So let’s sum up the dialogue so far:
1.People want to employ each other across borders, but laws prevent them from doing so.
2.I say, employment is a good thing, so let’s change the law accordingly.
3.The Anonymous Reach counters that this argument is “fallacious” because of point #1.
It’s hard to take that kind of argument seriously, even despite the Friends-esque condescending writing tone employed to clearly convey to me that 1 implies 3. This is an utter failure of coherent logic.
But, I said at the outset of this post that The Anonymous Reach’s post was revealing, and poor reasoning and failures of logic aren’t particularly “revealing.” What’s revealing is what happens next:
CHANDLER: Okay so if I want to hire a guy without a driver’s license to be my pizza delivery driver, the driver’s licensing laws should be bent/changed.
CHANDLER: If I want to hire a registered sex-offender to be my daycare worker.
CHANDLER: If I want to hire a convicted murderer serving a life sentence in jail to be my travelling salesman.
CHANDLER: All of those legal statuses should automatically just be bent/altered so that the person I Want To Hire and Gave A Job Offer To can perform the job task in question? My desire to hire the person and the mere existence of my job offer trumps all other considerations?
JOEY: I mean, yeah. That is fundamentally what I’m saying, I guess.
So The Anonymous Reach has decided to compare would-be immigrants with job offers to… sex-offenders and convicted murderers. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Anti-immigration sentiment amounts to nothing more than a hateful ideology steeped in xenophobia and ethnocentrism. Those who feel otherwise should at least stop comparing immigration to murder and sexual abuse. Right?
– from “A Revealing Take On Immigration Policy”, Stationary Waves
As a blogger who loves both the Crimson Reach (who blogs at Rhymes With Cars & Girls) and Ryan Long (who blogs at Stationary Waves), I’m going to try and play peacemeaker and attempt to bridge the rhetorical divide between the two that has opened up into quite a chasm lately. I think there are two basic problems:
1) The first is that Mr. Long objects to The Crimson Reach’s rhetorical style, which I admit can be properly characterized as “snarky” or maybe more charitably as “bitting satire”. Satire is not everyone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t being used to make a serious point. Take the dialogue quoted above — obviously The Reach is using a reductio ad absurdum style argument when he mentions the possible extreme situations of various undesirable workers to demonstrate the idea that just because a worker has a job (or an employer wants to hire a worker, or a worker is looking for a job) it doesn’t mean that other considerations shouldn’t come into play when considering whether or not a country might want to consider letting that worker into the country if he is an immigrant. What frustrates The Reach, I think, and makes him turn to satire (although he tends toward satire in general) is that many open border folks like to argue in moral terms for their position without acknowledging that there are moral trade-offs involved when we let large numbers of immigrants from foreign cultures into this country, even if the immigrants will boost the economy. In other words, not everything is about economics (and even when it is about economics, there are winners and losers involved so we might need to think through the policy implications beyond ‘this will boost GDP’).
2) The second problem is that Mr. Long likes to throw around words like “xenophobia” and “ethnocentrism” and in a later post he even suggests that those of us who admire Steve Sailer are “fanning the flames of genocide”. Click on that link and check out the post he suggests is “scary stuff”. The post that “promotes the formation of a Kurd state by rekindling the German motherland idea as written about in Omnipotent Government, while sounding the alarm about immigration into France and the UK.” Now I admit I’ve never read Mises Omnipotent Government, but to me, the suggestion that the Kurdish people deserve a national homeland (which has been denied them for no particularly good reason since the end of WWI) is just not that scary. Especially since the Kurds have been content to work more or less peacefully for their state now that they have autonomy within Iraq. More generally, the idea that individual ethnic groups via their respective nation-states should want to defend their culture and heritage is likewise an idea that holds no terror for me — I agree it can be used to oppress and destroy ethnic or religious minorities but so can class differences or disputes over resources or concerns about not being able to live out a culture, etc. In other words, the question of how mankind decides to use its sinful nature to hurt other men is always going to be something we need to guard against and think about, but ignoring mankind’s desire to speak their own language, practice their own religion, govern themselves as they see fit, etc. is probably a receipe for disaster. I suppose this makes me an ethnocentrist, but I’m not sure this needs to be a “bad” idea or one that necessarily correlates perfectly with “xenophobia” or genocide or any sort of hatred at all. I think my Christian faith makes me particularly concerned for the immortal souls of everyone on Earth and I’m called to love all of mankind. I also wouldn’t be reading Steve Sailer on a regular basis if I thought he was full of hate or had a particular animosity for his fellow man.