Alright, this has been going on for long enough. It’s time to address this idea that “we’re all immigrants”, which is the deductive Trojan horse being used to sneak in the conclusion, “the United States is not allowed to have any borders” (in this case, beyond the analogy, to literally smuggle in a bunch of foreigners to destroy us from the inside).
On the surface, it seems to make sense. Given any U.S. citizen who isn’t a “Native American”, we can go back in their ancestry far enough until we find someone who was not born in the United States, and instead moved to it, a.k.a. immigrated. We’re all familiar with the retort. “Oh, so when did your family immigrate here, huh?” You can’t argue with that, right? I mean, yes, at some point every person of European descent living in America had a generation move into the U.S.
First of all, does this actually matter? As I said, the end goal of this claim is to conclude from it that the U.S. cannot have any kind of immigration policy without being damned to hypocrisy. This is obviously nonsense. An immigration policy is about selecting who is eligible to immigrate into a country. That some people in the past qualified does not somehow imply that their present descendants must accept all immigrants. What if the immigration policy literally didn’t change, so that all the present people are saying is that whatever qualified their ancestors to immigrate should remain the requirements today for immigrants? How is it hypocrisy to insist the rules stay the same?
As we so often have to remind people, the objection is to illegal immigration, not immigration period. The reason why we need a border wall is to ensure that people coming into the country applied for entry and were granted it, not to completely shut off all non-citizens from ever entering. So the claim that the children of legal immigrants cannot fairly object to illegal immigration is patent nonsense.
At this point, the ever so woke SJW will invoke the argument that the U.S. itself was founded by a massive act of illegal immigration. The colonists did not apply for citizenship in the “First Nations”. They didn’t have any paperwork. They just came right on in and planted their flags in the ground. And this is what really makes all Americans who oppose illegal immigration hypocrites.
Now, I find it very important to emphasize what this argument is. Let’s just spell it out in plain English: they’re saying the U.S. was founded by the conquest of other peoples, therefore for moral consistency present-day Americans cannot object to being conquered themselves. Oops. That wasn’t supposed to slip out. You thought illegal immigration was about getting your yard work done for a couple bucks an hour? No, it’s about other people planting their flag on your country and taking it for themselves. You have no right to object to it because you and your country did that very same thing in order to bring yourself into existence.
Let me repeat that: the Left actually admits in one of their main arguments that, number one, the United States has no right to exist, and number two, their opposition to border security is to ensure its (morally necessary, they say) destruction.
Good to know.
That’s why I saw plenty of memes during 2016 like this one.
We’ll get to the underlying logic, but the point cannot be any more clear. The Left’s position is: Destroy America Like America Destroyed the Indians. No wonder “Make America Great Again” triggers them so much. At this point, quite understandably, a lot of Americans said, “if I have to choose hypocrisy or cultural destruction, then call me a fuckin’ hypocrite”. I’d rather be wrong than dead.
Preference for survival aside, does this argument actually make sense? Well, does “eye for an eye” ever make sense? Is it morally uprighteous to murder a murderer, or rape a rapist? According to base human passions, certainly yes. I’m sure we all see some kind of satisfying cosmic comeuppance in a criminal getting what’s coming to him in exactly the same flavor in which he was dishing it out. But does this stand up to the refined intellectual scrutiny that raises us above mere barbarians?
I don’t want to get off into the weeds about criminal justice theory, but to be sure, it’s not obvious or straightforward, and in fact almost every civil society’s justice system answers with a firm “no”. But even if it is just for an individual who personally committed a crime, what we’re dealing with here is some kind of generational and civic justice; that if one person commits a crime, his children, grandchildren and fellow countrymen must all be subjected to whatever it was he did.
Now that is just fucking crazy.
The Left threw a big tantrum when Trump suggested that we should punish the immediate family members of terrorists. It is widely considered, and I think justly so, that punishing those related to (either by blood or nationality or whatever else) a criminal for his personal crimes is extremely barbaric (not that I agree with Trump on this, but in his defense he was suggesting that the immediate family is privy to the activities of the terrorists and therefore are accessories).
What’s with all these hangups on the past, especially by people who aren’t descended from those involved? Why are virtue signalling white Americans vexing everyone over ancient grievances that aren’t even theirs? I’ll tell you why: for leverage. They want power over the rest of us, and they’re so shameful they’re trying to squeeze it out of someone else’s historical beefs. They’ll even do it using historical beef people might have with themselves!
I cannot remind people of the First Law of Virtue Signalers enough: whenever a Leftist is morally condemning others, he’s in the process of doing something that is mind-bogglingly morally reprehensible.
This has nothing to do with righting the wrongs that the European colonists did to the Indians. Justice is about retribution, not revenge. Even if we accepted the Left’s base moral argument, that would imply (as the above meme suggests) that all Europeans must leave the Americas and return it to the Indians. It certainly wouldn’t mean that we need to import huge swaths of additional non-Americans into America! If the U.S. gets conquered by other people, then the Indians will just get conquered again! So the moral posturing is absolute bullshit. Leftists just hate America (because it’s capitalist and Leftists are bitter Marxist communist losers who hate the way the 20th century played out) and are exploiting Indians for their own sick benefit.
