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  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 16, 2016 10:10 am

    Very good and thorough treatment of the subject. I think each person must make up his own mind, act as he/she believes is right, and defend themselves from all aggressors without recourse to government – such as demanding that “they” close the borders. …even if that were possible.

    That’s not going to be a simple answer for most people, of course, and how one judges those who might be aggressors is not a one size fits all thing either. I would hope that those who are concentrating on the Muslims won’t be fooled into thinking they can ignore everyone else…

  2. Ken Hagler
    Ken Hagler August 16, 2016 10:27 am

    A few months ago, after seeing yet another claim that the eeeevil Muslims wanted to “impose Shariah” in the US, I decided to keep track of every news story I happened across for a month that involved an already existing Shariah law in the US. There were a bunch of them, and not a single one was imposed by politically powerless Muslims:

  3. Fred
    Fred August 16, 2016 10:46 am

    If you’re not reading Matt Bracken, GoV, and Vlad Tepes you’re already losing the coming war.

  4. AG
    AG August 16, 2016 10:53 am

    The Muslim faith is wholly incompatible with anything resembling Western Civ.

    Neither you nor I should be forced to deal with their anger over certain internationalist policies pursued by D.C.

    A body can ingest small amounts of poison, and successfully filter it. But there is a tipping point.

    The tipping point has either already been passed, or we are drawing very, very near.

    I suspect they are intentionally being used as a Trojan horse for further statism.

  5. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 16, 2016 12:02 pm

    Vin went over to the dark authoritarian side on immigration a long time ago, on the pretense that the “country” is “our” “property” and that therefore people traveling without Vin Suprynowicz’s prior approval are “tresspassing.”

    Unsurprising that he would, sooner or later, try to pin the “some of them use a religion I don’t practice as their excuse for violent conduct” tail on that ass.

  6. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 16, 2016 2:51 pm

    Once you jump the shark and believe there “should be” States, immigration officials, and government property “rights” which trump actual property rights (private property is the only kind of property someone can have a right to), then you get off-track trying to work out how these things “should” behave. Getting a bad conclusion from faulty input is inevitable.

    What no one should tolerate is aggression (or theft), no matter whether the excuse is religion, “the law”, or tradition. As long as you tolerate it, you’ll get more of it. Being a bad guy needs to have consequences- even if you wear a badge or hold an elected office. But the bad guys have made that “illegal”.

    Government is the reason radical Islam is a problem- as well as the aggressive teachings of Islam, but government is what protects the aggressors, whoever they are, from the consequences they should face each and every time they violate someone. I won’t run to the bullies of The State to protect me from the bullies of Islam by violating life, liberty, and property of everyone. That would be uncivilized.

  7. BillMiller
    BillMiller August 16, 2016 3:08 pm

    If you believe that your god commands you to throw gays off of the rooftops of buildings, or to perform clitorectomies on little girls, or to stone and behead heretics, infidels, apostates and adulterers, then we do not need you here in the West. You are free to practice your barbaric religion in whatever godforsaken sandbox into which you were born.

  8. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 16, 2016 3:19 pm

    Yeah, except there is no “we” that includes you and me, or that owns “the west.”

    Where people might choose to travel, unless it’s on your property, is none of your fucking business.

  9. jed
    jed August 16, 2016 4:02 pm

    I’ve read Bracken. And Mosby, and Max Velocity, WRSA, etc. etc. But GoV? Drawing a blank. Possibly blocked by the presence of GoT, which I haven’t watched, but hear about all the time.

    Vlad Tepes? I remember seeing him a while back, but “Javascript is required. Please enable javascript before you are allowed to see this page.” just turns me away now. Yeah, my std. OT rant: just send HTML to the browser for people to read. It’s easy. People have been doing it for over a decade.

  10. Brunette
    Brunette August 16, 2016 4:39 pm

    So going by Thomas Knapp’s logic, conversely: Americans should be free to travel the middle east as they please. Handing out Bibles, if one so chooses. Good luck with that . . . 😉

    Or do we respect THEIR right to establish and defend borders, with or without involvement of *their* governments in said border disputes? Against us, if they feel WE are a threat?

  11. Pat
    Pat August 16, 2016 4:40 pm

    That’s a very comprehensive essay; worthy of keeping as a historical resource to date. The videos are particularly compelling.

    We tend to think of tolerance as objective, and intolerance as subjective, yet each can be equally the opposite. We can be tolerant of the facts, but not tolerant of someone’s acceptance of those facts – or vice versa. It is not prejudice to recognize what’s going on in the world and denounce it for what it is.

    The Muslims who are speaking out against violence and for re-interpretation of the Quran started rather late; no telling if they have the strength (or time) to influence much of the Muslim world. And the interview with Ibrahim Al-Buleihi was surprising to me; he’s obviously been schooled in Western ideas, and _was willing to consider them_. (Though the words sounded strange coming from a robed Saudi; I wasn’t used to that combination.)

    As far as coming to America, Muslims have that right. They do not have the right to bust up my life, by threats or violence, any more than racists, feminists, SJWs, conservatives or liberals do, individually or as a group. And if there IS an indication that any individual or group is not what they claim to be, that can be a consideration for rejection – whether by a state official or by riding them out on a rail.

    “Give me your tired, your poor” is not the same as “Give me your known, hate-filled religious zealot.” Self-defense is not only about shooting back, but “carrying a big stick” (or open carry) to warn off aggressors. It’s better to prevent the attack than to have to defend against it. We do live in a country, so it’s the state official who determines what is done about Muslims. When we live in a free society, then we can ride them out on a rail – or shun them – or shoot them when they become violent.

  12. feralfae/iloilo
    feralfae/iloilo August 16, 2016 4:46 pm

    Thomas, point well taken, and true. Yet, if a group of individuals get together and voluntarily agree, unanimously, to keep Burt the Baby Slayer off their property, where exactly would you draw the line on individual vs. cooperatively-regulated property rules?

