Friday, January 27, 2017

Trump’s Wall—an Attempt to Insult and Humiliate Mexicans

By Robert Higgs 


Suppose the Canadians were to build a wall to keep Americans out of their country, making it clear that Americans are simply not decent, productive, peaceful people and therefore the fewer of them who enter Canada the better. Might Americans take justifiable offense at such treatment?
Why does anyone imagine that Mexicans feel any differently?
I spent more than a decade of my career largely engaged in studying the history and economics of U.S. racial differences and race relations. (See, for example, my book Competition and Coercion.) In the USA and its colonial precursors, racial oppression took many forms, including after the War Between the States a widespread state-enforced system of racial segregation in which the “separate but equal” public facilities provided for the use of blacks were almost invariably inferior. But the system also took many seemingly pointless forms, not of any evident value to any group of white rent-seekers or to whites in general. The “point” of these restrictions, however, was always simply to insult and humiliate black people, so that even the most “no account cracker” could see that he was superior, and recognized as such, even to the most polished and accomplished black. This institutionalized humiliation of people was always the part that, aside from the ongoing, unpunished assaults and murders, rubbed me the rawest about the system.
What sort of person seeks to humiliate an entire group of people simply on grounds of race or nationality? Well, at present, the sort of person who supports the wall between Mexico and the USA. Yes, it may give some groups of rent-seekers a feeling of enhanced security in the ability to accrue their ill-gotten gains. But above all, it gives the American yahoo class the feeling that they—the self-supposed better people—have shut out Mexicans in the most brutal possible fashion, by physically fencing them out as if they were dangerous wild animals.



The above originally appeared at the Independent Institute.

47 comments:

  1. If 20% of the U.S. moved to French-speaking Canada, and many spoke Spanish in public and as a matter of course, and it got to the point that the Canadians could no longer count on even the most fundamental feature of any community -- the ability to communicate with one another -- and if from there the Canadians were being lectured that they really ought to learn English and celebrate Fourth of July and all, and if on top of this the Americans started using Canadian emergency rooms as primary-care treatment, to the detriment of Canadians themselves, and on top of this they voted themselves special privileges and discriminatory favor against Canadians, I for one would stand up and cheer if Canadians said: you know, we have something worth preserving here, and enough is enough.

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    1. Tom,

      What is your view on gentrification, where neighborhoods entirely change culture?

      Would you cheer those people being displaced if they use government to stop the change and say "We have something worth preserving here, and enough is enough"?

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    2. Or would Tom cheer US states that roadblocked their interstates and banned residents of other US states?

      And why does your freedom of disassociation trump others' freedom of association?

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    3. What does the topic of gentrification have to do with illegal immigration Wenzel?
      That Bay Area nuttiness is getting to you me thinks.

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    4. Dr. Woods is raising five daughters on a self-employed income - one of whom has special healthcare needs, and so the on-the-ground reality of the tax and immigration situation in the US is perhaps more important to him than anarcho-capitalist theories about a borderless society. His views are consistent with reality (while still staying true to Rothbardian thought) and so they will gain prominence while interest in non-political anarcho-capitalism continues to fade.

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    5. Wenzel's lack of comprehension of the libertarian principle and Higgs' hysteria are manifesting in strange ways. These are the same people that argued that "you don't have a right to be not offended" now argue that Mexicans will be offended if you don't let them invade your welfare state. Guys showing signs of senility and dementia.

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    6. Low IQ libertarians think that their simplistic theories translate neatly and perfectly into the real world. Any evidence to the contrary makes them thrash and squirm, and try to violently force fit reality to suit their dogma. They are the mirror image of cultural marxists on the right.

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    7. Woods is advancing a total strawman here. 20% of the population of Mexico hasn't come to the USA, legally or illegally. The Spanish language is spoken as the primary language in many communities, but this isn't anything new amongst immigrant populations nor does that use persist. Maybe Woods talks with a wider variety of people than I do, but I've never heard anyone say "You know, you really ought to respect Cinco De Mayo", or whatever other holiday he's referring to here. At least, not while I'm at my St. Patrick's day or Christopher Columbus day celebrations of Irish and Italian heritage in the US. Lots of Native born Americans use emergency rooms as primary care as well, and yet Wood's problem seems to be that Americans can't access that because of immigrants, rather than focusing first and primarily on the fact that the government mandates treatment and inflates the cost of health care generally. Immigrants also vote at far lower rates than native born Americans, typically, less than half the rate of a native born. So, Woods should count himself lucky that all of these Natives aren't voting in greater number, because they seem to like to grant new immigrants these special rights he's decrying.

