her suggestion that active participants of this thread read or re-read it.

-edited for clarity

Edited by FeatherFall

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Without recognizing this crucial difference, you are making the mistake of blaming the people who benefit from a particular system, for that particular system's existence. It is not an immigrants fault that theft has been legalized and institutionalized in the United States. It has nothing to do with him or her.

In summation: Why is it the immigrants fault that we have a welfare system, and, if it is not his fault, why should he be punished for its existence?

I haven't assigned blame to anyone for the system's existence, or the consequences of that system combined with open borders. Nor do I intend to assign blame. That's not the issue.

It is not an issue of blame or justice: it is an issue of self defense.

To answer your question, the immigrants should not be punished. What I said is that I have a right to ask for temporary limits on immigration, as an act of self defense against the looting that would otherwise ensue.

The immigrants (the ones who want to come here to work but are prevented by the limits I mentioned) are victims of this situation, caused by the unfair wealth redistribution. I am however not responsible for their suffering any more than I am responsible for the suffering of the people we bomb in Afghanistan.

In both cases the people initiating force are responsible. (in our case the people doing the looting and their supporters) If you want to change things, you'll have to talk to them.

Actually, it doesn't. By the same logic, you should go find the nearest welfare recipient, beat their ass, tie them up, and call the police because they stole from you. There's a difference between "Joe stole my bike" and institutionalized ("the government steals taxes from my paycheck") theft.

I said "I have the right to", you're changing it to "I should".

My answer is that I do have the right to defend against looting, by any means necessary. However, I shouldn't do things that won't change the situation (such as beating people up). On the other hand, temporarily restricting immigration would work in preventing some of the looting, so I should be in favor of it.

Oh, and there is no difference between the two methods of theft you mentioned. I dismiss any arguments you base on that idea off the bat.

Edited by Jake_Ellison

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That's such a stupid question, I'm not even going to respond to it.

The last part is tongue in cheek of course, but please bare in mind that I was attempting to use a little humor to make light of the fact that you are calling me and others here, racists. Or at the very least mistakenly holding racist ideas.

As to the rest of your post, are you saying that until we have a completely moral government, it's okay to violate rights and make inaccurate judgements?

Not exactly. I am saying that violating rights and making inaccurate judgments is a given and that they ought to be minimized in the most efficient way possible. So take my social security example. Is it a reprehensible crime that steals 15% of our discretionary incomes and ruins retirement? Sure. Should we stop it tomorrow? Probably not. Some alternate method of a slow 20 year phase out would probably be a) more likely to have any political support at all and :rolleyes: more likely to cause the least economic privation. The immorality and even economic stupidity of social security is obvious. The actual details of how to remove it are much more complicated. I hold immigration in this same sense. The morality of free trade is a given. The actuality of implementation and its actual effects are more complex.

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Ok, I let this one slip several times, but this at least the third time. What you call 'social metaphysics' is actually a pile of incoherent garbage that can be filed under the category of pure, unrestrained collectivism. I assume you are using the term in the context of its actual meaning, which is to say that whatever the majority of people agree on is what metaphysically exists. And to say that your opponents are engaged in relativism is ludicrous. Your entire position, beginning with your basis of 'social metaphysics', is grounded in relativity. So, to sum up, your repeated usage of the term has demonstrated that you have not seriously read Rand's work. If you had, you would notice that she deals neatly with the issue of social metaphysics in the aptly titled chapter "The Argument From Intimidation" in VOS, in addition to the work done by Nathienal Brandon in his essay from the November 1962 issue of The Objectivist Newsletter titled"Social Metaphysics". Perhaps not ironically, your argument really comes down to nothing except intimidation, eloquently demonstrating Rand's point.

Intimidation? Like calling people ignorant, collectivist racists? Your right. I should stop that.

Your failure to understand my meaning could better be dealt with by asking questions rather than calling names and jumping to conclusions about my character and reading lists.

I assume by your emotional tone that you are finished conversing with me but I'll give it one last attempt as simply and wordlessly as I can.

