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MisterSwig

Immigration restrictions

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The importance of "UN"-open immigration lies in the screening/vetting/checking, of what can be known about what an individual has DONE. Not what and how he ~supposedly~ thinks. A mind is the unknown, anyway prone to subterfuge and fakery by some. And anyhow, eliciting one's ideas, ethics and character is not what the govt. officials ought to be involved in. A socialist college professor? Approved. (Do your damndest, we already have plenty of your type). Someone who has a record of inciting and/or committing violence? Rejected.  

The concept of social/ideological engineering is anathema to a free nation. No one knows how individuals are going to turn out, often not they themselves. I've enough basic confidence in most human beings, the diversity of individuals, and in the USA's "melting pot" of ideas, cultures, (etc.)  (While not quite trusting enough to sanction illegal migrants as some O'ists do).

Edited by whYNOT

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On 8/25/2019 at 4:26 AM, nakulanb said:

 

It seems that Brook has dropped historical context. US immigration restriction lately is not the fault of "Donald Trump" (mentioned 3-4 times) nor of ex-president Obama, previously known as the "Deporter-in-Chief" (and unmentioned), it goes back a long way. There were *always* limits and quotas. https://www.history.com/topics/immigration/immigration-united-states-timeline

Edited by whYNOT

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I'm not sure what you're asking me. Being for or against socialism doesn't have to do with reading about socialism or learning what it is. Plenty of people go to good schools and fail to accurately learn what it is, both supporters and detractors. If you mean educating people about ethics, sure, that could work as an ideological vaccination. But education is exactly the sort of thing that is sufficient, and we could make successfully attaining that education the requirement for becoming a citizen, and therefore a requirement to vote. This would also prevent ideological enemies from attaining any power. 

Why bring up murderers? Your claim is along the lines of pre-crime, before any act has occurred. Maybe it's not quite thought crime, but it's trying to infer future action from beliefs. I mean, why stop at screening? Why not just go for killing the communists anyway? Plenty of people would see it that way, especially those who really do think communists should be murdered. Psychologically, people would find more basis to stop caring about force and start focusing on ideological struggle.

Edited by Eiuol
This was directed at Swig from the page before

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3 hours ago, whYNOT said:

The concept of social/ideological engineering is anathema to a free nation.

Nope. The United States was and still is about engineering a free society by basing its Constitution on a particular political ideology of individual rights. It's not my fault that the enemies of this ideology happen to call themselves socialists. If they called themselves Jabberwocks, then I would be anti-Jabberwock. And I'm sure I'd be challenged by those who enjoy hearing the new ideas of Jabberwocks and believe in the Jabberwock's right to travel anywhere he pleases. What's anathema to a free nation are people who don't believe in a free nation.

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Why bring up murderers? Your claim is along the lines of pre-crime, before any act has occurred.

It's not about crime or thought. It's about activism for socialism. I don't care what they actually believe in their soul. If they are a socialist activist, then they are an ideological enemy. They should have an extra special reason for seeking entry, and we should be extra careful about letting them in.

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Clearly activism is not initiation of force. That's the point. Did I misunderstand you and you don't want ideological screening? If you mean activism, and only policing that, it's not nearly so bad as outright monitoring of beliefs. But it's still bad. What counts is activism? Would that mean promoting UBI, like I do, makes me an ideological enemy? I don't think we talked about it earlier, but if we did, point out the post please.

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58 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Clearly activism is not initiation of force.

We already had this debate.

59 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

What counts is activism? Would that mean promoting UBI, like I do, makes me an ideological enemy?

Not unless you're promoting socialism as a means of implementing UBI.

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I don't see the difference. Some people argue that UBI is socialistic, so if I actively promote UBI, then I'm necessarily promoting socialism, even if I say that isn't my goal. You already said you don't care what the person believes in their heart, only if they are being activist. What's the line across to become a socialist activist, from a mistaken capitalist? I don't think there is any line for determining when it becomes a threat or not. There is no method to do so, unless you start calculating the probabilities of a given person from becoming a socialist revolutionary. If you start to think In probabilities, that is pre-crime in the PKD sense: things reach a violence probability threshold determined by computers or conscious robots. 