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    8. No Strawman, out here in Cali, the population is waay more than 20 percent of the population. Hospitals have closed due to abuse of the "never turn away an emergency" rule; the schools (once the pride of California) are near the bottom of the nation (and a new rule passed that English only is yesterday's news); job requirements in those schools give pay RAISES to those who are bilingual not those who are most competent in their field or who graduate the most students with honors; the grade level to get automatic advancement into the CSU college has been lowered to D (yes, a friggin "D") to accommodate the much lowered academic standards of the "undocumented"; and on and on and on.

      Personally, I am for totally open borders when the government is Minarchist. Once you start with the free education, free SS benefits, free roads and interstate highways, free emergency room visits to anyone, etc. etc. than a wall is necessary to salvage the blood letting.

      As for the cultural disparity, a laissez fare capitalist system will keep those unwilling to shed their ancient unproductive ways away naturally, no need for name calling and Xenophobia. Such a system will wisen up the homegrown parasites too.

      So, in essence, Tom Woods is 100 percent correct, and until we live in a Minarchist Laissez fare Capitalist system, then Rationalist Utopian thoughts of compassion and cultural respect become meaningless diatribes dribbling from college useful idiots and over educated old men vying to become relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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    9. Tom Woods didn't say that, he advanced a false statistic (which he didn't qualify by state), gave a bunch of cultural reasons for limiting immigration which are extra libertarian and are hardly unique to hispanic immigrants, focused on illegal's use of emergency rooms as primary care medical facilities without examining why that might be the case, and then advanced the false claim that these people vote themselves more benefits.

      Now you focus on the failure of government mandated schools in California, as apparently caused by illegal immigration. As if it needed any help.

      He didn't say "You know what, I want to demolish the welfare state. Until then, we have to have immigration controls." This position is defensible, but not with false statistics.

      Speaking of name calling, are you implying I'm either college aged or over educated and old? Both claims are false by the way, and I in no way insulted Woods, I responded to his flippant style with some of his own medicine, and I know he can take it.

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  2. My neighbor's kids keep coming into my yard. I want to put up a fence to prevent them but my neighbor insists I shouldn't. What do you advise?

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    1. I want to hire someone from Mexico to work for me. My neighbor says I shouldn't because the worker doesn't have a piece of paper from the government, and anyway that job belongs to a Real American Worker. What do you advise?

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    2. This is easy. Have the Mexican take off in Mexico, route him through airspace not owned by people who don't want him in their airspace, route him through roads that are not paid for by people who don't want him on their roads, and land directly in your back yard, get him to do your backyard work, and take the same route back. Capish?

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    3. Umm, no, I pay taxes and have just as legitimate a claim to ownership of that public land as you do (that is to say, neither of us have a strong claim to it at all.)

      If you want to live in a weird segregationist utopia, buy your own land and build a wall around it. You have no grounds to force others to fund your eugenics experiments.

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    4. Eugenics you say? Let me tell you something Libertard. As a part owner of the property in question, I have as much a right to live a segregationist/eugenist lifestyle as you do to go suck mehican weiners. Just don't do it on property that me, others and you (assuming that you even have a minimum wage job) paid for, without majority consent.

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    5. Unsolicited namecalling? Gay fantasies? Appeal to democracy?

      They must love you at Stormfront.

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    6. The gay thing certainly did hurt didn't it? now go cry MUH RACISM!!!!

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  3. Are you that damn clueless? You can put up a 100 foot cement wall on your own damn property and no libertarian will bother you.

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    1. Are you that low IQ Robert? A group of people whose tax dollars paid for the maintenance of the country have a right to restrict anyone and everyone from access to their common property. Capish?

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    2. Are you that low IQ Robert? A group of people whose tax dollars paid for the maintenance of the country have a right to restrict anyone and everyone from access to their common property. Capish?

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    3. In fact, they don't. How do I know that? You don't have to pay taxes in order to vote. Further, in the US, there is no direct link between control over the Federal Executive and voting, by taxpayers or non tax payers. Well you don't care about voting rights, only that you think the tax payers should have a final say in how the "common property" is used? Oh that's cool, because most tax payers also have no say in whether or not they pay taxes, we know this because they still do. So in your mind, people forced to pay taxes through coercion should have imaginary rights over government property on the basis that the government has chosen to coerce them, and not other groups.

      Is this your first day confronting libertarian arguments? I say that because you seem laughably confused about basic principles.

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    4. Ha Ha look at this low IQ libertard argument. A majority of the people whose money was used to pay for maintaining land and resources have no rights ("imaginary"? ha ha ha) over that land, but people who had nothing to do with creation and maintenance of said land have rights to enter, enjoy and stay on that property. Ha ha ha you low IQ libertards are a special piece of work!

