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Foreign Affairs: "A World Without Borders"
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Donald Trump’s election has led to a spasm of efforts by globalist elites to articulate their previously largely unspoken ideology that I’d been warning about for so many years. For example, from Foreign Affairs:

A World Without Borders
Richer, Fairer, and More Free

February 28, 2017

By Nathan Smith

Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

Sovereignty is the New Racism. It must be abolished.

I’d comment on the rest of the article as well, except, ironically, it’s behind a paywall:

Screenshot 2017-03-01 17.55.26

 
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  1. “Sovereignty is the New Racism.”

    World War S?

  2. They want to have a world of open borders but Foreign Affairs won’t even open up its magazine for comments.

  3. I’ve always thought the public health angle would be a great way to make closed borders appealing to women. Imagine the disaster if an epidemic were to take hold in Mexico and they came stampeding across the border to escape it?

    • Replies: @Opinionator
    @(((Joshua)))

    Public health is a promising angle. (Many women were alarmed by the Ebola scare.)

    Climate change is a promising angle. (Immigration to US grows our carbon footprint, puts more pressure on nature, plants, and animals.)

    Another angle is to highlight for them that this amounts to a reproductive competition with immigrant women. Who have more babies than native women do and therefore use more of our services and resources. And many of whom do so by taking advantage of the anchor baby loophole.

    Replies: @Lurker, @AnotherDad

    , @Langley
    @(((Joshua)))

    "I’ve always thought the public health angle would be a great way to make closed borders appealing to women. Imagine the disaster if an epidemic were to take hold in Mexico and they came stampeding across the border to escape it?"

    Women and other globalists do not seem to mind that that has been happening for the last decade.

    , @(((Owen)))
    @(((Joshua)))

    There was already a potentially epidemic flu in 2009 from Mexico. It was big in the news for a couple weeks.

    In Mexico they closed down all the shops and restaurants and emptied the parks. It was really traumatic; everyone on public transit (and there wren't many) was wearing a mask.

    And it didn't slow down anyone's thirst for cheap nannies.

    , @ben tillman
    @(((Joshua)))


    I’ve always thought the public health angle would be a great way to make closed borders appealing to women. Imagine the disaster if an epidemic were to take hold in Mexico and they came stampeding across the border to escape it?
     
    The Ebola thing really got to my wife since the Ebola patient zero lived 3/5 of a mile from our kids' daycare center. But the water rationing instituted 3 or 4 years earlier is what finally convinced her of the need to control the border.
    , @SFG
    @(((Joshua)))

    The Democrats have got the single woman vote sewn up with the abortion thing. Plus they get affirmative action bennies at men's expense--we're in the process of dismantling our tech industry to make women happy.

    Married women, maybe. The Access Hollywood tape is less fresh in people's minds...

    (No, I don't care, and figure he's on our side instead of the women's, but we need the votes...)

    Replies: @Desiderius

  4. Why stop at the state level? Let’s abolish private property and gambol together in a more perfect union as The Love Train picks up steam. Which of the latter-day St Francis of Assisis will be first to invite us all in? Buffett? Gates? Windsor? Maybe the man of most Anglophone nations, Rupert Murdoch will get the party going?

    Meanwhile, the faint murmur of “Carousel Time” gradually increases in volume…

    • Replies: @ben tillman
    @Cortes

    Indeed. There's no meaningful difference between personal property and national property.

  5. I literally got nauseous reading that. This is absolute insanity.

    • Agree: (((Owen))), Frau Katze
    • Replies: @(((Joshua)))
    @AndrewR

    It's truly terrifying that we may be witnessing the rise of this century's version of Communism: a utopian ideology embraced by intellectuals that's going to get hundreds of millions killed.

    Replies: @Anonym, @Frau Katze

  6. Complete fantasy. I can’t even begin to conceive the world this guy thinks he inhabits.

    • Replies: @Olorin
    @MBlanc46

    One where there is no gravity, no atmospheric layer, where water and land combine in one muddy morass, where the sun's rays are continuous and the moon causes no tides, where the muddy morass is of such a high or low pH that cells can't possibly form.

    A world without borders. Not geological, not astrophysical, not biological.

    IOW, a puddle of chaos worshipped by elites with very orderly--and well bordered and bounded--lives indeed.

    It's not that complicated. I just simply worship chaos.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bhhqmk6Koj4

    , @anon
    @MBlanc46

    he gets paid

    he gets paid by people who think they'd benefit from maximum divide and rule

    films like all the president's men lead people to grow up thinking journalists are like champions of free speech but they're not - they're lying whores paid by the banking mafia to spread propaganda for their owners

    if Nixon was a Democrat the media would have covered up Watergate

  7. ” a small but growing band of open borders advocates” Are you shitting me Abraham , oops sorry , Nathan ?

  8. About a week ago, Foreign Affairs published George Kennan’s “The Long Telegram.” Maybe, they should read some of his books and journal entries about immigration.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    @JohnnyD

    Thank you for mentioning that. I had no idea that he had these thoughts on immigration.

  9. McMullin has been busy decrying “despotic sovereignty” on twitter today https://twitter.com/Evan_McMullin/status/837044068672815105

    What a shame that Leon Trotsky understood America better than her own founding fathers!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @The Man From J.A.M.E.S.

    Thanks, I'll post.

  10. I literally got nauseous reading that. This is absolute insanity.

    For you, yes.

    ‘Nathan Smith’ of the Council on Foreign Relations. ‘Nathan’ – (((hmmm)))

    Directors Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations:

    Madeleine Albright

    Martin Feldstein

    Leslie Gelb

    Maurice Greenberg

    Peter Peterson

    David Rockefeller

    Remarkable, isn’t it?

    In good faith, I want to understand – how much do they understand what they’re doing, and how much is tragic compulsion – the filling of a niche?

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @mobi

    It's funny, he isn't listed as a member of the CFR at
    http://www.cfr.org/about/membership/roster.html?letter=S

    Replies: @mobi

    , @snorlax
    @mobi


    ‘Nathan Smith’ of the Council on Foreign Relations. ‘Nathan’ – (((hmmm)))
     
    According to his LinkedIn profile he's from Maine and he went to Notre Dame, where he was in the "liturgical choir." I seriously doubt it.

    Directors Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations
     
    You know that "emeritus" means "retired," right?

    Looking at their current board, my count is 12 Jews and 24 non-Jews (13 WASPs, 4 blacks, 2 Slovaks, 1 Cuban, 1 French, 1 German, 1 Greek, 1 Italian, 1 Lebanese). Also, the last time the CFR was relevant (to the extent think tanks are ever relevant) was when Nelson Rockefeller was running for President.

    Replies: @Lurker

    , @anon
    @mobi

    Leslie Gelb was the editor of the Pentagon Papers.

    If anyone should have absorbed the lessons of Vietnam, you would think a guy like that would have. But he was in favor of Iraq. The Iraq war.

    He did sort of half apologize for it.

    I thought that Bush was just too drunk or coked up to notice anything at Yale. Maybe the take away from Vietnam by all the big brains was to fight the next one in the desert instead of the jungle.

    Sadam was despotic, but he was secular and was the enemy of our current enemy. That was enough to make him our friend until he went for a bridge too far.

  11. res says:

    Let’s see, world population in 1886 was about 1.5 billion, in 2017 about 7.5 billion (5x). Air travel exists now. The western world now has a generous welfare state. Any other major differences come to mind? I would say these people are truly stupid except I am unable to figure out what their agenda actually is.

    And extending DJF’s comment, why doesn’t Foreign Affairs have open commenting and no paywalls?!

    Population estimates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population_estimates#Before_1950

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @res

    Some of these globalist enthusiasts truly believe with all their heart.

    But those who are hyper-intelligent - vastly smarter than I am - have to understand this is madness don't they?

    This reminds me so much of the 'Arab Spring'. They sold it as a flowering of freedom in the Middle East. But anyone familiar with the region had to know it was going to be a disaster.

    Before Iraq we had experts - EXPERTS! - telling us there was an educated population, a strong civil society and educated *WOMEN!*..doctors and lawyers!… all just waiting to bring peace, prosperity and justice to Iraq as soon as Saddam was ousted.

    Somehow, those same experts didn't know too much about the ancient religious/sectarian divisions in the region. Or they didn't say much about it all anyway.

    You'd almost get the feeling some of the more intelligent players - the people who are thinking with their heads (and with not much heart) actually know that these big utopian projects aren't going to work… yet they push ever harder with more grandiose, plans.

    The question I have is why? I'd really love know what is truly going on.

    Replies: @David Davenport, @anon

    , @Anonymous
    @res

    PAYWALL HACK
    Change your region to United Kingdom and, voila, no paywall
    On iPhone...
    Settings
    General
    Language & Region

    Replies: @res

    , @anon
    @res


    except I am unable to figure out what their agenda actually is
     
    divide and rule

    all the western nations are effectively part of a loose empire ruled indirectly by the banking mafia through blackmail, bribery and media ownership

    empires always try to divide and rule
    , @Frau Katze
    @res

    Not only that, but in 1886, the immigrants were completely on their own, to succeed or fail (and many actually returned home). Medical care was not an issue as doctors were pretty useless at that point.

    No welfare state. No assisted housing.

    How many of the third worlders trying to get to the West just want the goodies? I'd say most of them.

  12. Is this Nathan Smith by any chance a relative of Noah Smith?

  13. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease.

    Instead of admitting their desire for open borders, I wish they would just admit that they knowingly write stupid things just to piss everybody off. How in the name of God can you have both “nearly complete freedom of migration” and any hope of controlling terrorists and infectious diseases?

    There’s no way they expect anyone to take such statements seriously. It’s like the old joke where the Southern sheriff told the press that his deputies found someone beaten, shot and hanged – and that it was the worst suicide he’d ever seen.

  14. Surely there must be economic arguments for national property rights, as economists readily make arguments for the existence and enforcement of private property rights.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    @Opinionator

    The "tragedy of the commons" is applicable.

    Replies: @Opinionator

    , @ben tillman
    @Opinionator


    Surely there must be economic arguments for national property rights, as economists readily make arguments for the existence and enforcement of private property rights.
     
    Of course, but they're too straightforward and compelling to be refuted, so they must be ignored.
    , @AnotherDad
    @Opinionator


    Surely there must be economic arguments for national property rights, as economists readily make arguments for the existence and enforcement of private property rights.
     
    Indeed.

    Even if you don't put any stock in nation as culture, tradition, religion and race, there's still the obvious issue that a nation has "stuff"--rule of law, physical infrastructure, land--that its natives have developed over generations and that *belongs* to them. You can easily analyze this economically as you would some other shared ownership--a country club, a co-op, a corporation.

    You could even--as libertarians like to do--envisions creating a market where this would be monetized and people could see their citizenship here and buy it over there. That's "out there" but at least within the general markets-for-everything libertarian tradition. But ... that's not what they do.

    What "open borders libertarians" actually advocate is the right of people to come in a steal other people's shared property. It's not traditionally "libertarian" in any conceivable way. Rather it's the most extreme imposition of--what's yours is mine--socialism imaginable.

    One can poke around at the people espousing this bizarre ideology with their almost demonic religious zeal, for a sense of their motives and motivations.
  15. @AndrewR
    I literally got nauseous reading that. This is absolute insanity.

    Replies: @(((Joshua)))

    It’s truly terrifying that we may be witnessing the rise of this century’s version of Communism: a utopian ideology embraced by intellectuals that’s going to get hundreds of millions killed.

    • Replies: @Anonym
    @(((Joshua)))

    It’s truly terrifying that we may be witnessing the rise of this century’s version of Communism: a utopian ideology embraced by intellectuals that’s going to get hundreds of millions killed.

    No, we are witnessing the fall of that ideology, among white people at least. That ideology has been rampant in the last ten years or so after a long crescendo lasting many decades. Much like Marx never saw the birth of the Soviet Union or Communist China, nor their respective collapse or transformation to a CINO state, neither did the founders of Frankfurt School PC live to witness the triumph of Hollywood, MSM, academia, and government all working together in concert to enforce their grand vision.

    Now we have witnessed their utopia expressed in all its glory! According to their (best laid) plans, with non-whites having been broadcast in every town and country, white identity feeling is at a historic low and all but absent, white confidence and determination is all but shattered, and the mocha colored masses have been keen to recognize and annoint the Jews as the lights amongst their nations. That was sarcasm, btw.

    With a box of popcorn in hand, we now prepare to watch the aftermath.

    Open bordersism is decadent, sclerotic and barren. With one swift kick it will topple over, although to many it appears as robust, immense and foreboding as the Soviet Union did in 1985, or as the EU did even a year ago.

    , @Frau Katze
    @(((Joshua)))

    I've often thought that globalism was the next big concept for the left, after Communism turned into a complete disaster.

    But the Left has never recognized the failure of Communism and learned anything (like, let's not experiment with entire societies in ways that go completely against human nature).

    They just happily moved on to their next Utopia. We have to fight them with everything we've got.

  16. I’ve heard this claim before that borders were free in late 1800’s-early 1900’s. I call total BS on this.
    You can get a feel for this by reading novels of the time. People back then needed letters of introduction, and letters from their bank in order to travel freely as well as passports. A passport issued on 18 June 1641 and signed by King Charles I still exists.
    Nobody from the third world just showed up in London demanding to be a citizen and go on welfare because of “human rights”. They would more than likely shanghaied into the British Navy.

  17. I’m a subscriber. Here’s the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    @John Derbyshire

    Thanks.

    , @Tony
    @John Derbyshire

    What's the stoner's name who wrote this jibberish?

    , @newrouter
    @John Derbyshire

    "Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do."

    Coolidge 1926:

    "About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers. "

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=408

    Replies: @Diversity Heretic, @Captain Tripps

    , @Chrisnonymous
    @John Derbyshire


    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.
     
    So, before Nazis, everyone just lived, willy-nilly, wherever they wanted. I didn't know!!

    This fact must be very problematic for historians of the rise of the nation-state.
    , @ben tillman
    @John Derbyshire


    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.
     
    What fool could possibly wish to restrain the liberty of Genghis and Attila and their armies?
    , @ben tillman
    @John Derbyshire


    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience.
     
    No, that's not true. A profoundly stupid utilitarian might argue that, but utilitarians who aren't stupid understand that there is a future and that the utility analysis also applies to people in the future. A policy of closed borders -- which protects the evolution of productivity -- produces infinitely more utility in the future than does a policy of open borders, which leads to virtual extinction of the human race.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome
    @John Derbyshire



    When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports.

     

    LOL. Well, maybe if you were white.


    Oregon Exclusion Law (1849)

    Sect. 1 Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Oregon that it shall not be lawful for any negro or mulatto to enter into, or reside within the limits of this Territory.

     

    , @AndrewR
    @John Derbyshire

    No need to waste one's time reading that. Cut to the end and you'll see the main premise: that Trump supporters are the worst people on earth and need to be displaced by any means necessary.

    , @Buck Turgidson
    @John Derbyshire

    Jared Diamond peddles a form of what geographers would call 'environmental determinism' It was in vogue roughly a century ago, then eventually roundly dismissed by most people in the field. Diamond and many others have helped revive this nonsense, because racism.

    , @Bies Podkrakowski
    @John Derbyshire


    If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards.
     
    Yes. Little harm.
    , @Rahnee Raygun
    @John Derbyshire

    Cant swerve the Derb

    , @Frau Katze
    @John Derbyshire


    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being.
     
    In fact it's not difficult at all.

    Millions from Mali would simply replicate Mali. The people there are incapable of running a Western democracy.

    As a counter-example, Japan (after a detour down the wrong path) is doing fine. They don't even want to leave,
  18. • Replies: @anon
    @Anonymous

    open borders advocates who live in gated communities with private security should be liable for crimes committed against their fellow citizens by illegal immigrants

    for every illegal immigrant criminal deported - deport a Beinart

    the problem would be solved in no time

  19. Open borders stops making sense when you realize a couple of things:
    1. The average IQ of Mexicans is 88, and the average IQ of Mexican-Americans is not much higher.
    2. The welfare state isn’t going away anytime soon.
    3. Magic Dirt theory doesn’t make any sense, and we don’t know how to “fix the schools”.

  20. @John Derbyshire
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Tony, @newrouter, @Chrisnonymous, @ben tillman, @ben tillman, @Hippopotamusdrome, @AndrewR, @Buck Turgidson, @Bies Podkrakowski, @Rahnee Raygun, @Frau Katze

    Thanks.

  21. A major problem is that many voters, especially white gentile Americans, are completely ignorant of these ancient liberties guaranteeing the right to unrestricted immigration per the Zeroth Amendment.

    How is it possible for democracy to function properly in the face of such ignorance?

    Really, there should be something like an historical literacy test administered to would-be voters at the polls to ascertain which persons seeking to vote are ignorant of our ancient liberties and therefore need to be excluded in order to protect democracy.

  22. How wonderful that we’ll be getting rid of public assistance in this new world he describes. I might need that one day.

    I rarely get mad anymore at liberals and libertarians who oppose my interests, but this brazen turd of an article managed to get the job done. Bravo to this prick.

    • Replies: @Frau Katze
    @Stealth

    Completely agree, but I've used up my "agree button allotment".

    It's scarcely believable.

  23. > And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance.

    Bentham was an autist, Kant was incel, and Rawls got destroyed by Nozick, who noticed that people are born into a world with already-existing property which can’t be distributed according to his stupid rule.

    More generally, I think we are going to find that universalist moral philosophies are on the way out. People are realizing that humans are tribal, and universalist morality has no place for tribalism. Since some groups are more tribal than others, a group unilaterally holding a universalist moral position is not stable in a game theoretic sense (is not a Nash equilibrium).

    • Replies: @Opinionator
    @Space Ghost

    If I am not mistaken, Rawls did not go so far as to argue for the erasure of nation-state borders.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @NickG
    @Space Ghost


    since some groups are more tribal than others, a group unilaterally holding a universalist moral position is not stable in a game theoretic sense (is not a Nash equilibrium).
     
    This is a core point. In a spoils game between in-breeding pugnacious tribalists and out-breeding universalist egalitarians, the universalists will tend to end up as serfs.... or dead...or will join the 'tribe'.

    Ironically the traits that produce North West European universalism and pathological altruism are likely significantly genetically predisposed.

    On current trajectory the future of Europe and North America looks like Brazil; though likely an Islamic version of it. The white elite will preserve their exalted positions by converting to Islam, per Michel Houellebecq's novel Submission. I hadn't read fiction in over 25 years until Steve's review prompted me to make what proved to be a warranted exception.

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb has interesting things to say that touches on this sort of thing in his essay from last August...The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority.

    Replies: @backup

  24. @(((Joshua)))
    I've always thought the public health angle would be a great way to make closed borders appealing to women. Imagine the disaster if an epidemic were to take hold in Mexico and they came stampeding across the border to escape it?

