Jim Crow Returns to Alabama

This past Thursday the Alabama legislature put on their white hoods and enacted the harshest anti-immigrant regime in the country, one even more tyrannical than Arizona’s ethnic-cleansing laws.

boys in the hoods

As in Arizona, the new edict “allows police to arrest anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant if the person is stopped for some other reason”; but it also “requir[es] schools to find out if students are in the country lawfully,” “requires all businesses to check the legal status of workers using a federal system called E-Verify,” “makes it a crime for landlords to knowingly rent to an illegal immigrant,” and in a flourish of pure petty malice, “mak[es] it a crime to knowingly give an illegal immigrant a ride.”

The old Jim Crow laws enforced discrimination based on the colour of a person’s skin; the new Jim Crow laws enforce discrimination on the basis of a person’s birth on the wrong side of an imaginary line. Though of course racist motivations are not exactly absent.

To make sure that racism and misogyny continue to march hand in hand, the legislature also passed an abortion ban on the same day. Well heck, if the state can treat immigrants as second-class persons, why can’t it do the same to women, and force them to use their bodies as incubators for unwanted fetuses?

If only we could get some Republicans in power! They’re for smaller government, you know.

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101 Responses to Jim Crow Returns to Alabama

  1. K.V. June 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    Firefox 4.0.1 Windows 7

    This is also a fine time to make the point that decentralizing state power does not always bring us closer to abolishing state power, as many libertarians believe.

  2. dennis June 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    MSIE 8.0 Windows XP

    I don’t think libertarians necessarily claimed that. I think the claim was that on balance it would be better for liberty if power were decentralized. My own view is, that as local governments are no less illegitimate than the federal government when they are in conflict I’ll root for whoever is defending people from the other. If a state wants to allow drug use or protect people from TSA goons yay (sort of) for that state, if the feds want to override some odious state statute then fine, it’s good when villains fight one another.

  3. scineram June 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    Opera 11.11 Windows XP

    I agree. Unborn children should be second class instead. Each the absolute property of the mother who can whatever she wants with it.

    • Roderick June 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

      MSIE 8.0 Windows XP

      Fetuses are not second-class persons. In the early stages they’re not persons at all, since they have no minds. In the later stages they’re first-class persons, but being first-class persons does not entitle them to use a woman’s body against her will.

      • scineram June 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

        Opera 11.11 Windows XP

        Then when do they get entitled to use her body against her will? A week before expected birth? Two weeks? A month?

        • Roderick June 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

          MSIE 8.0 Windows XP

          That’s like asking “how short a time does a rape have to last before it’s okay?”

        • Louis B. June 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows 7

          Those evil, evil fetuses, unintentionally raping women!

        • Roderick June 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

          MSIE 8.0 Windows XP

          Well, obviously it’s unintentional and they’re not evil. But the right of self-defense doesn’t depend on intention. (And of course the lawmakers who force women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term are responsible agents.)

          Are commenters really going to make all the same old familar points that have all the same old familiar answers?

        • Brandon June 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

          Chromium 14.0.787.0 Ubuntu 11.04

          It’s extremely familiar on both sides. Abortion is cold-blooded but too many people believe it’s morally and ethically acceptable for it to be outlawed. It’s a cultural issue, and should be handled outside the legal system. In other words, it would rarely happen if everybody thought it was wrong.

          Speaking of this thought — In the early stages they’re not persons at all, since they have no minds. In the later stages they’re first-class persons…

          I sure wouldn’t want to be put in charge of deciding exactly when they become persons, right down to the millisecond. That’s a job nobody is qualified for.

        • Roderick June 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          Abortion is cold-blooded

          Is contraception “cold-blooded”? After all, every egg-sperm pair is a potential person too.

          I sure wouldn’t want to be put in charge of deciding exactly when they become persons, right down to the millisecond. That’s a job nobody is qualified for.

          Well, it’s a job that has to be done at the other end of life, right? When is an irrevocably comatose person dead?

          But since on my view abortion is justified whether or not the fetus is a person, I don’t have to decide on a cutoff.

        • scineram June 11, 2011 at 6:12 am #

          Opera 11.11 Windows XP

          If I pull a shipwrecked from the ocean can I just toss him back whenever I want or do I have to carry to the closest harbor?

        • David K. June 11, 2011 at 8:23 am #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows 7

          “If I pull a shipwrecked from the ocean can I just toss him back whenever I want or do I have to carry to the closest harbor?”

          That’s irrelevant. Your rights over your own body are arguably stronger than your rights over your other property. (E.g., if I am about to starve, I can eat your bread without your consent, but if I need a new kidney, I can’t take yours without your consent.)

          If you allow someone to live in your body, you can certainly evict him at any point.

        • Roderick June 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          If I pull a shipwrecked from the ocean can I just toss him back whenever I want or do I have to carry to the closest harbor?

          You have to carry him to the closest harbor. For why that’s so, and for why it doesn’t help the anti-abortion case, see my arguments in “Abortion, Abandonment, and Positive Rights.”

        • Rad Geek June 12, 2011 at 1:22 am #

          Chrome 12.0.742.91 Windows 7

          scineram:

          If I pull a shipwrecked from the ocean can I just toss him back whenever I want or do I have to carry to the closest harbor?

          This is doubly irrelevant. First, because the analogy of rescue is inappropriate. Whatever duties you may have to rescue those in distress, they derive first, from the condition that they were in before the emergency, and second, from the condition of distress that the emergency puts them in relative to that original condition. But there is no original condition in the case of a pregnancy — there was nothing at all before the conception — and afortiori no condition of distress to be rescued from. Second, because there are obvious issues of alienability and proportionality involved with someone who will be, quite literally, living inside of your body that are not issues with someone who will be riding on your ship. (Imagine that, in order to keep the shipwreck victim alive, you not only have to keep her on the ship; you also have to let her drink your blood every day for the rest of the voyage; or give her a kidney; or whatever you like. Suppose you agree to this in the beginning, but then change your mind. Well, maybe you should have thought things through more before you agreed to it. But I do not think that the shipwrecked has a right to hold you down and take the blood, or the kidney, by force. Not even if it’s just to tide her over until you reach the nearest safe harbor. Do you?

          But I think you’ve been around long enough to know that this kind of “off-the-boat” or “out-the-airlock” example has already been discussed to death. Why raise it again now as if nobody had ever heard of it?

        • P. June 12, 2011 at 1:58 am #

          Chrome 12.0.742.91 Windows 7

          The problem I see with Roderick’s argument is that he supposes giving birth means you accept to take responsibility for the baby, while aborting means you don’t want the baby inside you and wants to get rid of him.

          Well, what if the woman wants to get rid of the baby BY GIVING BIRTH to it?!

        • Neverfox June 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.17.NETCLR3.5.30729.NET4.0E Windows XP 64-bit/Server 2003

          P.:

          Well, what if the woman wants to get rid of the baby BY GIVING BIRTH to it?!

          You answered your own question with “he supposes giving birth [voluntarily] means you accept to take responsibility for the baby.” The responsibility doesn’t come from what you want to be the case but from what your duties happen to be.

        • P. June 14, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

          Chrome 12.0.742.91 Windows 7

          But the woman simply doesn’t want the baby inside her body, just like the one who aborts it. She just doesn’t want to kill the baby in the process.

          I don’t see what is the meaningful difference in both cases. It’s just a different way of expelling the baby from her body.

          I mean, what is the meaningful difference in the woman who 1 day away from birth aborts the baby, and the other who gives birth to it so that the baby doesn’t die in the process of being expelled from the body?

        • martin June 15, 2011 at 11:36 am #

          Opera 11.11 Windows 7

          You have to carry him to the closest harbor. For why that’s so, and for why it doesn’t help the anti-abortion case, see my arguments in “Abortion, Abandonment, and Positive Rights.

          Apart from the problem noted by P. above, I don’t find the rape analogy very convincing. If we’re gonna have a rape analogy it would be the woman raping the man – say by drugging him, force-feeding him viagra and then inserting his penis into her vagina – and experiencing a case of penis captivus when she wants to end the intercourse.

          Would she then have a right to kill him or cut off his penis? (Assuming it would help her.)

