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If a person of interest to you attempting to enter the country had a criminal background then he would be excluded, regardless of your wishes or rights. That would be a "discrimination for other owners via government force", albeit a justified one. Merit criteria displace the presumed right to immigrate, so are not justified. So I agree with you on merit discrimination.

Edited by Grames
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It is not easy enough to argue on the meaning of the term license or the plaintiffs would done so and won. There is nothing at all unconventional about the Arizona business licensing process compared

That appears exhaustive as far as the "rule of law" argument goes. On immigration, I think that some in the thread (Maximus?) would argue that actual U.S. immigration law is not as immoral as others make it out to be.

Generally, I see two variants of this (the law is not all bad) argument: the first is that immigration laws ought to keep a certain "balance" of population. There are hints of this in some arguments made here, but no clear-cut defense. The second is that the current immigration laws are sensible in our context.

In fact, I think that last is the strongest argument against open immigration. I think it is a far stronger argument than the rule-of-law argument when it comes to clamping down on illegal immigrants.

Though I disagree, I think it is easy to understand the argument, which goes as follows: in our mixed economy, it is common to have laws breed other laws. Removing one without doing something about another can make things worse. For instance, imagine we were a decade in the past, and that the bodies that regulate Cable removed all rules controlling cable-rates, but kept the rules enforcing cable monopolies. Or, more relevant today, imagine that the FDIC was kept in place, guaranteeing bank deposits, but all government controls were removed on how banks could deploy those deposits.

In the same vein, some people argue that in the context of what changes in welfare etc. are politically possible today (even at the most optimistic) rather strict restrictions on immigration must be kept in place, and most current ones enforced.

BTW, this is not the argument that the typical GOP folks make. If they did, we'd be well on our way to radically good change. Rather it is an argument that many Objectivists and libertarians make, and I think it is the best of all the arguments for keeping restrictions in place, and trying to enforce most of them. I disagree; I think any change to immigration law or enforcement is only good if it has elements of progress, not simply of enforcement or further tightening. In addition, at the Federal level, only such a bill -- that gives something to both sides -- has a chance of becoming law.

Thank you for taking the time to write a summation of the arguements spinning around here. I assure you that your work does not go unappreciated :lol:

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Anarchy means a state of lawlessness. [...]

[...] Does that still justify treating those who ignore laws built on the principle as criminals?

What single word would be better? I guess, "illegals" maybe?

Excluding criminals and people with infectious diseases is something Binswanger approves of in his article on immigration.

So we need to write on papers, exactly when it is ok to ask for papers... and stick by it, or change it.

Link to text of the bill

The controversial paragraph...

"21 ..............OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS

22 STATE"

Can that ever be interpreted to apply to a private individual acting in a non-government/state capacity? It also makes me wonder how broad "lawful contact" is defined.

I don't find the first paragraph controversial at all though.

A. NO OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY ADOPT A POLICY THAT LIMITS OR RESTRICTS THE ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS TO LESS THAN THE FULL EXTENT PERMITTED BY FEDERAL LAW.
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It is as valid a perspective as "too big to fail" with respect to businesses. You used the word "primary," saying that a "states primary goal has to be survival or it won't exist to preserve rights at all." The reverse is true: If a state doen't preserve rights, it will self-destruct. "Primary" is not the same as important. Primary means above anything else. In this case, if the primary purpose of the state is its survival, then individual rights are subordinate to that primary purpose, and therefore cease to exist, replaced by permissions from the state.

I'm not sure if you understand the meaning of the terms here. Looking at what actually occurs, a state which does not secure itself and it's borders is no longer a state. It is no longer able to maintain its jurisdiction, which means it does not exist. In some ideologically perfect world where no security threats existed and no one violated anyone's rights, you would probably be correct, but then again, in that circumstance, no government would be necessary.

In our current context, however, the government is the entity solely responsible for defining rights and determining whether or not they are violated in each particular circumstance through our courts. Everyone else gives up that liberty to act based on rights violations when we chose to be citizens of the country or they become outlaws.

Now, if the government makes a mistake, which even an objectivist government would with regard to the protection of rights, then we are able to appeal to the legislators themselves, vote different people into power, take out adds in newspapers, blog, run for office ourselves, etc, to attempt to encourage the government to change the law or circumstance to one of our own liking. This is using reason and persuasion to affect change.

