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Everything posted by agrippa1

  1. Freedom and rights are not synonymous. Rights are "freedoms from" not "freedoms to." Rights, among men, are not contradictory. Freedom, among men is potentially contradictory to the rights of other, and must be defined and sanctioned by all men in order to prevent one man's freedom from infringing another's rights. There is your contradiction, and it is your premise ("rights = freedoms") that creates it. Discard that premise and reconsider. Rights restrict freedom. That is, the freedom of a man is necessarily restricted by the rights of others. on edit: BTW, I suggest that, rather than admonitioning others to "re-read the books that allegedly brought" us here, you re-read the quote of Rand's you just posted. Your faulty premise is precisely exposed by that quote.
  2. You had me at "I don't need syllogisms."
  3. You obviously have a wonderful economy with logic, Jake. I look forward to your next syllogism with great eagerness.
  4. Respect for rights entails protection of rights. Protection entails limited infringements on freedom. Purity may work fine on a web forum; it doesn't work so well in reality. Rand recognized it when she rejected anarchy ("without rule") in favor of limited government. The attitude among many here is that any relinquishment of individual freedoms to government is a violation of Objectivism. In fact, it is a requirement of a free society, according to Objectivism. People can't do whatever they want. Sorry.
  5. Terrorist Threat On Border With Mexico Let them in, let them in... Don't violate their rights.
  6. Sorry, when I said "The nation is collective property" I meant the lands within a nation which are not specifically owned by other entities. An individual can own property. A group of individuals can, through a contract, own property. (for instance, a corporate entity or partnership) When a group of individuals agrees to own a piece of property while giving up their individual right to that property, then by contract they agree on how that property is to be run. Then the property is run by committee or managing member, or whatever mechanism the co-owners of that property agree to, in the execution of the contract. Ownership and jurisdiction are two separate things, with ownership falling on the person or entity to whom the land legally belongs, and jurisdiction ultimately falling to the state, or to some combination of sub-state entities, delegated by the state, down to and including an individual owner. By this I mean that you have some jurisdiction over your land, but if you are an American citizen, you don't have the jurisdiction to capture a poacher, for instance, and then deprive him of life, liberty or property. Because justice must be governed by the rule of objective law among men, you must turn that poacher over to the legal authorities with jurisdiction over your land, with respect to the punishment and restitution of an initiation of force. (You do have the right to protect yourself and property from the poacher, but once you've interdicted, you must relinquish jurisdiction over the agreed-upon judicial process.) Ultimately, jurisdiction, the authority to administer justice, falls to the highest agreed upon government entity in the land. In our case, the Federal Government, whose jurisdiction is limited ostensibly by the Constitution, and which delegates jurisdiction to the states and to "the people," which includes private, voluntary groups of people acting under contract as a single entity. A moral state involves a voluntary contract between individuals within a geographic area. That contract involves certain things essential and proper to a government, including the creation of objective laws, the execution of those laws, a justice system based on individual rights and the defense of the citizenry against all enemies foreign and domestic. That state, in the execution of its essential duties, must have property, at least under its control, if not outright legal ownership. Examples of this include police departments, court buildings, legislative buildings, military stores and bases on the frontier. You may have a debate over whether it is proper for the government to maintain ownership of these properties, or whether the gov't should lease or borrow land from citizens, or if the land should be considered "unowned" as some here seem to suggest. Regardless of that debate, the fact remains that the government must control those lands, including all jurisdiction and access. As someone much wiser than I once pointed out, ownership without control is a contradiction in terms. I would argue, so is control without ownership. Now, if we consider that a government is jointly owned by its citizens, in much the same manner in which a corporation is owned by its stockholders, or a partnership is owned by its partners, through the voluntary agreement of all citizens, then it is proper for the state to act as the agent of all citizens in owning, controlling and maintaining jurisdiction over parts of the land of the nation not owned by individuals or private, legal groups of individuals. If it is decided, through the mechanism voluntarily agreed to by all citizens - the mechanism, not necessarily the decision - that immigration into that land, that nation, that property, should be limited to only those who go through a proper, legally circumscribed introductory process, then it is perfectly moral for the executive agent of the owners of that property, i.e., the government, to legislate and execute immigration laws. The primary moral reason behind limiting and screening immigration into a nation is to ensure that the entry of immigrants does not ultimately deny the (individual) rights of the current citizens of that nation. The question of the Mexican Army seems to be lost on some. Without immigration controls, a member of an enemy army can enter a nation as an individual, without regard to his status as a member of an external collective. If a million such individuals enter, under the natural guise of individualism, but with the motives of collectivism, then the open border provides a means for a foreign entity to invade without invading; to establish a beachhead within the nation without ever having used force to enter. Furthermore, if the nation uses democracy to determine the function of the government, an external entity can overwhelm the nation from within, physically, politically, intellectually, without ever using force, until the representatives they elect and the laws those reps enact, lead to the initiation of force by the newly, and fundamentally transformed government against its citizens. It is an established fact that the government of the Soviet Union intentionally infiltrated key areas of our government and culture with the express intent of bringing about just such change. Whether they have been successful or not is a matter of opinion. This is not an argument against legitimate immigrants having free access to enter our nation, it is an argument against free access to all immigrants, legitimate and not. If your argument is that there are no illegitimate immigrants, and by that I mean immigrants with ulterior motives or loyalties that they intend to use against us, I'd like to hear the argument for why they are not within the realm of reasonable consideration. The worst form of naivete is to grant access to your life, liberty and property to those who do not recognize individual rights. Implementing a rational immigration process is one way of keeping that from happening.