    Replies: @Opinionator, @Langley, @(((Owen))), @ben tillman, @SFG

    Public health is a promising angle. (Many women were alarmed by the Ebola scare.)

    Climate change is a promising angle. (Immigration to US grows our carbon footprint, puts more pressure on nature, plants, and animals.)

    Another angle is to highlight for them that this amounts to a reproductive competition with immigrant women. Who have more babies than native women do and therefore use more of our services and resources. And many of whom do so by taking advantage of the anchor baby loophole.

    • Replies: @Lurker
    @Opinionator


    Another angle is to highlight for them that this amounts to a reproductive competition with immigrant women. Who have more babies than native women do and therefore use more of our services and resources. And many of whom do so by taking advantage of the anchor baby loophole.
     
    But we already have way too many brainwashed white women going childless and bragging about it, all too ready to cuck for non-whites and their children.

    I fear what you're outlining sounds to them like a feature, not a bug.

    Look online for any vapid story about adopted non-white kids, mixed race kids etc and look at the swooning and cooing (cucking/status signalling) from commenters. Many of whom would seem to be white women. They lap it up.

    Replies: @Opinionator

    , @AnotherDad
    @Opinionator


    Another angle is to highlight for them that this amounts to a reproductive competition with immigrant women. Who have more babies than native women do and therefore use more of our services and resources. And many of whom do so by taking advantage of the anchor baby loophole.
     
    Except that this concept--that inviting other people in squeezes out the public goods available to your own children--is obvious, but yet has *no* traction among white women, who often will virtue signal about their willingness to drag other people--other *crappy* people--in and spend the public (their children's) money on them. In the case of some "Christian" women going so far as to adopt cuckoo eggs from Africa and spend their own private resources on being displaced.

    I think it's pretty obvious that white gentiles have a mental toolkit of altruism that's very healthy for *cohesive societies of other white gentiles* but makes them dupes for getting ripped off by others. This modest psychological bent is ramped up an order of magnitude or more to outright pathological among white women who aren't having their own children (or enough of their own children).
  25. What an astonishing article. Mass migration of poor people to rich places would double the world’s economy? From them doing what?

    • Replies: @Clyde
    @Arclight

    What an astonishing article. Mass migration of poor people to rich places would double the world’s economy? From them doing what?
    Open borders cultists claiming American and European civilizations thrive because they were fortunate enough to be built on magic dirt. A cargo cult with the cargo being the Third World coming here to drown out you and your offspring.


    Cargo cult
    A cargo cult is a Melanesian millenarian movement encompassing a diverse range of practices and occurring in the wake of contact with the commercial networks of colonizing societies. The name derives from the belief that various ritualistic acts will lead to a bestowing of material wealth ("cargo").
     
    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Arclight

    You must have missed the part about the 'special something' that makes some countries rich.

    It's hard to believe someone wrote those words and saw them published in a serious journal, but these are strange days indeed.

  26. Liberals often praise ancient Rome for her openness welcoming people from all over the empire, inviting them to just come right into the capital. How’d that work out, again?

    “Immigration was also one of the aspects which characterised the decline of the roman empire. …

    A sense of the volume of immigration (at least into the city of Rome, if not the empire) can be had by considering the growing size of ancient Rome which at its peak had nigh on 1M citizens, be they plebeians, freed slaves, foreigners or others.

    What is particularly important to consider is the role which immigration and population size played on the Roman economy. Enormous efforts both financial and military were put behind the necessity of feeding the burgeoning population of the city through vast grain imports from areas such as Sicily and Egypt, cities such as Alexandria. Rome’s political, military and financial success, coupled with its incomparable infrastructure made it the target for many people in search of fortune. This enormous plebeian population, particularly when civili status was extended to greater number of provinces, meant a need to feed such people, at public expense, which in turn implied an increasingly negative balance of trade. Furthermore these people found it extremely difficult to find work, given the excessive supply of labour, the pay was increasingly low, forcing people into slavery, making social unrest a continuing preoccupation for the governing authorities and as such hindering incentives for technological advancements which might have generated higher efficiency and productivity.”

  27. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    How serious are they about this?

    I mean do they really believe any number of Chinese should move into Siberia?
    Any number of Hindus in India should move to Thailand?
    Any number of Chinese should move into Vietnam?

    Also, a world without borders favors populous nations over small ones.
    Suppose one nation has 100 million and another nation has 5 million people.
    Suppose they go for open borders. If all 5 million go to nation with 100 million, it doesn’t make much difference. But if just 5 million go from nation with 100 million to nation to nation with 5 million, tremendous demographic change has taken place.
    Also, peoples with high birthrates will dominate over those with low or stagnant ones. One reason why whites took over much of the world was they had higher birthrates and could ship their excess folks to other places(at the expense of natives).
    If Africa had 1.2 child per woman while Europe had 6 kids per woman and IF there were to be open borders between Africa and Europe, Europeans will eventually take over all of Africa with increasing white numbers. Today, it’s the reverse.
    If a nation has low birthrates and if certain areas are emptying of people, it should be reverted to nature, not handed over to foreigners. More nature is always a good thing for a nation.
    It’s like those scenes in Tarkovsky films where nature reclaims what had once been industrial area. Nature is great:

    Also, elites live in Elysium World. People who write for FOREIGN AFFAIRS hang with the fancy crowd. If everyone could be given such position in the world, maybe just maybe a world without borders will work. Universal elite cosmopolitanism. But such privileges belong to a limited number of people.

    And what about roots? How can there be roots and a deep sense of heritage/history if people have no borders, no sense of belonging, no sense of ties and connection? The connection between people and land is vital. Just like plants, culture grows on land. Even Jews, long-known as nomadic people, wanted to regain the homeland. And they keep it Jewish with secure borders. We are territorial creatures. Sure, we like mobility, and so much of modern life is Mercurian and defined by speed and movement. But without sacred connection to land, our identity and culture become unsure, weak, and lost. It’s like tree without roots in ground will eventually die.
    If all Hungarians were go into exile and if Hungary were to be taken over by non-Hungarians, will Hungarian identity and culture survive? Hungarians around the world can try, but they will be minorities among non-Hungarians. Many will forget who they are and mix with others. And the education in other nations will not put Hungarian-ness at the center. And non-Hungarians or ‘new Hungarians’ in Hungary will not show any interest in Hungarianness(just like Jews in Palestine don’t care about preserving and honoring Palestinian history and heritage on the land.) Look at Japanese in Brazil. they forgot the language and history. They are still ethnically Japanese, but don’t feel as Japanese. And many are now mixed and feel even less Japanese. If Japan itself were to go borderless and if tons of people were to flood into Japan and if tons of Japanese were move to other nations, all Japanese will become like Japanese-Brazilians, and it will be the end of their identity and culture. Japanese will have lost something deep, rich, and certain, and in return, they will have gained something unsure, confusing, messy, and unstable. Is it worth it?

    Poles, even as part of Russian Empire, wanted independence. Why? A sense that one’s nation is both the birthplace and resting place(tomb) of one’s people. A world without borders is a world without roots. According to this logic, if all Poles move to Russia and if all Italians move to Poland, it doesn’t matter. No people have a special sacred bond to the land in which their forebears have been buried for 1000s of yrs. History means nothing.
    The GLOB say there is only the future of innovation, mobility, liberty, hedonism, and possibilities. There is no need for the past, obligation, history, sacred bonds between people and place. This seems empty. And what would be the main culture for people in a borderless world? Pop culture? Fashions and fads? Universal worship of homos? Rap music? Or among the elites, fancy theories to show off how clever or smart one is, the kind of drivel one finds on Big Think?

    I’m for innovation and mobility, but every people must have their own geo-core as homeland for ethno-unity and solidarity. Everyone is a stranger, tourist, wanderer, or exile in all the world EXCEPT in one’s own homeland. Everyone should have at least one nation in which he belongs as the owner. The idea that all the world is the collective home of all the people is just a pipe-dream. The human mind prefers distinctions and limitations. It’s like property rights. Communism said everything would belong to everyone on a collective basis. In actuality, nothing belonged to anyone. Globalism is a vague-nothingness for most people. Only the elites will grab and enjoy most of the pie like in ANIMAL FARM with pigs as new masters.

    Let the Irish or Poles travel and see the whole world, but they need a homeland to return to when their journey is done… like Odysseus had a homeland to go back to. A house is home of an individual or family. Nation is the home of the people. Imagine a Polish grandfather with his kids and their kids(grandkids). Suppose they are in Poland and visiting some cemetery. Their sense of Polishness would be all the more powerful and meaningful because they have a homeland and because they are standing over land in which generations of Poles have been buried. Thus, the land has been sanctified with the bodies and souls of Poles. Also, the stories of wars, struggles, strife, famine, good times, and victories of Polish people happened on that land. The territory has become inseparable from Polish history, memory, and culture.
    Now, suppose Poland was taken over by non-Poles. Would these ever-mobile newcomers feel such deep and meaningful connection to the land? Of course not. They’d just see it as a piece of real estate, a way-station, or economic zone.
    Or suppose this Poland family of grandparents to grandkids were standing in some place in India or Africa. They would still have each other, but would they feel a profound sense of Polishness in relation to where they are standing? Of course not. As Poles with desire to preserve Polishness, they would feel precarious outside Poland. I know because Polish-Americans are among the shallowest, phoniest, cuckiest lowlifes there be. It goes to show what separation from land can do. But there are still Poles in Poland who march and defend their homeland. Those are the ‘smart polacks’.
    It’s like this Russian’s sense of land and heritage in SIBERIADE:

    When most people were farming folks, they felt a direct connection to the land. They were born on it, toiled on it, and their ancestors were buried on it, and they too joined when the time came. But with modernization and urbanization, people lost the direct connection to the land. But the sacred idea of unity of tribe and terriotry was preserved through the concept of nationhood and ethnos. But even that is now being threatened. Globalism tells us to become just Walmartians and Ikeans whose main identity is fantasy of imitating celebrities and listening to rap music and cheering for batman.

    No, the real meaning of a people is to found not only in liberty and freedom but in history, territory, identity, and culture. And such cannot be sustained in a borderless world.

    There is a reason why land creatures achieved much more than sea creatures. Land allow borders, especially if separated from other lands through seas or other obstacles. Without such borders, it would have been much more difficult for different peoples to develop and defend their own identities, cultures, and narratives.

    Indeed, imagine if there was no gravity, and all land creatures, human and animals and etc, could ‘float-swim-fly’ all around the world through the atmosphere(like sea creatures in the ocean). So, 1 billion Chinese, 1 billion Hindus, 80 million Germans, 120 million Russians, 320 million people in America, 120 million Mexicans, 1 billion Africans, all the cows, pigs, rats, hedgehogs, wolves, coyotes, rhinos, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, pythons, wombats, kangaroos, bears, buffaloes, bison, moose, oxen, foxes, rappers, punk rockers, walmart shoppers, cobras, mambas, opossums, skunks, cats, dogs, frogs, armadillos, gila monsters, komodo dragons, raccoon, baboons, bonobos, hyenas, chimp, gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, leopards, pumas, jaguars, peccaries, boars, warthogs, cape buffaloes, texas longhorns, and etc, etc(you get the point) float-swim-fly around all the world. Imagine such scenario.
    No one and nothing would be safe or secure. I mean look what US air power did to nations like Libya and Iraq. Air power, in defiance of gravity, knows no borders, that’s for sure.
    Now, imagine a 100 million cows flying around the air. Imagine 1 billion Negroes from Africa flying all over the place. Imagine 1.3 billion Hindus flying all over and taking over. It’s hard enough as it is to keep Mexicans in Mexico. Imagine if all those Guillermos floated around gravity free. It’d be the scene in WIZARD OF OZ with the flying monkeys.

    Gravity is good:

    In SOLARIS, man finds meaning back on the ground than floating in gravity-free space.

    • Replies: @Opinionator
    @Anon


    Also, peoples with high birthrates will dominate over those with low or stagnant ones. One reason why whites took over much of the world was they had higher birthrates and could ship their excess folks to other places(at the expense of natives).
    If Africa had 1.2 child per woman while Europe had 6 kids per woman and IF there were to be open borders between Africa and Europe, Europeans will eventually take over all of Africa with increasing white numbers. Today, it’s the reverse.
    If a nation has low birthrates and if certain areas are emptying of people, it should be reverted to nature, not handed over to foreigners. More nature is always a good thing for a nation.
     
    Great points!
  28. Coming next from FR: DOORS ARE A POPULIST MENACE

  29. @(((Joshua)))
    I've always thought the public health angle would be a great way to make closed borders appealing to women. Imagine the disaster if an epidemic were to take hold in Mexico and they came stampeding across the border to escape it?

    Replies: @Opinionator, @Langley, @(((Owen))), @ben tillman, @SFG

    “I’ve always thought the public health angle would be a great way to make closed borders appealing to women. Imagine the disaster if an epidemic were to take hold in Mexico and they came stampeding across the border to escape it?”

    Women and other globalists do not seem to mind that that has been happening for the last decade.

  30. @John Derbyshire
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Tony, @newrouter, @Chrisnonymous, @ben tillman, @ben tillman, @Hippopotamusdrome, @AndrewR, @Buck Turgidson, @Bies Podkrakowski, @Rahnee Raygun, @Frau Katze

    What’s the stoner’s name who wrote this jibberish?

  31. I’m always suspicious of people who envision a very bright future, especially when it involves never ending growth. They seem to take it for granted that things will be more like Star Trek than Fury Road. Yet no one takes into consideration that all of the luxuries we enjoy result from the use of fossil fuels, a finite resource. We will exhaust them entirely in the coming century, provided that we don’t transform the earth’s atmosphere into a furnace first. Unlimited growth will only accelerate both global warming and the depletion of fossil fuels. And then what? There are a lot of people in this world who depend on mechanized agriculture for calories.

    The only reliable alternative to ff’s we’ve found is nuclear fission, which is a little big problematic. I think it’s funny that movies about nuclear war leave out the part where dozens or hundreds of nuclear power plants melt down and sterilize the oceans and the entire northern hemisphere. I was aghast to learn that spent fuel had to be cooled for years.

  32. @John Derbyshire
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Tony, @newrouter, @Chrisnonymous, @ben tillman, @ben tillman, @Hippopotamusdrome, @AndrewR, @Buck Turgidson, @Bies Podkrakowski, @Rahnee Raygun, @Frau Katze

    “Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.”

    Coolidge 1926:

    “About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers. ”

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=408

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    @newrouter

    When I read Coolidge's comment, my reaction is that that portion of the Declaration of Independence is a seriously flawed document. Men are not created equal. The concept of an ongoing plebescite that establishes "consent of the governed" is every bit as fanciful as "divine right of kings." The Creator that endows men with a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I'm rather more inclined to the description of man's fate contained in Genesis 2:17-19 (New International Version):

    Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
    18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
    19 By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
    until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
    for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”

    The U.S. prospered because its leaders largely ignored the pablum in the Declaration. It began to fall apart when it started taking it seriously in the 1960s.

    , @Captain Tripps
    @newrouter


    Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.
     
    Related concepts:

    1. We had to destroy the village in order to save it.

    2. I, Caesar, declare myself Dictator for Life in order that I might save the Republic!
  33. @Opinionator
    Surely there must be economic arguments for national property rights, as economists readily make arguments for the existence and enforcement of private property rights.

    Replies: @International Jew, @ben tillman, @AnotherDad

    The “tragedy of the commons” is applicable.

    • Replies: @Opinionator
    @International Jew

    Play that out. Wouldn't that dynamic be restrained by the continued existence of private property rights?

  34. Nathan Smith: “Imagine”-eer.

    This line of his is simply gobsmacking:

    “[E]ven if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience.”

    Only “some Westerners might suffer”? Only “some“? Whom does this snake oil salesman think he’s trying to fool?

    Institute open borders and Western Civilization would be overwhelmed and would in a trice vanish from the face of the earth – and would vanish even from what would become a barbarian travesty of the discipline of History. That, in fact, is what anyone who can see actually sees happening now – today – under the weight and mass of existing levels of immigration.

    I am moved to ask Smith this question: While you sleep, while you are away from your home, or while your children are at home by themselves, do you, or do you not, lock its doors?

    Yes, Mr. Smith, your answer scales up to the level of nations.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Auntie Analogue

    Speaking of gobsmacking lines, this one really got to me:

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-foreigners-20170228-story.html


    Behind President Trump’s efforts to step up deportations and block travel from seven mostly Muslim countries lies a goal that reaches far beyond any immediate terrorism threat: a desire to reshape American demographics for the long term and keep out people who Trump and senior aides believe will not assimilate.

    In pursuit of that goal, Trump in his first weeks in office has launched the most dramatic effort in decades to reduce the country’s foreign-born population and set in motion what could become a generational shift in the ethnic makeup of the U.S.
     

    Halting immigration stabilizes demographics almost by definition -- but in liberal crazy town it reshapes them?

    What kind of mind would even conjure up thoughts like this?

    Replies: @ogunsiron

    , @Anonym
    @Auntie Analogue

    Institute open borders and Western Civilization would be overwhelmed and would in a trice vanish from the face of the earth – and would vanish even from what would become a barbarian travesty of the discipline of History. That, in fact, is what anyone who can see actually sees happening now – today – under the weight and mass of existing levels of immigration.

    At its heart of the ability of open bordersism to exist is the ability of TPTB to crack down on scofflaws, on those who challenge the thinking. It is the SWAT team that will descend on you if you say or do the wrong thing. It is the employer who will not employ you. It is your neighbors who will think bad of you if the media create bad stories about you.

    The power of the state used to be such that a figurative boy could put his finger in the dyke and avert a collapse. Now in Sweden where there are NGZs, you have a situation where the government is losing power. It cannot enforce its rules. Its police value their skins over their duty. They see who are causing the problems. It will not be long before their allegiance to the PC order will collapse. They will lose their will to enforce the laws against their own people preferentially, just because they are easy targets to get their quotas up.

    When the law is disrespected to that extent, citizens will start taking matters into their own hands, or they may elect a government that governs in the interests of its "legacy" population. The specter of the so-called evil of the Apartheid state and the international condemnation and sanctions that went against it has as much relevance today as worries based on the politics of the 16th century.

  35. I would like to see the Left write an article about how open borders and mass immigration helps the American middle class way more than it helps Walmart and The Koch Brothers. Walmart and The Koch Brothers are still enemies of the Left right? Or is hating them gone out of style among the Left? Has Left Wing hatred of Walmart and The Koch Brothers gone the way of The 8 Track Player and Leisure Suits?

  36. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    This used to be called imperialism. It came to an end when the non-West told the West to go home.

