Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Open Borders for Israel



I have a proposition for those libertarians who support open borders.  Write a defense of your thesis regarding the nation-state of Israel.  Make it convincing.  Get it published at one or more of the sites that regularly pound the table for open borders.

If the theory is valid and universal – as is claimed by many, if not all, of you true for libertarian theory – you must find a credible application for Israel.

I am challenging specifically:

Jacob Hornberger
Sheldon Richman
Steven Horwitz
Jeffrey Tucker

The sites to which your defense should be posted include:

Cato
Foundation for Economic Education
Future of Freedom Foundation
Reason
Bleeding Heart Libertarians

So, the issue at hand: write your defense of open borders for Israel.  Publish it at one of the several sites that has no fear advocating for open borders.

The Silk Roads to the Twentieth Century




As Frankopan does, I will move quickly from the 13th to the beginning of the 20th century.  Basically, this is a period when the importance of the Silk Roads is overshadowed by the sea….

As we begin this period, the Mongols hold an empire stretching across much of Eurasia.  In the west, the Italian city-states find this to be good business, trading in all sorts of goods, to include slaves; this is dwarfed by the volume of trade in the east – particularly in China.

For every ship that set sail for Alexandria with supplies of pepper for Christian lands, reported Marco Polo in the late thirteenth century, more than a hundred put in to the Chinese port….

Silver was the common currency for trade across Eurasia.  The use of silver was furthered by the development of Bills of Exchange and paper money – introduced in China before the time of Genghis Khan.

However, perhaps the most significant Mongol export was the plague, the Black Death:

From field to farm to city to village, the Black Death created hell on earth: putrid, rotting bodies, oozing with pus, set against a background of fear, anxiety and disbelief at the scale of the suffering.

From curse to blessing: the Black Plague greatly shrunk the supply of labor, increasing its price.  Wealth was more evenly spread; better wealth resulted in better diets and better health.  Especially in northern Europe with relatively open competition, the economy boomed; the south not as much, controlled to a larger extent by guilds.

Meanwhile, the Ottomans had Constantinople surrounded – by this time, almost an island.  The city fell in 1453.  As the fifteenth century continued, the city – now controlled by Muslim Turks – became a home for Jews, especially those who were expelled from Spain at the end of the century.

The Christians of Europe feared it was the time of the Apocalypse – Armageddon was due at the end of the century.  Many signs, many prophesies, many timelines, many interpretations of Scripture.

Instead…Christopher Colōn discovered a New World.  Pearls, gold, silver and slaves were imported to Europe; death, war and plague were brought west in exchange.  Spain and Portugal were to divide the world, codified in the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494.  Basically, Portugal would have the east, Spain would have the west.  As other European powers were able, they would come to ignore the treaty – especially those powers that became Protestant after the Reformation.

Sea power took to the fore; the Eurasian continent was no longer the center of the world.  At first, Spain and Portugal were the dominant powers, later to be replaced by Britain and – after the declaring independence from Spain in 1581 – the Netherlands.  The Catholics and Protestants took their fight to the sea.

Britain crushed the Spanish Armada in 1588.  Four years later, Britain captured the Portuguese caravel, Madre de Deus; in this one haul, Britain gained goods equivalent to half-a-years’ worth of normal imports.

In the meantime, the Dutch – in addition to being expert shipbuilders – were remarkable traders and financiers.  They, like the British, developed colonies and trading posts throughout the world.

Britain would make friends with anyone opposed to the Catholic European countries – the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  This included the Ottomans, and this began Britain’s long (and ongoing) foray into the region of the Silk Roads – Egypt, the Near East, Persia, Afghanistan, and India.  The British Empire would span the globe – east to west.

And this would bring Britain into continuous contention with Russia – a country whose borders were otherwise 1300 miles from London.  It is a contention which continues today (see, for example, the intent of the latest US sanction bill).

And this is where we will pick up the story next.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Controlled Opposition



The events in Charlottesville over the weekend have brought out reaction and response in the media.  I couldn’t even turn on sports talk radio without being bombarded by this.  Sports talk radio! 

Jeffrey Tucker offers 1500 words denouncing the fascist, Nazi ideology apparently behind the perpetrator (and inherently painting with the same brush the rest of the protestors), but not a single word about the Cultural Marxism that is at the root of the divide and anger.

One cannot honestly tell this story without addressing this history – which pre-dates any novels that Tucker believes is the cause – and to include even the effects of the Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Progressivism.  We find none of this in Tucker’s post.  Not a word about the pro-active government action that drives this culture-destroying philosophy. 

In fact, Tucker mocks this idea of the government action:

They conjure up scapegoats (blacks, Jews, women, Antifa, gays, and a government that is supposedly giving them all privileges at their expense)…

I am on pretty safe ground to suggest that the government gives at least a few of these groups  “privileges.”

Not a word about Cultural Marxism because to state it openly condemns the very left-libertarians that Tucker wishes not to offend.

Further, not a word about rolling back government involvement in people’s lives.  Nothing.  Perhaps if government did not force us all to get along, we might actually get along.  Instead, he offers:

…social harmony, human rights, the aspiration of universal dignity, the conviction that we can work together in mutual advantage, the market economy as a means of peace and prosperity, and, above all else, the beauty and magnificence of the idea of liberty itself.