The reason I propose more stringent standards for citizenship is to maintain your legitimate concern (true socialists, not neoliberals), such that no one who intends to implement socialism would really manage to become a citizen and therefore attain political power. It wouldn't be criminal to be a socialist activist, and you don't need to give ideological screening tests. Citizenship can be a screening test.

Edited by Eiuol

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19 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Is it an evil, anti-mind, anti-life position--or not a totally insane one?

Holding an evil idea does not automatically make you insane or evil.

I was a Mormon until the age of 13 or 14. The ideas I had been taught were evil (anti-mind and anti-life) but I daresay I was still a good person.

The distinction has a lot to do with why you hold the beliefs you do.

 

19 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

So, am I an evil socialist who hates evil socialists? What exactly is my malfunction?

You are afraid of bad things happening to your country. And the things you're afraid of; they are real and they truly would be bad. These concerns (which I also have) are completely rational.

You are also taking that fear as the primary thing in this issue; that anything else is dispensable as long as you can prevent the thing you're afraid of. And although that is somewhat understandable (I sometimes have similar reactions to spiders) it is not at all rational. Inasmuch as what you're proposing would be so much worse than those things we're both afraid of, it is an objectively self-destructive thought process.

What's so frustrating to me is that an hour or two of serious, critical thinking about what I've already said would lead you to exactly the same conclusion.

 

I won't offer any theories about why you haven't given it the appropriate amount of thought yet. I'd probably be right (I do seem to have a knack for it) but it's rude in a way I'd hate to be towards a fellow Objectivist. I reserve that shit for Commies. ;)

 

But for the love of your self PLEASE take a step back and THINK!!!!!

 

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Musical punctuation

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17 hours ago, whYNOT said:

A mind is the unknown, anyway prone to subterfuge and fakery by some.

I vehemently disagree. Careful observation and thought can always expose what someone REALLY thinks; in this respect, at least, the truth really does always win (provided one knows how to find it).

To everything else you said I can only add: amen!

 

PS:

Actually, I can add that someone else already posted the very same clip of Yaron a few pages back ... And also that there's probably a very good reason for that.

It's so nice we posted it twice.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
PostScript

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6 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

I vehemently disagree. Careful observation and thought can always expose what someone REALLY thinks; in this respect, at least, the truth really does always win (provided one knows how to find it).

 

You can, I can, with effort and motivation "expose" what a person thinks, fairly well. Practicing the virtue of justice entails comparing someone's words to their acts, hardly a quick n easy exercise.  Can and should a government bureaucrat do so? But we are talking of large numbers of applicants, anyway. I've said the process should be expedited, a filter not a growing bottleneck.

Edited by whYNOT

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On 9/7/2019 at 12:33 AM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Holding an evil idea does not automatically make you insane or evil.

I'm not talking about merely holding an evil idea. I'm talking about being an activist, seriously and intentionally promoting an evil political ideology.

If you address my actual position without straw man attacks, I'll write a comprehensive analysis of yours. Fair enough? All you're doing right now is acting like the emotion-based non-thinker that you accuse me of being.

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On 9/6/2019 at 3:27 PM, Eiuol said:

What's the line across to become a socialist activist, from a mistaken capitalist?

Joining a socialist political party is an indication of possible activism. Most clearly would be publicly advocating for a socialist revolution. Somewhere along those lines. I'm sure we could spend pages hashing out an objective policy. The key element is preaching against individual rights, particularly property rights. In that context, your support for UBI is baffling, since it's based on violating property rights. Maybe you can link me to your argument.

Edited by MisterSwig

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On 9/2/2019 at 12:54 PM, MisterSwig said:

I'm saying you don't have a right to enter a foreign country at will. It is a privilege granted by the government that controls that territory.

Then American citizens don't have the right to free movement either (even from, say, Des Moines to Minneapolis). It might be a privilege that all the governments involved (Federal, Minnesotan and Iowan) are nice enough to Grant you, but if they should change their mind and decide to stop and frisk anyone crossing that border in either direction then they are only exercising their right to "lock their front door".

 

That is not a straw man. That is my use of the Ad Absurdium (and I haven't even made it absurd, yet) to express one of the many problems I see with denying the right to immigration.