        • Roderick June 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows XP

          If we’re gonna have a rape analogy it would be the woman raping the man – say by drugging him, force-feeding him viagra and then inserting his penis into her vagina – and experiencing a case of penis captivus when she wants to end the intercourse.

          And to complete the analogy — what was the man doing before she assaulted him? What peaceful course of activity did she interrupt?

        • Roderick June 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows XP

          I mean, what is the meaningful difference in the woman who 1 day away from birth aborts the baby, and the other who gives birth to it so that the baby doesn’t die in the process of being expelled from the body?

          Well, if her sole reason for choosing birth over abortion is to terminate the pregnancy, then I suppose in that case she’d have no enforceable responsibility toward the child once it was born.

        • martin June 16, 2011 at 3:10 am #

          Opera 11.11 Windows 7

          And to complete the analogy — what was the man doing before she assaulted him? What peaceful course of activity did she interrupt?

          He was drinking some pomegranate-kiwi juice mixed with grapefruit soda which she had secretly drugged after sneaking into his house undetected.

      • LoriInWa June 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

        MSIE 9.0 Windows 7

        You say, “In the early stages they’re not persons at all, since they have no minds.” So what are fetus’ if not persons? Are they kittens, monkeys, earwax? A baby’s heart begins beating at 6 weeks….but is it a human heart? A baby, born into this world after 9 months cannot speak, feed itself or anything else that you deem necessary to qualify as a “person.” My mother had dementia and was no longer of sound mind for several years prior to her death. According to your definition, she was not a “person” either. As someone who used to buy into the “biology experiment” theory, I am surprised that you still think that is in any way a viable (no pun intended) argument in light of the technology and research that has been done in the recent past.

        • Roderick June 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows XP

          You say, “In the early stages they’re not persons at all, since they have no minds.” So what are fetus’ if not persons? Are they kittens, monkeys, earwax?

          They’re human fetuses. You seem to be assuming that if something is human and alive, then it is a human being, and therefore a person.

          But not so. Every cell composing your body is human and alive. The skin cells you scrape off every time you scratch your arm are human and alive. But they’re not human beings, nor are they persons. So just being alive and composed of human DNA is not sufficient for personhood (unless you think you’re committing mass murder every time you scratch your arm).

          A baby, born into this world after 9 months cannot speak, feed itself or anything else that you deem necessary to qualify as a “person.”

          When did I ever say that the ability to speak or feed oneself was a requirement for being a person? You’re just making that up.

          My mother had dementia and was no longer of sound mind for several years prior to her death. According to your definition, she was not a “person” either.

          Nope, I also never said being of sound mind was a requirement for being a person. There is a difference between not being of sound mind and having no mind at all. To say that a potato or a shoe is “not of sound mind” would rather understate the case.

          I am surprised that you still think that is in any way a viable (no pun intended) argument in light of the technology and research that has been done in the recent past.

          I’m not sure what you’re talking about here. What technology and research do you have in mind? And how on earth could it be relevant to a philosophical dispute about personhood?

  4. Jamara A Newell June 10, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Firefox 4.0.1 Windows Vista

    The law isn’t about immigrants but illegal immigrants, which the article seems some conflate. Also this has nothing to do with racism as it is aimed at Mexicans who are not a race, unless you consider Americans to be a race.
    I’m not a Libertarian so I’m not familiar with all your views. But are Libertarians against sovereignty?

    • Roderick June 10, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

      Safari MacIntosh

      The law isn’t about immigrants but illegal immigrants, which the article seems some conflate.

      Suppose there were a law that said “All left-handed people are required to attempt to jump blindfolded through a fiery hoop. Those who fail in the attempt will be labeled ‘illegal left-handers’ and will be thrown into the shark pit.” When those who are thrown into the shark pit complain about being mistreated, would you tell them, “it’s only illegal left-handers we throw into the shark pit, not left-handers per se, so left-handers per se have no basis for complaint about our system”?

      Also this has nothing to do with racism as it is aimed at Mexicans who are not a race, unless you consider Americans to be a race.

      Well, the category of “race” has no scientific validity anyway; strictly speaking there are no “races.” But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t racists; and ethnic prejudice against Mexicans certainly fits the usual use of the term. (FWIW, Wikipedia defines “race” as “classification of humans into large and distinct populations or groups by factors such as heritable phenotypic characteristics or geographic ancestry, but also often influenced by and correlated with traits such as appearance, culture, ethnicity, and socio-economic status.”)

      I’m not a Libertarian so I’m not familiar with all your views. But are Libertarians against sovereignty?

      “Libertarian” with a capital L refers to the Libertarian Party; “libertarian” with a small L refers to the general philosophy. Not all libertarians are members of the Party (or, alas, vice versa). There’s no one view on immigration that all libertarians (or Libertarians for that matter) share.

      But as for me, as an anarchist I am strongly in favour of individual sovereignty, and I do not recognise the sovereignty of “nation-states.”

      All the same, your question seems a bit of a red herring, because one can reject anti-immigrant laws without rejecting national sovereignty. Back when I was a minarchist — that is, a small-government libertarian rather than a no-government libertarian — I was still in favour of open borders. National sovereignty just means that people within your borders are subject to your laws; it doesn’t mean you beat people up or put them in cages when they enter your country.

      • Roderick June 10, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

        Safari MacIntosh

        Moreover, if you only care about the rights of citizens and “legal” immigrants, I’ll point out that this law imposes a mass of regulations and restrictions on them too.

        • Jamara A Newell June 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows Vista

          Roderick, I should have made it clear, I do not support the law in whole. And while not a libertarians or anarchist I think laws against a places citizens should be kept to a minimum. But on principle I see nothing wrong with laws that dissuade illegal immigration and punish them for their crimes.

        • Roderick June 10, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          But on principle I see nothing wrong with laws that dissuade illegal immigration and punish them for their crimes

          So what justifies them? Al lives in state A. Betty lives in state B. Betty invites Al to come onto her property (as a guest, as an employee, whatever). Al agrees. What business is it of the government’s?

          Also, how is a government that prevents people from coming in any better than, say, the Soviet government that prevented people from going out? In both cases, some government that does not own either Al’s or Betty’s property is forbidding Al to step onto betty’s property with her consent.

        • Jamara A Newell June 11, 2011 at 12:35 am #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows Vista

          So what justifies them? Al lives in state A. Betty lives in state B. Betty invites Al to come onto her property (as a guest, as an employee, whatever). Al agrees. What business is it of the government’s?

          Also, how is a government that prevents people from coming in any better than, say, the Soviet government that prevented people from going out? In both cases, some government that does not own either Al’s or Betty’s property is forbidding Al to step onto betty’s property with her consent.

          To get to Betty’s land in Alabama you’d have to cross quite a bit of public and private party. But this law isn’t about visitors, more about settlers.

        • Roderick June 11, 2011 at 1:08 am #

          Safari MacIntosh

          To get to Betty’s land in Alabama you’d have to cross quite a bit of public and private party.

          What if Al followed a pathway that went only through private parcels whose owners consented? Would that be ok?

          As for public property, that’s paid for by taxes. Illegal immigrants pay taxes too. So why should they be excluded from using the resources they’ve paid for?

          But this law isn’t about visitors, more about settlers.

          a) No, the law applies to anyone who’s in the state “illegally”; it doesn’t matter how long they’re here for.

          b) My argument also applies in exactly the same way regardless of whether Al is visiting or settling. What if Betty wants to rent or sell her land to Al? Why shouldn’t she be free to?

        • Gene Callahan June 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 MacIntosh

          “Also, how is a government that prevents people from coming in any better than, say, the Soviet government that prevented people from going out?”

          Right on! Locking people in your basement is absolutely no different than not letting them come in your house whenever they want. Your arguments against private property are pretty devastating!

        • Roderick June 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          Locking people in your basement is absolutely no different than not letting them come in your house whenever they want. Your arguments against private property are pretty devastating!

          Gene, you already know the answer to that tired old chestnut. You know the answer, because you used to give it yourself. You may not agree with your former position any more; fine. But that’s no excuse for pretending you don’t remember what the position was.

          I’ll answer your pseudo-question — not to inform you, because you already know exactly what I’m going to say, but for the sake of others following this exchange. So:

          Your response works only if one assumes that the entire territory of a country is the property of its government, in the same way that you’re the owner of your basement.