  7. The nation is collective property. If not, then it is unowned, and open to all comers. This is your so-claimed "addressing" of the Mexican Army "nonsense": What is the Mexican Army, other than a group of individuals? What is the principle that allows the "right" of individual Mexican Army members to come across our borders to look for sympathetic land owners, but denies the Mexican Army, a group of individuals, from entering? The legal immigration path allows the nation to establish the rights and obligations of citizens of the nation. It ensures that the individual is entering as an individual and holds no loyalty to another nation. It protects the citizenry of the nation from exactly the threat that Maximus pointed out, but which you deny is a threat because your right to invite anyone you wish is none of anyone else's business. I was under the impression that the members of this forum might have a read a little novel in which entry into the Objectivist Utopia called Galt's Gulch is contingent upon each immigrant taking an oath. That's right, anyone who wished to enter the land was compelled to take an oath. Horrors! What an infringement of their individual rights!!! Of course, according to your world view, they retained the "right" to sneak in, and expect not to be forcibly removed for ignoring the law of the land. Because, after all, they were only sneaking in, not trespassing. You might want to pick Atlas Shrugged up some time, it's a pretty good book. In spite of it's philosophical shortcomings.
  8. I'll show you mine if you show me yours! One of us is being obtuse, and it's not me. I am trying to assert that it is not immoral to not feel obliged to let strangers on your property. You are taking taking the position that your desire to let illegals onto your property trumps the law of the land which requires that immigrants go through a legal process for entry. Since you are not in the position to protect me from the incursion of illegal trespassers, but the government is, you don't have the "right" to determine who enters this nation. If you lived on an island outside of all national boundaries, then I grant you the right to allow anyone you wish to enter your property, but you live in a nation, and therefore do not have the unlimited right to determine who accesses your land. (For clear example, you do not have the right to allow the Chinese Army to establish a garrison on your back forty)
  9. You mean this: in which she asserts that there are some, limited, collective rights, which are derived from the rights of the individuals in the collective? Do citizens of a free nation have the right to be protected from the initiation of force? Is trespassing on the land of the nation, without the permission of the national government, as specified by objective law, the initiation of force?
  10. Since the blacks are (presumably) resident citizens, there are two differences I see. First, excluding blacks is inherently racist. Excluding immigrant who illegally enter, but not immigrants who legally enter is not racist. That is, it is not a policy that discriminates based on race, but based on behavior. The implicit assertion is that because illegal aliens are, in large proportion, not of a uniform skin pigmentation, therefore opposition to illegal immigration is necessarily racist. This argument represents the Correlation Fallacy: "Because most illegal immigrants are brown, their brownness is the cause of opposition to illegal immigration." A related argument, that because "many have racism as their motive" in opposing illegal immigration, therefore opposition to immigration is wrong. This is Argument from Fallacy, and is equally invalid. Second, black citizens are part (if they can be fairly characterizes as such) of the existing problem. Illegal immigrants represent an exacerbation of the existing problem. Seeing the illegal immigration issue as one of illegals currently living in the U.S. is denying or evading the ongoing process of illegal immigration. A lot of people look at the logistical problems with deporting all the illegals, and come to the conclusion that the illegals should be granted amnesty because it's impossible to deport them all. Suppose we all agree to that, then what about the next wave, should they just be let in and given citizenship?
