Should immigration laws be respected?

by Chris Bertram on September 19, 2018

I have a short piece in The Nation, Should Immigration Laws Be Respected?. Comment there or comment here. An excerpt:

The rule of law isn’t just about people obeying the law. It is about having a fair system that works for everyone. A system where some states get to impose their will on outsiders who get neither a chance to shape the law, nor the opportunity to defend themselves against incarceration or deportation, isn’t an example of law in action but of naked force. And people don’t have a duty to submit to naked force: they have a right to resist it.

{ 102 comments }

1

Chetan Murthy 09.19.18 at 10:15 pm

I’m an immigrant; I came to America age 4, with my family, and naturalized at age 17 (1982). But growing up in a lily-white small town, I can understand why native-born Americans want to restrict immigration — sure there are various arguments for why immigration is good for America, but even so, I can *understand* the argument that for low-skill workers, immigration depresses their wages. I didn’t say that I believe the argument, only that I understand it.

All that said.

It is crystal-clear that anybody who argues against immigration is also a racist. How does one know? Because they open their mouths and REMOVE ALL DOUBT. And so, in this world, this real-existing world, I am 100% against respecting immigration laws, and 100% FOR getting every undocumented immigrant possible into America, helping them settle down, get married, get green cards, get naturalized, have native-born kids (hopefully not in that order: we need them to have kids).

Because until we swamp these racists out, no non-white American is safe.

If it’s not clear, I’m making a *very selfish* case for flouting all immigration restriction: because the vast number of white racists clearly aren’t going to stop at restricting immigration — they’ll move on to stripping us of our citizenship and rights. This isn’t some

Every undocumented immigrant is a soldier in this war on my side.

2

BenK 09.19.18 at 11:01 pm

This is completely incorrect. As a result, the opposite needs restatement.

The rule of law is about people being expected to obey the laws, obeying them, and facing uniform consequences should they not. The principle of self-determination is that the people of a place set the laws for that place; and not other places, where there are other people. The question then becomes: how is your ‘home’ located? Immigration law offers an answer: there are laws of a place about who can live there.

It is considered slavery or incarceration, in fact, if you are not permitted to leave a place. There are special circumstances for that. But no community is forced to accept a person who suddenly desires to call it home.

Outsiders who are welcome but not new residents are ‘visitors’ – unwelcome, they are invaders. Visitors are free to go; they are not being oppressed. They have no say in setting the rules of the place they visit; that right is a liberty to be preserved in their own home, perhaps with the blood of patriots.

3

Matt 09.20.18 at 12:48 am

I’m wildly busy for the next few hours, but hope to look at this carefully soon. A quick question first, if you don’t mind. When you say something like this, …states get to impose their will on outsiders who get neither a chance to shape the law , how far are you relying on or or appealing to the “all affected interests” approach to democracy for an account of legitimacy here?

(For those interested, the approach is used in relation to immigration theory in Arash Abizadeh’s well known and influential paper, “Democratic Theory and Border Coercion: No Right to Unilaterally Control Your Own Borders.” Political Theory 36.1 (2008): 37-65.) I ask because I’m pretty much completely hostile to the approach, both in general and in relation to immigration theory. I briefly touch on the reasons in my review of David Miller’s book on immigration (about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down), but better and more well developed arguments against the idea are found in the work of Sarah Song, especially her paper on the “boundary problem” in democratic theory, and her forthcoming book on democracy and immigration, but also in others.

4

Mike Huben 09.20.18 at 1:43 am

> And people don’t have a duty to submit to naked force: they have a right to resist it.

And just what fig leaf for concealment is needed to remove people’s supposed rights to resist force?

All legal duty is based on naked force. Moral duty on the other hand is imaginary, normative, and subject to radical disagreements such as between you and Trump. Likewise ideas of fairness. Some fraction will always think a system is unfair: do we always have to agree they have some moral right to resist that should give them some legal right to resist?

5

Chetan Murthy 09.20.18 at 2:27 am

An answer to BenK:

You might have a point, except that many of those places from which people flee to America (or Europe) are places where for centuries, Americans and Europeans have run roughshod over the local populations. Where empires have systematically destroyed an semblance of civil society, and stripped assets without compunction.

For example, the UK doesn’t (and shouldn’t) get a choice in whether they accept immigrants from their former colonies. Or perhaps they might want to give back all the wealth they looted from India? With interest.

And the same can be said about Mexico and Central America. These are -states- without the rights of even Puerto Rico. The idea that Nicaragua is something other than that is ridiculous — hell, go back to Sandino himself and how he died, ffs.

Again, I’m not addressing or even adducing Chris’ arguments — they’re not necessary for these cases. Maybe it’s reasonable to argue that the US need not allow immigrants from ….. oh, say, Yakutia (in Russia). But for much of the world, the US’ footprint has been so overwhelming that to pretend that somehow, b/c now that we got all their money, all their oil, dumped all our trash and toxic waste there (remember Larry Summers’ argument that that was OK — dumping our toxic waste in Africa?) we could bar those people from coming here — that idea is bullshit.

Let me put it another way: You’re stating a theory, which makes sense in isolation. But that theory doesn’t account for the reality, the reality on the ground for how these displaced and migrant populations arose in the first place. There’s a saying in science: “the tragedy of science: a beautiful theory, murdered by an ugly fact”.

6

Dr. Hilarius 09.20.18 at 4:32 am

Expressed concern for legality and obedience to immigration law is mostly superficial and avoidance of deeper objections. When I hear “everybody needs to obey the law” I ask if granting blanket amnesty would remove that concern. That’s when the real reasons emerge.

Years ago I was night driving for snakes on an isolated blacktop road along the US-Mexico border. In addition to a Trans-Pecos rat snake I picked up a teenage boy hiking through the desert with a paper shopping bag and a bottle of water. He was on his way to Los Angeles to try and find family. Gave him a ride past the internal border checks and a few dollars to help him on his way. Proud of what I did and would do it again.

7

Chetan Murthy 09.20.18 at 7:09 am

There’s yet another answer to BenK:

One of the signs of unjust laws, is that they’re designed to kick down at the powerless, rather than up at the powerful. And specifically we’ll see this in cases where the powerless and the powerful are involved in an economic transaction that the state wishes to prohibit: they punish the powerless in an attempt to stamp it out.

If you really believed all this “laws” shit, you’d make sure that it was a felony to employ undocumented immigrants, and that any undocumented immigrant who reported their employer for that, got an instant green card for him and his immediate family. B/c y’know, that would ensure that the phenomenon (of american employers hiring undocumented workers) ceased *overnight*. *overnight*. And without having to throw any poor and powerless workers in prison. And it’s easy enough to do — just ramp up e-verify a little, and you’re done. Done.

But gosh, I’m sure you’ll find good reasons why this is impossible.

Like I said: “kick down, suck up”.

8

J-D 09.20.18 at 7:12 am

BenK

When you write that the rule of law is about people being expected to obey the laws, it’s not clear whether you mean that you expect people to obey the laws, but if that is what you mean, you haven’t explained why you expect people to obey the laws. Personally I have no general expectation that people will obey the laws and it’s not obvious to me what reason there could be for such an expectation.

9

Chris Bertram 09.20.18 at 7:25 am

Matt: I wasn’t intending to respond to comments here, but I think I should correct you on one thing: the Arash Abizadeh paper explicitly does not rely on the “all affected interests” principle but on the principle that all those subject to legal authority should have a say in the making of the law.

10

Matt 09.20.18 at 7:57 am

Thanks, Chris – I don’t think that difference is important here, though it is a difference.

I have had a chance to read the paper and admire it. It’s really hard to write short things for largely general audiences that are clear and useful. I have a hard time doing it, for sure. That said, there are a number of ways I’d disagree with it that I think go beyond just what can be expected from a short piece for a general audience.

There is a tendency to move from remedial cases, such as refugees or others similarly situated; or special cases such as the family or other arguably remedial cases like the dreamers to migrants more generally. That is, I think, illegitimate. If the cases are the same, there’s no need to appeal to these special cases. If they are not the same, then you can’t move from the special cases to the more general ones, but that seems to be needed for much of the argument you give here.

More fundamentally, it’s not clear that people are _unfairly_ excluded from making decisions about some item, object, or right, unless we’ve already determined that they have a right to take part in the decision. But, I don’t see any argument here (or in your book) that would establish the antecedent right. This is an area where I think that Kieran Oberman’s approach to the issues (in arguing for a basic right to free movement) is superior to the one (seemingly) followed here (and by Abizadeh), which is based on the idea that if one is subject to authority in relation to an item or good, one should have a say in this decision. (This is clearly a sub-set of the “all affected interest view, for what it’s worth – Abizadeh has expressed the view as such in conversation.) Now, I think Oberman’s arguments fail, but he has the right approach, I’d say.

This isn’t to say that fairness and the rule of law are not relevant here. They are! But, only that I don’t think this implies having a say, as is suggested here. The important aspects of the rule of law are independent of that stronger view, and I think it would be better to focus on these issues.

11

Phil 09.20.18 at 9:05 am

The thing is, both Chris and BenK are basically correct – but BenK is wrong to think that his argument isn’t already priced into Chris’s.

