The Moral Is the Practical
by Alex Tabarrok on February 15, 2014
Tyler concedes the moral high ground to advocates of open borders but argues that the proposal is “doomed to fail and probably also to backfire in destructive ways.” In contrast, I argue that the moral high ground is tactically the best ground from which to launch a revolution.
Contra Tyler, the lesson of history is that few things are as effective at launching a revolution as is moral argument. ...
In more recent times, civil unions have gone nowhere while equality of marriage has succeeded beyond all expectation. The problem with civil unions, and with the synthetic and marginalist approach more generally, is that even though it offers everyone something that they want, it concedes the moral high ground–perhaps there is something different about gay marriage which makes it ok to treat it differently–and for that reason it attracts few adherents. ...
The moral argument for open borders is powerful. How can it be moral that through the mere accident of birth some people are imprisoned in countries where their political or geographic institutions prevent them from making a living?
Personally speaking, my children's births weren't accidents. In general, the higher the proportion of non-accidental births in your community, the better.
Indeed, most moral frameworks (libertarian, utilitarian, egalitarian, and others) strongly favor open borders or find it difficult to justify restrictions on freedom of movement. As a result, people who openly defend closed borders sound evil, even when they are simply defending what most people implicitly accept.
Alex is referring to me sounding evil. His link goes to Bryan Caplan saying:
Think about it like this: Steve Sailer's policy views are much closer to the typical American's than mine. Compared to me, he's virtually normal. But the mainstream media is very sweet to me, and treats Steve like a pariah. I have to admit, it's bizarre.