And since immigration is just one particular kind of movement (and my "right to immigrate" is really just my "right to walk around nonviolently") what you're really saying is that nobody has the right to go from any one place to another without being forcibly stopped and questioned by the police: MEANING that there wouldn't be anything wrong in principle with the state "controlling movement" between your house and your workplace.

 

Now, you've mentioned that nobody has such a "right to walk around" on someone else's property, and that's true. And before you bring it up I'd like to mention:

1. Neither you nor the entire American government owns the entire length of our borders

2. Even if you did, they do have airplanes in Mexico

So unless you're saying that we all collectively own the land of every individual rancher on the border (or that nobody has a "right to move around" on either side of any border) it is not relevant.

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On 9/10/2019 at 11:16 AM, MisterSwig said:

In that context, your support for UBI is baffling, since it's based on violating property rights. Maybe you can link me to your argument.

No argument required here in our discussion. Pretend it's a very bad argument that's easy to shoot down.

Pretend you're sitting in your office, in charge of deporting socialists. Your chief investigator comes to you and says "look at this, Eiuol is arguing for socialism, and it requires violating rights! He created the Capitalist UBI party and is going to run for president. He said so ".  

Where I'm going with this is that your standards aren't any good here. We don't even need fringe cases to immediately show problems with activism as a dangerous threshold. If I were to use "authoritarian activism" as a standard, you would be deported already, even though I think you're honestly mistaken.

Edited by Eiuol

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On 9/10/2019 at 10:02 AM, MisterSwig said:

All you're doing right now is acting like the emotion-based non-thinker that you accuse me of being.

Well, I will admit that you've gotten me a little bit emotional at this point, but I fail to see how it makes that post an expression of emotionalism.

You asked "am I a socialist who hates socialists? What exactly is my malfunction?" You literally asked me to diagnose (or psychologize) you. And in the course of granting your request I REFERRED to a lot of emotions but if you look carefully I did not BASE my thinking on them; I used them neither as a yardstick of truth nor of righteousness.

 

There is a difference between being an "emotion-based thinker" and being two red-blooded men who do occasionally feel stuff.

 

And for the record, at no point have I called you an emotionalist (and if I did then I could not also call you an Objectivist). I accused you of basing your view of this one specific subject on your emotions and asked you to please take the time and effort to knock that shit off.

 

On 9/10/2019 at 10:02 AM, MisterSwig said:

I'm not talking about merely holding an evil idea. I'm talking about being an activist, seriously and intentionally promoting an evil political ideology.

Yeah? You don't think I tried to save anyone else's soul when I was a Mormon? Certain ideas come with prepackaged implications about other people (usually that it's very important to teach them the idea) and anyone who doesn't ACT on those implications either doesn't really believe in the idea or doesn't take ideas (or them selves) seriously. I couldn't call you an Objectivist if I didn't think you'd practice whatever it is you preach, either.

 

On 9/10/2019 at 10:02 AM, MisterSwig said:

If you address my actual position without straw man attacks, I'll write a comprehensive analysis of yours.

I don't think I have been. I certainly haven't tried to make any straw men here, and to be completely honest I'm having a hard time figuring out what you even mean by that.

 

If you're referring to what I said about thought-crime (and things like that) it's not a straw man; it's taking the general principles you've laid out and finding the most extreme ways one could consistently apply them without internal contradiction. 

It's called a "reduction to absurdity" (just like the one in my very last post) and although most college professors wouldn't consider it valid, I absolutely do. The section of John Galt's Speech about how "there isn't any morsel of food you eat that isn't needed by somebody, somewhere on Earth" and "your choices are to be fully moral or to live at all" - that's an ad absurdum of the principle of Altruism (and one I consider to be damn good).

You cannot do that to a solid principle that's been explained well. When people try to do it to Egoism by saying "so you should just steal and rape your way to the top" they're contradicting how great human beings can be for each other (which makes it invalid); when they say "so you shouldn't give a single cent to anyone you personally dislike, no matter how much they need it" - well, yeah; we shouldn't shy away from admitting that.

 

You see what I'm getting at? If it's possible to do that without contradicting something else you've said then either you need to explain yourself more clearly or it's just a shit principle (like Altruism).

 

If that's what you mean about "straw men" then there's nothing wrong with my reasoning and you ought to just address it. If not then would you please explain what's wrong with how I've presented your position, because I honestly do not see it.

