NAP Time

I have had a continuing dialogue in the comments section of my post Liberté sans Fraternité?  The conversation begins here: The NAPster May 6, 2017 at 5:03 AM.  I have decided to continue the conversation via this new post.


BM: You continue to avoid the fact that I own the state-controlled property.  Why?

NAP: If one is to take a deontological as opposed to a consequentialist position, shouldn’t a libertarian just concern himself with advocating for policies that move us towards greater respect for private property rights?

BM: Who says my position is not deontological?  I did advocate for such policies that move us toward a greater respect for private property rights and a significantly lesser role for the state, as you note later in your comment.  Keeping in mind that we are dealing with a subject that has both libertarian and unlibertarian arguments on both sides, what makes your policy position more libertarian than mine?

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My prescriptions come with almost none of the negative consequences that yours do.  You might find this irrelevant; many of your fellow travelers in the western world do not.  And then there goes your libertarian idea, as your fellow travelers call for ever-greater state solutions – which, we see, consequently, that they in fact are.

NAP: If so, how can we reconcile that with worrying about what might happen if we reject the state’s legitimacy in every sphere, including border control?

BM: What might happen regarding border control?  You can write these words as a comment to my 2500 word post that started this conversation?  Bold, I say.  If France isn’t enough of an example, what of Germany?  Merkel gave open-borders advocates their wet-dream experiment; how is that working out for everyone’s freedom in Germany?

Merkel said: “Everyone is welcome.  We will not stop you or even check you at the border.”  It doesn’t get more open borders than that.  In the middle of Merkel’s grand experiment in Germany with immigrants and refugees streaming in by the hundreds of thousands, two summers ago as I recall, I regularly challenged open-borders advocates to use the opportunity as a case study for their dream put into action.  None took me up on it.  But I knew they wouldn’t, because they couldn’t.

Putting my libertarian and private-property respecting prescriptions into practice comes with virtually none of the risks that putting yours into practice does; so why press for yours?  Theories that don’t take account of reality are useless theories.  So why not start with mine?

Your theory aligns perfectly with the desires of George Soros, along with other elite who want to destroy western culture.  Your theory aligns perfectly with Gramsci’s theory of how the communists will take over the west – by destroying the culture.  Why would communists and Soros want to destroy the culture?  Why do many libertarians tacitly or actively agree with this notion?

Doesn’t this give you even a moment’s pause?

Certainly, by the most miraculous and stunning case of good fortune, Soros and Gramsci might unknowingly be libertarians on this issue – maybe open borders libertarians are smarter than these two guys.  But is it more likely that they are just smarter than you and that they understand the ramifications of these policies better than you do?

I say yes.

NAP: If one is to argue from a consequentialist position, aren’t you making some very broad generalizations when you talk about “common culture”?

BM: The “broad generalizations” are there for us to witness in real time, playing out in many countries of Europe.  Shall we ignore these and just deontologically chant “NAP, NAP, NAP”?

NAP: It sounds a lot like the objectionable “common good” or “public interest” that statists are so fond of using to justify state action in other areas.

BM: please keep in mind – I am not advocating state action; I have advocated for private property respecting actions.  With that said: talk about a broad generalization; who is the one making a broad generalization?

I have yet to find another meaningful sphere of government action where such is the case – although I have offered that I wouldn’t want someone to pull the plug on the FAA while I am in an airplane in a major thunderstorm over the Atlanta airport (perhaps the busiest in the country), suddenly flying blind with zero visibility, with about 100 other planes in the vicinity all now flying blind and with zero visibility.  I would strongly prefer that the plug gets pulled after I land.  You can have your deontology on this one, I will keep my consequentialist.  Enjoy the flight.

NAP: What if a household of culture A wants to bring in others from that culture (or from culture X), and a household of culture B wants to bring in others from that culture (or from culture Y)?

BM: Have I written something contrary to this, something that would disallow this?  Ever?  You are repeating my words and then using these to attack my position?

But I ask you – and it has been asked by others at this site with no open borders advocate offering a coherent response: what if George Soros pays to have a million Somalians with no English skills, no driving skills, no skills at all associated with western civilization and no desire to learn or adapt to any of these skills and norms, moved into your county of 500,000 people?

Not incompatible with the NAP – all privately done.  But, of course, you are impotent to stop this – because you are deontological.

Do you think this would increase your liberty?

NAP: In addition to being an illegitimate entity, the state is a very blunt instrument, imposing a one-size-fits-all policy.

BM: Do you have a point, besides stating the obvious?  I already have written specifically to you in this dialogue, and at least a dozen times before: I do not advocate for the state having a role in border control.  But the only choices in this discussion are not limited to one or the other (I have already offered a private-property respecting alternative to you – why do you ignore this?).

I do not limit myself to choosing between one of two intellectually immature (yes, even if one sticks to a strict application of the NAP) positions.  It is a Hegelian tactic, favored usually by those who want to grow the state.  I will not be drawn into this trap.

NAP: The citizen/non-citizen distinction is purely a fiction of the state, so why should a libertarian buy into that concept?

BM: One cannot derive “state” from the NAP; yet open borders advocates naively believe the NAP will somehow offer an intellectually pure (and only one intellectually pure) answer to the issue of traversing state borders.

Given that the state cannot be derived from the NAP, I try to make my point via an analogy – again, maybe a dozen times: being a member of a homeowners association comes with privileges not available to a guest visiting the property; being a member of a golf club offers privileges not available to a visitor.

In an anarcho-libertarian world, would you also argue with these?  Why do you blame me for the fact that the NAP – from which it is impossible to derive a state – does not have perfectly consistent answers when it comes to state borders and the privileges available to people who legitimately live within these borders as opposed to those available to visitors?

NAP: Many of your wish-list items are pro-private property rights, but then you leap to “common culture.”

BM: Another libertarian who believes his theory of governing human relationships need not concern itself with human nature.

Read my post again.  Tell me how France’s open borders policy is working out for the freedom of the average Frenchman.  Tell me what benefit to the average Frenchman comes with the destruction of his “common culture.”

Finally, a new one for you to ponder – deontologically speaking and from a perfectly pure private property rights perspective: one has a right to exit; one does not have a right to enter.  Inarguably true.

How do you square this deontology with open borders?  Please reflect in your response a recognition of the following: a) one cannot derive a state from the NAP (therefore no one has a corner on the deontologically pure answer), and b) I own the state-controlled property.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.