          If neither the government of country A nor the government of country B owns either the territory of country A or the territory of country B, then preventing someone from passing from A to B seems equally bad regardless of whether it’s the government of A or the government of B that’s doing it. Either government is just some intrusive third party trying to prevent someone from peacefully travelling from one region to another.

          Of course if you already assume the Filmerite position that all land within a territory is the property of the government, then yes, on that assumption immigration laws are perfectly legitimate.

        • Gene Callahan June 13, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 MacIntosh

          Roderick, I certainly do remember my former position. I wanted to see if you could do better, since I clearly see my former position is wrong.

          “Your response works only if one assumes that the entire territory of a country is the property of its government…”

          Talk about tired old chestnuts! If my neighbors forbid me from keeping wild leopards in my NYC apartment, that certainly does not mean that they *really* own my apartment!

        • martin June 14, 2011 at 6:51 am #

          Opera 11.11 Windows 7

          Talk about tired old chestnuts! If my neighbors forbid me from keeping wild leopards in my NYC apartment, that certainly does not mean that they *really* own my apartment!

          No, but if they would forbid you from putting up the wallpaper you like they would be asserting ownership, wouldn’t they?

        • P. June 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

          Chrome 12.0.742.91 Windows 7

          The reason the neighbors can forbid “wild leopards” in your apartment is because those animals already count as a threat of aggression, given the context. If someone would create that animal away from the big cities, that would not be so clear.

          So, are you saying the “illegal immigrants” count as a threat of aggression, just like the “wild leopards”?

        • JOR June 15, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows 7

          Of some note here is that, in the real world, actual self-identified communist regimes (you know, the ones with the dysfunctional economic cannibalism, horrific oppression, and massive body counts that conservatives like to appeal to as conversation stoppers) have treated their territories as the de facto private property of the state.

      • Jamara A Newell June 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

        Firefox 4.0.1 Windows Vista

        Suppose there were a law that said “All left-handed people are required to attempt to jump blindfolded through a fiery hoop. Those who fail in the attempt will be labeled ‘illegal left-handers’ and will be thrown into the shark pit.” When those who are thrown into the shark pit complain about being mistreated, would you tell them, “it’s only illegal left-handers we throw into the shark pit, not left-handers per se, so left-handers per se have no basis for complaint about our system”?
        That’s a pretty terrible analogy. It isn’t illegal to be left handed, but it is illegal to enter another nation without permission. So it isn’t about immigrants but illegal immigrants. Since Alabama isn’t anarchist they have a right see their laws enforced and too implement the laws the people there would like to see. I assure you most Alabamians are against illegal immigration. Unlike most laws which are imposed upon us by a ruling few this is actual in tune with people views and culture.
        Since the article was about illegal immigrants and not immigrants, they were no anti- immigrant ideas to deal with. If one thinks a nation doesn’t have a right to have a process to decide who and how many people from another nation can come in and share their resources- then you are indeed questioning a nations sovereignty.

        Well, the category of “race” has no scientific validity anyway; strictly speaking there are no “races.” But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t racists; and ethnic prejudice against Mexicans certainly fits the usual use of the term. (FWIW, Wikipedia defines “race” as “classification of humans into large and distinct populations or groups by factors such as heritable phenotypic characteristics or geographic ancestry, but also often influenced by and correlated with traits such as appearance, culture, ethnicity, and socio-economic status.”)

        Scientific validity is rather insignificant in this discussion. We have social races and since Mexicans can be of any of those races, it isn’t racist to discriminate against them, it can be a form of bigotry but racist, I disagree. Jim Crow on the other hand was thoroughly racist.

        “But as for me, as an anarchist I am strongly in favour of individual sovereignty, and I do not recognise the sovereignty of “nation-states.”
        Even before the creation of nations state, groups limited the amount and the movements of people who were different cultures, religions and backgrounds. I say American and Alabama has that same right. It isn’t racist or discriminatory to do so. And if you break the law in most places you risk jail, illegally entering a country should not be treated any different.

        • Roderick June 10, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          That’s a pretty terrible analogy. It isn’t illegal to be left handed, but it is illegal to enter another nation without permission.

          Right, but irrelevant, since the analogy I drew was not between being left-handed and being an illegal immigrant. Read again what I actually wrote. The analogy is between being left-handed and being an immigrant (legal or otherwise). Immigrants who don’t or can’t jump through the legal hoops are then declared illegal immigrants. So a first injustice is inflicted on all immigrants, and then those who come off badly in that process are declared illegal and get further injustices inflicted on them. For you to justify the second injustice because it’s applied only to those who came off badly from the first injustice is adding insult to double injury.

          Since Alabama isn’t anarchist they have a right see their laws enforced

          So any regime that isn’t anarchist has the right to have any of its laws enforced, no matter what they are? That’s a remarkable view. What if 51% of Alabamians voted to cook and eat the other 49%. Fine by you?

          If one thinks a nation doesn’t have a right to have a process to decide who and how many people from another nation can come in and share their resources- then you are indeed questioning a nations sovereignty.

          Although I do indeed question the notion of a nation’s sovereignty, that is, as I explained before, a red herring. The notion of a nation’s sovereignty does not imply the right to interfere with people’s free travel. All it implies is the right to impose its laws on everyone within its territory. That by itself doesn’t imply the right to apply laws unequally to different people. For example: the 14th amendment to the u.s. constitution, for those who care about such things, forbids any state to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Note that it says any person, not any citizen. It forbids states to have different laws for different people within its jurisdiction, be they citizens or not. That means that the criteria for being allowed to stay within the country can’t be more burdensome for immigrants than for citizens. Enforcing the 14th amendment isn’t a violation of national sovereignty; it’s an expression of it.

          Even before the creation of nations state, groups limited the amount and the movements of people who were different cultures, religions and backgrounds. I say American and Alabama has that same right.

          Where do they get that right? Especially a country that claims to be founded on the principle that “all men are created equal”? Even before the creation of nation-states, groups did all sorts of unjust things.

        • Jamara A Newell June 11, 2011 at 12:11 am #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows Vista

          Right, but irrelevant, since the analogy I drew was not between being left-handed and being an illegal immigrant. Read again what I actually wrote. The analogy is between being left-handed and being an immigrant (legal or otherwise). Immigrants who don’t or can’t jump through the legal hoops are then declared illegal immigrants. So a first injustice is inflicted on all immigrants, and then those who come off badly in that process are declared illegal and get further injustices inflicted on them. For you to justify the second injustice because it’s applied only to those who came off badly from the first injustice is adding insult to double injury.

          Yes they are called illegal immigrants because they didn’t go through the proper legal channels to become citizens and came into the nation illegally . There was no injustice inflicted, outside their imposition on the people of Alabama.

          So any regime that isn’t anarchist has the right to have any of its laws enforced, no matter what they are? That’s a remarkable view. What if 51% of Alabamians voted to cook and eat the other 49%. Fine by you?

          Isnt this example a bit extreme? Also I’d say the ratios are not near that close.

          Although I do indeed question the notion of a nation’s sovereignty, that is, as I explained before, a red herring. The notion of a nation’s sovereignty does not imply the right to interfere with people’s free travel. All it implies is the right to impose its laws on everyone within its territory. That by itself doesn’t imply the right to apply laws unequally to different people. For example: the 14th amendment to the u.s. constitution, for those who care about such things, forbids any state to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Note that it says any person, not any citizen. It forbids states to have different laws for different people within its jurisdiction, be they citizens or not. That means that the criteria for being allowed to stay within the country can’t be more burdensome for immigrants than for citizens. Enforcing the 14th amendment isn’t a violation of national sovereignty; it’s an expression of it.

          Yes and you are being completely govern by this bias. Though I think your point about the wording of the constitution is relevant. I still say saying a nation has no right to filtering who comes in this nation is questioning it sovereignty. The concept of citizenship was different then and I wonder if illegal immigrants are fully and completely under American jurisdiction.

          Where do they get that right? Especially a country that claims to be founded on the principle that “all men are created equal”? Even before the creation of nation-states, groups did all sorts of unjust things.
          Indeed, they did, but limiting who comes into your territory is not one of those unjust things.

        • Roderick June 11, 2011 at 1:02 am #

          Safari MacIntosh

          Yes they are called illegal immigrants because they didn’t go through the proper legal channels to become citizens and came into the nation illegally . There was no injustice inflicted, outside their imposition on the people of Alabama.

