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September 19, 2016



'you might object that politicians have a duty to their voters, not to the world. This is too glib: can people really legitimately incur duties to harm others? Should we, for example, respect a hired killer's duty to carry out his employers' orders?"

Under the action/inaction distinction we do something like this all the time. If I'm a food delivery guy and a I see a starving person on the street I still have a duty to my employer that overrides any duty I might have to give the food to the starving man (legally at least).

"not so much economic"

In the long run and on average. But using one of my new favorite quotes "patience is a remedy for every sorrow"


Moving from a shanty town in Conakry to a shanty town in Croyden may improve absolute standards of living, but this might not feel like much of a step up relatively.

Ending human consumption of animals would arguably be more utilitarian and easier to achieve, but most would find this small change highly inconvenient.

Patrick Kirk

India is a very rich country in terms of resources and people. The reason Indians are poor is the polital policies they vote for. If you have open borders surely the same bad political culture will travel and you just move the problem to another territory.


The elephant in the corner which is never addressed by politicians is that if social mobility is to mean anything at all it means people moving down as well as up. The problem is that those at the top have some great defence mechanisms, wealth and contacts, to a avoid their incompetent children going down the snakes.

Its not a zero sum game but it does block upword mobility to some extent.

Dave Timoney

Theresa May's advocacy of grammar schools shows that what she means by social mobility is selection: some may succeed, but not all. Likewise, the proposals for immigration are not that it be stopped altogether but that only those deemed valuable to society be let in. Seen as exercises in discrimination, there is no contradiction.

The problem (common to both the 11+ and a points-based immigration system) is the basis of valuation, which for May and others reflects social prejudice, e.g. that doctors are more valuable than toilet cleaners (epidemiology suggests otherwise) or that apeing public school manners improves educational outcomes.


There are many reasons why one country is richer than another.

One is infrastructure density: how many people must share roads, power stations, hospitals, government, railways, airports and reservoirs? How quickly can this infrastructure respond to increased demand? Open borders means increasing your infrastructure density and hoping that investment will catch up, eventually. That's not an attractive prospect for existing infrastructure users. Try talking to Southern Rail commuters.

Indeed, existing infrastructure users feel like the investment has been theirs, therefore they want the right to be picky about who and how many they share the fruits with.

Like it or not, people think in terms of in-groups and out-groups. May's comments on social mobility are therefore addressed only to the in-group she represents, namely UK citizens, rather than humanity as a whole - from whom she has no mandate.

If our politicians really did start thinking on such an internationalist scale, UK voters wouldn't like it. Jobs offshored from Wales to Bangalore? No tragedy - think of all those Indians who'll be better off!

People care about the plight of remote strangers in the abstract, but they care a whole lot more for themselves, their family, their local areas and their country. And they tend to prioritise in that order.

It's this hierarchy of closeness which also explains why both dictators and small business owners tend to be nepotistic.

For someone so eager to bring behavioural science to bear on economics, Chris seems reticent to apply the same discipline to political topics such as migration. Academically, he is right. Practically, he is very, very wrong.


Harm what others? While you may consider this harming non citizens, others will equally consider the opposite as harming citizens. If you view states as mere inconveniences, you will have a lot of difficulty understanding their role and value. If you view them as intrinsic to social order and welfare, you will have many serious reservations about consequences. (I guess we didn't want to harm the Nazis rolling into Austria as that would be unjust.)


"Practically, he is very, very wrong."

Not really. This is about evil order vs good chaos. Obviously any sane person supports law and order.

How many poor people living on food banks give money to charities helping people in poor countries? Ahem.

One slight quibble. A true, ideologically pure Chris Dillow Left policy would only support movement of unskilled, not skilled workers. The Left would develop the rest of the world firstly by refusing to steal its skilled staff as a matter of policy. Less developed countries are hurt when all the doctors and nurses they have trained get poached by the UK, who can't be bothered training their own, limiting their population or increasing the "number of plebs to doctors" ratio so they can be seen by the available healthcare staff.

It is entertaining watching Leftists justify stealing things from the developed world, and justifying the destruction of indigenous cultures. The Chinese propose moving loads of non-indigenous people into Tibet to swamp the local population and there is uproar, but into the lands north of Watford, s'fine. It proves they are not really Left at all and just want cheap servants and personal gain.