    And if the West had banned the non-West from coming, the best and brightest would have done more to build up their own nations. But once the West decided on Intellectual Appropriation and Labor Appropriation, the Western elites neglected their own peoples. And people in the non-West just ‘dream’ of going to the West than fixing and building their own nations.

    Bad for everyone.

    Japan model after WWII was best. Stay in Japan and build Japan and protect Japan.

  37. @mobi

    I literally got nauseous reading that. This is absolute insanity.
     
    For you, yes.


    'Nathan Smith' of the Council on Foreign Relations. 'Nathan' - (((hmmm)))


    Directors Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations:

    Madeleine Albright

    Martin Feldstein

    Leslie Gelb

    Maurice Greenberg

    Peter Peterson

    David Rockefeller


    Remarkable, isn't it?

    In good faith, I want to understand - how much do they understand what they're doing, and how much is tragic compulsion - the filling of a niche?

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @snorlax, @anon

    It’s funny, he isn’t listed as a member of the CFR at
    http://www.cfr.org/about/membership/roster.html?letter=S

    • Replies: @mobi
    @kaganovitch


    It’s funny, he isn’t listed as a member of the CFR at
     
    Perhaps he's not, but he's writing in their house organ.
  38. @(((Joshua)))
    @AndrewR

    It's truly terrifying that we may be witnessing the rise of this century's version of Communism: a utopian ideology embraced by intellectuals that's going to get hundreds of millions killed.

    Replies: @Anonym, @Frau Katze

    It’s truly terrifying that we may be witnessing the rise of this century’s version of Communism: a utopian ideology embraced by intellectuals that’s going to get hundreds of millions killed.

    No, we are witnessing the fall of that ideology, among white people at least. That ideology has been rampant in the last ten years or so after a long crescendo lasting many decades. Much like Marx never saw the birth of the Soviet Union or Communist China, nor their respective collapse or transformation to a CINO state, neither did the founders of Frankfurt School PC live to witness the triumph of Hollywood, MSM, academia, and government all working together in concert to enforce their grand vision.

    Now we have witnessed their utopia expressed in all its glory! According to their (best laid) plans, with non-whites having been broadcast in every town and country, white identity feeling is at a historic low and all but absent, white confidence and determination is all but shattered, and the mocha colored masses have been keen to recognize and annoint the Jews as the lights amongst their nations. That was sarcasm, btw.

    With a box of popcorn in hand, we now prepare to watch the aftermath.

    Open bordersism is decadent, sclerotic and barren. With one swift kick it will topple over, although to many it appears as robust, immense and foreboding as the Soviet Union did in 1985, or as the EU did even a year ago.

  39. @Steve_Sailer here’s the rest of the article http://archive.is/eg6Hp

    and here are some choice bits, in no particular order:

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor…

    Reaaaaaaallly?

    When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia

    Simultaneously evokes Anarcho-Jewish poetry AND jab at big bad Russia. Nice!

    …economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West.

    So even with stagnant wages in the face of rising prices, it’s still not good enough for the bottom line. Someone better tell the destitute deplorables and the Fight for Fifteen crowd they’re, in fact, making too much money!

    I wonder how many foreign-born economists will come in to help make Nathan Smith’s salary align with the “equilibrium”.

    …immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths…

    Funny how immigration non-enforcement has similar results, but that’s acceptable because it affects indigenous Americans and Europeans (who are racist for noticing they’re being killed, ethnically displaced, and making a fuss over it).

    It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    Uh, do we even have any of that left to worry about?

    At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled.

    I’m livid. The crux of the justification, aside from catlady moral hysteria, for letting in the first waves of the Third World were so that the West could sustain their precious welfare states. Now we have to forsake these programs so Bongo and his millions of fellow “Syrians” get proper treatment for their “sexual emergencies”?!

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today.

    Just like there’s no obvious reason why Haitians turned France’s richest overseas possession into the poorest country in the world, while the Japanese turned a relatively resource barren island into the world’s 3rd largest economy.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take.

    Of course this is all moot if, say, the posterity of fecund Islamists are elected are summarily restrict the scope of freedom, weaken respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments are allowed to take (especially against the nonbelievers).

    And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Of course! How could I not see this before! The economic, demographic, and political threats posed by third worlders aren’t the real danger: I AM for trying to negate these threats!

    What an awful article.

    • Replies: @Stealth
    @Tired of Riots


    Of course this is all moot if, say, the posterity of fecund Islamists are elected are summarily restrict the scope of freedom, weaken respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments are allowed to take (especially against the nonbelievers).
     
    You said it. Beating your sword into a plowshare doesn't do you much good if your enemy forgets to reciprocate.
    , @bomag
    @Tired of Riots


    What an awful article.
     
    Amen.

    Thanks for the take-down of that dreck. He starts out all giddy with GDP-growing-forever-itis from imagining all those net contributors transported to a first world country; then he starts to talk himself out of it from considering the loss of first world status via the dynamics that has himself locking his own doors; then he essentially admits he is too timid to say "no" to the coming invaders, so he hopes everything works out and he gets to keep his lifestyle while writing barf inducing articles.

    , @Chrisnonymous
    @Tired of Riots


    So even with stagnant wages in the face of rising prices, it’s still not good enough for the bottom line. Someone better tell the destitute deplorables and the Fight for Fifteen crowd they’re, in fact, making too much money!
     
    Fuck wages. He's talking about quadrupling or even octupling the population of the US, while syphoning off the populations of the ME, Africa, SE Asia, etc. How will the economy even fucking work?

    When you take the train north of Kuala Lumpur, you go by mile after mile of palm oil plantations. How are the billions in North America going to get palm oil from Malaysia?

    What are you going to do with the concentrated waste?

    Who, exactly, is going to give the children of the billions a first world education?

    Fuck wages. They're insane.
    , @Lurker
    @Tired of Riots


    I wonder how many foreign-born economists will come in to help make Nathan Smith’s salary align with the “equilibrium”.
     
    Whatever the true motivations behind open borders it's half-witted, useful idiot, public cheer leaders always assume that they and their particular niche will still be intact in the new bright future. It's only losers who worry about competition.
    , @backup
    @Tired of Riots


    Of course this is all moot if, say, the posterity of fecund Islamists are elected are summarily restrict the scope of freedom, weaken respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments are allowed to take (especially against the nonbelievers).
     
    That is why the best line of defense against the likes of Nathan Smith is to make him explain how we are going to undo the mass immigration if it turns out his predictions turn out to be wrong.

    Replies: @Rob McX

  40. @Arclight
    What an astonishing article. Mass migration of poor people to rich places would double the world's economy? From them doing what?

    Replies: @Clyde, @The Last Real Calvinist

    What an astonishing article. Mass migration of poor people to rich places would double the world’s economy? From them doing what?
    Open borders cultists claiming American and European civilizations thrive because they were fortunate enough to be built on magic dirt. A cargo cult with the cargo being the Third World coming here to drown out you and your offspring.

    Cargo cult
    A cargo cult is a Melanesian millenarian movement encompassing a diverse range of practices and occurring in the wake of contact with the commercial networks of colonizing societies. The name derives from the belief that various ritualistic acts will lead to a bestowing of material wealth (“cargo”).

  41. So living in a rich country is just plain luck. There is just an awful lot of bad luck going on in Africa and Central America. Nathans logical conclusion would be to import 20-30 Africans into his home. That might double his household income and benefit a lot more people.

    • Replies: @Buck Turgidson
    @SEAN C

    Think of the skyrocketing Gross Household Product in Nathan's home if some of the Africans that move in can get jobs @ 7-11 and Wal-Mart. There might be a few downsides and some of Nathan's family members might get their hair mussed, but this is Gross Household Product we are talking about here people! Think of all the benefits for those Africans! I say move them in to the Smith estate asap, the sooner the better.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  42. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Auntie Analogue
    Nathan Smith: "Imagine"-eer.

    This line of his is simply gobsmacking:

    "[E]ven if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience."

     

    Only "some Westerners might suffer"? Only "some"? Whom does this snake oil salesman think he's trying to fool?

    Institute open borders and Western Civilization would be overwhelmed and would in a trice vanish from the face of the earth - and would vanish even from what would become a barbarian travesty of the discipline of History. That, in fact, is what anyone who can see actually sees happening now - today - under the weight and mass of existing levels of immigration.

    I am moved to ask Smith this question: While you sleep, while you are away from your home, or while your children are at home by themselves, do you, or do you not, lock its doors?

    Yes, Mr. Smith, your answer scales up to the level of nations.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Anonym

    Speaking of gobsmacking lines, this one really got to me:

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-foreigners-20170228-story.html

    Behind President Trump’s efforts to step up deportations and block travel from seven mostly Muslim countries lies a goal that reaches far beyond any immediate terrorism threat: a desire to reshape American demographics for the long term and keep out people who Trump and senior aides believe will not assimilate.

    In pursuit of that goal, Trump in his first weeks in office has launched the most dramatic effort in decades to reduce the country’s foreign-born population and set in motion what could become a generational shift in the ethnic makeup of the U.S.

    Halting immigration stabilizes demographics almost by definition — but in liberal crazy town it reshapes them?

    What kind of mind would even conjure up thoughts like this?

    • Replies: @ogunsiron
    @Anonymous

    With Trump, there is indeed a chance of reshaping the demographic landscape that the Left had planned for and banked on. That's a good thing. The Left needs to eventually answer for what it attempted to do to the historic white american people.

  43. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @res
    Let's see, world population in 1886 was about 1.5 billion, in 2017 about 7.5 billion (5x). Air travel exists now. The western world now has a generous welfare state. Any other major differences come to mind? I would say these people are truly stupid except I am unable to figure out what their agenda actually is.

    And extending DJF's comment, why doesn't Foreign Affairs have open commenting and no paywalls?!

    Population estimates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population_estimates#Before_1950

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Anonymous, @anon, @Frau Katze

    Some of these globalist enthusiasts truly believe with all their heart.

    But those who are hyper-intelligent – vastly smarter than I am – have to understand this is madness don’t they?

    This reminds me so much of the ‘Arab Spring’. They sold it as a flowering of freedom in the Middle East. But anyone familiar with the region had to know it was going to be a disaster.

    Before Iraq we had experts – EXPERTS! – telling us there was an educated population, a strong civil society and educated *WOMEN!*..doctors and lawyers!… all just waiting to bring peace, prosperity and justice to Iraq as soon as Saddam was ousted.

    Somehow, those same experts didn’t know too much about the ancient religious/sectarian divisions in the region. Or they didn’t say much about it all anyway.

    You’d almost get the feeling some of the more intelligent players – the people who are thinking with their heads (and with not much heart) actually know that these big utopian projects aren’t going to work… yet they push ever harder with more grandiose, plans.

    The question I have is why? I’d really love know what is truly going on.

    • Replies: @David Davenport
    @Anonymous

    Before Iraq we had experts – EXPERTS! – telling us there was an educated population, a strong civil society and educated *WOMEN!*..doctors and lawyers!… all just waiting to bring peace, prosperity and justice to Iraq as soon as Saddam was ousted.

    Instapundit and professor of law Glenn Reynolds was one of those experts. If you're a regular reader of his blog/web site, you might notice that he never talks about his "Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!" tonic for the Middle East that he prescribed in instapundit.com of the 2000's decade.

    Replies: @Frau Katze

    , @anon
    @Anonymous


    The question I have is why?
     
    1) the oligarch contingent are psychopaths and want maximum cheap labor and maximum divide and rule.

    2) the paranoia driven contingent

    3) the NW Euro universalist kumbayah contingent - this segment is only sustained by 24/7 media manipulation and would dissipate as a political faction if the media told the truth (they'd reform eventually and come back as hard core eugenicists like they used to be)

    4) mercenary lobbyists and journalists paid to lie by group 1
  44. @Auntie Analogue
    Nathan Smith: "Imagine"-eer.

    This line of his is simply gobsmacking:

    "[E]ven if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience."

     

    Only "some Westerners might suffer"? Only "some"? Whom does this snake oil salesman think he's trying to fool?

    Institute open borders and Western Civilization would be overwhelmed and would in a trice vanish from the face of the earth - and would vanish even from what would become a barbarian travesty of the discipline of History. That, in fact, is what anyone who can see actually sees happening now - today - under the weight and mass of existing levels of immigration.

    I am moved to ask Smith this question: While you sleep, while you are away from your home, or while your children are at home by themselves, do you, or do you not, lock its doors?

    Yes, Mr. Smith, your answer scales up to the level of nations.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Anonym

    Institute open borders and Western Civilization would be overwhelmed and would in a trice vanish from the face of the earth – and would vanish even from what would become a barbarian travesty of the discipline of History. That, in fact, is what anyone who can see actually sees happening now – today – under the weight and mass of existing levels of immigration.

    At its heart of the ability of open bordersism to exist is the ability of TPTB to crack down on scofflaws, on those who challenge the thinking. It is the SWAT team that will descend on you if you say or do the wrong thing. It is the employer who will not employ you. It is your neighbors who will think bad of you if the media create bad stories about you.

    The power of the state used to be such that a figurative boy could put his finger in the dyke and avert a collapse. Now in Sweden where there are NGZs, you have a situation where the government is losing power. It cannot enforce its rules. Its police value their skins over their duty. They see who are causing the problems. It will not be long before their allegiance to the PC order will collapse. They will lose their will to enforce the laws against their own people preferentially, just because they are easy targets to get their quotas up.

    When the law is disrespected to that extent, citizens will start taking matters into their own hands, or they may elect a government that governs in the interests of its “legacy” population. The specter of the so-called evil of the Apartheid state and the international condemnation and sanctions that went against it has as much relevance today as worries based on the politics of the 16th century.

  45. @The Man From J.A.M.E.S.
    McMullin has been busy decrying "despotic sovereignty" on twitter today https://twitter.com/Evan_McMullin/status/837044068672815105

    What a shame that Leon Trotsky understood America better than her own founding fathers!

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Thanks, I’ll post.

  46. – The US should annex Mexico. If the US is transforming from a sovereign nation state to a globalist empire, annexation is the direct corollary. As it stands, the premise of Mexican mass immigration into the US has obvious benefit for the immigrant population and also for the Mexicans living in Mexico receiving large remittance income. The benefit to incumbent Americans is arguable at best. An annexation might offer incumbent Americans some more tangible benefits and make the whole thing more reasonable.

    – 2016 NAS Immigration Study says that in 2013, first gen immigrants in the US imposed a government shortfall of $279 billion. That’s $279 billion in one year that immigrants consumed in government services more than they paid in revenue. Honestly, that number seems too large for even an immigration skeptic.

    – Trump is making a mistake by presenting immigration restriction as being about security and serious crime. We punish domestic citizens harshly for serious crime. So punishing immigrants for serious crime is treating them the same as citizens. That is the open borders model where there is no citizen/immigrant distinction. The whole point of a sovereign nation is that the nation serves the interests of its incumbent members and not necessarily those of complete foreigners.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    @Massimo Heitor

    Did you see Trump's speech yesterday? He spent a lot of time on the economic case for immigration reduction.

  47. @mobi

    I literally got nauseous reading that. This is absolute insanity.
     
    For you, yes.


    'Nathan Smith' of the Council on Foreign Relations. 'Nathan' - (((hmmm)))


    Directors Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations:

    Madeleine Albright

    Martin Feldstein

    Leslie Gelb

    Maurice Greenberg

    Peter Peterson

    David Rockefeller


    Remarkable, isn't it?

    In good faith, I want to understand - how much do they understand what they're doing, and how much is tragic compulsion - the filling of a niche?

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @snorlax, @anon

    ‘Nathan Smith’ of the Council on Foreign Relations. ‘Nathan’ – (((hmmm)))

    According to his LinkedIn profile he’s from Maine and he went to Notre Dame, where he was in the “liturgical choir.” I seriously doubt it.

    Directors Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations

    You know that “emeritus” means “retired,” right?

    Looking at their current board, my count is 12 Jews and 24 non-Jews (13 WASPs, 4 blacks, 2 Slovaks, 1 Cuban, 1 French, 1 German, 1 Greek, 1 Italian, 1 Lebanese). Also, the last time the CFR was relevant (to the extent think tanks are ever relevant) was when Nelson Rockefeller was running for President.

    • Replies: @Lurker
    @snorlax


    my count is 12 Jews and 24 non-Jews
     
    1650% over representation!

    Replies: @snorlax, @snorlax

  48. @Space Ghost
    > And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance.

    Bentham was an autist, Kant was incel, and Rawls got destroyed by Nozick, who noticed that people are born into a world with already-existing property which can't be distributed according to his stupid rule.

    More generally, I think we are going to find that universalist moral philosophies are on the way out. People are realizing that humans are tribal, and universalist morality has no place for tribalism. Since some groups are more tribal than others, a group unilaterally holding a universalist moral position is not stable in a game theoretic sense (is not a Nash equilibrium).

    Replies: @Opinionator, @NickG

    If I am not mistaken, Rawls did not go so far as to argue for the erasure of nation-state borders.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Opinionator

    In a later book, Rawls specifically argued in favor of borders:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/john-rawls-immigration-restrictionist/

  49. @Opinionator
    @Space Ghost

    If I am not mistaken, Rawls did not go so far as to argue for the erasure of nation-state borders.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    In a later book, Rawls specifically argued in favor of borders:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/john-rawls-immigration-restrictionist/

    • Agree: Opinionator
  50. @International Jew
    @Opinionator

    The "tragedy of the commons" is applicable.

    Replies: @Opinionator

    Play that out. Wouldn’t that dynamic be restrained by the continued existence of private property rights?

  51. @Tired of Riots
    @Steve_Sailer here's the rest of the article http://archive.is/eg6Hp

    and here are some choice bits, in no particular order:

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor...
     
    Reaaaaaaallly?

    When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia
     
    Simultaneously evokes Anarcho-Jewish poetry AND jab at big bad Russia. Nice!

    ...economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West.
     
    So even with stagnant wages in the face of rising prices, it's still not good enough for the bottom line. Someone better tell the destitute deplorables and the Fight for Fifteen crowd they're, in fact, making too much money!

    I wonder how many foreign-born economists will come in to help make Nathan Smith's salary align with the "equilibrium".

    ...immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths...
     
    Funny how immigration non-enforcement has similar results, but that's acceptable because it affects indigenous Americans and Europeans (who are racist for noticing they're being killed, ethnically displaced, and making a fuss over it).

    It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.
     
    Uh, do we even have any of that left to worry about?

    At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled.
     
    I'm livid. The crux of the justification, aside from catlady moral hysteria, for letting in the first waves of the Third World were so that the West could sustain their precious welfare states. Now we have to forsake these programs so Bongo and his millions of fellow "Syrians" get proper treatment for their "sexual emergencies"?!

