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MisterSwig

Immigration restrictions

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4 minutes ago, Nicky said:

Just to be clear, because I'm having trouble believing what you're saying: if people who openly subscribe to Nazi ideology started pouring into New Zealand (and you lived there), you wouldn't be in favor of the government halting the migration at any point? Not at one million, not at three million, not even at five million? As long as they're not part of an organized invasion, they're just regular migrants who happen to subscribe to Nazi ideology, you would not want it stopped? You would rather allow Nazis to become the majority in the country you live in, than break with this belief you're clinging to that borders should always be open to non-criminal civilians? 

Do you understand that you would be executed within a year of them gaining majority, simply for being an Objectivist?

Don't know how Eiuol will answer, but drop fake New Zealand idea, and insert a proper ideal capitalist country they should be welcome in any number. What they wouldn't be welcome to do is act on any of their beliefs or be allowed to meet together in CapitalistWorld to plan any such acts. Either would be clearly illegal and should lead to quick arrests of all involved with stiff sentences. 

There is a huge difference between moral people meeting and organizing the overthrow of immoral government for proper ones, and the opposite case of evil people meeting and organizing the overthrow of a moral government. Their is a natural asymmetry that allows for opposite actions in each case. 

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3 hours ago, Nicky said:

Just to be clear, because I'm having trouble believing what you're saying: if people who openly subscribe to Nazi ideology started pouring into New Zealand (and you lived there), you wouldn't be in favor of the government halting the migration at any point?

I wouldn't.

But your scenario is pretty fantastical once you start talking about millions upon millions of people, and I'm answering according to the constraints you set. If there are millions of people coming in, they would be supported by some foreign government, or possibly even a corporation. I already explained how I probably would intervene if this was the case. But you said they are acting independently. You are also assuming that they would become a threat, despite the fact they have no plan of action. I don't see how that is possible. Basically, I don't see how your scenario could be true unless there was some (imminent) threat of violence already going on. 

That isn't to say I wouldn't do anything, and I would want to stop it, just not with the method you prescribe. For one, I think it reflects weakness of a country if an ideology is truly a threat on the level of ideas. If a country is going to fall over so easily, it's already dead. I'm going to treat an ideological invasion as strictly ideological, so I would combat it in ideological ways. As soon as an ounce of violence enters in the equation, I'd be fine with using force. 

Remember, we were talking about permitting people to enter the country based on anti-American beliefs. I'm not talking about assessing the risk of propaganda and legal measures unrelated to immigration.

4 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Hitler didn't need to use violence. He was a brilliant speaker and wooed the masses.

But he did use violence, so you can't possibly answer that he didn't need violence. He used violence and other things. Without violence, his plan probably never would have worked. He used multiple tactics that included violence, particularly violence against government people, and even violence against other Nazis. Clearly a philosophical component was necessary to win out, but the point is that violence was an essential part. It doesn't have to be violence against civilians; any good dictator knows that you need support of the people while making sure you literally destroy your opposition in the government.

I don't think you can even come up with one example of a dictator who didn't use violence. Just because some nonviolent measures were used doesn't mean these measures were sufficient.

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As a result of this thread I now believe that my idea of a perfect society would be a benevolent dictatorship where a super-intelligent and perfectly moral AI creates a perfectly capitalist government with eternal unchanging laws and itself as our eternal "dictator". Ideally it would create enforce the law with super-accurate space weapons (satellite-mounted lasers and thor's hammer type weapons) and various force-field shields to protect against counter-threats. There'd be no voting or need for elected officials and moral laws would be enforced by it or it's proxies (police, military, drones, cyborgs). Kind of like the movie Terminator, but with a moral entity in charge.

Edited by EC

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On 1/15/2019 at 3:26 AM, Nicky said:

[D]o you want to answer the question: should it be a right to organize the mass migration of ideological Nazis, who's stated goal is to create a fascist, national socialist government, and then achieve racial harmony by having the government murder all non-whites, into the US?

Again: holding and expressing such beliefs is the constitutionally guaranteed right of Americans. That's not what my question is. My question is, should it also be the right of would be immigrants, or should there be a double standard?

Would-be immigrants have the right to advocate for Nazism. But they don't have the right to enter the country. Entering the U.S. is a privilege that must be granted by the government.

To help explain this position, I ask you to imagine that we live in a capitalist society where all property is privately owned, including the land along the borders of the nation. And now imagine that all the landowners agree to construct a fence along the border and keep out socialists. This practice is entirely within their rights as private landowners.