    If I and ten of my neighbors agree that we will work together to keep Burt the Baby Slayer off our property and agree—by mutual and cooperative consent—to ban Burt TBS from entry within the boundaries of our adjoining properties, including our streets and alleys, then am I bound to that cooperative agreement among us, until such time as I declare myself outside the contract, or is it still none of my business if BTBS decides to invade my mutually-agreed and voluntarily contracted neighbor’s property?

    Do we—in any instance—have the right to form purely voluntary, independent, cooperative, mutually beneficial neighborhood protection groups, or is your comment meant to restrict our rights to only the protection of our singular, individually-titled private property?

    And if there is a commons for our cows and goats, held by the village in common, is restricting entry (by BTBS or the bull from the next valley) any of our business or not?

    Simply put, does any individual in any instance, have any right to protect the Gulch against invasions?
    I am interested in your thinking on this issue.
    Thank you.

  13. Fred
    Fred August 16, 2016 4:48 pm

    How big is your tribe and how long can it sustain itself? Nations (not countries or nation states) are real. People of similar x group together. We are social beings. Of course, prior to countries it was feudal nations at constant war to create the biggest army by the meanest war lord. Not much has changed except, oh, there was no time for inventing the internet and selecting from among the dozens of items in the fridge, for a bite, while making comments on lovely new blogs either. So again, how big is your tribe? Countries, like cops, are a fiction, but they are a real fiction.

    Yes it’s ‘we’, or you die in your comfort and ease. Not a bad way to go, except of course, your conscience in the matter of your neighbors daughters being ganged raped. Still ok though, their virginal safety is not your property is it?

    Folks have been trying to teach these idiots to stop shitting in their drinking water for a thousand years but I’m sure you will be able to explain the nuances of “libertarian” property rights theory to them. No problem at all, they’ll understand right away and find somebody else to behead.

    Islam is totalitarian. There is NO private property. All of it, including you and your neighbors daughters bodies, belongs to the church state.

    Here’s a little bedtime story that might better explain their SOP at work.

  14. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 16, 2016 4:57 pm


    “Or do we respect THEIR right to establish and defend borders, with or without involvement of *their* governments in said border disputes? Against us, if they feel WE are a threat?”

    See, there you go with the “we” and “their” stuff.

    I’ve known you and Vin for years. In every case except “borders” you recognize governments for what they are — overgrown street gangs. But invoke the word “borders” and all of a sudden it’s “we” and “they” and the street gangs become legitimate representatives of their victims and the turf lines become magical fairy dust creations with supernatural powers.

    But what bothers me most about it is that neither you nor Vin is that goddamn dumb.

  15. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 16, 2016 5:08 pm


    You write:

    ” if a group of individuals get together and voluntarily agree, unanimously, to keep Burt the Baby Slayer off their property, where exactly would you draw the line on individual vs. cooperatively-regulated property rules?”

    At the line separating what is their property from what is not their property. I’m all for people getting together and working out their own rules — provided there is, as you say, unanimous consent to those rules among the original covenanters and a right of exit with pro rata share of the alleged common property for people brought into the covenant other than through said consent (i.e. subsequent generations).

    Here is part of the problem, and it actually touches on the instant matter of Vin’s position in particular:

    The US government claims “ownership” of lots and lots of land, including the vast majority of the American southwest. That claim is completely illegitimate.

    That land is not legitimately “owned” by the government, nor is it legitimately held in trust by the government for “us.” It’s just being forcibly held out of legitimate homesteading.

    That’s something that Vin recognizes when it comes to e.g. commons grazing in Nevada.

    But suggest that Pedro from Juarez has just as much right to travel over or homestead that land as Vin from Nevada or Tom from Florida and all of a sudden all that goes out the window and the government becomes a benevolent property manager working in the interests of the other two and protecting them from “trespassing” Pedro.

    What’s offensive is that someone with a mind like Vin’s would perform such a herculean feat of discarding all logic and reason to reach such an absurd position. It can’t have been easy. He has to have had to WORK at it.

  16. Fred
    Fred August 16, 2016 5:53 pm

    Gates of Vienna. Since you know Western Shooters you’ll recognize it.

    Bummer on the java at Vlad. Excellent resource but it’s all gore all the time. It’s like the referenced article here minus the analysis. It’s the daily list of rapes, explosions, beheadings, child molestation’s, gangs, etc. It’s Europe only muz invasion news. It ain’t for those interested in the subtleties of libertarian thought that’s for sure.

  17. Tahn
    Tahn August 16, 2016 6:33 pm

    Thomas Knapp,

    Concerning your statement, “Where people might choose to travel, unless it’s on your property, is none of your …. business.”

    A hypothetical question if you will indulge me please.

    Let us imagine an organized Chinese Army of 50,000/100,000 armed soldiers, peacefully landing on a coast and without trespassing on private property or harming anyone, proceeded to encamp in a national forest or State park. Or perhaps they even camped, with permission, on someone’s private property. Would you still consider that it would be “none of our business”?

  18. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner August 16, 2016 6:33 pm

    Gods save us from academic anarchists. They’re as utopian as communists but still get to carry the libertarian whistle and decoder ring.

    We strive in the direction of perfect Liberty because it’s a noble goal. We fail to reach it because humans are humans and the perversity of human nature at the individual level makes some sort of state inevitable in the real world so our efforts are better spent keeping an eye on that state and limiting its spread.

    You say there is no “we” that we both belong to. In fact, we both belong to the intellectual tradition that upholds the rights of the individual as the greatest good, and under which we are free to espouse any damn fool social organization we please even if it is at odds with the ideas of the majority/King/Arch Mullah.

