Friday, 16 December 2016

Question of the Day: But isn’t banning immigration is in my self-interest!


Questioner: “What is your attitude towards open immigration and what is your attitude towards the effect it may have upon the standard of living in this country? And does not this require that the answer is that you are, uh, opposed to both—aren’t you asking a person to act against his own self-interest ...”?
Ayn Rand:  “You don’t [understand] my conception of self-interest. No one has the right to pursue his self-interest by law or by force, which is what you’re suggesting.
    You want to forbid immigration on grounds that it lowers your standard of living – which certainly is not true, though if it were true you’d still have no right to close the border to others. Therefore to claim it’s your self-interest is an irrational claim: You are not entitled to any self-interest that injures others, and the rights of others, especially when you can't prove that open immigration affects your self-interest. You cannot claim that anything that others may do – for example, simply through competition – is against your self-interest, and therefore you [would] want to stop competition dead. That is the kind of [alleged] self-interest you are not entitled to. It is a contradiction in terms and cannot be defended.
    But above all, aren’t you dropping a more personal context? How could I ever advocate that immigration should be restricted when I wouldn’t be alive today if our borders were closed.”

~ Ayn Rand, from the book Ayn Rand Answers

[Hat tip Mother of Exiles]



  1. I own a tiny little property and of course, relatively, its boundaries create exclusivity to me and my self interest.
    My Nation's people own the totality of this entire land,
    and of course it has boundaries which we control and administer for our own good.
    Or if we do not control it exclusively it is time for war, we soon will.

  2. Your analogy is as incorrect as your threat is unhinged.

    1. Peter...What is incorrect about Pauls analogy... ?? and what do u mean by unhinged..?
      Just as air rushes in to fill a vacumn.... immigrants from countries with NO social welfare system pour into countries WITH a Social welfare structure.
      In times of war.. Pauls analogy becomes relevant (who are the true members of our tribe..???)

      Like most things in regards to "individual vs tribe" ..there is a kinda..."truth in tension".... a grey middle ground of compromise.... because there is no correct/ definitive/ right answer..
      For me.. I find commonsense to be a better approch than Ayn Rands' logical thinking approach.

    2. The analogy is incorrect because we are individuals, not a tribe.
      We only own what we own: as long as Paul is not initiating force or fraud then you and I rightly have no say in what Paul does on *his* land, no more than Paul has any say over what you and I do on ours -- or whom we invite in.
      Put a wall around welfare, not around your country.

    3. For clarity, borders define jurisdiction, not ownership. Property boundaries, the opposite.

      Treaty signatories allegedly misunderstood this 176 years ago. But they, back then, hadn't had the benefit of the western education that you've had.

    4. If you read what Rand said it's clear that she is referring to rational people who respect individual rights and law based upon it. In the current context, I suspect she would very much be in favour of restricting Islamic immigration. We are at war, and she'd clearly recognise that.

  3. I don't mean a war with swords . I mean a war of will.
    The analogy is correct.
    Many of your fellow libertarians and this post itself would deny a Nation to control its borders, as a homeowner can control his bopundary.

  4. Working Class Bigot17 Dec 2016, 17:05:00

    Do you have locks on your doors? Do you have a gate at the front of your driveway? Yes. Why? Because you want be able to determine who can come onto/into your property, when and why. A sovereign nation is no different. It is "owned" by the citizenry, and if they don't want migrants then that's their choice. Japan and Korea are such examples.

    But hey, fill your neighborhood up with Sudanese and Somalis and see how that works out for ya.

    1. A "sovereign nation" is not a gated community. Your analogy does not hold.

    2. Maybe a nation is not gated in a physical sense but western civilisation is by its belief systems, property rights and common law. You and I would disagree from whence the basis of these beliefs come. The issue is one of allowing those who would destroy this structure from within being allowed to. Immigration doesn't concern me much outside Muslim immigration because their belief system is tribal and based upon a legal system that is a complete contrast to that which is identified with western civilisation.


  5. Working Class Bigot17 Dec 2016, 19:29:00

    "Your analogy does not hold"

    Yeah. Sure. Whatever. This nutcase open-border immigration dogma that uber-libertarians are beholden to is what confines them to the fringes. Gary Johnson, for example.


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