  11. I think what you said was "only individual property owners have the right to keep people off their property." I would like to point out first that the assertion is factually false, in that group ownership of a property gives the group the right to keep people off their land. (Or, can anyone pull up to Mum & Dad's kitchen table, since their house is jointly, not individually, owned?) So your assertion is that the right attains to groups of individuals, but not to groups of individuals with a government acting as their agent? Are you willing to outlaw gated communities, based on your principle? If not, then at what point, and by what principle, does a community agent become a government entity, and suddenly lose the right to keep trespassers off on behalf of its membership/citizenry? If you can provide the principle that supports your assertion, I'd be happy to hear it, but so far all I hear is assertion passed off as axiom. Sorry if I don't buy it.
  12. I don't. Where did I say I did? I said that a property owner has the right to not let someone enter their property. In a moral society, according to Objectivism, there is only private property, so the entry of an alien requires a property owner to invite the alien in, for whatever purpose he decides. If you want to invite an illegal into your land to work your crops, have a nut. Just don't ask me to pay when the crop doesn't come in and the workers need unemployment or welfare or Obamacare to get by. Get it??????????????? If YOU own the property, do what you want with it. If I own the property, I expect you to respect my right to not invite or accept anyone I choose to not allow in, regardless of why I choose so. Using the argument that illegals are entering public property, which can not (for some, ungiven reason) be the subject of trespassing laws, evades the principle that public property goes against the principles of Objectivism. Do you respect property do rights, or do you not?
  13. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/initiate Trespassing is the initiation of force. Removing a trespasser is not. See "Cashing In: the Student Rebellion."
  14. Maybe I'm making a hasty assumption... What did have in mind when you asked the question?
  15. Yes. As long as you don't initiate force against another person, but do I really have to stipulate that on this forum? Are you really going to regress to the assumptions of a savage every time someone puts any specific conditions in a contract? No, I want to accept the reality that there are foreign (including Mexican) workers in the United States, who are able to compete successfully against legal workers because they are not subject to minimum wage laws, union laws, FICA, Medicare, unemployment and state and federal income taxes and associated administrative costs to their employers. If they are legalized, they will lose that edge and a new wave of illegals will wash in, taking jobs from the legal, and in many, many cases, making it attractive or even necessary for the "legals" to go on the public dole. On Edit: But does anyone want to address the prior point, that in a moral society, all property is privately owned, and that those owners have the right to prevent the uninvited from entering their property?
  16. What is immoral about not feeling obliged to let a stranger enter your property without your permission?
  17. "Exchange the value of your goods and services voluntarily with other human beings, and don't accept benefits from the government that are gotten through the use of force against your fellow citizens. If you accept this advice, then I have no objections to you being here and contributing to our economy, and I will fight for your right to stay here. And, thank you for doing so." Let's pretend that a legalized immigrant would not immediately face a 25% surcharge on the cost of his labor due to FICA, Medicare, unemp taxes and administrative costs. Let's further pretend that there are no social programs in this country that some proportion of illegal immigrants will take advantage of when they are granted amnesty. In that case, I also have no objections. Now let's pretend that our pretend games have only a limited applicability to real problems. In other words, let's not pretend.
  18. Without knowing your professor, I don't see a problem with the statement, or the write up in the book. The write up appears to be pretty factual in ascertaining the EU's motivation was fear that what's good for Microsoft might not be good for society. The best way to answer this is to take the statements at face value. He does say to "discuss" the statement, not "back up" the statement. The subjective terms in the statement are : "best way," "ensure" (twice), "appropriate level," "economic welfare," and "strong competition." Each of these terms represents an assertion/premise and provides an opening for discussion for and against the assertion and the conclusion. In order to understand the issue fully, you would be well served to notionally accept each side of each assertion and lead it to its logical conclusion, if you can. Otherwise, you are just going to be making counter assertions. You would do this, not to convince anyone else that you are right, but to find, isolate and dissect the contradictions (if any) in the statement. I say "if any" so you don't fall into the trap of assuming they are contradictions before you understand why.