          But that presupposes that requiring them to go through those legal channels is legitimate. And that’s precisely what’s in dispute.

          Isnt this example a bit extreme?

          Well, of course it’s extreme. You defended your claim by appealing to a principle. I pointed out that your principle, as you stated it, would license the scenario I described. So if that scenario is extreme, it must be your principle that’s extreme. If you want to retract your extreme principle and offer a more moderate principle, one that would justify the case you’re trying to defend but not justify the cannibalism case, you are of course free to do so. But so far you haven’t.

          Also I’d say the ratios are not near that close.

          Why on earth does it matter what the ratios are? If 99% of Alabamians voted to cook and eat the other 1%, would that be okay?

          I wonder if illegal immigrants are fully and completely under American jurisdiction.

          Well, if they’re not under American jurisdiction, then the American government has no right to expel them!

          Indeed, they did, but limiting who comes into your territory is not one of those unjust things.

          a) You appealed to the fact that groups have historically limited immigration as though that justified such limits. But now that you grant that such groups have historically done unjust things, you can no longer consistently appeal to the fact that groups have historically limited immigration as an argument for the justice of those limits. So you need a different argument. What is it?

          b) Also, you didn’t answer my question. Where does a government, especially a government that clams to be based on the principle of equality, get the right to impose laws unequally on different groups?

        • Jamara A Newell June 11, 2011 at 1:31 am #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows Vista

          But that presupposes that requiring them to go through those legal channels is legitimate. And that’s precisely what’s in dispute.

          Of course it is legitimate, it is the nations law. Protecting ones land is completely legitimate. That’s what the people of America has intrusted them with.

          Well, of course it’s extreme. You defended your claim by appealing to a principle. I pointed out that your principle, as you stated it, would license the scenario I described. So if that scenario is extreme, it must be your principle that’s extreme. If you want to retract your extreme principle and offer a more moderate principle, one that would justify the case you’re trying to defend but not justify the cannibalism case, you are of course free to do so. But so far you haven’t.

          I’d say the example is too extreme to apply to any honest discourse. Even examples should have some basis in reality. But killing eating people is hardly the same as sending people back to their home nation.

          Why on earth does it matter what the ratios are? If 99% of Alabamians voted to cook and eat the other 1%, would that be okay?

          The ratio matter in regard to something reasonable as illegal immigration.

          I wonder if illegal immigrants are fully and completely under American jurisdiction.

          Well, if they’re not under American jurisdiction, then the American government has no right to expel them!

          Or it gives them every reason to expel, if they are a subject to another laws and jurisdiction. They should be returned to there.

          a) You appealed to the fact that groups have historically limited immigration as though that justified such limits. But now that you grant that such groups have historically done unjust things, you can no longer consistently appeal to the fact that groups have historically limited immigration as an argument for the justice of those limits. So you need a different argument. What is it?

          b) Also, you didn’t answer my question. Where does a government, especially a government that clams to be based on the principle of equality, get the right to impose laws unequally on different groups?

          I used that fact to show that nations states are not the only groups that restrict the movements of people in their territory. It was not unjust then nor is it now.

          In regard to “b”. Treating everyone as equal has nothing to do with enforcing your nations laws. And being here is indeed against the law. They do have to treat them equal to anyother criminal of course, by not treating them in a cruel or inhumane manner. Sending people back to their nations is not quite inhuman.

        • Roderick June 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          Of course it is legitimate, it is the nations law.

          I assume you don’t think that just being “the nation’s law” is enough to make something legitimate. Because slavery and various Nazi laws and so on were “the nation’s law.” So clearly something more than that is required. Therefore you can’t prove your point simply by pointing to its being the nation’s law.

          If experience is any guide, you’ll respond by saying that ant-immigration laws are different from slavery etc. Fine, but that’s irrelevant as a response to the point I’ve just been making. If just being the nation’s law can’t BY ITSELF be a reason on behalf of the legitimacy if anti-immigration laws (because that’s a reason that doesn’t distinguish between laws you regard as legitimate and laws you regard as illegitimate), it doesn’t make sense for you to invoke it as a defense.

          Protecting ones land is completely legitimate.

          “Protecting” implies protection against some threat, like armed invasion. All the immigrants are doing is moving in looking for jobs. Why is moving into Alabama looking for a job a “threat” requiring “protection” if it’s done by someone from Mexico, but not if it’s done by someone from New Mexico?

          That’s what the people of America has intrusted them with.

          Well, not all the people of America have done that. I haven’t, for example. And you’ve already granted that not everything a majority does is legitimate. So you need to explain what differentiates the legitimate cases from the illegitimate. Once you’ve granted that factor X (whether X is “the nation’s law” or “majority will” or whatever) is not by itself sufficient to make a policy just, you can’t consistently invoke factor X, all by itself, on behalf of your favoured policy — because you’ve already granted that factor X applies to just and unjust policies alike.

          I’d say the example is too extreme to apply to any honest discourse. Even examples should have some basis in reality.

          I don’t know what you mean. You’re the one that invoked a principle so general that it applied to the extreme case I brought up. If you want a more moderate principle that will exclude the extreme case I brought up, it’s your responsibility to provide it, not mine. That’s how arguments work.

          But killing eating people is hardly the same as sending people back to their home nation.

          True, but irrelevant. You’re reacting as though I’d argued as follows:

          1. One group voting to cook and eat another is wrong.
          2. Voting to forbid immigration is relevantly analogous to voting to cook and eat someone.
          3. Therefore: one group voting to exclude immigration by another is wrong.

          Now if that were the argument I’d given, you would certainly be within your dialectical rights to object to premise (2). But my argument didn’t reply on anything like premise (2). You’re confusing arguments by counterexample with arguments by analogy.

          My actual argument was this:

          4. One group voting to cook and eat another is wrong.
          5. If merely invoking majority rule were sufficient to justify a policy, then one group voting to cook and eat another would not be wrong.
          6. Therefore: merely invoking majority rule is not sufficient to justify anti-immigration laws.

          The ratio matter in regard to something reasonable as illegal immigration.

          I’m not sure what you mean about the ratios. In any case, you’re assuming the “reasonableness” of anti-immigration laws, which is the point under dispute.

          Or it gives them every reason to expel, if they are a subject to another laws and jurisdiction. They should be returned to there.

          If someone isn’t under a state’s jurisdiction, then the state can’t legitimately do anything to them. That’s what “jurisdiction” means.

          I used that fact to show that nations states are not the only groups that restrict the movements of people in their territory.

          If that were all you intended, how was that point relevant?

          Treating everyone as equal has nothing to do with enforcing your nations laws. And being here is indeed against the law.

          If the requirements for being allowed to enter Alabama are more restrictive for Mexicans than for New Mexicans, then Mexicans and New Mexicans are obviously not being treated equally.

          Sending people back to their nations is not quite inhuman.

          If the government deported you to another country where you didn’t want to live wouldn’t you regard that as inhumane? Why does it matter whether you previously lived there or not?

        • martin June 12, 2011 at 5:10 am #

          Opera 11.11 Windows Vista

          So it isn’t about immigrants but illegal immigrants. Since Alabama isn’t anarchist they have a right see their laws enforced and too implement the laws the people there would like to see. I assure you most Alabamians are against illegal immigration.

          If they’re only against illegal immigration, they should abolish all immigration laws, and there would be only legal immigration.

        • b-psycho June 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.16.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows Vista

          Even before the creation of nations state, groups limited the amount and the movements of people who were different cultures, religions and backgrounds. I say American and Alabama has that same right. It isn’t racist or discriminatory to do so.

          Isn’t this — excluding people on the basis of ethnicity — the definition of discrimination?

  5. Marja Erwin June 10, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Firefox 4.0.1 Linux

    This kind of legislation doesn’t just hurt immigrants; it directly hurts anyone with identification discrepancies, and indirectly hurts everyone under the state. This is in response to the Georgia version, but it’s the same evil for the same reasons:

    http://foundation.org/grants/grantees-in-the-news/lgbt-activists-fight-immigration-bills—the-georgia-voice

    This also reminds me of the Cold War distinction between “totalitarian” regimes, aligned with the USSR, and merely “authoritarian” regimes, aligned with the USA.