    We have borders because in the real world, there is a geographic limit to where our shared intellectual tradition can affect the political debate, beyond which is territory under the control of people who do not or do not fully share our commitment to voluntarism. Say what you will for the awesome power of that receptacle of all rights the atomistic individual, the authoritarians have some advantages. One thing they do extremely well is organize people into groups, train them to march in step, give them guns, and send them to influence people in other places. It’s a great deal more efficient and militarily effective to have one guy with lots of braid give an order and have it obeyed than for a group of atomistic individuals to try to fight and maneuver and maintain that unanimity of consent. Borders are a purely arbitrary international norm which in most cases and most of the time means that the people running things one one side of the arbitrary line do so without the overt interference from the people running things on the other side, and nobody needs any noisy demonstrations of military prowess to keep the other guy’s dog in his yard. The border is the ultimate voluntarist institution between states.

    I like travel. Travel is broadening and provides unequalled opportunities for learning and growth. I think everyone who wants to travel here should do so and we will show them our wonderful voluntarist society and graciously accept their money in uncoerced trade for trinkets and stuffed purple eagles wearing sombreros.

    Then I want them to go home.

    Limiting the debate to freedom to “travel” rather conveniently (and clearly intentionally) misses the point. I do not object to adherents of ideologies inimical to our shared intellectual tradition traveling here, but I draw the line at them settling here, affecting the political debate here, committing crimes here, and taking advantage of taxpayer-funded services here.

    We are not living in an anarchist fantasy roleplaying game. Real-world problems caused by real-world people need real-world solutions.

  19. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 16, 2016 6:45 pm

    So, the real-world solution is to violate my property rights and my right of association “for the common good”, based on the pretense that The State has rights to my property which trump my own?
    If people would just get over statism and respect the right of everyone to defend their property from trespassers and thieves, regardless of where those trespassers and thieves might have been born, or what job they may hold, this “immigration” thing wouldn’t even be an issue. It’s the continued existence of States and their rights-violating “laws” which seems- in some minds- to justify even bigger violations to prevent things which are caused by States. It’s a crazy cycle that will never end until people accept what causes it and let it go.

  20. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 16, 2016 6:56 pm

    The problem is the imaginary “collective government property”- the coast, the national forest, or the state park. If everything is owned by an individual (the way things which are owned, are actually owned), then everyone is either where they have a right to be, or they are trespassing.

  21. Brunette
    Brunette August 16, 2016 6:56 pm

    GRRReat comment, RustyGunner . . . Red rover, red rover, send RustyGunner over. 🙂

    For the record, I was always among the last kids to be called over for that game. And I hope I don’t qualify as an academic anarchist, since I’m anything but ‘academic’ . . . 😉

  22. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner August 16, 2016 7:14 pm

    Kent, where this becomes a problem is that not everyone is ever going to be on board with anarchism, and it doesn’t take many collectivists in a group to overwhelm your right to defend your property. Your neighbors MIGHT help you, but you can’t count on that. They have their own property to defend and the smart bandit takes payments in lieu of pillage.

    In order to function, the pure voluntarist anarchist society has to change human nature to be viable, and that makes it utopian.

    It’s not that I or anyone like me favors statism or collectivism or the violation of property rights, but they are inevitable given human nature, so we focus on damage control.

  23. Fred
    Fred August 16, 2016 7:19 pm

    Thank You RustyGunner. Well and accurately stated.

  24. Shel
    Shel August 16, 2016 7:24 pm

    I agree, this is a real-world problem. What Vin is describing in excruciating detail is what is happening and what will happen. As he says, we can look to Europe as a preview. Trump made the very common sense statement that we should put a hold on Muslim immigrants until we figure this out and was pilloried for it.

    T.E. Lawrence, a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia, explained in wonderful terms that Arabs have a tendency to throw away all their worldly possessions and follow a prophet. Most of the terrorists come from well to do families; poverty is no explanation.

    John Bagot Glubb, in his excellent essay “The Fate of Empires…” noted that at the end of an empire (which we were never supposed to be in the first place) there is a large influx of immigrants, who may or may not be inferior to the existing population, which causes significant internal dissension and problems. FWIW, we have all the symptoms of end stage decay.

    Kipling famously declared the two cultures, ours and theirs, eternally incompatible as entities.

    Thomas Sowell rightly is skeptical of the advantages of diversity.

    Any doubts about the practical effects of our immigration policy ought to be extinguished by the opinion of the Border Patrol Council (the Border Patrol Agents’ union) These are federal police officers who are on our side; it’s exceedingly rare that the main complaint of a union is that the workers aren’t allowed to do their jobs.

    No matter what we believe should or shouldn’t be morally right, this is a freight train coming right at us and we’d better be able to deal with it, as well as with DHS statements on “right wing extremism” and calls for gun control after the inevitable future chain of attacks by radical islamists.

  25. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 16, 2016 7:25 pm

    Funny thing about anarchism- it isn’t collectivist. I can be an anarchist whether anyone else is or not. Just like living by the Zero Aggression Principle- it makes no demands on you, but is a promise of how I will relate to you.

    I know I can’t count on my neighbors helping, but if I help them defend their property (and I will), then the chances are good they’ll help me, too. If they don’t, then I’m on my own. Exactly like when government fails to protect my property rights, but instead becomes the greatest danger to them. Which they are and have been my whole life.

    Anarchy is already how the vast majority of people live the vast majority of their lives every moment of every day. It doesn’t depend on people changing their nature- they already live it. They just carve out silly exceptions.

    It’s not really damage control when you are justifying more damage. Just don’t pretend to do it on my behalf- because I don’t consent.