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today.
     
    Just like there's no obvious reason why Haitians turned France's richest overseas possession into the poorest country in the world, while the Japanese turned a relatively resource barren island into the world's 3rd largest economy.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take.
     
    Of course this is all moot if, say, the posterity of fecund Islamists are elected are summarily restrict the scope of freedom, weaken respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments are allowed to take (especially against the nonbelievers).

    And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.
     
    Of course! How could I not see this before! The economic, demographic, and political threats posed by third worlders aren't the real danger: I AM for trying to negate these threats!

    What an awful article.

    Replies: @Stealth, @bomag, @Chrisnonymous, @Lurker, @backup

    Of course this is all moot if, say, the posterity of fecund Islamists are elected are summarily restrict the scope of freedom, weaken respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments are allowed to take (especially against the nonbelievers).

    You said it. Beating your sword into a plowshare doesn’t do you much good if your enemy forgets to reciprocate.

  52. @(((Joshua)))
    I've always thought the public health angle would be a great way to make closed borders appealing to women. Imagine the disaster if an epidemic were to take hold in Mexico and they came stampeding across the border to escape it?

    Replies: @Opinionator, @Langley, @(((Owen))), @ben tillman, @SFG

    There was already a potentially epidemic flu in 2009 from Mexico. It was big in the news for a couple weeks.

    In Mexico they closed down all the shops and restaurants and emptied the parks. It was really traumatic; everyone on public transit (and there wren’t many) was wearing a mask.

    And it didn’t slow down anyone’s thirst for cheap nannies.

  53. @Massimo Heitor
    - The US should annex Mexico. If the US is transforming from a sovereign nation state to a globalist empire, annexation is the direct corollary. As it stands, the premise of Mexican mass immigration into the US has obvious benefit for the immigrant population and also for the Mexicans living in Mexico receiving large remittance income. The benefit to incumbent Americans is arguable at best. An annexation might offer incumbent Americans some more tangible benefits and make the whole thing more reasonable.

    - 2016 NAS Immigration Study says that in 2013, first gen immigrants in the US imposed a government shortfall of $279 billion. That's $279 billion in one year that immigrants consumed in government services more than they paid in revenue. Honestly, that number seems too large for even an immigration skeptic.

    - Trump is making a mistake by presenting immigration restriction as being about security and serious crime. We punish domestic citizens harshly for serious crime. So punishing immigrants for serious crime is treating them the same as citizens. That is the open borders model where there is no citizen/immigrant distinction. The whole point of a sovereign nation is that the nation serves the interests of its incumbent members and not necessarily those of complete foreigners.

    Replies: @snorlax

    Did you see Trump’s speech yesterday? He spent a lot of time on the economic case for immigration reduction.

  54. @John Derbyshire
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Tony, @newrouter, @Chrisnonymous, @ben tillman, @ben tillman, @Hippopotamusdrome, @AndrewR, @Buck Turgidson, @Bies Podkrakowski, @Rahnee Raygun, @Frau Katze

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    So, before Nazis, everyone just lived, willy-nilly, wherever they wanted. I didn’t know!!

    This fact must be very problematic for historians of the rise of the nation-state.

  55. @(((Joshua)))
    I've always thought the public health angle would be a great way to make closed borders appealing to women. Imagine the disaster if an epidemic were to take hold in Mexico and they came stampeding across the border to escape it?

    Replies: @Opinionator, @Langley, @(((Owen))), @ben tillman, @SFG

    I’ve always thought the public health angle would be a great way to make closed borders appealing to women. Imagine the disaster if an epidemic were to take hold in Mexico and they came stampeding across the border to escape it?

    The Ebola thing really got to my wife since the Ebola patient zero lived 3/5 of a mile from our kids’ daycare center. But the water rationing instituted 3 or 4 years earlier is what finally convinced her of the need to control the border.

  56. @Cortes
    Why stop at the state level? Let's abolish private property and gambol together in a more perfect union as The Love Train picks up steam. Which of the latter-day St Francis of Assisis will be first to invite us all in? Buffett? Gates? Windsor? Maybe the man of most Anglophone nations, Rupert Murdoch will get the party going?

    Meanwhile, the faint murmur of "Carousel Time" gradually increases in volume...

    https://youtu.be/xSnLU9nyFSA

    Replies: @ben tillman

    Indeed. There’s no meaningful difference between personal property and national property.

  57. @Tired of Riots
    @Steve_Sailer here's the rest of the article http://archive.is/eg6Hp

    and here are some choice bits, in no particular order:

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor...
     
    Reaaaaaaallly?

    When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia
     
    Simultaneously evokes Anarcho-Jewish poetry AND jab at big bad Russia. Nice!

    ...economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West.
     
    So even with stagnant wages in the face of rising prices, it's still not good enough for the bottom line. Someone better tell the destitute deplorables and the Fight for Fifteen crowd they're, in fact, making too much money!

    I wonder how many foreign-born economists will come in to help make Nathan Smith's salary align with the "equilibrium".

    ...immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths...
     
    Funny how immigration non-enforcement has similar results, but that's acceptable because it affects indigenous Americans and Europeans (who are racist for noticing they're being killed, ethnically displaced, and making a fuss over it).

    It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.
     
    Uh, do we even have any of that left to worry about?

    At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled.
     
    I'm livid. The crux of the justification, aside from catlady moral hysteria, for letting in the first waves of the Third World were so that the West could sustain their precious welfare states. Now we have to forsake these programs so Bongo and his millions of fellow "Syrians" get proper treatment for their "sexual emergencies"?!

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today.
     
    Just like there's no obvious reason why Haitians turned France's richest overseas possession into the poorest country in the world, while the Japanese turned a relatively resource barren island into the world's 3rd largest economy.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take.
     
    Of course this is all moot if, say, the posterity of fecund Islamists are elected are summarily restrict the scope of freedom, weaken respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments are allowed to take (especially against the nonbelievers).

    And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.
     
    Of course! How could I not see this before! The economic, demographic, and political threats posed by third worlders aren't the real danger: I AM for trying to negate these threats!

    What an awful article.

    Replies: @Stealth, @bomag, @Chrisnonymous, @Lurker, @backup

    What an awful article.

    Amen.

    Thanks for the take-down of that dreck. He starts out all giddy with GDP-growing-forever-itis from imagining all those net contributors transported to a first world country; then he starts to talk himself out of it from considering the loss of first world status via the dynamics that has himself locking his own doors; then he essentially admits he is too timid to say “no” to the coming invaders, so he hopes everything works out and he gets to keep his lifestyle while writing barf inducing articles.

  58. @Opinionator
    Surely there must be economic arguments for national property rights, as economists readily make arguments for the existence and enforcement of private property rights.

    Replies: @International Jew, @ben tillman, @AnotherDad

    Surely there must be economic arguments for national property rights, as economists readily make arguments for the existence and enforcement of private property rights.

    Of course, but they’re too straightforward and compelling to be refuted, so they must be ignored.

  59. @John Derbyshire
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Tony, @newrouter, @Chrisnonymous, @ben tillman, @ben tillman, @Hippopotamusdrome, @AndrewR, @Buck Turgidson, @Bies Podkrakowski, @Rahnee Raygun, @Frau Katze

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    What fool could possibly wish to restrain the liberty of Genghis and Attila and their armies?

  60. @Tired of Riots
    @Steve_Sailer here's the rest of the article http://archive.is/eg6Hp

    and here are some choice bits, in no particular order:

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor...
     
    Reaaaaaaallly?

    When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia
     
    Simultaneously evokes Anarcho-Jewish poetry AND jab at big bad Russia. Nice!

    ...economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West.
     
    So even with stagnant wages in the face of rising prices, it's still not good enough for the bottom line. Someone better tell the destitute deplorables and the Fight for Fifteen crowd they're, in fact, making too much money!

    I wonder how many foreign-born economists will come in to help make Nathan Smith's salary align with the "equilibrium".

    ...immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths...
     
    Funny how immigration non-enforcement has similar results, but that's acceptable because it affects indigenous Americans and Europeans (who are racist for noticing they're being killed, ethnically displaced, and making a fuss over it).

    It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.
     
    Uh, do we even have any of that left to worry about?

    At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled.
     
    I'm livid. The crux of the justification, aside from catlady moral hysteria, for letting in the first waves of the Third World were so that the West could sustain their precious welfare states. Now we have to forsake these programs so Bongo and his millions of fellow "Syrians" get proper treatment for their "sexual emergencies"?!

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today.
     
    Just like there's no obvious reason why Haitians turned France's richest overseas possession into the poorest country in the world, while the Japanese turned a relatively resource barren island into the world's 3rd largest economy.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take.
     
    Of course this is all moot if, say, the posterity of fecund Islamists are elected are summarily restrict the scope of freedom, weaken respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments are allowed to take (especially against the nonbelievers).

    And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.
     
    Of course! How could I not see this before! The economic, demographic, and political threats posed by third worlders aren't the real danger: I AM for trying to negate these threats!

    What an awful article.

    Replies: @Stealth, @bomag, @Chrisnonymous, @Lurker, @backup

    So even with stagnant wages in the face of rising prices, it’s still not good enough for the bottom line. Someone better tell the destitute deplorables and the Fight for Fifteen crowd they’re, in fact, making too much money!

    Fuck wages. He’s talking about quadrupling or even octupling the population of the US, while syphoning off the populations of the ME, Africa, SE Asia, etc. How will the economy even fucking work?

    When you take the train north of Kuala Lumpur, you go by mile after mile of palm oil plantations. How are the billions in North America going to get palm oil from Malaysia?

    What are you going to do with the concentrated waste?

    Who, exactly, is going to give the children of the billions a first world education?

    Fuck wages. They’re insane.

  61. Thinking that open borders would be harmless now, because they were bearable prior to 1914, is very much like thinking a world war fought to the finish with all available weapons would be harmless now, because it was survivable in 1914.

  62. @John Derbyshire
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Tony, @newrouter, @Chrisnonymous, @ben tillman, @ben tillman, @Hippopotamusdrome, @AndrewR, @Buck Turgidson, @Bies Podkrakowski, @Rahnee Raygun, @Frau Katze

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience.

    No, that’s not true. A profoundly stupid utilitarian might argue that, but utilitarians who aren’t stupid understand that there is a future and that the utility analysis also applies to people in the future. A policy of closed borders — which protects the evolution of productivity — produces infinitely more utility in the future than does a policy of open borders, which leads to virtual extinction of the human race.

  63. @Arclight
    What an astonishing article. Mass migration of poor people to rich places would double the world's economy? From them doing what?

    Replies: @Clyde, @The Last Real Calvinist

    You must have missed the part about the ‘special something’ that makes some countries rich.

    It’s hard to believe someone wrote those words and saw them published in a serious journal, but these are strange days indeed.

  64. @res
    Let's see, world population in 1886 was about 1.5 billion, in 2017 about 7.5 billion (5x). Air travel exists now. The western world now has a generous welfare state. Any other major differences come to mind? I would say these people are truly stupid except I am unable to figure out what their agenda actually is.

    And extending DJF's comment, why doesn't Foreign Affairs have open commenting and no paywalls?!

    Population estimates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population_estimates#Before_1950

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Anonymous, @anon, @Frau Katze

    PAYWALL HACK
    Change your region to United Kingdom and, voila, no paywall
    On iPhone…
    Settings
    General
    Language & Region

    • Replies: @res
    @Anonymous

    Thanks! Here's a way to do this with Chrome (for Windows, not sure about others):
    https://www.labnol.org/internet/geo-location/27878/
    Just set Lat/Lon to 51/0 for near London.

    This could be really useful...

  65. @Anonymous
    @Auntie Analogue

    Speaking of gobsmacking lines, this one really got to me:

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-foreigners-20170228-story.html


    Behind President Trump’s efforts to step up deportations and block travel from seven mostly Muslim countries lies a goal that reaches far beyond any immediate terrorism threat: a desire to reshape American demographics for the long term and keep out people who Trump and senior aides believe will not assimilate.

    In pursuit of that goal, Trump in his first weeks in office has launched the most dramatic effort in decades to reduce the country’s foreign-born population and set in motion what could become a generational shift in the ethnic makeup of the U.S.
     

    Halting immigration stabilizes demographics almost by definition -- but in liberal crazy town it reshapes them?

    What kind of mind would even conjure up thoughts like this?

    Replies: @ogunsiron

    With Trump, there is indeed a chance of reshaping the demographic landscape that the Left had planned for and banked on. That’s a good thing. The Left needs to eventually answer for what it attempted to do to the historic white american people.

  66. @Opinionator
    @(((Joshua)))

    Public health is a promising angle. (Many women were alarmed by the Ebola scare.)

    Climate change is a promising angle. (Immigration to US grows our carbon footprint, puts more pressure on nature, plants, and animals.)

    Another angle is to highlight for them that this amounts to a reproductive competition with immigrant women. Who have more babies than native women do and therefore use more of our services and resources. And many of whom do so by taking advantage of the anchor baby loophole.

    Replies: @Lurker, @AnotherDad

    Another angle is to highlight for them that this amounts to a reproductive competition with immigrant women. Who have more babies than native women do and therefore use more of our services and resources. And many of whom do so by taking advantage of the anchor baby loophole.

    But we already have way too many brainwashed white women going childless and bragging about it, all too ready to cuck for non-whites and their children.

    I fear what you’re outlining sounds to them like a feature, not a bug.

    Look online for any vapid story about adopted non-white kids, mixed race kids etc and look at the swooning and cooing (cucking/status signalling) from commenters. Many of whom would seem to be white women. They lap it up.

    • Replies: @Opinionator
    @Lurker

    Yes, but it is not presented quite the way I have done. Put it, as I have suggested, in terms of foreign women sweeping in here (a) often against the agreed upon rules, (b) having lots more babies (and "being more fertile") than the woman you are talking to, (c) and consuming resources otherwise belonging to the women already here and their potential future offspring.

    Try it and report back to us.

  67. I understand why everyone is outraged with the article but my take is that it’s a typical “Ask for a Cadillac and settle for a used set of wheels.” IOW, if you read between the lines all he cares about is validating the current crop of Latino illegals, because, when push comes to shove, those are the only ones he talks about (although he does not name them.)

    Some other observations:

    1. The universalist philosophies of Bentham, Kant, and Rawls were not “open borders” moral philosophies, they were philosophies about basic fairness and equality. This in no way impinges on the notion of separate nation states. Attempting to address the issue by disparaging Bentham or Kant (“autist”, “incel”) is juvenile, and I am not sure it is even true. For another thing, and something all of the above would have agreed with, is that universalist values can only work if everyone adopts the same values. And that’s precisely part of the problem. Most of the world does not accept or respect the West’s values.

    2. At least the author is honest enough to admit that the social safety net in the developed world — which is one of the main drivers for refugees, from what I have read (migrants will leave one country for another because better benefits) — will have to be voided. But doing that will only aggravate inequality and make these new migrants — not to mention our elderly — desperately poor. This can only provoke a revolutionary situation that will mandate the abolition of private property.

    3. The author also seems to be oblivious to the environmental and social results of unrestricted immigration. If we, or any other country, allowed in hundreds of millions of people from a completely different culture, there is no reason to believe that they would not attempt to replicate the same tribal and over-productive (from the birth rate angle) model of their old countries. Which would, in a relatively short time, make any western country just as crowded, dysfunctional, and environmentally unsafe as the countries they came from. Not to mention the fact that, if, say, the US absorbed 600 million non-Westerners over, say, the next 50 years, the New Americans would override our traditions and install their own, including despotic monarchs who the New Americans are convinced can turn themselves into apex predators, frequent lynchings of suspected witches or homosexuals, and high rates of murder and gang violence, possibly even a stew of internecine warfare. But of course the author doesn’t entertain this, because he thinks everyone will follow the same universalist philosophy he is articulating. He is wrong.

    4. If the universalist moral philosophies — he does not even mention religion — are applicable, and I think they are to a certain extent, the best thing we can do for these people is to help them right where they are, which is what we do with foreign aid and what we could possibly do in other ways. But just to let them come here and suck on our welfare teat until it runs dry, while meanwhile despoiling the continent, is just silly.

    5. I also think he is wrong about productivity. Putting another billion people onto the North American continent will simply turn us into India or China, the only long term benefit for the vast majority of those coming here will be the hope of overriding the property rights of the small percent (by then) of whites who came here in the first few centuries. And that is certain to happen. And that will lead to the kind of non-productivity, misery, and massacre we see in all the countries that have tried it.

    • Replies: @Lurker
    @SPMoore8


    the hope of overriding the property rights of the small percent (by then) of whites who came here in the first few centuries. And that is certain to happen.
     
    We see that happening already in small and not so small ways. All day every day white privilege is highlighted, past wrongs, real or imagined are constantly held up for inspection. Don't these evil whites deserve to have everything taken away from them?
  68. @snorlax
    @mobi


    ‘Nathan Smith’ of the Council on Foreign Relations. ‘Nathan’ – (((hmmm)))
     
    According to his LinkedIn profile he's from Maine and he went to Notre Dame, where he was in the "liturgical choir." I seriously doubt it.

    Directors Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations
     
    You know that "emeritus" means "retired," right?

    Looking at their current board, my count is 12 Jews and 24 non-Jews (13 WASPs, 4 blacks, 2 Slovaks, 1 Cuban, 1 French, 1 German, 1 Greek, 1 Italian, 1 Lebanese). Also, the last time the CFR was relevant (to the extent think tanks are ever relevant) was when Nelson Rockefeller was running for President.

    Replies: @Lurker

    my count is 12 Jews and 24 non-Jews

    1650% over representation!

    • Replies: @snorlax
    @Lurker

    Which is perfectly consistent with HBD and meritocracy. (Getting on the board of the CFR is not a meritocracy — the seats go to political hacks, ex-generals/admirals and wealthy businessmen with an interest in foreign policy — but the process of becoming a hack/military bigwig/wealthy in the first place is fairly meritocratic).

    Replies: @snorlax

    , @snorlax
    @Lurker

    Also I should note I counted every ambiguous case as being Jewish, e.g. hedge funder John Paulson, who's Jewish on his mother's side and Ecuadorian, Norwegian and French on his father's. He (John) married his (presumably Eastern Orthodox) Romanian wife in an Episcopalian ceremony, so he almost certainly doesn't identify as Jewish. Nevertheless I counted him as one.

    I also counted the HBO CEO, whose religion was indeterminate but is frequently involved with Israel-related NYC fundraisers, which is a criterion likely to yield false positives, such as Donald Trump.

  69. Creating a universal lumpenproletariat — A Non-nation of Widgets — probably fewer people have read ‘Animal Farm’ than have read ‘1984’ — and fewer still really understood what motivated those books.