The rule of law is always, in effect, this rule of law extending over this territory and lawfully governing these people (that territory’s citizens). But the two limbs of that definition point in slightly different directions, creating the situation where migrants – ‘irregular’ migrants in particular – are under the law but not within it, subject to the rule of law but not subjects of it (if that’s not too cute). This turns those people’s lives into a legal anomaly, within which it’s not clear that they have any legal rights at all – or carry any legal obligations. This is problematic, and is usually resolved by treating those people as people without any rights tend to be treated, i.e. badly. Instead, it should be appreciated as an anomaly created by the imperfect legality of the international state system, and addressed in good faith and with humanity. More research is needed.

Matt – whether the RoL is central here depends in part on what model of the RoL you use. In my work I’ve been developing an unapologetically normative version of the RoL based on Fuller and a bit of Waldron (situating the RoL as a critical ideal rather than something any nation can congratulate itself on actually having). The relevant criterion here is justification: following Waldron, I argue that laws and judgements, under the RoL, should be capable of justification through rational argument, a process which (crucially) must allow for the possibility that a rational counter-argument will succeed and the law or judgement will be modified as a result. (If we knew in advance that justificatory arguments would always succeed, the stipulation that they must be rational would be meaningless.)

In short, I’d place less weight than Chris on the fact that refugees can’t vote and more on their lack of access to the Court of Appeal. (I think Waldron acknowledges somewhere that a society governed under the RoL would be a society with a lot more appellate rulings, and recourse to the courts more generally, than we currently find normal. I don’t think this is a criticism; as a society, you lay on the facilities you think are important.)

12

Matt 09.20.18 at 10:47 am

That sounds reasonable to me, Paul, on the rule of law. My own take on the rule of law as it applies here can be seen on this link, at least for those w/ access. (I hope get around to putting up a version of this that’s more easily accessible soon, but have been too busy lately, I’m afraid.)

https://heinonline-org.ezproxy-b.deakin.edu.au/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/stlulj62&div=26&start_page=323&collection=journals&set_as_cursor=5&men_tab=srchresults

13

nick j 09.20.18 at 11:17 am

“work jobs no-one else wants for lower pay”? this should read “are exploited by employers” or “undercut the local labour force”. the jobs “no one wants” are not wanted on the terms and conditions offered. having been an immgrant labourer myself, as well as an aboriginal one working with immigrants, I’ve seen both sides of the story.

14

J-D 09.20.18 at 11:41 am

BenK

The principle of self-determination is that the people of a place set the laws for that place; and not other places, where there are other people. The question then becomes: how is your ‘home’ located? Immigration law offers an answer: there are laws of a place about who can live there.

Indeed there are. But why are there?

15

SamChevre 09.20.18 at 11:57 am

I’d echo Ben’s and Matt’s concern. Specifically, I think this argument proves too much:
A system where some states get to impose their will on outsiders who get neither a chance to shape the law…

If I want to buy cigarettes in North Carolina, and sell them in New York, I have to comply with New York law. This is true whether I am a citizen of New York or not. This is true even if the sale of lower-priced NC cigarettes is agreeable to me and the person I’m selling to. And this is a well-accepted feature of every modern legal system.

I must admit my surprise at seeing someone on Crooked Timber (Chetan Murthy) arguing in support of what I’ve always heard dismissed as a conspiracy theory when white nationalists say it. (“You will not replace us”).

16

Dipper 09.20.18 at 12:04 pm

There is a clear risk in undermining the rule of parliamentary law. If laws passed by a parliament can be over-ridden on a clear and consistent basis, then Parliaments may start passing laws not in order to do the thing the law describes, but in the knowledge that the law will be over-ruled and not fully implemented. Hence passing laws becomes a form of signalling a position to the electorate, or a means of precipitating conflict with the organisation that seeks to over-rule the law, rather than a means of actually changing the law.

An example could be nationalist governments in Eastern Europe that pass laws not (just) because they want to implement them, but in the knowledge that the EU will intervene against said law and hence create a sense of grievance in the country and bolster support for the party in government.

17

Collin Street 09.20.18 at 12:17 pm

Just to point out, but there are legitimate expressions of opposition to immigration that aren’t rooted in racism, it’s just that they’re pretty fringe.

[in situations where there are concerns about infrastructure or human carrying capacity, mostly. In Melbourne — which has extremely high immigration rates but reasonably-good urban planning and infrastructure and exceedingly generous geography — it’s just-just-just barely noticeable over the far-more-prevelent racism; in places less well situated or governed — sydney, vancouver, san francisco — it might grow from “just barely noticeable” to “just barely significant”. See also anti-tourism problems in Venice and Barcelona, say.]

18

EB 09.20.18 at 1:03 pm

Chetan Murthy makes some good points (although it’s a stretch to say that the only reason US-born people oppose immigration is racism). But as my friend the immigration lawyer says, the world is not ready for open borders. And she spends all day every day trying to gain US residency for people in need of it.

In the real world, it’s not possible to operate as if morality trumps law. Law is the mechanism through which a rational and predictable system can be built, and in its best form it is based on agreement and is highly reflective of morality. Imperfect and unfair though it may be, most people instinctively realize that the absence of law is worse. Immigration will always be managed through legislation (and law enforcement), but what we should be aiming for is an immigration system that is not just law-based but also generous and humane (i.e. not the system we have now).

Native-born US resident (and quite a number of naturalized residents) support enforcement of immigration laws because they themselves have broken laws and received punishment (including incarceration, large fines, and loss of privileges such as drivers licenses, hunting licenses, and business licenses) . They don’t see why people who break immigration laws should be told that it doesn’t matter, the law is a bad law, or there shouldn’t be such laws.

If we want native born US residents to support immigration reform (and I do), we can’t treat their willingness to insist on the rule of law with such disdain. Politics is the art of the possible, after all. And it’s not possible to convince US voters that the US alone in the world should have open borders. Especially since it’s obvious that the standards of international law give every nation the right (and in some ways the obligation) to manage immigration.

19

Dylan 09.20.18 at 1:37 pm

I agree, India had no right to stop immigrants from the British empire, the native american tribes had no rights against English settlers, Tibet had no right to stop the Han Chinese from taking over their country, and the Palestinians were wrong to object to any and all Jews moving there, as well. The racism of these people trying to exclude others from the dream of living on their land was and is disgusting.

20

Patrick Hickey 09.20.18 at 1:57 pm

Apparently libertarianism isn’t the only political ideology that only “works” if you pretend children aren’t real, and there’s no such thing as the passage of time and generations.

21

mpowell 09.20.18 at 2:34 pm

It will be morbidly interesting to see how this all plays out. This is staking out nearly the most extreme position I can imagine on the issue. Not only is open borders the correct policy, but any other policy regime is so unjust it is actually illegitimate. I guess the only thing that could make your position more extreme is to argue that it de-legitimizes the entire political entity enforcing this regime, like failing some kind of Rawlsian test for a suitably liberal government.

In any case, there really are no actual strawman positions on either extreme anymore. It makes arguments between positions further away from these extremes a little odd.

22

Scott P. 09.20.18 at 3:40 pm

All legal duty is based on naked force

Not if you’re a social contractarian.

23

L2P 09.20.18 at 4:26 pm

And the same can be said about Mexico and Central America. These are -states- without the rights of even Puerto Rico. The idea that Nicaragua is something other than that is ridiculous — hell, go back to Sandino himself and how he died, ffs.

This is super confusing.

First, it confuses a geographic area with its citizens. Puerto Rico, as a geographic area, has literally no representation in the US government but is subject to its laws. This is worse than any Banana republic could possibly be; Panama, for instance, at least had and has its own government. We can argue about whether a Puerto Rican’s rights to vote are effective or not, but a lot of Puerto Ricans would say they have less say in their government than the average Mexican does. It’s certainly debatable.

But on a fundamental level, what the heck are you talking about here? Mexico’s a country. It does things the US doesn’t like all the time. Puerto Rico literally can’t.

24

engels 09.20.18 at 4:36 pm

‘All legal duty is based on naked force’

Not if you’re a social contractarian

It still is, you just falsely believe it isn’t.

25

Matt_L 09.20.18 at 5:57 pm

The rule of law does not only mean that people must obey the law, but the State must obey the law and be constrained by its own laws. This is a fundamental principle of small l liberalism and the social contract. Without the rule of law and the social contract, there is only force or the threat of force.

26

Chetan Murthy 09.20.18 at 6:53 pm

Re SamChevre@15:

I must admit my surprise at seeing someone on Crooked Timber (Chetan Murthy) arguing in support of what I’ve always heard dismissed as a conspiracy theory when white nationalists say it. (“You will not replace us”).

That’s a nice misreading. Well done. What I noted is that the Nazi Republicans (oh, but I repeat myself) want to cleanse me and my kind. And so, undocumented immigrants (of color) are my allies. Every one of them.

You can take that to mean that I hold animus toward white people, sure go ahead. But the reality is, this is just what people do when they’re attacked.

Oh and also: it’s not a conspiracy theory, that white nationalists want to cleanse this country of all colored people (like me). It’s documented fact.

Re: EB@18:

As I wrote in my second comment, it’s clear that “enforce the laws” means “enforce the laws on the bodies of the powerless” and let the powerful off scot-free. And furthermore, it’s also clear that the powerful WANT these undocumented immigrants. Let’s remember the year that the Georgia tomato crop went unharvested, b/c of the “papers please” law they enacted. There’s no way the rich are willing to pay enough to get native workers to do these incredibly dangerous and onerous jobs, that undocumented immigrants are willing to perform. No. Way. So really, what is meant by

“enforce the laws”

is

“create an environment in which the most powerless of workers are unable to complain, unable to negotiate”

And so I say again: until you make employing an undocumented immigrant a federal felony, and set the reward for ratting out such an employer at “green cards for the whistleblower and their immediate family”, your arguments are just hypocrisy.