    • Roderick June 10, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

      Safari MacIntosh

      Yeah, it’s ironic to see all these little supposed anti-big-goverment types campaigning so hard to establish a police state.

  6. laukarlueng June 11, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    Firefox 4.0.1 MacIntosh

    I’m currently reading “Against Intellectual Monopoly” which makes an interesting anti-intellectual property argument that the authors apply towards the immigration issue. The argument is that incumbents (legal immigrants / citizens) clamor for monopoly (immigration restrictions) upon incoming competitors (immigrants) that are providing similar services cheaper, faster, and/or better. Never heard that one before. I like it.

  7. JL June 11, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    Chrome 11.0.696.71 Windows 7

    It’s racist. Clearly. State supremacists who publicly defend this ought to be ashamed and embarrassed.

  8. Marcel Dubois June 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    Firefox 4.0.1 Linux

    Of course it is legitimate, it is the nations law. Protecting ones land is completely legitimate. That’s what the people of America has intrusted them with.

    1- Justice is the supreme law. The nation can go to hell if it expects to violate any of the fundamental rights with which all are endowed. That includes “your” border “protection.”

    2- To harass, hunt down, and expel someone, is not to protect one’s land. It is to harass, hunt down, and expel that person from that land. There is no protection there. Only agression.

    3- To call the land of the US “yours” is to usurp your rights, and make yourself the slave-holder of the entire resident population of the United States of America, on no other grounds than you were born inside of the geographical area of its territory. To be expelled or allowed in at your pleasure is to call your own little person the owner of the land. You’re an arrogant idiot.

    4- Being born doesn’t grant a right of property in the land in which you were born.

    5- The nation doesn’t have a right of property in the land. Natives can of course usurp their powers, and use numbers during elections to harass, hunt down, and expel foreigners. A man can also rape a woman. Might does not make right.

    6- Thousands of people die trying to reach the United States illegally, through the fucking desert. Because a freaking bureaucrat was not consulted beforehand, they should be deported back? Are you kidding?

    • Jamara A Newell June 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

      Firefox 4.0.1 Windows Vista

      1- Justice is the supreme law. The nation can go to hell if it expects to violate any of the fundamental rights with which all are endowed. That includes “your” border “protection.”

      Indeed and they provided justice to the Americans they are first and foremost responsible to, by removing those who are here illegally.

      2- To harass, hunt down, and expel someone, is not to protect one’s land. It is to harass, hunt down, and expel that person from that land. There is no protection there. Only agression.
      Criminals are frequently sought in such a manner. Unfortunately thats not generally the case with illegal immigrant they are mostly tolerated.

      3- To call the land of the US “yours” is to usurp your rights, and make yourself the slave-holder of the entire resident population of the United States of America, on no other grounds than you were born inside of the geographical area of its territory. To be expelled or allowed in at your pleasure is to call your own little person the owner of the land. You’re an arrogant idiot.
      Yes being born here makes the US mine in some sense. Though not physically obviously. I may be an idiot but I’m hardly arrogant. We certainly disagree and I maybe wrong, but I’m not sure of the need to hurl insults.
      4- Being born doesn’t grant a right of property in the land in which you were born.
      Never implied it does. It does grant me the right to reside with in these borders.
      5- The nation doesn’t have a right of property in the land. Natives can of course usurp their powers, and use numbers during elections to harass, hunt down, and expel foreigners. A man can also rape a woman. Might does not make right.

      Difference is no one is imposing violence upon this interlopers, just returning the to their how land and regulating the movement with in the nations borders.
      6- Thousands of people die trying to reach the United States illegally, through the fucking desert. Because a freaking bureaucrat was not consulted beforehand, they should be deported back? Are you kidding?
      Of course they should be. I certainly would be if I entered their nation illegally, not that, that is important.

      • Brandon June 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

        Chromium 14.0.787.0 Ubuntu 11.04

        Please use the q tag only for very short quotes. One short sentence or less, and be aware that q tag adds quote marks in addition to highlighting the text it contains. Use blockquotes for anything longer than a short sentence. Most of what you have been quoting should have been in blockquotes.

      • Roderick June 11, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

        Safari MacIntosh

        Indeed and they provided justice to the Americans they are first and foremost responsible to, by removing those who are here illegally.

        If by “Americans” you mean people the state says are here legally, that’s begging the question.

        Criminals are frequently sought in such a manner.

        Yes, but when Mexicans are sought in that manner for doing something that New Mexicans wouldn’t be likewise treated for, then clearly there is nothing inherently criminal in what the MExicnas are being persecuted for. When the very same action is declared fine if done by group A but declared criminal if done by act B, the law is obviously unjust.

        Never implied it does. It does grant me the right to reside with in these borders.

        But clearly you think it implies more than that. You think being born in America gives you the right to prevent other Americans from using their own property to rent to, sell to, employ, or otherwise trade with people from Mexico. You’re claiming a right over other Americans’ property.

        Difference is no one is imposing violence upon this interlopers, just returning the to their how land and regulating the movement with in the nations borders.

        So how do you propose to enforce immigration laws without using violence?

        • Gene Callahan June 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 MacIntosh

          “Yes, but when Mexicans are sought in that manner for doing something that New Mexicans wouldn’t be likewise treated for, then clearly there is nothing inherently criminal in what the MExicnas are being persecuted for. When the very same action is declared fine if done by group A but declared criminal if done by act B, the law is obviously unjust.”

          I know what you mean, Roderick! As I pointed out, New York property law currently discriminates between the *owners* and *renters* of luxury townhouses (A), and those of us who don’t own such (B). Whenever I try to go live in one, they throw me out, using VIOLENCE! As you note, here we have the very same action declared fine of done by group A but declared criminal if done by group B. And, as you note, any such law is *obviously* unjust. Full communism, here we come!

        • Roderick June 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          Gene, why are you pretending to misunderstand my position? That’s not a serious attempt at intellectual engagement. See above.

        • Gene Callahan June 13, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 MacIntosh

          Roderick, I understand your position perfectly well and no pretending is involved. You say the law can’t discriminate between group A and group B and be just. But you are perfectly happy to discriminate between the group that owns all of the nice townhouses and all the rest of us who don’t. So your principle, as stated, does not reflect your actual belief. All I am doing is pointing that out.

      • Marcel Dubois June 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

        Firefox 4.0.1 Linux

        “Criminals are frequently sought in such a manner. Others populations restricted movements on their territory. Justice was indeed served. Etc.”

        Do you plan to address the arguments we have advanced, or are you happy stating, against contrary and available evidence, that the land is a collective property, and immigrants are trespassers on it?

        • Gene Callahan June 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          Ridiculous, Marcel. Land does not have to be “collective property” for society to have a say in how it is used. Property rights are social creation in the first place.

        • P. June 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

          Chrome 12.0.742.91 Windows 7

          The “illegal immigrants” are part of society.

          Or you don’t even consider them human beings?

        • Roderick June 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

          Safari MacIntosh

          Property rights are social creation in the first place.

          a) Why?

          b) Even assuming so, why does “society” end at the border of a nation-state?

        • Rad Geek June 13, 2011 at 4:36 am #

          Chrome 12.0.742.91 Windows 7

          Gene Callahan:

          Property rights are social creation[s] in the first place….

          As is systematic geometry. Does it follow that it is “ridiculous” to suggest that “society” may not “have a say” in whether the sum of the internal angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles?

          In any case, what people here were discussing was not whether or not “society” should “have a say.” They were discussing whether governments should. I have quite a few friends and neighbors who are undocumented immigrants. They are admittedly no part of the United States government; but they are part of “society” ’round here. (A far more peaceful, productive and pleasant part of the society, as it happens, than Metro, ICE, or most other agents of the government.) If you intend to support government border laws, then your suggestion is that a substantial portion of society ought to be stripped of its “say,” and silenced by the dominating will of a tiny, politically-privileged minority of the population. If that’s how your theory of political representation works out, O.K., but you’ll need to actually provide some argument for accepting that theory, and you ought to drop the pretense that you’re talking about what “society” says or wants or does. What you’re actually talking about is drowning out a large segment of society with the amplified bellowing of political marching orders.

