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Is a border wall anti-Objectivist?

Posted by  $  richrobinson 2 years, 1 month ago to The Gulch: General
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The Gulch in Atlas Shrugged was protected by a "virtual wall". Had James Taggert, Orren Boyle and Wesley Mouch found the Gulch they certainly would have been denied entry. Any collectivist would have been denied entry. Why? They hadn't committed a crime. I think this proves that Ayn Rand respected borders and the protection of those borders. Is this a reasonable analogy?


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    Posted by handyman 2 years, 1 month ago
    A border wall is not anti-Objectivist, nor are other reasonable limitations on or
    certain requirements placed upon people coming and going across the border.
    One of the federal government’s primary responsibilities is protecting citizens
    from threats beyond our borders. Threats are not limited to military incursions.
    How could the federal government fulfill that obligation yet not be allowed to
    limit who crosses the border?
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    • Posted by term2 2 years, 1 month ago
      I have a wall around my house, and wouldnt think of letting in "immigrants" such as syrian refugees ! I might however consider letting in "immigrants" who offered something of value in return. Its just common sense I think.
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    • Posted by ewv 2 years, 1 month ago
      Protecting the country by defending borders does not mean using borders and walls for economic protectionism.
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      • Posted by handyman 2 years, 1 month ago
        True enough. There is no shortage of interest groups supporting either more immigration (e.g. agriculture) or less (e.g. some unions). Immigration policy is
        part of political philosophy. I don’t know of any scholarly writing on this topic as
        an extension of Objectivism. Does anyone know?

        Objectivism applied to this topic would certainly accommodate some kind of
        “guest worker” program. As with anything else in the political realm, the devils
        will be in the details aided and abetted by all those same interest groups.
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        • Posted by ewv 2 years, 1 month ago
          Ayn Rand addressed immigration in answer to a question on limiting it for economic protectionism, discussed on this forum at https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post....

          I don't know of any "Objectivist" scholarly analysis in more detail than her statement on the topic and the elaborations in the references given there (although there have been many rationalizations in her name on behalf of the current standard conflicting views without understanding what she explained and its context).

          There are many options for how a rational immigration policy could be implemented to both legitimately protect the citizens of this country and to accommodate the right of immigration, but none of them could enforce economic protectionism any more than any other government intervention in economic affairs on behalf of pressure groups seeking to use government force for their own perceived economic well being.
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    • Posted by  $  2 years, 1 month ago
      Excellent question. It is a much different world today and we need to figure out how to deal with current threats. I can see vetting getting out of hand so we need to be vigilant.
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  • 11
    Posted by Abaco 2 years, 1 month ago
    Good question. This recent debate has had me thinking that without control of a border there is no sovereignty. Without borders, why even have nations? Let's just let it become one big swirling mess of humanity. (Sarcasm, mixed with reality...)
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    • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 1 month ago
      I said much the same thing about a year ago, and was shot down by several prominent Gulchers.
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      • Posted by term2 2 years, 1 month ago
        there is a purpose behind having a border- protection from people who would violate our rights. In vegas, we have gated communities with access restrictions for that reason. Canada and Australia have much tougher immigration and visitation restrictions than the USA does. Try to visit Canada if you have had a DUI in the last 5 years (I think it might also extend to 10 years depending...). I could forget establishing residency in Canada even though I would be a very productive and law abiding citizen. And working in Canada- pretty much forget that !
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        • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 1 month ago
          When a guest comes uninvited, the burden of proof that they are going to do no harm is on the guest. The "right to travel freely" is a presumption whose premises should be checked.
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          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 1 month ago
            Specifically, the premise is the presumption of innocence. The presumption of innocence is predicated on the lifetime of experience that the person has built up over his/her lifetime, as well as the ability of a government to verify that innocence.

            The moral justification for restricting immigration from certain countries is the inability for the host country to verify a person's background.

