Monday, January 29, 2018

An Open Letter to Dr. Jordan B. Peterson Regarding Appearances on the Stefan Molyneux Podcast

Stuart K. Hayashi

Note:  There are some specific statements of Stefan Molyneux's of which I have some memory and would like to find again and link to, but which, at the time of this posting, I cannot find. Those familiar with Stefan Molyneux's output -- loyal fans and detractors alike -- can attest that he is not known for brevity of speech.  For that reason, even after publishing this post, I might come back later and add those links if I find them. The reason I go ahead with publishing this post before finding everything is that this post is time-sensitive. As I publish this post for the first time, I have concluded that I have included enough evidence to prove my case concerning what Mr. Molyneux is promoting.
This interview happened before I sent the e-mail.

This interview was uploaded onto YouTube after I sent the e-mail (explained below).


Dear. Dr. Peterson,

Aloha from Hawaii!  My name is Stuart Hayashi. Like yourself, I think of myself as someone who is on a journey in search of philosophic truth.  I have e-mailed you twice before on the same matter that is the focus of this blog post.  The second e-mail to you, I enclose on the bottom of this blog post. I thought that perhaps you might not have seen either of those e-mails, and therefore it might be advisable for me to contact you in a more public fashion. Hence, the existence of this blog post.  It is my open letter to you.

Please forgive me if I am mistaken on this:  it is my understanding that you are a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto who has studied the aggression-related effects of drug and/or alcohol abuse, but that, among those who keep track of sociopolitical controversies and "the culture wars," you are most famous for being a vocal critic of political correctness, postmodernism, the politics of "the regressive Left," and what have come to be called "Social Justice Warriors."  If I remember correctly, you  catapulted to international fame in late 2016 after speaking out against proposals that the Canadian government issue penalties against persons who refuse to use allegedly considerate gender-neutral pronouns. A video of you trying to reason with politically-correct student activists went viral in October of that year.  Is all of that correct?

In this very charged and polarized political climate, I can appreciate anyone taking a stand against the excesses of political correctness, especially when some parties intend to enforce political correctness through legislation and government fiat.  I applaud you for arguing against hate-speech legislation.  Sadly, this open letter has to do with your repeated appearances on the Freedomain Radio podcast of Stefan Molyneux.

I understand that there have been too many instances where some activists have attempted to malign someone as a malicious racist based on some relatively minor statements or benign actions.  I understand that some activists have done this so often, that it is easy to become inured to the preponderance of these accusations. Such accusations have often turned out to be so baseless that it is almost tempting to ignore all allegations about racism altogether -- that when so-and-so accuses Mr. X of being a racist, it's plausible that this accusation will "go into one ear and come out the other."  However, there are still some individual cases where, when some left-wing activists finger a particular party as maliciously racist, there are facts available that indicate that such an accusation is indeed true:  that the party really does express racial prejudice and -- worse -- acts on that racial prejudice in a manner that yields harmful consequences for everyone.

That applies in the case of Stefan Molyneux.  You can find, in Molyneux's own recorded podcast -- in the same series on which you have appeared -- Molyneux has proclaimed the inherent inequalities among separate races (a proclamation terribly contradictory toward the data that anthropologists and psychologists have found on the matter), and that Molyneux has cited such arguments to urge that people  shape their own behavior and even legislation according to their belief in these inherent racial inequalities.  The Chronicle of Higher Education quotes you expressing concern that the alt-right suffers "the pathology of racial pride."  And yet the very same Molyneux who has interviewed you four times now is a man who happens to be at the forefront of pushing that very same mentality you have astutely identified as a pathology.

I am cognizant that, in contrast to the approach that too many activists have taken over the past decade, accusations of racism are not to be taken lightly, and should not be thrown around flippantly.  I want to assure you that I am aware of the difference and, for this reason, later in this open letter I will describe my own experience from the previous year in speaking out against activists' frivolous accusations about racism.

Stefan Molyneux's advocacy of public policies that explicitly treat the races differently run contrary to the principles of freedom of thought and freedom of expression, as Molyneux has argued that race-related genetics itself has rendered too many blacks and Latinos and North Africans in general of being congenitally unsympathetic toward the principles of a society as free and open as the West.  Molyneux then says that he has deduced that the law itself should therefore bar these people from participation in Western society, in part because too many of them are programmed to be of an inferior ideology.

As for the allegedly scientific justifications that Molyneux has provided for this political discrimination, Molyneux has contrived them in a manner that is incongruous with the very principles of scientific honesty. For such reasons, I think that it would be best if you avoided future appearances on the Freedomain Radio podcast.  I am imploring that you, in effect, boycott it.

I am aware that some readers will say that for me to ask that you and other well-known commentators boycott the Molyneux podcast -- that you refrain from going onto the podcast as a guest -- is an attempt to violate Molyneux's right to the freedom of speech.  For this reason, I think that in the spirit of acting on good faith, I should tell you what I think constitutes free speech versus what constitutes an unjustifiable attack on free speech.

What I Think Constitutes Free Speech Versus Dangerous Assaults Against Free Speech
I think that there is only one true method of wrongfully stopping free speech:  to threaten physical force.  If an imam threatens that Mr. X shall be met with physical violence if Mr. X says something that the imam dislikes, then that is a heinous assault on free speech.

And governmental restrictions on speech are likewise heinous assaults on free speech, as governmental actions are ultimately enforced at the point of a gun.  If the government threatens to fine someone for using gender-specific pronouns, or the wrong pronoun, then that fine will be enforced at gunpoint.  If the offender refrains from paying the fine, she will be called In Contempt of Court, and the State is authorized to send armed police officers after her to apprehend her and haul her to court.  If the offender struggles against these armed government agents too vigorously, the agents are authorized to escalate the level of violence they can apply against her.  Hence, governmental penalties for the voicing of any unpopular opinion are indeed a threat to free speech.

I think that anyone who is being nonviolent must have the absolute freedom of speech. This means that no matter what this nonviolent person says -- no matter how bigoted, hateful, or stigmatizing -- neither private parties nor the government have any rightful business to threaten force against this person as a recrimination for that person's undesired speech.  I think this principle even applies if someone cites a hateful written manifesto as his inspiration in committing an act of violence -- it is correct for the State to exercise its force as retaliation against the man who committed actual violence, but improper for the State to punish the author upon whose ideas the violent man acted.

With that clear, I do not think it is an assault on free speech for private parties to ostracize someone peaceably based upon his or her speech.  My free-speech rights are not being assaulted if all the world's periodicals refuse to publish my letters to the editor.  I am still free to use my own private property to create my own media to get out my message.  I am also free to attempt to persuade other private parties to allow me to use their property and capital in the effort of airing my message.

If all the world's commentators refused to go the Molyneux podcast as a guest, that would not preclude Molyneux from being able to air his opinions. When private parties refuse to deal with a specific man, they are exercising no coercive power to thwart that man's freedom to act and express himself.  On the contrary, in simply refusing to deal with that man, those other private parties are exercising their own freedom of expression.  In their choices in whom they will or will not deal with, those parties are peaceably conveying to others what their own priorities happen to be.

(In case you were wondering, as I very much disapprove of any bakery that would refuse service to someone for being LGBT, I think a fully free society would have no legislation to compel that bakery to do business with LGBT couples or anyone else that bakery's owners do not like.  By that same token, I am free to boycott that very same bakery on account of my desire to avoid any business that discriminates against LGBT people.)

Hence, in my understanding of the matter, imploring you not to go on the Molyneux podcast in the future is not an attack on Molyneux's freedom of expression.  If you do not go on the Molyneux podcast, Molyneux can still say whatever he wants. Rather, if I ask Mr. Y to refrain from future appearances on the Molyneux podcast, and Mr. Y agrees, then Mr. Y and I are both exercising our own freedom of expression and freedom of association.

Again, lest it may seem that I cannot distinguish malicious racism from innocent good-faith gestures, I will tell you about my own recent experience with activists who have been too flippant in their choice in whom and what they castigate as racist.

An Example of What I Judge to Be a Frivolous Attempt at Crying "Racism!"
You might recall that in February of 2017, the American supermodel Karlie Kloss generated controversy when, in a spread for Vogue magazine, she donned a kimono and was even made up to look like a Japanese national. As I imagine you have probably heard, many politically-correct activists scream that it is racist for a white person to wear traditionally Japanese clothing. In this case, the activists denigrated the Vogue spread as "yellowface" and "cultural appropriation," and they demanded a apology from Ms. Kloss, which she ultimately relented.

On 15 February 2017, I tweeted a link to an article from E! Entertainment titled "Karlie Kloss Apologizes for Appropriating Japanese Culture in Vogue Photo Shoot," accompanied with my own comment, "As someone of Japanese ancestry, what most offends me is that she apologized to those sillies." By "those sillies," I am referring to the politically-correct activists who accused the Vogue spread of racism, regardless of what "race" or ethnicity those politically-correct activists might be.

 As of this writing, that tweet of mine is my second-most retweeted and "liked" tweet. As of my typing this, the tweet has received over 270 "likes" and has been retweeted over 90 times. I know that those numbers are small in comparison to the popularity of tweets from either you or Stefan Molyneux, but these numbers are big for someone like me.

I bring up my public comments on the Kloss Kerfuffle out of the hope that this will alert readers that my objections to Molyneux are not to be dismissed as some gesture in solidarity with Cathy Newman or politically-correct activists.  My speaking out about Molyneux is not some "respectful nod" to political correctness.  I ask for a stand against Molyneux because he really does promote racism.  And I think that someone who does have legitimate gripes about the excesses of political correctness and "Social Justice Warriors" especially ought to be concerned about those legitimate gripes being discredited, in the eyes of the public, on account of his or her appearances on that podcast having the effect of contributing to the "normalization" of a podcast that has done everything to earn its reputation for fostering the worst racist sentiments.

The Warrant for My Accusing Molyneux of Advocating Harmful Actions That Are Based on Racism
Since May of 2015, the second-most-significant recurring theme of the Freedomain Radio podcast has been Molyneux making the claims (a) that discrepancies in average IQ among separate races (East Asians versus whites versus Arabs versus Latinos versus blacks) are most plausibly explained by in-built genetic differences and (b) that, on average, blacks and Latinos are thus largely biologically programmed to be more prone to violent crime, and less economically productive, than whites.

"Screaming 'racism' at people because blacks are collectively less intelligent," he proclaims, "[ . . . ] is insane." Mocking the sort of criticism that he anticipates he will receive, Molyneux says, "You know, people: 'Oh, Stef's identified empirical facts about racial differences. He's a racist!' "  Then Molyneux offers his serious reply:  "No. Mother Nature's a racist; I'm just shining the light [on what Molyneux expects his viewers to interpret as the facts proving racial inequality]."

I expect that, here, there are readers who will ask, "If someone is in pursuit of scientific truth, doesn't that commit him or her to follow the data wherever they may lead, even if this leads to conclusions that contradict political correctness and make everyone uncomfortable?"  The answer to that question is a resounding yes, and that affirmation does not exonerate Molyneux's actions in these matters.

First, Molyneux's repeated claim that race-related genetics is the most plausible primary explanation for such discrepancies brazenly contradicts the data as ascertained by Richard E. Nisbett and other psychologists who specialize in the discrete disciplines that are directly pertinent to Molyneux's claims.