But what if one landowner along the border converts to socialism? Let's say he removes the fence on his property and starts inviting in socialists from the neighboring country. His neighbors then put up fences, effectively banishing him from the capitalist society. He suffers the consequences of his actions, the capitalists no longer protect him, and his property is confiscated by the socialist nation.

It is this right to one's property which forms the basis for a nation's right to border control. A nation has the right to allow or refuse immigration, because its citizens each have the right to allow or refuse visitors on their property. They do not lose this right simply by forming a national government. But they do agree to let the government exercise that right on their behalf. And so, we democratically elect representatives who decide immigration and border control policy for the nation.

Border control policy must be judged by how well it protects property rights, because that is the basis for it. It should not be judged by how well it tolerates the enemies of property rights.

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

the right to allow or refuse visitors on their property.

The way you wrote this, you are saying that an ideal situation, you can deport or exile socialists. In principle, this also means you can deport anyone who is not sufficiently capitalistic. I'm really just curious where you would draw the line. I'm not arguing for a completely open border by the way. I'm just not seeing any principled answer from you.

4 hours ago, EC said:

perfectly moral AI creates a perfectly capitalist government with eternal unchanging laws and itself as our eternal "dictator"

That sounds pretty cool.

I think you might like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYG_4vJ4qNA

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7 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

The way you wrote this, you are saying that an ideal situation, you can deport or exile socialists. In principle, this also means you can deport anyone who is not sufficiently capitalistic.

Yes, though I'm not claiming that this would be an "ideal situation." I'm only saying that a capitalist nation would have the right to do it. However, the line would be drawn at violating individual rights, including property rights. The socialist or insufficient capitalist might not believe in private property, but if he has gained some, then he's entitled to keep it. Also, if he is a citizen, he has the additional rights of a citizen. Maybe he has the right to present his case to a jury or judge and legally fight exile.

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9 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Yes, though I'm not claiming that this would be an "ideal situation." I'm only saying that a capitalist nation would have the right to do it. However, the line would be drawn at violating individual rights, including property rights. The socialist or insufficient capitalist might not believe in private property, but if he has gained some, then he's entitled to keep it. Also, if he is a citizen, he has the additional rights of a citizen. Maybe he has the right to present his case to a jury or judge and legally fight exile.

But this is the line I was drawing since the very beginning, but you were arguing that anti-American belief that's sufficiently bad, and this alone, can qualify someone to be denied access to the country. Did you change your mind? If you have the legal rights to deny someone access for being a socialist, then you have the legal right to exile (any legal punishment really) them for being a socialist. 

What I said ideal situation, I meant the ideal form of government.

Edited by Eiuol

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19 hours ago, EC said:

This is an (valid) argument against representational democracies which should all cease to exist. It's not an argument for the prohibition of the overthrow of improper governments.

Nah, it is an argument against the 26th amendment, granting voting rights based on age. Clearly that is not working very well.

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19 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

But this is the line I was drawing since the very beginning, but you were arguing that anti-American belief that's sufficiently bad, and this alone, can qualify someone to be denied access to the country. Did you change your mind?

I was attempting to justify an application of a general principle to America in particular. I haven't reviewed all of my prior argumentation, but some might be misguided because I didn't make the connection between property rights and border control until yesterday. Previously I was basing my application on the right to secure and protect one's own life and family. That was only part of the equation, and it has more to do with why we might keep out physical threats (criminals and the contagiously sick), not ideological threats (communists and Nazis). So, in that way I did change my mind.

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17 hours ago, EC said:

As a result of this thread I now believe that my idea of a perfect society would be a benevolent dictatorship where a super-intelligent and perfectly moral AI creates a perfectly capitalist government with eternal unchanging laws and itself as our eternal "dictator".

If you're serious about this, who would determine whether the AI was acting morally?

Also, this idea suffers from the simple fact that life is not stagnant. People invent stuff, discover facts, face unexpected threats and disasters, things that drastically alter our philosophies and ways of life. Therefore the laws must change in accordance with how these new things relate to and affect people in society.

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On 1/17/2019 at 12:01 PM, MisterSwig said:

If you're serious about this, who would determine whether the AI was acting morally?

Also, this idea suffers from the simple fact that life is not stagnant. People invent stuff, discover facts, face unexpected threats and disasters, things that drastically alter our philosophies and ways of life. Therefore the laws must change in accordance with how these new things relate to and affect people in society.

