Tuesday, June 20, 2017

From Immigrants and Refugees to Terrorists



For the first few years of World War Two, most Jews in Palestine played nice with the British.  If Britain was victorious in the larger conflict, the Zionists would have some chance to continue their immigration in Palestine and achieve their hoped-for state.  If Germany was victorious, there was no chance of this.

This approach did not survive the war.

One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate, by Tom Segev

Immigrants and Refugees

Jews were dying in Europe.  The British held little concern for this; the Jews in Palestine felt the same:

“I was not well-versed on matters of saving of the Jews of Europe, even though I was chairman of the Jewish Agency,” Ben-Gurion wrote a few years later.  “The heart of my activity was enlisting Jewry in the demand to establish a Jewish state.”

The Arabs, in the meantime, saw the risk:

“We all sympathize with the Jews and are shocked at the way Christian nations are persecuting them.  But do you expect Moslems of Palestine…to become more Christian or more humanitarian than the followers of Christ: Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, etc. etc.?  Have we to suffer in order to make good what you Christians commit?”

Ben-Gurion was troubled by the possibility that Jewish survivors in Europe might not want to come to Palestine, but would choose to settle elsewhere.

“I think we should not treat this danger lightly.  It is the greatest danger not only to Zionism but to the Yishuv.”

But the Jews from Europe came – before the war, during the war, and after the war; the number of Jews in Palestine increased eight-fold during the Mandatory period, to one-third of the total population; Muslims and Christians doubled.

Terrorists

“The revolt sprang from the land and from the blood,” wrote Menachem Begin, Etzel leader.  Despite its name, though, Etzel’s action was not a revolt, but rather a decision to resume terrorist activities, largely against the British.

Menachem Begin was one of those immigrants turned terrorist, arriving in Palestine in May 1942.

Etzel (Irgun) announced the beginning of terrorism on February 1, 1944.  The more radical among the Zionists decided it was time to run the British out.

Etzel’s funds came from robbing banks or extorting money from local businessmen; the organization received contributions as well, mostly from America.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Why They Are After Trump…Revisited



For several months, I have felt that the Trump=Russia witch hunt was a diversion. Sure, they want Trump out, but not for the stated reason – not for Russia.  They want Trump out because what he represents is a voice for people who are tired of seeing every libertine, immoral, property-rights and wealth destroying progressive platform agenda shoved down their throats.  Trump ran against almost every plank of this life-destroying force.

I wrote on this topic in March; from the conclusion:

Russia is a diversion; it is useful as a means to an end.  It isn’t the end.  The end is the salvation of the many pillars of the progressive agenda; the end is the final destruction of western, classical liberal, civilization.

Don’t expect me to explain it as well as Judge Napolitano can and has; I have listened to and read several commentators on the topic of the special prosecutor, Comey’s testimony, etc.  I can only offer a semi-ignorant layman’s summary.

A special prosecutor was appointed with no crime to prosecute; with no crime to prosecute, you have a dozen of the most aggressive, capable attorneys looking for something…anything.  Show me the man and I will show you the crime. 

The narrative is shifting, from collusion to obstruction.  Without a crime for the special prosecutor to prosecute, why not? 

They ignore the overwhelming evidence of the Clinton crimes, former Attorney General Lynch and her visit with Bill, even the leaking admitted to by Comey.

But the special prosecutor is looking for a Trump crime.  And the collusion with Russia – after one year – is a narrative with no story.

They want Trump out because they want their progressive, cultural destroying agenda to crush us all.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Reset with Anonp



A more complete reply (and clarification) to Anonymous June 15, 2017 at 7:53 AM, aka “anonp.”

Anonp

I have assumed a certain context both in this post and in my dialogue in general regarding immigration and open borders.  My context is one of examining libertarian theory on these topics and attempting to apply the theory in this world, the world as it is today.

As you have been here often and commented often, I assumed you understood this; further, this specific post is in reference to a real-world example – the Jewish immigration into Palestine during the British Mandate period

Admittedly, I will write new posts as a continuing dialogue – a dialogue with myself and with regular readers; I feel no obligation or benefit to resetting the foundation and context every time I discuss a topic.