Pure hypocrisy.

27

Chetan Murthy 09.20.18 at 7:43 pm

Matt_L@25:

Yes, indeed! And furthrmore, that the state, in its application of the law, must be even-handed, not favoring one party or another. So “one law for the rich and powerful and another for the poor” is not “the rule of law”.

28

Stephen 09.20.18 at 7:48 pm

Scott P. “All legal duty is based on naked force”. Not if you’re a social contractarian.

If I’ve understood it right, taking a quote from the Stanford encyclopaedia of philosophy, social contractarianism holds that “persons are primarily self-interested, and that a rational assessment of the best strategy for attaining the maximization of their self-interest will lead them to act morally (where the moral norms are determined by the maximization of joint interest) and to consent to governmental authority”.

But surely a rational assessment of the best strategy for attaining the maximisation of my self-interest includes the consideration that if I decide to go and rob a bank (by itself, surely in my self-interest if I get away with it, moral norms be damned) or go round to Scott P. and offer him extreme violence (not conceivably in my self-interest as I see it, but others may differ), then surely government authority will use very considerable amounts of naked force to deter, prevent or punish me? Isn’t that what my legal duty is founded on?

And in a more general case: have people not, rightly or wrongly, decided that their self-interest does not involve their consenting to government authority? Take the American Revolution as one of a rather large number of examples.Rightly or wrongly.

29

Martin James 09.20.18 at 7:53 pm

I’m interested in why “Rule-of-law” was chosen as the description of what appears to be a case of justice being claimed to be above the law, or some other justice principle. Historically rule-of-law has been used to contrast with the divine right of kings or other cases of personal authority in government. There might be a case that the laws of a particular state to a person not within that state, are in the same position as a “divine king” to immigrants, but I’m not sure why that was chosen. Has “rule-of-law” become synonymous with “law based on justice and human rights”. I would have thought rule-of-law was just a procedural issue.

30

anonymousse 09.20.18 at 9:09 pm

“The rule of law isn’t just about people obeying the law. It is about having a fair system that works for everyone.”

No law ‘works’ for everyone (its not explicit what ‘works’ means, but it is implicit: ‘is pleasing to’ or some variant). In fact, laws don’t ‘work’ for everyone by definition: they don’t work for people who don’t obey them. If there is a law that ‘works’ for everyone, it doesn’t need to be a law (we don’t have laws requiring breathing, for instance).

“A system where some states get to impose their will on outsiders who get neither a chance to shape the law…”

Every state, by definition, imposes its will on outsiders who don’t get a chance to shape the law. States are geographically limited, and pass laws that apply to their geographic limits. That is very nearly the textbook definition of a State. Until a global government exists, you are here arguing against every law ever written.

Anon

31

Phil 09.20.18 at 9:14 pm

Martin – I can’t speak for Chris, but I’m using “the rule of law” to refer to a state of affairs where the law maximises effective freedom for all citizens (freedom meaning something like what Philip Pettit calls “freedom as non-domination”); I argue that this requires laws to be (as far as possible) universal, knowable, comprehensible, justifiable and followable. But the universality of laws is defined relative to the citizens governed by them; dealing with non-citizens within a RoL framework is (surprisingly) challenging.

32

Gareth Wilson 09.20.18 at 9:20 pm

” And so, in this world, this real-existing world, I am 100% against respecting immigration laws, and 100% FOR getting every undocumented immigrant possible into America, helping them settle down, get married, get green cards, get naturalized, have native-born kids”

Why don’t we start with the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Nicaragua? I’m sure that having lots of new voters from those countries will move American public policy in a progressive direction.

33

Phil 09.20.18 at 9:20 pm

Matt –

1. I like your paper; I came across it a couple of weeks ago, looking for something on very much this topic for an insanely ambitious paper I’m writing (or will be writing as soon as I can scale it down into something less insane).

2. …but you left the ‘Deakin’ SSO details in the URL; I think it should be
https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/stlulj62&div=26&start_page=323&collection=journals&set_as_cursor=5&men_tab=srchresults

3. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/legal-studies/article/counterterrorism-and-counterlaw-an-archetypal-critique/59F80EF21646EC8D46DDB175DB1E4991

4. It’s Phil, not Paul!

34

J-D 09.20.18 at 9:27 pm

SamChevre

If I want to buy cigarettes in North Carolina, and sell them in New York, I have to comply with New York law.

When somebody is prosecuted in a New York court, the court will not accept as a defence the fact that the accused is a North Carolinian (or other out-of-stater). Similarly, if somebody is prosecuted in the courts of the US, or the UK, or any other country, the court will not accept as a defence the fact that the accused is a foreigner: for example, if somebody is prosecuted for breach of migration law, the court will (unsurprisingly) not accept as a defence that the accused is a migrant.

But since Chris Bertram was not suggesting that it should be accepted as a defence in a court of law, the observation is an irrelevance.

Dipper

If laws passed by a parliament can be over-ridden on a clear and consistent basis, then Parliaments may start passing laws not in order to do the thing the law describes, but in the knowledge that the law will be over-ruled and not fully implemented. Hence passing laws becomes a form of signalling a position to the electorate, or a means of precipitating conflict with the organisation that seeks to over-rule the law, …

Since Chris Bertram was not suggesting that there should be an organisation with the power to override migration laws made by parliaments (or other legislatures, such as the US Congress), this observation is also an irrelevance.

EB

In the real world, it’s not possible to operate as if morality trumps law.

Anything which actually happens, no matter how unusual, is by definition possible. People operating as if morality trumps law is a thing which actually happens, so no matter how unusual it may be it is indisputably possible.

35

Matt 09.20.18 at 10:49 pm

Thanks for the corrections, Phil! Very sorry to get your name wrong, and I appreciate you fixing the link. I will hope to see your paper!

36

Faustusnotes 09.21.18 at 12:39 am

I’d like to take issue with the libertarian talking point at comment 3 that “all law is based on naked force.” It’s not, and this is a silly idea. Most people obey most laws because they think those laws are right, not because they are under threat of violence if they don’t. That doesn’t mean the threat of force isn’t necessary for the smooth functioning of the state, but in general it’s not the reason we obey laws. Even in failed states most people obey most laws even when they’re not being enforced, and in super functioning states people routinely disobey minor laws they don’t support. It’s really immature and dangerous to have this behaviourist idea about social order.

BenK if your polity passes a law that all people named Ben muat be naked in public, will you follow it?

37

Chetan Murthy 09.21.18 at 1:08 am

Phil and anonymousse:

Perhaps you’ve forgotten your Constitution:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

“persons”, not “citizens”.

And again, I need not adduce any of Chris’ arguments here. None of them.

38

Chetan Murthy 09.21.18 at 1:13 am

Oh also, anonymousse and Phil (and heck, BenK):

There’s this little matter of the USG’s following the LAW (which you hold so dear). You know the Refugee Convention, and various other conventions which specify that people fleeing oppression are given a presumptive right to demand asylum, and their doing so in an irregular manner (e.g. not presenting themselves at official ports of entry) does not extinguish that right whatsoever.

Yeah, the laws. You know, the ones we didn’t have in WWII that resulted in so many innocent people being murdered, who could have been saved.

And yet again: no need to bring Chris’ arguments into this. No need at all.

See, this is why I came down on the side of “unrestricted and facilitated immigration of the undocumented” (which position, I’ll be honest, I only came to on November 9, 2016). Because people like you make it -clear- that when the day comes, and you strip me of my citizenship, you’ll have your arguments all laid-out. “The Law must be respected”.

“The poor have to labour in the face of the majestic equality of the law, which forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” Anatole France

39

PatinIowa 09.21.18 at 1:47 am

This is a very abstract discussion. Allow me to add some concrete details.

If a 20 year old Salvadoran woman is fleeing this:

“In 2015, the government of El Salvador registered 575 femicides—the gender-motivated killing of women. It was the country’s second-highest femicide rate in 15 years (2011 was the highest). Approximately 45 percent of the murdered women were under the age of 30, and of those, 34 percent were under the age of 18. According to a report from the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at the University of California–Hastings Law School, not only are Central America’s femicides “widespread, but they are carried out with horrific brutality…. Bodies generally appear burned, with hands and feet bound. Some have been beheaded, and autopsies reveal that the majority of the victims suffer torture and sexual abuse before dying.”

https://psmag.com/magazine/violent-femmes

I don’t think she’s under any obligation to obey the laws of the country she’s fleeing to.

If someone is an Iraqi, who translated for US troops after our invastion, I don’t think that person is under any obligation to obey our laws to avoid being tortured and killed after we’ve abandoned them.

And so on. A high percentage of the people crossing the border, especially those seeking asylum are not coming here because they love the United States, Americans or our jobs. They’re coming here to survive, some to keep their children from being murdered.

40

Kurt Schuler 09.21.18 at 2:03 am

An underlying assumption of advocates of open borders is that social orders are so robust that they can withstand immigration by millions or even tens of millions of people who do not share the cultural presumptions of the people already there. The assumption is not correct. That is why, as Dylan (#19) implies, American Indians no longer rule the United States.

I presume from Chetan Murthy’s name that he is originally from India and most likely a Brahmin. It is curious that he should fail to understand that one reason the United States does not have India’s caste system, or the tribal divisions that exist in many other countries, is that in important respects it is not as diverse as they are.