What, not who. Objectivism, the same thing that keeps me and you moral.

I did say eternally non-changing, but it's not exactly what I meant. I meant the essential laws, power-structure of the government, etc. I.e., a lean government ran initially by AI that was essentially created as the most intelligent O'ist to ever exist until that point. John Galt on intellectual steriods. And yes, I know the irony that Galt actually turned being a dictator down in the book, but what they were looking for was a pragmatist, not a capitalist. The laws would develop as contextually needed. 

It's my belief (hate that word, but can't think of a better one here) that as time goes on man and machine will merge, and become something different. The need of this AI "overlord" will diminish as we all become exponentially more intelligent, rational, perfectly moral. I think, in other words, that the "singularity" of transhumanists will happen, but they want a "god" who will create some perfect altruistic society. I think we could agree here that a super-intelligent entity will never choose to become an altruist or evil in any way. It will choose to be a perfect egoist. This is what I want to lead us until we all match it. After that, I'm not sure what would be best.

Edited by EC

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4 hours ago, EC said:

What, not who. Objectivism, the same thing that keeps me and you moral.

Objectivism doesn't make determinations. People do. Are you positing some kind of Objectivist judicial branch that keeps the AI in check?

Also, Objectivism is a philosophy for man, not AI. You're assuming that the same philosophy is good for both naturally and artificially intelligent entities, as well as both mortal animals and eternal machines. How do you know what philosophy an eternal AI should have? You're human.

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2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Objectivism doesn't make determinations. People do. Are you positing some kind of Objectivist judicial branch that keeps the AI in check?

Also, Objectivism is a philosophy for man, not AI. You're assuming that the same philosophy is good for both naturally and artificially intelligent entities, as well as both mortal animals and eternal machines. How do you know what philosophy an eternal AI should have? You're human.

Morality does though. No I'm positing an AI that is morally perfect and wouldn't need to be held in check. It would be the one holding potential rights violators in check with swift devastating force if needed. 

Objectivism was designed originally for man, but is a philosophy for all possible rational entities. It doesn't matter what you are made of or what caused your existence, if you are an entity with a conscious conceptual mind, an ego, than the code that properly guides your action is egoism. Man is only temporarily a mortal animal, immortality will soon be a very real thing, and then losing the animal attribute may follow.

Because mind is mind regardless of what physical substrate generates it's existence. A rational entity requires the usage of reason and concepts which Objectivist epistemology provides. Either Objectivist epistemology is valid and applies to all minds or it's not valid at all. There's no alternative.

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12 hours ago, EC said:

Man is only temporarily a mortal animal, immortality will soon be a very real thing, and then losing the animal attribute may follow.

Ah, so Objectivism is for immortal entities as well. How about omniscient beings? Do they need a philosophy on how to acquire knowledge?

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It will be, yes. If part of man's nature is that he can use technology to become effectively immortal, and it is, then how could it not be? Do you believe morality stops being moral in 20-30 years when this technology is commonplace? 

Omniscient beings? We are talking about things that are possible not imaginary and unscientific.

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I realize the the above "it is" is an assertion. When I make these type of weak assertions I assume if the reader isn't up-to-date on what's slightly over the scientific horizon, that they can use Google for concepts like telomere, DNA, and nanobot-based repair, mind upload to the cloud, synthetic bodies, etc.

Edited by EC

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On 1/16/2019 at 9:38 PM, EC said:

Don't know how Eiuol will answer, but drop fake New Zealand idea, and insert a proper ideal capitalist country they should be welcome in any number.

We're talking about current immigration restrictions, not hypothetical ones in an ideal country. New Zealand is a typical western country. It's not fake, it's right next to Australia. I know there's a meme about how Australia doesn't exist, but I've been to both, and took pictures just in case.

So, if you lived in New Zealand, would you be in favor of letting 5 mill. Nazis in?

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On 1/17/2019 at 12:53 AM, Eiuol said:

I wouldn't.

But your scenario is pretty fantastical once you start talking about millions upon millions of people, and I'm answering according to the constraints you set. If there are millions of people coming in, they would be supported by some foreign government, or possibly even a corporation.

Not in my scenario. And it's a perfectly realistic scenario, history is full of far, far larger scale migrations than the one I'm suggesting. They weren't supported by any government, people are perfectly capable of mimicking patterns of behavior off of each other, without any central organizing force.