In short, I think that you are make an equivocation between racism and cultural judgment.

By social metaphysics, I mean that particular acts are not abstractions happily floating in a contextless world. The the whole effect of an action ought to be understood before it's benefits can be thought to be certain.

So should I judge everyone based on their individual capacities? Yes. Theoretically. If I need to advertise somewhere to fill engineering positions would I choose to advertise in Somalia? No. The reason is not because Somalians are incapable of engineering racially, but because their current political system is more interested in promoting piracy than engineering. Will some kind qualified Somalian engineers get passed over? Sure, but no system is perfect.

I consider myself fairly well(though not professionally) versed in objectivism. But what I am fairly certain of is that it is not a rationalistic system of thought. That making judgments about reality is very central to it and that includes making judgments about reality outside of the context of a capitalist utopia. The real world is a little messy sometimes. Gaining a little more freedom can end up worse in the long run.

Best regards

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Ahh, so you're abdicating your responsibility to judge people based on their character. That's nice, but why don't you try reading Rand's work sometime. It's like she's talking about you:

"(Rand in The Psychology of Psychologizing, The Objectivist, March 1971, 5. )

Morality is the province of philosophical judgment, not of psychological diagnosis. Moral judgment must be objective, i.e., based on perceivable, demonstrable facts. A man’s moral character must be judged on the basis of his actions, his statements and his conscious convictions—not on the basis of inferences (usually, spurious) about his subconscious."

Ah...yeah..that's interesting. I think that I read it somewhere. Here's another one that I found. You might like it.

Ayn Rand Lexicon:

The intrinsic theory holds that the good is inherent in certain things or actions as such, regardless of their context and consequences, regardless of any benefit or injury they may cause to the actors and subjects involved. It is a theory that divorces the concept of “good” from beneficiaries, and the concept of “value” from valuer and purpose

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In short, I think that you are make an equivocation between racism and cultural judgment.

I never called anyone a racist in this thread, so there is not a point in arguing about that.

Your intrinsicism quote is inconsequential; it doesn't apply here. Here's a real world judgement: My position is that a government can, and should protect individual rights. What is an individual right? It is a moral principle that allows a man freedom of action in a social setting. The fundamental right is a man's right to his own life. Does a man's right to his own life allow him the freedom of moving wherever he pleases? Of course. I live in DC, but I can move to New Jersey or Alaska. Now, does a government have a role to play in immigration? Yes, it should make sure that all incoming immigrants are free of disease and criminal history.

The whole scenario that millions upon millions of parasites will swarm in for the kill is primarily inconsequential (since it has no effect on whether or not a government should protect individual rights), and secondarily, wrong. There is no conclusive evidence which leads me to believe that out of (say) 100 million future immigrants, 75 million will be socialist parasites. In fact, it is most unlikely that an individual with socialist values in a third world country would be able to afford a plane ticket to fly here. Take, for instance, Zimbabwe. There may be a lot of socialist free riders there, but how many have 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Zimbabwean dollars to fly here? Not many. How many Brazilians can afford to come here? Well, definitely none of the lower classes, where the average wage is roughly $100 a month. And definitely nobody from the favelas, where people sleep on the streets and rummage through trashbins for dinner. Not even most of the middle class, since the exchange rate between the dollar and real has (as of late) worked much in our favor to the detriment of theirs.

If you want to discuss consequences, why don't we discuss the fact that new immigrants would be paying into the social security system, saving you tax dollars in the future when the baby boomers retire? Why not discuss more tax dollars, lower car insurance rates, lower health insurance rates, increased consumption spending at United States restaurants and businesses, increased demand for housing, a strengthened manufacturing sector, etc? Before you answer, I'll tell you why not. Because none of it matters to the principle at hand, namely, that a government should protect individual rights.

