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What is the Objectivist test which defines the balance between defence (keeping some people out) and immigration (letting most people in).

You're implying there is a linear scale where none exists. Immigration is strictly an individual affair - it is individuals who pass through immigration application channels, not military units. That the individuals may be part of secret units and lying their way through is beside the point.

The only 'test' for immigration (besides candidates not harbouring communicable diseases) is whether that individual shows sufficient evidence of a propensity to actually violate rights. What someone things and why someone would violate residents' and citizens' rights is, again, beside the point. How much checking that immigration officials would do would be context dependent, warranted only by available evidence. Anyone who isn't a vector or a violator can get in if they want, there is no ideology test warranted for immigration (citizenship is another matter), even if we could objectively say that their ideology is disgusting.

The idea of "ideological" invasion is only an issue for the reasons I already stated - it is becoming illegal to question too deeply. Either someone is going to violate rights, or they aren't. If they aren't, then they'd get waved in even if to pound the pavements advocating communism. We'd turn away known KGB agents not because "they're stinkin' commies" but because as active agents of a foreign power they'd be under orders to actually violate rights in various ways. Why they'd obey those orders is not the issue.

Note: "ideological invasion" also sounds suspiciously like a euphemism for plain xenophobia. Whatever reality it might have in that sense, such as allegations of Palestinians' "battling with their wombs", is already dealt with in what I said before.

If the individual successful immigrant does turn out to be a rights violator, then the government takes whatever steps it deems necessary. That much would hold irrespective of whether the individual is a mere criminal or acting as a foreign agent. The military defence aspect of the government would only get involved if the individual was acting at the behest of a foreign power, in which case that power's assisting the individual to lie his way through immigration and then to violate residents' rights was an act of war, and so the fight should be taken to that power. The immigration department has nothing whatever to do with that aspect, so again it is not a neat linear scale. There's only "overlap" because one department's processes were subverted, not that there was a fuzzy border between responsibilities as you are implying.

If a large enough number of foreign agents individually lie their way through immigration and intend to form up before doing anything, what then? They can form a quaint organisation perhaps, but nothing more substantial than that without either raising suspicions well before they're in a position to do much - or get their kit via secret landings. If they do the latter then turns it purely into a military invasion, and again not an immigration issue. In the meantime, intelligence services will probably have already heard of it from their own sources overseas - and if there is no warning of this, which means that the foreign power went well out of its way to pull it off, how on earth is this a failure of immigration processes?

More detail than that isn't a high-theory philosophical issue, and is more to do with concrete applications of philosophy of law. There is no Objectivist position down at that level, only that there may be positions at that level held by people well-influenced by Objectivism.

A side question, what was the philosophical Objectivist basis for Galt's shield over the Gulch to keep people out? We know he did it to stop the "Looter" world finding Galt's Gulch but what was the Objectivist principle which allowed the defence of Galt's Gulch to override the Objectivist principle that human beings should be able to go across borders freely?

The gulch was private property, not a jurisdictional boundary. The defence of Galt's Gulch is no different from any landowner putting up fences. It had nothing to do with immigration.

JJM

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You're implying there is a linear scale where none exists. Immigration is strictly an individual affair - it is individuals who pass through immigration application channels, not military units. That the individuals may be part of secret units and lying their way through is beside the point.

Does "immigration application channels" mean that you are assuming potential immigrants apply to a department and receive a authority once checked? Does this mean you envisage the borders be blocked except to this pursuing the "immigration application channel". I assume that in your scenario if the borders were not blocked then what reason would there be to pursue "immigration application channels" rather than walk across a border?

I was working on the assumption from other posts in this thread that freedom of immigration meant the freedom to walk across a border without impediment.

The only 'test' for immigration (besides candidates not harbouring communicable diseases) is whether that individual shows sufficient evidence of a propensity to actually violate rights. What someone things and why someone would violate residents' and citizens' rights is, again, beside the point. How much checking that immigration officials would do would be context dependent, warranted only by available evidence. Anyone who isn't a vector or a violator can get in if they want, there is no ideology test warranted for immigration (citizenship is another matter), even if we could objectively say that their ideology is disgusting.

Ok you've propounded a test of "propensity to actually violate rights". Now whilst I see how such a test accords with freedom to emigrate I would still be interested in what boundaries you test has, ie in concrete terms what are some of the facts that allow/disallow immigration for an individual?

The idea of "ideological" invasion is only an issue for the reasons I already stated - it is becoming illegal to question too deeply. Either someone is going to violate rights, or they aren't. If they aren't, then they'd get waved in even if to pound the pavements advocating communism. We'd turn away known KGB agents not because "they're stinkin' commies" but because as active agents of a foreign power they'd be under orders to actually violate rights in various ways. Why they'd obey those orders is not the issue.

Note: "ideological invasion" also sounds suspiciously like a euphemism for plain xenophobia. Whatever reality it might have in that sense, such as allegations of Palestinians' "battling with their wombs", is already dealt with in what I said before.