Edited by Nicky

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On 1/17/2019 at 4:58 AM, MisterSwig said:

Would-be immigrants have the right to advocate for Nazism. But they don't have the right to enter the country. Entering the U.S. is a privilege that must be granted by the government. 

To help explain this position, I ask you to imagine that we live in a capitalist society where all property is privately owned, including the land along the borders of the nation. And now imagine that all the landowners agree to construct a fence along the border and keep out socialists. This practice is entirely within their rights as private landowners. 

1. No, it's not, that would imply that you can also keep people from leaving using the same exact mechanism. Which is absurd.

2. Easement is a well established common law right, and there is nothing in Objectivism that would allow you to dispute that. All prominent Objectivists are 100% in favor of easements. Besides, airplanes were invented a while back, so the notion that a fence could stop someone from entering a country is ridiculous.

3. My question involves New Zealand, a typical western country with a mixed political and economic system. So there's no reason to even bring up a perfect capitalist society. I already know the Oist position on what immigration policy should be in a perfect capitalist society.

Edited by Nicky

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On 1/16/2019 at 11:26 AM, Nicky said:

Just to be clear, because I'm having trouble believing what you're saying: if people who openly subscribe to Nazi ideology started pouring into New Zealand (and you lived there), you wouldn't be in favor of the government halting the migration at any point? Not at one million, not at three million, not even at five million? As long as they're not part of an organized invasion, they're just regular migrants who happen to subscribe to Nazi ideology, you would not want it stopped? You would rather allow Nazis to become the majority in the country you live in, than break with this belief you're clinging to that borders should always be open to non-criminal civilians? 

Do you understand that you would be executed within a year of them gaining majority, simply for being an Objectivist?

You would absolutely stop that migration. Your life depends on it. But this is not primarily an immigration issue.

Earlier, when introducing this line of discussion, Nicky, you had drawn some distinction between immigrants and natural-born citizens -- asking whether we should have a "double standard." But we should not. If Nazism at some point (and that point would need to be determined appropriately; I'm probably not the person to assess it, and this probably isn't the forum) constitutes a danger such that they would overthrow some (relatively more rights-respecting) government, then it doesn't matter if their rise comes from immigration or from domestic activities by citizens.

Either people do or do not have a right to those activities, inside or outside of the US, immigrant, visitor or born-n-bred Yankee. The crossing of borders is a meaningless detail, except that it probably informs our method of retaliatory force. But that is the central point: we respond to force, with force. Nazism rising to the level you're describing itself constitutes a threat (and you recognize the nature of that threat when you write, "you would be executed within a year"); that's the same threat if that rise of Nazism is domestic, and it should be responded to, with force.

So my position with respect to immigration -- and I think it is the only immigration position consistent with the principles of Objectivism (which is to say, with reason and reality) -- is: you may rightly stop people at the border for the same reasons (and only these) that you would rightly detain/fine/imprison, or generally respond with force, domestically. That is, when someone has themselves initiated the use of force (inclusive of threats, which I ought not otherwise need make explicit here, but will do so for clarity's sake).

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42 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

Either people do or do not have a right to those activities, inside or outside of the US, immigrant, visitor or born-n-bred Yankee.

I said nothing about any activities. I am talking about beliefs, not activities. If any of the Nazis commit an illegal act, then they should of course be arrested. That was not my question.

And I already proved, in this very thread, that people DO HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT TO ANY BELIEFS, in the US. And there isn't any prospect of that changing, because the First Amendment isn't getting abolished anytime soon.

So that's not the question either. You might as well be answering every question with "well, first of all, my answer assumes that the Moon is made of cheese". No, it's not made of cheese, and no, you can't legally stop Americans from being Nazis. Those are two basic facts.

My question is about what should be done given THE FACTS. So, first accept the facts, then answer the question. If you can do that.

42 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

That is, when someone has themselves initiated the use of force (inclusive of threats, which I ought not otherwise need make explicit here, but will do so for clarity's sake). 

Please don't explain, because it's entirely irrelevant to the conversation. I linked to the US Supreme Court decision on what constitutes a threat that overrides the First Amendment. That's what's relevant, not your opinion, because your opinion will not affect the precedents that have been established by 250 years of American history.

If you wish to answer my question, you first need to recognize the FACT that US law allows for every single belief attributable to Nazi ideology, and the free expression of all those beliefs. If you can't do that, then the conversation is pointless. My question is about current policy, given the facts of reality.

