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In this sense, the theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.
-Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto
Check your premises.
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
FROM MARX TO MAGA: TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COMMIE COIN
Very few self-described conservatives of today would condemn free marketeers and individuals opposed to Communism in general, fleeing oppressive Communist governments, as happened with East Germany in the latter half of the 20th century.
As noted on Wikipedia:
“Before the Wall’s erection, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions and defected from the GDR, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin; from there they could then travel to West Germany and to other Western European countries.”
“Between 1961 and 1989, the Wall prevented almost all such emigration. During this period, over 100,000 people attempted to escape, and over 5,000 people succeeded in escaping over the Wall, with an estimated death toll ranging from 136 to more than 200 in and around Berlin.”
This was an illegal wall hop that any liberty-loving individual would support.
Now, if we look to Mexico, another example of violent state intervention resulting in folks fleeing toward economic freedom can be seen as a result of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994, engineered by George H.W. Bush, and launched during the Clinton presidency. Thanks to big government collusion, farmers’ livelihoods and small private enterprise were gutted in favor of big-gov-friendly outcomes, resulting in mass migration to the United States from Mexico.
It’s interesting that now the conservatives in MAGA hats often claim — like Karl Marx himself once noted — that immigration lowers the wages and quality of life of non-immigrants. Marxists and Trump-loving, so-called conservatives are in agreeance: the state should be very strong and forceful when it comes to central planning. This includes a strong, centrally planned force at the border of one’s nation-state.
TRUE PRIVATE PROPERTY
True private property is determined by self-ownership. That is to say, I own myself, and thus any property I legitimately create or receive thereby. “Legitimately” meaning in non-violence of another’s body or legitimate property.
As Communist states have already shown time and time again, once individuals are denied property rights, chaos and death result. Ironically, voluntaryists support a universal property norm: self-ownership for all individuals, no special rights for politicians or “ruling classes” — something one might imagine a Communist could get behind at least in theory.
As every sane person you know will admit, their body is indeed their own, and they probably wouldn’t let you take everything out of their house and eat everything in their fridge for free. It’s clear humans basically agree on some universal property norms. Especially the axiom of self-ownership.
The tragedy of the commons that forced communism results in is typically opposed only so far, however, by so-called conservatives. When it comes to imaginary, non-private-property lines called “borders” (after all, the state claims these vast swathes of land called countries apropos of mere decree, without private individuals homesteading and mixing labor with the lands) these self-proclaimed conservatives turn their heads to ignore obvious draconian realities. What could be more of a Commie infringement than “eminent domain,” for example? As the National Immigration Forum notes:
“The federal government used eminent domain to acquire private property along the Southern border after President George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act (H.R. 6061) on October 26, 2006 … Following the bill’s enactment, the federal government contacted private landowners along the border and provided them with 30 days to decide whether to sell their land … over the following seven months, the government filed more than 360 eminent domain lawsuits against property owners who refused to sell their property, including 334 in South Texas. The targeted properties were mostly farms, but also included homes, golf courses and businesses.”
As Stephan Kinsella noted in the introduction to his 2006 essay How We Come to Own Ourselves:
“The primary social evil of our time is lack of respect for self-ownership rights. It is what underlies both private crime and institutionalized crime perpetrated by the state. State laws, regulations, and actions are objectionable just because the state is claiming the right to control how someone’s body [by way of their property] is to be used.”
If borders need to be strong to preserve freedom, what of the freedom they destroy?
FORCED INTEGRATION (OPEN BORDERS) AND FORCED DISASSOCIATION (CLOSED BORDERS) ARE LOGICALLY AND ETHICALLY UNTENABLE
When examined closely, it is clear there really is no essential difference between those championing big government with open borders, and those championing big government at the border.
It’s only a difference of where to apply the violence. America’s so-called conservatives want the violence to be done their way, and the so-called progressives want it done their own. It’s like two buffoons trying to fix a blown engine by hammering on it in different places. Buffoon A swears up and down you’ve got to smash it on the top, by the spark plugs, to magically make it work again, and Buffoon B swears that you’ve got to whack it on the side. Meanwhile, a passerby notes to the both of the idiots: “That engine is blown and will never work no matter how much you beat on it like that. You need a new engine.”
