D.F. Mulder2018/11/28


The Pitfalls Of Worshiping Rational Self-Interest

Just because it is in your self-interest to invade my country, doesn't mean it is in my self-interest to let you.

One of the most common excuses given for those hordes of people who arrive at our borders before trying to scale and/or penetrate the barriers that separate America from the rest of the world, is that these folks are “simply doing what is in their own interests, and trying to give their children a better life”. Here's the problem with that argument though: everyone, even drug dealers, and career criminals, is trying to pursue their own self-interest to one degree or another. Self-interest is not a sufficient basis upon which to break laws, do wrong, or invade nations.

Indeed, self-interest is not a moral claim at all. It is exactly not a moral claim. It can't really justify any action. It only justifies actions in certain contexts, so long as that self-interest is being practiced within the confines of particular systems of law and order, and even then self-interest can and often does undermine those systems and their fundamental rules (for example when self-interested mega-banks lobby Congress so that they can privatize gains and socialize losses via bailouts).

In the market context, restrained self-interest is generally understood to be good, but only because reciprocity is built into the rules of the capitalist system. You can not generally force someone to buy your products in the same way you can force your way into a country, in defiance of that country's laws and the will of its people.

Following the proper procedures to enter a nation lawfully is typically a reciprocal act, or at least it is understood to be. Given how unresponsive and indifferent the U.S. Federal Government is to the needs, demands and general will of the American people, there is every reason to doubt that much of our immigration policy, which is to say the legal immigration into the country, is meaningfully reciprocal, but we'll set this aside for the moment.

The harsh truth is that only a fraction of immigration into the United States is even arguably reciprocal therefore (because much of it isn't even legal). In reality, immigrants dig tunnels and climb over walls, then they have children here who can vote and take from Americans the right to decide their own destiny. Mass-scale illegal immigration is a greater threat to democracy in America than Russia could ever be. Others use the asylum process to gain entry into the country, and then they disappear into the shadows. It is often too impractical and too expensive to go looking for tens of thousands of law-breakers. Much, if not most of the immigration into America, is not reciprocal at all and is not even nominally approved by the citizens of this country. Only immigrants benefit in such cases, not Americans, and Americans have very little genuine say in the process, in that they are not consulted, and the laws which are supposed to speak for them, aren't really affecting the process, because they aren't being or can't practically be enforced.

This is all a fancy way of saying what righties and conservatives already know, namely that our immigration system is completely and systemically broken, that our laws don't do what they're supposed to do given practical limitations, treaty obligations, legal snags and loopholes, etc. However, so long as we keep justifying, by lazy reasoning, why the whole world and the most desperate and unproductive people in it can and should keep getting over on us, America will continue to decline. We will continue to import those prone to crime, those who can not feed themselves, and those who have no regard for our values or civilization, in grossly disproportionate numbers, and the social and political effects will continue to be devastating.

A nation can only afford so many imbeciles and parasites (not to mention traitors) who have no regard for anyone but themselves, let alone the Bill of Rights, before it is ordinary Americans fleeing for greener pastures. Assuming they can of course; many Americans (often veterans) are living in sprawling tent-cities in Cultural Marxist coastal utopias and are far from having the means to flee the dystopia our supposed elites have engendered.

Just because something is in someone's self-interest doesn't make it right, or even conscionable for that matter. Murder-for-hire may be in a man's interest; is the Cultural Marxist left ready to defend that? What about selling kilos of crystal meth? Very profitable, but not morally or legally defensible. Self-interest can really only be defended morally in limited contexts, within the confines of certain socio-political or economic systems. And even then, you'd be surprised at how quickly self-interest can begin to undermine not only the ends it seeks, but the general advantage.

There is a thin line between self-interest and parasitism. Whole nations can be and have been ruined by the ardent worship of self-interest. But I guess if you call the wholesale dismantling of a nation “social justice”, and aggressively silence all who disagree, pretty much anything can be justified.

-Amalric de Droevig

blog comments powered by Disqus