Secondly, if Molyneux's presentations of these claims were about a disinterested pursuit of scientific truth, then Molyneux would simply present the claims and, for the time being, leave the policy implications up to others, as any public policy crafted according to these claims would be normative and not a matter of descriptive hard science.  Yet, in many such videos on this topic, Molyneux's presentations of these allegedly value-free descriptive findings are followed immediately by Molyneux's issuances of policy prescriptions.

He urges -- based on the premise that such claims about biologically programmed behavioral differences among races are now beyond dispute, compounded by different races receiving dissimilar cultural influences -- that the races be kept separated and that the State treat people differently according to race.

 "Races don't tend to mix very well, historically," he states. "[ . . . ] We're a tribal species, and race differences are not insignificant, not just culturally but in terms of biology." Then, in an especially bizarre turn, he exclaims, "So it's because we have this totalitarianism of pseudoscience called 'radical racial egalitarianism.' We have this totalitarianism where people's lives can be destroyed if they do so much as even question the perfect egalitarianism of the races in important cognitive matters. So we already have a kind of totalitarianism in place. [ . . . ] My problem is that the atheists have given up religion, but they have embraced the leftist doctrine -- which is completely anti-scientific -- of radical racial egalitarianism. [ . . . ] Science clearly says the races are not equal."

After months of branding Latinos and blacks "low-IQ" people, and North Africans "low-IQ, rapey people," and repeatedly citing a blatantly pseudoscientific, non-peer-reviewed book on anthropology by an author who stigmatizes Africans as "mental retards" (my blog post on that is here), Molyneux proclaims, "Intelligent people can handle free speech; idiots can't. [ . . . ] Idiots can't handle free speech."

The conclusion logically deduced from this syllogism is that Molyneux means that blacks and Latinos in general cannot handle free speech. He says of North Africans and Arabs that "they don't have the functional capacity to operate in a free-market, postindustrial, democratic society. They're not smart enough to do it."

 In the video "An Honest Conversation With a Middle Eastern Immigrant," Molyneux propounds,

IQ-84 societies -- and, for comparison, the average IQ of blacks in America, who aren't exactly doing in a stellar fashion these days; the average IQ for blacks in America is 85 [ . . . ] -- that's tragic, but, you see, IQ-84 societies are stupid and primitive and brutal and violent and misogynistic and superstitious and all of that, because what other society would they want? And they don't have usually the capacity to defer gratification. Like, what does freedom of speech mean to someone with an IQ of 84? Why would they even want it? It's not like, "Well, if there's freedom of speech, I'm going to publish a wonderful novel." They can barely finish a shopping list. [ . . . ] And you are smart enough to recognize that when you are dealing with a population with an average IQ of 84, you aren't going to set up a new free society, because those people will viciously and virulently fight against a free society. [ . . . ] As you say, the group with the IQ of 84 -- which means that half of them are dumber than that; I mean we are starting to approach not a human population but a geological collection, bags of hammers -- saying how smart they are...  It's like, "No, no, you are not archaeologists; you are stuff that archaeologists dig out and dust off."   [italics are Molyneux's; boldface is mine].

It makes perfect sense to defend Molyneux's freedom of expression -- and yet Molyneux has made explicit that he sees no need in extending this same courtesy on behalf of nonwhites from poor countries who ascertain that they, too, need the freedom to express themselves peaceably. Molyneux has stated that it is pointless for such people to have the freedom of speech, as he figures their IQs are too low anyway. "Why would they even want it?"

Later in that same video, Molyneux says of people who conflate the free-market movement's ideal society with the anarchy(?) of Somalia, "And people say, 'If you love a free society, why don't you move to Somalia?"  Molyneux then gives his sarcastic reply, " 'Yes, because a population with an average IQ of 68 has really worked through all of the theoretical implications of a voluntary society; they didn't just happen to be in a building when it fell down. "Look, they're demolition experts!" "No, they leaned against an old building." ' "

Molyneux is being sarcastic when saying he would agree to move to Somalia; what he does expect listeners to take literally are his notions (1) that Somalis having a low IQ renders them congenitally hostile toward the institutions of a classical liberal republic and (2) this low IQ, and, with it, an anti-freedom ideology, is programmed into Somalis mostly on account of race-related genes.

 Thus he continues that part of his desire to have the State block destitute nonwhites from immigrating to the West is motivated by his fears of miscegenation: "So when you get people from low-IQ populations coming to high-IQ places, then what happens is that people are worried about having kids with those people in case the regression to the mean produces a less intelligent child."

In yet another video he finds it necessary to warn people against having mixed-race babies: "Adolescents who self-identify as more than one race are at higher health and behavior risks. The findings are compatible with interpreting the elevated risk of 'mixed race' as associated with stress. [ . . . ] We're tribal, and if we grow up without a particular tribe around us, for a lot of people -- not for everyone, but a lot of people -- that causes problems. It causes mental health problems, some addiction problems, and so on. So it's [having mixed race children] an elevated situation of risk, right?"

 On interracial couples, he asserts,

Now, of course, the media is promoting interracial-- . . . you can't turn on a show that comes out of Hollywood without interracial couples being promoted left, right, and center, but they don't generally work. In America, when you have interracial couples like black/white couples in particular -- which is the most studied -- they tend not to last as long, they tend to be more subjected to things like domestic violence charges, they tend to get divorced more, they tend to be more dysfunctional. And these are racial groups that have grown up side-by-side for hundreds and hundreds of years, and all speak the same language, and blacks are Christians, and the whites are Christians. They have a huge amount more in common [than do couples in which one person is native-born and the other is an immigrant from a poor country], and the relationships are still hugely problematic relative to other [homogeneous] kinds of relationships. I don't see how it fits.

He adds that it is understandable, and to the credit, of women of East Asian descent to have "in-group preferences" when it comes to dating, "whereas the Caucasian girls have been told for many decades to have no in-group preferences, which is one of the reasons why there are . . . lots of problems." After snickering at that, Molyneux goes on, "The odds are that you would have a more intelligent child if you had an East Asian woman to be the mother of your children than if you had, say -- I don't know -- a Somali woman or . . . I think the lowest IQs are like the pygmies or the natives in Australia or so on."

While Molyneux will concede that some blacks and Latinos and North Africans are very intelligent and nonviolent, he dismisses such individuals as statistically unimportant, affirming that public policy and criminal justice must be shaped by what he (mis)characterizes as statistical norms, and that his sweeping conclusions about blacks and Latinos and North Africans justify sweeping governmental measures discriminating against each of these groups as if all the members of these groups are the same.  (Molyneux fails to acknowledge this explicitly, but the implication is that if the State discriminates against Latinos, in general, based on their statistically average IQ being low, that sacrifices the high-IQ Latinos whom Molyneux claims not to have quibbles against.)

As Molyneux says it, "I can't judge any individuals [in a particular racial grouping]. I'm a philosopher: I don't care about [justice for] individuals. [ . . . ] No, it's patterns [among demographic racial groups]. I don't care about individuals; I do care about ideologies," with Molyneux presuming that a type of ideology is inherent to a specific racial group in general, individual volition be damned.

When it comes to iterating the alleged normative implications of these allegedly baked-in inherent behavioral differences among racial groupings, Molyneux has even gone as far as this: citing David Duke sidekick Kevin MacDonald as if he were a credible source of information about Jews.  Like his podcast co-host David Duke, MacDonald is well-known for spreading conspiracy theories about Jews in general.

Molyneux has even conveyed that Ashkenazi Jews are probably biologically superior to the Jews remaining in Israel (presumably Sephardi Jews and Mizrahi Jews) on account of "diaspora" Ashkenazi Jews leaving the Middle East for Europe and being what Molyneux considers generally whiter (here and here). This is because, he says, "the smartest people in [sic; from] the Middle East left the Middle East a long time ago. All the good sips of coffee from the Middle Eastern cup were taken long ago. We are down now to the dregs. [ . . . ] The vast majority of the smart, able Middle-Easterners left decades ago and are already in the West."

Molyneux's commentaries on race have even included a YouTube upload providing a revisionist history to defend the practice of apartheid in South Africa, offering this whopper of a claim: "The institution of apartheid was not racism but was designed to preserve the white population against the increasing communist militancy of the blacks" (boldface added).

 That assertion is glaringly inconsistent with the memories of those who lived in South Africa at the time, not to mention the historical record at large. As noted by an author who resided in South Africa when apartheid was still in effect, "Apartheid began long before there was any 'increasing' militancy among blacks, communist or otherwise."

In the comments section for this video on YouTube, one viewer posts, "I sincerely hope that all Europeans watch this video. If they allow the hordes of African immigrants to enter their countries, they will soon look like once[-]beautiful South Africa." To that, Molyneux's official YouTube account replies, "Thank you."

That Molyneux immediately follows up on his claims about science with policy prescriptions allegedly justified by these very same claims, casts doubt on the idea that Molyneux's presentation of these claims about racial inequalities is merely the exercise of Molyneux acting in the interest of open scientific inquiry.   Whereas the second-main focus of the Molyneux podcast since May of 2015 has been the presentation of these claims as if they reflect the scientific consensus among psychologists who study IQ, the number-one focus of the podcast has been the urging of discriminatory policy prescriptions that Molyneux insists are properly justified by such claims being irrefutable hard science.

In myriad videos Molyneux has provided on this topic, priority is given not to the claims about science, but to the governmental policy prescriptions that Molyneux advocates as following logically from the claims about science.  That Molyneux has given most prominence to his policy recommendations, and has frequently presented them in terms that are crude and openly sneering toward blacks and Latinos and North Africans, makes it look as if his claims about the science of racial differences are not at all a scientific inquiry made in good faith but, rather, a naked attempt to rationalize the public policy recommendations that he says are logically derived from those claims about science.

The podcast, then, is not about scientific integrity or a straightforward presentation of scientific data, but is about advancing particular highly ideological policy prescriptions which are then supported only by claims about science that are presented and treated in a methodologically dubious manner.

What's the Harm in Going on the Freedomain Radio Podcast and Treating It As If It Is a Legitimate Political Commentary Venue
Yes, people who harbor strong disagreements on politics can remain cordial with one another.  It is concerning, however, when someone has given multiple interviews to an apartheid apologist who has prominently cited a co-host on David Duke's white separatist podcast, and has not had -- at least not publicly -- a long and enlightening word with this interviewer about the spirit and tenor of such racially-charged rhetoric, especially with respect to what would be the likely outcome when this interviewer's most loyal listeners decide to act upon this same rhetoric.

If someone goes on Stefan Molyneux's podcast to confront him about this nakedly racist propaganda, I can understand the rationale behind that, even as I judge it to be a rather ineffective gesture in the effort to combat the propaganda's influence.  But it is something else entirely when a respected commentator goes on Molyneux's podcast and behaves as if he is under the impression that Molyneux is a controversial-but-respectable interviewer.