Edited by Nicky

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5 hours ago, Nicky said:

I said nothing about any activities. I am talking about beliefs, not activities. If any of the Nazis commit an illegal act, then they should of course be arrested. That was not my question.

A person is entitled to any beliefs at all, here or anywhere else. It's not a question of beliefs, but activities. One person may violate the rights of another through force or "activity," not "belief."

Imagining that Jews are evil is a belief. Not a good belief to hold, but not an illegal one, either; not one that justifies retaliatory force (because: believing that Jews are evil is not, itself, the initiation of the use of force).

But the scenario you'd proposed consists not merely of beliefs, but activities -- purported to kill Eiuol/Objectivists within a year. Those activities -- the activities necessary to overthrow a rights-respecting government and install a dictatorship -- ought to be illegal (and what you've described might be construed as a kind of criminal conspiracy). But that's true whether we're talking about people organizing such a thing within the country or outside of it, in the US, New Zealand, or anywhere else. "Immigration" is a red herring. If there was a native-to-the-US movement to spread Nazi-ism and subvert democracy from within, we would have to stop that, too.

So perhaps you intend to say nothing about any activities, but then you should -- because that's what we propose to make illegal, or to respond against with force. Not belief. The notion that belief itself should justify retaliatory force is anathema.

Quote

And I already proved, in this very thread, that people DO HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT TO ANY BELIEFS, in the US. And there isn't any prospect of that changing, because the First Amendment isn't getting abolished anytime soon.

And neither do I expect Capitalism to be recognized anytime soon, or rights respected generally, but yes -- that's what I argue for as an Objectivist.

Quote

My question is about what should be done given THE FACTS.

Perfect. Given the facts (which do not include a state of emergency where International Nazis threaten to overrun us; so far as I can tell, we have struggles enough with the domestic variety), we should screen people at the border against criminals, terrorists, carriers of infectious disease, etc., and otherwise allow people to pass, in recognition of their rights.

No double standards. Just individual rights.

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13 hours ago, Nicky said:

And it's a perfectly realistic scenario, history is full of far, far larger scale migrations than the one I'm suggesting.

I wasn't talking about large-scale migrations. I was talking about large-scale migrations explicitly connected to the spread of an ideology that would possibly lead to violence. The only nonviolent version of that I can come up with is if a foreign government were involved. If there is not a foreign government involved, there would be significant markers of potential violence, like stockpiling arms.

I'm claiming that those Nazis aren't actually a threat, but you are. I don't know any historical examples, so that's why I think it's fantastical. If anything, I'm saying that any actions that might need to be taken can be taken when someone commits a crime.

You've kept insisting that these Nazis would be a threat to my life right at that moment (if I were a citizen of New Zealand). I'm not convinced. The most they could do is talk in very vague statements, which is a bad way to motivate people to do anything.

Would you just use a real-life example, instead of the one you imagined? If it is a realistic scenario, then we don't need to talk about an imagined one.

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13 hours ago, Nicky said:

...that would imply that you can also keep people from leaving using the same exact mechanism. Which is absurd.

We already detain certain people seeking to leave the country. What's absurd about that?

13 hours ago, Nicky said:

All prominent Objectivists are 100% in favor of easements.

Are they in favor of easements across international borders? I'm curious how you arrived at this particular assertion. You seem to have an intimate understanding of every prominent Objectivists' position on such an irregular question.

13 hours ago, Nicky said:

My question involves New Zealand, a typical western country with a mixed political and economic system.

First of all, it's not a typical western country. It's an island. But, in any case, New Zealand has the same right to keep out Nazis that a fully capitalist nation would, as I have articulated. And they should do so, especially under your scenario, if they wish to remain a free country.

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On 1/21/2019 at 4:56 PM, EC said:

It will be, yes. If part of man's nature is that he can use technology to become effectively immortal, and it is, then how could it not be? Do you believe morality stops being moral in 20-30 years when this technology is commonplace?

The Objectivist morality would not apply. It is based on the things we need in order to survive, which Rand makes very clear in The Objectivist Ethics. If you make man effectively immortal, then you effectively remove the basis for Rand's moral system. If we are immortal, then we don't need a system for surviving. That'll be covered. We'll need a system for doing whatever immortal things do. What will the common immortal need in thirty years? Pleasure? Will we be programmed for pleasure or will we need to gain it? Maybe we'll all become godlike hedonists.

Edited by MisterSwig

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