            When someone comes uninvited from another country, it is not unreasonable for the prospective host country to ask the purpose for the potential immigrant's (or visitor's) coming. For a country to elevate a non-citizen's "right to travel freely" above the right of its own citizenry, particularly the right of citizens to be secure in their persons (from the 4th Amendment), is simply irrational and does not deserve further discussion.
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          • Posted by term2 2 years, 1 month ago
            I think the liberals should think about who they would permit to immigrate onto their property. Its not hard to see that there would definitely be extreme vetting before they would agree to that. Same thing with the country.
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  • 10
    Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 1 month ago
    I think that the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen should be earned and made available only after someone has proven himself worthy. This includes not only immigrants, but also people born in the states united. Then one should have the option to decide for himself if he wants to be a citizen or to be a free sovereign that voluntarily selects and pays for the services he receives from government without any ability to vote or responsibility to serve the government (as a juror, for example.)
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 2 years, 1 month ago
    Yes...but also, we all must observe that most of the worlds population, never mind their governments, Do Not Respect the Property of others. We can never have an open border society until they do...
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    • Posted by  $  2 years, 1 month ago
      Very true. I am suspicious of Government doing anything and it is possible vetting can be over done. Makes it a difficult problem to tackle.
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      • Posted by wiggys 2 years, 1 month ago
        the problem is not difficult.
        from 1850 till say ww2 the people who arrived on the shores of the usa brought with them skills, knowledge etc and if you look around you see what they did.
        those who want to come to the usa today bring nothing of value! I know that here and there is a perso with promise of great accomplishment but so what. most who want in are let in for political reasons developed by OUR politicians, so OUR peoliticians can garner votes. in addition we do not have enough opportunity for employment for born citizens so we really do not need more people who will ONLY be put on the backs of those who do work and pay taxes. in objectivism we should have open borders but it would be done at OUR peril.
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        • Posted by term2 2 years, 1 month ago
          I agree. immigrants should respect our culture and bring something of value. its not difficult. Try to get into canada or australia ("border security" on netflix). We have just been stupid in terms of enforcing immigration standards.
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  • Posted by killerbee 2 years, 1 month ago
    No, it's not anti-Objectivist. In fact just the opposite. The current zero borders (except for Israel) advocacy of ARI, Brook and Binswanger is not consistent with the continuation of the United States as a free country and is not based in fact.

    This is worth reading in its entirety even though it's quite long.

    https://objectivedissent.org/2017/01/...
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    • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 1 month ago
      Dear Killerbee,

      Your link deserves to be a separate post on its own. I compared immigrants to guests earlier today, but terrorists who disguise themselves as refugees deserve to be compared to the barbarians referred to in your link.
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  • Posted by j_IR1776wg 2 years, 1 month ago
    James and Orren, and Welsey would have followed the time honored tradition of taking the Gulch by force of arms or taxing the Gulchers into submission and slavery.

    The age old question of whether an individual or group of individuals can claim a patch of ground as theirs and how much ground and by what warrant are they able to invite in, or, exclude others from crossing their borders remains unanswered.

    Ayn Rand never thought of Galt's Gulch as a possible existent to my knowledge.
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  • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 2 years, 1 month ago
    I have to take exception to your phrase "they hadn't committed a crime". The things they did to their fellow man may not have been illegal, but they were certainly crimes.

    Also, since Galt's Gulch was private land, borders were absolutely viable in this instance.
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  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 2 years, 1 month ago
    If you mean, is selective admission to a nation-state anti-Objectivist, the answer is no. Nothing in Objectivism declares it moral or rational to invite all comers, nor even to grant automatic citizenship, or even lawful residency, by birth. Emmerich de Vattel did describe that category of lawful residents who were without doubt "naturally born" to their status in one country. But he did not arrive at that description by way of Rand (whom he obviously ante-dated) nor even, as far as I know, by way of Aristotle. (If he derived his definition from Plato's Republic or Laws, that's fine--but Aristotle, and only Aristotle, is the source of "High Objectivism," if you will.)

    For that matter, the Committee of Safety--the Triumvirs--never made or enforced any rule governing the residency of children beyond any "age of decision-making." That's because it never came up. For within twelve years the "code of the looters" collapsed and the Gulch went from hide-away to capital city in a trice. But I have no doubt that every child would have faced a Day of Reckoning, whereon he must take the Oath, or leave, had the collapse taken longer than a generation.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 2 years, 1 month ago
    If we recognize that the very first border of any consequence is the border of our own bodies, do we not consider violation of it to be a cardinal offense? Absolutely. There is a delineation point between one object and the next which must be identified and respected because those lines indicate zones of control aka property rights. If we first acknowledge that we have the right to own ourselves, we make the claim that we have primary rights over the substance in our persons. That right is sacrosanct because all other rights flow from it. So too with a nation's borders: those who are citizens have the penultimate control over who is allowed entry into this nation and for what reason. Thus control of a nation's borders is no different than control of one's own skin.