To be on Molyneux's consistently pro-racism podcast and yet behave on this podcast as if its usual ideological theme is normal is to lend it a mask of legitimacy -- to assist Molyneux in maintaining the pretense that what he is doing is healthy and fine.   It gives the impression that one is tacitly approving of -- or, at best, unconcerned about -- the overall thrust of what the Molyneux podcast has made it a point to promote consistently for the past two years.  It is to reinforce -- to enable -- the pathological nature of what Freedomain Radio is advancing.

A prominent commentator might say that he disagrees with both (a) Molyneux's claims about the science of race and (b) the discriminatory public policy agenda that Molyneux has consistently made it a point to have accompanying these claims, while still finding it worthwhile to continue appearing as a guest on Molyneux's podcast.  In such a case, it still comes across as if this public commentator is tacitly approving and accepting both the claims about science and the accompanying public policy agenda -- or is, at best, unconcerned about them and their ramifications.

It is in the interest of standing up for scientific integrity and intellectual honesty that I ask that prominent and mainstream political commentators, such as yourself, henceforth refrain from appearing on the Freedomain Radio (FDR) podcast of Stefan Molyneux, unless it is to confront him directly and publicly about his dissemination of this overtly racist propaganda.

About My E-mails to You on This Matter
This is how my interest in your appearances on the podcast started: At the end of July 2017, I noticed you had twice appeared on the Molyneux podcast.  The first of these appearances was uploaded onto YouTube on 12 February 2017 in a video entitled "The Architecture of Belief."  The second appearance was put on YouTube on 30 July 2017, in a video called "Sorting Yourself Out."

On 31 July 2017, I wrote you an e-mail to impart the dangers of appearing on the Molyneux podcast.  As I do now, I then wrote that your appearances on Freedomain Radio help give it the appearance of a legitimate political commentary show.  I wrote to you by going to your website and filling out an online form provided, one over here.  However, after I first sent the e-mail, I read on Twitter that you had mentioned that you had been locked out of your Gmail account.

I thought, "Maybe Dr. Peterson didn't see the e-mail I wrote him because of this." Hence, after I learned that you were once again able to log into Gmail, I sent you another e-mail.  The second one was mostly the same as the first, except that I made some grammatical changes.  Enclosed below is the text from the second e-mail.  The screen shots on the bottom, too, are from the second e-mail, which I sent on 2 August 2017.

I do not know if you have read either e-mail.  I know that subsequent to the second e-mail, you have appeared on the Molyneux podcast twice more.  I think that the third appearance was uploaded to YouTube on 14 August 2017, titled "Google Memo: Aftermath," wherein there was discussion about how you were the first person to interview James Damore publicly about Google firing him over his controversial memo regarding psychological differences between men and women, and that Stefan Molyneux was the second person to nab an interview with him.  And I think that your fourth appearance was uploaded to YouTube on 19 December 2017 in a video called "An Antidote to Chaos."

Embedded Video Evidence of Molyneux Urging Racist Public Policy Based on Pseudoscientific Claims
I ascertain that perhaps you might want more evidence that Molyneux has not only made claims that science proves racial inequality, but that he has urged governmental policies, based on such claims, that are openly racially discriminatory.   For that reason, I am embedding several videos of Stefan Molyneux airing this propaganda, with the shortest videos first. If you look at these videos on their YouTube pages, you will find, in the "Description" box, links to the original videos on Molyneux's own YouTube channel, so that you can see for yourself that all of the clips from Molyneux are in context; it sounds as if Molyneux is disgracefully advocating racism because, in the larger and longer video, he is disgracefully advocating racism.

Molyneux says he's not the racist; Mother Nature is the racist for making "races" unequal. This one is only 9 seconds.

Molyneux denies that South African apartheid was racist. 46 seconds.

Molyneux says Israel is not any different from the whites-only nation-state that neo-Nazi Richard Spencer advocates. 1 minute, 36 seconds.

Molyneux endorses neo-Nazi Richard Spencer's rhetoric. 2 minutes and 2 seconds.

Molyneux saying that if you disagree with his politics and an assailant attacks you, you do not deserve to be saved from being murdered by the assailant. 9 minutes and 14 seconds.

Molyneux whitewashing Richard Spencer's neo-Nazi rhetoric for 13 minutes and 33 seconds.

Clips of Molyneux promoting white supremacism and government-enforced racial segregation. 24 minutes and 27 seconds.

Clips of Molyneux asking the State to enact race discrimination. 36 minutes and 21 seconds.

Molyneux citing the anti-Semite propaganda of David Duke sidekick Kevin MacDonald, and repeating MacDonald's talking points. 46 minutes and 14 seconds.

In Conclusion
Composing this blog post and Open Letter, I continue to hold the same concerns I aired when e-mailing you in August.  Based on Molyneux's record since May of 2015, which has not changed even this week, I ask that you reconsider any future appearances on Stefan Molyneux's podcast.  I am concerned about the consequences of someone of your stature seeming to condone, even tacitly, the idea that there is something okay with what has been the main message of the Freedomain Radio podcast for over two years now.

Below is the e-mail I sent you in August and, below that are my nine screen shots of the process of writing out that e-mail and sending it to you through the form on your website.

Once again, I thank you for your time.

Mahalo nui loa,
Stuart Hayashi



Subject:  "Yes, the Left is too quick to cry Racism; Stefan Molyneux does advocate white supremacism (the evidence)"

Dear Dr. Peterson,

Aloha from Hawaii. My name is Stuart Hayashi. I appreciate your stand against the political Left that is trying to intimidate everyone into silence, and I appreciate your having recommended the Stephen Hicks book *Explaining Postmodernism*.

I understand that too many people on the political Left are too quick to label other people as racist, such as in many of them saying that any white person who wears a kimono is racist against the Japanese; I recall an uproar accusing the white supermodel Karlie Kloss as racist for wearing Japanese clothing. I am of Japanese ancestry and I recognize such accusations as ridiculous. I am no Social Justice Warrior.

Since that is clear, I think I should caution you that Stefan Molyneux really does advocate racism. He advocates racial inequality, based on the idea that whites are programmed by their genes to be more economically productive and less violent than blacks and Hispanics. You can see a video compilation of him advocating racism at . That video has links to the original Stefan Molyneux videos from which they are sourced, so that you can see that the clips are in context.

I understand the importance of challenging political correctness and not buckling under pressure when people on the Left make arbitrary accusations of Racism. However, in the case of Stefan Molyneux, there is actual evidence of him advocating racial inequality; he has called it (in his own words) the Clear Science of Racial Inequality. Since May of 2015, he has placed himself in the same category as David Irving and David Duke. In fact, Molyneux has done a video heavily citing a David Duke acolyte:

I have written of my concerns about this at .

I believe that Stefan Molyneux is using you. You have a reputation for being an upstanding and thoughtful critic of the Left. When you go onto the Molyneux podcast, your prestige is transferred to Molyneux, as if he, too, is a respectable critic of the Left. However, that helps normalize what has been the regular theme of the Molyneux podcast for over a year: advocating racism. I strongly think it is best for someone as respectable as yourself to avoid going onto the Molyneux podcast and lending it an image of respectability that it does not deserve.

I thank you very much for your time.

Stuart Hayashi



Part 1 of 9: Beginning of the 2 August 2017 e-mail.

Part 2 of 9.

Part 3 of 9.

Part 4 of 9.

Part 5 of 9.

Part 6 of 9: The end of the 2 August 2017 e-mail.

Part 7 of 9: Confirming to Jordan B. Peterson's website that I'm not a robot sending a form letter.

Part 8 of 9: Pressing "SEND."

Part 9 of 9: Jordan B. Peterson's website on 2 August 2017 says the message "HAS BEEN SENT."

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Informal Reciprocity Among Adult Family Members ≠ Healthy Family Dynamics Being a Form of Democratic Socialism

Stuart K. Hayashi

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Among many people who call themselves free-market advocates, I frequently hear an assertion that goes along these lines: the family unit IS a democratic socialist institution that has a great track record. Everyone is expected to work unselfishly on behalf of the collective good of the family; it’s bad if it’s viewed as a transactional relationship where one says, "I will only do what my family members want if they first agree to do what I want them to do." Cited as proof of this is that it is not customary for family members to keep ledgers where they document what helpful deeds one family member has done for another, and then quantify in units how much help someone else still owes whom. Then these self-proclaimed free-marketers say that capitalist trade only becomes applicable outside the family unit. The libertarian-turned-Religious-Right activist Jennifer Roback Morse has written an entire book to advance this case.

As I have mentioned before, in the Stone Age there were seldom more than 250 people in a nomadic hunter-gatherer clan, and most members of the clan were genetically related to one another, rendering the entire clan a single family unit. The community was small enough that if someone was thought to be shirking his obligations, or thought to be cheating other clan members of their share, it would be easy to catch this malefactor and apply social pressure to change him. All interaction in the community was on a highly personal, face-to-face basis. Everyone knew everyone else, and "village" was hardly distinguished from "family."  This mode of living was overall collectivist.  These hunter-gatherers believed in gods and spirits that influenced the weather and the environment, but they did not judge these supernatural entities to be arbiters of morality. In these clans, there were shamans who recited specific chants to rebuke the gods for failing to provide good fortune to the clan.

But this dynamic changed when human beings became sedentary, formed cities, and switched to horticulture as their main source of food. As people developed these large cities, the family unit finally became distinct from the larger community. It was only then that you could think of someone as being a neighbor in your community while not being a member of your family or your household. In such larger communities, it concomitantly became easier for someone to break social rules and commitments in secret, not being caught until it was too late.

Hence, relationships became so impersonal that the citizens had to develop new social customs. Chieftains of large hunter-horticulturalist villages and kings of large Bronze-Age city-states could not possibly catch every single person who engaged in rape or theft in secret. Hence, these chieftains and kings told their subjects that gods and spirits are the arbiters that apply retribution for breaches of their rules about physical harm to others. The message was that if you break the king's rules and the king remains unaware, then it is the gods or spirits that will catch and punish you accordingly, and therefore you ought to behave even if you anticipate that the government will never learn of your transgressions.    That is how societies first came to see gods as the enforcers of ethical rules.

 Meanwhile, a household also had to develop new norms for interacting with people in this new category -- "those who are not from my household or family unit, and yet are from my community."  A single household had so many neighbors that it could not keep track of them all.   This is how, to maintain trust in this more impersonal setting, people developed written contracts.

As the socially conservative First Principles website puts it,

Socialism treats the national economy as an extended family and approaches economic organization from the perspective of household management. The sentiment “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs,” does surely characterize well-working family relationships. The members of a family generally do contribute to the family economy according to their abilities, both in dealing with the outside world and in handling household tasks. Allocations of family resources are generally made on the basis of needs and not according to the market value of the work performed by individual family members. Socialism takes the ethical and organizational principles of a family and seeks to apply them to a national economy.

First Principles continues that this dynamic is healthy in a nuclear family, as that sort of "society" is small and simple enough to manage, whereas the dynamic fails on the national economic scale, as the national economy is too large and complex.

Steven Horwitz of Bleeding Heart Libertarians explains, "Families are frequently organized in broadly socialist ways... Families...are able to organize themselves this way because all of the participants agree on an overarching goal. Intimate orders can and do have 'unified ends' where all the members are pursuing a particular purpose." He goes as far as asserting that all intra-organizational cooperation is socialistic and collectivist in this manner, and therefore each of these institutions can be thought of being an internally socialist society: "sports teams, the military,...many firms..."