  70. @Tired of Riots
    @Steve_Sailer here's the rest of the article http://archive.is/eg6Hp

    and here are some choice bits, in no particular order:

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor...
     
    Reaaaaaaallly?

    When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia
     
    Simultaneously evokes Anarcho-Jewish poetry AND jab at big bad Russia. Nice!

    ...economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West.
     
    So even with stagnant wages in the face of rising prices, it's still not good enough for the bottom line. Someone better tell the destitute deplorables and the Fight for Fifteen crowd they're, in fact, making too much money!

    I wonder how many foreign-born economists will come in to help make Nathan Smith's salary align with the "equilibrium".

    ...immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths...
     
    Funny how immigration non-enforcement has similar results, but that's acceptable because it affects indigenous Americans and Europeans (who are racist for noticing they're being killed, ethnically displaced, and making a fuss over it).

    It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.
     
    Uh, do we even have any of that left to worry about?

    At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled.
     
    I'm livid. The crux of the justification, aside from catlady moral hysteria, for letting in the first waves of the Third World were so that the West could sustain their precious welfare states. Now we have to forsake these programs so Bongo and his millions of fellow "Syrians" get proper treatment for their "sexual emergencies"?!

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today.
     
    Just like there's no obvious reason why Haitians turned France's richest overseas possession into the poorest country in the world, while the Japanese turned a relatively resource barren island into the world's 3rd largest economy.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take.
     
    Of course this is all moot if, say, the posterity of fecund Islamists are elected are summarily restrict the scope of freedom, weaken respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments are allowed to take (especially against the nonbelievers).

    And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.
     
    Of course! How could I not see this before! The economic, demographic, and political threats posed by third worlders aren't the real danger: I AM for trying to negate these threats!

    What an awful article.

    Replies: @Stealth, @bomag, @Chrisnonymous, @Lurker, @backup

    I wonder how many foreign-born economists will come in to help make Nathan Smith’s salary align with the “equilibrium”.

    Whatever the true motivations behind open borders it’s half-witted, useful idiot, public cheer leaders always assume that they and their particular niche will still be intact in the new bright future. It’s only losers who worry about competition.

  71. @SPMoore8
    I understand why everyone is outraged with the article but my take is that it's a typical "Ask for a Cadillac and settle for a used set of wheels." IOW, if you read between the lines all he cares about is validating the current crop of Latino illegals, because, when push comes to shove, those are the only ones he talks about (although he does not name them.)

    Some other observations:

    1. The universalist philosophies of Bentham, Kant, and Rawls were not "open borders" moral philosophies, they were philosophies about basic fairness and equality. This in no way impinges on the notion of separate nation states. Attempting to address the issue by disparaging Bentham or Kant ("autist", "incel") is juvenile, and I am not sure it is even true. For another thing, and something all of the above would have agreed with, is that universalist values can only work if everyone adopts the same values. And that's precisely part of the problem. Most of the world does not accept or respect the West's values.

    2. At least the author is honest enough to admit that the social safety net in the developed world -- which is one of the main drivers for refugees, from what I have read (migrants will leave one country for another because better benefits) -- will have to be voided. But doing that will only aggravate inequality and make these new migrants -- not to mention our elderly -- desperately poor. This can only provoke a revolutionary situation that will mandate the abolition of private property.

    3. The author also seems to be oblivious to the environmental and social results of unrestricted immigration. If we, or any other country, allowed in hundreds of millions of people from a completely different culture, there is no reason to believe that they would not attempt to replicate the same tribal and over-productive (from the birth rate angle) model of their old countries. Which would, in a relatively short time, make any western country just as crowded, dysfunctional, and environmentally unsafe as the countries they came from. Not to mention the fact that, if, say, the US absorbed 600 million non-Westerners over, say, the next 50 years, the New Americans would override our traditions and install their own, including despotic monarchs who the New Americans are convinced can turn themselves into apex predators, frequent lynchings of suspected witches or homosexuals, and high rates of murder and gang violence, possibly even a stew of internecine warfare. But of course the author doesn't entertain this, because he thinks everyone will follow the same universalist philosophy he is articulating. He is wrong.

    4. If the universalist moral philosophies -- he does not even mention religion -- are applicable, and I think they are to a certain extent, the best thing we can do for these people is to help them right where they are, which is what we do with foreign aid and what we could possibly do in other ways. But just to let them come here and suck on our welfare teat until it runs dry, while meanwhile despoiling the continent, is just silly.

    5. I also think he is wrong about productivity. Putting another billion people onto the North American continent will simply turn us into India or China, the only long term benefit for the vast majority of those coming here will be the hope of overriding the property rights of the small percent (by then) of whites who came here in the first few centuries. And that is certain to happen. And that will lead to the kind of non-productivity, misery, and massacre we see in all the countries that have tried it.

    Replies: @Lurker

    the hope of overriding the property rights of the small percent (by then) of whites who came here in the first few centuries. And that is certain to happen.

    We see that happening already in small and not so small ways. All day every day white privilege is highlighted, past wrongs, real or imagined are constantly held up for inspection. Don’t these evil whites deserve to have everything taken away from them?

  72. @Anonymous
    @res

    Some of these globalist enthusiasts truly believe with all their heart.

    But those who are hyper-intelligent - vastly smarter than I am - have to understand this is madness don't they?

    This reminds me so much of the 'Arab Spring'. They sold it as a flowering of freedom in the Middle East. But anyone familiar with the region had to know it was going to be a disaster.

    Before Iraq we had experts - EXPERTS! - telling us there was an educated population, a strong civil society and educated *WOMEN!*..doctors and lawyers!… all just waiting to bring peace, prosperity and justice to Iraq as soon as Saddam was ousted.

    Somehow, those same experts didn't know too much about the ancient religious/sectarian divisions in the region. Or they didn't say much about it all anyway.

    You'd almost get the feeling some of the more intelligent players - the people who are thinking with their heads (and with not much heart) actually know that these big utopian projects aren't going to work… yet they push ever harder with more grandiose, plans.

    The question I have is why? I'd really love know what is truly going on.

    Replies: @David Davenport, @anon

    Before Iraq we had experts – EXPERTS! – telling us there was an educated population, a strong civil society and educated *WOMEN!*..doctors and lawyers!… all just waiting to bring peace, prosperity and justice to Iraq as soon as Saddam was ousted.

    Instapundit and professor of law Glenn Reynolds was one of those experts. If you’re a regular reader of his blog/web site, you might notice that he never talks about his “Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!” tonic for the Middle East that he prescribed in instapundit.com of the 2000’s decade.

    • Replies: @Frau Katze
    @David Davenport

    Iraq invasion occurred not that long after 9/11. People like myself (busy working, single parenting) had only so much time to get up to speed on the subject.

    I still thought the MSM was accurate, that's how stupid I was in 2001.

    I knew not a thing about Islam or tribal societies (either HBD Chick wasn't writing then, or I hadn't found her).

    Despite my ignorance, it's appalling that the government of the USA lacked the ability to see how badly this would turn out. Political correctness was entrenched and people tossed around the examples of postwar Germany and Japan.

  73. Blah,blah,blah,the immigrants are awesome…blah,blah,blah… a small but growing band of open borders advocates…blah,blah,call for a regime, blah,blah, ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth…blah,blah,
    blah,..blah,blah,blah….blah, with ,rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease,blah,blah,blah,blah….

    …but first Build The Paywall to defend the Sovereignty of Foreign Affairs.

  74. @Lurker
    @Opinionator


    Another angle is to highlight for them that this amounts to a reproductive competition with immigrant women. Who have more babies than native women do and therefore use more of our services and resources. And many of whom do so by taking advantage of the anchor baby loophole.
     
    But we already have way too many brainwashed white women going childless and bragging about it, all too ready to cuck for non-whites and their children.

    I fear what you're outlining sounds to them like a feature, not a bug.

    Look online for any vapid story about adopted non-white kids, mixed race kids etc and look at the swooning and cooing (cucking/status signalling) from commenters. Many of whom would seem to be white women. They lap it up.

    Replies: @Opinionator

    Yes, but it is not presented quite the way I have done. Put it, as I have suggested, in terms of foreign women sweeping in here (a) often against the agreed upon rules, (b) having lots more babies (and “being more fertile”) than the woman you are talking to, (c) and consuming resources otherwise belonging to the women already here and their potential future offspring.

    Try it and report back to us.

  75. @John Derbyshire
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Tony, @newrouter, @Chrisnonymous, @ben tillman, @ben tillman, @Hippopotamusdrome, @AndrewR, @Buck Turgidson, @Bies Podkrakowski, @Rahnee Raygun, @Frau Katze

    When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports.

    LOL. Well, maybe if you were white.

    Oregon Exclusion Law (1849)

    Sect. 1 Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Oregon that it shall not be lawful for any negro or mulatto to enter into, or reside within the limits of this Territory.

  76. @newrouter
    @John Derbyshire

    "Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do."

    Coolidge 1926:

    "About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers. "

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=408

    Replies: @Diversity Heretic, @Captain Tripps

    When I read Coolidge’s comment, my reaction is that that portion of the Declaration of Independence is a seriously flawed document. Men are not created equal. The concept of an ongoing plebescite that establishes “consent of the governed” is every bit as fanciful as “divine right of kings.” The Creator that endows men with a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I’m rather more inclined to the description of man’s fate contained in Genesis 2:17-19 (New International Version):

    Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
    18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
    19 By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
    until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
    for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”

    The U.S. prospered because its leaders largely ignored the pablum in the Declaration. It began to fall apart when it started taking it seriously in the 1960s.

  77. US immigration policies are essentially concerned with emulating Israeli immigration policies.

    Israeli immigration policy is open borders for Jewish victim cultist, victims of Nazi and white supremacist oppression. Israeli’s refer to this national policy as Law of Return.

    Likewise, US immigration policy is open borders for all government-recognized victim cultists, victims of Nazi and white supremacist oppression.

    Jewish organizations like the ADL have been busy training various victim cult groups, including Latinos, about Jewish and Latino oppression status and how they can garner more federal government remedies:
    …..

    http://www.adl.org/12Home/search-results.html?cx=011346335056800985113%3Alqqt2atnvmk&ie=UTF-8&q=latino&sa.x=0&sa.y=0#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=latino&gsc.page=1

  78. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    ‘Arbitrary grounds of sovereignty’.

    Yeah right.

    Practically all of the earliest sources of recorded history that we have – together with the corpus of ancient myth and legend – concerns the disputes, quarrels, armed attacks, invasions, occupations and subjugations of one distinct ancient group by another.

    And no doubt the same prevailed in those countless ‘dark’ millennia of prehistory.

  79. Wow, what a tower of lies. I mean straight-out lies, one after another, all through the piece. It would be amusing to fisk and perhaps I will tomorrow. But it’s late so I’ll just call out a pet peeve: US immigration laws do not “break up families.” Migrants do that, frequently and voluntarily. The US doesn’t forbid foreigners to enjoy family life in their home countries, and any migrant pining for the company of his family is quite at liberty to return to it. He can take all his kin and pets and moveable property with him, and if he owns land in the USA his title will be as secure as that of a citizen. (Of course when migrants end up in jail they may be temporarily separated from their loved ones, but even that is merely a consequence of their own voluntary, unlawful actions.)

  80. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The phenomenon of mass immigration – by which is meant the movement of tens or hundreds of thousands or even millions in the course of one year – is a relatively recent phenomenon being no older than the development of mechanized heavy transport. It is for this reason that the urgency of immigration control is really a modern phenomenon.

    Not to say that organized mass movement – in the sense of a group takeover of one nation’s territory by another – was not unknown in olden times.
    Except then it was called an ‘invasion’, and treated accordingly.

  81. LKM says:

    The globalist elites have become completely unhinged. Here in Canada, Trudeau Jr’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth is chaired by one Dominic Barton, a Ugandan-born, Canadian-raised former Rhodes scholar and current McKinsey managing director who cites London as his principal residence. A couple of weeks ago, the Globe and Mail ran a breathless feature about how immigration will solve all our problems that quotes Barton approvingly:
    link(behind paywall)

    “That demographic headwind is coming….says Dominic Barton, chairman of the Advisory Council on Economic Growth that federal finance minister Bill Morneau assembled last year to recommend policies to sustain the economy’s long-term health. One of its first recommendations, last fall, called for the government to increase the annual immigration intake to 450,000, from the current 300,000.

    And later…

    “We would love to take it[immigration] even higher,” Mr. Barton says. “Where the government rightly pushed back was that we’ve got to make sure we can absorb people at the higher rate. Let’s demonstrate that we can.

    Then, in yesterday’s Globe, Mr. Barton shows up again

    Dominic Barton, the head of Justin Trudeau’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth, said recently that automation will eliminate no less than 40 per cent of existing Canadian jobs in the coming decade.

    Now, I know I’m not a Rhodes scholar, but unless every one of those 450 000 immigrants is a mechatronics engineer, how are they supposed to find work and contribute to the economy with 40% fewer jobs? To say nothing of the people already living here.

  82. @Tired of Riots
    @Steve_Sailer here's the rest of the article http://archive.is/eg6Hp

    and here are some choice bits, in no particular order:

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor...
     
    Reaaaaaaallly?

    When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia
     
    Simultaneously evokes Anarcho-Jewish poetry AND jab at big bad Russia. Nice!

    ...economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West.
     
    So even with stagnant wages in the face of rising prices, it's still not good enough for the bottom line. Someone better tell the destitute deplorables and the Fight for Fifteen crowd they're, in fact, making too much money!

    I wonder how many foreign-born economists will come in to help make Nathan Smith's salary align with the "equilibrium".

    ...immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths...
     
    Funny how immigration non-enforcement has similar results, but that's acceptable because it affects indigenous Americans and Europeans (who are racist for noticing they're being killed, ethnically displaced, and making a fuss over it).

    It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.
     
    Uh, do we even have any of that left to worry about?

    At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled.
     
    I'm livid. The crux of the justification, aside from catlady moral hysteria, for letting in the first waves of the Third World were so that the West could sustain their precious welfare states. Now we have to forsake these programs so Bongo and his millions of fellow "Syrians" get proper treatment for their "sexual emergencies"?!

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today.
     
    Just like there's no obvious reason why Haitians turned France's richest overseas possession into the poorest country in the world, while the Japanese turned a relatively resource barren island into the world's 3rd largest economy.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take.
     
    Of course this is all moot if, say, the posterity of fecund Islamists are elected are summarily restrict the scope of freedom, weaken respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments are allowed to take (especially against the nonbelievers).

    And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.
     
    Of course! How could I not see this before! The economic, demographic, and political threats posed by third worlders aren't the real danger: I AM for trying to negate these threats!

    What an awful article.

    Replies: @Stealth, @bomag, @Chrisnonymous, @Lurker, @backup

    Of course this is all moot if, say, the posterity of fecund Islamists are elected are summarily restrict the scope of freedom, weaken respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments are allowed to take (especially against the nonbelievers).

    That is why the best line of defense against the likes of Nathan Smith is to make him explain how we are going to undo the mass immigration if it turns out his predictions turn out to be wrong.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    @backup

    I think you're missing the point. The very reason these people love mass immigration is because it's irreversible.

    Replies: @backup

  83. @Space Ghost
    > And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance.

    Bentham was an autist, Kant was incel, and Rawls got destroyed by Nozick, who noticed that people are born into a world with already-existing property which can't be distributed according to his stupid rule.

    More generally, I think we are going to find that universalist moral philosophies are on the way out. People are realizing that humans are tribal, and universalist morality has no place for tribalism. Since some groups are more tribal than others, a group unilaterally holding a universalist moral position is not stable in a game theoretic sense (is not a Nash equilibrium).

    Replies: @Opinionator, @NickG

    since some groups are more tribal than others, a group unilaterally holding a universalist moral position is not stable in a game theoretic sense (is not a Nash equilibrium).

    This is a core point. In a spoils game between in-breeding pugnacious tribalists and out-breeding universalist egalitarians, the universalists will tend to end up as serfs…. or dead…or will join the ‘tribe’.

    Ironically the traits that produce North West European universalism and pathological altruism are likely significantly genetically predisposed.

    On current trajectory the future of Europe and North America looks like Brazil; though likely an Islamic version of it. The white elite will preserve their exalted positions by converting to Islam, per Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission. I hadn’t read fiction in over 25 years until Steve’s review prompted me to make what proved to be a warranted exception.

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb has interesting things to say that touches on this sort of thing in his essay from last August…The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority.

    • Replies: @backup
    @NickG

    That Taleb article was an excellent one. thanks.

  84. @MBlanc46
    Complete fantasy. I can't even begin to conceive the world this guy thinks he inhabits.

    Replies: @Olorin, @anon

    One where there is no gravity, no atmospheric layer, where water and land combine in one muddy morass, where the sun’s rays are continuous and the moon causes no tides, where the muddy morass is of such a high or low pH that cells can’t possibly form.

    A world without borders. Not geological, not astrophysical, not biological.

    IOW, a puddle of chaos worshipped by elites with very orderly–and well bordered and bounded–lives indeed.

    It’s not that complicated. I just simply worship chaos.

  85. It’s always amusing to hear leftists ground their arguments in morality, when in fact they’re actually motivated by compassion and not ethics

    1. Community through ethnic homogeneity has been a far more important value throughout history than freedom, rights, or profit

    2. Equality among the unequal is inherently immoral, as is prioritizing the liberty of an individual over the needs of the group

    3. Universalism and egalitarianism are forms of utopian ignorance founded by white guys living in a relatively comfortable environment with no real experience of diversity, not solely because diversity causes clannish conflicts, but also that many people who aren’t them don’t value universalism or egalitarianism. Like me.

    In reality the “Open Borders” crowd turns out to be a bunch of middle class white teens shouting slogans about the glory of anarchism or something. Their infantile, minority beliefs should not be platformed, as they cannot be reasonably compared with nationalism, which is far more justified, natural, and prolific.

  86. @Anon
    How serious are they about this?

    I mean do they really believe any number of Chinese should move into Siberia?
    Any number of Hindus in India should move to Thailand?
    Any number of Chinese should move into Vietnam?

    Also, a world without borders favors populous nations over small ones.
    Suppose one nation has 100 million and another nation has 5 million people.
    Suppose they go for open borders. If all 5 million go to nation with 100 million, it doesn't make much difference. But if just 5 million go from nation with 100 million to nation to nation with 5 million, tremendous demographic change has taken place.
    Also, peoples with high birthrates will dominate over those with low or stagnant ones. One reason why whites took over much of the world was they had higher birthrates and could ship their excess folks to other places(at the expense of natives).
    If Africa had 1.2 child per woman while Europe had 6 kids per woman and IF there were to be open borders between Africa and Europe, Europeans will eventually take over all of Africa with increasing white numbers. Today, it's the reverse.
    If a nation has low birthrates and if certain areas are emptying of people, it should be reverted to nature, not handed over to foreigners. More nature is always a good thing for a nation.
    It's like those scenes in Tarkovsky films where nature reclaims what had once been industrial area. Nature is great:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=718O6L2fWqY

    Also, elites live in Elysium World. People who write for FOREIGN AFFAIRS hang with the fancy crowd. If everyone could be given such position in the world, maybe just maybe a world without borders will work. Universal elite cosmopolitanism. But such privileges belong to a limited number of people.