41

Chip Daniels 09.21.18 at 2:07 am

I don’t really find it very persuasive when complex issues like immigration policy are framed in these very high level first principled terms, where there is some algorithm of logic that can be applied to the US, Australia, India or wherever, and produce a just result.

I am thinking of how even the most horrific states always drape their injustice in such terms- no one was ever arrested for speaking truth about the government, it was always “hooliganism” or “slander” or whatever high level moral posturing was needed.

Like Chetan, I am struck by how nakedly racist the American version of immigration arguments are. Every immigration response like employer sanctions which could achieve the high principled goals are ignored, and solely the ones which produce misery among the undesired people are pursued with maniacal vigor.

In place of some esoteric structural logic, I think a simple principle would do.

42

Chetan Murthy 09.21.18 at 7:00 am

Kurt Schuler @ 49:

(1) It’s a little late for the US to complain about not being able to accept all these refugees, after we’ve spent nearly two decades destroying Iraq and Afghanistan. And a century destroying many countries in Central America. You know, the Pottery Barn rule.

(2) I’m not a Brahmin, and came to the US when I was 4 years old. I have literally *one* conscious memory of India, which is of being bathed by my grandmother, and not liking it one bit. So, y’know, I know a *lot* about my country (America). But hey, I also know a little about India. The caste system there is the end-result of thousands of years of religiously-enforced apartheid. B/c you see, there is ALWAYS miscegenation. Eventually, there are coal-black Brahmins and mocha lower-caste folks, too. It’s got nothing to do with diversity, except of course that thousands of years ago, Aryans came from the Caucasus, bringing Sanskrit (Indo-European language) and conquered the local Dravidians (the languages of the south of India are all related to those spoken by Australian aborigines, not to Indo-European languages). Just imagine Jim Crow for millennia — and you’ll have it about right.

But really, the thing is, you make the racist’s mistake. That is: thinking that because I look brown on the outside, I must have a different culture than you white people. In this you are mistaken. I’m just as much a child of the Western Enlightenment as any other liberal Democrat. [Obviously GrOPers (if you don’t know what those are, drop the lower-case letters) aren’t children of the Enlightenment — they want a return to the Middle Ages] And this mistake, you’ve been making since your kind believed that the Irish were un-American. That the Finns weren’t white. That the dark heaving masses of the Balkans needed to be kept out. And that Asians in the West needed to be expunged …..oh …. a bit more than 100 years ago. Someone once described American slavery as the oppression of one set of cousins by another set. That’s about right. If you really believed all this crap about “the law” and “America for Americans”, you wouldn’t treat black people in America the way they *are* treated. A little hint: it makes it really obvious that you’re racists, when the same ones who rant about immigration, also screech about #AllLivesMatter. And white genocide. Etc.

You’ve been at this a long time, keeping out (and down) those you think of as not white enough. A long, long time.

43

Gareth Wilson 09.21.18 at 7:22 am

Forgive my pedantry, but a few years after the Iraq invasion someone looked into the actual Pottery Barn, and discovered that they don’t charge customers for accidental breakages.

44

J-D 09.21.18 at 7:32 am

Kurt Schuler

Discussion of the assumptions of advocates of open borders is irrelevant in a context where nobody has advocated open borders.

45

engels 09.21.18 at 10:37 am

A system where some states get to impose their will on outsiders who get neither a chance to shape the law, nor the opportunity to defend themselves against incarceration or deportation, isn’t an example of law in action but of naked force. And people don’t have a duty to submit to naked force: they have a right to resist it.

all those subject to legal authority should have a say in the making of the law

How would this apply to eg a Danish tourist in Bali?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/21/bali-to-bring-in-new-rules-for-visiting-temples-after-decline-in-quality-of-tourists

46

engels 09.21.18 at 12:34 pm

”all law is based on naked force.” It’s not, and this is a silly idea. Most people obey most laws because they think those laws are right, not because they are under threat of violence if they don’t

The fact that law is based on naked force does not mean it involves nothing else, just as the fact a building is based on a stone foundation doesn’t preclude its having crenellations, buttresses, spandrels, …

47

EB 09.21.18 at 12:42 pm

J-D @ #34

“In the real world, it’s not possible to operate as if morality trumps law.”

“Anything which actually happens, no matter how unusual, is by definition possible. People operating as if morality trumps law is a thing which actually happens, so no matter how unusual it may be it is indisputably possible.”

Let me clarify: You are right that people can act in conformance with morality and against the law. I have done it; many activists have. But I do not claim that my (moral) actions replace the law, and I accept the risks that come with violating the law. What I’m aiming for is to change the law by highlighting how it fails to conform with morality.

48

PS 09.21.18 at 1:10 pm

This is not a complex issue. If you believe all people have equal rights against oppression by the state, then you cannot simultaneously argue that the state has a right to prevent people from living where they want provided these people agree to comply with other laws the state imposes in order to protect other citizens’ rights.

Dylan thinks he has a slam dunk argument, but what he’s missing is that the British didn’t agree to comply with Indian laws when they came here. Because otherwise my country (India) has a millenia long history of diverse immigrants loving here with no trouble at all. For instance, we’ve had and continue to have Christians in India since long before there were Christians in Western Europe. The fact that that community is still around and thriving while there are literally no Thor worshippers in Sweden tells you all you need to know about which country is actually more tolerant.

49

Scott P. 09.21.18 at 1:35 pm

But surely a rational assessment of the best strategy for attaining the maximisation of my self-interest includes the consideration that if I decide to go and rob a bank (by itself, surely in my self-interest if I get away with it, moral norms be damned) or go round to Scott P. and offer him extreme violence (not conceivably in my self-interest as I see it, but others may differ), then surely government authority will use very considerable amounts of naked force to deter, prevent or punish me? Isn’t that what my legal duty is founded on?

From the standpoint of a social contractarian, the ‘state of nature’ is one where naked force rules every human activity. Society and states are (or should be thought to be) cooperative agreements to mutually defend each other’s rights and to reduce the influence of naked force on everyday affairs.

In your example, the bank robber has chosen to reject his obligations to the social contract and rejoin the state of nature. It logically follows that he then experiences the imposition of naked force as that is a natural consequence. So his legal duty not to rob a bank comes from his accession to the social contract, not naked force, which is merely a background state of affairs.

It’s akin to someone on a lifeboat who doesn’t like his fellow companions and decides to jump off, and is therefore eaten by sharks. It doesn’t stand to reason that the fundamental basis for social relationships on the boat is getting eaten by sharks.

50

bianca steele 09.21.18 at 2:24 pm

EB: “In the real world, it’s not possible to operate as if morality trumps law. ”

It is possible to *talk* as if morality trumps law, though, for most people. People who assume they don’t have any way to influence law through their own actions can decide that for them morality will trump law.

And it’s not unreasonable, because morality is more moral than law (which in the real world depends to a very large extent, if not entirely, on some kind of force).

So it’s entirely possible, and not unreasonable, to turn away from the real world and discuss, instead, an ideal world where morality is all that matters.

So we are discussing, here, what would be the moral thing to do for someone who was personally subject to making these decisions, in an ideal world where the only thing that matters is whether I make decisions about you based on what benefits me, or whether I let myself be influenced by what you need. (Modified by the assumption that I’ve delegated my decisions to a government and no one has granted you the chance to do so but your goal is to be in the same situation as me and get for yourself similar benefits, and by the fact that there are votes coming up in the next year that are affected by these arguments.)

51

mpowell 09.21.18 at 2:39 pm

I think the first two sentences in the excerpt Chris Bertram provides above may be confusing what his actual argument is, since the actual language aligns pretty poorly with my concept of how you would normally make an argument like this. I assume there is a subtext that there that normally the principle of the rule-of-law requires that we follow laws we disagree with as part of living in a well-ordered free society, or some similar concept. However, in cases where the law is so unjust (and the mechanisms for how you determine this, at least in this case, being part of his subsequent description), the principle of the rule-of-law loses any value such that we are no longer morally obligated to respect the law, follow it, or possibly that we should actively work to undermine it. This framing makes more sense to me as distinguishing what the rule of law is vs an argument about the unacceptability of immigration enforcement and how that relates to the rule of law. If Chris disagrees with this framing, I would be interested to hear why he thinks his argument should proceed differently.

52

mpowell 09.21.18 at 2:42 pm

J-D: this is a pretty ridiculous claim, imop. Bertram has made his position on open borders pretty clear and public at this point. This is a strawman argument with respect to the position of many people on the immigration issue, but certainly not Bertram. And I don’t see any reason to assume his views are particularly extreme among the commenters here.

53

Trader Joe 09.21.18 at 3:49 pm

If no one should respect immigration rules pertaining to state borders….

…. why should anyone respect State University admission decisions? Shouldn’t just anyone be able to sit in any class they want at any time?

….why should anyone respect any voting rights? Shouldn’t anyone just show up to vote in any election they want at any time, anywhere?

While we’re at it, we can make all bathrooms un-gendered, eliminate the right of religions and social groups to decide membership and abolish political parties.

As noted above, there are humanitarian approaches to immigration that can respect the needs of the immigrant while still allowing for an orderly induction of people into society. I’d sooner support a thoughtful approach which embraces the many legitimate reasons for immigration and provides a path to citizenship over simply abdicating the maintenance of borders and letting local police departments clean up the conflicts which will inevitably arise.