No one but yourself John has defined, used or referred to "ideological invasion" as a basis for anything in this thread so I'm not sure how far it takes the discussion to define a term and then attack that term.

But to address the point I understand you to have raised, surely there are some criteria for an Objectivist to determine who is and is not an enemy? You raise one in relation to active KGB agents. What are those criteria that stops a KGB agent but allows a non-KGB Soviet Russian citizen to enter?

If the individual successful immigrant does turn out to be a rights violator, then the government takes whatever steps it deems necessary. That much would hold irrespective of whether the individual is a mere criminal or acting as a foreign agent. The military defence aspect of the government would only get involved if the individual was acting at the behest of a foreign power, in which case that power's assisting the individual to lie his way through immigration and then to violate residents' rights was an act of war, and so the fight should be taken to that power. The immigration department has nothing whatever to do with that aspect, so again it is not a neat linear scale. There's only "overlap" because one department's processes were subverted, not that there was a fuzzy border between responsibilities as you are implying.

How do you define "foreign power" in the third sentence? Can a foreign religious leader be a foreign power? Can a tribal gang leader be a foreign power?

Again I refer to my first point, does this scenario of yours pre-suppose that immigrants attempting to enter a nation not via an "immigration department" be stopped and if so, is it the military which stops them?

If a large enough number of foreign agents individually lie their way through immigration and intend to form up before doing anything, what then? They can form a quaint organisation perhaps, but nothing more substantial than that without either raising suspicions well before they're in a position to do much - or get their kit via secret landings. If they do the latter then turns it purely into a military invasion, and again not an immigration issue. In the meantime, intelligence services will probably have already heard of it from their own sources overseas - and if there is no warning of this, which means that the foreign power went well out of its way to pull it off, how on earth is this a failure of immigration processes?

More detail than that isn't a high-theory philosophical issue, and is more to do with concrete applications of philosophy of law. There is no Objectivist position down at that level, only that there may be positions at that level held by people well-influenced by Objectivism.

The gulch was private property, not a jurisdictional boundary. The defence of Galt's Gulch is no different from any landowner putting up fences. It had nothing to do with immigration.

JJM

Again here, if I understand you correctly, "immigration" is a process involving a Government department assessing potential immigrants before they are allowed to enter an Objectivist nation. So are you arguing that an Objectivist nation is correct in stopping immigration without first assessing candidates? ...and if so, what are the philosophical bases for formulating the tests applied to allow entry or not (ie what is the philosophy behind stopping people with communicable diseases? (there might be hospitals in the nation which the immigrant could pay to get cured at, albeit whilst infecting citizens first before treatment). You also refer to excluding agents of foreign powers, what is the philosophy that determines who is deemed a threat or not? (ie are devout religious followers acting under a foreign power?)

If your view is that immigration to an Objectivist nation does not require closed borders, then how does it work?

BTW thanks for taking the time to post and help me answer my questions.

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Does "immigration application channels" mean that you are assuming potential immigrants apply to a department and receive a authority once checked? Does this mean you envisage the borders be blocked except to this pursuing the "immigration application channel". I assume that in your scenario if the borders were not blocked then what reason would there be to pursue "immigration application channels" rather than walk across a border?

I was working on the assumption from other posts in this thread that freedom of immigration meant the freedom to walk across a border without impediment.

Ok you've propounded a test of "propensity to actually violate rights". Now whilst I see how such a test accords with freedom to emigrate I would still be interested in what boundaries you test has, ie in concrete terms what are some of the facts that allow/disallow immigration for an individual?

No one but yourself John has defined, used or referred to "ideological invasion" as a basis for anything in this thread so I'm not sure how far it takes the discussion to define a term and then attack that term.

But to address the point I understand you to have raised, surely there are some criteria for an Objectivist to determine who is and is not an enemy? You raise one in relation to active KGB agents. What are those criteria that stops a KGB agent but allows a non-KGB Soviet Russian citizen to enter?

How do you define "foreign power" in the third sentence? Can a foreign religious leader be a foreign power? Can a tribal gang leader be a foreign power?

Again I refer to my first point, does this scenario of yours pre-suppose that immigrants attempting to enter a nation not via an "immigration department" be stopped and if so, is it the military which stops them?

Again here, if I understand you correctly, "immigration" is a process involving a Government department assessing potential immigrants before they are allowed to enter an Objectivist nation. So are you arguing that an Objectivist nation is correct in stopping immigration without first assessing candidates? ...and if so, what are the philosophical bases for formulating the tests applied to allow entry or not (ie what is the philosophy behind stopping people with communicable diseases? (there might be hospitals in the nation which the immigrant could pay to get cured at, albeit whilst infecting citizens first before treatment). You also refer to excluding agents of foreign powers, what is the philosophy that determines who is deemed a threat or not? (ie are devout religious followers acting under a foreign power?)

If your view is that immigration to an Objectivist nation does not require closed borders, then how does it work?

BTW thanks for taking the time to post and help me answer my questions.

