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Open Borders


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#1
SastangFever

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One day everyone decides open borders worldwide is worth it and all immigration authorities are eliminated. No checks, no controls. Immigrants flee en masse to the developed world. Some economists say this will increase gdp by 100 percent worldwide but maybe it wont.

Discuss

#2
Peolo

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Is there a source for the claim on 100% GDP increase?



#3
joe00uk

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Oof. Now this is bound to be a controversial topic. But yeah, it would probably crash GDP by 100% as well as leading to multiple civil wars and state failures.

#4
Erowind

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If that were to happen overnight then like Joe says it would be catastrophic. But a gradual shift towards completely open borders would only benefit the world. Small countries like Bhutan would have to be the last to open up I imagine.

#5
Zaphod

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Overnight - I suppose massive slums would appear around all the developed worlds cities. Healthcare systems would crash and all countries with socialised healthcare systems would be forced to go private and raise prices in order to keep capacity. In fact I think we would see a sort of hypercapitalism across the world as developed countries could only stop immigrants by pricing them out since they are not allowed to stop them entering. I think we would see mass immigration from the poor countries to the rich countries and then a huge economic crash before this migration reverses as these poor immigrants realise there are no economic prospects in these countries. We would likely see a huge increase in right-wing and anti-immigrant sentiment (which in terms of anti-immigrant sentiment is fair enough in this scenario). After this huge crash, many of the slums will begin to shrink, but still remain common across the major cities in the world.

 

After a few years though I guess we would see more of an equilibrium happen. Those who were previously considered poor in developed countries would now have more purchasing power within poorer countries and since they have been priced out of major cities anyway, we would begin to see more migration in this direction. 



#6
joe00uk

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Even if this wasn't overnight, it would be a tragedy. Open borders, given enough time, would completely erase whole peoples and cultures and displace them from their homelands. It would lead to one, grey, global mass of neoliberal consumers with no identity other than their consumption. There would be no difference between France, Mexico, Kenya or Thailand - instead of seeing different peoples thriving in their own lands and their own cultures, the whole world would just be a soulless and impoverished nightmare with McDonalds and Amazon slave warehouses scattered everywhere as far as the eye can see. In fact, we don't even really have to imagine this as a hypothetical concept, in many ways this is already the world we live in and it sucks. Open borders is just another term for globalism which is just another term for worldwide neoliberal domination.



#7
PhoenixRu

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Even if this wasn't overnight, it would be a tragedy. Open borders, given enough time, would completely erase whole peoples and cultures and displace them from their homelands. It would lead to one, grey, global mass of neoliberal consumers...

 

Exactly. But when I was saying this, on this very forum, they called me "nationalist and reactionary". I, in turn, was amazed by Western "leftists and progressives" passionately fighting for unlimited immigration into their home countries. Really, guys? And whose class interests you're defending?



#8
joe00uk

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Exactly. But when I was saying this, on this very forum, they called me "nationalist and reactionary". I, in turn, was amazed by Western "leftists and progressives" passionately fighting for unlimited immigration into their home countries. Really, guys? And whose class interests you're defending?

I'm ashamed to admit that I used to buy into some of that propaganda, when I was younger and more impressionable. The reason you have all these Western leftists and progressives telling you that mass immigration is good is because that's what we're all taught here in the West. We're taught it by the government, the mainstream media, and the education system. Day in, day out. They're desperate for us to believe it because they know that so many of us don't and their grip is slipping. So many of us here in the West are shamed into accepting mass immigration because the narrative goes that if you oppose it, you're a racist and a reprehensible person. I think it's much more racist to force completely different peoples from completely different parts of the world who have completely different values to live together in close proximity against their will, and I think it's much more racist to forcibly transform the ethnic composition of entire nations and to deprive poor countries of skilled workers who could help develop their own countries - and even of unskilled workers whose labour could still help. The ultimate benefactor of all this is the globalist elite who have engineered this situation to increase their profits by creating an "open" world where workers' wages spiral downwards in a global race to the bottom. If there are no cohesive nations with cohesive societies and identities, there will be no effective resistance to this. Mass immigration is a tool to further grind down ordinary people across the world and to enrich a tiny few.



#9
Erowind

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I understand the criticisms of labour exploitation and the creation of a worldwide consumer culture and crushing of everyone's culture. But that's not what I'm advocating for whatsobloodyever. Internationalism is a core concept of socialist revolution and there's no good long term reason for borders between comrades, which is why I said gradual. We are one people on one planet. Yes, even a socialist international would erode some cultural tradition I'll admit. (Though it would also protect things like national languages and cultural teachings in schools and time for cultural traditions and festivals .) But that cost is well worth it for world peace and prosperity.