  26. feralfae/iloilo
    feralfae/iloilo August 16, 2016 7:25 pm

    Thomas, you have hit upon a core issue with respect to individual human rights and Rusty Gunner has also articulated that same issue from a slightly different perspective:

    In the event of open borders, under your philosophy, are those lands held as “commons” by the traditional residents of the area available and subject to being seized by later arrivals? I do not mean for this to be a hypothetical instance, but rather a question related to policy, the state, and humans as we exist today, in this situation.

    This instance was recently enacted here in Alaska, when traditional Peoples’ commons was successfully invaded, apportioned in various ways, and for which the traditional Peoples were not given the option of inviting the invaders to leave, nor were the wishes of the traditional peoples considered in much of the buying and selling of their commons. While they were able to reach some settlements, there are many elements of use and rights of property that remain unsettled.

    Thomas, I think I understand that you are of the opinion that all commons, under open borders or no borders, should be available for all humans, although these might be considered the commons of the traditional peoples according to their traditions and history, if not on official paper documents.

    Killing off the buffalo and creating reservations is a fine example of invasion and usurpation of the traditional commons, by the way. Perhaps invasion is simply a part of the way humans mix cultures and genes. My regrets include that we are losing a myriad of alternative cultures—with exceedingly rich traditions in medicine, stewardship of the land, and other areas—as the Earth is invaded, cultures diluted and homogenized by corporate materialism/the military industrial complex. And even our once-robust individualistic and liberty-oriented culture in this country is undergoing shifts that were largely unanticipated and uninvited.

    If we are the cooperative stakeholders in the country’s land areas which are identified as the commons, do we, as stakeholders in this commons, have any right to restrict trespass or entry? Is the commons not the shared property of the stakeholders?
    Do the stakeholders have any property rights to the commons?
    Thank you.

  27. jed
    jed August 16, 2016 7:39 pm

    Gates of Vienna Meh. Same problem. Oh well, I already have plenty of reading on my plate. Thanks anyway.

  28. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner August 16, 2016 8:01 pm

    Kent, I understand your point but I don’t think it’s practical.

    We make a society with the people we have, not the people we want, and people are a problem. I love my species but I do not expect them to be other than they are, and while our institutions have evolved over recorded history, our nature has not. Every weakness, every foible, every cowardly impulse, every bit of avarice and greed you find throughout history is still with us today, only with better tools and a Twitter feed.

    True freedom and self-government with all its responsibilities and lack of a safety net is profoundly frightening to most people. It’s why humans tend to group as tribes. It’s not a matter, either, of just explaining it the right way, of being convincing, that tribal embrace is comforting, it gives shape and structure in what people see as a chaotic and frightening world. They like the tribe, and won’t accept what you’re offering.

    That’s why “most people live as anarchists” is illusory. They don’t require minding and helicopter parenting and coercion because they have bought into the tribe’s culture, and they follow its ruleset and meet its expectations without prompting, and in most cases unconsciously. They appear to be acting freely and in most “western” tribes there is lots left to individual choice, but where it counts they run on steel rails.

    Even people who try to live as you prefer are going to be unevenly successful at it as they navigate their own strengths and flaws, and I fear that the people who really try to go it alone are going to have their eulogies read by the ones who look at the zombie bikers massing outside of town and choose to pay the Danegeld.

    There aren’t any good solutions, Kent, not with the humans we have to work with, and we can batter against that stone wall all our lives and not make a dent. The best we can do is make the least-bad choices.

  29. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 16, 2016 8:11 pm

    Well, I won’t violate you just because I’m scared.

  30. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner August 16, 2016 8:15 pm

    Thousands would, and have, and do. Frightened people in groups are very dangerous.

  31. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 16, 2016 8:18 pm

    So, if other people do wrong, it’s OK for me to do wrong.

  32. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner August 16, 2016 8:36 pm

    If you look at it as a choice between doing wrong and being lunch, you begin to realize there’s a lot of ethical gray area out there.

    Intentional and acknowledged straw man argument for the sake of illustrating an edge-case point for the sake of image contrast: if my family has unintentionally strayed onto Rancher McManigal’s enormous spread and my kid hasn’t had water in two days, even if I know that Rancher McManigal is a miserly bastard who hates everyone and even though I don’t see him around to ask permission, do I kick his kitchen door in to get to the tap?

    Damn right, I do.

    A system of ethics that is so rigid that it cannot engage with actual field conditions without killing its adherents or rendering them unable to compete or perhaps even function is not worth following.

  33. Fred
    Fred August 16, 2016 8:50 pm

    If you’re reading Bracken and Shooters et al. then you don’t need these news feeds anyway. You’re probably ahead of me already. But, the hoards evolving tactics are interesting to study I must admit.

  34. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 16, 2016 8:51 pm

    And, in a free society, we take each other to arbitration. (Or one of us refuses and loses before we begin.) You may end up with a bill for trespassing and damages, but your kid is alive. You should be satisfied with that outcome. And, if everyone finds out I’m a jerk who would rather your kid die than have some water, maybe no one will sell to me or buy from me and I’m a pariah. If I don’t care, then that’s that. Others may observe and decide to not be like me, because it isn’t worth it.

    Right is right and wrong is wrong- it doesn’t matter if you want to justify things. There is always a way to make things as right as realistically possible in real world cases. No, nothing can satisfy everyone. And, there are always hypothetical situations in which there is no right or wrong because they are fictional. Just like the successful, prosperous socialist society in Star Trek.

  35. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner August 16, 2016 9:17 pm

    I can extend my straw man just a little more to answer that, and incidentally bring it closer to not being straw anymore.

    Rancher McManigal (and I’m not making a personal statement about you, here, the name just rolls off the tongue) wakes up from his nap at the sound of the door being kicked in, sees me but not my son behind me, and fires into the kitchen with his old 4-bore punt gun, killing me and my son.

    Was he right, or wrong? Not talking being within the law, but morally right?

    In fact, he was both. This is a gray area.

