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Sunday, November 13, 2005

When Ideologies Conflict With Themselves

As most of you know, I'm a right-leaning libertarian. Libertarians, or classic liberals, believe in freedom from coercion, and individual responsibility.

Admittedly, freedom from coercion also includes the ability of individuals to move freely without interference from man or government. So, in order for me to be an ideological purist, I'd have to welcome, or at least ignore the immigration of peoples from one country to another. I'd also have to be willing to scoff at the "idea" of borders and nation-states. In the deep recesses of my brain, tucked between the folds of my grey matter, there is a utopic view that free individuals should be able to do what they want, including immigrate and emigrate, without coercion.

The man who introduced me to classic liberalism, some 25 years ago, is also one of my best friends and a frequent backpacking partner. Upon moving from Denver to Longmont several years ago, "Jeff" has become infected with a horrible disease...Boulderitis, aka radical liberalism. Needless to say, our conversations have become contentious.

The conversations inside the tent during our most recent backpack were no exception. When the topic of immigration came up, he was quick, and rightfully so, to point out that I am not a purist with regard to the issue, as I favor a moratorium on all immigration to the United States for at least five years, and strict limits thereafter.

Jeff is more classically liberal on this issue than I will ever be. In fact, it may be the only issue where this is the case. Jeff considers himself a "world citizen" and rejects the "concept" of borders. The movement of peoples is of no concern to him. The consequences of mass immigration are of no concern either. To give you an idea of his thought process, Jeff favors universal health care even though it inevitably means lesser quality and higher cost health care for everybody. He is willing to endure these negative costs if it means that everybody is covered in some way. I call this liberal equality: the equality of servitude, poverty, and misery. I won't go in to how anybody who needs health care already gets it, regardless of the ability to pay.

He is also an environmentalist who claims to believe in thinking globally and acting locally. Upon hearing this I was quick to point out, and rightfully so, the effects of mass immigration on our environment. I pointed out that he didn't really care about the environment of our state or our country because population growth directly affects the environment in which he lives. I also pointed out that his position is also the one favored by the multinational corporations and corporate elitists. This went over like a lead zepplin.

So there we have it. I oppose immigration, and thus the position of classic liberalism, because the costs are too high (mostly taxes, which is another form of coercion) . Jeff favors open borders (more correctly: lack thereof), despite the environment he claims to care about, and despite the fact that he plays right into the hands of the corporate elite.

8 Comments:

Blogger ctindel said...

How much would you care about immigration laws and population growth if you didn't have to pay income taxes or foot the bill for other people's decisions?

1:26 PM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

Surely not as much as I do. I am concerned about the clash of cultures. I fear that what is happening in France may well happen here. The most important difference however is that U.S. citizens are well armed. This may ultimately be a good thing.

Global population growth has troubled me for years. In stark contrast to conventional wisdom, globalism seems to worsen this crisis.

11:13 PM

 
Blogger ctindel said...

Well, that would mean that rioters would also be well armed. I'm not convinced a situation with everybody armed would be a better one than with nobody armed. Surely there would be more deaths.

I doubt it would get that bad here in the US anyway. The reason these people can't get jobs in France is because of the stupid French employment laws... I mean, if I can't fire someone easily, why would I take a chance hiring an unproven person? We don't have laws like that yet, although we may get there someday.

11:06 AM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

yeah, more dead to begin with...maybe. But the rioting may not have lasted as long and most of the dead would have been rioters. And it would make more of an impact than the "silent protest" that the law-abiding staged last week. I hear that rioting (at least car burning) has spread to the Netherlands, Germany, and Holland. An interesting aside: nearly 80 cars were burned every day this year in France even before the riots.

Don't think that it won't happen here. There in already indiscriminate shootings at black U.S. citizens in LA by Latin Americans. What else happened in LA? Watts and Rodney King.

Let's also not forget that there are many Anglo's who are being pushed to the point of snapping. Anglo's don't riot however, they do things like blow up federal buildings, join militias, buy more ammo and guns, etc..

The Minuteman operation is a last-ditch effort to do something peacefully. There are plenty of folks who won't join the organization because the MM do background checks.

Good point re. French employment laws.

The Crown Pub on College serves Sammy Smiths; so does the Union Station in Loveland. This week is hectic but I should be free in the evenings next week.

2:22 PM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

I like to test my links in the comments. Do you know how I open up a separate window?

2:27 PM

 
Blogger ctindel said...

No, but you can change your blog to not pop-up a new window when posting comments.

5:30 PM

 
Blogger Holly said...

Mind boggling discussions, indeed. Just goes to show that nothing - especially political views - is black and white. And even more so when you mix religion into the whole thing.

As much as those who call the shots would like it to be, no solution is truly simple, not when you consider impacts to other issues, as you so rightly pointed out Plumber.

Sometimes I wonder why I even care, because I really don't have TIME for all the crap you have to wade through to get some 'semblance' of the truth on each side of all the issues.

I often think I should just pick an issue I really care about and go with whoever and whatever supports my stance on it. Simple, yes? I think this is what right wing evangelicals do, their issue of course, is abortion.

This wouldn't be my issue, I would have to think long and hard about that. But - being the bleeding heart that I am - I am certain it would involve children and/or poverty.

10:38 AM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

Hi Holly,

Prolife folks have been pissed about abortion for decades. Look where it has gotten them.

Good luck with the child poverty issue. You have your work cut out for you. I'd suggest that you start with Mexico. I drove into the country outside Mexico City and was absolutely horrified and disgusted. It's easy to understand why 40% of Mexican's want to come here. What is not easy to understand is why they don't want to make their own country better.

The truly sad thing is: by Third-World standards, Mexico has it pretty good.

I generally tend to ignore things that will always exist. I've just about given up on the weeds in my garden.

2:35 PM

 

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