 

PS: Also for the record, using "but what if X happens" as your yardstick on this subject is using your fear of X as that yardstick, which is emotionalism.

Please put that yardstick away. It's not a bad yardstick, per se; it does have its uses, but it does not belong here.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
PostScript

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1 hour ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Then American citizens don't have the right to free movement either (even from, say, Des Moines to Minneapolis).

Now you are understanding me. Not even citizens have the absolute right of travel within the States. Are you suggesting that a city shouldn't be allowed to, say, issue a filming permit to a movie studio and restrict travel through a portion of downtown Los Angeles for a period of time? Isn't that a violation of my right to travel on public roads? How hardcore is your position?

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53 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Yeah? You don't think I tried to save anyone else's soul when I was a Mormon? Certain ideas come with prepackaged implications about other people (usually that it's very important to teach them the idea) and anyone who doesn't ACT on those implications either doesn't really believe in the idea or doesn't take ideas (or them selves) seriously. I couldn't call you an Objectivist if I didn't think you'd practice whatever it is you preach, either.

Okay, this sounds like the root of my problem with your view. You don't have to preach your ideas to others in order to live according to those ideas. That is, unless your adopted idea includes the notion that you must go around preaching it. Going on missions is a big part of Mormonism. I was a Protestant and didn't care about preaching my faith. I still took ideas seriously, which was why I realized my error soon after being exposed to Objectivism.

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14 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

You asked "am I a socialist who hates socialists? What exactly is my malfunction?" You literally asked me to diagnose (or psychologize) you.

Yes, and just to show that I meant what I said, I thank you for your invited opinion. I actually prefer when opponents try to psychologize me, because usually they offer zero evidence for their claim, and it reveals more about them than me. But I also occasionally find the rare observer-listener who really gets me, and then their fact-based insights are like treasure to me.

14 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

If that's what you mean about "straw men" then there's nothing wrong with my reasoning and you ought to just address it.

There's nothing to address. If I actually believed what you say I believe, then I would be evil. But I don't believe in "thought-crime." I don't even believe that socialist activists on public street corners should go to jail. They should be warned or fined for unpermitted public speech-making. If they continue, only then should they be arrested for being a public disturbance. If you had read my argument on this thread starting from page four, you'd know this already.

I have made the argument to end all Objectivist arguments for the right to travel. To nutshell it for you: If all property, including roads, were privatized, then you wouldn't have this so-called "right" to travel across jurisdictional boundaries at will. The property owners could all band together and exile you to your own property, if you had any--or to some country that would have you. So you're arguing for a "right" that you wouldn't even have in an Objectivist nation.

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On 9/11/2019 at 1:45 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

PS: Also for the record, using "but what if X happens" as your yardstick on this subject is using your fear of X as that yardstick, which is emotionalism.

 

15 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Yes, and just to show that I meant what I said, I thank you for your invited opinion. I actually prefer when opponents try to psychologize me, because usually they offer zero evidence for their claim, and it reveals more about them than me. But I also occasionally find the rare observer-listener who really gets me, and then their fact-based insights are like treasure to me.

It's actually funny you should mention that. I was chewing on this a bit more when it occurred to me that I didn't have any hard evidence that you're basing your position on emotion. It is in the very least a fundamental misconception of how "rights" work (which I'll come back to) but I don't have any good reason to believe it isn't based on SOME legitimate process of thought. I guess I mainly concluded it because of the (EMOTIONAL) part of me that sympathizes with your arguments (which makes it doubly funny that you said "it usually says more about them than me").

I am sorry about that. My philosophical "chops" are very rusty right now, which is part of what I'm trying to do on this forum. I usually try not to psychologize anyone I actually respect (just because it's rude) but I really have never had anyone ask for it before.

I'll respond to everything else in another hour or two. I just wanted to mention my mistake before anyone else could do it for me. :P

 

I'm sorry.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Brevity

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On 9/11/2019 at 2:31 PM, MisterSwig said:

Not even citizens have the absolute right of travel within the States. Are you suggesting that a city shouldn't be allowed to, say, issue a filming permit to a movie studio and restrict travel through a portion of downtown Los Angeles for a period of time?

As with my example of "walking down main Street with a bloody machete" (and, in fact, as with ANY moral question whatsoever) the big question is WHY it's being done.

