Why political borders are not like private property lines
Some people want to “lock down” our national border for the same reason we lock our doors at night. The metaphor doesn’t work. You own your home. You don’t own the nation. The politicians don’t own it either. So a border is not a door, or a wall, or even a fence. It serves no protective function. Quite the opposite.
A border simply indicates that one group of gangsters rules on one side, and another group rules on the other side.
The two gangs limit their operating costs by agreeing to not interfere with each other (this is usually called “sovereignty”). In other words, the border is the line at which each gang agrees to respect each other’s territory, in much the same way that a street gang or mafia divides their prey.
It’s further helpful if you think of “citizen” as another word for cattle. On this side of the line, only our gang can milk (tax) us and herd (regulate) us. And the gang from the other side of the line can only milk and herd its citizens/cattle. War results when one gang crosses a border to poach on the milking and herding rights of another gang. Seen in this way, borders are really about protecting the gangs that rule us. This means…
Borders come at the expense of property.
Mr. Cordial and Ms. Nativist each own property on the border. Mr. Cordial likes to invite foreigners across his line. Ms. Nativist doesn’t. Both are well within their rights.
But then Ms. Nativist reaches out to a third neighbor, Mr. Busybody. Nativist and Busybody take a vote. They pass a “law” dictating that Mr. Cordial can no longer have foreigners on his property. Nativist and Busybody will use violence against Cordial if he refuses to submit. In other words…
They’ve determined that they have the right to control property they don’t actually own. It’s like eminent domain, except without the compensation. Let’s be frank: Mr. Cordial’s neighbors have managed to steal from him. They’ve decided that their political border is more important than Cordial’s front door lock. In a land where we’re guaranteed rights of liberty and pursuit of happiness, that’s a big deal.
Here’s the point…
- The nationalist attempt to equate borders with property lines ignores a crucial distinction: Borders are the conquesred turf of gangsters, the lines within which no other gang may interfere with their extortions. Your property line is the result of a peaceful trade, where guests are often welcomed.
- Blurring these two things creates a farce: Borders are more often used to violate property rights than to protect them.
You lock a door for protection; politicians maintain borders for dividing the sheep and fleecing them. And political borders can be bad for actual property rights.
I Want Lew Rockwell to Be Libertarian on Immigration
– Public property is NOT merely an extension of private property, which can, in turn, be used to restrict alien movement.
Does this way of thinking intrigue you? Want to learn more or participate in creating such a society? Then join the Zero Aggression Project using this subscription form…