    Now can one argue that because there are multiple claims of ownership upon a nation's borders that control is shared? Absolutely, which is why representative government then is delegated the power over such matters - so that a single body can set policy as agents for the rest. But the argument that since border control is shared that it means that there can be no control is simply belied by the reality of borders in the first place. To argue for open borders is to deny the rights of ownership and control derived from citizenship.
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  • Posted by rbroberg 2 years, 1 month ago
    What is the justification for the border wall? That it keeps out illegal immigrants who cost the American taxpayer or job seeker. Or, that it keeps out terror cells.

    The first part appears egoist.. but is it? Do highly regulated passages between the United States and Mexico yield a net positive income?

    cost of wall + cost of international enforcement - cost of social services - cost of national enforcement = net income

    net income + net tariff income = net resultant income

    I am not sure anyone can plug in those numbers with exceptional accuracy, but perhaps it would be fun to guess.

    So let's address the terror cells. This is not the main issue. The USA is not a closed system, and will never be a closed system. To eliminate terrorism, you have to cut the head of the snake. This means ruining those nations that support terror financially and ideologically.
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    • Posted by  $  2 years, 1 month ago
      I'm not sure why we can't have a simple work permit program so the workers come in legally. This would greatly reduce the number of people we need to vet.
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      • Posted by term2 2 years, 1 month ago
        I disagree that we should deny work permits because american jobs would be filled by immigrants. This only perpetuates inefficiency and lets american workers slack off. If american workers charge more than other workers, we need to up our game.
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        • Posted by  $  2 years, 1 month ago
          I meant that workers coming from Mexico should be able to easily get a work permit allowing them entry. Not sure why we force someone who is working here to sneak in. Once documented the visa could be cancelled if laws are broken.
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          • Posted by term2 2 years, 1 month ago
            sounds good to me. I hire mostly "illegal aliens" because they work better than the entitled americans. Makes us both criminals currently.
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            • Posted by rbroberg 2 years, 1 month ago
              That is all fine. However, if the Republicans "repeal and replace" the ACA instead of simply repeal it, then is there some chance that Americans will foot the bill for the undocumented immigrants' medical bills?
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              • Posted by term2 2 years, 1 month ago
                I have thought it's better to just repeal Obamacare. "Replacing" with another government run program that pays for the entitlements that now exist isn't going to work either and the blame will fall on the republicans.
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                • Posted by ewv 2 years, 1 month ago
                  That disaster will be a lot worse than just paying for illegal immigrants' health care. Republicans are pushing RINOcare -- repeal in name only -- for the same false collectivist premises as the Democrats. The failure they create will lead to the same result as the Democrats intended with Obamacare -- chaos in the medical care and insurance industries leading to a clamor to fix problems caused by government controls with more government controls until they get complete egalitarian nihilistic socialized medicine. RINOcare is already doing that. Without rejecting collectivism they can't do anything else.
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              • Posted by rbroberg 2 years, 1 month ago
                This fact does not, of course, incriminate him who does not supply health insurance to illegal immigrants. Rather, it incriminates the men who put into place a system that makes impossible the collection of payments from illegal immigrants for medical services.
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    • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 1 month ago
      This argument presumes that terrorism has a head. Terrorism is more like a hydra. And, although the analogy has its limitations, terrorists operate under the morality of Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi from the original Star Wars: "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 1 month ago
    What Abaco says with irony, I say seriously. We're already becoming one big swirling mess of humanity. That creates huge value and opportunity. It's hard to stop even if we wanted to.

    I agree with President Trump's idea, though, that we should enforce the laws on the books. It's absurd that we have an underclass of 15 million people living here under the radar, illegally. I don't know if a physical wall is the best method. It's mainly a symbolic way to assert we're going to take our laws seriously. I hope it encourages a national debate on what the law should be and that leads to radically more permissive laws on trade and immigration.
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  • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 2 years, 1 month ago
    A physical wall is not anti-objectivist, but it is stupid. A virtual wall is far more effective and less expensive. Towers with IR, visual and radar work beautifully. Microwave is an incredible, non-lethal deterrent.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 1 month ago
    Certain neighbors have untrained dogs and they let them roam the neighborhood. Those persons need a fence, and the purpose is to keep things in as well as out which sometimes is lost on anti-wall people. For example, fleeing criminals.
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