The alternative, when persuasion is rejected as a suitable means is the use of force such as armed attacks on the government's agents or the breaking of laws you dislike or refusing to pay taxes to support the state you view as hostile to your rights. My argument is that the violent approach is not yet necessary.

One more time, I am not arguing that rights should be violated. I am pointing out that they are being violated in a great many ways, but that those violations and their costs are small compared to what occurs once armed conflict becomes the method by which we attempt to reach agreements. When everyone becomes their own personal judge jury, and executioner, implementing or ignoring laws at their whim, as is being advocated (with regard to immigration laws alone for some reason I can't understand) we are necessarily in a state of anarchy with all that it entails.

-The stuff above that statement and the Rand quotes I, for one could live without. If you have thoughts of your own on the particular matter, I'd love to hear them, but I already know what Miss Rand said. I've read it all and read VOS at least 3 times. It's just not relevant to the point I am attempting to make. No one here, not even Maximus as far as I can tell, is advocating the disregard of rights. Rather, we are acknowledging the disregard of rights that is currently here, in total, and debating the way to best ameliorate them.

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When everyone becomes their own personal judge jury, and executioner, implementing or ignoring laws at their whim, as is being advocated (with regard to immigration laws alone for some reason I can't understand) we are necessarily in a state of anarchy with all that it entails.

No one here is advocating ignoring laws at whim; nor is anyone advocating anarchy. What the appeal to the principle to the rule of law ignores in this context is both a higher principle of morality and the fact that present immigration laws are manifestly contrary to that higher principle. When the principle of rational self-interest is set aside, as (for example) of an immigrant who initiates force against no one but is seeking a better life for himself and we demand of him fidelity to our immoral laws for the sake of the law -- as though man is cognitively impotent to discern right from wrong, i.e. it's all or nothing, all laws or anarchy -- when the morality of rational self-interest is denied so that the law can be affirmed, the entire system of law and justice will be destroyed at its root.

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No one here is advocating ignoring laws at whim; nor is anyone advocating anarchy. What the appeal to the principle to the rule of law ignores in this context is both a higher principle of morality and the fact that present immigration laws are manifestly contrary to that higher principle. When the principle of rational self-interest is set aside, as (for example) of an immigrant who initiates force against no one but is seeking a better life for himself and we demand of him fidelity to our immoral laws for the sake of the law -- as though man is cognitively impotent to discern right from wrong, i.e. it's all or nothing, all laws or anarchy -- when the morality of rational self-interest is denied so that the law can be affirmed, the entire system of law and justice will be destroyed at its root.

Again, I am not ignoring the higher moral principle of rights. They are the foundation upon which just laws should be built. I am denying the notion that individuals in general necessarily have some sort of justification to break them at will because they believe(which may or may not be a correct belief) that justice is served by so doing.

There is no requirement for an immigrant to set aside his rational self-interest since the rule of law and it's being followed is what allows the many benefits he is coming here to acquire. His self-interest is served in breaking the law only in the same short term sense that a free rider benefits by way of other people's morality. If everyone else in the US acted against all laws they found disagreeable and immoral, I'm certain our heroic immigrant would have no desire to come here. The presence of civil order is inexorably tied to the protection of individual liberties and acting outside the law, even bad laws, is an assault on civil order. I, and I believe Rand would only encourage it in the bleakest of circumstances.

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Again, I am not ignoring the higher moral principle of rights. They are the foundation upon which just laws should be built. I am denying the notion that individuals in general necessarily have some sort of justification to break them at will because they believe(which may or may not be a correct belief) that justice is served by so doing.

There is no requirement for an immigrant to set aside his rational self-interest since the rule of law and it's being followed is what allows the many benefits he is coming here to acquire. His self-interest is served in breaking the law only in the same short term sense that a free rider benefits by way of other people's morality. If everyone else in the US acted against all laws they found disagreeable and immoral, I'm certain our heroic immigrant would have no desire to come here. The presence of civil order is inexorably tied to the protection of individual liberties and acting outside the law, even bad laws, is an assault on civil order. I, and I believe Rand would only encourage it in the bleakest of circumstances.

Perhaps it would help illuminate my reasoning if I offer a comparison. In the law, civil money damages may be awarded as restitution to compensate a plaintiff for actual injuries suffered due to the actions of the liable party. Not a criminal penalty, not jail time, not deportation -- but compensation to make the injured party "whole".