    And what about roots? How can there be roots and a deep sense of heritage/history if people have no borders, no sense of belonging, no sense of ties and connection? The connection between people and land is vital. Just like plants, culture grows on land. Even Jews, long-known as nomadic people, wanted to regain the homeland. And they keep it Jewish with secure borders. We are territorial creatures. Sure, we like mobility, and so much of modern life is Mercurian and defined by speed and movement. But without sacred connection to land, our identity and culture become unsure, weak, and lost. It's like tree without roots in ground will eventually die.
    If all Hungarians were go into exile and if Hungary were to be taken over by non-Hungarians, will Hungarian identity and culture survive? Hungarians around the world can try, but they will be minorities among non-Hungarians. Many will forget who they are and mix with others. And the education in other nations will not put Hungarian-ness at the center. And non-Hungarians or 'new Hungarians' in Hungary will not show any interest in Hungarianness(just like Jews in Palestine don't care about preserving and honoring Palestinian history and heritage on the land.) Look at Japanese in Brazil. they forgot the language and history. They are still ethnically Japanese, but don't feel as Japanese. And many are now mixed and feel even less Japanese. If Japan itself were to go borderless and if tons of people were to flood into Japan and if tons of Japanese were move to other nations, all Japanese will become like Japanese-Brazilians, and it will be the end of their identity and culture. Japanese will have lost something deep, rich, and certain, and in return, they will have gained something unsure, confusing, messy, and unstable. Is it worth it?

    Poles, even as part of Russian Empire, wanted independence. Why? A sense that one's nation is both the birthplace and resting place(tomb) of one's people. A world without borders is a world without roots. According to this logic, if all Poles move to Russia and if all Italians move to Poland, it doesn't matter. No people have a special sacred bond to the land in which their forebears have been buried for 1000s of yrs. History means nothing.
    The GLOB say there is only the future of innovation, mobility, liberty, hedonism, and possibilities. There is no need for the past, obligation, history, sacred bonds between people and place. This seems empty. And what would be the main culture for people in a borderless world? Pop culture? Fashions and fads? Universal worship of homos? Rap music? Or among the elites, fancy theories to show off how clever or smart one is, the kind of drivel one finds on Big Think?

    I'm for innovation and mobility, but every people must have their own geo-core as homeland for ethno-unity and solidarity. Everyone is a stranger, tourist, wanderer, or exile in all the world EXCEPT in one's own homeland. Everyone should have at least one nation in which he belongs as the owner. The idea that all the world is the collective home of all the people is just a pipe-dream. The human mind prefers distinctions and limitations. It's like property rights. Communism said everything would belong to everyone on a collective basis. In actuality, nothing belonged to anyone. Globalism is a vague-nothingness for most people. Only the elites will grab and enjoy most of the pie like in ANIMAL FARM with pigs as new masters.

    Let the Irish or Poles travel and see the whole world, but they need a homeland to return to when their journey is done... like Odysseus had a homeland to go back to. A house is home of an individual or family. Nation is the home of the people. Imagine a Polish grandfather with his kids and their kids(grandkids). Suppose they are in Poland and visiting some cemetery. Their sense of Polishness would be all the more powerful and meaningful because they have a homeland and because they are standing over land in which generations of Poles have been buried. Thus, the land has been sanctified with the bodies and souls of Poles. Also, the stories of wars, struggles, strife, famine, good times, and victories of Polish people happened on that land. The territory has become inseparable from Polish history, memory, and culture.
    Now, suppose Poland was taken over by non-Poles. Would these ever-mobile newcomers feel such deep and meaningful connection to the land? Of course not. They'd just see it as a piece of real estate, a way-station, or economic zone.
    Or suppose this Poland family of grandparents to grandkids were standing in some place in India or Africa. They would still have each other, but would they feel a profound sense of Polishness in relation to where they are standing? Of course not. As Poles with desire to preserve Polishness, they would feel precarious outside Poland. I know because Polish-Americans are among the shallowest, phoniest, cuckiest lowlifes there be. It goes to show what separation from land can do. But there are still Poles in Poland who march and defend their homeland. Those are the 'smart polacks'.
    It's like this Russian's sense of land and heritage in SIBERIADE:

    https://youtu.be/24C3F2V9lw4?t=3m59s

    When most people were farming folks, they felt a direct connection to the land. They were born on it, toiled on it, and their ancestors were buried on it, and they too joined when the time came. But with modernization and urbanization, people lost the direct connection to the land. But the sacred idea of unity of tribe and terriotry was preserved through the concept of nationhood and ethnos. But even that is now being threatened. Globalism tells us to become just Walmartians and Ikeans whose main identity is fantasy of imitating celebrities and listening to rap music and cheering for batman.

    No, the real meaning of a people is to found not only in liberty and freedom but in history, territory, identity, and culture. And such cannot be sustained in a borderless world.

    There is a reason why land creatures achieved much more than sea creatures. Land allow borders, especially if separated from other lands through seas or other obstacles. Without such borders, it would have been much more difficult for different peoples to develop and defend their own identities, cultures, and narratives.

    Indeed, imagine if there was no gravity, and all land creatures, human and animals and etc, could 'float-swim-fly' all around the world through the atmosphere(like sea creatures in the ocean). So, 1 billion Chinese, 1 billion Hindus, 80 million Germans, 120 million Russians, 320 million people in America, 120 million Mexicans, 1 billion Africans, all the cows, pigs, rats, hedgehogs, wolves, coyotes, rhinos, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, pythons, wombats, kangaroos, bears, buffaloes, bison, moose, oxen, foxes, rappers, punk rockers, walmart shoppers, cobras, mambas, opossums, skunks, cats, dogs, frogs, armadillos, gila monsters, komodo dragons, raccoon, baboons, bonobos, hyenas, chimp, gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, leopards, pumas, jaguars, peccaries, boars, warthogs, cape buffaloes, texas longhorns, and etc, etc(you get the point) float-swim-fly around all the world. Imagine such scenario.
    No one and nothing would be safe or secure. I mean look what US air power did to nations like Libya and Iraq. Air power, in defiance of gravity, knows no borders, that's for sure.
    Now, imagine a 100 million cows flying around the air. Imagine 1 billion Negroes from Africa flying all over the place. Imagine 1.3 billion Hindus flying all over and taking over. It's hard enough as it is to keep Mexicans in Mexico. Imagine if all those Guillermos floated around gravity free. It'd be the scene in WIZARD OF OZ with the flying monkeys.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE_jGNB0WFw

    Gravity is good:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIfb4NZrmnc

    In SOLARIS, man finds meaning back on the ground than floating in gravity-free space.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcglyhUre4w

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jorf-2o5YfU

    Replies: @Opinionator

    Also, peoples with high birthrates will dominate over those with low or stagnant ones. One reason why whites took over much of the world was they had higher birthrates and could ship their excess folks to other places(at the expense of natives).
    If Africa had 1.2 child per woman while Europe had 6 kids per woman and IF there were to be open borders between Africa and Europe, Europeans will eventually take over all of Africa with increasing white numbers. Today, it’s the reverse.
    If a nation has low birthrates and if certain areas are emptying of people, it should be reverted to nature, not handed over to foreigners. More nature is always a good thing for a nation.

    Great points!

  87. @John Derbyshire
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Tony, @newrouter, @Chrisnonymous, @ben tillman, @ben tillman, @Hippopotamusdrome, @AndrewR, @Buck Turgidson, @Bies Podkrakowski, @Rahnee Raygun, @Frau Katze

    No need to waste one’s time reading that. Cut to the end and you’ll see the main premise: that Trump supporters are the worst people on earth and need to be displaced by any means necessary.

  88. @John Derbyshire
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Tony, @newrouter, @Chrisnonymous, @ben tillman, @ben tillman, @Hippopotamusdrome, @AndrewR, @Buck Turgidson, @Bies Podkrakowski, @Rahnee Raygun, @Frau Katze

    Jared Diamond peddles a form of what geographers would call ‘environmental determinism’ It was in vogue roughly a century ago, then eventually roundly dismissed by most people in the field. Diamond and many others have helped revive this nonsense, because racism.

  89. @SEAN C
    So living in a rich country is just plain luck. There is just an awful lot of bad luck going on in Africa and Central America. Nathans logical conclusion would be to import 20-30 Africans into his home. That might double his household income and benefit a lot more people.

    Replies: @Buck Turgidson

    Think of the skyrocketing Gross Household Product in Nathan’s home if some of the Africans that move in can get jobs @ 7-11 and Wal-Mart. There might be a few downsides and some of Nathan’s family members might get their hair mussed, but this is Gross Household Product we are talking about here people! Think of all the benefits for those Africans! I say move them in to the Smith estate asap, the sooner the better.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Buck Turgidson

    might get their hair mussed

  90. @Buck Turgidson
    @SEAN C

    Think of the skyrocketing Gross Household Product in Nathan's home if some of the Africans that move in can get jobs @ 7-11 and Wal-Mart. There might be a few downsides and some of Nathan's family members might get their hair mussed, but this is Gross Household Product we are talking about here people! Think of all the benefits for those Africans! I say move them in to the Smith estate asap, the sooner the better.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    might get their hair mussed

  91. @(((Joshua)))
    I've always thought the public health angle would be a great way to make closed borders appealing to women. Imagine the disaster if an epidemic were to take hold in Mexico and they came stampeding across the border to escape it?

    Replies: @Opinionator, @Langley, @(((Owen))), @ben tillman, @SFG

    The Democrats have got the single woman vote sewn up with the abortion thing. Plus they get affirmative action bennies at men’s expense–we’re in the process of dismantling our tech industry to make women happy.

    Married women, maybe. The Access Hollywood tape is less fresh in people’s minds…

    (No, I don’t care, and figure he’s on our side instead of the women’s, but we need the votes…)

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @SFG


    The Democrats have got the single woman vote sewn up with the abortion thing.
     
    There is nothing so fickle as a single woman.
  92. a rising populist right: the natural enemy of an entrenched elitist left.

  93. @backup
    @Tired of Riots


    Of course this is all moot if, say, the posterity of fecund Islamists are elected are summarily restrict the scope of freedom, weaken respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments are allowed to take (especially against the nonbelievers).
     
    That is why the best line of defense against the likes of Nathan Smith is to make him explain how we are going to undo the mass immigration if it turns out his predictions turn out to be wrong.

    Replies: @Rob McX

    I think you’re missing the point. The very reason these people love mass immigration is because it’s irreversible.

    • Replies: @backup
    @Rob McX

    But the question will expose that. You see, most of 'm don't explicitly love it because of that. They will simply point to modernity as something inevitable, outside the realm of their influence.

    "Dying white America". "The New Europe". "Because it's 2015".

    They will present their arguments as [i]responses[/i] to the changing times, rather than that they are responsible for those changes. By asking them this question you will make them responsible for the results of their own proposals. At least, that's what I think.

  94. @John Derbyshire
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Tony, @newrouter, @Chrisnonymous, @ben tillman, @ben tillman, @Hippopotamusdrome, @AndrewR, @Buck Turgidson, @Bies Podkrakowski, @Rahnee Raygun, @Frau Katze

    If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards.

    Yes. Little harm.

  95. The open borders types are also refugee lovers. Where would the refugees go under a world government? I forgot: the world government will not be tyrannical because it will be run by enlightened and perfect human beings.

  96. @JohnnyD
    About a week ago, Foreign Affairs published George Kennan's "The Long Telegram." Maybe, they should read some of his books and journal entries about immigration.

    Replies: @Romanian

    Thank you for mentioning that. I had no idea that he had these thoughts on immigration.

  97. Anonymous [AKA "sambodejour"] says:

    On my way to work here in southern Sweden the other day I was beckoned to by a middle-aged African man who was apparently very, very fresh off the boat: so fresh I had to check I hadn’t taken a wrong turn and wound up at the docks. I’m not an expert on the various African ethnic groups but I can only say that he looked exactly like one of the Maasai-type tribesmen I’ve seen on documentaries, except with an old charity shop suit on. He immediately began to babble at me – in a tone I at least took to be friendly – in his own language. He handed a paper to me that showed itself to be a letter, in Swedish, from the local health authority informing him that he had an appointment at folktandvården (the public healthcare dentist) at 2 pm that afternoon. This was at about 8 am.

    Since he was addressing me in his own African tongue I couldn’t work out what he wanted to know: where folktandvården was or when he should go or something else. I tried a few words in Swedish, no response. Tried some English, no luck there either. He just continued on at me in his own language. The guy was really the most impressively alien human being I’ve ever encountered in a Western country. It was like he’d been UFO-abducted out of his village and dropped in the Swedish suburbs. I pointed to the tandvård building, which was just about visible in the distance, and said “you go there”. He smiled and nodded as if he knew this already but then he pointed with extra vigor at the appointment time, which was in bold. I got the impression he was asking if he should go now. Since he didn’t have a wristwatch and we didn’t have a single word of shared vocabulary, I improvised and pointed to the sun, which was then low in the east, and said “when it’s up there…* pointing above*…then you go”. He actually seemed to get this and wandered off cheerfully repeating something that I chose to interpret as “thank you” but could’ve been “stupid racist white man thinks my concept of time is limited to sun position…”

    Anyway, while I certainly didn’t bear this particular man any ill will, I couldn’t help thinking about all the many kinds of burden he was going to impose on the Swedish “system” just in the course of that day. I mean talk about a sudden deterioration in the working conditions for dental/medical receptionists, for example. There are a lot of public sector employees of one kind or another who are going to need to go home and pour themselves an extra large one after an afternoon of dealing with that guy. And when you think that Sweden has gone from a population of 9 million to 10 million in just over ten years, and is forecast to hit 11 million by 2030, with people sourced largely from Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria/Somalia/Eritrea…well, you more or less have your open borders experiment right there, and I don’t think anyone’s going to want to repeat it.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Anonymous

    He might have drained some of your patience for work that day too, such that you're going to be marginally less productive. Mental patience is a limited resource and all.

  98. @Lurker
    @snorlax


    my count is 12 Jews and 24 non-Jews
     
    1650% over representation!

    Replies: @snorlax, @snorlax

    Which is perfectly consistent with HBD and meritocracy. (Getting on the board of the CFR is not a meritocracy — the seats go to political hacks, ex-generals/admirals and wealthy businessmen with an interest in foreign policy — but the process of becoming a hack/military bigwig/wealthy in the first place is fairly meritocratic).

    • Replies: @snorlax
    @snorlax

    Female Slovak-Americans are 0.14% of the American population,* but 5.6% of the CFR board, for an incredible 4000% overrepresentation. I, for one, welcome our new Slovak overladies.

    *Wiki says Slovak-Americans are 0.27% of the population.

  99. A World Without Borders
    Richer, Fairer, and More Free

    February 28, 2017

    By Nathan Smith

    Let’s all go over to Nathan Smith’s house and have a party.

    Uninvited and unannounced. Steve will bring the chips and the beer.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
    @J1234

    Beer? What year are you in? I'm bringing CRAFTY beer. You know, the kind with pomegranate and pumpkin and about 10% alcohol.

    Chips are messy and fattening. Let's have some of those Southwest salads that Costco sells by the metric ton. And wasabi (what on earth is that stuff, anyway?).

    Replies: @J1234

  100. @snorlax
    @Lurker

    Which is perfectly consistent with HBD and meritocracy. (Getting on the board of the CFR is not a meritocracy — the seats go to political hacks, ex-generals/admirals and wealthy businessmen with an interest in foreign policy — but the process of becoming a hack/military bigwig/wealthy in the first place is fairly meritocratic).

    Replies: @snorlax

    Female Slovak-Americans are 0.14% of the American population,* but 5.6% of the CFR board, for an incredible 4000% overrepresentation. I, for one, welcome our new Slovak overladies.

    *Wiki says Slovak-Americans are 0.27% of the population.

  101. @SFG
    @(((Joshua)))

    The Democrats have got the single woman vote sewn up with the abortion thing. Plus they get affirmative action bennies at men's expense--we're in the process of dismantling our tech industry to make women happy.

    Married women, maybe. The Access Hollywood tape is less fresh in people's minds...

    (No, I don't care, and figure he's on our side instead of the women's, but we need the votes...)

    Replies: @Desiderius

    The Democrats have got the single woman vote sewn up with the abortion thing.

    There is nothing so fickle as a single woman.

  102. @NickG
    @Space Ghost


    since some groups are more tribal than others, a group unilaterally holding a universalist moral position is not stable in a game theoretic sense (is not a Nash equilibrium).
     
    This is a core point. In a spoils game between in-breeding pugnacious tribalists and out-breeding universalist egalitarians, the universalists will tend to end up as serfs.... or dead...or will join the 'tribe'.

    Ironically the traits that produce North West European universalism and pathological altruism are likely significantly genetically predisposed.

    On current trajectory the future of Europe and North America looks like Brazil; though likely an Islamic version of it. The white elite will preserve their exalted positions by converting to Islam, per Michel Houellebecq's novel Submission. I hadn't read fiction in over 25 years until Steve's review prompted me to make what proved to be a warranted exception.

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb has interesting things to say that touches on this sort of thing in his essay from last August...The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority.

    Replies: @backup

    That Taleb article was an excellent one. thanks.

  103. @Lurker
    @snorlax


    my count is 12 Jews and 24 non-Jews
     
    1650% over representation!

    Replies: @snorlax, @snorlax

    Also I should note I counted every ambiguous case as being Jewish, e.g. hedge funder John Paulson, who’s Jewish on his mother’s side and Ecuadorian, Norwegian and French on his father’s. He (John) married his (presumably Eastern Orthodox) Romanian wife in an Episcopalian ceremony, so he almost certainly doesn’t identify as Jewish. Nevertheless I counted him as one.

    I also counted the HBO CEO, whose religion was indeterminate but is frequently involved with Israel-related NYC fundraisers, which is a criterion likely to yield false positives, such as Donald Trump.

  104. @Rob McX
    @backup

    I think you're missing the point. The very reason these people love mass immigration is because it's irreversible.

    Replies: @backup

    But the question will expose that. You see, most of ‘m don’t explicitly love it because of that. They will simply point to modernity as something inevitable, outside the realm of their influence.