Incidentally, I had a friend once who basically did that. He was shocked and outraged when the police stopped him, which still continues to crack me up.

If I were walking across my own lawn (from my apartment to my car) with a bloody machete in my hand then it'd be right for the cops to stop and question me, and forcibly prevent me from ending the conversation prematurely. Just as it'd be right for them to break down my door and invade my home if they had a good reason to think I was murdering people inside of it. Neither would be a violation of my rights; both would actually represent the proper protection of everyone's rights (including my own) PROVIDED they followed the proper procedures, beginning with probable cause. Not being allowed to walk around looking like Jason Voorhees is just one of the prices you've got to pay for living in a civilized society. So no, I wouldn't have a problem with a city blocking off an area for shooting a movie, as long as there was an objective procedure (including giving everyone plenty of advance notice) which was followed to the letter.

However, I am not okay with the interstate patrol pulling people over for no reason whatsoever just to see what they could find in some poor schmuck's car (provided this schmuck isn't Jason Voorhees). It doesn't matter whether they're crossing the entire continental United States or even leaving the country entirely, you can't just bother random people for no good reason.

I really can't stress that "good reason" part enough. It's pivotal to how I look at this whole thing.

On 9/11/2019 at 2:31 PM, MisterSwig said:

How hardcore is your position?

After reading Binswanger's essay on your other thread (thanks, by the way) I eventually concluded that we probably shouldn't have any border patrols or checkpoints at all. It took a while; I'm a pretty stubborn guy and I genuinely am nervous about some of the psychos that're out there, but I cannot find any holes in his logic.

The principled thing would seem to be totally and completely open borders.

 

So ... that hardcore?

 

On 9/11/2019 at 2:47 PM, MisterSwig said:

Okay, this sounds like the root of my problem with your view.

It's not, but we'll come back to what it really is.

On 9/11/2019 at 2:47 PM, MisterSwig said:

You don't have to preach your ideas to others in order to live according to those ideas. That is, unless your adopted idea includes the notion that you must go around preaching it. Going on missions is a big part of Mormonism. I was a Protestant and didn't care about preaching my faith. I still took ideas seriously, which was why I realized my error soon after being exposed to Objectivism.

You're right that it depends on the idea, but every example I can come up with off the top of my head implies that you should spread it. Even Objectivism (which is about as lassiez-faire about other people as you could possibly get) says that each of us would be able to live far better lives, as individuals, in a world where everyone believed what we do (interestingly, your "socialism" hangup actually SEEMS like a direct consequence of the inverse of that).

18 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

If you had read my argument on this thread starting from page four, you'd know this already.

For the record, as of my psychologizing post I've officially read this whole thread (although it is a lot to hold in your brain at the same time).

18 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

If all property, including roads, were privatized, then you wouldn't have this so-called "right" to travel across jurisdictional boundaries at will. The property owners could all band together and exile you to your own property, if you had any--or to some country that would have you. So you're arguing for a "right" that you wouldn't even have in an Objectivist nation.

In which case I'd buy a plane ticket to wherever I wanted to go and fly right past them. Unless you think that you could get all 300 million Americans to unanimously agree to this (or that we all collectively own each other's property somehow) it's a non-sequiter.

 

---

 

But here's what I think we actually disagree about.

On 9/11/2019 at 1:45 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Also for the record, using "but what if X happens" as your yardstick on this subject is using your fear of X as that yardstick, which is emotionalism.

If there is a chance that someone MIGHT commit a crime at some point in the future, does that make it right for us to treat them like a criminal (by detaining and questioning them or by kicking down doors or whatever) TODAY?

I have no reason to think your "yes" to that question doesn't come from some real thought process (and, once again, I'm sorry for my baseless accusation of emotionalism). But everything you're saying does boil down to a "yes" to that question, which is wrong.

I can quote you chapter and verse how I came to that conclusion, if you like. You're obviously welcome (as always) to tell me if you think I'm wrong. Otherwise I'll need to read up a bit before I can properly explain exactly what's wrong with that - although, off the top of my head, I can say that it reminds me of Minority Report and that it doesn't seem to take sufficient account of peoples' free will.

It is not de wae.