    I challenge the idea that everything is either right or wrong. That would be true, with perfect people. The more people depart from the ideal, the more gray creeps into your ethical environment. More often, a given course of action can be right AND wrong, depending on your perspective and what is at stake.

    This isn’t necessarily good or bad, it simply is, and the real measure of a person’s character is how he behaves in the gray, without absolutes as guides.

    You say there’s always a way to make things as right as realistically possible, and I fully agree, I just see that line drawn in different places, and that we may not be using the same value of “right”.

  36. feralfae/iloilo
    feralfae/iloilo August 16, 2016 9:36 pm

    Someone will soon do me the kindness of removing one of these. How did I manage to do that?

  37. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 17, 2016 5:41 am

    Seems to me that some folks here are painting with a brush a bit too broad. People are individuals first, and human nature is varied by thousands of factors, both genetic and cultural. The idea of sweeping everyone into some roughly defined “norm” is as repugnant as it is counterproductive.

    No, not everyone will ever be willing to live with self government and non-aggression. Would be nice, of course, but I don’t know why anyone would want to let that goal interfere with their efforts to live that way themselves here and now. My living that way does not depend on having everyone else do so.

    Looked at with clear eyes, most human interactions do not involve aggression, coercion or theft. Just walk through an average neighborhood, even the worst, and MOST people are not harming each other MOST of the time. Whatever else goes on does not change that fact.

    So many people have this whole thing turned backwards, I think. If “everyone” is either a slack jawed follower, or an insane jihadist monster…. why have the violent crime numbers fallen off a cliff the last fifty years or so? We who carry a gun do so to be prepared to meet the rare exception. Those who gather food, etc. as preparation for disaster do so in the hope that the disaster never comes. And, for most of us, it never does.

    If “everyone” was a stupid cretin just looking for a chance to harm someone, we’d be completely overwhelmed and could not survive. And that’s as true in Iraq and Iran as it is in Wyoming. With some non trivial caveats, of course, because I suspect that most of those who want to live in peace in Iraq are not part of the non-voluntary governments who are fighting over control of everything.

    SOME people, in some places, are certainly not looking for peace and honest trade with their neighbors. Seems to me that the reason for that isn’t “human nature,” really, but the nature of non-voluntary government that works so hard to destroy the potential for self government in those folks (think “public school” and “war on drugs”), and makes it generally impossible for the peaceful folks to defend themselves. That is a real problem, and more non-voluntary government – with no interest and no intention of protecting any of them… is no answer.

    Seems obvious, then, that immigrants themselves are individuals… some are peaceful and some are not. The non-voluntary government involvement – with welfare, etc. and all of the nonsense that prevents people from defending themselves and their property, little rational response to the incoming people is possible.

    So yes, as long as the US government has any control over how people respond to the immigrants (or anyone else), there will be real problems and few, if any rational large scale solutions.

    Demanding that the US government “close the borders” certainly isn’t a rational solution – even if it were possible.

  38. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 17, 2016 5:45 am

    ” In fact, we both belong to the intellectual tradition that upholds the rights of the individual as the greatest good”

    Apparently not. Otherwise you wouldn’t be demanding that all the other individuals on earth give up their rights so that you can be protected from the potential horror of hearing someone speak Spanish or seeing someone sell falafel.

  39. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 17, 2016 5:54 am

    “Thomas, I think I understand that you are of the opinion that all commons, under open borders or no borders, should be available for all humans”

    I have no idea where you got that idea.

    Any specific commons is the common property of some group whose members have legitimately homesteaded that property and/or acquired it through a chain of legitimate exchange terminating at those who did legitimately homestead it, and have agreed with others to contractually structure ownership of that property as a commons.

    If you and I and eight other people each homestead or buy adjacent 10-acre pieces of land and agree that we’re going to merge ownership of parts that land with each of us retaining one acre as personal homestead and contributing nine acres to a commons, that 90-acre commons belongs to the ten of us.

    The vast unhomesteaded areas of North America which the US government claims to “own” are not our common property.

    Some of it is stolen property (e.g. courthouses, government roads, etc.).

    Some of it is property which is unhomesteaded and which the state forcibly prevents homesteading of (the vast tracts of land set aside as “refuges,” “national parks,” etc.).

    But neither you nor I own so much as a square inch of it, nor is it any of our business if Juan, or Mahmoud, or Svetlana, or Chizoba happens to walk across it or, if he or she can get away with it, homestead it.

  40. Joel
    Joel August 17, 2016 6:06 am

    C’mon, Tahn. I’d consider that reductio ad absurdum. You see 100,000 Chinese soldiers in the woods, you and 100,001 friends should probably go say hey and ask if they’ve got beer.

    Play nice.

  41. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 17, 2016 7:35 am

    Just found this. A fairly long and rational examination of the immigration questions being raised here.
    Immigration and Libertarianism
    By Hans-Hermann Hoppe

    ….And if all places are already occupied, all migration is migration by invitation only. A right to “free” immigration exists only for virgin country, for the open frontier.

    There are only two ways of trying to get around this conclusion and still rescue the notion of “free” immigration. The first is to view all current place occupants and occupations with moral suspicion. To this purpose, much is made of the fact that all current place occupations have been affected by prior State-action, war and conquest. And true enough, State borders have been drawn and redrawn, people have been displaced, deported, killed and resettled, and state-funded infrastructure projects (roads, public transportation facilities, etc., etc.) have affected the value and relative price of almost all locations and altered the travel distance and cost between them. From this undisputable fact it, though, does not follow that any present place occupant has a claim to migrate to any place else (except, of course, when he owns that place or has permission from its current owner). The world does not belong to everyone.

    (I do urge everyone to read all of this. Many of the points made here so far are nicely clarified. )

  42. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 17, 2016 7:37 am


    Dammit, you made me squirt Dr. Pepper out my nose. “Hoppe” and “rational” in the same sentence. Wow. Just wow.