The recent Martha’s Vineyard political stunt is a good example of this. A red state governor claims he sent two plane-fulls of illegal immigrants to a wealthy, liberal community so they can deal with the problem. As is commonly said on Twitter: this isn’t the dunk you think it is, conservatives. Nor does it show the progressives in a positive light. The situation violates individuals on all sides in order to create a media spectacle, and shows statists across the spectrum to harbor intrinsically violent worldviews.
There is indeed a massive problem caused by forced integration. The EU is struggling with crime, rape, human trafficking and all sorts of other issues. This is at least partially the result of impoverishing, destroying, and subjugating foreign lands decade after decade, and disarming the local populace so they cannot defend themselves or their property when the misplaced hate comes home to roost.
There is also a massive problem caused by forced disassociation. The man in the MAGA hat says he believes in small government and property rights, but supports a regime that will not allow a private property owner to hire who they please, or to return home to his country with his family without a questionable vaccination.
None of this is to mention the countless families destroyed and children orphaned by the resultant violence. While the drug cartels (directly created by perverse state incentives —see the U.S. alcohol prohibition — same dynamic) and human traffickers run amok, the blame is placed not on those actual perpetrators of evil or the state, but on any and every self-owning individual who may cross that stupid Commie line in the dirt to try to find a better life, after the Commie central planners destroyed his or her life in their former home.
And this is all supported by folks who are supposed to be the most anti-Commie of all. Stronger borders. Sure. They’re being weaponized against you already, liberty man. As the Washington Post reports:
“Law enforcement agencies must show probable cause and persuade a judge to approve a search warrant before searching Americans’ phones. But courts have long granted an exception to border authorities, allowing them to search people’s devices without a warrant or suspicion of a crime.”
And it’s not just a power these agents have, but do not use. Around 10,000 devices a year are searched, and a database exists where “2,700 CBP officers can access the [information] without a warrant and without having to record the purpose of their search.”
It’s a myopic view for any freedom-loving individual to be either “pro-border” or “anti-border.” Borders by their very design must systematically violate individual freedom. The voluntaryist view that everything should be privatized down to the individual is definitely not the reality we are living now. Nobody is saying it is. We are simply saying that the engine is blown, and was never designed to protect you, or freedom, in the first place.
As the ACLU notes:
“The Border Patrol and its parent agency, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), operate in a vast zone stretching 100 miles from any land or sea border. This includes entire states such as Florida and Maine as well as almost all of the country’s top metropolitan areas. CBP’s militarization of the border region has produced rampant abuses ranging from racial profiling to excessive force. CBP uses interior checkpoints and roving patrols located far from the border to apprehend individuals who are not recent border crossers.”
If you are a conservative and truly value freedom and property — and not just your own personal freedom and property, but also that of others — there is no logically or ethically tenable way to be “pro-closed border.” This position always requires systematic violation of the non-violent. Further, there is no ethical or logical way to be “pro-open border,” either, where a centralized, violent nation-state regulates this “open” border. This situation makes it illegal for individuals to disassociate, and forces them to pay for the burdens others put on their lives.
I do not want to pay for Gestapo-like forces at and beyond the so-called border, either way. Don’t force me to. That is Communism, flat out: the idea that I need to pay for something you want against my will, for “the greater good.”
Those that want to force others to shelter immigrants, open your homes then, or shut up. Those that want to force non-violent immigrants to quit their jobs with a willing private employer, arm yourselves and go break up the families yourselves — or shut the fuck up.
I question the debate’s premise itself, because the whole conflict is based on an anti-concept. It is framed as a debate about property, but “public” land is not property at all, as there are no exclusive use rights. The debate isn’t about open borders or closed borders, but Communism versus private property. Your debate is about which flavor of Commie boot you want to support.
And if my position seems apathetic, or results in — God forbid — me or my family getting harmed in some way or murdered by some border policy that’s implemented, who would be to blame? Me, or the perpetrator of the evil itself? When someone trafficks children, or brutally murders a family for drugs, or rapes someone, who is to blame: the family seeking a better life, or the traffickers and killers?
If you don’t want freedom and property rights for the smallest minority — the individual — your opinions about freedom are essentially… meaningless. Your concern is survival and comfort. And that’s fine. But don’t pretend otherwise. Wear the hammer and sickle with pride, comrade.