#10
Erowind

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Triple Edit: and this goes at the top: I'm expounding on nuance more than anything. I agree in principle with both joe00uk and PhoenixRu about neoliberal globalism and consumer culture. This all probably came off far more combative than it needed too. EDIT OVER

 

Adding to this. Cultures wouldn't erode from migration much in an international socialist world because everyone would more or less have the same opportunity in their homelands and most people are inclined to remain within their existent social groups. Without oppression or lack of opportunity pushing them on mostly only more eccentric personalities or those who have career reasons would look to leave permanently. (Like being an arctic researcher.) I'm sure some may leave certain regions for medical reasons too, say bad allergies or seasonal affective disorder in gloomy climates.

 

Edit: Another thought is that urbanization in general harms cultural identity. And that overall modern states are already massive coalitions of different ethnic groups with history trending towards larger states and less countries overall. We already generally have more in common with people across the world than many people 300 years ago did with their neighbors a few mountain ranges over. I'm not advocating to speed the process up or deny people their right to practice their cultural traditions (I too have a few of my own.) But, in 500 years are we going to be arguing over group identity that citizens of NortAm shouldn't be allowed to freely live in SoutAm and vice versa? The internet too connects us in this way. Should we get rid of it? What is the proposed solution to uphold these "sacred" social constructs we define as cultural tradition?

 

I feel that this process is somewhat independent of capitalism too. We started as large collective family units only to learn we could accomplish more by banding together into tribes. Those tribes then learned they could accomplish more by banding into ethnic groups of tribes. Those ethnic groups then found banding together into countries even more fruitful. Those countries in modern history are in a long process of learning that megastates and continental coalitions are of even greater benefit. At what point do we all unify and throw out this self crafted reality of division entirely? None of this is to advocate for one bland human identity. To the opposite effect, without all these self-created barriers human expression can flourish more freely. 

 

Animals don't have borders why should humans? The Earth is our common right. Perhaps I'm in either a privileged or a tragic position depending on one's view. In that speaking as an American, Americans already barely have a culture beyond mindless consumerism. I'm fully ready to build something new beyond both this soulless cultural state in my home, and the conditions of the past that have lead to it. 

 

Double Edit: Touching on what I said before even more. And again, everyone has the right to practice their cultural traditions and those traditions should be institutionally protected and I'm not at all advocating to artificially speed up the process of our societal evolution. But is it understood that in order for a global socialist revolution to take place the identity of the working class must work to abolish itself along with the bourgeoisie? That beyond both of these identities for us to unify against our oppressors at all a global of identity of worker must proliferate first? That we will all be strung together in our collective struggle? This process will have impact on our cultural traditions even if it doesn't explicitly oppress them no? 



#11
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I understand what joe is trying to say but I'd rather have mass immigration than colonialism again, which is essentially what PR enjoys advocating when he wants to disallow foreign immigration but readily support foreign military interventions for the good of what he defines as the Russian people and her allies. Let's bomb Syria with more civilian casualties comitted than the Islamic State but no we won't accept their refugees because we want to protect their way of life.
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#12
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/\ The contradiction there was was going to be the fourth edit lol. I wasn't going to call out Phoenix because I've long forgotten him advocating Russian interventions. The nuance there being that it can't happen both ways, where I think Joe's advocating to not intervene and not accept refugees. That's an issue because those wrongs have already been done. At the very least, socialism, capitalism, whatever aside. The people who have been put in harms way by the actions of countries denying them open borders have a right to a better life in those countries. And those countries have a duty to let them in, and stop bombing them. This goes for climate crisis too, rich consumer cultures have caused it, those cultures have the duty to help the people they've harmed. Final position on this. Stop fucking bombing people, destroying the biosphere, using refugees and foreign labour as slave labour and have open borders. If those 3 things stopped happening I'm sure people would be pleasantly surprised at just how many folk would be both be content to remain within their respective cultures and how little conflict there'd be. 



#13
PhoenixRu

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=== offtopic removed ===



#14
joe00uk

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I understand the criticisms of labour exploitation and the creation of a worldwide consumer culture and crushing of everyone's culture. But that's not what I'm advocating for whatsobloodyever. Internationalism is a core concept of socialist revolution and there's no good long term reason for borders between comrades, which is why I said gradual. We are one people on one planet. Yes, even a socialist international would erode some cultural tradition I'll admit. (Though it would also protect things like national languages and cultural teachings in schools and time for cultural traditions and festivals .) But that cost is well worth it for world peace and prosperity.

