Thoughts on Immigration

June 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

There are two types of anti-immigration stances: 1) those who feel that increased immigration would make them individually worse off, and 2) those perceive increased immigration as a threat to national greatness or prestige. The first is a misunderstanding, and the second is the result of blind patriotism.

Paradoxically enough, most people who hold anti-immigration views of the latter category are, generally speaking, skeptical of government. It’s interesting that these same individuals would then simply accept whatever definition of “legal” immigration the government provides. If the government is terrible at supplying healthcare, why would they be any good at deciding upon the movement of free individuals? Indeed, it’s a rather ironic twist of fate that a majority of the anti-government “conservative” movement in the United States is incredibly patriotic. No patriot could ever objectively critique their own government’s actions. Patriotism is the enemy of truth. If a certain nation is currently thriving, growing, and generally improving, that in no way makes it somehow inherently superior to other nations. To the contrary, it simply means that healthy ideas are alive and well within that nation. On the other hand, what happens when healthy ideas die and poor ideas begin to take hold? This is when “patriots” shine. In this situation, patriots defend their nation regardless of how terribly it is regressing or how poorly its conditions. Patriotism is, as far as I can see, in direct opposition to liberty. Love for one’s homeland and patriotism are two distinct phenomena. The first is a feeling based on nostalgia and culture. The second is a shallow banner which is used by the state to manipulate the lowest common denominator of society.

Thus fear of immigration is not only factually incorrect, but almost entirely based upon intellectually bankrupt conceptions of statism. Perhaps the American conservative movement will come around and see the light. I’m not holding my breath. However, the American libertarian movement seems to provide very fertile grounds for the pro-immigration movement. Unlike the Democrats and progressives/liberals, libertarians seem to be promoting a logically sound pro-trade/pro-immigration worldview. The Democrats and liberals (is there even a difference anymore?) are more interested in promoting immigration to the extent that it helps their candidates at the ballot box.

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