Now, with feedback from an individual who is new to this site – or someone I don’t recall – I am (or try to be) patient in my response.  With feedback from anonymous commenters (not you, as I recognize “anonp” that you include), depending on the nature of the feedback, I almost always initially assume I am being trolled.

With those who have commented often, I assume a certain context – that the foundation I have previously laid is understood.  This is the case with you.

Now, I also recognize that it is incumbent upon me to remember the foundation that regular commenters have laid.  Alas, I may not be perfect at this – better with those who are a) here regularly, and b) have offered something that really stayed with me.

With that out of the way, I would like to start over with your various feedback.  Call it a reset.

You can do everything you want, to show your disagreement.

You will understand now, I hope, the reason for my reaction.  In this world, I cannot do this – and this world is the context of both the subject post and my writing.  Further, part of the foundation is my extensive dialogue with Walter Block – the relevant portions of which I have written about publicly (here, and much more importantly, here).  To apply the NAP to this topic in this world requires full private property – and all that this implies.

So…I cannot do everything I want – within the context and given the foundation that I have built over at least 50 posts and hundreds of interchanges in the comments sections of these.

Are you calling for State intervention?

First of all, I hope you understand why the fact that you asked this question confirmed my belief that you understood the context and foundation.  In a world that respects the NAP, there are no states; in this world, there are.  So when you ask if I am calling for state intervention, in which world is your question relevant?

More importantly, I have written several times that I do allow myself to be boxed into a false choice: either open borders in this world or state intervention in this world.  At minimum, I had – and believe I have completely achieved – one objective: to demonstrate that application of the NAP on this topic in this world is not possible.  Absent full private property rights, every possibility is a violation of the NAP.  Just ask Walter Block!

My further objective is to demonstrate why managed borders – even if managed by the state (as if there is any other choice in a world of states) – is a reasonable second best alternative.  I will not here go into all of the reasons why; I have written on this too much already (read the fifty posts if you like).

If you bring one million people here to live on the welfare, you are not privately financing anything; you are using tax dollars, so you are violating the nap.

I should not have overlooked so quickly this line of reasoning from you, and the natural implications of this and other similar statements of yours.

That tells us something about the culture, the morals, the habits, the mentality that a society more coherent with the nap will produce.

Admittedly, I reacted strongly to this statement.  This time, I will merely ask: do you mean to say that the NAP will produce a culture?  This is unfathomable to me.  But, if this is truly what you mean, please expand on why you believe it.

Many here seem to love the state but only want a different orientation of statism.

Yes, there are some who comment here that have a view of the state not consistent with the NAP.  I do not stop them from commenting, and have learned much from their comments.  As long as comments are respectful and not vulgar, I allow these.

With that said, I never like such statements as the one you wrote.  To whom do you refer?  If we want true dialogue at this site, we have to talk to each other individually, not to “many here.”

My point being that the NAP is not so poor as you picture it, but that your example is misleading.

But this is my point, and consistent with my entire dialogue on this topic: we live in this world.  In the reality of this world, how do we apply the NAP?  In some things it is easy – robbery, murder, etc.  In some things, it is not so easy – in this case, immigration and open borders.

So my example is not misleading at all.  What would have been the proper libertarian response by Palestinians to the massive Jewish influx during the British Mandate?  They protested, they boycotted, they did all of the NAP-consistent measures that you offered (and, of course, some that were not consistent).

This wasn’t enough.  They left a failed legacy for themselves and their grandchildren.

If this is acceptable under the NAP we should ask ourselves: what are the implications?  Is the NAP a bad political theory or is it simply that we have not properly defined it?  Or, maybe, the NAP just doesn’t answer every single relationship question we might ask.

To this, I offer one portion of my response to Unhappy Conservative, from the same thread:

We want to think of aggression in three dimensions: height, width, depth. Perhaps Rothbard is suggesting we might want to think about a fourth dimension - time. To do so, we must consider human nature in the equation.

Where along that fourth dimension did Jewish immigration into Palestine turn into aggression? We cannot pick a moment, we only see the result - the reality that it happened.