This claim from reputed free-marketers -- that a healthy family unit is a form of collectivist "socialism that works," and that capitalist reciprocity only becomes necessary when a society becomes the size of a city -- is misleading.

First, it is true that it was the development of large cities, and the concomitant increase in the frequency of impersonal social interactions, that motivated our ancestors to formalize such institutions as legally codified private ownership in land, financial records, and written contracts. It is true that as societies grew larger and more impersonal, they developed the formal institutions that we usually associate with capitalism. It is also true that, in many respects, nomadic hunter-gatherer clans were more conventionally collectivistic than were the sedentary agricultural and urban societies that supplanted them.

But insofar as the expectation that other people reciprocate the values you bestow them is a mindset  that we are correct to associate with capitalism instead of socialism, it is erroneous to assume that some unselfish commitment to the group is the default, and that the expectation of reciprocity was some aberration that developed only later as communities grew large and impersonal. That expectation of reciprocity -- which serves as a fundamental basis for the market-related institutions that formalized later -- was present even in the nomadic hunter-gatherer societies.

As Larry Arnhart of Darwinian Conservatism phrases the issue,

...even in small foraging groups, there was some individual autonomy, and individuals were inclined to resist domination by the arbitrary wills of others. ... Our evolutionary ancestors were adapted for engaging in social exchange and detecting cheaters who violated the norms of fair exchange. Those evolved mental capacities for social engagement provided the psychological conditions in which the cultural evolution of a modern exchange society could succeed. contrast to [Friedrich August von] Hayek, [Paul] Zak sees this cultural tradition of impersonal exchange as actualizing a potentiality of evolved human nature.

If you’re a new parent, it would be silly for you to expect your two-year-old to understand the magnitude of what you do for him or her. If your two-year-old seems to exhibit some ingratitude, then some latitude is in order, as you know that the  two-year-old cannot realistically be expected to have the experience and consequent knowledge that have informed you of the importance of gratitude.  It's not even realistic to expect adolescents to comprehend the full magnitude of what you, as a parent, have done for them.

But among family members who are adults, it is just to expect an informal reciprocity. People seldom think of the matter in these terms. As Mike Wallace framed it to Ayn Rand in his television interview with her,

Should husbands and wives, Ayn, tally up at the end of the day, and say, "Well, now wait a minute: I love her if she has done enough for me today," or "She loves me if I have properly performed my functions"?

No, you don’t document and quantify who does what for whom, not in such a clinical fashion. But if someone is consistently abusive, your goodwill has gone unreciprocated, and you have grounds to distance yourself from that family member. I do not think that such distancing is something to be taken lightly -- it is not something you should do based primarily on a bald demagogue telling you, after just a single telephone conversation, that you ought to disown your parents and siblings. But if, upon years of sober deliberation upon your part, you ascertain that there is little hope for this relationship unless your adult family member changes his or her abusive ways, distancing yourself from that adult family member deserves to be recognized as an option. This means value-for-value exchanges do apply among adult family members.

Likewise, it is misleading to conclude that because everyone within an organization works toward a common goal, and because the organization's members do not document the intra-organizational debt each member owes to another, that it follows that socialism is practiced within the organization. That is fallacious.

 When you go to work for a firm, there is an implicit agreement that not only will the firm pay you what it contractually promises to pay you for your work, but that this arrangement will be one of mutual respect, and that both sides will continue to find the arrangement emotionally fulfilling enough for the work relationship to continue. (Job satisfaction is part of the utility you gain from your job, on top of the financial remuneration.)

 If your employers pay the sums they promised but call your nasty epithets and dismiss your concerns, then the fulfillment of the promise to pay you financially does not erase the fact that the value you have brought to the organization is not being reciprocated adequately. Likewise, if your co-workers are abusive toward you and your employers fail to rectify this, then, again, even if you are paid as promised, the value you bring is not being reciprocated adequately. In both cases, if you leave the organization as a result, it is on account of your expectation of reciprocity going unmet -- the expectation of reciprocity that is essential to market transactions.

That is hardly altruistic or collectivist.  Auguste Comte, who coined the word altruism, clarified that true social collectivism demands that loyalty and service to one's collective be prioritized above any expectation of reciprocity.

We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. After our birth these obligations increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service. ... However great our efforts, the longest life, well employed, will never enable us to pay back more than a scarcely perceptible part of what we received. And yet only to our condition of complete payment could we be authorized to require reciprocity of services [boldface is mine].

Recall from this post that the word that Comte used in the original French was réciprocité, the direct French equivalent to reciprocity.

It's not the case that a completely socialist, collectivist, or self-sacrificial orientation -- where reciprocity is not desired or expected -- is, or ought to be, the default for someone in interacting with others. It is healthy when, even as the default, an adult expects a reciprocal exchange of value in interactions with other adults.

 It is more accurate to say that when an adult interacts with adult family members and other adults with whom he or she is familiar, the reciprocal exchange of values is informal and need not be clinically documented or measured in quantifiable units.  That does not alter the fact that a healthy, quasi-capitalist trade in values is involved.  And when this adult interacts with strangers in a more impersonal setting, the impersonal nature of the context serves as the impetus for a formalization of the exchange of values, which is why property deeds, bookkeeping, accounting, contracts, and quantification of values are introduced into the exchange. Mutual trust is a form of reciprocity.  The reciprocity should always be there, even if it is only informal.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Government Regulators Getting Out of the Immigrants' Way Is Not a Handout

Stuart K. Hayashi

In attempt to manipulate people into conceding that there needs to be more governmental restrictions on immigration from poor countries, many “immigration skeptics” have frequently presented a particular false dichotomy to persons who are still undecided on where they stand on this issue. The false dilemma is as follows. The “immigration skeptics” proclaim that as the West maintains a welfare state, persons from poor countries will migrate to the West primarily to obtain welfare benefits. Therefore, they propound that if you support removals of governmental red tape on immigration into the West, you are inexorably a partisan of the welfare state who supports increases in government spending on welfare. Then they say that if you oppose increases in welfare spending, the only other options are to maintain the present red tape on immigration from poor countries or, better yet, demand additional red tape. This false dilemma presumes that a policy of open immigration in the United States is practically synonymous with government handouts to penurious immigrants at a net cost to native-born citizens.

Such a line of argumentation proves deceptive. First, if there was a complete halt to immigration from poor countries that spanned decades, that would not stop or reduce spending on welfare programs, nor would it remove the self-destruct mechanism that is built into the welfare state. Secondly, there are some aspects of immigration that, at least in the short term, make native-born voters more reluctant to continue voicing support for welfare spending. Third, liberalization of immigration means that the State is no longer authorized to interfere in immigration as much as it does. That is, liberalization of immigration simply translates to the State learning to leave immigrants alone. Leaving immigrants alone is not a government handout to them any more than it is a handout for the State to leave peaceful native-born citizens alone.

Demanding “a Right to My Life or to Any of Those That Make Up My Group, America”?
I was reminded of the false alternatives that the “immigration skeptics” present on the matter of welfare when, upon one of my regular visits to a particular philosophical news commentary website, I saw this in the comments:

I really don’t see what facts of reality give rise to the idea that one has a natural right to cross a foreign border. That’s about as correct as thinking he has a right to a roof over his head.

The woman who posted that message happens to conflate your right to immigrate with a demand on the government’s part that you be provided shelter at my expense. She then adds,

I hate to start from an abstraction here, but to short[-]cut, I think we all agree at least that a man has a natural right to his life. That is not a right to my life or to any of those that make up my group, America.

 There she contradicts herself — if she believed that a person has a right to his own life, then she would recognize that it follows that that person has a right to immigrate peaceably.

A right to one’s own life does not exist in a vacuum. Were everyone on the planet merely to give lip service to such a right, as that anti-immigration woman does, would not automatically guarantee that you go on living. For you to live, you must take actions to sustain that life. To live, you must eat. This means you must act to obtain food. To live, you must have a shelter that protects you from the elements. Hence, you must take action to acquire and maintain that shelter. To live, you must make judgments on what to do to sustain that life, and you must peaceably act on that judgment. Your society consistently recognizes your right to live only as far as that society adheres to your freedom of action. That encompasses the prerogative to act peaceably on your own judgment, regardless of whether everyone else disapproves of your actions or considers them unwise.

Corollaries arising from the right to live are the commensurate right to do business peaceably as you please, to marry a willing adult of your choice . . . and to migrate to places where you will find greater freedom and wealth.  To exercise the right to immigration is an implementation of the right to live.

And the degree to which a society is free is the degree to which that society recognizes that the default condition must always be the freedom of act peaceably, independent of the approval or disapproval of any third parties. Note that as the Declaration of Independence avows that “all men” — not all citizens, but all men — possess such rights by their very nature, a free republic accords this freedom of action to every peaceful adult human being, citizenship not being a prerequisite for this dignity to be recognized.

And it is the opposite of freedom if, prior to your being able to exercise any major life decisions, your decision must be reviewed and cleared by a governmental body consisting of your neighbors — a governmental body that can call the police on you if you still peaceably implement your plans in the absence of its approval. Even if that governmental body always approved your decisions, you would not be free. As Ayn Rand observes in her Textbook of Americanism, “If, before undertaking some action, you must obtain the permission of society — you are not free, whether such permission is granted to you or not. Only a slave acts on permission.” It is not incumbent upon you to plead your case that those people provide you authorization to act on your judgment as if it is their place to grant or deny mercy to you, lest they sic government agents upon you.

Insofar as you are free, your freedom to act is the default. It is not something to be begged of, and then endowed by, third parties. Conversely, laws are ultimately enforced by the threat of violence. As violence on the part of the State can only be just when executed in retaliation against initiations of the use of violence, it is each and every ordinance and statute that must be called upon to justify itself. It is not the civilians — foreign-born or native-born — who must rightfully earn the approval of the State. On the contrary, it is the laws of the State that must earn acceptance from human beings, native-born and foreign-born alike, and a law on the books can only be just if it exercises force against clearly defined initiations of the use of force, not itself initiating the use of force against peaceful parties.

If someone like the commenter I quoted wants a particular law enforced to deter a specific action of yours — such as migrating — it is incumbent upon her to prove that your action directly results in your initiating the use of force upon a non-consenting party. And the woman I quoted neglects to do so. She just takes it for granted that you only deserve to be able to migrate — absent of government agents stopping you violently — if she approves first. Unable to demonstrate that immigration, per se, is an initiation of the use of force, the freedom to immigrate stands as a right, just as much as a right as is the right to start and run one’s own business peaceably.

Suppose Jodie invites Mexicans to lodge on her private plot, and Mexicans agree to this, all in the absence of those Mexicans first receiving permission slips from the federal government. After all, these Mexicans are starving and under threat from drug cartels — cartels empowered by the U.S. federal government’s Drug War. Mexicans who “just get in line and wait to do it legally” can expect to wait over six years. Six years is the average duration it takes for a Green Card holder to sponsor a child younger than eighteen, or a spouse, to immigrate to the USA from Mexico on a family reunification visa, and that is one of the shorter waiting periods. For a U.S. citizen to sponsor a Mexican-born sibling to come to the USA involves a span of 14 years. Aware that too many Mexicans run the risk of dying violently or from starvation if waiting out that period, Jodie invites potential lodgers to come to her plot of land immediately, absent any sort of visa.