By contrast, we are dealing here with individuals who have neither initiated force against others nor inflicted any type of damage whatsoever. Not even civil restitution could be gained by a plaintiff, because no actual wrong was committed. No crime could be properly prosecuted against such individuals, because no force was initiated by them. And yet I see deportation, i.e. the actual initiation of force, recommended as a response to the perception of a vague "assault on civil order", and for what? For disobeying a law on immigration that all can agree protects no one's rights, not from the initiation of force or from any discernible harm? A law outside the scope of proper governmental action has no claim to any principle such as the "rule of law" or "civil order". It is not a "maybe it is, maybe it isn't" situation. Initiating force against an individual is certainly outside the scope of proper governmental action.

You cannot save civil order by destroying its moral root. It is a contradiction.

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Again, I am not ignoring the higher moral principle of rights. They are the foundation upon which just laws should be built. I am denying the notion that individuals in general necessarily have some sort of justification to break them at will because they believe(which may or may not be a correct belief) that justice is served by so doing.

We're not discussing breaking laws at will, only you are, in the straw man you constructed. We are discussing breaking this specific law.

Are you denying that anti immigration laws in the US are unjust? Are you claiming that it is impossible to know if they are just or unjust, so we should just follow them?

Or do you know better than that? If you're honest, you're advocating that we should volunteer to be unjust, because the law says so (even though they can't really make us be unjust, because they don't have the resources to defeat an entire American and Mexican population which are both obviously ignoring their law en mass, and have been forever. Hell, even most politicians have illegal immigrants working in their yards).

Which is it?

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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The rule of law is in contrast with the rule of men. A law is either consistent with the rule of law and protects individual rights, or it is consistent with the rule of men and violates individual rights. Laws that violate individual righst are on the principle of statism, the rule of men.

"Ivan Ivanov died today of natural causes at the age of 88. He was buried with honors in the "People's Cemetary." Although he was awarded a great number of "Metals of Meritorious Service" for defending our great nation's borders at his lonely outpost for thirty five years of selfless service, he is best known for having successfully stopped the traitor, Kira Argounova, from illegally crossing our borders, the first of many anarchists who acted in defiance of the rule of law and our sovereign right to control our borders. He is remembered fondly for his motto, "One shot, one kill." A grateful nations mourns a great loss."

Edited by softwareNerd
Edit at member's request
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I am denying the notion that individuals in general necessarily have some sort of justification to break them at will

Obeying a law or breaking it is a decision like any other. Each individual makes this decision every time he is exposed to a situation where one of his possible actions (or, in our current situation, inaction) breaks the law.

There is absolutely nothing different about "the law" that makes it immune to individual judgment and evaluation or that puts breaking the law beyond the pale. What exists is the fact that breaking the law exposes the individual to having force used against him (whether the law is just or not) - something everyone is eager to avoid - and can carry significant social stigma as well.

A moral man in a free country never has ocasion to consider breaking the law. All the actions he wishes to take are legal, all things illegal (rights violations) are things he would never want to do regardless. A criminal in a free country will break the law to the extent he thinks he can gain from such acts (or due to mental problems), it is the objective of the law and its enforcement to dissuade this "prudent predator" as much as practical without violating the rights of innocents.

A moral man in an unfree or mixed country has ocasion to consider breaking the law. The law may demand he perform immoral acts, the law may forbid moral acts. He must make a decision in every instance when this occurs. It is a risk/benefit evaluation - the risk of being victimized by an improper government versus the benefit from doing what he would do if he were free. Pretending this evaluation does not have to be made, looking for a threshold under which a government is "mostly moral" and therefore following both moral and immoral law is imperative is futile. The individual is the actor. Whether following immoral law is the best course of action to further one's life can only be judged by each individual in each specific context.

"The rule of law" is a restriction on government. It's opposite is "the rule of men": arbitrary government. It's opposite is not anarchy (as Sophia implied in her reply to me). Recognizing the fact that individuals decide continuously whether to follow the law or break it is not defending anarchy - it is the essential insight to understanding that the only way to foster a law abiding society is to make the law moral.

There is no moral argument that can possibly support the notion that an individual must subject himself to an immoral law "just because" it is the law. And I doubt anyone can convincingly argue that following immoral laws is always best for one's life - even in a mostly free country. There will always be particular circumstances where, for an individual, breaking the immoral law is the life furthering option - immoral laws being, by definition, anti-life.

Edited by mrocktor
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Perhaps it would help illuminate my reasoning if I offer a comparison. In the law, civil money damages may be awarded as restitution to compensate a plaintiff for actual injuries

...