  43. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 17, 2016 7:50 am

    Sorry about that… I’m curious to learn what you find irrational about this article. We need to have a private discussion about it, perhaps?

  44. sofa
    sofa August 17, 2016 7:59 am

    as a strategy, “defending in place on a fixed position” is a strategic loser. defending against individuals still causes harm to my property (t e lawrence, in waves). meanwhile, defending against massed aggressors to whom we give time and space to gather and amass, is militarily hopeless.
    So defending against groups necessarily means taking the defense unto the aggressors home, to destroy their ability to destroy your home. Once the aggressor is an imminent threat, that’s the only defense that works to remove the threat.

    Or, you limit yourself to dying.

  45. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 17, 2016 8:03 am


    Here’s the core of the irrationality:

    “From the fact that government property is illegitimate because it is based on prior expropriations, it does not follow that it is un-owned and free-for-all. It has been funded through local, regional, national or federal tax payments, and it is the payers of these taxes, then, and no one else, who are the legitimate owners of all public property. They cannot exercise their right – that right has been arrogated by the State – but they are the legitimate owners.”

    Hoppe’s claim is basically this:

    1) If I finance your highway robbery gang (voluntarily or otherwise), the money it steals from the travelers it robs is not legitimately owned by your gang. So far, so good. But then …

    3) Since I financed your highway robbery gang, the money it steals from the travelers it robs is legitimately owned by … ME.

    Well, no, the money it steals from the travelers it robs is legitimately owned by the travelers it robs.

    When the state claims to “own” land and forces you and I to pay for its control of that land, it does not follow that we magically become the owners of the land that the state is stealing in advance from legitimate homesteaders who would otherwise own it.

    And it is only from that flabbergastingly stupid premise that Hoppe can proceed to his conclusion that vis a vis immigration, we should treat the state as a benevolent property manager acting in our interests rather than as the savage mob of armed thugs that it is and that he recognizes it as in every other situation.

  46. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 17, 2016 8:59 am

    Thomas, I really think we need a private discussion of this. It’s too big to clutter up Claire’s blog with. We can both write an article for our own blogs with our conclusions and Claire can link to them if she wishes.

  47. Comrade X
    Comrade X August 17, 2016 9:02 am

    Thank you Claire!

    I sent the link in your link;

    The Unknown-Nightmare of Being a Woman Under Islam – YouTube

    …To some ladies who are on the other side; some of which are family, however I have pretty much given up augmenting with those who have been buying into the progressive side of the argument, heck it seems we on our side spends more time arguing with ourselves than we (as witness by the comments on this tread) do with those blinded by the darkness, but it is what it is.

    This video (and those like it) are like a dagger into the heart of the darkness IMHO. We need to do more stabbing.

  48. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 17, 2016 9:07 am


    I don’t know why you’d think we need a private discussion of it. I just publicly explained why I consider Hoppe an authoritarian wingnut on this particular issue, and not by any means for the first time.

  49. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner August 17, 2016 9:16 am

    There are two fundamental ways to view human behavior, as individuals and in the mass. Both are valid while seeming to provide contradictory data. It’s important to know which scale to choose. The group view is where “norms” really come into play, and they are important.

    Immigrants are individuals first and lots of them are peacable souls who want to live in harmony with their neighbors and get on with their lives. Nobody actually disputes that but since the open-borders constituency generally keeps their focus on the individual even when the conversation is about group behavior we have to make that disclaimer every time.

    To look at the group dynamic of immigration you may use Europe as an example. They have imported large numbers of people from areas that share certain tribal rulesets and assumptions. The shorthand for that is “Islam” but that’s really just the wrapper on the package. The tenets of Islam are as conditioned by the culture it arose in as it has influenced that culture.

    Earlier immigration from these areas involved smaller numbers and was a mixed success. Some immigrants assimilated and some did not. This happened the way it did for many reasons, the immigrants and the host governments and people share both the credit and blame for how that worked out.

    The current wave is coming in en masse, into societies not prepared to absorb such numbers, and they are not assimilating. Very large numbers have gone on public assistance and appear in no hurry to get back off of it. Furthermore, and this is why looking at people just as individuals without paying attention to their tribal environment can lead to mistakes, where these immigrants have become significant minorities they are attempting to recreate the cultures they came from. That’s a problem, because their origin culture does not place the same value on individual liberty as does “western” culture, and condones coercive and sometimes violent reactions to violations of their cultural norms.

    Viewed through the group lens, Europe’s recent immigration experience has been less than optimal. It is not unreasonable to extrapolate a similar result here, as most of the pertinent factors are the same. The older, more gradual and deliberate practice of immigration, where we took in smaller numbers and stressed assimilation, produced much better, even if not perfect, results.

  50. Tahn
    Tahn August 17, 2016 9:20 am

    Since it is estimated that there are 100,000 Muslim immigrants to the U.S per year, it is not such an absurd argument or question, which Thomas Knapp has not answered. Why would it not be “anybody’s business?

    Muslims seem to have a common philosophy based on the Koran, which includes “marching orders” to “kill infidels”. To me, this would seem to violate the NAP’s injunction against “authorizing or delegating aggression”.

    Are their “marching orders” not my business either?

    Besides Joel, Muslims don’t drink beer.

  51. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 17, 2016 9:23 am

    If you don’t want to discuss it, that’s a real shame. I don’t happen to agree with you, but have no desire to clutter up Claire’s blog with my response.

  52. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 17, 2016 9:29 am

    “Muslims seem to have a common philosophy based on the Koran, which includes ‘marching orders’ to ‘kill infidels.'”

    If that claim was true, we’d see a lot more than a few tens of thousands of Muslims out of 1.3 billion actually trying to do so.

