exaltron reacted to Harrison Danneskjold in An Objection to Open Immigration
First of all you're arguing for the validity of "public property" in a big way. I don't remember all of Ayn Rand's arguments against it off the top of my head, but she's made quite a few and they all apply.
For starters: since there is no such thing as "the public", only some number of individual men, it has all the same problems with it as that of the concept of a "public good". Who gets to decide how best to use such public property and by what standard? Now, if you were to mention the Democratic process (as I suspect you probably will) then it wouldn't be too difficult to show how, in practice, this would actually mean pressure-group warfare.
In short, everything that's wrong with today's "mixed economy" would also apply to what you're arguing for (since they're both based on the same kind of fallacy).
Secondly, you say that "society in general has no claim on private lands", which I would wholeheartedly agree with. That's absolutely right.
It also means that if some rancher on the border wanted to hire a truck-full of Mexican (or Columbian or Somalian or whatever) laborers to work his own land -or if someone who owned some land in Minnesota chartered a private plane for the same purpose- then it's none of "society's" business.
I do agree that your argument deserves serious consideration (as you mentioned in the other thread). But I don't think it's sturdy enough to survive it.
Actually, it does. By defending the rights of immigrants at the borders we are also defending our own rights, inside of them (and several of Binswanger's examples demonstrate precisely how); anyone who defends the rights of one man is defending the rights of all.
You are right that it doesn't take much imagination to think of ways in which open immigration could go horrifically wrong. That is true. But the same could be said for every other way in which our government is not allowed to meddle in our private lives.
Think of warrantless wiretapping and surveillance. Surely it's important that we allow our government to do the necessary snooping to discover who is or is not an objective threat to everyone else. Not much imagination is needed to think of the terrible things that could happen if we don't allow the government to do that. Not much imagination is needed to think of what could happen without legally mandated insurance (of either the health or automotive varieties), either. You'd probably think it was a straw man if I threw drug prohibition on top of the pile, but it wouldn't be.
"What could happen if we allow people to do X" is not the proper yardstick to apply in this situation. And it turns out that pointing that out does, actually, show regard for the lives and property of our citizenry.
Because neither really matter without freedom.
exaltron reacted to Eiuol in An Objection to Open Immigration
I'm not going to rehash what Odden wrote. Your position is clearly that public ownership is a real thing. I'm not sure how you're going from "groups can own property" to "the public owns property". That's an argument by analogy, basically argument by assertion, since there isn't any kind of demonstration. You didn't improve your argument by saying "public property is a species of group ownership", because I said it doesn't exist. If unicorns existed, they would be a species of horse. But they don't exist in the same way public property doesn't, so I don't care how you would categorize them.
It sure is, and so basic that I don't even want to discuss it. If you want to argue for public property on an Oist forum, it's an uphill battle. Rand calls public property a collectivist fiction. I'm sure you know the reasons well enough, so argue against those.
"Since “public property” is a collectivist fiction, since the public as a whole can neither use nor dispose of its “property,” that “property” will always be taken over by some political “elite,” by a small clique which will then rule the public—a public of literal, dispossessed proletarians."
I misread your statement before. Anyway, that's what I meant by pretending public property is a real thing, and you said the government owns it. But forget that, it looks like you changed your argument again - the public owns the border, but then they ask the government to look over or manage it. So to answer your question, the government authorized them. By your premise though, the public authorized the government.
exaltron reacted to 2046 in An Objection to Open Immigration
So like, not only is this wrong, but wrong according to just about every moral theory I know of, except maybe Hobbesian absolutism (where the dictator or sovereign establishes right or wrong by its will.) Wrong according to utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, liberalism, Randianism, Marxism, nationalism, whatever. And that's because most theories require that you actually have to have done something wrong, or met some probable cause standard of doing something wrong before the police can accost you. Almost every moral theory thinks that pre-crime is wrong.
Moreover, if you can restrict someone for what "some dude might" do, it can't be denied that some babies being born might go on to commit crimes. All childbirthing must be restricted on those grounds. Or someone might be moving from the Bronx to Brooklyn, and this dude might have a bomb that no one can see. All movement from the Bronx to Brooklyn might be restricted on those grounds. Etc.
Why is it that these arguments are so bad? It seems like every time some argument is made, and shot down, another one pops up. First it was the old "clubhouse" argument, or the US as some collectively owned entity, then it's pre-crime, next it's going to be "because foreigners don't have the same rights," or something else. We've already seen the "culture argument," the "they're going to vote wrong" argument, the welfare argument. Why do the goalposts keep shifting? Once these arguments are shown to fail, if you keep believing in them, you're being dogmatic.
The Simpsons character Nelson punches Ralph. "Why are you hitting me?!" exclaims Ralph. "You're breathing my air!" answers Nelson. This "you're breathing my air" is really what the argument boils down to, and why the every shifting goalposts never seem to land on a coherent argument that doesn't beg the question. There is widespread anti-immigrant bias. Whether that bias is racism, xenophobia, or just dislike of different people, some people just have a priori decided they don't like immigrants, and they have bad arguments.
exaltron reacted to 2046 in An Objection to Open Immigration
Sure, some specific individuals existing at some time owning some stock of personal goods could come together and contractually form a voluntary corporate body, and thus decide together on some means for the discharge and use of these goods held corporately. But here's an alternative view: the US is not such a corporate entity and your argument has not (or even attempted) to show that it is such.
You only say "if we apply this principle to the entire nation we get..." Etc. Sure. If "we" apply all sorts of principles to the entire nation "we" can "get" whatever "we" want. But there is no "we" here and assuming there is begs the entire question.
exaltron got a reaction from CoolBlueReason in People Are Pirating Ayn Rand's Works!
I've wondered about this too, one of the things that surprises me is that it is very difficult to find ARI-sponsored lectures in any format other than CD or Cassette. Most people these days have long since thrown away their cassette players, and CDs for me are just clutter. To have to pay (a lot) for a CD, wait for it to come in the mail, then rip it and put it on my iPod to listen to is just too much of a hassle for me. I guess I'm like those people that Rand criticized who would be put off going to a public library if there were too many stairs
I'm sure ARI is worried about putting up mp3 or DRM-protected versions of their lectures on itunes, because of piracy, but I also think most people who would be that interested in Objectivism wouldn't be sharing their downloads. Maybe I'm just overly optimistic..