        • Gene Callahan June 13, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 MacIntosh

          No, RadGeek, geometry is *discovered* in a social process, but it is not a human creation, and that is why there can be true geometric laws that we have yet to discover. Property, however, is a social creation: groups of people, deliberating together, created private property, and therefore groups of people deliberating together may modify how it is defined.

          And your whole point on government versus society is a red herring: I am *not* defending the new law in Alabama (which I suspect is awful), or US immigration laws in general. I am responding to certain arguments that you and Roderick are using against it. *Those* arguments would deny the right of, say, a tribal society that could hardly be called a state from collectively deciding who may or may not join that society. I am saying there is nothing wrong with such collective decisions in general, which you and Roderick deny, and *not* that there is nothing wrong with the current state of US immigration law, or even the current state of the US State!

        • Gene Callahan June 14, 2011 at 12:27 am #

          Firefox 4.0.1 MacIntosh

          Roderick:
          a) Well, what else in the world are they, then? Can you assert your property rights vis-a-vis microbes? Against a posited Supreme Being? (“Uh, God, this is my land, please take your omnipresence somewhere else!”) Or see Green, Bosanquet, et al. for a more extended case for this proposition.
          b) Never said it did. Never said the currently existing nation-states are valid political entities. But as I mention, you and RadGeek are making a case against all restrictions on people moving in and out of regions except in that such movements violate property rights. So I don’t need to defend b, since my objection to your arguments does not involve asserting b. (Of course, you make other arguments that I am *not* addressing, and for which I have great sympathy, such as “Enforcing this new law will require a massive police state!” — a very good reason for rejecting it, if, as I suspect is so, it is true.)

        • David K. June 14, 2011 at 8:57 am #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows 7

          “Property, however, is a social creation: groups of people, deliberating together, created private property, and therefore groups of people deliberating together may modify how it is defined.”

          This seems to be a non sequitur. You haven’t refuted the position that groups of people, when deliberating together about which social institutions to create, are obliged to come up with a particular notion of private property that is part of natural law. Isn’t marriage also a social creation? Does this imply that Catholics are wrong when they assert that their particular conception of marriage is mandated by human nature?

          In other words, you seem to consider the fact that legal rights are created by human beings to be a reason for thinking that there are no natural rights that legal rights have to conform to and from which they derive (most of) their binding power. Have I misunderstood you?

          “Can you assert your property rights vis-a-vis microbes? Against a posited Supreme Being? (‘Uh, God, this is my land, please take your omnipresence somewhere else!’)”

          No, property rights regulate interactions among humans. This doesn’t mean they aren’t natural rights. (I can’t assert my right not to be murdered against microbes or a posited Supreme Being, but I hope you don’t think this shows that it is a mere “social creation” that “society” can modify at will.)

        • Roderick June 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows XP

          Well, what else in the world are they, then? Can you assert your property rights vis-a-vis microbes? Against a posited Supreme Being?

          To say I have a right to be treated on manner X is (ordinarily) to say two things: a) it is obligatory for other people to treat me in manner X; b) it is permissible for me, or for my agent, to force others to treat me in manner X.

          If you think there are moral limits on what rules we can legitimately come up with (so that Nazism won’t be legitimate for example), the you agree that there are aspects of morality — i.e., of what it is obligatory and/or permissible — that aren’t social creations. That by itself doesn’t prove that property rights are among the non-socially-created aspects of morality (you know what my argument for that further claim is), but it pretty clearly shows that one can regard property rights as more than social creations without thereby being committed to the claim that they would be binding on microbes or whatever. (I think rights would be binding on God if she were literally a person, but I don’t think it makes sense to think of her as literally a person, so we can’t assert rights against God either. In any case, the fact that rights are binding only on persons doesn’t show that rights are created by persons. Rights are binding only on persons because rights are facts about what’s morally obligatory, and so can apply only to moral agents.)

  9. Marcel Dubois June 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    Firefox 4.0.1 Linux

    I used that fact to show that nations states are not the only groups that restrict the movements of people in their territory. It was not unjust then nor is it now.

    Simply claiming that the territory was theirs does nothing to show that it was. You have to show some proof. Of course, you can’t do that, because nations are not authentic collectives. They are fake ideas. I believe millions were murdered on the altar of the manifest destiny of America. How’s that for murderous bullshit? And now, thousands are murdered on the altar of the protection of America’s borders.

    Going back to your collectivist hallucinations, groups restricting movements of people in what isn’t their territory are usurping their powers. It was unjust then and it is unjust now.

    • Gene Callahan June 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

      Safari MacIntosh

      “They are fake ideas.”

      You’re telling me you are so worked up about something that doesn’t really exist? Are you scared of goblins as well?

      • Roderick June 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

        Firefox 4.0.1 Windows XP

        Are you scared of goblins as well?

        A “well” is a hole dug into the ground to get water. So are you asking whether Marcel is afraid of goblins taking the form of such a hole?

        I figured if this was pretend-not-to-understand-other-people’s-words day, I could play too.

        • Gene Callahan June 14, 2011 at 12:33 am #

          Firefox 4.0.1 MacIntosh

          Come on, Roderick. Nation-states clearly exist, and are clearly vitally important actors on the world historical stage. It is one thing to say, “Well, I’d prefer they didn’t exist,” or “It is immoral that they exist.” Those are coherent positions, and I would not respond to them with quips about goblins. But nation-states are certainly not “fake,” no more than the Roman Empire or Nazi Germany were fake, however much we may not approve of their existence.

        • Gene Callahan June 14, 2011 at 12:36 am #

          Firefox 4.0.1 MacIntosh

          In fact, let me go further: regarding nation-states as “fake” is to opt out of scientific political analysis. There they are, and if someone wants to increase our understanding of politics the job is to understand what they are doing there, what brought them into existence, why they have had such durability, and so on. To call them “fake” is to try to wish them away, as though, not liking the second law of thermodynamics, I responded by calling entropy a “fake idea.”

        • Roderick June 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows XP

          I agree that it’s a mistake to say that nation-states don’t exist.

          I don’t agree that “nation-states don’t exist” is a plausible interpretation of what Marcel was saying.

  10. mullet June 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Chrome 11.0.696.71 MacIntosh

    What an asinine thing to say, that enforcing the laws protecting the privileges of citizenship amount to little more than “discrimination on the basis of a person’s birth on the wrong side of an imaginary line.”

    Yes, our national and state boundaries exist only as contractual agreements between governments, so in that sense we can call them “imaginary”, but in calling it that, you imply that contracts have no meaning simply because we create and enforce them as mental acts.

    That’s a pretty ridiculous thing for a philosophy professor to say, because if true, the principle would undermine their entire vocation.

    Idiot.

    • Marcel Dubois June 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

      Firefox 4.0.1 Linux

      Yes, our national and state boundaries exist only as contractual agreements between governments, so in that sense we can call them “imaginary”, but in calling it that, you imply that contracts have no meaning simply because we create and enforce them as mental acts.

      No. He implies that the imaginary line is not a legitimate boundary that needs protection from outsiders trespassing. There is no “outside,” except in the head of usurping nationalist natives, who need their ass kicked.

      As for contractual agreements between governments, that’s a nice fairy tale, Mr Out of Touch. Last I checked, the current boundaries of most states are the result of wars based on manifest destiny BS whereby thousands of corpses were piled in war. Contractual agreements my ass.

    • Marcel Dubois June 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

      Firefox 4.0.1 Linux

      It does grant me the right to reside with in these borders.

      No it does not. Being born in an area does not give you any right to that area. One can only be born with natural rights, and they are not a function of the geography.

      Actually, you have that right because of the freedom of movement which you deny to foreigners. Being free to move implies the right to not move, and thus, to settle.

    • Roderick June 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

      Safari MacIntosh

      Yes, our national and state boundaries exist only as contractual agreements between governments, so in that sense we can call them “imaginary”, but in calling it that, you imply that contracts have no meaning simply because we create and enforce them as mental acts.

      I don’t regard contractual agreements as imaginary. And my objection to national borders has nothing to do with their being contractual. But if you enjoy it, feel free to attribute to me some invented meaning of your own and then attack me for it.

    • Rad Geek June 12, 2011 at 1:37 am #

      Chrome 12.0.742.91 Windows 7

      Yes, our national and state boundaries exist only as contractual agreements between governments,

      If they exist only as contractual agreements between governments, then why are they enforced on millions of people who are not part of either government, and who never consented to the “agreement?”