You cannot save civil order by destroying its moral root. It is a contradiction.

I think that I may have to clarify that I am not in favor of open immigration. I believe that individuals should be screened for communicable diseases, criminal back grounds, and associations with any foreign enemies or terrorist organizations, for example.

Because of this, I do not agree that no ones rights are violated. Many, many rights of Americans are violated by the many many criminals who cross the border and many more could be violated inadvertently by a well meaning immigrant who carried a highly contagious disease.

This is actually a perfect example of why stepping outside of legal avenues assumes a level of certainty about rights that an individual ought not to hold. Our perfect, rational, objectivist immigrant might rightfully think, I just wish to work in a free country and not interfere with anyone, and then in the process of breaking the law be responsible for thousands or millions of deaths and illness, exposing many to the disease he didn't know he had.

This potential for error, this realization that even objectivists don't have a direct, omniscient line to objective reality, is exactly why respect of the law and its methods of redress is critical to the functioning of a free society. What you are essentially advocating, without, I assume, intending it, is vigilantism. In your perception, the implication that I derive is that an individual who was certain that a crime had occurred and gotten away with would be well within his rights to punish the criminals. The problem is with the concept of certainty. Senses can be mistaken, reasoning can be mistaken, Reasoning can even be absurd, which is why we have a complex legal system intended to, as objectively as possible, determine who has been damaged and who is responsible. Leaving it in the hands of individuals who are in all likelihood emotionally involved in the case does not yield justice, it yields anarchy to exactly the degree it is practiced by the population.

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We're not discussing breaking laws at will, only you are, in the straw man you constructed.

I know that you don't think that you are, but when you allow that it is proper to break this law that you think is wholly immoral, it means I and everyone else is justified in doing the same with regard to laws which we think are immoral. Wouldn't you agree?

Are you denying that anti immigration laws in the US are unjust?

I would deny that they are unjust in total, but not that large parts of them are.

Are you claiming that it is impossible to know if they are just or unjust, so we should just follow them?

I am saying that 1)it is unlikely that individuals making this decision are qualified to make the decision and making it rationally and 2)even if they are, there is no way to justify the law being applied differently to some individuals because they have what objectivists would consider to be the correct view of legal morality.

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I know that you don't think that you are, but when you allow that it is proper to break this law that you think is wholly immoral, it means I and everyone else is justified in doing the same with regard to laws which we think are immoral. Wouldn't you agree?

Do you think that laws ought to be followed out of a moral sense of duty, or out of an attempt to maintain the validity of the legal system?

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What you are essentially advocating, without, I assume, intending it, is vigilantism.
Would you say that someone who buys liquor during prohibition is advocating vigilantism? Or, is the difference that you see immigration as an arena where some government rules ought to be applied, while the government ought not to be in the business of prohibiting alcohol? Edited by softwareNerd
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Do you think that laws ought to be followed out of a moral sense of duty, or out of an attempt to maintain the validity of the legal system?

Good clarifying question! I believe it should be maintained out of an attempt to maintain the validity and consistency of the legal system. Until such time as one believes it to be irretrievably lost.

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Good clarifying question! I believe it should be maintained out of an attempt to maintain the validity and consistency of the legal system. Until such time as one believes it to be irretrievably lost.

So do you then believe that the system can reach a point where it is in itself the enemy and thus there is no point to follow something to legitimize a system that is inherently corrupt? If so, what is that point? And akin to your last statement, if that point is arrived at individually, does that individual have a moral imperative to act against it, even if the majority of others are not? If you do not believe that the system can reach that point, then what difference is there between following the system to maintain validity and following it out of moral duty?

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Would you say that someone who buys liquor during prohibition is advocating vigilantism?

Yes, I would. Likewise with income tax evasion or any other more serious rights violating law.

Or, is the difference that you see immigration as an arena where some government rules ought to be applied, while the government ought not to be in the business of prohibiting alcohol?

I agree that government has a place in monitoring the flow of goods and individuals across its borders(in a much more limited capacity than our current context) as compared to alcohol purchase where I see, no justifiable argument for any involvement, but that is not pertinent to my argument, in that, I am assuming and/or agreeing that many or most of the laws regarding immigrant movement are immoral as are many other laws imposed on us which, as I have noted before, no one seems to advocate breaking out of principle.