    “Dying white America”. “The New Europe”. “Because it’s 2015”.

    They will present their arguments as [i]responses[/i] to the changing times, rather than that they are responsible for those changes. By asking them this question you will make them responsible for the results of their own proposals. At least, that’s what I think.

  105. It’s amazing how our elites cannot let go of the bandwagon sell: “a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion…” A least he actually mentions “band”. But open-borders advocates have been pressing for this from decades back. The “growing” band is in the opposite corner, and has rewritten the manifesto as “a notorious band of open borders advocates is pushing us off a cliff.”

    Let’s see the small but crowing band of open borders advocates make the leap. Their landing needs prepping, though. Where are my punji sticks?

  106. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, accelerate economic growth, and cure bad breath.

    Thank god.

  107. @Anonymous
    @res

    PAYWALL HACK
    Change your region to United Kingdom and, voila, no paywall
    On iPhone...
    Settings
    General
    Language & Region

    Replies: @res

    Thanks! Here’s a way to do this with Chrome (for Windows, not sure about others):
    https://www.labnol.org/internet/geo-location/27878/
    Just set Lat/Lon to 51/0 for near London.

    This could be really useful…

  108. “even if some Westerners might suffer”

    Since Nathan Smith believes this is an acceptable outcome, let him first demonstrate his own willingness to live in the kind circumstances to be expected for millions of non-elite westerners by the free movement of world’s poor.

  109. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Personality, Trump is globalist as the rest. The people here only support him because they think he will bring back 25 to 30 an hour factory jobs which are now only 15 to 20 an hour because of temp agencies. Trump is wanting an anemstry for about 2 million at least. Actually, Ted Cruz would have been better since he prefer then only being guest workers. Trump only like promotes built the wall instead of punishing companies for hiring them. This only scares them for a short time while punishing the companies for hiring them will get rid of at least 2 million. The only think I liked about Trump’s speech is changing legal immigration from chain migration to merit. This is not so much Trump as the idea of Mark Kirkorian, Jeff Sessions and Tom Cotton.

  110. @kaganovitch
    @mobi

    It's funny, he isn't listed as a member of the CFR at
    http://www.cfr.org/about/membership/roster.html?letter=S

    Replies: @mobi

    It’s funny, he isn’t listed as a member of the CFR at

    Perhaps he’s not, but he’s writing in their house organ.

  111. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @mobi

    I literally got nauseous reading that. This is absolute insanity.
     
    For you, yes.


    'Nathan Smith' of the Council on Foreign Relations. 'Nathan' - (((hmmm)))


    Directors Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations:

    Madeleine Albright

    Martin Feldstein

    Leslie Gelb

    Maurice Greenberg

    Peter Peterson

    David Rockefeller


    Remarkable, isn't it?

    In good faith, I want to understand - how much do they understand what they're doing, and how much is tragic compulsion - the filling of a niche?

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @snorlax, @anon

    Leslie Gelb was the editor of the Pentagon Papers.

    If anyone should have absorbed the lessons of Vietnam, you would think a guy like that would have. But he was in favor of Iraq. The Iraq war.

    He did sort of half apologize for it.

    I thought that Bush was just too drunk or coked up to notice anything at Yale. Maybe the take away from Vietnam by all the big brains was to fight the next one in the desert instead of the jungle.

    Sadam was despotic, but he was secular and was the enemy of our current enemy. That was enough to make him our friend until he went for a bridge too far.

  112. anon • Disclaimer says:

    I’m against a lot of current borders.

    I would go for redrawing the borders in the Middle East.

    Given my loathing of NATO, I noticed a lot of very bizarre border issues in Eastern Europe. Romania, Hungary, Poland and all its borders. People are pissed off that they got the lines redrawn that put them on the wrong side, vis a vis ethnicity.

    In the US, we don’t have any serious restrictions at state borders. It took a war to prevent our Brexit — Confedex.

    I was watching Paul Krugman on Bloomberg, and he was talking about how the Elites have gone all in on the Euro/EU. It occurred to me that if they close their borders, it would eliminate a lot of pressures. People in the UK always complain about the theoretical Romanian cab drivers and such, but they really mean the usual suspects — Asia, Africa, Middle East. FWIW, Roma are only about 3% of Romania’s population. They mostly migrated around other places. They are loathed there. And don’t have to pretend otherwise.

  113. @newrouter
    @John Derbyshire

    "Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do."

    Coolidge 1926:

    "About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers. "

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=408

    Replies: @Diversity Heretic, @Captain Tripps

    Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Related concepts:

    1. We had to destroy the village in order to save it.

    2. I, Caesar, declare myself Dictator for Life in order that I might save the Republic!

  114. @J1234

    A World Without Borders
    Richer, Fairer, and More Free

    February 28, 2017

    By Nathan Smith
     
    Let's all go over to Nathan Smith's house and have a party.

    Uninvited and unannounced. Steve will bring the chips and the beer.

    Replies: @stillCARealist

    Beer? What year are you in? I’m bringing CRAFTY beer. You know, the kind with pomegranate and pumpkin and about 10% alcohol.

    Chips are messy and fattening. Let’s have some of those Southwest salads that Costco sells by the metric ton. And wasabi (what on earth is that stuff, anyway?).

    • Replies: @J1234
    @stillCARealist


    And wasabi (what on earth is that stuff, anyway?).
     
    I don't know but it's hot.

    On second thought, Steve shouldn't provide the snacks and beverages. The author, Nathan Smith, should. For everyone who enters his house uninvited, in fact. That way he can have the true "open borders" experience.

    Replies: @Buck Turgidson

  115. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @MBlanc46
    Complete fantasy. I can't even begin to conceive the world this guy thinks he inhabits.

    Replies: @Olorin, @anon

    he gets paid

    he gets paid by people who think they’d benefit from maximum divide and rule

    films like all the president’s men lead people to grow up thinking journalists are like champions of free speech but they’re not – they’re lying whores paid by the banking mafia to spread propaganda for their owners

    if Nixon was a Democrat the media would have covered up Watergate

  116. From the website of the National Academy of Sciences:
    In President Trump’s address to Congress, he cited a National Academies report on the economic consequences of immigration. The report found that the long-term impact of immigration on the wages and employment of native-born workers overall is very small….

    Got it? The invading hordes of 3rd world immigrants do not reduce wages. The tens of thousands of Americans who have lost their computer science jobs b/c of H-1B immigrants amounts to a “very small” effect.

    The nation has not seen an increase in hourly wages since the 1970s. But that has nothing to do with tens of millions of new workers–immigration has the effect of suspending laws of supply and demand. The H-1B and other visa programs have really had no effect, only a “very small” one. Just a few tens of thousands of lost jobs and destroyed careers and loss of earning power for family breadwinners. 100-150,000, tops. Not a big deal. Few staff at the Academy of Sciences were affected, apparently.

    Think of all the benefits. We have so many more people! We know that life is more enjoyable with traffic and congestion and no parks and no open space!! The countryside is overrated and who needs forests and farmland anyway. Have you seen the numbers for toilet paper sales!!??.

    Who can argue with ‘science’?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Buck Turgidson

    Immigration doesn't reduce wages, it just drives up rents and, especially, the cost of buying a home relative to wages.

    But of course that's much too complex a concept for economists to consider.

    , @ben tillman
    @Buck Turgidson


    From the website of the National Academy of Sciences:

    In President Trump’s address to Congress, he cited a National Academies report on the economic consequences of immigration. The report found that the long-term impact of immigration on the wages and employment of native-born workers overall is very small….
     
    And of course there are many other ways in which immigrants have a hugely negative effect on the natives.

    Replies: @Buck Turgidson

  117. @res
    Let's see, world population in 1886 was about 1.5 billion, in 2017 about 7.5 billion (5x). Air travel exists now. The western world now has a generous welfare state. Any other major differences come to mind? I would say these people are truly stupid except I am unable to figure out what their agenda actually is.

    And extending DJF's comment, why doesn't Foreign Affairs have open commenting and no paywalls?!

    Population estimates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population_estimates#Before_1950

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Anonymous, @anon, @Frau Katze

    except I am unable to figure out what their agenda actually is

    divide and rule

    all the western nations are effectively part of a loose empire ruled indirectly by the banking mafia through blackmail, bribery and media ownership

    empires always try to divide and rule

  118. @Anonymous
    https://twitter.com/PeterBeinart/status/836967208161054720

    Replies: @anon

    open borders advocates who live in gated communities with private security should be liable for crimes committed against their fellow citizens by illegal immigrants

    for every illegal immigrant criminal deported – deport a Beinart

    the problem would be solved in no time

  119. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    @res

    Some of these globalist enthusiasts truly believe with all their heart.

    But those who are hyper-intelligent - vastly smarter than I am - have to understand this is madness don't they?

    This reminds me so much of the 'Arab Spring'. They sold it as a flowering of freedom in the Middle East. But anyone familiar with the region had to know it was going to be a disaster.

    Before Iraq we had experts - EXPERTS! - telling us there was an educated population, a strong civil society and educated *WOMEN!*..doctors and lawyers!… all just waiting to bring peace, prosperity and justice to Iraq as soon as Saddam was ousted.

    Somehow, those same experts didn't know too much about the ancient religious/sectarian divisions in the region. Or they didn't say much about it all anyway.

    You'd almost get the feeling some of the more intelligent players - the people who are thinking with their heads (and with not much heart) actually know that these big utopian projects aren't going to work… yet they push ever harder with more grandiose, plans.

    The question I have is why? I'd really love know what is truly going on.

    Replies: @David Davenport, @anon

    The question I have is why?

    1) the oligarch contingent are psychopaths and want maximum cheap labor and maximum divide and rule.

    2) the paranoia driven contingent

    3) the NW Euro universalist kumbayah contingent – this segment is only sustained by 24/7 media manipulation and would dissipate as a political faction if the media told the truth (they’d reform eventually and come back as hard core eugenicists like they used to be)

    4) mercenary lobbyists and journalists paid to lie by group 1

  120. @Anonymous
    On my way to work here in southern Sweden the other day I was beckoned to by a middle-aged African man who was apparently very, very fresh off the boat: so fresh I had to check I hadn't taken a wrong turn and wound up at the docks. I'm not an expert on the various African ethnic groups but I can only say that he looked exactly like one of the Maasai-type tribesmen I've seen on documentaries, except with an old charity shop suit on. He immediately began to babble at me - in a tone I at least took to be friendly - in his own language. He handed a paper to me that showed itself to be a letter, in Swedish, from the local health authority informing him that he had an appointment at folktandvården (the public healthcare dentist) at 2 pm that afternoon. This was at about 8 am.

    Since he was addressing me in his own African tongue I couldn't work out what he wanted to know: where folktandvården was or when he should go or something else. I tried a few words in Swedish, no response. Tried some English, no luck there either. He just continued on at me in his own language. The guy was really the most impressively alien human being I've ever encountered in a Western country. It was like he'd been UFO-abducted out of his village and dropped in the Swedish suburbs. I pointed to the tandvård building, which was just about visible in the distance, and said "you go there". He smiled and nodded as if he knew this already but then he pointed with extra vigor at the appointment time, which was in bold. I got the impression he was asking if he should go now. Since he didn't have a wristwatch and we didn't have a single word of shared vocabulary, I improvised and pointed to the sun, which was then low in the east, and said "when it's up there...* pointing above*...then you go". He actually seemed to get this and wandered off cheerfully repeating something that I chose to interpret as "thank you" but could've been "stupid racist white man thinks my concept of time is limited to sun position..."

    Anyway, while I certainly didn't bear this particular man any ill will, I couldn't help thinking about all the many kinds of burden he was going to impose on the Swedish "system" just in the course of that day. I mean talk about a sudden deterioration in the working conditions for dental/medical receptionists, for example. There are a lot of public sector employees of one kind or another who are going to need to go home and pour themselves an extra large one after an afternoon of dealing with that guy. And when you think that Sweden has gone from a population of 9 million to 10 million in just over ten years, and is forecast to hit 11 million by 2030, with people sourced largely from Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria/Somalia/Eritrea...well, you more or less have your open borders experiment right there, and I don't think anyone's going to want to repeat it.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    He might have drained some of your patience for work that day too, such that you’re going to be marginally less productive. Mental patience is a limited resource and all.

  121. @Buck Turgidson
    From the website of the National Academy of Sciences:
    In President Trump’s address to Congress, he cited a National Academies report on the economic consequences of immigration. The report found that the long-term impact of immigration on the wages and employment of native-born workers overall is very small....


    Got it? The invading hordes of 3rd world immigrants do not reduce wages. The tens of thousands of Americans who have lost their computer science jobs b/c of H-1B immigrants amounts to a "very small" effect.

    The nation has not seen an increase in hourly wages since the 1970s. But that has nothing to do with tens of millions of new workers--immigration has the effect of suspending laws of supply and demand. The H-1B and other visa programs have really had no effect, only a "very small" one. Just a few tens of thousands of lost jobs and destroyed careers and loss of earning power for family breadwinners. 100-150,000, tops. Not a big deal. Few staff at the Academy of Sciences were affected, apparently.

    Think of all the benefits. We have so many more people! We know that life is more enjoyable with traffic and congestion and no parks and no open space!! The countryside is overrated and who needs forests and farmland anyway. Have you seen the numbers for toilet paper sales!!??.

    Who can argue with 'science'?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @ben tillman

    Immigration doesn’t reduce wages, it just drives up rents and, especially, the cost of buying a home relative to wages.

    But of course that’s much too complex a concept for economists to consider.

  122. Steve, From Borjas, 2013:

    “The immigration surplus of $35 billion comes from reducing the wages of natives in competition with immigrants by an estimated $402 billion a year, while increasing profits or the incomes of users of immigrants by an estimated $437 billion.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Buck Turgidson

    The immigration surplus of $35 billion comes from reducing the wages of natives in competition with immigrants by an estimated $402 billion a year, while increasing profits or the incomes of users of immigrants by an estimated $437 billion.”

    That's a wealth transfer of $402 dollars from American workers to the owners of capital, plus an additional $35 billion to the owners of capital. This is sick.

    What about Trickle-Down Economics? I thought that if the "job-producers" had more capital, they'd create more jobs and opportunities for American workers. I guess not.

  123. @Buck Turgidson
    From the website of the National Academy of Sciences:
    In President Trump’s address to Congress, he cited a National Academies report on the economic consequences of immigration. The report found that the long-term impact of immigration on the wages and employment of native-born workers overall is very small....


    Got it? The invading hordes of 3rd world immigrants do not reduce wages. The tens of thousands of Americans who have lost their computer science jobs b/c of H-1B immigrants amounts to a "very small" effect.

    The nation has not seen an increase in hourly wages since the 1970s. But that has nothing to do with tens of millions of new workers--immigration has the effect of suspending laws of supply and demand. The H-1B and other visa programs have really had no effect, only a "very small" one. Just a few tens of thousands of lost jobs and destroyed careers and loss of earning power for family breadwinners. 100-150,000, tops. Not a big deal. Few staff at the Academy of Sciences were affected, apparently.

    Think of all the benefits. We have so many more people! We know that life is more enjoyable with traffic and congestion and no parks and no open space!! The countryside is overrated and who needs forests and farmland anyway. Have you seen the numbers for toilet paper sales!!??.

    Who can argue with 'science'?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @ben tillman

    From the website of the National Academy of Sciences:

    In President Trump’s address to Congress, he cited a National Academies report on the economic consequences of immigration. The report found that the long-term impact of immigration on the wages and employment of native-born workers overall is very small….

    And of course there are many other ways in which immigrants have a hugely negative effect on the natives.

    • Replies: @Buck Turgidson
    @ben tillman

    Well, sure, but those natives include baskets of deplorables so they don't really count, or they are getting their just rewards for being white or living in flyover country or voting for Trump or being in the military or mining coal or working a factory job.

  124. @John Derbyshire
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Tony, @newrouter, @Chrisnonymous, @ben tillman, @ben tillman, @Hippopotamusdrome, @AndrewR, @Buck Turgidson, @Bies Podkrakowski, @Rahnee Raygun, @Frau Katze

    Cant swerve the Derb

  125. @ben tillman
    @Buck Turgidson


    From the website of the National Academy of Sciences:

    In President Trump’s address to Congress, he cited a National Academies report on the economic consequences of immigration. The report found that the long-term impact of immigration on the wages and employment of native-born workers overall is very small….
     
    And of course there are many other ways in which immigrants have a hugely negative effect on the natives.

    Replies: @Buck Turgidson

    Well, sure, but those natives include baskets of deplorables so they don’t really count, or they are getting their just rewards for being white or living in flyover country or voting for Trump or being in the military or mining coal or working a factory job.

  126. This is what happens when the egalitarian fantasy takes control of the mind. No distinctions, no discriminants, no values.

    We are all the same (no such thing as race), and all cultures and all civilizations are equal.

    There ain’t no cure for stupid.

  127. @Opinionator
    @(((Joshua)))

    Public health is a promising angle. (Many women were alarmed by the Ebola scare.)

    Climate change is a promising angle. (Immigration to US grows our carbon footprint, puts more pressure on nature, plants, and animals.)

    Another angle is to highlight for them that this amounts to a reproductive competition with immigrant women. Who have more babies than native women do and therefore use more of our services and resources. And many of whom do so by taking advantage of the anchor baby loophole.

    Replies: @Lurker, @AnotherDad

    Another angle is to highlight for them that this amounts to a reproductive competition with immigrant women. Who have more babies than native women do and therefore use more of our services and resources. And many of whom do so by taking advantage of the anchor baby loophole.

    Except that this concept–that inviting other people in squeezes out the public goods available to your own children–is obvious, but yet has *no* traction among white women, who often will virtue signal about their willingness to drag other people–other *crappy* people–in and spend the public (their children’s) money on them. In the case of some “Christian” women going so far as to adopt cuckoo eggs from Africa and spend their own private resources on being displaced.

    I think it’s pretty obvious that white gentiles have a mental toolkit of altruism that’s very healthy for *cohesive societies of other white gentiles* but makes them dupes for getting ripped off by others. This modest psychological bent is ramped up an order of magnitude or more to outright pathological among white women who aren’t having their own children (or enough of their own children).

  128. @Opinionator
    Surely there must be economic arguments for national property rights, as economists readily make arguments for the existence and enforcement of private property rights.

    Replies: @International Jew, @ben tillman, @AnotherDad

    Surely there must be economic arguments for national property rights, as economists readily make arguments for the existence and enforcement of private property rights.

    Indeed.

    Even if you don’t put any stock in nation as culture, tradition, religion and race, there’s still the obvious issue that a nation has “stuff”–rule of law, physical infrastructure, land–that its natives have developed over generations and that *belongs* to them. You can easily analyze this economically as you would some other shared ownership–a country club, a co-op, a corporation.