      I mean, if Felipe Calderon wants to sign a contract saying he won’t ever go to Texas without the permission of the United States government, I got no problem with him signing that contract, and I got no problem with him being held to it. But he has the right to sign for himself, not for everybody else in “his” country.

      Of course, if you believe that governments can dictate non-negotiable, irrevocable obligations on people who were never asked for their consent, never agreed to the terms, and cannot opt out of the demand by any means, you’re welcome to hold that belief, and to try to defend it. But you are then obviously talking about unilateral commands, not about contracts, and you may as well give up the fiction that “agreement” has anything to do with it.

      • Gene Callahan June 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

        Firefox 4.0.1 MacIntosh

        ‘If they exist only as contractual agreements between governments, then why are they enforced on millions of people who are not part of either government, and who never consented to the “agreement?”’

        A similar problem: There are millions of people here in New York City who are prevented from going and living in luxury townhouses on the Upper West Side, despite the fact they were no part of the agreement as to how the current “owners” got those apartments and never consented to the “agreement”!

        • b-psycho June 12, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.16.NETCLR3.5.30729 Windows Vista

          I take it you don’t see any meaningful distinction between the two.

        • Rad Geek June 13, 2011 at 4:06 am #

          Chrome 12.0.742.91 Windows 7

          Gene:

          A similar problem: There are millions of people here in New York City who are prevented from going and living in luxury townhouses on the Upper West Side, despite the fact they were no part of the agreement as to how the current “owners” got those apartments and never consented to the “agreement”!

          That would sound like a “similar problem.” If all American territory were the property of the United States government, as those townhouses are the property of their owners. But it is not.

          Your right to evict trespassers from your home is a right of unilateral command, not a right that derives from any contract with the trespasser or with third parties. I’m OK with that; I have a fairly straightforward reason why you wouldn’t need prior agreement to have the authority to give commands about that kind of thing (any minimally adequate theory of private or possessory property will do). Does Mullet have a similarly straightforward reason for asserting the right of a government to command tremendous numbers of people not to set foot on land which doesn’t belong to the government in the first place, or to assault, seize and exile people for being on private land even with the permission of the owner? If he or she does have such an account, then the appeal to “contracts” between governments is nugatory. If she or he does not have such an account, then the appeal to “contracts” between governments won’t help get closer to one. In either case, the appeal to “contracts” between governments is pointless, question-begging or both.

        • Rad Geek June 13, 2011 at 4:19 am #

          Chrome 12.0.742.91 Windows 7

          I should also mention that — since the real-world enforcement of border laws constantly involves government agents storming workplaces and homes, kicking in doors, demanding papers, dragging people out of their houses in the middle of the night, carrying their bound captives off to hellhole “detention camps,” and forcibly exiling them from the peaceful private enjoyment of their own homes — the attempt to defend this sort of hyper-aggressive political invasion of private property by appealing to people’s commonly-accepted rights to the privacy of their homes and to secure their own property against trespassers is a moral obscenity, and the worst sort of up-is-down, black-is-white political inversion of reality.

        • Gene Callahan June 14, 2011 at 12:48 am #

          Firefox 4.0.1 MacIntosh

          “I should also mention that — since the real-world enforcement of border laws constantly involves government agents storming workplaces and homes, kicking in doors, demanding papers, dragging people out of their houses in the middle of the night, carrying their bound captives off to hellhole “detention camps,” and forcibly exiling them from the peaceful private enjoyment of their own homes — the attempt to defend this sort of hyper-aggressive political invasion of private property by appealing to people’s commonly-accepted rights to the privacy of their homes and to secure their own property against trespassers is a moral obscenity, and the worst sort of up-is-down, black-is-white political inversion of reality.”

          So, if we found some regime where anti-theft laws were enforced by summarily hanging starving people who stole a loaf of bread — and such regimes have existed! — then defending *any* laws against theft would be a “moral obscenity”? RadGeek, may I recommend Hooker’s _The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity,” and especially his remarks on the crazed moral fervour of the Puritans, who thought that their own self-righteousness was reason enough to cast aside any law of the land that displeased them?

        • Neverfox June 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.17.NETCLR3.5.30729.NET4.0E Windows XP 64-bit/Server 2003

          Gene:

          So, if we found some regime where anti-theft laws were enforced by summarily hanging starving people who stole a loaf of bread — and such regimes have existed! — then defending *any* laws against theft would be a “moral obscenity”?

          You seem to think that Rad Geek made the following argument:
          1) If some regime of real-world enforcement of X involves Y, any enforcement of X is a moral obscenity.
          2) Some real-world enforcement of X involves Y.
          3) Therefore, any enforcement of X is a moral obscenity.

          In fact, he made the following argument:
          1) If the real-world enforcement of X constantly involves Y, the attempt to defend X by appeal to anti-Y is a moral obscenity.
          2) The real-world enforcement of X constantly involves Y.
          3) Therefore, the attempt to defend X by appeal to anti-Y is a moral obscenity.

          So to rephrase your question so that it doesn’t make that mistake:

          So, if we found some regime where anti-theft laws were enforced by summarily hanging starving people who stole a loaf of bread — and such regimes have existed! — then defending *any* laws against theft by appeal to principles against cruel and unusual punishment would be a “moral obscenity”?

          If that’s the question, the hell yes.

        • Neverfox June 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

          Firefox 3.6.17.NETCLR3.5.30729.NET4.0E Windows XP 64-bit/Server 2003

          Sorry, that last “*any*” should be “those.”

        • Rad Geek June 15, 2011 at 10:20 am #

          Chrome 12.0.742.91 Windows 7

          Gene:

          So, if we found some regime where anti-theft laws were enforced by summarily hanging starving people who stole a loaf of bread — and such regimes have existed! — then defending *any* laws against theft would be a “moral obscenity”?

          I suppose you intend this as a reductio. But if so, you haven’t understood the argument you’re trying to reduce. My complaint had nothing essentially to do with the severity of the government violence inflicted on immigrants, or with the disproportion between the violence and the “offense.” If you’re wondering what it did have to do with, let me suggest that the bit about storming private homes and dragging people out of them; so is the bit about “political inversion of reality.” The appropriate question to ask in this context is, “Who are the real trespassers?”

          Hope this helps.

  11. Roderick June 11, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    Safari MacIntosh

    Also relevant.

  12. Anon73 June 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Firefox 4.0.1 Windows XP

    There seem to be only two possibilities to justify immigration restrictions from a libertarian standpoint. The first is the possibility of violent threat and invasion. For example, suppose the US was receiving thousands of immigrants AlQaeda-stan. Eventually through population growth and immigration they’d have enough numbers to just take over outright, or more slowly by getting elected and passing laws until they were in charge. For example in an anarchy they could form their own Private Defense Agency to dominate the others. One could also imagine immigrants from a country carrying a plague being restricted because carrying a deadly plague that could wipe people out is a form of physical harm, although I’m not sure it counts as “aggression” (maybe “coercion” is the right term?).

    The second possibility which I bet Jamara subscribes to is that there is a “collective right” of a nation’s people to its land, analogous to the right of public property in a village road that Roderick has argued for elsewhere. In that sense, a nation of people are collectively responsible bit by bit for building up the infrastructure they live under (let’s ignore cases where the immigrants are used for slave or migrant labor). For example if the village elder took a poll and 51% of the people wanted a toll-gate on the village’s road gone, why couldn’t the same reasoning apply to an immigrant? It seems particularly strong to suppose that nobody at all in the village wants the newcomer there; in that case, it intuitively feels as if the newcomer would be in the wrong if he used force to defend himself from eviction, almost as if here were a trespasser on an individual home.

    • Gene Callahan June 14, 2011 at 1:00 am #

      Firefox 4.0.1 MacIntosh

      Anon73, you are thinking this through judiciously and trying to understand both sides of the issue — I don’t think that will fly here!

