Borders, Property Rights and Normative Values

Too many people get wrapped in the wrong question when it comes to the discussion of borders. That question is “does the Nation State have the right or duty to enforce and protect its borders”. While it’s fun to discuss whether Nation States have legitimate claims to government land, it really comes down to a difference of whether you believe the autonomy and property of future generations can be bound by agreements and pacts over the autonomy and property of prior generations. Most people aren’t going to be on the absolute end of either side resulting in such a diverse discussion that it serves no purpose in resolving the policy question that is on the table.

“To the extent that Nation States exist whether you like them or not, what should border policy be?”

So my personal sentiment is that a more permissive policy with minimal barriers is better economically and in the long run creates a grander peace as cultures learn to coexist over generations (it’s not quick and it’s not pretty but does happen). Although this is the result of my more classically liberal and pluralistic values. It is totally rational and reasonable for someone to value the short run certainty cultural uniformity and limited labor competition can provide them at the expense of the grander but more distributed benefits of liberalism. (Basically some may prefer more for them at the expense of more for everyone).

So to the extent whether I or someone else believes a Nation State should exist, they do. They will employ some sort of border policy but should it be generous and welcoming or punishing, strict and limited. Depends on your values, but let’s have an actual conversation instead of shutting down conversation with words like Fascist, Communist, Racist, etc.

I will try to convince you to think my way and you are free to do you best to get me to think your way.