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10 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

After reading Binswanger's essay on your other thread (thanks, by the way) I eventually concluded that we probably shouldn't have any border patrols or checkpoints at all. It took a while; I'm a pretty stubborn guy and I genuinely am nervous about some of the psychos that're out there, but I cannot find any holes in his logic.

I wrote a whole post about the big hole in his logic. We can discuss it over there if you like. I don't expect people to just abandon Binswanger's view without a fight. But the honest ones should at least take my argument seriously.

10 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

In which case I'd buy a plane ticket to wherever I wanted to go and fly right past them. Unless you think that you could get all 300 million Americans to unanimously agree to this (or that we all collectively own each other's property somehow) it's a non-sequiter.

My hypothetical showed that you don't have an absolute right to travel. Such a thing relies on a mistaken conception of public property and is based on the notion that nobody can claim ownership or control over public property, which is the idea I challenged in my other post. Your "airplane ride" example has nothing to do with my argument. In my "all property is private" hypothetical, no plane company would even sell you a ticket, because you wouldn't be allowed on their property, let alone take off and land from an airport. Do you also have a right to travel by plane?

10 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

If there is a chance that someone MIGHT commit a crime at some point in the future, does that make it right for us to treat them like a criminal (by detaining and questioning them or by kicking down doors or whatever) TODAY?

Here's the problem, I think. You're conflating two separate issues. First, there is the issue of border control: do we have the right to stop people at the border and question them? My justification for that is based on property rights and our need to protect the people inside the border from objective threats attempting to enter the country. Second, there is the issue of socialist activists already within the country, let's make them citizens of this nation demonstrating and espousing their beliefs on a public street corner. My justification for banning such activity on public property has to do with the taxpayer's ownership of that property and our right to democratically establish and enforce public codes of etiquette, per Ayn Rand's argument for banning pornographic displays in public. See my post on that here. So, there are two issues here, two arguments, two different applications of property rights. And they both depend on my "public property" argument on the new thread.

Also, I've already answered the "bloody machete" objection. The probable cause for arresting people illegally crossing the border is that they are illegally crossing the border. They are objectively avoiding legal points of entry. This is a crime. So you would need to argue against our right to control the border, not our right to enforce laws. Prove that such laws are wrong.

Edited by MisterSwig

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On 9/12/2019 at 9:25 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

After reading Binswanger's essay on your other thread (thanks, by the way) I eventually concluded that we probably shouldn't have any border patrols or checkpoints at all.

(Caveat: I haven't read Binswanger's essay.)

I think there's reason for border patrol/checkpoint/a controlled point-of-entry, and that this does not interfere with what we might call the "right of travel," but which is really just a specific application of the normal liberty/property/right-to-life stuff. Such a checkpoint represents a broad transfer of legal jurisdiction, and I believe that the proper administration of law and justice requires an opportunity for ensuring that -- you know -- someone leaving Mexico to come to the United States isn't fleeing Mexican justice, etc., because all else being equal, American authorities aren't going to be on the lookout for people who've committed crimes in Mexico (and will not have the requisite information on them). Thus, such a border checkpoint provides at least an opportunity for that information to be transferred/collected by the appropriate bodies, when relevant. It's mostly a procedural matter, then, but procedure matters.

The comparison that I've used before is this: part and parcel to our rights, vis a vis the administration of justice, we have the right to a "fair and speedy trial." Fair enough. We can't simply throw people into prison indefinitely without establishing that they've committed whatever crime, and without having received an appropriate sentence; the lack of a fair and speedy trial, then, is an abrogation of liberty/individual right.

But that fair and speedy trial must actually be executed, in reality, and we need real world procedures to achieve this. Someone arrested, however he might have the right to a "speedy" trial, cannot expect an immediate trial. Some actual judge must be found to hear the case, evidence must be collected, etc., etc., and this may amount to some delay, in reason, even if every actor is doing his level best to provide that speedy trial. Even an innocent man may have to spend some time in prison to accommodate the provenance of justice on his behalf.

And so it is with crossing a border (whether international or, say, between states): an individual has every right to do this, yet there may be some kind of delay at a crossing reflecting the real procedural change between one legal jurisdiction and another -- to ensure, again, that the person involved isn't a wanted criminal, or a known terrorist, or etc.

Edited to add: It may go without saying, but just in case...