    You could even–as libertarians like to do–envisions creating a market where this would be monetized and people could see their citizenship here and buy it over there. That’s “out there” but at least within the general markets-for-everything libertarian tradition. But … that’s not what they do.

    What “open borders libertarians” actually advocate is the right of people to come in a steal other people’s shared property. It’s not traditionally “libertarian” in any conceivable way. Rather it’s the most extreme imposition of–what’s yours is mine–socialism imaginable.

    One can poke around at the people espousing this bizarre ideology with their almost demonic religious zeal, for a sense of their motives and motivations.

  129. @stillCARealist
    @J1234

    Beer? What year are you in? I'm bringing CRAFTY beer. You know, the kind with pomegranate and pumpkin and about 10% alcohol.

    Chips are messy and fattening. Let's have some of those Southwest salads that Costco sells by the metric ton. And wasabi (what on earth is that stuff, anyway?).

    Replies: @J1234

    And wasabi (what on earth is that stuff, anyway?).

    I don’t know but it’s hot.

    On second thought, Steve shouldn’t provide the snacks and beverages. The author, Nathan Smith, should. For everyone who enters his house uninvited, in fact. That way he can have the true “open borders” experience.

    • Replies: @Buck Turgidson
    @J1234

    Party at Nathan's. Nathan tear down that door! Build bridges, not walls! Where is the beer?

  130. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be crossed without passports.

    Oh…now I get it. Progressives are the true traditionalists.

    Conservatives wish it was 1957 again – before the voting rights act and integration and all – but progressives wish it was 1886 again. 🙂 I see this pseudo-“traditionalist” routine all the time with progressives, trying to make people believe they want to go back to a more natural human existence. They conjure it up with abortion, drug use and dysfunctional family “structure” (or lack of it.) It’s actually much more like “selective traditionalist,” with a very strong emphasis on the “selective.”

  131. This is all redundant now?

    The right of self-determination of peoples is a fundamental principle in international law. It is embodied in the Charter of the United Nations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Common Article 1, paragraph 1 of these Covenants provides that:

    “All peoples have the rights of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

    The right of self-determination has also been recognized in other international and regional human rights instruments such as Part VII of the Helsinki Final Act 1975 and Article 20 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Territories and Peoples. It has been endorsed by the International Court of Justice. Furthermore, the scope and content of the right of self- determination has been elaborated upon by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as well as international jurists and human rights experts.

  132. @res
    Let's see, world population in 1886 was about 1.5 billion, in 2017 about 7.5 billion (5x). Air travel exists now. The western world now has a generous welfare state. Any other major differences come to mind? I would say these people are truly stupid except I am unable to figure out what their agenda actually is.

    And extending DJF's comment, why doesn't Foreign Affairs have open commenting and no paywalls?!

    Population estimates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population_estimates#Before_1950

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Anonymous, @anon, @Frau Katze

    Not only that, but in 1886, the immigrants were completely on their own, to succeed or fail (and many actually returned home). Medical care was not an issue as doctors were pretty useless at that point.

    No welfare state. No assisted housing.

    How many of the third worlders trying to get to the West just want the goodies? I’d say most of them.

  133. @(((Joshua)))
    @AndrewR

    It's truly terrifying that we may be witnessing the rise of this century's version of Communism: a utopian ideology embraced by intellectuals that's going to get hundreds of millions killed.

    Replies: @Anonym, @Frau Katze

    I’ve often thought that globalism was the next big concept for the left, after Communism turned into a complete disaster.

    But the Left has never recognized the failure of Communism and learned anything (like, let’s not experiment with entire societies in ways that go completely against human nature).

    They just happily moved on to their next Utopia. We have to fight them with everything we’ve got.

  134. @John Derbyshire
    I'm a subscriber. Here's the article.

    Across the West today, a rising populist right is blaming established elites for letting in too many immigrants. The immigrants, the populists complain, lower wages, dilute the local culture, and pose a threat to national security. But even as anti-immigrant sentiment gains ground, a small but growing band of open borders advocates is reaching the opposite conclusion: Western elites aren’t letting in too many immigrants—they are letting in too few. These advocates, including the author, call for a regime of nearly complete freedom of migration worldwide, with rare exceptions for preventing terrorism or the spread of contagious disease. Borders would still exist in such a world, but as jurisdictional boundaries rather than as barriers to human movement. Ending migration controls in this way would increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth. But more fundamentally, it would challenge the right of governments to regulate migration on the arbitrary grounds of sovereignty.

    ANCIENT LIBERTIES

    The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, most of the world’s borders could be freely crossed without passports. Passport requirements had sometimes existed before and were still in place in backward tsarist Russia, but the more liberal governments of advanced European nations regulated migration, as modern democracies regulate speech, only rather lightly and in exceptional cases, if at all. Comprehensive restrictions on international movement, which almost everyone today regards as a normal and necessary government function, are really an innovation of the twentieth century, which emerged as liberalism gave way to nationalism and socialism in the wake of World War I. Although the reasons for border control were often explicitly racist—such as the national origins quotas of the 1924 U.S. Immigration Act—the restrictions were also motivated by bona fide national security concerns, as well as a desire to protect native wages and welfare states from immigrant competition and foreign dependents. The open borders position may sound new and radical, but it is simply a call for the return of lost liberties.

    More so than in the nineteenth century, open borders today would lead to an epic migration of peoples. Gallup has estimated that 640 million people worldwide want to emigrate from their current country of residence. Yet the true number could be much greater—economists such as John Kennan predict that in the absence of border controls, global labor markets would tend toward equilibrium, which in practice would mean the migration of several billion people to the West. (In the short to medium run, the true number of immigrants would be closer to Gallup’s estimates, but over the long run that figure might reach into the billions, as stocks of immigrants and their descendants accumulate in destination countries.) The more efficient allocation of labor would result in global increases in productivity, leading the world economy to nearly double in size. This increased economic activity would, moreover, disproportionately benefit the world’s poorest people.

    Despite the potential gains, however, a common—and natural—reaction to the prospective migration of billions of people is to dismiss it as an absurd and intolerable outcome. This may be an irrational response, but that does not necessarily make it wrong. The conservative political theorist Edmund Burke shrewdly recognized, in his 1790 pamphlet Reflections on the Revolution in France, that supposedly irrational prejudice can be a force for good in politics, as it favors the accumulated wisdom of generations against a type of abstract thinking that is prone to dangerous naiveté. Yet complete deference to irrational prejudice would preclude rational reform and moral progress altogether. With that in mind, there are two compelling reasons why people should override their instinctive aversion to open borders and give the proposal rational consideration. First, open borders could plausibly ameliorate or even end world poverty, a result that it is worth taking risks to achieve. Second, immigration enforcement is an ugly business, separating families and leading to preventable deaths, but it is still not sufficiently effective to prevent large-scale undocumented immigration. It is wise to look for alternatives for the sake of the West’s own moral and legal integrity.

    A MORAL QUESTION

    The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation. Assessing any given outcome requires deciding on an ethical framework by which to evaluate and compare alternatives. That is a question for moral philosophy. And today, the prevailing modern moral philosophies, such as those derived from the works of Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and John Rawls, are all universalist and egalitarian—that is, they treat all human beings as having the same inherent value and moral nature, even if their concrete rights and duties vary owing to circumstance. These theories are inhospitable to those features of premodern ethical thought, such as prescriptive communal loyalties and the differentiation of people by race, sex, and other traits, that still seem to influence the thinking of most immigration critics. The theories thus tend to favor open borders. The issue of borders is as much a moral question as it is one of policy calculation.

    This is the case regardless of which specific theory is chosen. Utilitarianism, for instance, attempts to maximize the total happiness, or “utility,” experienced by individuals, all of whom are valued equally. On the question of open borders, a utilitarian would argue that even if some Westerners might suffer, the utility gained by billions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other impoverished places easily outweighs the Westerners’ inconvenience. Another popular moral theory, laid out by John Rawls in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, asks what kind of social order people would design if placed behind a “veil of ignorance”—that is, if they did not know what their own place in the social order would be. Open borders advocates argue that no one, from behind the veil of ignorance, would design a world in which they had an 80 percent chance of being born in a poor country and trapped there, just so that if they turned out to be part of the lucky 20 percent born in rich countries, they would avoid having some awkward neighbors.

    Immigration critics tend not to make counterarguments within these universalist frameworks but rather reject the frameworks altogether, arguing, for instance, that countries should privilege the interests of their citizens over foreigners. In his 2013 book, Exodus, Paul Collier, a leading development economist and another immigration critic, dismisses utilitarian universalist ethics as “the stuff of teenage dreams,” before suggesting that nations have something called “existence value,” such that the people of Mali should not be allowed to extinguish Mali through a universal exodus. Yet the strongest argument for migration restrictions is one that applies even if utilitarian universalism is accepted. For if open borders would somehow ruin the special something that makes the rich countries rich, the benefit to immigrants not only might be reduced but could be overwhelmed by the loss of global public goods, such as technological innovation and international law, that are largely supplied by developed countries. That is, mass migration could make mankind as a whole worse off.

    RISK AND REWARD

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being. Some explanations are more favorable to the prospect of open borders than others. If geography is the determining factor in comparative development, as the geographer Jared Diamond has argued, then letting people move from poorly endowed and unproductive places to more wealthy and productive ones may have little downside. If human capital is more important—if the people in rich countries are more productive for reasons of nature or nurture—then open borders will do little good, since migrants will bring their low productivity with them, but also little harm, since citizens of the rich West will retain their own high productivity and consequent high living standards. But probably the most influential explanation of the relative wealth and poverty of nations holds that successful development is the result of high-quality institutions. There would be reason to oppose immigration, therefore, if a massive influx of immigrants from developing countries would dilute and damage the precious institutional heritage of the West, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Evaluating whether it would do so requires making a distinction between productivity-enhancing institutions, such as sophisticated financial and legal systems undergirded by a robust rule of law, and social safety-net institutions. The former enable the West to produce an abundance of goods and services, and the latter redistribute those goods and services to the relatively needy among Western populations. Although the distinction is not always clear-cut, some institutions, such as corporate finance law and intellectual property rights, are valued mainly because they foster wealth creation, while others, such as state-run health insurance or old-age pensions, are valued mainly because they alleviate poverty. The latter have good reason to exist even if they reduce GDP.

    It is these social safety-net institutions that, in a world with open borders, might have to go. Without migration controls it would probably be impossible for Western governments to maintain social safety nets, in the sense of public programs guaranteeing a decent standard of living to all residents residing within a country’s territory. At current levels of benefits, a vast influx of immigrants would bankrupt the welfare state, as newcomers would not be able to pay enough in taxes to finance the benefits to which they would be entitled. (A possible solution might involve curtailing welfare programs, or at least their generosity to the foreign-born.) It follows that open borders would probably lead to a large increase in visible extreme poverty in the West. Yet impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world. And far from creating such poverty, open borders would actually be alleviating it. The new huddled masses, although worse off than the average Western natives, would be better off in their new countries than they were at home. The only difference would be that without borders, Westerners would see the poverty that today is kept comfortably out of sight. Impoverishment by Western standards looks like affluence to much of the world.

    There is no obvious reason, however, why the West’s wealth-fostering institutions could not operate as least as effectively amid much larger and poorer populations as they do today. The United States during the Gilded Age and the United Kingdom during the Victorian era had impoverished proletariats, but that did not prevent them from achieving rapid economic growth. On the contrary, economists and economic historians such as Tyler Cowen, Robert Gordon, and Alexander Field have argued that the period from 1880 to 1940 was the zenith of technological progress, especially compared with the relative stagnation of recent decades. Of course, the proletariat of Victorian England was British, and a foreign­-born proletariat might conceivably be more destabilizing to wealth-fostering institutions than a native one. And although history provides few if any examples of a country’s institutions being damaged, or its productivity being reduced, by peaceful migration, it also affords few if any examples of peaceful migration on the scale predicted by economic models of open borders. So caution is reasonable.

    Yet it is also reasonable to ask how much coercion caution can justify. Enforcing today’s border regime requires separating families and imperiling people’s lives—a difficult thing to justify on the basis not of clear and present dangers but of speculative fears about long-run harms. A 2013 study by Human Impact Partners found that about 150,000 children are separated from one or both parents every year by U.S. deportation policies, and smaller numbers have been murdered as a direct and foreseeable consequence of deportation to countries where they had reason to fear violence. There is, moreover, a fundamental tension between the ideal of due process and the reality of immigration enforcement regimes that give officials enormous and arbitrary power over people’s lives. In the United States, immigration enforcement often clashes with the right of habeas corpus, since people who have committed no imprisonable offense can get stuck in indefinite detention. With due process compromised, mistakes happen, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly deported thousands of U.S. citizens. Such practices would be troubling even if they were the desperate expedients of a nation during wartime.

    But as harsh as U.S. immigration enforcement is, it does not prevent millions from coming, because the benefits of living in the United States are so great. If enforcement were still harsher, the incentive to come would be reduced but not eliminated, and human rights, including those of native-born citizens, would be violated even more severely. Many prefer amnesty as a solution: large majorities of Americans—a recent Gallup poll put the number at 65 percent—favor granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But amnesty gives foreigners a strong incentive to illegally migrate in the hope of benefiting from the next amnesty. In the two decades after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States swelled to 12 million. Taken together, amnesty and undocumented immigration threaten to create a slippery slope to open borders. Ironically, this scenario is most clearly seen by the anti-immigrant right, which fears it, and by open borders advocates, who welcome it; mainstream politicians, however, advocate for gentler policies toward today’s immigrants while naively assuming that effective border enforcement can be achieved in the future. Open borders advocates, by contrast, can deplore the procedural injustices of immigration enforcement without inconsistency, for they oppose the goal of immigration enforcement as well as the harsh means by which it is achieved.

    RICHER AND MORE FREE

    Immigration restrictionists often argue that citizens of a nation have the democratic right to decide who enters their country and who does not. Open borders advocates also want a democratic form of government in which leaders are elected, but they want to limit the powers enjoyed by democratic governments, such as the right to restrict movement. Letting people choose the jurisdiction in which they live is at least as good a method as voting when it comes to implementing the principle of rule by consent of the governed. And even more important than democracy in this regard is freedom. These usually go together in today’s world, but not because democracy inherently favors freedom. Individual rights such as free speech are, in a sense, undemocratic, for they mean that no matter how much the majority of people hate what someone says, they cannot silence him. The concept of rights means that there are some things even democratic governments are forbidden to do.

    Opening borders would expand the scope of freedom, strengthen respect for rights, and widen the realm of actions that governments, including democratic ones, are not allowed to take. This endeavor is an extension of the liberal project that has animated the West since the Enlightenment. And those who sympathize with abolishing migration restrictions, but fear how popular backlash against immigration has recently affected Western democracy, should ask themselves whether freedom can really be secure if its growth is curtailed; whether respect for rights can be compatible with the exclusion of the foreign-born; and whether, in the United States, immigrants are really a greater threat to freedom and the rule of law than are native-born devotees of the president, Donald Trump.

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Tony, @newrouter, @Chrisnonymous, @ben tillman, @ben tillman, @Hippopotamusdrome, @AndrewR, @Buck Turgidson, @Bies Podkrakowski, @Rahnee Raygun, @Frau Katze

    It is difficult to say with any finality why some countries are rich and others are poor, meaning that it is also difficult to evaluate how mass migration might affect global well-being.

    In fact it’s not difficult at all.

    Millions from Mali would simply replicate Mali. The people there are incapable of running a Western democracy.

    As a counter-example, Japan (after a detour down the wrong path) is doing fine. They don’t even want to leave,

  135. @Stealth
    How wonderful that we'll be getting rid of public assistance in this new world he describes. I might need that one day.

    I rarely get mad anymore at liberals and libertarians who oppose my interests, but this brazen turd of an article managed to get the job done. Bravo to this prick.

    Replies: @Frau Katze

    Completely agree, but I’ve used up my “agree button allotment”.

    It’s scarcely believable.

  136. @David Davenport
    @Anonymous

    Before Iraq we had experts – EXPERTS! – telling us there was an educated population, a strong civil society and educated *WOMEN!*..doctors and lawyers!… all just waiting to bring peace, prosperity and justice to Iraq as soon as Saddam was ousted.

    Instapundit and professor of law Glenn Reynolds was one of those experts. If you're a regular reader of his blog/web site, you might notice that he never talks about his "Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!" tonic for the Middle East that he prescribed in instapundit.com of the 2000's decade.

    Replies: @Frau Katze

    Iraq invasion occurred not that long after 9/11. People like myself (busy working, single parenting) had only so much time to get up to speed on the subject.

    I still thought the MSM was accurate, that’s how stupid I was in 2001.

    I knew not a thing about Islam or tribal societies (either HBD Chick wasn’t writing then, or I hadn’t found her).

    Despite my ignorance, it’s appalling that the government of the USA lacked the ability to see how badly this would turn out. Political correctness was entrenched and people tossed around the examples of postwar Germany and Japan.

  137. @J1234
    @stillCARealist


    And wasabi (what on earth is that stuff, anyway?).
     
    I don't know but it's hot.

    On second thought, Steve shouldn't provide the snacks and beverages. The author, Nathan Smith, should. For everyone who enters his house uninvited, in fact. That way he can have the true "open borders" experience.

    Replies: @Buck Turgidson

    Party at Nathan’s. Nathan tear down that door! Build bridges, not walls! Where is the beer?

  138. There are a couple of reasons why there wasn’t mass immigration back in 1886, despite the absence of legal restrictions.

    There was no welfare for immigrants. Poor people in white countries were still dying of malnutrition or related conditions.

    There were no anti-discrimination laws. Even if non-white immigrants made it to white countries, there was no obligation on the native population to hire them or rent property to them. The host population were also free to speak out against immigration.

    But most of all, immigration feeds upon itself. The more you allow in, the easier it is for their families and friends to follow them. There are now tens of millions of people around the world who are pinning all their hopes on making it to a white country, and have a good chance of doing so.

  139. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Buck Turgidson
    Steve, From Borjas, 2013:

    "The immigration surplus of $35 billion comes from reducing the wages of natives in competition with immigrants by an estimated $402 billion a year, while increasing profits or the incomes of users of immigrants by an estimated $437 billion."

    Replies: @Anonymous

    The immigration surplus of $35 billion comes from reducing the wages of natives in competition with immigrants by an estimated $402 billion a year, while increasing profits or the incomes of users of immigrants by an estimated $437 billion.”

    That’s a wealth transfer of $402 dollars from American workers to the owners of capital, plus an additional $35 billion to the owners of capital. This is sick.

    What about Trickle-Down Economics? I thought that if the “job-producers” had more capital, they’d create more jobs and opportunities for American workers. I guess not.

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