  19. Break! We're making counter assertions with no gain on the discussion. I would assert that a person who accepts social benefits, in the knowledge that the government is attaining those benefits through the initiation of force, is guilty/complicit of the initiation of force. That is a much broader issue, but it subsumes the illegal entry issue, in my opinion, and if true, justifies the opposition to illegal entry on moral grounds.
  20. Using that statement, conflates both means to the same ends then uses the following statement ("The ends does not justify the means") to conflate the irrationality of murder to the removal of illegal entrants. So, while you didn't state specifically that murder is "akin" to removal, you certainly used it implicitly in your argument. If I said that murdering sick people causes the same ends as quarantining them, would you get the idea? Actually what I mean to say is that the ends of illegal entry into the nation justifies the action of preventing illegal entry. This is not a moral argument for removing illegals, as morality does not exist at the point of a gun, and we are at the point of a gun. Removing illegal entrants is more akin to preventing more looters from entering a city being systematically looted by a ruling gang. I'll leave aside the assertion that only private property is subject to trespassing laws. (Try strolling onto a publicly owned military base, if you don't get that) But, if the United States were governed according to Objectivist precepts, wouldn't it be devoid of public land, and therefore the private property of the citizens? Wouldn't roads, for instance, be privately owned, possibly under a neighborhood pact by multiple neighbors, with the right to drive on those roads granted by the owners? Aren't you falling into the same trap of accepting collectivist precepts in your justification of illegal entry into a nation? This is not about freedom, it's about spreading the wealth around. Denying others the right to take my property to pay for their lives will most certainly result in more freedom for all of us. Using force against an illegal entrant is not, as any Objectivist knows, the initiation of force against him. Entering property without the owner's consent constitutes the initiation of force. I think you'd be surprised at how many Americans with Latin origins see the illegal entrants as a threat to the livelihoods they've built for themselves through hard work and perseverance. But that's a very pragmatic argument you present, and it belies at least a partial consideration for the political costs of standing on principle. If you don't support giving them citizenship, then when they do, they'll retaliate against you and take your property. Nice moral argument. Again, I'm talking about people who voted republican, not the people who ran as republicans. The latter are members of the same party as the Democrat leaders, they work with each other and the press to rig the laws to keep competition out. They survive on the balance of issues, finding and fixing issues that more or less equally polarize the electorate, and adapting their positions and their rules against third parties, to make them nothing more than spoilers for one or the other party. If we had simple reforms, like term limits, majority election requirements and run-off elections, the citizens could vote their conscience, rather than triangulating on one or the other party to get the "best" result. We are in agreement that the government is corrupt. Whereas those who, when hearing about the unfair treatment of illegal aliens, immediately think "latinos," are not racist! And they're not racist when they immediately group all latinos, legal and illegal, together into one oppressed group, and assume that since people who are against illegal immigration must be racist (after all, the conflation was obvious to you!), they therefore must hate all latinos regardless of their immigration status. Let's not even discuss the use of race as the self-defining characteristic of the most vocal illegal immigration proponents. No, let's not talk about "La Raza" and its implications, and certainly, let's not let ourselves define illegals in the terms in which the most vocal define themselves, unless it's to impugn the motives of those who stand against illegal immigration on the basis of the act, not the pigmentation of the actor! If you're going to call me a racist for my view, call me, don't conflate me. Don't talk about "many" and "motives." (edit: punct)
  21. So your projection is more valid than mine? How do you back that up? I think it's fair to say that most people who are against legalizing illegals are concerned about the added burden on our social programs. I'd say a large number of people in this country recognize the utter failure of public education, of Medicaid, welfare, and so on. Those people are probably overwhelmingly supporters of Republicans, though probably not lockstep with Republicans. If there were a third party that supported individual economic rights and individual social rights, I think you'd see a huge number of "republican" voters switch over, and a large number of "democratic" voters, as well. You're not going to get a defense of Republicans from this independent, but you are going to get a defense of their ostensive (and ostensive only) opposition to "comprehensive immigration reform" (i.e., amnesty), in the context of the current welfare state and populist democratic (small 'd') control of our government. How the majority of "republicans" thinks is probably closer to what I hypothesize than to the way elected members of the Republican Party act! Unfortunately, we have a one-party, dual-wing system in this country, in my opinion. On edit: I would like to clarify that I support the right of people to come across our borders and take any jobs we're not willing to take ourselves. I believe that is good for everyone. What I object to is the pandering to immigrants with promises of "positive" "rights" by the Left, and of the immediate surcharge on labor that illegals will face when they are legalized, and which simply lifts their wage requirements high enough to incentivize the next wave of illegals into the country.