54

bianca steele 09.21.18 at 4:43 pm

On the piece itself, this seems to be the point the argument depends on: “That can’t mean that states just get to do whatever they like in the meantime.”

In other words, unless the state is legitimated in the way theory says it ideally is, there’s no reason to obey the laws. That’s a position someone could take. Since no state has ever been so legitimated, in practice it’s a defense of anarchism. In the real (non-anarchist) world, morality doesn’t actually trump law, and the law does get to do what it likes even in the face of my personal objections to it.

And there are a number of scenarios where a foreigner has agreed to follow local immigration law, notably by entering a country through a customs checkpoint. That might not offer much scope for negotiating terms, but someone who decides to overstay a tourist visa and work had actually consented to be ruled by the local laws.

55

Chip Daniels 09.21.18 at 5:17 pm

@ Kurt Schuler
“America does not have a caste system…”

You, Sir, have a dry sense of humor.

56

Stephen 09.21.18 at 8:00 pm

PS@48:

“the British didn’t agree to comply with Indian laws when they came here.”
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that when the British first went to India (EIC and all that, 1600) they did agree to comply with Indian laws: and it was only when the Mogul empire fell apart, and there were no coherent laws to comply with, that things changed.

“Because otherwise my country (India) has a millenia long history of diverse immigrants loving here with no trouble at all.” Even with the Muslim immigrants? Mahmud of Ghazni, Aurungzeb? Really?

57

Jessica Nguyen 09.21.18 at 8:07 pm

I fail to see any reason this makes sense. A community of people always has the fundamental right to exclude people by common agreement (surely this is what prison is?). Immigration policy is merely taking this further by preventing these people from entering the country in the first place. Of course, this can be for arbitrary and sometime unpleasant reasons (racism, Islamophobia, etc.), but I see no reason why this should be disallowed. The only way to preserve the self-determination of the in-group is to actively discriminate against the out-group.

Consider a crass example: Norway has a generous welfare/education/etc system and thus it stands to attract a lot of migrants from less well developed countries. It has a population of 5 million people. If there were a large influx of migrants it would (1) destroy any sense of national identity (2) force the Norwegians to either stop their generous welfare system or actively discriminate against the migrants to prevent `their’ wealth (e.g. the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund) from falling into the hands of migrants that have simply turned up (3) essentially swamp and destroy any local culture (bearing in mind that Norwegian is only spoken by ~5m people, it’s not hard to imagine this being lost to history as the migrants to the country adopt English or another more international language) (4) open up Norway to potential abuse from foreign powers who encourage mass migration to Norway to make the Norwegian voter base more sympathetic to the foreign power (5) potentially open up the local Norwegian population to abuse from the migrant population (e.g. perhaps the incoming migrant population decides to implement an affirmative action policy that discriminates against the Norwegian locals applying to university).

The fundamental problem arises when a large group of migrants arrive, becomes part of the population and can then influence decisions (e.g. voting to allow more immigrants in) which in turn seemingly disenfranchises the already existing population. There seems to be no way around this without disenfranchising the migrant population.

In particular, the following line is problematic: “The law coerces them by keeping them out or down—but it doesn’t do anything for them in return”. The author fails to explain why should the law do anything for them. If they don’t like the law of the land they need not apply. I am free not to apply to a job that I don’t like the terms of and simply remain in my current employment; similarly if I don’t like a country’s migration laws I simply don’t try to go there. Or potentially migrate to one of the other hundreds of countries in the world (obviously conditions are different in the case of refugees). If I am barred from working in a country that is Islamophobic and I am Muslim, the author fails to make the case why that country is required to allow me migrate there.

58

engels 09.21.18 at 8:09 pm

This is staking out nearly the most extreme position I can imagine on the issue. Not only is open borders the correct policy, but any other policy regime is so unjust it is actually illegitimate

At least as the argument is stated here it appears that absent ‘a system of international rules that works for the everyone’ not only has the state has no right to keep anyone out but that it has no right to enforce any laws against them if they come in (unless they have ‘a chance to shape the law’). Meanwhile for those of us with a vote the maximum law-breaking allowed is ‘mild civil disobedience’…

59

ph 09.21.18 at 9:28 pm

From your piece in the Nation:”Does this mean that we should open all borders and allow anyone to go where they want to? Not necessarily. There can be legitimate reasons to limit the numbers of people who want to go to live in a place: Perhaps a country really cannot cope with the strain on its institutions, the economic dislocation, or the environmental stress that large numbers of new people would bring.

But just as it would be tyrannical for one citizen to decide on the law and impose it on everyone else, there is a moral problem with countries just deciding for themselves on immigration and imposing their rules on people who have no say in making them. A fairer system would be made up of international rules for migration, and take account of the interests of both citizens and immigrants, insiders and outsiders, combined with a way a resolving disagreements.”

I like the Nation piece, but the concluding sentence of these quoted paragraphs reveal both the problems of your position, which I contend can be construed as both ‘racist’ and ‘white-nationalist’ by a hostile critic. Pray let me continue.

The underlying assumption is that all those we and the rest of the world share the values of the western enlightenment – which might be encapsulated as equality for all regardless of gender preference, ethnicity, wealth, and belief systems. That assumption, that a billion people in India, since India is on plate, and billions elsewhere are really all just Americans or Europeans in some sort of incubus, is precisely the rationale Bush-Clinton-Blair co. used to sell ‘the Iraqis will welcome us with open arms’ fallacy, which we’re still paying for btw.

So, we need to ask where exactly this notion of fairness comes from? Is it the fairness of adherents of the western enlightenment (a small minority of the world’s population, imo), or is it something closer to the fairness of the majority, who we might ‘hope’ recognize the ‘superiority’ of western values such as democracy, but perhaps don’t. Have we asked?

Then there’s the question of priorities. Chris may be right. I suspect he’s only slightly ideological, and much more committed to getting more people into safer circumstances, especially those trying to leave areas rendered inhospitable thanks to US and European exploitation and/or hubris. Think Libya.

My own solution is to work harder to prevent our own leaders and our own unwitting citizens from destroying other non-western enlightenment cultures, such as those of the folks living in North Africa, or Central America. And lest we believe this is just a problem of American Fruit and their multiple modern counterparts in America, Europe, South America, and Asia, (see China), demand for cocaine, opioids, and other drugs has immensely complicated life for ordinary (poor) majorities in nations such as Mexico, Guatemala, and such.

The Nation piece is an excellent platform for a necessary discussion.

60

J-D 09.21.18 at 10:26 pm

mpowell

Bertram has made his position on open borders pretty clear and public at this point.

I don’t know what he may have said previously, but in the article under discussion he explicitly repudiates a policy of open borders.

Trader Joe

I’d sooner support a thoughtful approach which embraces the many legitimate reasons for immigration and provides a path to citizenship over simply abdicating the maintenance of borders …

In the concluding three paragraphs of the article under discussion, Chris Bertram takes the same position.

61

engels 09.21.18 at 11:43 pm

someone who decides to overstay a tourist visa and work had actually consented to be ruled by the local laws

I’m guessing on Chris’s view that consent is null and void: the state never had a right to keep her out so could not impose conditions as a price for letting her in.

62

Faustusnotes 09.21.18 at 11:51 pm

I like the bathroom example. Women break bathroom rules all the time when the queues are long (happens all the time at festivals). We don’t have police running around checking who is in what bathroom – men don’t use women’s bathrooms because it’s socially unacceptable not because they’re sure they’ll get caught. Bathrooms for people with disabilities are misused all the time though, because the social norms are much newer and less well respected, partly because of the high levels of discrimination against people with disabilities (the same would happen if we established trans bathrooms). In Japan we have mixed sex bathrooms in most restaurants – one women only and one for both sexes – and men routinely wait for the mixed sex room even when the girls is empty (and they’re a single cubicle). There is no naked force involved in this.

Don’t buy into libertarian bullshit.

63

Chetan Murthy 09.22.18 at 4:33 am

Chip Daniels @ 55:

I doubt that Kurt Schuler actually knows what “the caste system” is. I suspect he conflates the American English meaning of “caste” with what it means in India. In India, as I wrote above, the caste system is a religiously-enforced system of apartheid. Basically, Jim Crow in steroids, enforced for millennia. In the caste system, the further back you go, the more with impunity a higher-caste person could kill, mistreat, rape, etc a lower-caste person. Even to this day, it’s somewhat true. The economic possibilities for low-caste people are far more circumscribed than for high-caste people [full disclosure: I’m of a rather low sub-caste of the “kshatriya” caste, which were the “nobility”, but by the 20th century (as I understand it) most translates to “farmer/landowners”.]

So it’s not at all unrealistic to compare the way that black people in America were treated under Jim Crow, and are treated today, to the way low-caste and untouchables are treated in the caste system. You have the impunity with which they’re murdered, raped, etc. The inability to get decent employment, provide decent lives for their children (even in the context of India, which is a far poorer nation than America). The long-standing prohibitions against miscegenation.

So yeah, when Kurt says “America doesn’t have a caste system”, he’s really just displaying his ignorance.

64

bianca steele 09.22.18 at 1:35 pm

engels

I agree that seems to be Chris’s final position, but that part of the argument doesn’t seem to me to get him there. There’s nothing in the piece about restrictive immigration being always illegitimate. If there are two countries that have equal resources, fair ways of dealing with issues that occur (make it easy for spouses to live in the country, make it easy for citizens in one to resolve problems in the other, etc.), and a fairly restrictive law about who can otherwise move in, that seems to fulfill his requirements. If not, most likely, his vision about what the perfect world would be like.