Maybe libertarian theorists just haven’t yet properly defined aggression.  At least Palestinians at the time of the Mandate would say so.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Soros Dilemma



More than once the question has been asked at this site and elsewhere: If George Soros privately financed one million [insert your choice of peoples from Africa, the Middle East or Central Asia] immigrants into your county (county, not country), would you – as a libertarian – object?  The point being, privatized massive immigration of people from a completely different culture: yeah or nay?

Let’s call this the Soros dilemma.  In my experience, the question has usually been ignored by advocates of open borders.

While reading One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate, by Tom Segev, this question came to me.

Under the British Mandate, it strikes me that we have seen a real-world experiment – the Soros dilemma put into action.  Sure, there was nothing “private” about the significant immigration of Jews (mostly Central and Eastern European in culture) into a land primarily populated by Muslims (mostly Middle Eastern in culture). 

But set aside the motive force and the source of funding:  what is there in this situation that is not coincident with the aforementioned Soros thought experiment?  A wealthy, powerful outside agent driving a significant immigration of people; people from a completely different background and culture from those who are already native.

Over the course of twenty-five years during the Mandatory Period, the number of Jews in Palestine increased from about 84,000 to 640,000 – almost an eight-fold increase.  The Christian population doubled, from 71,000 to 143,000, as did the Muslim population, from 589,000 to 1,181,000.  The percentage of the total population that was Jewish increased from slightly over 10% to about one-third.

In twenty-five years.

How did that work out for the Palestinian Muslims and Christians?  Not well, not well at all; but you already know that.  We know the story and the story is continuing to this day; but you already know that as well.

To my point: the motive force and method of funding is irrelevant; George Soros could provide both today (and many believe he is).  So the question stands: is there a reason for a libertarian to object?  Strictly applying libertarian theory, it seems difficult to object to a George Soros proceeding in such a manner.

But is it so difficult?  I have asked before: does an invasion always have to be armed?  Is it always obvious when you are under attack?  Certainly, the Jewish immigrant wasn’t openly armed; such immigration would not be classified, traditionally, as an attack.

Are libertarians not allowed to defend against an attack?

So what does libertarian theory have to say about this, the answer to the Soros dilemma?  I believe the NAP offers an answer, and one counter to what open-borders libertarians believe.  Or, it doesn’t offer an answer – therefore leaving us to look to other guides for an answer.

But if the answer to the Soros dilemma for libertarians is that it is perfectly acceptable under the NAP for Soros to finance the immigration of millions, well, we have Palestine.

Conclusion

In Palestine, the British finally came to the realization of what those who lived in Palestine – Arab and Jew – knew was a possibility, if not certainty, from the beginning.  There was only one way that this story could end:  war.

Somewhere in there is a lesson.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Libertarians and Culture Update



I have brought up to date my tab on Libertarians and Culture (here, and tab above).  I count over 50 entries…so far….

The Story of a Donkey



If I were in your place I would be a Zionist, and if you were in my place you would be an Arab nationalist like me.

-        Aouni Abd-al Hadi to David Ben-Gurion

One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate, by Tom Segev

A man was riding on his donkey and saw another man walking.  He invited the man to ride with him.  Mounting the donkey, the stranger said, “How fast your donkey is!”  The two rode on for a while.  When the stranger then said, “How fast our donkey is!” the animal’s owner ordered the man to get off.  “Why?” the stranger asked.  “I’m afraid,” said the owner, “that you’ll soon be saying, ‘How fast my donkey is!’”

-        Khalil al-Sakakini, a Christian Arab, to Dr. Judah Leib Magnes, president of the Hebrew University

In the aftermath of World War One, with the formerly Ottoman Middle East carved primarily between British and French interests, the British held the mandate for Palestine.  Given the contradictory wartime promises made by the British to the Arabs who populated the land and the Jews who hoped to populate it, it seems just that Britain was stuck with this mess of its making.

Talks between the Arabs and Jews were fruitless – each wanting something the other was unwilling to give.  Push came to shove (you will not get a more complex analysis than this from me); from 1936 to 1939 the Arabs revolted, marked traditionally as beginning in Jaffa on April 19, 1936.

