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Ep. 321 Bob’s CliffsNotes on the Dave Smith/Simon Guenzl Open Borders Debate

Bob reviews his interviews with Dave Smith and then Simon Guenzl on whether libertarians should support Open Borders. Specifically, Bob focuses on the status of government-controlled property vis-a-vis libertarian theory.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Chief Economist at infineo, and Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute.


  1. Dave H on 05/22/2024 at 11:07 PM


    A heroin addict comes into a public school classroom and starts shooting heroin in the middle of the school day. The teacher calls the cops and the cops come and remove him because obviously duh. The teacher then says “Ok class, now that that nonsense is all over, please welcome Miss Suzie Divine for Drag Queen Story Hour.”

    I’m at a loss as to how somebody can be ok with the heroin addict removal but then complain about Miss Suzie. Once you have ceded control of “public property” to the government, you no longer get to complain when they control it in ways you don’t like. The very concept of “public property” is nonsensical, and arguments over how the government ought to control it are a waste of time for people trying to build a libertarian society. I don’t care whether you think the heroin addict should be removed or whether Miss Suzie should read to kids. If you call yourself a libertarian, you should focus on getting government out of schools. “It’s not realistic” is not a reason to devolve into arguments over how the government ought to manage things. Most of our positions are not “realistic” in terms of having massive public support any time soon.

    • Justin Hale on 05/23/2024 at 3:35 PM

      Dave H, you are not dealing with the argument. Dave isn’t making a categorical distinction but an ordinal distinction: best is private property and private law, next best is approximations of what *would likely* happen if only we had such rules, and finally is drag queen story hour and heroin addicts being forced on us by law. Your position that we cannot have preferences beyond private vs government management is beyond libertarianism and in need of support/argumentation.

    • Tyler on 05/28/2024 at 2:19 PM

      If your goal is not achievable tomorrow, then you need to break it down into achievable steps.

      Suppose that step 1 of the procedure for getting government out of schools is to start with the more politically realistic task of getting schools to stop pumping kids full of drugs and ideologies that make them mentally unwell, unable to think straight, and completely dependent on the state.

      • Dave H on 05/28/2024 at 3:04 PM

        I’m sorry but this is Boromir logic. You cannot use the Ring to defeat Sauron.

        Build the alternatives and make them so valuable that people will use them despite also being taxed for the government versions.

        • Tyler on 05/28/2024 at 5:03 PM

          Well…not for nothing, but in the movie, Sauron was not defeated by parallel Middle Earth. He was defeated by a reluctant ringbearer (as opposed to the eager Boromir) who took control of the ring, but sought to destroy it and who feared it enough to only use it judiciously. I’m not disparaging the parallel institutions strategy, which I’m sympathetic to; I’m just saying that the metaphor doesn’t really work for your argument.

          Personally, I think it’s a bit cartoonish to suggest that the political process can never be used against itself. Ron Paul was legally elected after all. I agree that using the state aggressively against your adversaries is a road that leads to corruption, but the state can be used defensively, or neutrally, and I think school curriculum is a good example of the latter. The curriculum will never be neutral, so if there’s a local ballot initiative to change it in our favor, we should take it.

  2. christpilled on 05/25/2024 at 6:59 AM

    The economic / libertarian framework is blind to the realities of race (nation, ethnos) and the foundational role these play in society. The civilization is made of the people, and both science and scripture teach that genetics is foundational for behavior, aptitudes and morals.
    Today, extreme measures have been taken to purge this knowledge from our people, and very few with a platform display investigate these questions:

    * Why did ancient Egypt, once the greatest of all nations, crumble into oblivion, where it has remained for 3,000 years?
    * What happened to the glory of ancient Babylonia, or to Assyria?
    * Where is the splendour of the ancient Persians, or the Medes, or Parthia?
    * How have the Greeks, the pinnacle of ancient civilization, not produced anything of note as a culture since the fall of Byzantium nearly 600 years ago?
    * What happened to the might and the majesty that was Rome, once far greater than them all?

    How, or why, have all of these once magnificent cultures for so long been little more than quarries for museum relics?

    America, and all of Christian Civilization, is now following in the footsteps of these ancient empires. And it is not by chance, or some organic process.

    It is by design.

    • Robert Murphy on 06/03/2024 at 1:49 PM

      Unless your answer to all of your historical episodes is, “They interbred with outsiders,” you just posted a huge self-own.

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