The question seems to be whether there are conditions under which I could say, “This state has pushed me into the state of nature without my intending it, so I can justifiably act as I would if I’d intended it.” Is this the case whenever the state prevents me from doing something I want? Am I in that situation wrt France since I don’t have a vote there?

I admit I don’t understand the whole argument. It seems somewhat more individualistic than I’d have expected, and I don’t think the conflation of the problems of upper-class college graduates, educated at government expense in Europe, who run afoul of the UK’s somewhat stupid work and residency rules, with the problems of poor farmworkers from a poorly functioning state who’re separated from their children and incarcerated, is convincing.

65

engels 09.22.18 at 8:29 pm

men routinely wait for the mixed sex room even when the girls is empty (and they’re a single cubicle). There is no naked force involved in this

From your description isn’t evident that law is involved in it either so I’m not sure it’s a good example of law not being based on force. I do take the point that most people don’t obey the law because of direct fear of violence or incarceration; I’m still inclined to think that without those threats (effective against minorities) no current system of laws would command stable societal compliance.

66

Phil 09.22.18 at 9:22 pm

Chetan Murphy @37-8 – rest assured that I am not the “people like you” to whom you refer, nor do I believe that only people who can vindicate their rights in a court of law should be treated like human beings. I do think that the rule of law is a good framework; and that we can’t assume that its procedural protections cover non-citizens; and that it needs to be extended and modified in order that they can. (I said all of this in my first comment, or thought I did.)

67

Sebastian H 09.23.18 at 5:21 am

“I agree that seems to be Chris’s final position, but that part of the argument doesn’t seem to me to get him there.”

Right. I don’t understand how we get there from his positive right-to-immigrate premise. If it is balanced against the needs of the country, who decides? If there is not yet an international agency that can enforce immigration norms why can’t the inbound country make those determinations for itself?

Imagine something like the collapse of Russia. Norway could easily be swamped by Russian immigrants who would certainly change the character of the country. If we agree that Norway can choose to exclude immigrants to protect its national character and institutions, we are just haggling about the price, not the concept. Once we are at that point, it isn’t at all obvious that anyone on the outside is better positioned to judge what affects the national character and institutions more than the nation in question.

I’m speaking from someone who as a policy position believes that the US should have a strong pro-immigrant stance with lots of assimilation help. But the positive rights approach doesn’t seem helpful, especially if you’re still willing to exclude on the basis of “Perhaps a country really cannot cope with the strain on its institutions, the economic dislocation, or the environmental stress that large numbers of new people would bring.”

Also note that in fact, even very enlightened European countries don’t seem to be dealing well with the economic dislocation caused by very open borders. Aren’t members of those countries who have already borne the brunt of globalization able to say something like “can’t you fix the mess you’ve already made with the neoliberal globalization program before you make it even worse with open borders?” Politics is about priorities. The globalization project has made the economic dislocation caused by it a very low priority in a large number of European countries. What is wrong with insisting that be dealt with before taking the project even further with mostly-open-borders?

68

J-D 09.23.18 at 10:02 am

Jessica Nguyen

I fail to see any reason this makes sense. A community of people always has the fundamental right to exclude people by common agreement (surely this is what prison is?). Immigration policy is merely taking this further by preventing these people from entering the country in the first place. Of course, this can be for arbitrary and sometime unpleasant reasons (racism, Islamophobia, etc.), but I see no reason why this should be disallowed. The only way to preserve the self-determination of the in-group is to actively discriminate against the out-group. … In particular, the following line is problematic: “The law coerces them by keeping them out or down—but it doesn’t do anything for them in return”. The author fails to explain why should the law do anything for them.

To me Chris Bertram’s explanation seems reasonably clear, but if it hasn’t been understood I suppose it must follow that it could have been made clearer. I read this–

The rule of law requires not just obedience, but also fairness.

We normally think that people should respect and obey the law in democracies, even when we don’t like what it says. That’s because the law provides each of us with a framework in which to live our lives. Though it limits what we can do to pursue our aims, it also restricts what other people can do to us, giving us some security …

–and I imagine a dialogue something like this:
‘The law should provide people with some security.’
‘Why?’
‘Because the law should generally treat people fairly.’
‘Why?’
‘Because people should generally treat each other fairly.’

Now, if the dialogue goes like that and then reaches the point where somebody says ‘Why should people treat each other fairly?’ I have no response. For me, that’s a fundamental principle. I can imagine a discussion with people who agree with that principle about what follows from it and how to implement it in practice; but if somebody does not accept that principle, then all I can say is that we’ve identified the basis of our disagreement and it’s so fundamental that we can’t expect to reach agreement, or have a productive discussion, about anything more specific.

Consider a crass example: Norway has a generous welfare/education/etc system and thus it stands to attract a lot of migrants from less well developed countries. It has a population of 5 million people. If there were a large influx of migrants it would (1) destroy any sense of national identity (2) force the Norwegians to either stop their generous welfare system or actively discriminate against the migrants to prevent `their’ wealth (e.g. the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund) from falling into the hands of migrants that have simply turned up (3) essentially swamp and destroy any local culture (bearing in mind that Norwegian is only spoken by ~5m people, it’s not hard to imagine this being lost to history as the migrants to the country adopt English or another more international language) (4) open up Norway to potential abuse from foreign powers who encourage mass migration to Norway to make the Norwegian voter base more sympathetic to the foreign power (5) potentially open up the local Norwegian population to abuse from the migrant population (e.g. perhaps the incoming migrant population decides to implement an affirmative action policy that discriminates against the Norwegian locals applying to university).

The fundamental problem arises when a large group of migrants arrive, becomes part of the population and can then influence decisions (e.g. voting to allow more immigrants in) which in turn seemingly disenfranchises the already existing population. There seems to be no way around this without disenfranchising the migrant population.

I can predict the future of every country in the world (so including Norway, or whatever other example you choose) a hundred years from now: a hundred years from now the people of the country will have been replaced by new people, and the language, the culture, and the political, economic, and social systems of the country will have changed. This is a certainty, independently of the level of immigration (or emigration). Anybody who thinks that it is possible to prevent change to the language, the culture, or the political, economic, or social system, whether by restrictions on immigration or by any other means, is in the position of the fictional King Canute trying to command the tide not to come in. Change will come, and setting the objective of preventing it is abjectly and ludicrously futile.

On the other hand, the objective of preventing Muslims from migrating to your country, or the objective of preventing dark-skinned people from migrating to your country, or the objective of preventing poor people from migrating to your country, although vicious and vile, are not automatically doomed to failure. There are some people who have no problem saying that they want to stop Muslim immigration; there are some people (I think a smaller number) who have no problem saying that they want to stop the immigration of people who aren’t white. There are also some people who want to avoid saying those things but who are prepared to talk about protecting their culture as a way of disguising such objectives. I think we should remember that such people exist and not pretend that they don’t.

engels

At least as the argument is stated here it appears that absent ‘a system of international rules that works for the everyone’ not only has the state has no right to keep anyone out but that it has no right to enforce any laws against them if they come in (unless they have ‘a chance to shape the law’).

That’s not the conclusion to the argument actually stated by Chris Bertram in the last four paragraphs of the article under discussion. He doesn’t argue there that states have no right to enforce any laws against people coming in (or trying to come in): he argues that in the absence of an international system to set coordinated standards of fairness, states should try individually to live up to the kinds of standards of fairness that should be expected from a coordinated international system, and he gives specific examples of the sorts of things he means: uphold existing international standards (like the 1951 Refugee Convention); don’t separate families; don’t detain people fleeing for their lives; give more people a shot at economic opportunity (this one is substantially vaguer than the others, but it’s not hopelessly vague); give people an opportunity to defend themselves against incarceration or deportation. If you agree with these recommendations, then you’re broadly in agreement with Chris Bertram’s article; if you don’t agree with them, why not?

bianca steele

I agree that seems to be Chris’s final position, … There’s nothing in the piece about restrictive immigration being always illegitimate.

Not only is that position not asserted in the article under discussion, it is explicitly denied; so on what basis do you conclude that it seems to be his final position?

Sebastian H

I don’t understand how we get there from his positive right-to-immigrate premise.

I can’t find anything in the article under discussion affirming a positive right-to-immigrate premise.

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engels 09.23.18 at 11:24 am

He doesn’t argue there that states have no right to enforce any laws against people coming in (or trying to come in): he argues that in the absence of an international system to set coordinated standards of fairness, states should try individually to live up to the kinds of standards of fairness that should be expected from a coordinated international system

So what was this about?

A system where some states get to impose their will on outsiders who get neither a chance to shape the law, nor the opportunity to defend themselves against incarceration or deportation, isn’t an example of law in action but of naked force. And people don’t have a duty to submit to naked force: they have a right to resist it.

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engels 09.23.18 at 11:55 am

To be clear I do not think that Chris really believes that eg American tourists in Thailand have the right to ignore traffic laws and I haven’t read his book but from what he’s posted online that does seem to me to be the logic of his position, at least in its sharpest and most attention-grabbing forms. (I’m not ‘broadly on agreement’ because while I agree the list of preferred arrangements is unobjectionable, the view of what individuals are entitled up do in its absence is not.)

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BenK 09.23.18 at 12:27 pm

In the face of all this discussion, it took me a while to figure out quite what to say. I appreciate the people who were respectful and either argued with me or agreed with me.