  13. Carlton June 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Firefox 3.6.17 MacIntosh

    Any time you see an article berating Alabama for a recent law passed, there you find the inevitable “Jim Crow” analogy and a picture of white hoods and a burning cross. Talk about not only cliche, but the sort of propaganda techniques that no one who calls himself an anarchist would surely post.
    All credibility of the article was lost after the posted photo and initial reference to “Jim Crow.”
    I consider myself a Rothbardian Anacharo-Capitalist, and if Alabama wants to enforce the illegal immigration laws that the federal government won’t, then so be it. The anarchists (whom I have great sympathy) simply forget that those illegals are here in the first place BECAUSE of a leviathan federal state that coddles them. The smaller state of Alabama is left with no choice.
    Methinks the author not to be true to his anarchist hype. Perhaps a socialist in disguise?

    • Jay June 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

      MSIE 8.0 Windows XP

      The smaller state of Alabama is left with no choice.

      They have many choices, including not making the laws.

      Methinks the author not to be true to his anarchist hype. Perhaps a socialist in disguise?

      Who is proposing that a state solve a problem? Not to mention that the “problem” to be solved isn’t even an issue. If the people in Alabama own their property, why should the state tell them what they can do with it or who can work on it?

      • Carlton June 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

        Firefox 3.6.17 MacIntosh

        The problem is that states are EVERYWHERE. Try walking to Mexico City or flying to Europe or the Middle East without “papers” and see what happens. If everywhere the anarchist Utopian vision of a “world without borders” existed, then there would be no reasonable argument here. But that world does not exist, hence even places that try to be “free” within its borders still must have those borders. Quite frankly, there are many ways to get into this country as a visitor, exchange student, work visa, etc . . . why in the hell does someone have to be here illegally?
        I don’t think anyone gives two twits about illegals who aren’t selling drugs, robbing stores or collecting welfare. So don’t talk about the “illegals I know that are productive.” Good for them, get a visa or apply for citizenship.
        The only thing that gives this country the right to control who comes across its borders is that all other countries do the same.
        The problem is that heavy-handed statism is everywhere, yet they have us arguing about illegal immigration. It’s like doctors standing over an influenza patient arguing over color of the phlegm.

        • Roderick June 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

          Firefox 4.0.1 Windows XP

          I don’t think anyone gives two twits about illegals who aren’t selling drugs, robbing stores or collecting welfare.

          Okay, that settles it — you definitely hail from a distant universe and not this one. In the real world, the most common objection to immigrants is the protectionist whine that “they’re stealing our jobs!” Do you think this objection is raised solely by people whose jobs are selling drugs, robbing stores, and collecting welfare?

          Also, have you looked at the actual statistics on any of this? Crime rates and welfare rates among immigrants are fairly low, y’know.

          If everywhere the anarchist Utopian vision of a “world without borders” existed, then there would be no reasonable argument here. But that world does not exist, hence even places that try to be “free” within its borders still must have those borders.

          I don’t understand this argument. Why is the fact that other countries violate rights a reason for this country to violate rights?

          Quite frankly, there are many ways to get into this country as a visitor, exchange student, work visa, etc . . . why in the hell does someone have to be here illegally?

          So you think the people who risks their lives crawling under barbed wire and crossing waterless deserts in order to work in crappy conditions for low pay and constantly looking over their shoulders for fear of deportation have just chosen this option on a whim, and that there were safer and easier options available to them that they just chose, inexplicably, to forgo?

          If there’s any karma, you’ll be an illegal alien in your next life.

        • Rad Geek June 15, 2011 at 10:41 am #

          Chrome 12.0.742.91 Windows 7

          Carlton:

          I don’t think anyone gives two twits about illegals who aren’t selling drugs, robbing stores or collecting welfare.

          There’s nothing wrong with selling drugs or collecting welfare. Neither selling drugs nor collecting welfare violates the rights of a single identifiable victim.

          Selling drugs is in fact a productive activity which provides desired goods to willing customers, in defiance of the invasive prohibition of the state. Drug dealers are in fact class heroes, and deserve to be honored. Again, if the upshot here is that we should join Anarchists for State Drug Prohibition, fuck it, I want out.

          Robbing stores is, of course, another matter. But I hear they already have some laws against that; I have no idea what it’s supposed to have to do with immigration status.

          Incidentally, undocumented immigrants cannot collect welfare. Most documented immigrants can’t either. This has been the case for about 15 years now. I would have mentioned this earlier, but I don’t think it’s particularly relevant. (If all immigrants were collecting welfare, that might be an argument against government welfare programs, but it’s not an argument against free immigration.) However, if “anyone” is giving “two twits” about undocumented immigrants “collecting welfare,” then “anyone” is apparently not only wrong, but in fact an ignoramus who ought to look a couple things up before opening his yap.

    • Roderick June 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

      Firefox 4.0.1 Windows XP

      Any time you see an article berating Alabama for a recent law passed, there you find the inevitable “Jim Crow” analogy and a picture of white hoods and a burning cross.

      Well, I pointed out how and why the new law is in fact based on the same principles as Jim Crow. So if the hood fits ….

      All credibility of the article was lost after the posted photo and initial reference to “Jim Crow.”

      Well, that’s a pretty silly reaction. A good photo can’t make a bad argument good, and a bad photo can’t make a good argument bad. So how could an argument lose “credibility” because of the photo accompanying it?

      those illegals are here in the first place BECAUSE of a leviathan federal state that coddles them.

      If you think illegals are “coddled” by the Federal govt. you clearly live in a distant universe.

    • Rad Geek June 15, 2011 at 10:28 am #

      Chrome 12.0.742.91 Windows 7

      Carlton:

      Methinks the author not to be true to his anarchist hype. Perhaps a socialist in disguise?

      For opposing state government laws and police surveillance?

      If being true to one’s “anarchist hype” requires joining Anti-Statists for State Government and National Borders, then I want out. (Fortunately, I’m not sure that it does. But then, I am a socialist in disguise.)

  14. Former Lurker June 19, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    MSIE 8.0 Windows Vista

    “But since on my view abortion is justified whether or not the fetus is a person, I don’t have to decide on a cutoff.”

    Seems like that is also a rationalization that will allow for post-birth abortion. I think you would be a good practice case for that.

    Also:
    “…a person’s birth on the wrong side of an imaginary line…”
    I would imagine that any intelligent person would feel strongly about the “imaginary line” that separates their property from their neighbor’s, and I am pretty sure your buddy in North Korea is pretty serious about that “imaginary line” separating North from South.

    You people are f***ked up.

    • Roderick June 19, 2011 at 2:24 am #

      Safari MacIntosh

      Seems like that is also a rationalization that will allow for post-birth abortion.

      How so? First, my argument for abortion doesn’t rest on the status of the fetus, it rests on its location inside a person. Second, my argument for the nonperson status of the early fetus rests on the absence of a mind. Neither of those applies the post-birth case.

      I think you would be a good practice case for that.

      Ah, the insults come out when arguments fail.

      I would imagine that any intelligent person would feel strongly about the “imaginary line” that separates their property from their neighbor’s,

      Property lines aren’t imaginary, they have a basis in homesteading. Maybe you’re a communist who believes property lines are imaginary, but I’m a private-property fan.

      I am pretty sure your buddy in North Korea is pretty serious about that “imaginary line” separating North from South.

      Yes, I’m sure the North Korean government believes very seriously in all kinds of statist myths. Why should I imitate them?

  15. Jim Profit June 21, 2011 at 3:46 am #

    MSIE 8.0 Windows Vista

    I knew this article was full of shit just by calling Arizona’s law “ethnic cleansing”.

    Seriously… I know there’s anarchist reasons to oppose immigration law, (besides the obvious fuck citizenship) but rather, collapse the system with an influx of undocumented workers. But there’s also leftwing reasons to support immigration control. IE: bitches ain’t paying their taxes, so how we going to collect all this yummy welfare and roads?

    It’s essentially what separates a democratic socialist from a libertarian socialist. But nobody wants to be the bad guy and actually say that.

    • Roderick June 22, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

      Safari MacIntosh

      I can’t figure out what you’re actually trying to say. Try again?

  16. darkdaughta June 23, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    Firefox 4.0.1 Windows XP

    horrifying but not surprising. thanks for the heads up.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Anarchist Township» Blog Roll Call for the Week of 6/6/11 - June 12, 2011

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  3. Jim Crow Returns to Alabama, Part 2 - June 17, 2011

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    [...] a giggle, check out this critique (CHT Brandon) of my recent immigration post, by a “John J. Ray, M.A., Ph.D.” (Yes, he’s one of those.) The best bit is when [...]

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