Oh yeah, I didn't say you were advocating for neoliberal globalism, I just find the concept of open borders inherently "problematic" - to use the liberal term. Borders of some description are necessary to maintain nations. Even within the socialist Soviet Union, different nationalities had different republics, and within the Russian republic itself, minority nationalities often had their own autonomous oblasts. The truth is that we are many people on one planet. 

Adding to this. Cultures wouldn't erode from migration much in an international socialist world because everyone would more or less have the same opportunity in their homelands and most people are inclined to remain within their existent social groups. Without oppression or lack of opportunity pushing them on mostly only more eccentric personalities or those who have career reasons would look to leave permanently. (Like being an arctic researcher.) I'm sure some may leave certain regions for medical reasons too, say bad allergies or seasonal affective disorder in gloomy climates.

Yes, I agree with this.

Edit: Another thought is that urbanization in general harms cultural identity. And that overall modern states are already massive coalitions of different ethnic groups with history trending towards larger states and less countries overall. We already generally have more in common with people across the world than many people 300 years ago did with their neighbors a few mountain ranges over. I'm not advocating to speed the process up or deny people their right to practice their cultural traditions (I too have a few of my own.) But, in 500 years are we going to be arguing over group identity that citizens of NortAm shouldn't be allowed to freely live in SoutAm and vice versa? The internet too connects us in this way. Should we get rid of it? What is the proposed solution to uphold these "sacred" social constructs we define as cultural tradition?

I'm not really sure we do have much more in common these days. I get the whole concept of "workers of the world", but honestly, I don't think I have much in common with a Mongolian shepherd or an Amazonian tribesman. If in 500 years we're more connected, it should be because of natural and voluntary integration that genuinely benefits everyone involved (i.e. the complete opposite of what we generally have today). The solution to uphold cultural traditions is to maintain healthy nations where people take pride in their heritage and their culture.

I feel that this process is somewhat independent of capitalism too. We started as large collective family units only to learn we could accomplish more by banding together into tribes. Those tribes then learned they could accomplish more by banding into ethnic groups of tribes. Those ethnic groups then found banding together into countries even more fruitful. Those countries in modern history are in a long process of learning that megastates and continental coalitions are of even greater benefit. At what point do we all unify and throw out this self crafted reality of division entirely? None of this is to advocate for one bland human identity. To the opposite effect, without all these self-created barriers human expression can flourish more freely. 

Yeah, those were very long-term integrations and took place between similar peoples who had similar cultures and spoke very similar languages. And, like you said, that was for mutual benefit. What we have today is a rapid, forced and artificial displacement which harms the vast majority of people. Looking at the history of Europe over the past 30-40 years, the trend has definitely been towards disintegration and fragmentation (e.g. the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia). As for these divisions as a whole, they aren't spiteful constructs, they're just differences of culture, history and heritage and they won't ever go away - nor should they. Humans will never naturally merge into "one race", we'll just learn to coexist with our differences in our own separate nations - and those differences should be celebrated. The diversity of human cultures is a beautiful thing when they are each allowed the flourish in their own homelands.

Animals don't have borders why should humans? The Earth is our common right. Perhaps I'm in either a privileged or a tragic position depending on one's view. In that speaking as an American, Americans already barely have a culture beyond mindless consumerism. I'm fully ready to build something new beyond both this soulless cultural state in my home, and the conditions of the past that have lead to it. 

Yeah, the American experiment hasn't turned out great, but like you say, something new and better can be built - and what that will be is entirely for you Americans to decide.

Double Edit: Touching on what I said before even more. And again, everyone has the right to practice their cultural traditions and those traditions should be institutionally protected and I'm not at all advocating to artificially speed up the process of our societal evolution. But is it understood that in order for a global socialist revolution to take place the identity of the working class must work to abolish itself along with the bourgeoisie? That beyond both of these identities for us to unify against our oppressors at all a global of identity of worker must proliferate first? That we will all be strung together in our collective struggle? This process will have impact on our cultural traditions even if it doesn't explicitly oppress them no? 

The problem is, worldwide socialist revolution won't happen all at once. The abandonment of capitalism will happen in individual nations at different times, just as happened before. The idea of the international worker won't become a reality until capitalism is gone from the Earth, and we might never live to see that.