A garbled mess of contradictory wishes and terms meant to ensure ever-increasing state involvement.  This is Tucker’s prescription. 

There will be no liberty found on this path.

Conclusion

Destroy the culture and you will get tyranny.  This is where we are headed, with those like Tucker working to ensure that no one will notice until it is too late.

Monday, August 14, 2017

United States Immigration History



We are told…

Except for Native Americans, we are all immigrants or children of immigrants.

True enough – true as well for the “Native Americans.”  By the way, open borders didn’t work out so well for this group.

The entire history of the United States, until recently, is one of open borders and open immigration.

We are also told.  I would like to examine the validity of this statement. 

Before beginning, I offer a very interesting time-lapse map, depicting immigration into the United States; each dot represents 10,000 people.  Visualizing this history will tell you much about what it meant to be a country of immigrants; more specifically…immigrants…from where?  When?  What changed?  Why?  The map raises important questions.

To be more complete, I should include social / welfare legislation in this post as I believe it to be an important part of the story.  But I am already at 2900 words, and I think most readers understand that this grew significantly during the twentieth century and especially during the time of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression and more so during the presidency of Lyndon Johnson in the mid-1960s.  Further, the differences in open and available land should be considered.

Unless otherwise noted, sources are identified at the end of this post.

Colonial Era to 1790

The period from 1607 – 1775 marks the longest sustained period of meaningful immigration in North American history.  Not counting slaves (who clearly did not come by choice), virtually all of the immigrants were of northern European and Protestant origin.  Large numbers came as indentured servants (perhaps half or more), with passage paid in exchange for a fixed term of indenture to the sponsor; not all indentured servants came voluntarily.

By 1790, it is estimated that there were 950,000 immigrants, of which 360,000 were from Africa.  Of the 590,000 remainder, 425,000 were from Britain and almost 110,000 were from Germany or the Netherlands.  The origins of most of the rest are unknown, but presumed to be from Northern Europe.

The population by 1790 is estimated to be 3.9 million, of which 757,000 were from Africa.  Of the remaining 3.15 million, almost 2.6 million were of British descent.  About 370,000 were of German and Dutch descent; most of the rest are of unknown origin, presumed to be from northern Europe.

Great Britain exported its convicts to America – about 50,000 up to the end of the Revolution (Australia got them thereafter).

1790 to 1849

From the beginning of the Revolutionary War until about 1830, there was little immigration.  There was a meaningful emigration from the US to Canada; about 75,000 British loyalists, but also some German farmers.  The year 1815 might mark the low point in terms of the percentage of the population that was foreign born – perhaps 1%.  Even by 1830, this percentage was estimated at only 2%.

Immigration in some quantity resumed beginning around 1830.  The list of countries is similar: Britain, Ireland, Germany, and other parts of Central Europe as well as Scandinavia.  The numbers from 1831 – 1840 are about 207,000 Irish, about 152,000 Germans, 76,000 British, and 46,000 French.

From 1841 – 1850, there were about 1,713,000 immigrants, including at least 781,000 Irish, 435,000 Germans, 267,000 British, and 77,000 French.  By 1850, the population was about 90% native born; the percentage of the population that was Catholic doubled in this period – from 5% to 10%.

The Mexican-American War and subsequent treaty brought about 70,000 formerly Mexican residents into New Mexico and California; the California Gold Rush brought immigrants from Latin America, China, Australia, and Europe.

There was a rise of anti-Catholicism in the later part of this period – against German and Irish Catholic immigrants.  Thus was born the Native American Party (“Native American” having a meaning different than what we ascribe to it today), renamed the American Party – but commonly known as the Know Nothing Party – as its members would claim to “know nothing” when asked about their affiliation.

Immigration during the first five years of the 1850s reached a level five times greater than a decade earlier. Most of the new arrivals were poor Catholic peasants or laborers from Ireland and Germany who crowded into the tenements of large cities. Crime and welfare costs soared. Cincinnati's crime rate, for example, tripled between 1846 and 1853 and its murder rate increased sevenfold. Boston's expenditures for poor relief rose threefold during the same period.

    — James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, p. 131.

The party gained significant results:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Curious



I got somebody’s (or something’s) attention….

I had written the post, Thank You, Google, on Wednesday August 9th and placed it in queue at the blog to be published on the morning of August 10th.

Overnight – in the time between placing it in queue and the time it actually appeared on the blog, traffic at the site jumped to perhaps 20 – 25 times normal.  Then things calmed down…

…until last night.  I had Zero-hedge type traffic: perhaps 80 times what I would expect overnight.  The articles with the most views were older – most from 2015 & 2016.  The main things in common for these articles were a) the topics were mostly about open borders and immigration, and b) all had a high volume of comments – between around 60 – 100.  I suspect the latter point is the critical one.

Normally, the traffic to the site is about 70% from the US.  Overnight, France, Belgium, Philippines and Kuwait all had higher traffic numbers than did the US – each from slightly more up to eight times more, with France by far the most.

I have had bot attacks before – sporadic, over several months.  This was nothing like those. 

Summary

Normally Chrome (Google) is the browser used by visitors to the site about 40% of the time; overnight, it was 96%.

If it need be said, my blog is hosted by Google.

Maybe I violated a company policy?