This is from Stuart Anderson, “Family Immigration: The Long Wait to Immigrate,” National Foundation for American Policy Brief, (Arlington, VA: National Foundation for American Policy, May 2010), 1.

Now I imagine that I shout, “No! Antecedent to those Mexicans crossing the border and reaching Jodie’s land, I demand that those Mexicans prove to me that they have earned the privilege of migrating to the USA.” That proclamation on my part would presume that the federal government and I, as third parties, are right to overrule the agreement that Jodie and the lodgers have peacefully forged among themselves as consenting adults. If the Mexicans can come to the USA and lodge on Jodie’s land, receiving the authorization of Jodie and no third parties, that is open immigration. And let’s imagine that, like the woman I quoted at the beginning, I disparage the Mexicans’ migration as a government handout. Essentially, what this would entail is my saying it’s a government handout simply when the government elects not to dispatch its armed agents to manhandle Jodie’s lodgers. That is to look upon cases where the government leaves peaceful people alone and, through an Orwellian mindset, reclassify this peaceable arrangement as a government handout and some burden that Jodie and her lodgers have foisted upon unaffected third parties such as myself.

Here, the “immigration skeptics” retort that my interpretation is faulty, because I justify non-action against the immigrants on the understanding that the immigrants are peaceful. I argue that government action against an immigrant is justified when an immigrant initiates the use of violence. Thus, say the “immigration skeptics,” the State is correct to obstruct dark-skinned poor people from immigrating into the West after all, because immigration on the part of such dark-skinned poor people — by its very nature — is violent and does initiate the use of physical force.

The “immigration skeptics” say this happens two ways: first, the dark-skinned poor immigrants are prone to commit violent crimes, such as theft and rape; and, secondly, the dark-skinned poor immigrants usually go on welfare. And, as you know, I make the accusation that the State is initiating the use of force when it taxes you at gunpoint in order to pay for government social services — of which tax-funded entitlements qualify. Among those tax-funded entitlements are Medicare and Social Security, which shall be addressed later in this essay.

Such presumptions about dark-skinned immigrants from poor countries manifest themselves in a rather creepy response I received on Facebook.

On January 30, 2017, I posted on Facebook an essay from CNN titled “The Chances of a Refugee Killing You — And Other Surprising Immigration Stats.” It illustrates that the chances of being killed by a refugee — a refugee who left the nation of origin seeking not to be murdered himself — are infinitesimally small, and far lower than the chance of being killed in a traffic accident. A dear Objectivist friend reposted this on her own Facebook Wall. In response, someone whom I had previously respected had posted, “I don’t give a rip about any statistics. It only takes one and I don’t even want one. Every life matters.” That, of course, is self-contradictory — as my dear Objectivist friend observed right below that, immigrants from poor countries are human lives. If every human life matters, then it follows that the immigrants’ lives matter — and yet the lives of those refugees, seeking refuge from a situation where they otherwise would easily be murdered, are dismissed as nothing. The implication of what that anti-immigrationist said is that those dark-skinned immigrants from poor countries aren’t even human lives.

Then that woman I quoted at the very beginning of this essay, the one who says there is no right to immigrate, chimed in, “The lives of innocents around the world cannot be a basis for foreign policy decisions” — a red herring on her part, as restrictions on immigration are domestic policy — “The only proper principle here is self interest for American citizens.” Then the one who denied that the immigrants’ lives are human lives returned to the thread, saying “Well said, [Xxxxx]. Self-sacrifice is not the standard, self-interest is.”

Note that, for the second time, the woman I quoted at the start of the essay presumes that for the State to refrain from initiating the use of force against poor immigrants is a burden imposed upon native-born U.S. citizens — that for native-born U.S. citizens to act on their self-interest is somehow the same as condoning it when the State points its guns as people for no reason other than that they peaceably crossed the border absent of State permission.

I take it that some opponents of liberalizing immigration conceive that coming to the USA is a privilege and not a right. “Privilege,” in this context, does not have the negative connotation associated with the word when an anti-capitalist yells “Check your privilege.” No, in this context, “privilege” refers to a high honor, an honor which must be earned from other people, especially people in positions of authority. I agree with the first part of that but not the second.

I do agree that being in the USA is a privilege in that I am grateful to be in the USA, and lucky to have been born in it, as opposed to North Korea or Venezuela. But that second part — that being in the USA is a privilege which the foreign-born do not deserve until and unless a clique of right-wing authority figures awards it — is purely the pipedream of “immigration skeptics.”

They misconstrue immigration as if the ability to have one’s body occupy the United States is a  naturally scarce resource — such as platinum or diamonds — that the federal government ought to ration, giving the earlier-comers and the  earlier-comers’ descendants preference over late-comers as the federal government hands out the rations (though, apparently, not caring much about the earliest-comers:  the First Nations peoples).  In reality, if all of the Earth’s 7.5 billion people moved to Texas, the state’s population density would still be less than half the present density of the city  of Paris, France’s. When it comes to problems associated with overcrowding, such matters are best mitigated by the bottom-up mechanisms of a free market in housing and real estate, not the top-down fiat approach of government rationing employed in the allocation of immigration visas.

And yet too many “immigration skeptics”  misconceive the USA as just one big private club — just one big fraternity — which, for outsiders to join, requires that the outsiders ingratiate themselves to the senior club members. That is the premise behind the woman’s reference to “America” as “my group.”

The truth is that the United States is not just one big private club. It consists of many private organizations that exist on plots of land that are adjoining but which are separate units. And the boundaries separating one private plot from another — the borders on land that truly matter — likewise separate one set of rules from another. To the extent that the USA is a free society, those clubs do not all have the same rules except one — the initiation of the use of force is not to be tolerated, and the State shall be called to take action only when there is evidence of the imminent threat of force. To the extent that everyone is peaceful, different landholders and organizations can set different rules. This means that if this woman wants, she can set the rule that she will not allow foreign-born poor people onto her parcel unless they do the groveling she presumes is due her. But by that same token, that woman’s rules have no bearing on what rules I may set on my own private land.

Let’s imagine that I think U.S. immigration policy should be that anyone can come to the USA, absent of any federal body doing any screening, vetting, or pre-approval, the new arrivals into this country needing no justification other than that they want to be here. I would be accused of being a “globalist” who hates America’s traditions and is trying to destroy her borders and sovereignty.

. . . This means that I would be hating America’s traditions and trying to destroy her borders and sovereignty by advocating the same immigration policy that America had at her founding.😳

The freedom of entry is the default for a free country, and it was the default position for the United States from 1789, when George Washington became President, to 1875, ending with the Page Act, the first U.S. federal regulation on immigration. For the first eight decades of the USA’s existence, she had no governmental regulatory body to whom would-be migrants had to grovel. Immigrants endured no political barriers to entry on the U.S. side, the only challenge for them being the physical journey required to make it to these shores. The notion that immigrants reaching these shores is not rightful unless those immigrants obtained the incumbent residents’ trust is not a default, or a quality inherent to having a society, any more than having protective tariffs is a default or a quality inherent to having a society — and, starting from at least as early as the 1950s, Hong Kong has had zero protective tariffs.

 People who mouth the slogan that a country that refrains from having governmental controls on immigration has no borders and is not a country at all should notice that if this slogan were true, then the United States had no borders and was not a country at all in its first eight decades. Those eight decades were characterized by the United States tolerating the arrival of immigrants who had not been screened, vetted, or authorized by the USA’s longtime residents. Everyone minded his or her own business doing this, and it was the introduction of immigration controls in 1875 that was the imposition that trespassed on innocent people’s business. Yet the woman I quoted talks as if today’s impoverished immigrants victimize her by doing exactly what was done by those who arrived on these shoes in the republic’s first eighty years.

Part of this woman’s insistence that immigrants from poor countries are an imposition forced on the native-born has to do with the idea that poor immigrants generally come for welfare, but it is also based on the stereotype that they are violent. On the website where I saw the opening comment, she said in a post from 2015, “…I will say that I am from Minneapolis and I have seen first hand [sic; firsthand] the horrifying changes to that city as a result of mass third world, muslim [sic] immigration.” Similar comments from other opponents of immigration accuse Somali immigrants to the USA of being congenitally rowdy. It is assumed that upon coming to the United States, they concentrate in enclaves that become violent ghettos.

That immigrants from poor countries can start to form ghettos where, initially, their poverty increases the frequency of violent crime, is something to address in greater detail in a future essay. For now I should mention that if all immigration into the USA ceased, the USA would still have ghettos where the rate of violent crime is greater than average. The problems that ghettos face relate not so much to immigration as they do poverty. Citizens can address such poverty peaceably, not through resorting to the interventions of the regulatory-entitlement state, but instead through repealing various specific government interventions that contribute to the most adverse conditions in the slums. That is what is to be detailed in a future essay. Nor should one assume that if a section of a city is a slum, that it will always remain so. In 1950, Hong Kong was a slum, and its residents dwelt in the sort of penury that would lead many a Donald Trump fan to label Hong Kong a “shit hole.” That same piece of real estate has become one of the wealthiest places on Earth, with a per-capita income higher than that of mainland China and the United Kingdom. Charles Kenny in Foreign Policy magazine: “As Harvard University economist Edward Glaeser puts it, slums don’t make people poor — they attract poor people who want to be rich. So let’s help them help themselves.”

But let it suffice at this juncture to note that, on average, illegal immigrants alone — this is excluding legal immigrants from rich, white-majority countries — are statistically less prone to commit violent crimes than are native-born U.S. citizens.

Anti-immigrationists with larger public profiles than the woman I quoted at the beginning also spout the unfounded notion that if you want the State to butt out of blocking “economic migrants,” then it follows you want this same State to intrude on everyone’s economic affairs by paying welfare to immigrants.

One caller to Stefan Molyneux’s podcast flatters him by regurgitating, “I agree: immigration is basically a government program.” Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., cofounder with Murray N. Rothbard of the Murray Rothbard Institute — uh; “Ludwig von Mises [sic]” Institute — goes farther, entitling one of his anti-immigration screeds, “Open Borders Are an Assault on Private Property.”

All of the “immigration skeptics” I have quoted here are people who try to frame the removal of government-imposed hindrances as some sort of government handout to the immigrants, handed out at a disadvantage to native-born citizens. These “immigration skeptics” present themselves as being knowledgeable about the principles of capitalism versus socialism, private property versus public property, and the peacefulness of the market versus the threats of violence that are inherent to government action. And yet these “immigration skeptics” conveniently elide the natures of these respective issues. They overlook:

  1. The welfare state is always, always, always action on the part of the State. It is the introduction of the State, and its violence, into private affairs.
  2. The opening of immigration is a removal of State involvement, and its violence, from peaceful private affairs.