The appropriate procedural delay I discuss above has nearly nothing to do with modern or historical immigration policy, which is usually a mish-mash of xenophobia, economic protectionism and various other assorted collectivist ideas. If the border checkpoint were delimited to what I've briefly outlined, it would look far, far different than our own border today.

That said, I think it's important to at least acknowledge that there's a role for such a checkpoint, if only because bad faith debaters seem to enjoy suggesting apocalyptic scenarios where actual invading armies stroll across an unguarded border, because we don't believe we have the right to stop them. But no, we're within our rights to stop invading armies and wanted criminals, just as we could stop them on our own, domestic streets. A rational border policy then is really just an inspection service meant to identify and respond to such threats as they enter our jurisdiction.

Edited by DonAthos

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That general warrants, whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive and ought not to be granted. (George Mason et al., Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776.)

Every subject has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches, and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions. All warrants, therefore, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order in the warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure: and no warrant ought to be issued but in cases, and with the formalities, prescribed by the laws. (John Adams, Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, 1780.)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (US Constitution, Amendment 4, 1789.)

In 1765, the King's Messenger Nathan Carrington, along with others, pursuant to a warrant issued by George Montagu-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax forcibly entered the home of one John Entick. The warrant authorized them "to make strict and diligent search for ... the author, or one concerned in the writing of several weekly very seditious papers entitled, 'The Monitor or British Freeholder, No 257, 357, 358, 360, 373, 376, 378, and 380.'" They seized printed charts, pamphlets and other materials. Entick filed suit in Entick v Carrington, argued before the Court of King's Bench in 1765. Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden ruled that both the search and the seizure were unlawful, as the warrant authorized the seizure of all of Entick's papers, not just the criminal ones, and as the warrant lacked probable cause to even justify the search:

"By the laws of England, every invasion of private property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass. No man can set his foot upon my ground without my licence, but he is liable to an action, though the damage be nothing; which is proved by every declaration in trespass, where the defendant is called upon to answer for bruising the grass and even treading upon the soil. If he admits the fact, he is bound to show by way of justification, that some positive law has empowered or excused him" (Camden 1765.)

Entick vs Carrington established the English common law principle against general search warrants and of requiring some positive action (probable cause) requirement before subjecting an individual to a warrant. Camden's judgment became the basis for the Virginia and Massachusetts Declarations and later the 4th item on the Bill of Rights.

Among self-styled Objectivists and Randians, the ones that are not biased against immigrants and who support some kind of free immigration (Brook and Binswanger come to mind), they often express desire for some kind of screening and inspection at the border. This is problematic because it seems like a general warrant. It also seems like there was no probable cause that could have triggered the inspection. If you submit someone to an inspection without those requirements being met, it seems like you're violating their rights.

Why is that? Well if it's "initiation" of physical force that qualifies as violating rights, the people you're searching generally and without probably cause haven't even been accused of doing anything wrong at all. They haven't met any evidentiary standard. You're just searching them because they're foreigners and might possibly have done something. It seems like you're the one initiating physical force on them.

6 hours ago, DonAthos said:

this does not interfere with what we might call the "right of travel," but which is really just a specific application of the normal liberty/property/right-to-life stuff.

Indeed, if you're interested in what might normally be the traveling of private persons going about their business, and just wish to apply the normal right of liberty, property, security in one's person, papers, and effects, it seems like you don't have a basis to search immigrants. Normal here means to assume there's no unusual circumstances going on. 

People cross and transfer multiple jurisdictions all the time, every day. And yet this is normally not grounds for a search or inspection. If there actually are grounds, then a warrant can be executed by the legal system. But no pre-crime searches are normally allowed if I'm traveling from, say, California to Nevada, or Bronx to Brooklyn. It seems like normally there is no special problem of "transfer of jurisdiction." I'm just in one jurisdiction one second, then in another the next. 

If you say, well what if they're evading Mexican justice, well what if I'm evading Bronx justice by traveling to Brooklyn? Can we subject me to a "what if" search warrant? It seems not. It seems "what if" search warrants are a terrible idea. In real life, the matter is resolved by a judge in one jurisdiction being presented with a writ or warrant from another jurisdiction. Then the legal system proceeds as normally. No "what if" warrants are permitted.

 

 

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