Sunday, January 4, 2009

geopolitical borders

heinlein, borders and liberty, sipsey st. irregulars.
an anonymous contributor:
Truly liberty, true lack of "racism", means no national borders, no green cards, no immigration control. It also means none of this silly loyalty to the State's standing army that Heinlein is selling.

a friend of MBV replies:
Just because you are not an advocate of racist group identity doesn’t mean that you are necessarily required to advocate or adhere to international socialist collectivism, such as the “no borders, no green cards, no immigration control” crowd would have you assume.

the gist of the argument is basically here. i'm not 100% on either side, though.

it's not clear how either the presence or lack of immigration controls constitutes either collectivism or individualism.

just because a collectivist-inclined group says something is on their agenda doesn't mean that isn't good individualistic policy, too. doesn't ralph nader keep a copy of the US constitution in his pocket? it works for him.

so, maybe you don't have to listen to the tranzis, but you might still have arrived at an allegedly ideal conclusion through some other means. it isn't clear that anonymous has "transgressed" in this fashion, and the rest of the response kind of focuses on where that would go wrong. if anon thinks liberty means those things, then obviously to be free, he simply acts in accordance with his beliefs, and does not recognize race or national boundary.

i don't think customs will appreciate this, but it's not my problem or my place.

i say alleged because there's another, bigger philosophic problem with anonymous' "liberty means ____" argument. there is something to say here about the libertarian-authoritarian axis. imagine, if you will, if you were forced to live in a world as dictated by john lennon's song "imagine." perhaps anonymous could invert the spirit of those lyrics and attempt to imagine, if he will, whether he'd enjoy being forced to live in that world. surely each of us can pick one or the other they'd rather suffer. that is not the argument. that is never the argument.

but would you force others to adopt yours?

geopolitical borders do not grow out of nature, they're a human creation, and just like culture, they're tied to the land and history. they are a useful means of locating things, but they're also a boundary in law and in culture.

it takes a small act of authority (force) just to get "everyone" to agree on where they are. however, in the united states, many land boundaries were created by homesteading. this also requires an act of authority, but it is one that your neighbor -- and only your neighbor -- was not forced at gunpoint to recognize. they could take you to court if they had a complaint. it is a smaller act, still. in fact, as boundaries only have two sides, it is the smallest possible act. it then becomes capitalist when the implementation of the line is profitably made for both parties agreeing to such a line.

i was talking about land, but note that it works for ethnic recognition. hitler didn't give this option to the "jews." armenians and romanians, by the way, weren't all jewish. the nazi state murdered them, too, anyway. what boundaries did they have?

instead, note that a third party doesn't have standing in this example homesteading dispute. as i've pointed out, a boundary line only has two sides. you can't descend from above and erase it because you think you know what liberty means. that would be like descending from above to enforce it because you think you know what liberty means. note that it doesn't matter what you think; it still requires coercion for your idea to be consistent with the outside world. if you internalize your idea, you are not free.

so anonymous sounds a little bit too quixotic, like someone who would ride to the rescue and "force me to be free" by erasing the boundaries i've agreed upon with my neighbors. that's hardly libertarian, and so it cannot be anarchist.

in a free world, he'd have surely found a place where everybody thought like he did, but they would not be good neighbors to a limited constitutional republic. they would be without internal inconsistency, perhaps, but to gain this they would have to acquire a fantastic ignorance of the rest of the world, whole other nation-states that (gasp) would not be operating with the least similarity. their map would be incomplete.

but he won't find himself stuck next to them if they leave the market to its natural anarchy!

each person's duty to god is allegorical to resisting the temptation to bend the market to his or her will -- you can never know all of the victims of your avarice, but there will be a number suited to the extent of the damage you cause. since you likely will not feel their vengeance directly, you can be sure you will catch it from the lord.

the creation of earthly kingdoms, empires, nation-states, all come from a failure to uphold this duty, through the sin of politics. in time, these super-groups find themselves behaving less capitalist betwix each other -- both sets of politicians have falsely promised the end of a scarcity which does not end -- until it devolves into war, the ultimate expression of socialism, life and livelihood centrally planned.

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