Speaking of which, I’m not sure what they expect will happen to themselves. Will Leftists go down with the ship? Or are they exempted from destruction because they invited it? That’s the thing about the 21st Century Marxists. In the 19th and early 20th century, they had a vision of their perfect anti-economic economy raising everyone up into affluence (and only making the unduly rich factory owners suffer). After that failed, their vision now is just burn it all the fuck down, and who cares what comes after the smoking crater.
Let’s keep unpacking this. According to the Left, the Indians have a superior claim to the United States because they were here first. Now, that’s interesting. In the stuffy halls of political philosophy scholarship we call the “first come, first served” theory of ownership “Lockean Homesteading”. It is, in fact, the entire basis upon which the classical liberal and libertarian theory of private property is based. So, let’s not go there. I’ve said it before: Leftists aren’t allowed to feign principled libertarianism for those brief moments when it helps them steal someone else’s stuff.
This is also one of those cases where Leftists have this romanticized notion of how things were before “Evil Whitey” entered the picture. Apparently the day before Columbus set foot in the Caribbean islands, everyone in the American continents was just dancing around a crackling campfire under a puffy rainbow in a gumdrop forest. Who says the Indians encountered at that time were the first ones there? Who knows how many other long extinct Indian tribes were slaughtered and conquered before then? We don’t know, because the Indians didn’t keep a written history. We all know what the Europeans did to the Indians because Europeans keep track of all that shit, and they didn’t lie and sweep it under the rug. They teach it to their own children in their public schools. I’m sure the lost Indian tribes whose names we’ve never heard and will never know would have appreciated that.
So then why end this process of rightful reassignment of “original” landowners at 1492? We gotta keep going! Or at least try. And why stop in the American continents? Why not go back all the way through European history until we find the Neanderthal tribe that really deserves France?
Again, any semblance of moral consistency as the underlying goal is a farce. The Left just went back in time until they found the first non-white people (which also explains why they’re not interested in doing the same with Europe). Any excuse it takes, as long as the result is the destruction of America and evil European capitalism.
Leftists aside, I certainly accept the Lockean theory. If someone is occupying land, and someone else comes along and takes it, I call that stealing. That is, in fact, what I’m basing my objection to open borders on. So by believing in private property that is established by the first person to occupy and make use of something, am I committed to the belief that America rightly belongs to Indians? And what is my solution to the problem of how far back in history we need to go? The latter question has already been answered by the libertarian theorists: any claim that cannot presently be explicitly demonstrated with hard evidence, down to the level of identifying specifically who is the living heir of the rightful owner, is spurious. And that brings us to the crucial point.
Is the United States actually founded on a massive wave of illegal immigration and “stealing land”? Well, I’m sure there was some land stolen from native tribes, which is why they now have reservations (and I won’t deny the U.S. Government has a terrible track record for honoring its treaties). But the fact is, the vast majority of North America was never rightfully claimed by anyone before the Europeans arrived. It’s one thing to settle on land and develop it into farms, or homes or whatever else. But to roam freely over wild land, only using it but never developing or transforming it, does not establish any meaningful ownership. How could it?
What would the borders be? That’s what this is all about, right? Did the Indians define borders that the Europeans crossed without their permission? In some cases, probably. However, that border is most certainly not the entire continent. Much of North America was never touched, even nomadically, by Indians. So they certainly didn’t own that. Where’s the border between the wild land they never touched, and the wild land they roamed over but never developed? There isn’t one, because there was no development. That’s why development (“mixing your labor”, as Locke called it) is crucial to ownership: it defines the border and establishes exactly what you own. No matter how you slice it, the Indians may have had claim to some land, but it wouldn’t be anywhere close to the entire continent.
So, no, you can’t illegally immigrate into the wild. The deer and buffalo didn’t pass immigration laws (oh God… well, I don’t have time to argue with the vegans right now). You can’t conquer wilderness.
There was certainly some conquest that went on, and ironically it was mostly in central America, where there were actual civilizations like the Aztecs and Mayans. The present-day Mexicans, Guatemalans and so on, are the mixed descendants of the vicious Spanish conquistadors who absolutely stole land from those people. And that’s who we’re supposed to let flood into the U.S. to prove how woke we are about our colonialist past!?
Give me a fucking break.
And just to be clear, local rumors had it that the Aztecs were pretty ruthless about taking land themselves. The complex moral dilemma of what, if anything, to do about all that is hardly addressed by yelling, “No Borders, No Wall, No U.S.A. at All”.
The original settlers were just that: settlers. Colonists. Not immigrants, and certainly not illegal immigrants.
So does the United States have a right to protect its border? Yes. Yes it does.
Build the Fucking Wall!