Thursday, April 29, 2010

Who Draws the Lines?

The state of Arizona just passed a draconian illegal immigration enforcement law in which cops are required to stop and question anyone who even looks like they might be illegal.  The controversy surrounding the law has elicited the usual complaints about the need to control US borders.  I am afraid to enter into conversation about this issue with any but my closest friends and colleagues because to do so would “out” me as an anarchist (the only group hated as much or more than atheists—and I am a card-carrying member of both!). 

My contribution to the conversation would be: what’s a border? Who decides which people can go where?  The idea that countries are the possession of the people who live within the lines drawn on a map is ludicrous.  It is not supported by any sort of natural law.  Rather, it is supported and enforced through violence and the direct threat of violence.  Why can’t somebody simply move into my back yard and call it their home?  Because I have access to professionals with guns who will in fact kill them if they don’t acknowledge and fully comply with laws based on the unnatural idea of property ownership.  It's all about who is capable of the most violence, who can be most lethal, who has access to the most weapons.  Of course, this ugly fact is obscured by a thin veneer of “patriotism” and buried under lies of entitlement.  The truth is the dirt under my feet no more belongs to me than it does a thirteen year old Guatemalan factory worker. 

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