What your position amounts to is a denial of individual rights, so that you can benefit within the context of the current system. Such a position is not, in any way, advancing one toward a fully free society. It gives sanction to the system that you dislike. A rational individual should recognize that taxes are going to have to be raised soon and embrace the raise in taxes. To say "that's taking my money, no good" is the absurd position. Government has a 10 trillion dollar debt that needs to be paid off, in order for the dollar to survive and our economy to prosper. Point being that a supposed "sacrifice" (it's not really a sacrifice, only people who think short term like yourself see it this way) in the short-term is necessary in order to insure long-term prosperity.

Edited by adrock3215

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P1: I have a right to self defense and property.

P2: An immediate "open borders" policy would cause tens of millions of poor people to come here suddenly, and find themselves unable to get a job in the short term (because of the minimum wage laws), hence rely on welfare, which would be taken from me, until the system ultimately collapses.

............................

Conclusion: I have the moral right to defend against such an event by any means necessary, including by insisting that opening up the borders should be a gradual process that would at least allow the system to adjust itself without our current leadership driving it into another Great Depression, at a point in time where the US is already in a vulnerable position.

The problem here is that you are talking about a correlation (at best), not a causation. Your 'principle' here can also be asserted like this;

P1: I have a right to self defense and property.

P2: Black people commit a lot of crime in this country and soak up a lot of welfare. Continuing to allow them to be born means that more criminals and more moochers will be brought into the country which will impact my self-defense and property.

Conclusion: I have the moral right to stop or slow the progress of black people from having more babies.

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The problem here is that you are talking about a correlation (at best), not a causation. Your 'principle' here can also be asserted like this;

P1: I have a right to self defense and property.

P2: Black people commit a lot of crime in this country and soak up a lot of welfare. Continuing to allow them to be born means that more criminals and more moochers will be brought into the country which will impact my self-defense and property.

Conclusion: I have the moral right to stop or slow the progress of black people from having more babies.

1. First , let's pick this scenario:

P1. right to self defense

P2. 9-11

........................

Conclusion: the government has the right to use appropriate force, to defend this country against Islamic Fundamentalism.

The key is in appropriate, and practical: It doesn't mean the right to build camps and gather up all the Muslims, because such a measure would not be appropriate or practical. However, it has the right to act with an amount of force that might cause harm to innocents as well: it doesn't automatically owe everyone free passage into the country, and this right (to violate rights at times) stems from the imperative of self defense.

I am describing a similar scenario: while I cannot take up arms against the government to defend against taxation (that would not be practical-even though I also have the right to), I can prevent a scenario where immediate open borders would prompt the government to tax me more, until there would be horrible chaos and collapse (in my opinion, which I am willing to question and even reconsider). And my right to do so, and in doing so violate someone's rights, comes from the imperative of self defense.

If we look at your scenario on the other hand, the amount of force you are advocating for is quite extreme. And for what? I doubt such a measure would help at all, actually.

2. Here's another scenario, where I am applying the same logic you are using to disprove my point:

I am visiting New York, and some guy steals my wallet. That gives me the right to chase him, and get my wallet back, perform a citizen's arrest and have the police take him into custody. If in the process of doing so I happen to knock over an innocent man's shopping cart, so be it. I was justified in pursuing the guy, even knowing that someone innocent will be inconvenienced.

However, the amount of force, and the nature of my response are also relevant here, not just my right to take action. You couldn't for instance argue that I don't have a right to chase the guy and cause a disturbance, for the same reason that I don't have the right to go home to say London, and then call for nuking New York over my wallet being stolen. Your example (of preventing a race of people from having children to slow down the welfare state) is the equivalent of nuking NY, while my suggestion to temporarily continue restricting immigration, and easing those restriction gradually, is the equivalent of pursuing the robber, while knocking down an innocent man's fence in the process.

[edit] I think some clarification is in order: I used the phrase "By any means necessary" in the post you are responding to, and now I changed it to by any means appropriate. While "by any means necessary" I never meant "by any means I can think of", I do agree "appropriate and practical" would be a better way to formulate the principle, so please consider this a correction of what I wrote initially.

Edited by Jake_Ellison

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