  22. They are trying to remove Mexicans from the country in the context of a push to legalize those illegals living in the country, that is, to add illegal immigrants to the roles of the plundering looters. (Not that that's what characterizes the illegals, but what the result will naturally be for many illegals). Removing trespassers is not akin to murdering people at random. Easy to make such a point, a little harder to defend it.
  23. Do you understand what "division of labor" means and implies? There is no trade without division of labor, there is no economics without trade. What does your hypothetical world, without division of labor look like? How much time to you think you would have to create a surplus wealth of goods, if you are required to grow your own food, cut your own trees, build your own shelter, build your own bucket to fetch your own water, grind your own grain, bake your own bread, tend your own livestock, cure your own meat, weave your own fabrics, sew your own clothes, gather your own medicines (and teach yourself where medicines come from), mine your own ore, smelt your own iron, smith your own tools, nails, screws, nuts, bolts, beams, forks, spoons and knives, etc., etc., etc.... And, are you really throwing out half of your "crap," or are you just converting it to monetary wealth?
  24. When an immigrant applies for and gets citizenship, he is agreeing to accept the benefits of the United States and her Government, and in exchange: This is a voluntary agreement between the new citizen and the government of the United States, and is therefore a contract. I think we're in general agreement here, that given the definition of "rights" enforced by the Democrats in our laws, the Republicans are objecting to allowing uncontrolled access by immigrants to those "rights." Since those "rights" include the "right" to plunder one man's wealth to pay for another's life, the Republicans are rightly trying to limit the number of people in on the plunder. Once the gun has been drawn and aimed at a man with property, that man's objections should not be confused for a philosophical debate, but seen as the ethics of an emergency. The Pledge was not officially sanctioned as the national pledge until 1942. The inclusion of "under God" in 1954 was, in part, to differentiate the U.S. from the Soviet Union, a God-less regime, that I'm sure you wouldn't defend on the grounds of its (enforced) atheist ideology, any more than you would defend the U.S. on the grounds of its (un-enforced) Judeo-Christian ideology. But we digress... By "us all" I mean us here on this forum. The Oath I'm referring to is one I hope you recognize: "I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Unless we're willing to demand the essence of this oath as a precondition for immigration, there is no moral basis for demanding that borders be open.
  25. I don't see how dropping the context of all of America's other laws helps this discussion. Free immigration is a right that I happen to agree with, but I agree with Arizona's law in the context of all the other laws on the books. There is a move, for those of us not paying attention, to "legalize" illegal aliens in this country. That isn't just a feel-good recognition that they're here and howdy; it's a drive to provide them with certain "positive rights," in the words of our democratically elected President, the chief among these being the "right" to force (by gov't proxy) other citizens to pay your way through life. But, it's not just a matter of people coming over to get their share of my wealth through immoral socialist laws. I believe that most illegals are here to earn their livings honestly, and that their work benefits me. However, the powers that be want to "legalize" illegals, and that will result immediately in a decrease in their value to me: Social security and medicare will impose an immediate 15.3% tariff on their labor; state and federal income and unemployment taxes will add to that tariff; and the additional cost of accurate bookkeeping and payroll services on businesses will add even more, regressively impacting smaller businesses harder. What happens then? The former illegals find themselves at a disadvantage of upwards of 20% in effective wage earning potential compared to tomorrow's wave of illegal immigrants. Let's face it, if the last wave of illegals, which was legalized in 1986, could have avoided the weight of federal and state tariffs on their income, and did not have social programs to fall back on, there would be far fewer opportunities to attract the current wave. What should happen is that immigrant workers be allowed to enter the nation and get whatever work they are willing to take. They should not be granted citizenship, which is a contract made by the government on behalf of current citizens, and which bestows certain benefits and requires certain obligations in return. Regardless of how you feel about those benefits and obligations, and I believe we are all in agreement that anything other than protecting our individual rights is invalid, those exist and we have to consider them in our consideration of the subject. I would just like to point out the free migration across borders may be a right espoused by Objectivists, but only if those immigrants are willing to take and abide by an oath that is familiar to us all. That small detail is not being addressed here. If it were, I believe we would all fall in agreement.
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