    The thing about “Islam” is that it’s not a religion or a philosophy. It is several thousand different religion and philosophies which start disagreeing with each other at the first sentence of the first foundational doctrine, the tawhid (“unity of God”), 99.9x of the adherents of which no more conduct themselves with wanton violence toward those who disagree than you or I do.

    If you want to talk about group dynamics, let’s.

    There are a couple of million Muslims in the US. There are about 1.1. million cops. Pop quiz:

    1) Members of which group have murdered more Americans this year?

    2) Members of which group have more often identified their group affiliation as the reason for their killings of Americans this year?

  53. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 17, 2016 9:52 am

    ” Europe’s recent immigration experience has been less than optimal. It is not unreasonable to extrapolate a similar result here, as most of the pertinent factors are the same.”

    Nothing I said argued against that as the most likely truth. Group dynamics are well known, but the bottom line is that every group is made up of individuals. Individuals are all we have to work with when all is said and done.

    The question is: what are you going to do about it? Seems large majorities of people think government should “do something” about it, of course, but there is no real consensus on what that might be, and little indication that most individuals and/or their communities are willing to take much of a role in that.

    Then again, we here can talk about the details of the problems all we want, but what IS the right (liberty) solution to any of them? Non aggression and self defense, whether individual or within groups, is the foundation principle of liberty and justice.

    My whole point was and is that there is nothing the non-voluntary government can or should do that would solve the problem, or even make it better. In fact, the whole problem IS the result of government action for centuries. It actually feeds their power and bogus “authority,” so why anyone would expect them to stop it is a mystery.

  54. Brunette
    Brunette August 17, 2016 10:20 am

    Amen, Comrade X — thanks for posting that video; Anni Cyrus is great . . . I wish more people would listen to her. She really puts her heart into getting out her message, and the message of other Muslims too, who suffer under Sharia. (Women, Christians, and gays in particular.)

    So many fantastic comments here — a big thanks to Claire for stirring up some much needed discussion on this (for many people) dangerously under-the-radar topic. 🙂

    And to those who ignore the increasingly frantic warnings out of Europe . . . WHY?

  55. Fred
    Fred August 17, 2016 10:50 am

    British teenager, 15, was forced at gunpoint to marry her cousin in Pakistan then raped every day for three years

    Turkey’s Constitutional Court stirs outrage by annulling child sex abuse clause

  56. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner August 17, 2016 11:13 am

    We have to proceed from where we are standing, not from where we would like to be standing, and here and now the government, specifically the central government, has claimed all authority for immigration policy.

    As to what is right, that’s not easy. Immigrants who are peacable should be welcome and not punished, but what about the intangibles where it’s less easy to classify destructive change as aggression? To what extent is our culture part of the commons we share, and have an interest in preserving? Our law codes, to the extent they survive in their Enlightenment-inspired form, are certainly shared property. I may not have property rights beyond the bounds of my property, but I have an ownership interest in a society where it is wrong to abuse women for dressing immodestly, or where I can say “Muhammad was a gangster” without fear of prosecution or persecution.

    We’re a nation-state and are likely to remain a nation-state unless we are absorbed by a larger nation-state on the lines of the EU. Our laws don’t apply to people who are not US citizens who are not here, either through penalty or protection. If the parts of our nation-state that are not privately-owned are the commons our laws should protect, can we not, as a nation-state, exercise discretion over who from outside we permit in, to help prevent destructive abuse?

    So, here’s a gray area. Do we exercise an ounce of prevention, and be careful and deliberate and choosy about who we allow in, or do we provide a pound of cure, and who pays for that, and who administers the medicine?

  57. Tahn
    Tahn August 17, 2016 11:18 am

    Thomas Knapp, For some reason, I was unable to reply directly to your kind response so I am posting here.

    Mr. Knapp,
    Thank you for your response, although I really would appreciate an answer to my question, “why would it not be anyone’s business”, in my hypothetical question of a large armed group (and since this is America, everyone has the right to be armed, which I agree with) camping next door. Nor have you commented upon my reference to the Koran being a violation of the NAP, except by inferring that my statement was untrue, which I disagree with and have the documentation to support, as does Vin.

    Concerning your statement “If that claim was true, we’d see a lot more than a few tens of thousands of Muslims out of 1.3 billion actually trying to do so.”. Since I have a copy of the Koran and have actually read it (although many years ago) I do not believe my statement is false. Vin has supplied several references that support my statement. The fact that a low number has not tried to accomplish this goal does not negate the statement. Perhaps many are questioning their belief and Holy Book, just as I did years ago, which is a good thing.

    I cannot disagree with your comparison that cops have “murdered” more people than Muslims nor the supposition that cops are also killing to uphold their oath to support the “law”. Two wrongs do not make a right nor does one violation of libertarian morality make another legitimate.

    Sir, regardless of whether we agree or not, I very much appreciate your input and knowledgeable position on libertarian philosophy. Thank you for that and Claire, Thank You for providing the forum for such a discussion!

  58. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 17, 2016 11:44 am

    “I really would appreciate an answer to my question, ‘why would it not be anyone’s business,’ in my hypothetical question of a large armed group (and since this is America, everyone has the right to be armed, which I agree with) camping next door.”

    It becomes your business when they actually attempt, or threaten to attempt, to harm you — not when you decide you’re afraid they might.

    “Nor have you commented upon my reference to the Koran being a violation of the NAP, except by inferring that my statement was untrue, which I disagree with and have the documentation to support, as does Vin.”

    The idea that a book is an initiation of force seems pretty novel to me (pun intended).