#15
joe00uk

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I understand what joe is trying to say but I'd rather have mass immigration than colonialism again, which is essentially what PR enjoys advocating when he wants to disallow foreign immigration but readily support foreign military interventions for the good of what he defines as the Russian people and her allies. Let's bomb Syria with more civilian casualties comitted than the Islamic State but no we won't accept their refugees because we want to protect their way of life.

Well yeah, I'm certainly against colonialism but I think mass immigration is equally intolerable. The consequences have been disastrous and will only become more so - eventually, if it continues and if the trends it has created aren't reversed, we will have civil war in Western countries. That's just inevitable. As for Syria, I mean, I will say that supporting Assad is better for the long-term stability of Syria. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have already returned home because it's now safe to do so in most of the country. But this is going off on a tangent.



#16
joe00uk

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/\ The contradiction there was was going to be the fourth edit lol. I wasn't going to call out Phoenix because I've long forgotten him advocating Russian interventions. The nuance there being that it can't happen both ways, where I think Joe's advocating to not intervene and not accept refugees. That's an issue because those wrongs have already been done. At the very least, socialism, capitalism, whatever aside. The people who have been put in harms way by the actions of countries denying them open borders have a right to a better life in those countries. And those countries have a duty to let them in, and stop bombing them. This goes for climate crisis too, rich consumer cultures have caused it, those cultures have the duty to help the people they've harmed. Final position on this. Stop fucking bombing people, destroying the biosphere, using refugees and foreign labour as slave labour and have open borders. If those 3 things stopped happening I'm sure people would be pleasantly surprised at just how many folk would be both be content to remain within their respective cultures and how little conflict there'd be. 

Remember it's the actions of a tiny elite that have done this and not ordinary people, who had no say in the destruction of these countries. Mass immigration isn't a way for these elites to pay, it pushes the cost onto ordinary people. The elite who destroyed these Third World countries even benefit from this. 



#17
TranscendingGod

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Is the homogenization of people as they become developed a consequence of some neoliberal subsuming or the result of other more fundamental processes?

In other words is it really a product of the system that as people become more developed they begin to use toilets, electricity, clean water, and modern medicine? Is an increase in consumption simply due to our being brainwashed by the evil multinationals? Or Is the universal rise in levels of consumption, which vary given the cultural mores of any one region, more a result of human nature? Is the rise of fast food and the convinience that it offers a result of the forced transformation of liberal despots or the natural result of the increased productivity and utility of people as they become industrialized and urbanized? Do other economic systems drive people away from homogenization? In other words do other economic systems allow people to not work by somehow violating the laws of physics by producing things without the input of labor? Do they furthermore prohibit the natural tendency to increase consumption?

If someone advocates against open border they must first explain why they choose to deprive anyone the opportunity to raise themselves from squalor. We know as an empirical fact, not theoretical musings of armchair philosophers, that migrants have their productivity rise by an enormous amount with a commesurate increase in incomes. It is the number one way to raise people from poverty.

The cultural differences between groups of people are insignificant compared to their convergence as they industrialized. They become less violent, have less children, become more hygienic, and so many other things. Any person from a modern industrialized nation would have more trouble living in the past in their own country than were they to be transplanted into a foreign nation that was similarly industrialized and modern.
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#18
joe00uk

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Well, there's a lot of questions there and quite confusing ones at that. I'm not really sure what you're trying to say other than something about modernisation and consumerism. We're talking about open borders and mass immigration in this thread.

 

As for that last part, it's not about denying people the chance to raise themselves from squalor. If you siphon off a country's labour, you're helping to keep that country downtrodden and poor. Developing countries need their own people back. Allowing millions of them to come to the West only leaves tens of millions left behind to continue in poverty for the next generation. Not only that, but having mass immigration only makes life worse in the West. Having all this extra pressure on public services, as well as ethnic segregation and conflict, doesn't do the West any good. Some people try and make the argument that immigration benefits the economy, but it doesn't for most people. That's only true for meaningless GDP figures and the profit margins of big multinational corporations. For the average person, it's just more downward pressure on wages and they have their own towns and cities becoming segregated, ghettoised and dangerous. More land gets built on, more emissions are pumped out, and the environment suffers. There is more competition for fewer resources. 

 

To that last edit, there are significant cultural differences between people from different countries in the world today - especially when you're talking about countries in different continents. A lot of these places aren't as modernised (only adding to the problem), but like I said - part of that is because mass immigration takes away labour and innovation from these countries.