This is my central point, really. Laws must be applied consistently to everyone or they lose all legitimacy. Everyone can appeal to change them through all of the normal peaceful routes. When we abandon those routes out of principle and suggest that people who are facing immoral laws should simply break them, that means all of the laws which are immoral should be broken as well, and that, rather than a court of law and due process making the determination of justice in each particular situation, everyone will decide for themselves.

People argue above that they mean, "just this law should be broken." But that to me is wholly inconsistent and unprincipled when I consider that we live in a society with at least millions of improper regulations and laws on the books. So to be consistent, the pro-lawbreaking side needs to advocate that everyone ought to break all immoral laws and then hope that everyone is a good judge of proper political ethics. I suggest that this is not tenable because people, as a general rule are more likely to make their decisions about their own interests with more than a little emotional bias and more than a little lack of knowledge and understanding of the laws, their particular circumstances, and the future ramifications of their decisions to break the law.

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So do you then believe that the system can reach a point where it is in itself the enemy and thus there is no point to follow something to legitimize a system that is inherently corrupt? If so, what is that point?

Absolutely. I think Rand's identification of the four essential characteristics of a dictatorship are good rules of thumb. Obviously their can be different estimations of when each of those breaches occur. For example, it might be argued that there are insufficient differences between republicans and democrats to claim that single party rule isn't already upon us. Or that the near govt monopoly on education and airwaves represents significant censorship.

And akin to your last statement, if that point is arrived at individually, does that individual have a moral imperative to act against it, even if the majority of others are not? If you do not believe that the system can reach that point, then what difference is there between following the system to maintain validity and following it out of moral duty?

Yes, for instance, a slave prior to the civil war would be acting properly to try to escape since the denial of his or her rights are near total, even though the rights of others were quite well respected. There is room to make that decision individually, but it is a sum decision on the validity of the existence of that government and comes with the understandings that you are putting yourself in opposition to that government by declaring their illegitimacy and that other individuals may morally make their own decision with regards to their disagreements with you or the law as well.

My personal estimation is that I don't believe that current immigration laws, my excessive taxation, or even the new obama program to turn doctors into my slaves, bring us to the point at which the government is completely illegitimate quite yet. I think we are getting dangerously close, though.

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"The retaliatory use of force requires objective rules of evidence to establish that a crime has been committed and to prove who committed it, as well as objective rules to define punishments and enforcement procedures. Men who attempt to prosecute crimes, without such rules, are a lynch mob. If a society left the retaliatory use of force in the hands of individual citizens, it would degenerate into mob rule, lynch law and an endless series of bloody private feuds or vendettas." "The Nature of Government" [Emphasis added]

vigilante: n. 1. One who takes or advocates the taking of law enforcement into one's own hands. 2. A member of a vigilance committee.

Someone who illegally crosses the border, by that fact, is NOT engaged in law enforcement. They are not acting as a vigilante.

Quite the opposite; they are breaking the law, not enforcing it; they are NOT using retaliatory force.

Now, if someone who is opposed to their illegal crossing of the border sets himself up with his snipper riffle and shoots them as they illegally cross the border, that would be vigilantism, unless of course they have legal authority to take such actions. Perhaps soon to come.

Edited by Trebor
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I know that you don't think that you are, but when you allow that it is proper to break this law that you think is wholly immoral, it means I and everyone else is justified in doing the same with regard to laws which we think are immoral. Wouldn't you agree?

No. Why would I agree with that. What I said is that everyone is justified in ignoring immoral laws.

I would deny that they are unjust in total, but not that large parts of them are.

When you decide which laws are just and which aren't, post your decision. Until then, I can't imagine what you're basing your opinion on what I should be doing on.

I am saying that 1)it is unlikely that individuals making this decision are qualified to make the decision

If someone sucks at life, and can't tell the moral from the immoral, that's their problem. I am perfectly qualified to know I should treat people living here without the US gov.'s permission the same way I treat everyone else, and I also know shunning such a person would be an immoral act.

even if they are, there is no way to justify the law being applied differently to some individuals because they have what objectivists would consider to be the correct view of legal morality.

There is no such thing as legal morality. Only morality. Following it is always justified, and breaking with it is never justified. Not even if there's a law that says so. If you want me to break with my morality, you'll have to actually enforce that wish, with a gun actually at my head. At this point in time, that is outside the capabilities of our budding fascist society, so I'll do as I please. And the second all this fascist legislation became actually enforceable (the only way it can be, by the use of terror, through a combination of informants and torture chambers in hidden basements), I'll try to escape.