If you read this article, you might find a lot of answers to the questions you asked:

http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues...dual-rights.asp

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Does "immigration application channels" mean that you are assuming potential immigrants apply to a department and receive a authority once checked? Does this mean you envisage the borders be blocked except to this pursuing the "immigration application channel". I assume that in your scenario if the borders were not blocked then what reason would there be to pursue "immigration application channels" rather than walk across a border?

Open borders doesn't mean unguarded borders. So, yes, an applicant first submits an application. Open borders means the application will be automatically accepted unless there is specific reason not to, and the only two valid reasons for that are communicable disease and credible threat of actual rights-violating activity (again, merely having nasty ideas doesn't count). If there is no just reason to exclude someone then that someone has the right to enter the country, not merely a legal entitlement but the full moral deal on the same basis as all other rights.

When the individual actually shows up, the passage through actual immigration-control will simply be that the clerk on duty makes sure that this application has been accepted. No quotas, no points system, no special treatment for this or that group - the gates are kept open unless there's good reason to close them.

Ok you've propounded a test of "propensity to actually violate rights". Now whilst I see how such a test accords with freedom to emigrate I would still be interested in what boundaries you test has, ie in concrete terms what are some of the facts that allow/disallow immigration for an individual?

It would be similar to the rules of evidence for any legal matter - note the integration of shall-admit-unless in immigration with presume-innocence in courts. My judgement of politicians' qualifications to formulate such rules would form a part of whom I'd choose to vote for, in the same way as I judge their qualifications to formulate the same for domestic use. As I said, the detail of that forms part of the philosophy of law, in which I am no specialist.

No one but yourself John has defined, used or referred to "ideological invasion" as a basis for anything in this thread so I'm not sure how far it takes the discussion to define a term and then attack that term.

No, the reference to people coming in "armed" with "harmful" ideology was yours, not mine. Hell, over on Craig's TOS article (thanks 2046), in point 2 of his plan I'd rule a line through the "enemies of America" bit. If there's no credible threat of actual rights violation (which would include things like incitement to riot and the like) then even someone with a very disgusting ideology and who openly hates freedom wouldn't be turned away. It so happens that someone that extreme would be very likely also to present a credible threat of rights violation, but it is that threat rather than their ideas that would keep them out if they are prevented from entering.

But to address the point I understand you to have raised, surely there are some criteria for an Objectivist to determine who is and is not an enemy? You raise one in relation to active KGB agents. What are those criteria that stops a KGB agent but allows a non-KGB Soviet Russian citizen to enter?

(You raised the KGB guys, not me)

All applicants would be presumed innocent and have their right to enter recognised unless there's reason to think they've done something to forfeit that right. The reason that a KGB agent would not be admitted is that the KGB was inherently a rights-violating organisation and its members the enactors of the decisions made by thug-rulers, which means having forfeited many of their rights.

How do you define "foreign power" in the third sentence? Can a foreign religious leader be a foreign power? Can a tribal gang leader be a foreign power?

Anyone overseas who presumes the prerogatives of government. A religious leader would not be a foreign power unless that role is associated with a nominally political one or is an actual theocrat.

The point of calling a foreign power such is that not all those who assume those prerogatives are valid governments - a classic thugocracy or theocracy, for instance, are not a government even though they act as though they are.

if so, is it the military which stops them?

That would depend on the physical circumstances and what is the most convenient method of interception. If they're trying to bypass immigration-control by sea then the Navy or Coast Guard will probably be tasked to intercept them prior to arrival. If by air, the Air Force, though it need not be in the first instance. Along land borders it would probably be a specialised law-enforcement body of some kind that patrols and intercepts.

If thev're already successfully snuck in the nation then probably Federal Police or similar will be the first organisation tasked to find them. The Army (or National Guard) wouldn't get involved unless martial law or state of emergency had to be declared, and even then there'd be issues of who has authority and under what circumstances.

Again here, if I understand you correctly, "immigration" is a process involving a Government department assessing potential immigrants before they are allowed to enter an Objectivist nation. So are you arguing that an Objectivist nation is correct in stopping immigration without first assessing candidates?

Don't forget that the easiest way physically to enter the country is predominantly through regular channels - highways, airports and seaports, for instance - so avoiding them and immigration control would be suspicious in its own right in the context of the country being free and one that recognises the right of entry of rights-abiding people. If in that context someone still enters without passing through immigration and is caught, the proper course of action as I see it would simply to conduct a check same as had they done a proper application (though more thoroughly, for obvious reasons), decide yay or nay on the same grounds as per regular applicants, then make the immigrant do a simple penance of some kind for being a PITA before release with a "Btw, welcome to our country."

You also refer to excluding agents of foreign powers, what is the philosophy that determines who is deemed a threat or not? (ie are devout religious followers acting under a foreign power?)

For foreign agents, credible threat that they're seeking to violate rights in some way, such as by espionage or sabotage or murder. That's what bars KGB agents but not say MI6 agents without good reason.

JJM

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