What I’d like to offer is two-fold: first, no rights in a community without responsibilities. If the prospective migrants have an a priori anticipation that they influence the laws of a community they might be entering by their own right – then they have obligations that the community can enforce on them from afar, before they even decide to enter.

This is a clear example of an essential tension between the real underlying discussions which boil up into a variety of forms, including arguments about nationalism, internationalism, imperialism, ideologies, etc. The tension is about universal abstraction and particularity (thank you Chetan, for drawing that out; albeit combatitively) and about localism/federalism vs universalism.

How much do we consider individuals and their individual stories as opposed to statistics and Platonic forms? But, also, what is the ‘right’ and ‘best’
‘spatial/temporal/phylogenetic (family)/social/economic structure of human society.’

As the rubber meets the road:
How much should local communities and ‘closely-related’ people have special rights and responsibilities with regard to each other? What about with regard to neighboring communities? What about with distant communities tied by bounds other that space and blood (like a common industry)?

How many ‘layers’ should there be in each structure, with authorities and restrictions distributed throughout? Should any authorities be ‘orthogonal’ to each other? That is, should there be countervailing authorities embodied in the markets, the governments, the families, and the churches of the world, that interpenetrate and live in tension?

Through this lens, the debate over nationalism is only a special case of the larger debate, abstracted away from all the other options and alternatives. To understand it requires context. Otherwise we draw out two apparent alternatives, with all sorts of flaws, and falsely debate them as the only options.

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engels 09.23.18 at 1:32 pm

And to be clear again I’m not against the idea that individuals have a right to resist the state (as my other comments imply), it’s the disjunction between a Rawlsianish justification of state power for citizens and philosophical anarchism for non-citizens that I find implausible.

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Orange Watch 09.23.18 at 3:03 pm

Jessica Nguyen@57:

A community of people always has the fundamental right to exclude people by common agreement (surely this is what prison is?). Immigration policy is merely taking this further by preventing these people from entering the country in the first place.

I agree with this premise. However…

This almost – but doesn’t quite – touch on a core issue omitted from most of the current discussion: that there is a tendency to conflate discussion of preventing people from arriving in the first place with the status of those who have already arrived – in both a good-faith and bad-faith manner, on all sides of the issue. In the American context, there has been contentious tacit acceptance of illegal immigration for economic reasons for a long time, which makes it impossible to avoid this. But it still crops up rhetorically elsewhere. A lot of it boils down to contention between multiculturalism vs. assimilation (where the latter may or may not include criteria whereby it’s impossible for certain immigrants to assimilate; i.e., race). But some of it just reflects that enforcing stricter standards on immigration does not happen in a vacuum, and there is worry or hope that the status of naturalized citizens or immigrants on that path will also be impacted by changing the status quo.

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bianca steele 09.23.18 at 3:59 pm

J-D

Is it your habit to troll discussions looking for minor concessions one person makes to another and demanding that they satisfy your arguments against the side you imagine they must be on?

You apparently didn’t notice I wrote a few hundred words keeping strictly to the article in the Nation, and one sentence making a minor concession to engels, and that you’re now demanding I defend his words to your satisfaction or admit defeat.

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Sebastian H 09.23.18 at 6:30 pm

Engels, “it’s the disjunction between a Rawlsianish justification of state power for citizens and philosophical anarchism for non-citizens that I find implausible.”. Thank you. Something bugged me deep in the argument but I couldn’t put my finger on it. We’re dealimg with two radically different understandings of how government functions, and it isn’t clear why we switched.

We also have a weird disjunction between nations and governments (analyzed on unitary scales) on the one hand and immigrants (analyzed only as individuals not groups) on the other. So we have discussions of what nations and governments must do in the interests of justice but very little discussion about what the individuals in those nations are experiencing.

Again, I tend to believe that most countries could do with significantly more immigration (when coupled with attempts at helping assimilation). I tend to believe that immigration rarely hurts economies. I tend to believe that it rarely even hurts low income workers. But considering that we were very wrong about the effect of similar globalization processes on low income workers (until very recently the expert consensus was that the gains were widely shared) we could probably exercise some humility in the area.

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bianca steele 09.23.18 at 6:47 pm

engels @ 72 “And to be clear again I’m not against the idea that individuals have a right to resist the state (as my other comments imply), it’s the disjunction between a Rawlsianish justification of state power for citizens and philosophical anarchism for non-citizens that I find implausible.”

I’d say there’s a gap between an individual right to resist the state and the idea that the state’s demands on me have no more force than any individual’s I might meet on the street. The way the article argues assumes away the need to think about states as anything other than groups of individuals (who presumably agree to agree about the things they agree about). I think it’s a bad idea to equate “the state” with “people who agree,” and a bad idea to pretend ignorance of the history and existence of actual states, and a bad idea to switch silently from “this is what morality requires of me” to “this is what the state requires of you.”

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Kurt Schuler 09.23.18 at 6:56 pm

J-D (44): If immigration laws should not be respected, the result is open borders.

Chip Daniels (55): Yes, I do have a dry sense of humor, but the point you refer to was serious. See below.

Chetan Murthy: Judging from the tone of your remarks, it is possible that whatever discrimination you think you have experienced has not been based on the color of your skin but on aspects of your personality, such as your quickness to make baseless accusations of racism.

More substantively, though, I agree with your characterization of a caste system as a religiously-enforced system of apartheid. A good way not to import it is not to import huge numbers of the people who practice it. Similarly, a good way not to import the problems that have prevented Somalia, or Bolivia, or Russia from becoming rich, democratic countries is not to import millions of Ethiopians, or Bolivians, or Russians all at once, although in smaller numbers they may be able to leave behind the cultural characteristics that have created problems in their home countries.

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J-D 09.23.18 at 10:38 pm

engels

He doesn’t argue there that states have no right to enforce any laws against people coming in (or trying to come in): he argues that in the absence of an international system to set coordinated standards of fairness, states should try individually to live up to the kinds of standards of fairness that should be expected from a coordinated international system

So what was this about?

A system where some states get to impose their will on outsiders who get neither a chance to shape the law, nor the opportunity to defend themselves against incarceration or deportation, isn’t an example of law in action but of naked force. And people don’t have a duty to submit to naked force: they have a right to resist it.

There is no inconsistency between supposing that states have some rights to enforce laws and supposing that individuals have some rights to resist laws. Chris Bertram argues that some of the things states are doing to enforce laws are unjustified; this is not the same as arguing that anything states might ever do to enforce laws is unjustified and so not the same as arguing that anything that individuals might ever do to resist laws is justified.

bianca steele

Is it your habit to troll discussions looking for minor concessions one person makes to another and demanding that they satisfy your arguments against the side you imagine they must be on?

Since you ask, no, it isn’t; but why do you ask?

You apparently didn’t notice I wrote a few hundred words keeping strictly to the article in the Nation, and one sentence making a minor concession to engels, and that you’re now demanding I defend his words to your satisfaction or admit defeat.

I demanded nothing. I still demand nothing. But I recall with regret that in a previous exchange I failed to communicate my meaning clearly to you.

Kurt Schuler

If immigration laws should not be respected, the result is open borders.

If nobody ever gave any respect to any immigration law in any way, the result would be open borders; but the article under discussion does not advocate the position that nobody should ever give any respect to any immigration law in any way.

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Equalitus 09.24.18 at 12:04 am

Much of the same can be said of private property power relations, and the autocracy in public/private institutions that is not political assembly. Why should open borders or one world one nation on global scale be more important than the will of the majority of the voters in any geo-economic jurisdiction, like municipality, county, province, non sovereign state, and sovereign nation states?

Why is immigration laws very different or fundamentally different than any law/rule by constitutional arrangement or 4-5 year limited government of plurality or majority governing rules?
Also important for me ideologically and some others in the western world, open borders or one world-one-nation [unrestricted immigration laws] is completely incompatible with [Scandinavian style] social democracy and welfare capitalism seen in the Nordic countries for a few generations, actually, despite immigration problems and little assimilation for decades, these welfare institutions are mostly good to decent.

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J-D 09.24.18 at 12:06 am

Kurt Schuler

More substantively, though, I agree with your characterization of a caste system as a religiously-enforced system of apartheid. A good way not to import it is not to import huge numbers of the people who practice it. Similarly, a good way not to import the problems that have prevented Somalia, or Bolivia, or Russia from becoming rich, democratic countries is not to import millions of Ethiopians, or Bolivians, or Russians all at once, although in smaller numbers they may be able to leave behind the cultural characteristics that have created problems in their home countries.

To the extent that there is any risk of the establishment of a religiously enforced system of apartheid in any Western country–or, indeed, in any country where no such system currently exists–that risk emanates not from immigrants but from locals (I think, for example, of dominionists in the US). So if you want to prevent such a thing from happening and you focus your attention on restricting immigration you are diverting your energies in the wrong direction.

To the extent that any rich country faces the risk of becoming poor, or any democratic country faces the risk of becoming undemocratic, that risk emanates not from the actions of immigrants but either from the actions of locals or from the actions of the governments of more powerful rich countries (or both); so, once again, if you want to prevent things like that from happening and you focus your attention on restricting immigration you are diverting your energies in the wrong direction.

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J-D 09.24.18 at 12:36 am

Equalitus

Why is immigration laws very different or fundamentally different than any law/rule by constitutional arrangement or 4-5 year limited government of plurality or majority governing rules?

No fundamental difference is being alleged. The fundamental principle is that good laws should be treated with respect and bad laws should not.