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    5. No, you're confused as usual. The imaginary rights you think you have over other people's properties don't transfer to immigrants, your claim is the same nonsense.

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  4. This article is so bad it's laughable. Oh no! Big meanie trump is trying to humiliate an entire race of people! What nonsense. Immigration is a problem because we have a welfare state. If we didn't have a welfare state open boarders would be fine. The state literally subsidizes immigration and the dem party wants new voters. Enough is enough.

    RW I just can't take this anymore. I want thought out principled criticism of trump but you have nearly sunk to the likes of WAPO. I don't need hysteria with my facts. Goodbye

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    1. As the comments on this blog and elsewhere demonstrate, Trump has been incredibly successful at pitting Americans (especially white ones) against other races and nationalities. This has in turn caused them to ignore the real enemy of state power, and often to even embrace it as their white knight who will save them from brown people moving and Chinese people making things. Worst of all, we've been losing a lot of good libertarians to this view.

      IMO Wenzel and Higgs simply have their eyes open to the fact that the political right has for now eclipsed the political left as the most imminent threat to individual liberty.

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    2. I think that theageofnow hit the nail right on the head. I commented the same point above, and noticed that this point is all ready made:" If we didn't have a welfare state open boarders would be fine."

      I added the necessary clause that in addition to abolishing the welfare state, one also must have a Minarchist government as well as a total Laissez fare capitalist economic system in place in order to have complete open borders.

      BUT, even then, we can't have a country just dump its criminals onto America if both criteria were met. Remember the Mariel Boatlift (the action that spawned Scarface), during which Cuba dumped its insane and criminals onto Florida?

      So, even with "open borders" a sovereign Minarchist nation can still demand a minimum background check etc. etc..

      Just an aside: funny how those who cry loudest that the whites who came to America and destroyed the native way of life was evil now cry the loudest about other cultures arriving to America to destroy the current way of life (based on LIfe, LIberty, and Property).

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  5. I'm a libertarian. Which means I don't accept any government as currently constituted. To me there's no space whatsoever between libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism. That's Rothbard's belief as well as I dare say Wenzell's based on my reading of him over the years. Let's leave Higgs out of it for the moment.

    In regards to immigration and race, we might conjecture as to what would occur in a libertarian world. Well thanks to Trump bringing these issues up, I have been looking into that. My conclusions are best expressed by Jared Taylor who said "races are different and people are tribal".

    And we see ourselves how people self-segregate based on race. The government following the cultural marxist zeitgeist has been moving us towards racial diversity for many years. But ordinary people (both black and white) are not comfortable with that.

    In a libertarian society therefore, free people would tend to self -segregate IMO.

    I credit Trump for opening my eyes a bit on this. I see now that it is not in any way inconsistent with libertarianism.

    Stopping forced integration via open immigration is not anti-libertarian.

    Finally, since I never comment, I love you Robert but it's such a downer reading you these days. I believe The Trump victory is wonderful for a number of reasons but mostly because he's slayed the neocon dragon single-handedly. I'm wanting to give him a chance - and I'm still rooting for him.








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    1. "In a libertarian society free people would tend to self-segregate"

      Also in a libertarian society there would not be any continent-sized zones that excluded the other 95% of the world's population, IMO.

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    2. And you know this because you managed to pull it out of where exactly?

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  6. You've completely misunderstood the purpose of the wall. The purpose is to stem the inflow of ILLEGAL immigrants. Legal immigrants are still welcome, mexican or otherwise. The notion that it is being built because "mexicans are not decent people" is not just disingenous but absurd. It's a blatantly obvious straw man.

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    1. Yeah, but for people suffering fro Trump Derangement Syndrome like Wenzel and Higgs (who is a good economist but a sloppy philosopher) don't want to see the difference. The cult dogma is "open borders" and they are sticking to it.

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  7. I"m for the wall. And RW and Higgs need to get out more in the real world. Even thousands of Mexican Americans or Hispanics or whatever they need to call themselves don't want the third world over here necessarily either. Even other Mexicans have pointed out their own people build slums most of the time and would like them to speak English in public and doing business.

    I find it interesting Higgs talks about blacks, but like the white liberals he won't be moving to a black run city or community anytime soon. Blacks in America are already a net drain on the national economy.

    And besides, why should the US be some sort of dumping ground for inferior cultures? Can't Muslims move to Saudia Arabia or Egypt or maybe Mexico? You open border libertarian tards need to get off this and use some sense. Libertarianism is descended from Anlgo Saxon concepts that took centuries to develop; expecting other cultures to understand this and vote accordingly is dreamy stupidity along the lines of any cultural Marxist on the left.

