Friday, May 26, 2006

More on Natural Rights and Migration

From Free Association: Natural, Not National, Rights
Somewhere in my reading about immigration, someone made the deceptively simple point that it's not immigration we should be talking about but migration. That's another way of saying the focus has been on "us," when it should be on the people coming to the United States. The discussion has proceeded as if they have no rights in the matter but we do. We will let them come here if and only if we have a use for them. And "we" doesn't refer to a group of free individuals, but rather to a collective Borg-like entity with rights superior to any held by its constituents. The collectivist, and therefore statist, nature of the discussion indicates how far we've drifted from our individualist and voluntarist moorings.
A couple days ago, I posted an entry on this blog discussing how the anti-immigrant crowd has a profound lack of understanding for the concept of natural rights. I pointed out that their position implicitly denies the existence of rights, and all "human freedom" really boils down to State-granted priveleges.

Now, the inestimable Sheldon Richman has come along and blown the lid off the exact same issue. He hits the nail right on the head when he points out that the issue is about migration - ie. the very right to move from point A to point B. I was always convinced that the anti-immigrant crowd was thoroughly anti-individual in character, and Richman's article confirms my own perceptions.

The full article can be read here.

2 Comments:

Blogger Wulf said...

You realize, of course, that this argument is more likely to make people defensive and alienate them further from the pro-immigrant cause. I of a mind like yours, but I cannot picture anyone being persuaded by this.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Libertarian Jason said...

My point is not to persuade, only to highlight.

If someone is uncomfortable looking their own principles in the face, that's really not my problem. If someone "gets defensive", then it only goes to show their intellectual dishonesty.

However..if I am wrong in my assertions, then let them show me where my observations are faulty by using reason and logic.

1:17 PM  

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