Initially, Arab terrorism was primarily aimed at the British; it was the British that held the authority, it was the British allowing the immigration.

Inevitably, Jews were on both the receiving and giving end of the violence; like the Arabs, Jews were both victims and perpetrators.  Ben-Gurion, while writing in his diary that he never felt hatred for the Arabs or desire for vengeance, still would note:

The destruction of Jaffa , the city and the port, will happen and it will be for the best.  When Jaffa falls into hell I will not be among the mourners.

Segev’s book covers the entire Mandatory period.  In this post, I will look at one specific aspect: the British response to the Arab revolts.  You will note that tactics when dealing with “the other” have changed little.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Man Destroys God



Prologue

God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.

-        Dr. Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park

We know what happens next – dinosaur devours man.

I refer to the conclusion from my piece, “And the Dying Cheer”:

It is interesting: reaching the height of western liberal values immediately preceded the destruction of the West.  The nineteenth century, in many ways, was the most liberal, free, equal period for the West – perhaps in its history.  And then the Great War – suicide, built on the scientific wisdom of man’s reason.

The Enlightenment; considered the height of western man’s philosophical and moral achievement.  Man’s reason over God’s reason; man’s law instead of God’s law (or custom, if you prefer).  We know what happens next – man’s law devours man.  Taken altogether, a rotten tradeoff for freedom.

If you have not read this earlier essay, this one will not seem whole.

God is Dead

From “The Parable of the Madman,” by Friedrich Nietzsche:

"Where has God gone?" he cried. "I shall tell you. We have killed him - you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time?

Perpetually falling; backward, sideward, forward; no more up or down; an infinite nothing.  Does this sound hopeful?  A declaration of a positive event?  “Enlightened”?

Man without any anchor will create an anchor.  This anchor was built on the wisdom of “enlightened” man, a foundation of sand.  Enlightened man led to the suicide of the West.

From “Twilight of the Idols” (PDF; emphasis added):

When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one's feet. This morality is by no means self-evident: this point has to be exhibited again and again, despite the English flatheads. Christianity is a system, a whole view of things thought out together. By breaking one main concept out of it, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one's hands.

It is quite an interesting phrase: “the right to Christian morality.”  What is the moral Christian “right” if not the non-aggression principle?  According to Nietzsche, this is what man has given up.  We traded it for enlightened man’s right to decide what is moral.  How is that working out for you?

This Christian “system” was the foundation of Western Civilization since the fall of Rome.  This “system” replaced Roman man-made law with custom – law based on oath, with God as party to the agreement; the most decentralized system of law known to the West.  This system began to crumble with the Renaissance.

What did Nietzsche see as replacing this Christian system?  Taken from Jacques Barzun, “From Dawn to Decadence”:

In health man feels within him the will to power, a drive to action and achievement, including the self-mastery that will characterize the superman and establish a new ethos.  The present conception of what is evil will be replaced by other standards of right and wrong, contrary to both the Christian and the worldly virtues and vices of western civilization.  In ethics and the search for truth Nietzsche is a Pragmatist.

A “pragmatist” in ethics and truth; a “new ethos.”  No anchor: perpetually falling; backward, sideward, forward; no more up or down; an infinite nothing. 

Barzun cites Nietzsche:

In place of fundamental truths I put fundamental probabilities – provisionally assumed guides by which one lives and thinks.

Fundamental truths are replaced by fundamental maybes…or maybe nots.  Your betters – the “enlightened” – will let you know which is which.  Being pragmatists, your betters will feel free to have “right” and “wrong” trade places whenever they find it…pragmatic – meaning, to their benefit.  Good luck trying to keep up.

Nietzsche did not live to see this suicide of the West – the Great War.  He seemed to know it was coming.

Conclusion

Not much of one, really…

Cypher: Don't hate me, Trinity. I'm just a messenger.

Nietzsche’s declaration was not some kind of call to arms; he merely put into words that which was well underway centuries before he was born.  He was just a messenger.