Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Population And Immigration: A Contradiction

There is a blatant contradiction that can be found on both sides of the debate over immigration and population size. On one hand, we have many right-wingers who are pro-life and anti-immigration. On the other hand, we have many left-wingers who are not pro-life and are pro-immigration. To many of the rightists, there can never be too much people; reproduction is encouraged in this sense. To many of the leftists, we face a major problem of overpopulation; people are reproducing too much.

Here's the contradiction: If the rightists truly don't think there can ever be enough people, they must welcome open immigration to be consistant, for surely this is more people. Surely, if reproduction is to be encouraged, allowing more people into the country will be pro-life. On the other hand, if the leftists truly are concerned about population size, thinking we face a major population problem, they must oppose immigration to be consistant, for surely immigration brings in more people to reproduce. Surely, if there is overpopulation, immigration will overpopulate us.

In short, in order to be consistant, the opponent of immigration must support population control of some sort, and the supporter of immigration must oppose it. To complain about too many immigrants coming while similtanously claiming to encourage a growing and reproductive population is simply hypocrisy, as is to nonchalantly support mass-immigration while simultaneously claiming that we have a problem of overpopulation. If one thinks there are too many people, it is nonsensical to then encourage more people to immigrate to your country. If one thinks that the population should continue to grow, it is nonsensical to then discourage people to immigrate to your country.

It is unavoidable that we conclude that both sides (as in the two main positions accepted as the political status quo) of the debate are nonsensical and hypocritical. These positions consist of opposing ideas in themselves; oxymorons. This applies on a larger scale to the entire political atmosphere in general. We find many right-wingers passionately railing on and on about the importance of life and the virtue of consequently preserving and encouraging it, who then turn around and support policies that are blatantly against this principle (such as perpetual war and protectionist blockades to immigration). We also find many left-wingers passionately railing on and on about overpopulation who then balk at the right-winger's support for policies that reduce the population, and then go on to support policies that are blatantly contradictary to their concern for overpopulation (such as government subsidies for immigration and extensive government welfare).

The public debate on immigration and population misses the point entirely in that it pretty much solely concentrates on a question of numerics, of the amount of people, rather then the condition of the individual people and the actual means by which they immigrate and populate. For the true question here is not a quantative one of how many people, but a qualative question of wether or not, in an individual case, someone's immigration occured in a fashion that is respectful of property rights. Did the immigrant violate anyone's rights in the process of immigrating? Did others violate the immigrant's rights in the process of immigrating?

The question is, when someone does desire to immigrate, what is the proper and unproper means by which this can be done? And on a larger scale, what is the proper way to create a reasonable quality of life for any given population, regaurdless of numbers? Forget about the number of people: what economic, social or political system(s) will create that which makes staying alive enhanced and "social utility" possible to begin with? The question isn't "how many people should we allow to immigrate or reproduce", but of the very process of immigration and the very quality of life of the individuals that have been produced already. Yet instead of asking tough questions about the means to immigration and the quality of life, we waste our time on an endless statistical numbers game where all that matters is quantative percentages and an assumption that either the glass is half empty or half full.

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