Again, government regulations are ultimately enforced at gunpoint. That includes regulations on immigration. When a Mexican tries to sneak across the border into the United States — treading on land that is not private property — border enforcement against that Mexican involves armed men apprehending him. When an immigrant is to be deported, federal agents capture her. When they cannot deport her instantly, they temporarily throw her into a detention center attended by armed guards. When the day of deportation arrives, armed men escort her across the border. In each of these instances, if the immigrant resists further, the use of force by the government agents shall escalate, with the final punishment for the immigrant being death.

Many parts of the border are not private property, but are not exactly “public property” in the way that a top-secret military base is “public property.” The justification for keeping civilians off of a top-secret military base is that maintaining secrecy is a genuine aspect of national security. Much of the boundary separating Texas from Mexico is private land. And the U.S.-Mexican border goes straight through the town of Nogales — its northern side is in Arizona, whereas its southern side is in Sonora, Mexico. But most of the border adjoining California, Arizona, and New Mexico is federal wilderness land not really being used by private parties. As a private party is not really getting much use of this wilderness land, it is, for practical purposes, quite close to being treated as land that is res nullius or terra nullius, meaning unclaimed wilderness land not being put to much other use. As “economic migrants” do not pose an actual military threat to the country, and as they usually cross over areas of the national border that are wilderness land not being put to much use, it is invalid to proclaim that the act of trespassing is inherent to federally unauthorized border crossings.

The freedom to do anything that is peaceful has another name: free enterprise. And that is a more exact translation of the expression laissez faire. Laissez-nous faire does not exactly mean “leave us alone,” but is closer to “let us do.” “Let us do” as in “Let us enterprise.” To let us do what we must, it is merely the State and any party wishing to use force to obstruct us that must leave us alone. In this context, the State that must leave nonviolent immigrants alone. The complete motto of laissez faire is more fitting still: Laissez faire, laissez passer, which translates to “Let us do, let us pass.” Let the immigrants do, let the immigrants pass . . . the border.

 Open immigration is not the State forcing native-born citizens to purchase plane tickets for immigrants; open immigration does not force native-born citizens to do anything. Open immigration amounts to government regulators getting out of the immigrants’ way.

By contrast, to demand that the State crack down on immigrants from poor countries, qua immigrant, is to demand that the State initiate the use of force upon people on account of their having been born on, and growing up on, the wrong side of the tracks.  It is to initiate the use of force upon a group of people whom Ayn Rand particularly admired: “the ambitious poor.”

From 2010 to 2016 — under the watch of the same Barack Obama who is inaccurately remember as being lenient toward undocumented immigrants — the U.S. Border patrol shot dead Sergio Hernandez Guereca and thirty-two other would-be immigrants. This matter came to the attention of National Public Radio through James Tomsheck, who was the chief of internal affairs at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) until the Obama administration fired him in 2014. The administration claimed the termination was on account of Tomsheck neglecting to investigate those killings. Tomsheck informed NPR that the reverse was the case: the administration fired him because he did investigate those killings up until 2014 and ascertained that least seven of them were under suspicious circumstances. On May 23, 2018, a 19-year-old Guatemalan named Claudia Patricia Gómez González was shot dead in Rio Bravo, Texas, by a border agent because she was in a crowd of undocumented border-crossers defending themselves against the agent with blunt objects (here and here).

In the very act of migrating to the USA, immigrants pay their own way. Either the immigrant’s trip is self-funded, or the immigrant was able to fund it on account of receiving funding from consenting donors. This applies to migrant farm workers smuggled across the U.S.-Mexican border — and, since the 1990s, this self-funding has escalated in price. To appease right-wingers fretting about undocumented immigrants, the Clinton administration greatly ramped up border enforcement, first in 1994 with Operation Gatekeeper, and then again 1996 when Congressional Republicans joined President Clinton in pushing IIRIRA (the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act) in 1996. Those who sought to migrate from Mexico to the USA responded by upgrading the sophistication of their own methods, increasingly resorting to paying smugglers, “coyotes” (see Edward Alden, The Closing of the American Border, {New York: Harper Perennial, [2008], 2009 trade paperback}, 72). Around the year 2000, the coyotes charged an average $3,000 per head. By 2017, prices soared to around $8,000.

Were it true that impoverished immigrants from poor countries are too lazy to accumulate money through consensual means, they would not be able to scrimp together $3,000 to pay a smuggler. Ah, retort the “immigration skeptics,” that is merely a onetime investment: once those aliens reach the United States, they can go on the tax-funded gravy train and be set for life, quickly recouping the $3,000 and then making an immense net profit soon thereafter. I shall address that scurrilous accusation by this essay’s end.

For the moment, consider one migrant, Alfredo, who illegally crossed a part of the border that is no one’s private property. He then lodges on my land at my consent. Then he works on my farm. Observe that in this entire scenario, there was no governmental involvement — aside from possible efforts by the federal government to thwart Alfredo’s peaceable plans. Not once in this illegal migration was a government handout involved.

But suppose that someone snitched on Alfredo and me, and then the federal government raided my land and apprehended Alfredo. That is the point where a party imposed itself on another, where the government began to intrude. Moreover, that governmental intrusion is tax-funded — an addition to the tax burden that would not have been added had there not been this entire tax-funded bureaucracy built upon (a) imposing a multi-decadal approval process on prospective long-term migrants and (b) taking violent police actions on nonviolent immigrants who try to bypass that cumbersome process through sneaking in. Hence, the tax-funded apprehension and deportation of Alfredo is really a tax-funded government handout to the few native-born citizens who merely presume badness on the part of undocumented Mexican-born migrant farm workers.

Imagine that you are out in the community, and you are surrounded by people. And maybe, just because they think you’re sort of shifty-looking, they distrust you. But they refrain from beating you up; they leave you be. And you lodge on the land of a landholder who consents to it. Do you think that if people refrain from initiating the use of violence upon you, that this is some generous handout on their part? If, peaceably going about your affairs, you expect that people refrain from beating you up — if you expect that not as some onerous favor, but as common decency — is that some spoiled sense of entitlement on your part, an expectation that those other people sacrifice their well-being to yours? If you’re peaceably going about your life, and people decide not to stick their guns in your face and force you to be where you don’t want to be, is their choice to abstain from such violence a burden that your presence and existence shoves upon them?

The answer is no, and the same logic applies to the immigrant. That is all that open immigration amounts to being — for the government to opt out of sending armed agents to impede and apprehend foreign-born people attempting a peaceable migration into the United States. If it is common decency, and not a government handout, for the State to refrain from sending armed men after a nonviolent native-born person, then neither is it a government handout for the State to refrain from sending armed men after a nonviolent immigrant, active visa-holding or otherwise. And this inaction — this nonviolence — on the part of the State is something that the woman I quoted at this essay’s start insists on equivocating with a government handout, a sacrificial offering from native-born citizens, and a burden for anyone who does not and cannot exercise violence on the immigrant. But when government agents do nothing more than refrain from detaining and manhandling a peaceful person at gunpoint — foreign-born or otherwise — that inaction is not a handout, a gift, a sacrifice, or a burden.

    Can’t Have Both Immigration Freedom and a Welfare State? Then Keep Immigration Freedom
    Here, the “immigration skeptics” retort that while immigration was a laissez-faire matter in the nineteenth century, the welfare state has become so pervasive in the USA, Anglophone countries, and Western Europe, that it is entirely reasonable to assume that just about any dark-skinned immigrant from a poor country will become a net drain on government coffers. Hence, say the “immigration skeptics,” we in the West are at the point where it is rational to equate immigration deregulation with net increases in the tax burden. Besides, some “immigration skeptics” add, even if Alfredo in our scenario did not apply for any official government assistance programs, Alfredo still benefited indirectly from tax payments from native-born citizens, as he used roads and other tax-funded forms of infrastructure. But an “immigration skeptic” who said this would contradict himself if he also made the point that immigration was okay during the nineteenth century. At that time, immigrants were already using forms of tax-funded infrastructure, such as the Union Pacific Railroad.

    The assumption that immigration and tax funding presently go hand-in-hand is inaccurate on multiple levels. And it blunders in its effort to advance the case that in the presence of the welfare state, the solution is for the government to maintain or add onto present restrictions on immigration.

    It is not true that immigrants from poor countries are a net drain on government coffers. It is not true for either legal or illegal immigrants from the poor countries. I will get to that at the end. But even if they were a net drain on government coffers, keeping or adding to the present restrictions on immigration would not be a scrupulous response to the matter.

    First, if immigration ceased completely, that would not remove the built-in unsustainability of the welfare state. The welfare state would still motivate more native-born citizens to be on the receiving end on the tax-funded benefits and not on the contributing end. This is especially worrisome in cases where the number of native-born retirees receiving Medicare and Social Security exceeds the number of native-born workers depositing money into the system.

    That is one reason why, in the 1990s, Western European welfare states relaxed their restrictions against immigration — they correctly anticipated that it would be through taxing immigrants that they would make up for these Social Security systems’ budget shortfalls. But were it the case that immigrants were speeding up the depletion of welfare coffers, ending immigration would not stop the emptying of the coffers but merely postpone it. The single most effective lesson that teaches a junkie the pathological nature of his addiction is his being allowed to hit rock bottom and face the harsh reality of his situation. Were immigrants a net drain on the welfare state, they would not be the cause or even contributor to the welfare state’s ills — they would merely be speeding up the process so that the wider society would have to face sooner, rather than later, the welfare state’s unsustainability. To attempt to limit the present number of welfare recipients does not remedy the system but merely prolongs the dysfunction of it, akin to giving the addict his next “fix” so that he can go on evading the need to confront the nature of his affliction.

    To say that one combats welfare by deterring foreign-born people from accessing it, then, is a non-sequitur at best. Insofar as blocking immigrants’ access to welfare delays the eventual emptying of the welfare-state coffers, the welfare state is preserved.  Absent of additional foreign-born people receiving welfare, you will continue to be taxed to pay into the welfare coffers all the same.  “Immigration skeptics” who use the welfare argument, then, fight against liberalization on at least two fronts — they fight against laissez faire on the matter of migration, and they fight against laissez faire even when it comes to welfare, for, according to their very own argument, their success in blocking immigration is what extends the duration wherein the welfare state maintains its pretense of long-term solvency. If “immigration skeptics” were correct that immigrants accessing welfare would cause the welfare state to collapse sooner than it otherwise would, then, by their very logic of their argument, the “immigration skeptics” inadvertently admit to being the welfare state’s apologists, not its opponents.

    This brings to mind another reason why it is disingenuous for advocates of governmental restrictions on immigration to posture as supporters of liberalization and deregulation in other aspects of life. If one presumes that immigrants from poor countries generally add onto the tax burden, and that this is justification enough for governmental restrictions on immigration from poor countries, then one also ought to favor governmental efforts to police your health. There is a movement among busybodies such as Michael Bloomberg to dictate over what you can and cannot peaceably consume, such as sugar. To this, many right-wingers properly respond to the health police, “This is none of your business!” To that, the health police snap back: Everything else being equal, someone who is obese or unhealthy is a greater burden on taxpayers. So it IS my business.  If you want to stop increases in taxpayer spending on health care, we have to prevent people from making unhealthy choices from the outset.

