Self Preservation for Abolitionists in a Slave State

In my ideal world there would be no borders because there would be no countries because there would be no governments. Now I suppose you could call property lines borders, and there would be those, and everyone is entitled to protect their own property. But as it stands the government sets limits on how, when, to what degree, and in what situations I can protect myself and my loved ones. So if the government releases 100 violent criminals down the street from me, this is only okay if the government does not set arbitrary limits on how I can protect myself against aggressors. One issue complicates another, and ignoring one of those issues in a statist society while upholding the other is a recipe for disaster in my opinion.

You may have gathered that I am referring to the influx of illegal immigration over the Mexican/ American border. Like I said, in my ideal society, people could move wherever they want. But currently in a government dominated landscape, what happens in this country effects me.

Now a lot of anarcho-capitalists, especially the ones I’ve met recently, might say that I should be positioning myself to operate independently of the government anyway, so the influx in immigrants will not have a major effect on me. And indeed if it overwhelms government to the point of debilitation, perhaps markets would be free enough for humans to organize themselves properly with no force involved, in which case I think issues presented by migration would be solved easily. This would be great if I were already set up in an ideal community of my choosing, as is my long term goal, but I am not currently.

Again, this is my choice, and I am responsible for my actions. If I truly feared a “collapse” type situation, wouldn’t I do everything humanly possible to put myself in the right position to deal with that? Or am I still hedging my bets between the way I want to live, and the way I could relatively happily live as a slave in a statist world?

I suppose the anarcho-capitalist answer to the latter question would be that if I am indeed planning on living in a statist society without much resistance on my part, then I am condoning the actions of the state, and therefore deserve everything I get in terms of the possible negative consequences of a border surge, like disease, crime, more debt, and higher taxes. And if I am going to attempt to exit the state then I will not necessarily be effected by those negatives—although I would likely be pursued for not paying taxes if I traded, or harassed by the EPA if there was water, or a ditch on my property. But how to exit the state is another debate entirely.

So how do you do it, deal with problems created by the state, when the only solution offered is through the state? I am so tempted to say that in the event of a humanitarian crisis, people escaping poverty and dire circumstances, that we should not restrict their access to the benefits of living in America. But if that means I must pay for that assistance by force, I’m not okay with that. There’s no limit. At some point the 90 million or so working Americans cannot pay for the amount of schooling, housing, feeding, and training that it would take to properly help the number of people that would emigrate here, not only from South America, but also Africa, Asia, and Europe. It goes against my non-agression principle philosophy anyway for me to be forced to “help” someone else at the point of a gun.

I guess this whole thing is more of a question, or an internal debate. How can I even comment about what should be done in a statist society, when my opinion is that there should be entirely no state? So just get the state out of immigration, and open the borders? That only works if I also get the state out of my wallet. And that only works if I get the state out of my “security”. But part of that “security” they are “providing” involves keeping the country’s collective property—America—safe from those who would harm it in one way or another.

It is almost like everything must happen at once in order for the markets to properly respond, or else I am going to be negatively affected by association. But we risk a corruption in the process of supply and demand if only half, or a quarter, or a tenth, or a hundredth of the state control is abolished at a time, and through a de-facto process, like a collapse once the system is overloaded, as opposed to the gradual transition of opting out, and shrinking government.

Anyone want to jump in with some comments here? For once I am not sure if I have a conclusion.

6 thoughts on “Self Preservation for Abolitionists in a Slave State

  1. There are risks and complications with complying, there are risks and complications for *not* complying. The best thing a slave “in the know” can do is detach himself from the plantation without being detected. Then he would join a community of escaped slaves who are building a free society from scratch.

    This is already happening in New Hampshire, where over 1600 people have moved. Many of us, myself included, are still technically slaves, but every day we become more free by replacing government roles with private alternatives.

    If I had to choose between a happy life of compliance on the plantation or a dangerous, risky life of non-compliance with other freedom-minded, runaway slaves, I’d choose the non-compliance. Life will always involve risk, so why not accept the risks that lead to *more* freedom?

    To your internal qualms regarding borders vs welfare, I say: Follow the Golden Rule. Support and care for all your brothers and sisters, as they are in the quest for increasing freedom and prosperity in their lives just as you and I are. They are just slaves from another plantation.

    You see the writing on the wall: The influx means your plantation owner is going to take more of your labor and give the fruits to the new slaves. You might do this voluntarily, but the forced nature of the redistribution is what makes this almost unbearable. I hear that.

    The way I see it, you can either: 1) make a lot of money working within the system and say, “I benefit from the system enough such that I will pay off what it costs to be a part of it,” OR 2) you can say, “I want no part of this system and will take a pay cut and invite greater risk into my life, if it means I am less of a slave.”

    All of life involves risk, and I’d rather have dangerous freedom than comfortable slavery.

  2. Egads, boston just got another 500 illegals deliverd here , totali no of are 3 bus loads Know they are being called children due to age only. Most of children. I met that were illegals scare me to death. Very dangerouse with nothing loose. And here to prove themselves.
    I am subject to local , state, federal laws. I am told what to pay and when to pay all my homestead dues. This country has lost its intention and direction.
    Join the libertarians.
    We have adapted to Germany styles under hiltkers rule.
    Govt give and takes with no intention or purpose. I don’t lay blame with any one person. I blame congress and law makers
    Respectfully texting

  3. Joe, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been thinking a lot about this too and have come to the same conclusion. I know that is not very helpful, but it was encouraging to me that I am not alone.

  4. Vote for the small government guys if only to try to reduce the size of the dragon. Work around the government when possible. Protest, teach, learn. Freedom: Too big to fail.

  5. Thanks for the feedback!

    Derrick, you have more experience with disobeying the state than most. I am tempted to take those sorts of risks, or rather just slowly fade away from the state. However I admit part of me still wants a beautiful room in the “big house” on the plantation, and if i were to make enough money to pay off the costs of being part of it, some possibly most of that money would go towards then removing myself from the system. So even then I am slightly conflicted, do I stay in the system in order to gain the upper-hand, and therefore have a better chance of changing the system, or is that really so unlikely that I’m pretty much buying scratch tickets. Would my effect on changing the system be larger exiting it before I try to gain success in my terms (the type of success would essentially be the same in or outside the state).

    And Brian I hear what you’re saying. If the entire system is going to collapse because of the actions of the government (funded partially by me by force), am I going to be caught up in the crossfire. Though I suppose this suggests I should move to a community that would be able to resist the negatives of a breakdown of some sort.

    Amy, its good to know I’m not alone! I suppose this is a problem a lot of people have once they have made it this far, how to properly turn the philosophy into actions that will both have a positive effect on the outcome we seek, without throwing our own lives away in the process.

    And Harry, I am tempted to still work within the system to reduce it, but this also gets back to the conundrum I am talking about in the post: do I advocate sending helpless immigrants home so that I can try to form the system—most likely fruitlessly—into what I see fit, by choosing ever better slave masters until finally we elect the one that will free the slaves? And if that can’t happen in my lifetime, then it seems the “exit strategy” option would be better, while in the process not harming someone else, in terms of sending illegals back where they came from.

    I don’t think I can assume they will all leach off the system (though they will undoubtedly increase certain costs in education for example), some may be moving to a free-er market for economic opportunity. So then is the answer to work first to get my wallet off the table in terms of funding others’ education, in order for me to be fine with the illegal immigrants staying, since at that point it would not effect me as much? And this might include changing laws so that I can protect myself and property better… although this could be as fruitless and dangerous and risky as exiting altogether as in Derrick’s scenario.

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