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Good clarifying question! I believe it should be maintained out of an attempt to maintain the validity and consistency of the legal system. Until such time as one believes it to be irretrievably lost.

How far should one go to maintain this law? Should I report illegals or those who employ/house them?

Edited by FeatherFall
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Obeying a law or breaking it is a decision like any other. Each individual makes this decision every time he is exposed to a situation where one of his possible actions (or, in our current situation, inaction) breaks the law.

There is absolutely nothing different about "the law" that makes it immune to individual judgment and evaluation or that puts breaking the law beyond the pale. What exists is the fact that breaking the law exposes the individual to having force used against him (whether the law is just or not) - something everyone is eager to avoid - and can carry significant social stigma as well.

That's true, but what I am referring to more, is the fact that people advocate breaking laws that you disagree with on principle. As I wrote above, individuals can have different ideas as to when the legitimacy of a government begins and ends within their own context, but that decision carries with it the added weight of the fact that it is an all or nothing decision since you can't cherry pick laws to follow without the law becoming meaningless. Advocating opposition to one or many laws is that admission. Attempting to change unjust laws is an acceptance of the law's legitimacy without, necessarily, approval of all of it's particulars.

A moral man in a free country never has ocasion to consider breaking the law. All the actions he wishes to take are legal, all things illegal (rights violations) are things he would never want to do regardless. A criminal in a free country will break the law to the extent he thinks he can gain from such acts (or due to mental problems), it is the objective of the law and its enforcement to dissuade this "prudent predator" as much as practical without violating the rights of innocents.

Like I said, a moral man in a free country would have no need for government. Currently and in all likelihood, we always will need it to be the arbitrator of disputes. Even men who try very hard to make correct decisions can make mistakes and inadvertently or emotionally make decisions which do cause harm.

A moral man in an unfree or mixed country has ocasion to consider breaking the law. The law may demand he perform immoral acts, the law may forbid moral acts. He must make a decision in every instance when this occurs. It is a risk/benefit evaluation - the risk of being victimized by an improper government versus the benefit from doing what he would do if he were free. Pretending this evaluation does not have to be made, looking for a threshold under which a government is "mostly moral" and therefore following both moral and immoral law is imperative is futile. The individual is the actor. Whether following immoral law is the best course of action to further one's life can only be judged by each individual in each specific context.

I do not disagree here, but again, those are individual context based decisions and not the advocation of lawlessness. If I were standing near the border and somebody behind me starting shooting at me, it would probably be correct to run across since currently, becoming an outlaw in the US consists of being put in a US federal prison as a worst case scenario and it is far less damaging then being murdered. But that is a context based scenario from which we cannot derive the principle that bad laws ought to be broken.

"The rule of law" is a restriction on government. It's opposite is "the rule of men": arbitrary government. It's opposite is not anarchy (as Sophia implied in her reply to me). Recognizing the fact that individuals decide continuously whether to follow the law or break it is not defending anarchy - it is the essential insight to understanding that the only way to foster a law abiding society is to make the law moral.
The "rule of law" in somalia doesn't exist precisely because people do not follow it. I agree about "making the law moral, so long as you mean making it moral through reasoned argument and political efforts and not by waging a personal war against the government.

There is no moral argument that can possibly support the notion that an individual must subject himself to an immoral law "just because" it is the law. And I doubt anyone can convincingly argue that following immoral laws is always best for one's life - even in a mostly free country. There will always be particular circumstances where, for an individual, breaking the immoral law is the life furthering option - immoral laws being, by definition, anti-life.

I have been arguing just that, actually. Those particular contexts are not relevant to the principle that the law ought to be followed. They are lifeboat situations that could just as easily be applied to a free country that respects property rights. For instance, if I happened to be on my plot of land and surrounded by an evil rich guys land who wouldn't let me cross, I would probably take the chance and trespass in order to escape because the cost of a trespassing fine is significantly less to me than dying of thirst. But these do not determine the moral principle in everyday life for all of the reasons Rand pointed out.

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How far should one go to maintain this law? Should I report illegals or those who employ/house them?

If you were a police officer, yes. I'm not sure if the law requires us to tattletale generally. Depending on the law, I would say probably not to both questions but I hold it as improper to advocate for the breaking of laws unless you're willing to do so consistently because you view the government as beyond repair.

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