    I’ve read the Quran in at least two different translations, have spent several months in areas ruled by the most fundamentalist Islamist regime on the planet (Saudi Arabia), and more than a decade living next door to one of the largest Muslim communities in the US in St. Louis. My conclusion:

    Muslims are people just like any other people. 99.9x% of them are Muslims because Mommy and Daddy told them to be Muslims and they act outwardly in accordance with long-established social ritual when they know they’re being watched. When they don’t know they’re being watched, not so much — the Bedouin women wear jeans and t-shirts when they think there aren’t any non-relatives around, like perhaps a Marine staring at them through binoculars from under a sand-covered tarp on a dune 500 meters away. They don’t smoke during the day during Ramadan … unless they want to, then they look around to make sure nobody consequential is in the area and walk behind their trucks for a Marlboro.

    I’ve also read the Bible. And don’t even get me started on the Bhagavad-Gita.

    “The Quran” and “Islam” are not the same thing (and indeed “Islam” is thousands of different and often mutually exclusive things). Nor are “Islam” and “Muslims” the same thing.

    Most people, including most Muslims, don’t try to forcibly impose their superstitions on other people.

    “The Muslims are coming, the Muslims are coming” is just the latest of the hobgoblins Mencken described. Those who are allowing it shred their ability to reason need to get a grip.

    Thanks to you too for the discussion, Tahn.

  59. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 17, 2016 12:08 pm

    Is rape somehow worse when the victims are “white” or the perpetrators “Muslim?”

    Is your problem with the rapists that they are Muslim or that they are rapists?

  60. Tahn
    Tahn August 17, 2016 12:39 pm

    Mr. Knapp,

    Again thank you for your answers. I believe I will start to be concerned quite a bit earlier than you but that is an individual reaction.

    I myself have put the Bible, The Koran and the “Song of God” away, along with my Confederate and American flags, as not being representative of my beliefs any longer, except for the “Golden Rule”, which I relate to the Non Aggression Principle.

    Just to clarify your fine “pun”, (which I appreciated), I did not say the Koran “initiated” aggression but that it seems to “authorize” aggression, which is also a violation of the NAP.

    Small points aside, Thanks for the interesting perspective.

    Peace, Love and Brotherhood
    Through Equal Rights and Firepower.

  61. Shel
    Shel August 17, 2016 3:21 pm

    We could go on and on about the crimes; were we to talk about the epidemic of rapes in Sweden it would get even more grisly. As RG says, many immigrants no longer want to be assimilated. Muslims’ wish for Sharia law will not help any of us. Yes, most people are decent by nature, but it only takes a very few, especially if firearms are involved, to give liberal politicians, the MSM, and our administration excuse to clamor as much as they possibly can for suspension of the rights of the rest of us. Plus, innocent victims will die or be physically or psychologically maimed. It’s O.K. to have a philosophical discussion on how things should be done; the problem is the stark reality we’re facing. When enough are here, and Obama is hurrying to make that possible, there won’t be any turning back and ethical differences of opinion on immigration likely will become moot. A great (to me, at least) quote from Yogi Berra goes “In theory, theory and practice are the same; but in practice, they’re not.”

    Thomas Sowell knows precisely how to put it in perspective:

    “Historians of the future, when they look back on our times, may be completely baffled when trying to understand how Western civilization welcomed vast numbers of people hostile to the fundamental values of Western civilization, people who had been taught that they have a right to kill those who do not share their beliefs.”

  62. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 17, 2016 3:43 pm

    “A great (to me, at least) quote from Yogi Berra goes ‘In theory, theory and practice are the same; but in practice, they’re not.'”

    And a great (to me at least) quote from David Bergland, in reply to people who tell him they are libertarian at heart goes “come back and see me when it reaches your balls.”

  63. Fred
    Fred August 17, 2016 4:03 pm

    Not my headline.
    My problem with the rapists is that they do it in the name of their false god. They can’t be reasoned with. You on the other hand will defend your property while these rapes continue to occur, which is perfectly reasonable, right?

    “British teenager, 15, was forced at gunpoint to marry her cousin in Pakistan then raped every day for three years”
    Maybe earlier, I was more worried that the victim was british than that she was 15 and raped for three years – your logic and again not my headline.

    My “problem” is that when a man hears or sees these things they have an automatic, involuntary, and visceral desire to protect and defend. You on the other hand, had a reaction to international borders and, apparently, skin color.

    And I completely agree with you about the fed “owning” property by the way.

  64. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 17, 2016 4:25 pm

    “My problem with the rapists is that they do it in the name of their false god”

    How do you know whose name, if any, they do it in?

    My problem with the rapists is that they’re rapists. I don’t give a tinker’s damn what imaginary friend they might or might not ask to tag along with them on their rape outings.

  65. Brunette
    Brunette August 17, 2016 4:33 pm

    Shel, that Sowell piece is very good — glad you posted the link.

    Just a bit of food for thought here: A short (4:30) Anni Cyrus video, where she remarks “From experience, trust me — there is no reasoning with Islam, or Muslims.” Her plea: “Stop fighting them.”

    In so many words, we don’t have the luxury of time to fight them — don’t waste your time or energy fighting (debating) those who will not reason. 😉

  66. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 17, 2016 4:39 pm

    From experience, trust me — anyone who says you can’t reason with Muslims is a fucking idiot.

  67. Claire
    Claire August 17, 2016 4:47 pm

    Okay, whoa. This has been a great discussion. But if it’s going to devolve into name calling, I’ll close it. Stay civil, please.

  68. Thomas Knapp
    Thomas Knapp August 17, 2016 4:53 pm

    It devolved into name-calling as soon as someone said “the Muslims [insert collectivist garbage here].”

    If it had been “whitey [insert collectivist garbage here]” or “the Jews [insert collectivist garbage here]” or “the blacks [insert collectivist garbage here],” it would have instantly received the treatment it deserved.

    Out of politeness to Claire, I held off on giving it that treatment until there really just wasn’t any other treatment left to give it.

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