    I shall quote the health police themselves.  The New York Times quotes Dr. Douglas Bettcher of the World Health Organization saying, “If governments tax products like sugary drinks, they can...cut health care costs.” Likewise, Daniel Honan writes in The Big Think that 1,840 more U.S. dollars are spent per year on the medical costs of an overweight person than a non-overweight person, resulting in “$190 billion in annual medical costs due to obesity.” He concludes that for the State to neglect to police everyone’s health is to “let the health care system absorb all of the costs.”

    The proper rejoinder from right-wingers is: if you consider it unfair that healthy people should pay taxes to finance the health care services of persons who made less healthful decisions, then the solution is for each household to be left paying for its own health care.

    And, to that, the health police can easily reply: But such privatization of payment for health-care services is a political non-starter. Tax funding for health care isn’t going away, and so the one method for lightening the tax burden is for the State to police people’s health.

    The health police’s rationalization is remarkably similar to that of their faux opponent, self-proclaimed anarchist N. Stephan Kinsella of the Mises Institute. Kinsella starts his own presentation of this rationalization by reminding us that in a purely laissez-faire society, private parties would own the roads and set the rules for them — what the speed limits would be and such. But then, Kinsella adds, as long as the government owns the roads, we should accept that the government has to set rules on traffic for everyone’s safety. That is true. But Kinsella disingenuously continues that applying this principle to the U.S. treasury means that as long as the government has control over our money — the ability to confiscate and redistribute our fortunes — and as long as some immigrants receive tax funding, it follows that, for the purpose of maintaining a limit on the tax burden, it is proper for the State to maintain restrictions on immigration.

    In our mixed economy, most aspects of our lives involve some pertinent party receiving tax funding. Tax funding goes to some farms, some banks, some computer companies, some practitioners in the fine arts, and all of our automakers. There is tax funding in health care; tax money even goes to too many private schools.

    “Reducing the tax burden” is cited for governmental micromanagement over someone’s private choices that affect his health. Since there are farms that receive taxpayer funding, “reducing the tax burden” can be cited to place a cap on the number of farms that can open each year; it can be cited to justify additional forms of micromanagement over how farmers conduct their business.

    Once the anti-immigrationists’ rationalization is adopted as valid — once it is conceded that some members of a group receiving taxpayer funding is sufficient justification for the government to impose controls on members of that group in general — one then cedes to the government a substantial gain in control over all aspects of life. Supposedly anarchist N. Stephan Kinsella of the supposedly anarchist Mises Institute offers . . . a totalitarian rationalization.

    And still right-wing commentators who pretend to oppose the welfare state — such as Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux — propound to their audiences, You can either have open immigration or the welfare state, but in the long term you cannot have both. The best response is, “Then it’s open immigration that must be prioritized and preserved.” But notice that when a supposed opponent of big government tells us that we can either have open immigration and the welfare state but not both, the implication is always that it is the prospect of liberalized immigration policy that we ought to forsake.  The implication is always that maintaining a welfare state — one explicitly hostile to laissez faire — is a good of greater worth than is immigration freedom.

    If such bozos genuinely wanted to roll back the welfare state and Nanny State, they would call for cuts in welfare across the board, especially for native-born citizens. By saying that it is open immigration that must be sacrificed in this either-or choice, they inadvertently admit that they would rather have a society with welfare and less immigration than have a society that has more immigration and no welfare. Hence, Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux are doubly opposed to laissez faire — they are explicitly unfriendly toward immigration freedom and they are implicitly accepting toward the welfare state.

    And herein we find the fatuousness in their favorite retort, But we won’t stop having the welfare state. Rolling back the welfare state is a political non-starter. Therefore the best we can do is have the government impose restrictions on immigration. That excuse for immigration restriction exhibits a fatal miscalculation.

    To those who protest “But we won’t stop having a welfare state!”, one can just as easily retort, “But we won’t stop having immigration from poor countries.” Whenever some countries are freer than others, people from the less-free countries will migrate to the freer countries. And if the present red tape — and future additional immigration restrictions — obstruct them from migrating legally, they will do it illegally.

    Those who shout that the welfare state is unstoppable, and therefore it is immigration that must be fought, falsely presume that immigration is somehow easier to stop than the welfare state is. They have no basis for that. Those who claim to understand free-market economics should be cognizant that this is the same principle that applies to instances where the government either imposes stringent restrictions on prostitution and recreational drug usage or outlaws them completely.

    Given that our ferociously militarized federal prohibition on specific recreational drugs, with an enforcement budget of billions of dollars, has proven unsuccessful in stopping the flow of these illicit substances, it is doubtful that aggressive and militarized crackdowns on “illegal Third-World immigration” would yield impressive results. Much more feasible than stopping “Third-World immigration” itself would be to have laws preventing such immigrants already in the USA from qualifying for welfare — but such laws are already on the books and, if they weren’t, such laws could swiftly be passed in the absence of any restrictions on immigration itself.

    What About Refugee Resettlement Programs?
    Some will chafe at my pointing out that open immigration is an enterprise that is consensually funded, not tax-funded, because wealthy countries do have tax-funded refugee resettlement programs. Taxes are spent on housing these refugees. “Immigration skeptics” cited the existence of these refugee resettlement programs in their efforts to conflate liberalization of immigration with expanding the welfare state. Too many people assume that tax money being spent on room and board for refugees is inherent to refugees from poor kleptocracies entering Western countries at all.

    Hence, I have seen numerous “immigration skeptics” on Twitter accuse Harry Potter creator J. K. Rowling, a self-made billionairess, of hypocrisy. J. K. Rowling frequently writes on Twitter of her desire that refugees and asylum seekers enter the United Kingdom. In response, “immigration skeptics” dare her to house such refugees in her own mansion. When they see that J. K. has not responded to them, they declare that this is because she has no answer to them and that they have won.

    “Progressives talk about saving refugees,” tweets the very confused ideological journalist Ian Miles Cheong, “but no one wants to house them.” Wrong; I can name multimillionaires and billionaires who have taken this upon themselves.

    In fact, billionaires in the United States, such as George Soros, have expressed a willingness to put up their own money for refugee resettlement. And, as the Niskanen Center points out, it is government regulations that obstruct philanthropists from devising their own consensually funded refugee resettlement programs in the USA.

    One relatively rich country that allows for consensually funded refugee resettlement programs is Canada, and this has shown remarkable success. “Jim Estill put up $1.5 million to bring 58 families to Canada. He found them homes, gave them jobs and even bought one man a dollar store.” In that process, he saved the lives of two hundred refugees.

    The Niskanen Center and the aforementioned billionaires do not recommend that a consensually funded refugee resettlement program replace tax-funded efforts completely. But that consensually funded efforts have been so successful evinces that it is entirely plausible that wealthy countries would still be able to accept refugees in the absence of any tax funding for their resettlement. This gives the lie to the vociferation that a rich country’s acceptance of refugees is something that must be associated with tax funding and the regulatory-entitlement state.

    If they were honest about their main objection to refugee acceptance being that it involved taxes going to fund refugee resettlement programs, then “immigration skeptics” should applaud when billionaire philanthropists privately sponsor refugees. Those “immigration skeptics” would cite this consensually funded philanthropy as a potential eventual replacement of tax-funded resettlement programs. And yet when Breitbart News has found examples of entrepreneurs spending their own money to benefit such refugees, Breitbart News has instead tried to shame them. Starbucks announced it planned to hire 10,000 Muslim refugees, and Breitbart News responded by shrieking that this was horrendous discrimination, the politically-correct oppression of the native-born white men whom Starbucks would gloss over as it gave preference to impoverished dark-skinned Muslims. Likewise, as Hamid Ulukaya considered hiring Syrian refugees to work for his company, Chobani Yogurt, Lee Stranahan of Breitbart News denounced him as a robber baron trying to exploit their “cheap labor” while driving down the wages of native-born white men.

    If the big concern about refugees coming into the USA genuinely was the worry that they might have to rely on native-born taxpayers for financial assistance, then Starbucks and Chobani Yogurt hiring these refugees should have been a source of relief. That Breitbart News instead chose to demonize rich people who spent their own money on helping refugees — who actually helped the refugees support themselves, rather than rely on the State to provide for them — indicates that the worry that the refugees would impose a financial burden was never Breitbart News’s actual objection, and that when Breitbart News did previously raise that objection, it was a thin cover for what was really going on. Whatever rationalizations are provided, Breitbart News didn’t object to the possibility that the refugees might not be able to support themselves — the hostility was toward the refugees as such.

    And it is important to remember that beneficiaries of the refugee and asylee programs are a tiny minority among foreign-born persons who enter the USA from poor countries. In 2015, the USA accepted 1 million permanent migrants and, among them, fewer than 70,000 were part of the refugee program. That is, fewer than 8 percent of the immigrants that came in that year were from the refugee program. By contrast, 150,000 Mexicans — more than twice the number of the refugee resettlement program’s beneficiaries —  illegally entered the USA in 2010.

    Most immigrants from poor countries don’t benefit from the tax-funded refugee resettlement programs, and fund their own settlement into the USA. To this point, the “immigration skeptics” scoff, proclaiming that there are plenty of other freebies available to them. I will get to that shortly.

    But here I should make an additional point. Longtime readers know that I do not morally approve of compulsory taxation. An ideal constitutional liberal republican Night Watchman State would seek alternative methods of funding itself. But I must say that as long as compulsory taxation exists, and as long as there are parties lobbying for more aggressive crackdowns on undocumented immigrants from poor countries, tax funding for the resettlement of refugees is among the several uses of tax money for which I reserve the least resentment. A far more egregious, wasteful, and hateful use of tax money happens to be the apprehension and deportation of migrants who entered the USA from its southern border.

    When an impoverished refugee from a kleptocracy stays in the USA, rather than be deported or denied entry, that is a life saved. And, as I have pointed out, we already have case studies evincing that this can be funded through completely voluntary means, with the tax-funded programs eventually supplanted by the consensually funded ones. By contrast, many poor people have died violently as a consequence of U.S. tax federal tax money being spent to have those poor people deported to their kleptocratic nations of origin. As Steven Sacco reminds us,

    One study found that between January 2014 and September 2015 eighty-three deportees who were sent back to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador were murdered after their return. They were people fleeing the killers who eventually took their lives. People like José Marvin Martínez, who fled violence in Honduras and made it to the U.S. when he was 16, but was deported and four months after his forcible return was shot to death. Or Juan Francisco Diaz, also deported back to Honduras, where he too was murdered a few months later. Or Giovanni Miranda, who, after spending most of his life in the U.S., was deported to El Salvador to be murdered in front of his wife and son in June 2015. Or Edgar Chocoy, 16, who ran away from a gang to the U.S. only to be murdered by that same gang seventeen days after he was deported back to Guatemala in 2004. Or an unnamed teenager who was shot to death hours after being deported back to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Moises, 19, was murdered after he was deported to El Salvador. And there are too many more names we’ll never know. 
    What’s more, the number of deportees delivered directly to their killers does not include those who survive attempted murder or other violence because of their deportation — a number no one knows. Isais Sosa, who was 19 when the Los Angeles Times covered his story in 2014, survived being shot by a gang days after his deportation. The 19 year old daughter of Dora Lina Meza fled to the U.S. from the same gang that, after she was deported back home, raped her at gun point. After Juan Ines Alanis was deported he was kidnapped and held for ransom while his fingers were smashed with a hammer.