So no, this post is absolutely right and the logic is impeccable. The Left are ideological enemies of privileged "Western working class" people who are above average global income. UK workers are "fat and lazy" and want wages that are too high for working too little, and should work harder for lower wages to compete with chinese and indian workers. If you want to promote equality they are powerless enough to target and it is relatively easy to destroy their communities and families as has already happened. Hence why they should logically support hard right and fascist movements that support order and a strong nation state, and defend their "privileges to earn around seven times as much", like they did during the 1930s.

These are ever more common conditions for "Western workers" thanks to the Left:


We already have free immigration of very poor desperate people who are willing to work long hours for £4-5 pounds/hour and live 2-4 to a room and who therefore compete with them for jobs in the rich southern market towns.

"wanting everyone to have a “fair chance to go as far as their talent and their hard work will allow” should favour open borders."

Not really. And it is not 'everyone' but only those who migrate, not the remaining people in source country. Immigrants are often brought in often for tasks way beneath their talent. The main argument of open borders is indeed just that there are wage differentials between countries as in: "Orley Ashenfelter, for example, shows (pdf) that real wages at McDonalds are seven times higher in the US than in India: Indians are poorer than westerners not because they’re less talented or lazier but because India is a poorer country."

Obviously the Left want to abolish arbitrary wage differentials. If you support them, the only people to support are the hard right, hence why they are on the rise everywhere and Le Pen and Trump may well be elected and we voted for Brexit.


"Chris Bertram say this is racist. I’d add that it looks like feudalism: the highborn (those of us born into rich countries) have a right to preserve and increase our wealth, whereas the lowborn must be kept in poverty by the use of force."

Well ultimately the Left will be defeated anyhow unless this abolish democracy.

It is very true. Take a look at how a Swedish charity organisation called IM has treated the privileged Swedes in this new TV advertisement:


“There is no turning back. Sweden will never be what it was before. It is an understanding of what the world actually looks like – that Sweden is needed as a safe place for people who need refuge.”

“Everyone needs to be integrated, established Swedes too.”

And yet about 80% of the population of Sweden consists of native born Swedes :)

Now they are being told that their country belongs to anybody who wants to come and they need to be “integrated” into a new Sweden.

The majority of the population are reacting with extreme shock, hostility, and outrage at being told that their country doesn’t even "belong to them anymore", and turning to the hard right and racist Sweden Democrats.


"Should we, for example, respect a hired killer's duty to carry out his employers' orders?"

When the hired killer is part of the british army, and acting under orders, yes.

When the hired killer is part of the russian secret service, even acting under orders, no.

A rather silly piece of rhetoric.


If you truly believe in open borders, a natural corollary is that someone born in a country has no more right to live there than an immigrant who has recently moved there.

However the thought of removing citizenship from a person born in that country just is not done, whereas deporting an immigrant does not inspire the same feelings and is done.

So I think that people born in the UK have a greater right to be in the UK than those born outside.

But cannot really justify it.


It’s important to remember that Hilter was elected on 43% of the vote. That’s where this ends if we don’t change direction, and change direction now


Basically, ultimately those proposing open borders must allow anyone to vote in UK elections. It is a logical corollary.


"Another thing: you might object that politicians have a duty to their voters, not to the world. This is too glib: can people really legitimately incur duties to harm others?"

The thing, if polticians do things their voters really don't like, they get voted out. So politicans might believe that open borders is the morally right thing to do, but if it means they get voted out and replaced by Dongel Farump, then it's not.

Igor Belanov

"It’s important to remember that Hilter was elected on 43% of the vote."

Not true. He was appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg, acting on behalf of the German establishment, after having earnt 33% of the vote at the November 1932 elections (where the Nazis lost votes). This enabled Hitler to unleash a wave of terror on the KPD and SPD before the barely free March 1933 election where he still didn't win a majority. It took the banning of the KPD and the Enabling Act for that.

Stop using the case of the Nazis to defend your own nationalism.


I think the social costs of certain forms of immigration are under played here, it's not just general social cohesion that might be adversely impacted, there is a prevalence of degenerate practices that follows some immigration: female genital mutilation, honour killing us, cousin marriage, anti-Semitism, mediaeval attitudes to women, homosexuals and certain other ethnic groups.

