Larken Rose Jean-Jacketarians Fail on Immigration Arguments
by I, AnCap
Anyone who’s paid attention to Libertarian circles the past week knows borders are yet again at the forefront of discussion. Indeed, last night a debate on Being Libertarian exemplified the issue. Chase Rachels and Larken Rose faced off in what was perhaps the most one sided debate in libertarian history. Rachels, informed, intellectually honest, and educated on the topic, made short work of Rose’s constant non-arguments until he was red in the face with rage. In case you are still undecided on the topic, here’s a short list of reasons why “open borders” is a really bad idea.
1.) “Anything that isn’t open borders requires violence!”
This is probably the most common argument against closed government borders, as well as Rose’s favorite. What it does not take into account is that you do not have a right to move upon anyone’s property. If a libertarian society was implemented, movement would become increasingly more difficult as one would have to consider trespass when traveling. Hence, people would necessarily be denied the right to move more frequently, not less. This raises the question of if Rose really would like a libertarian society to come to fruition.
The entire concept of “property” requires defensive violence. There isn’t anything wrong with that, either. Resources, like land and food, are scarce, and there are many people who will use force to take them. It is necessary to use violence to keep those people from taking resources they didn’t earn. Rose tries to do this odd contradiction where he says taxpayers can’t use violence to defend the public property they were robbed to fund, but they can use it on their own private homes.
2.) “One form of violence doesn’t justify another!”
Rose uses this one rather frequently, too. When people bring up that they would prefer if the government removed the welfare state before allowing tens of millions of third world immigrants to move in, Rose says you’d have to initiate force to stop them. Therefore, it is bad to keep it up even if the welfare state is still up. Rose chooses to ignore that yes, indeed, one form of violence actually does justify another. If someone breaks into my home, they are justifying me to shoot them. If someone steals money from my children to feed off the welfare trough, they are justifying me to physically remove them. Which brings me to my next point…
3.) “You cannot initiate force until someone has actually aggressed against you.”
Yes, Rose actually said this. No, I’m not “taking him out of context” either, though I doubt any context besides a satirical skit would make this statement any less insane.
If a black widow had nested above my bed that I “think might” bite me, would I have to wait until it bit me and sent me to the hospital before I could initiate force against it? If someone told me they were going to rape my wife at a specific place and time and I “think they might do it”, would I have to wait until they attacked me before I could initiate force against them? What if someone told me they were going to rob my home as soon as I leave it and I “thought they might do it”, would I have to wait until I lose all my stuff before I could act upon this person’s threat? Credible threats of violence absolutely justify pre-emptive force.
4.) “Just because someone MIGHT do something bad, doesn’t mean you can stop everyone else like them from exercising their rights.”
This is one Larken said during a livestream of his directed against “closed border” libertarians. He claims that just because some immigrants might use welfare, you cannot stop all immigrants from moving here. While I admit, this argument *almost* makes me want to give up my position and agree that there would be no negative consequences if a billion people decided to move to America, I remembered this screencap…
The image is from a Stefan Molyneux video entitled “The Truth About Immigration and Welfare”, the citations for which can be found here, here, and here. There are many more breakdowns from this chart, but the point is simple. Being concerned about Mexican Immigrants and Middle Eastern Refugees isn’t about what the “might do”. It’s about what they probably will do. But look at me, being a collectivist using the statist science of statistics, am I right?
5.) “Stop being a collectivist!”
Rose loves calling people collectivist. In fact, if I had a dime for every time he has called someone this, I would have more money than the payout for the Alex Jones contest he lost. I’m sure in response to the previous point in this article (which I know he’s reading), he’ll say something along the lines of “You can’t discriminate against each individual because a lot of others do something.” He’s also tried to make the point that just because people with guns might kill people, it you shouldn’t ban guns.
Honestly, find me the statistic that says 73% of gun owners will murder someone at some point and I might agree with the leftists that gun violence is a problem. Considering how there are roughly 10,000 gun deaths in America each year according to the CDC , and there are roughly 86 million people (24%) who own guns (Pew), I’d say that you’d have a rather tough time making that case.
Discrimination is a valuable part of libertarianism. When you market to a certain demographic, you are undergoing an opportunity cost to market to another demographic. Likewise, if a certain demographic is much more prone to be a net burden to the commons, the shareholders (being the taxpayers), have a right to remove the trespassers. What’s even funnier about this whole situation is that Larken Rose discriminates, too. I’m blocked from Rose’s public Facebook profile for asking why he slept with a married woman. Rose discriminated against me because he found my comments against his reprehensible behavior to be negative to his audience. Maybe my rights are being violated because I can’t access a public space, eh?
6.) “Taxpayers aren’t the rightful owner of public property!”
Rose says this over and over again. He claims that taxpayers can’t collectively decide the fate of government property. He apparently doesn’t know that most companies make collective decisions of a board, shareholders, etc. Ignoring this, there are a few things wrong with his argument.
For instance, if I loaned you $20k and you bought a car, you owe me that car if you fail to lay me back. If my business partners and I loaned you $100k for a building and you fail to pay us back, you owe us that building. The concept of “collateral” isn’t one that many libertarians should oppose.
This scenario also applies to theft. If someone stole my bike, I should have it or something of equal value returned to me.
But what if I loaned you $20k for a car, and my neighbor demanded ownership of the car too? No, he is an irrelevant factor in this transaction. Why should he get anything of what I loaned you?
We can therefore conclude that I am a shareholder of whatever the government uses to create with my money. We know this from the previous scenario I’ve proposed with the bike to be true.
Taxpayers are entitled to the resources government stole from them. If you don’t accept that non-taxpayers are not entitled to stolen government resources, you cannot also accept the third scenario I proposed.
In conclusion, Rachels thoroughly trounced Rose in last night’s debate. I highly recommend you follow Chase for some great libertarian content. While you’re at it, be sure to go to Amazon and purchase a copy of A Spontaneous Order.