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engels 09.24.18 at 10:46 am

There is no inconsistency between supposing that states have some rights to enforce laws and supposing that individuals have some rights to resist laws.

There is no inconsistency in supposing that eating animal meat is deeply immoral for everyone except Minneapolitans but it is nonetheless not an atttactive position imho.

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WLGR 09.24.18 at 5:53 pm

Regarding this discussion of caste systems: not to state the extremely, blindingly obvious or anything like that, but when you talk about immigration restrictions, what you’re talking about quite explicitly is maintaining and enforcing an ethnonationally-based caste system on a global scale. What would it mean to claim that the brahmin caste doesn’t have a caste system, on the basis that there’s no caste prejudice or discrimination by brahmins against fellow brahmins? What would it mean to argue that we and our fellow brahmins need to restrict caste mobility from the dalit caste into the brahmin caste, because dalits entering the brahmin caste would bring with them the hitherto unknown evil of (God forbid) a caste system?

By the same token as arguing that the United States or other affluent Western countries don’t have caste systems, could we also point out that there’s no racial segregation within the membership of the KKK? No ethnic genocide of Nazis by fellow Nazis? No statutory rape of Catholic priests by fellow Catholic priests? No misogyny within the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity against fellow ΔΚΕ members? The possibilities are endless!

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Just_Dropping_By 09.24.18 at 9:31 pm

From the article: Do would-be immigrants, then, actually have a duty to obey immigration laws that tell them they shouldn’t be on the territory, or mustn’t work? * * * A system where some states get to impose their will on outsiders who get neither a chance to shape the law, nor the opportunity to defend themselves against incarceration or deportation, isn’t an example of law in action but of naked force. And people don’t have a duty to submit to naked force: they have a right to resist it. (Emphasis added.)

So, based on the emphasized language and the conclusion, it appears the argument is that immigrants not only have the right to resist immigration laws, but they also have the right to resist laws that interfere with them working when they arrive. I’m curious to know how far that right goes — presumably failing to fill out an I-9 form is fine, but how about forging documents, identity theft, providing false information on government forms (often classed as perjury or otherwise criminal), etc., which are also often part of immigrating outside legal channels?

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J-D 09.24.18 at 10:21 pm

engels

There is no inconsistency between supposing that states have some rights to enforce laws and supposing that individuals have some rights to resist laws.

There is no inconsistency in supposing that eating animal meat is deeply immoral for everyone except Minneapolitans but it is nonetheless not an atttactive position imho.

I find unattractive the position that nobody has any right ever to resist any law in any way; is that just me?

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Chris Bertram 09.24.18 at 10:36 pm

Reading comments at CT, particularly from those unable to understand or, more commonly, determined not to, can be trying for a writer. I’m grateful to J-D for confirming that my prose is not so obscure that it is beyond the comprehension of intelligent people of goodwill.

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engels 09.25.18 at 10:40 am

I find unattractive the position that nobody has any right ever to resist any law in any way; is that just me?

And to be clear again I’m not against the idea that individuals have a right to resist the state (as my other comments imply) 🤔

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bianca steele 09.25.18 at 2:43 pm

There’s no inconsistency in supposing by “unattractive” J-D means, “I’m already there, and the metaphor of ‘attraction’ indicates movement, but no further movement in that direction is possible.”

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J-D 09.25.18 at 10:36 pm

engels

And to be clear again I’m not against the idea that individuals have a right to resist the state (as my other comments imply)

You think that individuals have a right to resist the state; I think that individuals have a right to resist the state; Chris Bertram thinks that individuals have a right to resist the state. So what do you think we’re disagreeing about?

bianca steele
What do you think we’re disagreeing about?

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engels 09.26.18 at 10:26 am

You think that individuals have a right to resist the state; I think that individuals have a right to resist the state; Chris Bertram thinks that individuals have a right to resist the state. So what do you think we’re disagreeing about?

Its scope and provenance (if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate etc)

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Stephen 09.26.18 at 3:52 pm

OK, further question.

Does it depend which state is being resisted? An ideal, perfectly virtuous state? But who defines perfect virtue? A liberal, non-oppressive state? But who is to say who is being oppressed? A people’s democracy? But who are the people?

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Jerry Vinokurov 09.26.18 at 5:53 pm

As an immigrant myself, I find it laughable to read “defenses” of immigration restriction oriented around the presumption that immigrants lack the necessary commitment to Enlightenment principles (read: whiteness) to properly integrate into American society. If we were legitimately serious about these defenses, we’d be engaged in en masse deportation of older white Americans, particularly from the South, who are among the least-committed-to-Enlightenment-principles people that I’ve ever encountered. But we’re not, so maybe we should stop pretending that, at least in the American context, this is about anything other than racism.

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J-D 09.26.18 at 10:02 pm

engels

What do you take to be the scope and provenance of an individual’s right to resist the state, and how do you consider this to be different from the scope and provenance supposed by Chris Bertram (and/or myself)?

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Ogden Wernstrom 09.26.18 at 10:36 pm

Kurt Schuler, @77, finds that calling someone “racist” appears to be a way to unfairly shut down one side of a debate.

In the next paragraph, he goes on to characterize some sort of immigrants (Indians?) as “…huge numbers of people who practice [apartheid]”.

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J-D 09.27.18 at 7:03 am

Stephen

My answer to your question is that whether an individual should resist the state depends mostly on the likely consequences (as best they can be estimated) of resisting the state as compared with the likely consequences (as best they can be estimated) of not resisting the state, and therefore only indirectly on which state is being resisted.

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Stephen 09.27.18 at 8:24 am

J-D

Are we discussing rights, or consequences? If the latter, then you’re being very sensible.

But if it’s a matter of rights, there’s a problem. Given a sufficiently ruthless and oppressive state (obvious examples from periods of German, Russian, Chinese history, and elsewhere) then the consequences of trying to resist would be personal catastrophe, and no change in the state. Does that mean nobody had the right to try to resist Hitler, Stalin, Mao?

I’m afraid it looks as if you’re arguing that people in a liberal society have a right to resist the state: those in a tyranny, don’t. Consequence: if the belief that Trump intends to become a dictator were not a delusion, then it would follow that once he had done so there would be no right to resist him. Hmmm.

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Collin Street 09.27.18 at 8:33 am

Stephen: when you’re playing Tetris you have to fit each new piece into what you’ve assembled so far. But when you’re learning you don’t have to do that: pretty often, the reason new information is hard to swallow is because there’s an old minor error blocking the throat.

The way you’re phrasing your questions it seems pretty clear that you expect that by-and-large you’ll be able to align new information with what you currently know, and that if you can’t do that it means your new information is unreliable. That’s… unwise. Time progresses. You’re older and wiser and smarter now than you were “last time”: your decisions and judgement have improved. You can make better decisions now than the you of the past ever could. Consistency is a rejection of your own capacity to learn.

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J-D 09.27.18 at 10:05 am

Stephen

I was answering your question in general terms, because it was a general question. (You should notice that I wrote ‘It depends mostly on …’ I didn’t put the word ‘mostly’ in there without thinking about it.) Still in general terms (but slightly less general, because you’re offering less general examples), I point out that people did resist Hitler, and that if nobody had resisted Hitler he would have won, but he lost because people resisted him. Obviously, in very general terms, resistance is not always successful. More specifically, if people resist Nazis, the Nazis might still win. But if people don’t resist Nazis, the Nazis will certainly win.

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Stephen 09.27.18 at 12:34 pm

J-D

You’re right, I should not have overlooked “mostly”; it’s a very convenient escape hatch.

But the question of resisting Hitler is a little more complex, I think, than you make out. Resisting Hitler from within Germany could well be understood as a hopeless activity, and should not (if I have understood your argument correctly) been thought justified and attempted: or mostly not, anyway. The Nazis were defeated, however, from outside Germany, by people who rightly did not think their efforts were hopeless.

And the other two examples I gave were of cases where internal resistance did not, in fact, bring down the tyrants. Only the passage of time brought about improvements. While there’s death, there’s hope.

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Stephen 09.27.18 at 12:43 pm

Collin Street: it looks as if you have very imperfect understanding of my thought processes. If new information does not fit what I already think I know, I am happy to consider two possibilities. Either the new information is not reliable, or my previous opinions were mistaken. My estimate of the probability of each must of course be influenced by my opinion of the source of new information. I have no idea how a belief in your powers of telepathy leads you to claim I proceed otherwise.

There is a quotation from Keynes which is very relevant here, but you probably know it.

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J-D 09.27.18 at 9:48 pm

Stephen

But the question of resisting Hitler is a little more complex, I think, than you make out.

I mentioned that I was giving a general answer, because you asked a general question!

Resisting Hitler from within Germany could well be understood as a hopeless activity …

I’m not clear on what your basis is for that conclusion; my conclusion is the opposite, that resisting Hitler from within Germany could not well be understood as a hopeless activity.

… and should not (if I have understood your argument correctly) been thought justified and attempted: or mostly not, anyway. The Nazis were defeated, however, from outside Germany, by people who rightly did not think their efforts were hopeless.

Each single Nazi action thwarted and each life saved was a product of successful resistance; if the number of those was small, there would have been more if there had been more resistance.

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Jacob Steel 09.27.18 at 11:57 pm

Stephen @100: says

“There is a quotation from Keynes which is very relevant here, but you probably know it.”

See https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/07/22/keynes-change-mind/. Perhaps you’d like to change your mind about that in light of new evidence?

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