Re: Them and Us

den Otter (
Wed, 27 Aug 1997 21:15:15 +0200

In response to John K Clark's comments:

> >many of the immigrants are "illegal", but the government lacks
> >willpower and the popular support to take some firm action.
> Government also lacks the ability, incompetence is not always a bad
No, but in this case it *is*.
> >Free immigration could only function in a world with a fairly
> >(culturally, economically etc.) homogenous population.
> Nonsense. There are lots of menial tasks that need to be done around my
> they need no special skills and I would be happy to pay somebody a dollar
> hour to perform them, but not more, I won't pay minimum wage because to
> it's only worth a dollar an hour. There are millions if not billions of
> people in the world who would consider a dollar an hour wealth beyond the
> dreams of avarice. Both of us would be better off if we could get
> but one thing prevents us, government.

It's been tried before, for example in South Africa and Israel...needless
say it didn't (doesn't) work very well. It basically means slum cities at
the edge of "rich areas", or at least ghettos. Intercontinental travel will
probably remain relatively slow and cumbersome for a long time to come,
and way beyond the financial capabilities of your "dollar an hour" people.
In other words: if you want cheap workers, they'll have to live relatively
nearby. Since most of the good spots are already taken by the more
fortunate folk, this means heavy concentration in shitty areas, which
traditionally are a source of crime and unrest. Before you know it you'll
have apartheid and the like.

> As for cultural differences preventing free immigration, if I found a
> to be unpleasant then I wouldn't want to go to that land, if I didn't
then I
> would. What's the problem?
The problem is others (less "fortunate" than yourself) coming to *you*. If
immigration really was totally free, all successful places would be overrun
even faster by masses of poor immigrants (in your case wave upon wave
of Mexicans, I guess). In the ever more automated modern society there
[is] will simply not be enough work for all these people, so you'll get
extreme poverty (with all it's side-effects) on your doorstep (there is no
social security system to help the poor, so we *are* talking *real* poverty
here, and [thus] a lot of very desperate people. How long will they look
at your (relative) wealth before they "touch"?) The cultural differences
will only wider the chasm initiated by poverty, and will make it mentally
easier for both parties to "dehumanize" the other (human nature, dude),
and it's a lot "easier" to kill/rob/rape etc. an "alien" opponent.
Like I've mentioned earlier, this is the road to a SA-(little pun here)
style police state.

> >It may very well be breaking down (slowly), but what will
replace it?
> The free market.
> >You seem to forget that most people aren't "rational libertarian

> >entities"
> I have not forgotten, the market can not guarantee a libertarian society,
> nothing can, but it can encourage it. Suppose government did not force
you to
> buy law and police protection from them, suppose there was competition
and you
> could purchase the laws you liked from companies that were willing to
> them. It's easy to vote for some idiot politician who says he will stop
> neighbor from sinning, it's much harder to shell out cold hard cash for
> For example, in this democracy many towns have laws against women wearing
> string bikinis on the beach, and it's simple to see why, there are plenty
> prudes and it doesn't cost them anything to vote. Now let's consider this
> justice was sold as a commodity. The prude is considering 2 protection
> companies that are identical except one has a law against bikinis and a
> decency patrol to harass women on the beach 20 miles from his home, the
> doesn't but uses the money saved to send an extra security patrol through
> neighborhood at 3Am. The prude would have to be very prudish indeed to
> the first Private Protection Agency. Justice is no different than
> else, if you want to maximize it sell it in a free market.
The "private protection agencies" will probably evolve into *states*, with
their own "turf" (country), "protection money" (taxes) etc. The correlation
between what you pay and what you get will eventually fade, and you might
end up with a truly medieval "city state" scenario, with bands of thugs
roaming the countryside, despotic rulers, lots of small wars...the works.
Hardly an improvement, I'd say.

> >"We" are the Caucasians (oh, it's that ugly word again)
> No not ugly, just rather quaint and old-fashioned, a phrase past its
> expiration date, like "moving pictures" or "horse-less carriage" or
> "phlogiston" or "luminiferous ether".
Any ideas for a replacement?
> >Try promoting the extropian principles in the Middle East or
> > etc, and see how far you'll get...
> About as far as you would in the bible belt of the USA.
The bible belt is just that: a retarded area in an otherwise apparently
more sensible region (country). You have no bible belts in Islamitic
countries because in fact the whole country is the belt. The fact that
we (the Dutch have a bible belt too) have separate names for highly
religious regions is a good sign; it means they're something abnormal.

> >it's "bye, bye singularity" when the Muslims take over.
> Your xenophobia is starting to sound a little silly.
You can do better than using these cheap semantic tricks to discredit the
"opponent". I presume you're not very familiar with the local (Dutch)
politico-social situation, but that apparently doesn't prevent you from
dismissing my worries as "xenophobia". You must be wise indeed.