I'm not suggesting that the "native" population (whatever we choose to determine that as) is all sweetness and light, very far from it, but as much as some immigrants are attracted by the benefits of Western liberal society they aren't always willing to respect the obligations that come with it.

Should we make people sign covenants in the name of their chosen deity making it clear that it's not acceptable to marry your cousin, to cut off your daughter's genitals, murderer her if she has a boyfriend you don't approve of, that men don't own their womenfolk and shouldn't keep them separated from the rest of the world, that you cannot commit sexual assault on women who dress "immodestly", even if that's the accepted behaviour in the village you came from?

gastro george

@M - if you hadn't noticed, everybody in the UK is subject to UK law.


Social Mobility?


The UK is ninety four thousand square miles
Africa alone is nearly twelve million square miles.

Earth is two hundred million square miles into one hundred thousand for the UK.

Population of two hundred million square miles into less than one hundred thousand square miles, squeeze is not the word.

Forget growing food ...

1.25 billion people in India, 1.4 billion in China, no lets take in all 7.5 billion and counting.

Only 200,000 in Pakistan.

Good News, some want to go to the States and Germany!

Some arguments are too ludicrous to take seriously ...


"you might object that politicians have a duty to their voters, not to the world. This is too glib: can people really legitimately incur duties to harm others? Should we, for example, respect a hired killer's duty to carry out his employers' orders?"

Voters are murderers :)


@ Gastro George, you probably haven't noticed but the law has been spectacularly ineffective in stamping out the degenerate practices I mentioned. It's not a coincidence that certain communities are massively overweighted on children with birth defects and disability, nor that you'll find women who "choose" not to go outside unless covered head to toe by a blanket and refuse speak to any man who isn't their husband, nor that there have been no convictions for FGM despite clear evidence that it happens a lot amongst certain immigrant communities.

The problem lies with "cultural sensitivity", it sometimes shields the stuff we really don't want more of as much as it protects the stuff that makes us a richer and more diverse society. This is not a case against all immigration, but it is a case that some things are not to be welcomed with open arms.


UK citizens enjoy an unfair and disproportionate share of global wealth. This is largely the legacy of imperialism and being the first to achieve industrial revolution.

If one is concerned with inequality from a global perspective, it's clear that UK citizens must get poorer in order to share global wealth more equitably. This is no different to arguing that billionaire fat cats should pay more tax.

But such redistribution can come in many forms. One is to offshore jobs to lower wage economies and downshift domestic labour into lower value, less stable employment. The "Bangor-Bangalore" effect.

Another is to encourage mass migration, so that advanced infrastructure is distributed more equitably.

The challenge for the Left is the misalignment of the interests of the privileged proletariat with the interests of the global poor, who shit in ditches.

The more precarious the 'privileged proletariat' feel, relative to their local lifestyle anchorpoints, the more protectionist they become of their labour and infrastructure.

This might explain some anti-immigration sentiment in areas where immigration is low: it's the working class recognising the redistributional threat.

Ralph Musgrave

“Indians are poorer than westerners not because they’re less talented or lazier but because India is a poorer country.” That’s a good one. But it gives me an idea.

Have the whole population of Pakistan move to the UK as quickly as possible. They all become rich because the UK “is a rich country”. As for any idea that those Pakistanis will bring the culture and genes that make them poor with them, you aren’t allowed to say that because it’s un-PC and racist. (Wicked racist Patrick Kirk above please note)

That would make the UK a bit overcrowded, so have the existing population of the UK move to Pakistan. That population WOULD take the culture and/or genes that make the UK prosperous – you’re allowed to say that. So Pakistan would become rich.

And finally I don’t expect the politically correct to see the irony or self-contradiction above. They’ve nowhere near enough brain.

James Perrott

"you might object that politicians have a duty to their voters, not to the world. This is too glib: can people really legitimately incur duties to harm others? Should we, for example, respect a hired killer's duty to carry out his employers' orders?"

