by Benjamin Marks, Economics.org.au editor-in-chief
There is always much debate on immigration: on what criteria the Australian government should use to determine the desirability of immigrants; on how many servings of this colour and how many helpings of that flavour should be let in; on whether it should come all at once, entrée-main-dessert, yum cha or via a self-serve smorgasbord; and on what the content and price of each menu item should be for eat-in, take-away and home-delivery (public housing). But the entire debate is a self-contradictory deduction from a false premise.
The false premise is that it is desirable to have a welfare state and that government should decide who enters the property of Australian’s, rather than the property owners deciding as if it is their own property.
The self-contradictory deduction from this is that immigrants need to prove to the government that they are desirable to the Australian people, when there is no way of knowing if the Australian government itself is desired by the Australian people.
I am a big fan of the Australian government, but I find it curious that they do not allow me to express my support. They treat me as if I dissent to government and lump me with its fiercest opponents. It is like I have been wrongly imprisoned and am sharing a cell with prisoners trying to escape.
When my taxes are due I understand what a great responsibility I have to pay them. But the government makes paying taxes compulsory, so whether I support it or not is irrelevant. I often hope that because of the great effort I put into my accounts and tax forms, going so far as to purchase expensive accounting software and the services of a team of accountants, that I might be singled out to assume a greater percentage of the burden. But instead they expect equal contribution from those who do not want to pay, and force them to pay it, thereby debasing my contribution with that of those less willing. This must be the Australian value of egalitarianism.
At election time I vote for the government. But my vote is treated as if it represents an anonymous citizen and is confused with the votes of those who vote against the government. This is despite the fact I always write my name and a little thankyou on the ballot paper, and slip a $50 note in the ballot box as further evidence that they have my sincere support.
No living person ever signed the constitution. I tried to once, but was immediately arrested. It is claimed that the constitution is a legally binding contract, yet no one ever signed it to say that they are bound by it. It is true that people voted on it, but many people voted against it. I do not see why they do not allow me to consent to the constitution. As it is, there is no evidence whatsoever that government is consented to.
I have written up a contract that says that I consent to the Australian government and am hereby obliged to do as it tells me. I have also signed one that gives the Australian government my power of attorney. But after ringing up a few government departments I still do not know where to hand it in. Surely, there are some marginal supporters of government who might give up trying to express their consent. But not me; I always carry these signed contracts in my pocket. This way, if anything happens to me, government can always feel justified in behaving towards me in any way they want. But I do fear that I might be treated like I do not consent to government, for government has not allowed me to express my consent. I would not want government to get in trouble. Some people say that this signed contract abdicating my free will to government amounts to slavery and is therefore invalid, because free will is inalienable. But this is like saying that all people who support government are confused.
I am not one of those people who just like one political party. I have membership to all the major parties and many of the minor ones as well. At election time I tick all the boxes. I understand how important our parliamentary system is and would never do anything to undermine it. Sure, I have had some minor disagreements, but it is not reasonable to expect agreement on everything. People who buy newspapers do not always agree with all the columnists. But this analogy goes too far, for some people do not buy newspapers, or buy it once and then give up on them. With government, because consent is not allowed to be expressed, there is no way of distinguishing the supporters from the critics. I, a supporter of government, am treated the same as its fiercest opponent. This is unsettling for me, as I pride myself on my independent moral values and it is a way for me to bring attention and respect to myself in the community and to separate myself from the selfish people who need to be forced by government.
Maybe those of us who support the government should secede from the rabble and create our own government. That way we would not need to associate with the undesirables who do not desire the Australian government. Perhaps we ought to find an unpopulated island and move there. In any case, we have to do something to distance ourselves from these critics of government. For as it is we cannot be distinguished from them and when the critics rise up we will be taken with them and will have no more government to defend. They might even label us accessories to the crimes of government, when it forces those who do not consent to it to obey it, or ignores the fact that if people do consent to it they can also dissent to it, or if they tacitly consent they can also tacitly dissent or tacitly do nothing at all.
When establishing this new island we will make sure we have good immigration laws. Only those who are invited by property owners and can prove sufficiently to them that they might be of some use will be allowed. We will not repeat the mistakes of the current immigration policy and its proposed variations. We have learnt this much from one of its critics, who we could not respond to, but we did manage to get away from him before we had lost all enthusiasm for the Australian government.
If they had read on, they would have seen that any restriction on immigration — that is, movement of people into a certain territory — means that any restriction on private property — that is, movement of government or other criminal organisation into a certain territory — is equally defensible. If immigration restriction is good, then government is bad. If government is good, then immigration restrictions cannot be defended. Government is the abolition of private property to the degree that government interferes. Unlimited immigration enforced by government is perfectly congruent with government. To want restrictions on immigrations is to deny the goodness of government.
Whether property owners should decide who enters their land should either be the decision of the property owners themselves or of someone else. If someone else, then private property is negated, not replaced. All property is private, for only individual’s act. A group of individuals can jointly own something, but the question is whether ownership claims are just or criminal, not public or private.
The renaming of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship is akin to John Howard wearing glasses; it doesn’t help. Immigration is about whether property owners allow people on to their property or not; it is a defence issue. The supposed Department of Defence is overseas provoking attacks on Australian soil on those who were previously no threat to us. The Department of Defence should be renamed the Department of Offence. But I exaggerate. Australia, being situated in the middle of the ocean, is a sitting duck. There is no denying that Saddam Hussein was going to harm Australians. Not even Howard or Bush could defend Hussein.
So much for most academics, journalists, politicians and other indignitaries of Australia; they are illiterate, uneducated, dangerous and arrogant enough to pretend that they are being principled in not wanting similar types to enter this country. For this they deserve our thanks.
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