Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Libertarian perspective on Syrian refugees

This won't take long....

As a Libertarian I believe that all human beings have a God-given right to life, liberty and their pursuit of happiness.  These rights do not come from government.  We are born with them. 

If a person in one place decides that their odds of having a life, liberty and greater happiness would exist in some other place, they should be allowed to leave the place where they are and move to the place they want to be.

When they arrive in the new place they should be guaranteed nothing but their three inherent rights.  No welfare, no special treatment, nothing.  The new arrival to the new place should be expected to look around and see opportunities where they exist and then pursue those opportunities. 

If charities, churches, mosques and synagogues want to chip in and help with the transition, so be it.  That is also part of Libertarian ideology, that we have the right to voluntarily part with our private property to aid other human beings.

Once the person is in their new home they need to understand that if they violate the right to life, liberty and property of others, the rule of law will deal with them.  As long as they stay out of trouble and simply pursue their interests - peacefully - the government should not bother them.

Apparently, one of the Paris attackers had come in to France under the guise that he was a Syrian refugee seeking protection from ISIS.  One. 

Now we are seeing an increasing number of American states blocking Syrian refugees.

This shows that our governments do not understand probability theory.

Look at the cities within the states blocking refugees.  There will be more people murdered in Houston, Orlando and Birmingham by American thugs than we will see murders carried out by fake Syrian refugees.

Yet, in our panic we are now doing what is mean, stupid and counterproductive.

The more people we turn away who just want a chance to have a better life, the more we create the impression that America is not what it was supposed to be - a place where the tired, hungry masses can pursue the American Dream.

Being  human beings and being an Americans should mean more than what we are doing now.


  1. You most certainly hit the nail on the head with this one. With each day I get more frustrated when I hear the rhetoric by governors who refuse (or try to) to let refugees in from Syria.
    My mother was a refugee after WW II and the this day I am grateful to the family from New York who sent us care packages. There were many years where she had to depended on strangers who opened their doors and hearts to the people who were bombed out through no fault of their own.
    There were also times when she was exploited by farmers when she worked day and night in the fields and in their homes just to have food and a roof over her head.
    I cannot even imagine what these refugees must be going through and my heart goes out to them. So far Germany has housed over 700,00 refugees and they each get $152.00 per person a month for basic needs. Germany is about the size of the state of Oklahoma to put things in perspective.
    And we cannot even house 10,000 refugees in this great country?

  2. Probability theory?

    11/13/15 attacks in Paris

    Number of attackers:

    Number from Syria:

    Number killed:

    Number injured:
    350 (estimate)

    Let's say only 20 people were killed by the Syrian guy, to be safe. We'll round down and say only 50 people were injured by the Syrian refugee looking for a better life.

    Could you provide a probability chart that takes in to account the number of refugees and prevailing attitudes towards western values?

    This isn't some snarky comment, but the way. You are far better at these formulas than most of us and I value your posts. I must be missing something here though, and it's not just about numbers. I am genuinely curious.

    I believe you were the one who turned my on to Samuel Huntington, which led me to Camus and Lewis. Are they relevant here?

    Oh, of the thugs killing people in the U.S. cities you mention, how many are in the commission of a felony on a felon? What I mean is, of those murders, how many are bad guys against bad guys? How many of these thugs are preying on citizens going about their daily lives? How many murders by these thugs are people at a concert, or people eating at a café? How many soccer matches have these thugs blown up or shot at fans? How many of these thugs have clearly stated that they wish to cause great harm to our society? How many of these thugs have rounded up hundreds of girls from a school and kidnapped them? How many of these thugs have cut the heads off of those who weren’t wearing the right gang colors? How many of these thugs have blown up barracks or embassies? How many of these thugs have blown planes out of the sky?

    Probably not many.

    1. You are probably correct. Look what happened to the Native American population when the Europeans entered North America in the 17th century. Their lands were taken, they were ravaged by infectious diseases for which they had no immunity, they were killed when they tried to protect what they saw as their land and heritage. They were tricked into signing worthless treaties then finally cooped up on tiny barren enclaves. Talk about thuggery! No wonder folks like you worry about immigrants.

  3. Have to agree, Jack. It killed me that a Texas state legislator wants to keep Syrian refugees out of his state because of the ready availability of guns there. As if some Texas idiot won't shoot up a school or theatre or church with that same gun. And now Trump and others are suggesting that such refugees be let in but that they wear symbols identifying them as Syrians. Where have we heard of that idea before.

    1. Yes, I believe the Nazi's used that, didn't they? It is unreal to me that Trump and others are willing to violate our Constitution and human rights in order to stir up the fear factor and bigotry that many in the Republican party now respond to.

  4. Respectfully disagree, professor.

    The murders that already happen in our cities, bad enough that they are, happen one or two at a time and accumulate. One terrorist / attacker / whatnot in Paris accounted for 100 plus at one time.

    The risk/reward ratio isn't favorable towards letting the refugees in.

    If a jar of 100 M & Ms was staring at me in the face, and one of them was probably poisoned, I wouldn't be touching the jar. What ordinarily reasonable and rational person would?

    1. So why not go into the inner cities where more than 1 in 100 young people have criminal records and round them up too?

    2. I would be ok with that. I wouldn't exactly be surprised to hear that there are plenty of people that belong in jail out in the public.

    3. I agree. I am more concerned about the thugs and skin heads in our own country than I am about the Syrian refugees. We are worrying about the wrong people. Also come to think of it, at one time in history we were the thugs. Just ask the Indians. We seem to forget that part of our history.

  5. After the Paris shootings the French government announced they would take 30,000 Syrian refugees, and today Canada announced they are taking another 25,000. The numbers in Germany are up to almost 1 million. We should take an example and not let fear and paranoia dictate our lives. We are better than that.

  6. As a 2nd generation Syrian- American, I am bombarded by those who are ignorant to the plight of the Syrian people. Not only have they been forced out of their country, but their country as they knew it will no longer exist. Syria was a secular country and people have been able to worship, be educated, and go about fairly normally, under Bashar Assad. My grandmother returned to the US after living in Syria for a number of years and she could write an expose on what is being omitted from the main stream media. She left because as a Christian, it was only a matter of time before her village would become a target. I have friends there who are staying out of principle, but I think that they will regret not fleeing.

  7. Emilie well said. If you have never lived in another country you cannot identify with the people who are affected by war.