I am not sure that forcing everything into a binary right/wrong split is useful. You can have conflicting duties, duties that run against your own feelings of morality and so on. A killer killing out of a sense of duty may be more forgivable than one killing out of greed. Of course people would be inclined to apply their own value judgements to the "duty" that was partially responsible for the action - it can't be helped.

Some duties may be stronger than others and earn more forgiveness. Politicians prioritising the populace to whom they have a duty may not make a bad action good, but it may make it a little less morally offensive.


"This might explain some anti-immigration sentiment in areas where immigration is low: it's the working class recognising the redistributional threat."

I keep hearing this delusional nonsense. It is because the immigrants compete with them in the South for jobs.

Vic Twente

Allowing free movement of capital across borders, while almost entirely restricting free movement of labour, is the number one perpetuator of inequality, isn't it?

I'd go one further and say it makes the world look like a collection of Stalinist labour camps.

The Philosopher

Allow me to demolish, if you will:

1. Nation states are based on known ethnic couplings. Many nation states stay roughly the same over periods of centuries. They do so not for economic reasons, or even war, but shared ancestry. This also explains their creation. Tribes are extended families (of genes). Despite 15 years of Their indoctrination into suppinity by media, schools, etc, 52% of people managed to make the correct decision for their genetic interest, not for logically absurd abstraction or greed for what the (foreign owned) banking system needs.

2. The 2nd movement of open borders seems "trivially obvious". Importation of low impulse control, low IQ, high testosterone and low human capital workers en masse would not mean they get richer, but dilution of the total system and reflexive loops into resource diversion preventing riots, crony politics, welfare bribery and ultimately THE END. Transporting Kinshasa to the Caribbean, begets Kinshasa in the Carribean. Transporting England to Australia, begets England in Australia. Have you not ever noticed these curious large statistically significant natural experiments?! We see this with Malmo, the banlieues, the Caribbean, the inner cities and so on. The evidence, if you want to break your illusion, is overwhelming in support for HUMAN BIODIVERSITY.

3. Open borders brings intense security, terrorism and crime risks that those who advocate should face in my opinion. Unfortunately the social dumping nature of autist altruism is never a cost paid by said autists, but the proletarian masses. In such a scenario, the autist is always bewildered at rage and "xenophobia". He cannot even comprehend why "xenophobia" even is selected for by the algorithm in the same way he can't comprehend why women rub themselves to criminals. His autism is punished on a daily basis in any case by female selection, but not yet directly through crime and violence to immediately remove his lack of Theory of Mind from the gene/resource pool. But he can only hide in lilly white small towns forever if open borders happen!

4. In my lifetime, it will soon become apparent that nuclear weapons prevented war, not rationalism or "logic" or trade or foreign investment. Once you accept this fact, you will see there is only the Struggle of the Will. And this to, explains the reason for why the Blank State is pushed so much by our highest IQ minority since the late 1940s. They know it too. Rawls, makes an idiotic assumption that we exist, even abstractly before birth. But we are creatures of our genetics, our family and assume an Interest in our own affairs only much later after birth. It is not a lottery if nobody is around to buy tickets.

5. Genetics override subjective "reason". Even moreseo 'reason' derived by those that lack a Theory of Mind. Otherwise, darwinism and evolution can't operate. The most utilitarian welfare maximising solution is to let people live in their own nation states. This is considered "racist" by those whose own homeland has a giant wall around it. Dissonance. Dissonance.

6. We cannot help the Other aside from pecuniary characteristics. The autist drive to cure Africa of diseases is resulting in Malthusian overpopulation, strife, more famine, decining growth, religious extremism, and environmental destruction etc. You push in one part of the bubble and another balloons outwards because the genetics were not selected for Valhalla, but Kinshasa.

7. Don't worry they do very well in reproduction, which is the most important thing for fitness.

8. Their countries are the way they are for obvious genetic reasons. This is one of the main illusions you will have to break and slowly unlearn. Chacun slogan dans votre esprit est associé avec leurs mal-images. You are primed to act against your genetic interest and the real absurdity is you can't even tell.


The Philosopher

Well, the best way to understand isn't through reason. Spend 6 months in Croydon.

I double dare ya. Will rationalisation of the Blank State's hypocrisy and quack tenets go unchallenged? The verbally dexterous will last about 3 months..maybe 4.

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