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    1. "Blacks in America are already a net drain on the national economy. " - Let me guess, because they're "Low IQ"? Certainly the government had nothing to do with this.

      "And besides, why should the US be some sort of dumping ground for inferior cultures?" -- And besides, why should the Ottoman Empire or the Qing Dynasty be dumping grounds for inferior cultures like backwards, religious zealots from Medieval Europe?

      I was just reading my book of great Anglo Saxon libertarians, I can't wait to get to the Mises and Rothbard sections.

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    2. The government had something to do with black IQ? Holy shit you low IQ libertardians are amazing. Even if government caused black people's poverty in the US somehow, how the hell does that explain a near universal poverty, intellectual and cultural backwardness in every black society on the ENTIRE FUCKING PLANET?

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  8. I don't think it's right to say that the state should enact someone's personal immigration preferences just because it has taken that person's money by force. It has also taken others' money by force, and they may have different preferences. Moreover, just because a thief takes your money doesn't mean he has any legitimacy in using those funds to prevent third parties (e.g, immigrants) from traveling over land in respect of which the owner has given them permission and contracting with others (e.g., employers) who want to associate with them, even if you happen to agree with the thief's actions in these areas. The state is illegitimate in all respects. We should keep our eye on that ball, and not get distracted trying to help the state navigate the impossible conflict situation it has brought upon itself. If the state has no legitimate role in our lives, then that includes no legitimate role being our "gatekeeper."

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    1. This NAPPYhead argument is a total joke. A thief steals your house, and has been living in it. The best solution is to make him give it back to you along with restitution. The second best solution is to make him preserve it in pristine condition exactly as it was when he stole it from you, until you can get it back. Your argument that since the thief stole it from you, now anyone can steal it from him and keep it makes absolutely zero sense. You should stop thinking and go back to napping.

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    2. I think you completely missed my point. The thing stolen was your income (via taxes). This does not give the thief (the state) any legitimacy to use those funds to prevent free movement or association by others. They are a total non sequitur.

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    3. It seems odd to say when the Mafia takes over your neighborhood and extorts your money they now are justified in ruling on who can and cannot move in.

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  9. It doesn't fucking matter. My money was stolen to buy a piece of property. I want atleast the piece of property maintained so it can serve my needs, short of my complete repossession, not make it "public property" that anyone can move into. How come libertards don't get this simple concept?

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    1. Maybe because your "needs" of excluding 95% of the world's population are idiotic?

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    2. Retard, that's exactly like saying locking your home excludes 99.999999% of the world's population.

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    3. Great analogy, because half of a continent is the same thing as your home.

      I could care less if you want to maintain your whites-only safe space, on your own property.

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    4. The retardation is severe with this one. You speak like the size of property is what makes the difference, not the nature of the property, when the reverse is what is true.

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    5. It matters in the sense that segregationists would never be able to colonize such a large territory without leveraging state power to enforce their paranoid xenophobic "needs" as you put it.

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  10. The state steals everyone's money to "buy" the property over which it purports to make the rules, not just your money. If you want your preferences respected, why should other victims of this theft with different preferences not also demand that their preferences be respected regarding this same piece of property? Then we have conflicting preferences over a scarce resource. How would you propose resolving this?
    More fundamentally, why do you think that you have any rights over the property. Your claim is for the theft of your money. Just because a thief uses the money to buy something else doesn't mean that something else is yours.

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    1. Lets make this simple for the NAPPYhead. You join a private club, pay fee for YOUR personal use (or whatever your terms are), and then want o bring in additional non-members in there. The club, by majority vote says no. How do you resolve the "conflicting" preferences over a scarce resource(membership)? By getting the fuck out of the club and taking your guests somewhere else. Capish? Exit the country if you can't live without Mexican gardeners. No one gave you the right to bring anyone you want and impose the externality on everyone who did not consent to it.

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    2. The United States is not a private club. I didn't consent to it ruling over me nor to its rules. Accordingly, if I want to contract or associate with a second person, where does a third person (anyone at the state) get the legitimate authority to prevent that contract or association by force? Merely because someone claims authority to interfere in others' private relationships doesn't grant legitimacy to that authority.
      Moreover, your claim that there is a negative "externality" to which no one consented shows that your understanding of economics is as limited as your understanding of political philosophy. First, two people engaging in a private commercial relationship doesn't infringe anyone else's property rights unless they actually damage someones else's person or property. Where is the damage to person or property you allege is occurring here? Second, even Keynesian economists argue that immigration brings positive externalities (additional productive capacity, additional demand).

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