    It is mendacious for “immigration skeptics” to tout themselves as free-marketers calling for net reductions in tax funding, for they would have it that more tax funding go to the government agencies tasked with deporting immigrants already in the USA and denying entry to those aspiring to get in. And as long as the government is going to extort money from me anyway, I would rather a tax dollar of mine go to a refugee resettlement program, which saves lives, than go to the agencies assigned to entry-denial and deportation, both of which contribute to killing people.

    Undocumented Immigrants and Native-Born Citizens: Who Pays Taxes to Support Whom? 
    Here, the “immigration skeptics” protest that I am unfair to say that their wish to expand the government’s power to deport and deny entry will result in net increases, not net reductions, in government spending. Perhaps their requests do require a temporary increase in government outlays to immigration-control agencies, they say, but once the USA has finally rid itself of those millions of welfare-inhaling immigrants, the resulting cost savings will allow for massive reductions in spending and direct taxation. This claim exposes a tremendous ignorance on the part of “immigration skeptics” about what are the USA’s biggest tax-funded entitlement programs, about which groups of people fund those programs, and about which groups of people are the recipients.

    The federal government program most commonly associated with the word “welfare” is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), formerly Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC). Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for this. Only legal immigrants are able to collect TANF and, since 1996, the rule has been that such legal immigrants could only apply for TANF after already having spent five years in the United States. It is not the case that once an undocumented immigrant, already having spent over $3,000 on being smuggled, enters the USA, she can immediately recoup her investment by collecting TANF. For the next five years, she cannot take a dime from this federal program.

    The two biggest entitlement programs in the USA, by far — bigger than anything on the federal, state, or municipal level — are Medicare and Social Security. With outlays of $800 billion per year, they are the only domestic programs that rival the military budget in size. The only immigrants who can collect Medicare and Social Security are Green Card holders (long-term permanent residents) and naturalized U.S. citizens; undocumented immigrants are ineligible. And yet, to find work, undocumented immigrants often resort to using fake Social Security numbers and forged Social Security cards. As a result, among all undocumented immigrants in the United States, more than half find portions of their income deducted from their pay checks as taxes to pay into the Medicare and Social Security — money they will never get back from the Social Security Administration. And the vast majority of retirees who receive these Medicare and Social Security payments are native-born. Together, both legal and illegal immigrants make a net contribution of $85 billion to government coffers annually.

    Contrary to the lies that we have been fed, it is not primarily native-born U.S. citizens paying taxes to support the lifestyles of illegal aliens. It is exactly the reverse. On a net balance, it is undocumented immigrants who pay taxes that go to native-born U.S. citizens through the U.S. government’s two biggest entitlement programs.

    This is Social Security money, taken from undocumented immigrants, that goes to many elderly citizens who are shrieking all over Twitter and Facebook about how undocumented immigrants leech off of them through welfare. This is Social Security money that will likely one day be collected by the same woman I quoted at the start of this essay, the woman who insists that immigrants from poor “Third World” countries are the burden imposed on her. She might say that in her youth she contributed to the system, and therefore her receiving Social Security checks would amount to her getting back the money she already put in. In truth, any money she might have put into the system has already been spent. If they are not finally deported, and if the Social Security system has still managed to avoid its ultimate depletion, the very same immigrants she loathes will be contributing to the federal payments to her.

    As I said earlier, many Western European governments are aware their Social Security systems would experience shortfalls if not for the presence of new immigrants who would pay into the system. That is why, back in the 1990s, so many Western European governments became less stringent about keeping these immigrants out. That — and not Stefan Molyneux’s psychobabble about a globalist cabal trying to force non-Western culture on Europeans — is the main reason for the half-hearted partial rollback of immigration restrictions within Western Europe.

    Far from being net drains on the system, immigrants from poor countries are the Hank Reardens supporting the system and stubbornly refusing to “shrug,” preventing it from collapse. And as you know by now, I am not enthused about the inevitable, built-in crisis of the welfare state being delayed in this manner, when it would be less disastrous for us if everyone got a taste of its weaknesses sooner. When I point out that it is actually the immigrants from the poor countries that are saving the welfare state from its own self-bankruptcy, that is not my defense of them. That it is undocumented immigrants who are bailing out the very welfare state that they are falsely accused of bankrupting, is my sole grievance about them.

    Influxes of Immigrants Temporarily Discourage Support for the Welfare State — Though It’s Not Healthy to Rely on This Phenomenon to Fight the Welfare State
    Not reinforcing popular support in it, the (still-too-meager) liberalizations in immigration have actually discouraged the public from approving the welfare state — although, as I shall explain, this phenomenon is not a reliable method for combating the welfare state.

    One form of tax-funded wealth redistribution is the increasingly popular proposal of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) — richer people are taxed and then, once all the revenue is collected, the government periodically cuts a check in the same amount to every citizen regardless of that person’s income. Many libertarians from the Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation refuse to acknowledge that the UBI is a form of welfare; instead bizarrely hailing it as a potential “replacement” for the welfare state. This attempt to sell UBI as a foil to the welfare state is bewildering. As UBI involves compulsory taxation of the rich and redistributes income for the ostensive purpose of helping people pay for their amenities and meet their living expenses, I consider the UBI an implementation of the welfare state and shall continue to categorize it as such in this essay.

    Switzerland’s immigration policy is very far from laissez faire. Similar to the USA, it issues work visas. But although Switzerland’s immigration policy is more restrictive than it ought to be, it is not as restrictive as many “immigration skeptics” would prefer.

    In June of 2016, Switzerland held a referendum on whether to adopt a Universal Basic Income. Right-wing opponents of UBI intoned ominously that if UBI was adopted, people would attempt to immigrate to Switzerland primarily to take advantage of the UBI payments — that is, they invoked the right-wing cliché about how a society can have either immigration or the welfare state but that, in the final analysis, it cannot have both. The Swiss could have replied that, as a remedy, they would adopt UBI and then tighten the controls on immigration still further. Instead, 78 percent of the people voted down UBI without explicit plans for additional immigration restriction.

    That is, these Swiss voters did the exact opposite of what Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux imply to be the solution. Whereas Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux say one must prioritize either immigration freedom or the welfare state — with Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux counting on immigration freedom to be cast aside as the lesser priority — the Swiss decided that in lieu of expanding welfare and cutting back on immigration, Switzerland could do without another welfare measure.

    Social scientists increasingly find that loosening of immigration restrictions actually increases native-born citizens’ opposition to the welfare state, but not for the best of reasons — definitely not because the native-born citizens have woken up to the principle that compulsory taxation is morally problematic by its very nature and ought to be minimized. Rather, the social scientists have made the following observation: people in the West are generally approving of State-imposed wealth redistribution when their tax money is redistributed to people quite similar to them: people of the same ethnicity and who speak the same language. However, they become more reluctant to condone State-imposed wealth redistribution when their taxes are redistributed to people who are dissimilar from them: those of different ethnicities, different religions, and different languages.

    Molly Worthen, assistant professor of religious history at the University of North Carolina, observes that it is not a random coincidence that the period in U.S. history when native-born citizens were most sympathetic to the welfare state — the duration from 1933 to 1965 — was also the period in U.S. history when immigration controls were at their tightest and at their most explicitly and deliberately “whites-only.” Nor is it an accident of history that as welfare became more accessible to nonwhites since 1965, arguments against the welfare-state-in-general gained traction among the general public, with politicians delivering such arguments winning elections more soundly than they had between 1933 and 1965.

    Ilya Somin of The Volokh Conspiracy thus writes that this xenophobia can actually be leveraged to stir up opposition to the welfare state — one can remind the xenophobic racists that when welfare is available to all “races,” such xenophobic racists must make the calculation of whether their approval of welfare money going to their own “race” is a priority that outweighs their resentment over that welfare money also going to many people of other “races.”

    There are numerous problems, though, with the expectation that such xenophobia and racism can be harnessed to encourage a revolt against the welfare state. Our cause —fighting for laissez faire in migration and domestic dealings alike — is a just one, and it is doubtful that a just cause can win out if its strategy relies on appealing to the most disgusting aspects of human psychology, of which racism and xenophobia definitely qualify. If we become cynics and decide that our best strategy in persuading people to vote against welfare-state measures is that we show them that welfare-state measures will result in more tax money going to “races” they hate, then we can hardly blame people in general for buying into the popular left-wing proclamation that because a significant percentage of welfare recipients are nonwhite, then to oppose the welfare state is inherently the same as being prejudiced against nonwhites.

    Moreover, it seems that people rejecting the welfare state out of their fear of other “races” is, at its potential best, a short-term measure. Of all the states in the Union, Hawaii is both the most ethnically diverse and the state whose state agencies pay out the largest welfare benefits. As I wrote in another blog post, while increases in ethnic diversity might initially foment mutual distrust within a neighborhood, over time the younger generation accustoms itself to the ethnic diversity, and mutual trust is restored. This evinces that as people overcome their ethnic prejudices and grow more accepting of other “races,” they likewise become more accepting of the idea of their tax money being used as welfare going to other “races.”

    Hence, in the long term there is but one practicable strategy for convincing people of the wrongness of the welfare state, and it is also the ethical strategy — informing them that because the initiation of the use of force is wrong, it follows that compulsory taxation and wealth redistribution are wrong on principle, with consensual charity and other forms of free enterprise being the most humane and effective methods for addressing society’s problems. I oppose the compulsory taxation that funds the welfare state for the same reason that I oppose immigration restriction — both are examples of the government initiating the use of force upon nonviolent parties. To call oneself of free-market capitalist who favors governmental restrictions on “Third-World economic migrants” is therefore a contradiction in terms.

    Thus we find that the immigration skeptic I quoted at the beginning is correct that a foreign-born person’s right to his own life “is not a right to my life or to any of those that make up my group, America.” But the prejudices buried in that statement flub in their effort to discredit the natural right to immigrate.

    To advocate the liberalization of immigration is not to imply that the immigrant has a right to the life of this woman or any other native-born U.S. citizen. That the liberalization of immigration is some imposition upon her is just her presumption. On the contrary: for her to presume that a Somali immigrant is morally obligated to beg for her permission prior to coming onto my land in the USA at my consent — on pain of federal agents going after that Somali immigrant — is for her to encroach on the Somali immigrant’s right to live. Somalis lodging on my land at my invitation is not an imposition upon this woman, nor a sacrifice of her rights, unless it is an imposition and sacrifice for me to request of her solemnly that she learn to mind her own business.

    Let us have openness to free and peaceful immigration: armed federal agents need not do anything more strenuous than get out of the immigrants’ way.

    On Wednesday, January 24, 2018, I added the point aboutterra nullius and res nullius. On February 21, 2018, I added the points about the 33 border slayings, the border land of California and Arizona and New Mexico mostly being unused wilderness, and Operation Gatekeeper in 1994 and IIRIRA in 1996. On May 25, 2018, I added the sentence about the 19-year-old would-be undocumented migrant woman being shot dead in Rio Bravo, Texas. On June 6, 2018, I added that her name was Claudia Patricia Gómez González. Consistent with the news reports on May 25, I misidentified her age as 20; on June 6 I changed that to 19..