Immigration – An Austro-Libertarian Analysis
By Duncan Whitmore
Both the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as the US President have elevated the topic of immigration to the top of the political agenda. Leftist, liberal elites – previously so sure they would arrive easily at their vision of an open, borderless world – have been scalded now that the lid has been lifted from the bubbling cauldron of the needs of ordinary, everyday citizens seeking to preserve their jobs and the culture of their homelands.
It is high time that this vitriolic, divisive and – frankly – often quite tiresome issue is put to rest. That, alas, is unlikely to happen, particularly as the political globalists seem content to plough on with their vision of open borders through the looming UN Global Compact for Migration. Listening to the mainstream arguments (or at least to how the leftist/liberal media chooses to portray them), one would be forgiven for thinking that the immigration question needs to be met by an all or nothing answer – i.e. that it is either an unqualified good or an unqualified bad. We are led to believe that it is a contest between liberals, or self-styled “progressives”, clamouring for fully porous borders on the one hand, versus elderly, conservative, racist bigots who supposedly want to keep everyone out and preserve England’s green and pleasant land for white faces.
The falsehood of this dichotomy is obvious to almost anyone who is not of the liberal-left, and, in fact, a “sensible” view on immigration is quite prevalent – that it is possible to be in favour of permitted, but regulated immigration, allowing some people to cross the border as immigrants to come and live and work in the territory of the state while denying that privilege to others. It is also recognised that immigration is economically beneficial in some situations, but not in others – i.e. when immigrants are highly skilled and productive instead of welfare consumers.
The task of this essay is to sharpen this “sensible” view with Austro-libertarian theory. We will begin by outlining the core libertarian theory concerning immigration before examining a key area for contention among libertarians – whether, in a world populated by states, any particular state should restrict or otherwise control movements across the border by persons who are not considered to be citizens of that particular state and whether this is in accordance with libertarian theory. We will then move on to exploring the economic and cultural implications of immigration policies. Continue reading
Why Libertarians Should Read Mises
By Duncan Whitmore
In Part One of this series of three essays exploring the significance of Ludwig von Mises for libertarian thought, we examined the specific place that Mises holds in our tradition, and outlined the unique sophistication of his utilitarian theory in favour of freedom compared to that of other theories that can be grouped into this bracket.
In this part we will turn our attention to a detailed analysis of the action axiom – the keystone of Misesian economic theory – and its implications for concepts that we readily encounter in libertarianism.
Somewhat ironically, it was largely as a result of his influence that the wertfreiheit of Mises’ praxeology was regarded as a separate discipline from the search for an ultimate, ethical justification of liberty – a belief that was sustained by Murray N Rothbard.1 In more recent years, Hans-Hermann Hoppe has probably come closest to providing a link between the two through his derivation of “argumentation ethics” within the praxeological framework, and his identification of the pervasive problem of scarcity – a key praxeological concept – as underpinning any system of ethics.
Nevertheless, one may conclude that a full reconciliation, or synthesis, between the two is still wanting and that there remain other important commonalities to which this essay will seek to provide an introduction. Some of what we will learn below will have implications for a general understanding of right, and that the truths we reveal are inescapable for any political philosophy. Others will be specifically pertinent to libertarianism and will provide us with insights as to how we can further the libertarian goal. Continue reading
Why Libertarians Should Read Mises
By Duncan Whitmore
There is little need to point out to members of the forum bearing his name that Ludwig von Mises was one of the most passionate and influential defenders of the free market in intellectual history – the lynchpin of a tradition running from Carl Menger in the late nineteenth century to the active members of the flourishing “Austrian” school today. Many libertarians – including the present author – first found their enthusiasm for the philosophy through contact with Mises’ work and, in spite of the undeniably titanic influence of other great men in the field (such as Murray N Rothbard), it is Mises who remains the primary inspiration of many an intellectual career within Austro-libertarianism.
Mises made relatively few pronouncements that were concerned specifically with ethics, his intellectual endeavours being focussed mainly on developing and expounding economic theory and epistemology. It is true that he regarded this theory as the basis for an unflinching advocacy of what could then be called liberalism – an aspect we will explore in detail. However, he did so on the basis that, in general, “people prefer life to death, health to sickness, nourishment to starvation, abundance to poverty” and that praxeology and economics “teaches man how to act in accordance with these [presupposed] valuations”.1
Many libertarians share this attitude and believe that the enormous increase in the standard of living that would be afforded by the free market provides its strongest justification. Indeed, it would be futile for any strategy for achieving a libertarian world to omit this powerful argument – particularly when it becomes clear that the established elite are using the existing corp-tocracy to enrich only themselves, causing the siren song of socialist alternatives to grow dangerously louder. Continue reading
Today, I want to look at an issue on which I think libertarian ideas, as they’re often put forward today, are a bit simplistic and weak. I refer to “intellectual property.” But I’ll begin with some scenarios involving real (or not so real) property.
….at about £100,000 per pound.
Even though the cheese slice was the Franchisee’s private property, you’d have thought they could let one go now and again. If today’s British A-level statistics papers are anything to go by, people called “Sameena” pack cheese slices in boxes of mean contents = 500, standard deviation = 3, and P( x < 496) = 0.001, P( x > 504) = 0.01 ….
I presume that Dutch McDonald’s outlets are also independently-operated franchises just like they are here? I do not know. Perhaps someone will enlighten me, If so, I can’t believe that the odd whole burger does not go “missing” fairly frequently.
They will. I bet you 3p.
Guido has a pretty model doing her stuff (actually I think this is the better link) (so do we sometimes here) called Babz something or other, and who is supporting the plan.
The only thing Libertarians ought to be concerned about here is the property rights of the people – and there will be a number, inevitably – whose homes and land will be taken and who will have to be displaced. This is the only issue of importance.
All that the Greenazis are concerned about is that Britain, a land which they hate and want dead, for showing the up to be the hideous and obscene people-murderers which they are and have always been, should not be able to profit from what the next century’s people will all want to do.
I expect Tony Hollick will oppose me in the comments, on some jurisprudential pretext or other….if you do not, Tony, I take it all back!
The problem of London is that it’s in the probably least-bad place it could be. Imagine if it was in Birmingham, or Liverpool. Geography, mountains and landforms would be against it. Then imagine a slightly less police-statist Britain emerging from the recession.
The next problem is where do you put the seven or eight or ten airports that, Al Gore’s demise willing, it will need. If not that many, then which ones do you expand?
The only issue we should worry about is property rights. And that does NOT include “film” “stars” and “pop” “singers” who abuse the notion of personal property on purpse, because the MSM will let them get away with it, and they can afford expensive (lefty) lawyers. (Why are most lawyers socialists? Discuss.)
Earlier, we wrote here about the State Plan to steal nationalise open for all to enjoy, a 10-metere-wide strip of coastline all round the British Isles. (Bet they won’t include Ireland.)
I have thought about hbow to deal with this, so as to satisfy the nazis RSPCA and the Gramsco-Marxian anti-farming-brigade the Greens.
In return for their property being stolen opened for the outdoor enjoyment of all, people who have been defrauded have willingly handed over their property rights will be allowed to breed or sponsor the introduction of wild bears, wild wolves, pumas and fierce predatory dogs, or other large vertebrate predators that they might care to specify, which will be allowed at all times to live freely in the “zone”.
I presume it will be fenced?
Otherwise, how will the “ramblers” know where their ill-gotten gains end, and real human beings’ property begins?