#19
TranscendingGod

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Actually, millions leaving to developed nations, not simply the west, would be synonymous with the millions who moved to the cities in the Chinese mainland. The people who did not migrate were usually grandparents who cared for children which thus provided a vital service and who were not left to starve. Those who emigrate to other countries to work don't leave their family members behind to starve as you seem to imply but send remittances which in many cases form the majority of a countries income. The brain drain that you're talking about is with people who are already privileged enough to leave the country for high skilled jobs in the first place. Opening borders would allow those who are not privileged enough to have a chance at a better life which they are deprived of in their current country. Not everyone would stay in their new country but would have the opportunity to receive training, garner resources, and have the ability to move freely which would benefit their home country enormously. 

 

As for GDP being "meaningless" I don't think any economist would say that. I think that GDP is incomplete and disregards the economic benefits of some essential services but measuring the output of a country is hardly meaningless. After all producing things from energy to condoms is what enables a higher quality of life. The more we can produce per unit hour worked the better off people will be. Productivity is extremely low in developing nations hence their relative poverty. 

 

And I hardly even address this dystopian scenario you talk about where immigrants cause cities to become "ghettoised and dangerous" because that's borderline racist and at the least xenophobic. Not to mention dead wrong. In fact, immigrants who are given the opportunities that citizens are given tend to thrive. Even when immigrants are treated as second class citizens here in the United States they tend to thrive. Especially as compared to their country of origin. 

 

Anyways, that's all I have to say on the subject. 


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#20
joe00uk

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Actually, millions leaving to developed nations, not simply the west, would be synonymous with the millions who moved to the cities in the Chinese mainland.

That's internal migration within a country - I don't think it's accurate to compare that with people moving to other countries in an entirely different continent.

Those who emigrate to other countries to work don't leave their family members behind to starve as you seem to imply but send remittances which in many cases form the majority of a countries income.

Sending back money to your family isn't the same thing as working in your own country and contributing to its development.

The brain drain that you're talking about is with people who are already privileged enough to leave the country for high skilled jobs in the first place. Opening borders would allow those who are not privileged enough to have a chance at a better life which they are deprived of in their current country. Not everyone would stay in their new country but would have the opportunity to receive training, garner resources, and have the ability to move freely which would benefit their home country enormously.

Even unskilled labour is necessary to develop a country. There are the high-skilled engineers, for example, but you also need the construction workers to bring their plans to reality. I think a much better idea is to help these countries develop on their own and that way, you won't need to send millions of migrants to the West to better themselves.

As for GDP being "meaningless" I don't think any economist would say that. I think that GDP is incomplete and disregards the economic benefits of some essential services but measuring the output of a country is hardly meaningless. After all producing things from energy to condoms is what enables a higher quality of life. The more we can produce per unit hour worked the better off people will be. Productivity is extremely low in developing nations hence their relative poverty.

What I mean is that GDP doesn't necessarily reflect the real prosperity of a country's people. You can have a high GDP, but if a tiny minority are the main beneficiaries of that, it doesn't make a difference to those beneath them.

And I hardly even address this dystopian scenario you talk about where immigrants cause cities to become "ghettoised and dangerous" because that's borderline racist and at the least xenophobic. Not to mention dead wrong. In fact, immigrants who are given the opportunities that citizens are given tend to thrive. Even when immigrants are treated as second class citizens here in the United States they tend to thrive. Especially as compared to their country of origin.

"Racist and xenophobic" are just buzzwords used to avoid addressing the point. I live in Britain, and ghettoisation is just a fact of life now in parts of our cities, just as gentrification is in other parts. These are now dangerous places, as the sheer number of grooming gangs and their victims attest to. Segregation and ethnic hostility (of some description) is rife. It's undeniable. I see it with my own eyes all the time, and so does everyone else who lives in or near these places. You can't tell me that's "dead wrong". You can't sit from halfway across the world and tell me I'm wrong about what my own country has turned into. Sure enough, there are individual success stories of migrants who come here, they get along and they prosper. They are the minority, however, and the reality of Britain today is that most migrants feel far more comfortable in self-segregating communities (which I don't blame them for). The reality is that we are becoming a fractured nation, self-segregated along ethnic lines because of mass immigration which should never have taken place to begin with. There are latent hostilities bubbling beneath the surface and there's probably not an awful lot of time left before these hostilities erupt to the surface in much more dramatic ways. Much of Britain today (or at least much of England) is comparable in a lot of ways to Northern Ireland in the 1960s. It isn't racist to say that. I bear no ill will towards other peoples, I just think it should be rather obvious that it doesn't work to force us all to live together with complete disregard for culture and identity. It's just an unfortunate truth, and severe social tensions are what mass immigration has brought to us.




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