Weeknotes 74 - To review and regret
- In my home town in Poland there were several places and roads that kept getting periodically renamed, with the statues on the corners replaced. I guess people were willing to admit that the people they had literally put on the pedestal no longer reflected particularly well on the current populace, and as the direction of the wind of history kept changing from east to west there was a lot of history to review and regret. One plaza changed names maybe three times in my lifetime? Anyway, eventually a consensus developed to name everything after John Paul II, the Polish pope who presumably 100% has never done anything future generations will be ashamed of.
- The fact that “defund the police” as an idea went mainstream in the last couple of weeks gives me hope that one day we could demand open borders too. If democracy is built on the ideals of fairness, justice and individual freedom then it’s not compatible with imposing controls on immigration:
The right to go where you want is an important human freedom in itself. It is precisely this freedom, and all that this freedom makes possible, that is taken away by imprisonment. Freedom of movement is also a prerequisite to many other freedoms. If people are to be free to live their lives as they choose, so long as this does not interfere with the legitimate claims of others, they have to be free to move where they want. Thus freedom of movement contributes to individual autonomy both directly and indirectly. Open borders would enhance this freedom.
Of course, freedom of movement cannot be an unqualified right, if only for reasons like traffic control and other requirements of public order, But restrictions require a moral justification, i.e., some argument as to why the restriction is in the interest of, and fair to, all those who are subject to it. Since state control over immigration restricts human freedom of movement, it requires a justification. This justification must take into account the interests of those excluded as well as the interests of those already inside. It must make the case that the restrictions on immigration are fair to all human beings. There are restrictions on border crossing that meet this standard of justification (e.g. limiting the entry of terrorists and invading armies), but granting states a right to exercise discretionary control over immigration does not.