Jul
28
2015

I dunno, folks. What *do* you call a socialist who ISN’T an internationalist?

I mean, this is a fascinating moment:

Ezra Klein

You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing …

Bernie Sanders

Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.

Ezra Klein

Really?

Bernie Sanders

Of course. That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. …

You know, recently Kevin Williamson over at National Review wrote “Bernie’s Strange Brew of Nationalism and Socialism.”  And oh, but did people scream over that! …So I don’t know how they’re going to reconcile that the screaming with the sudden realization that good Old Bernie Sanders wants all those Mexicans to go back to their homes so that good, clean, American workers can take them jobs. Now, to be fair: I don’t think that Bernie Sanders is a racist. But he’s very possibly the most likely candidate in this race to start talking about Blood and Soil.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Look, I know that there are people reading this who will be considerably more hard-line than I am about immigration. And that’s fine… because most of those people are also still generally small-government, which means that there’s a natural check there on the implications of their opinions.  But when a self-avowed socialist starts ranting about open borders and the evil, evil Koch brothers I will absolutely insist on retaining the right to bring up unpleasant historical parallels.

20 Comments

  • acat says:

    Calling ol’ Bernie a product of a different time is, perhaps, too kind.
    .
    As one of your readers who does take a .. firmer line .. on immigration than, say, the D.C. wing of the GOP, I would remind you that Reagan won by making a similar point to the one Bernie raises here .. we discount his fever-dream blend of ideologies at our peril.
    .
    Mew

  • Canthros says:

    I’ve heard for years that nationalism was a right wing value, but I think this is the first I’ve heard it asserted that post-nationalism might be, too. I almost wonder if Humpty Dumpty was a Democrat.

  • Mikey NTH says:

    The 19th Century was the big flowering of Romanticism and Nationalism. These were very powerful and they actually did much, much better than Internationalism. Internationalism plays well for the self-described intellectual type whereas Romantic nationalism was very appealing for the mass of a country. Romantic Nationalism is still around, it is still very powerful (look at all of the tribalizing movements today) and it is not surprising that it is used as a vehicle to sell any other socio-political idea out there.

  • JEM says:

    Open borders is right-wing only to the extent that it’s a logical extension of unrestricted free trade, the idea that you should be able to ‘buy’ labor from anywhere (not just telecommuting coders from Slovenia and Australia, but workers for jobs requiring a physical presence.)

    I see that there’s an argument here, but it’s one I reject emphatically.

    You hear all kinds of prattle from the carbon loons about ‘externalities’ and how that gallon of gas you just bought brings with it all these environmental costs they’d like nothing better to tax you for (after all, where did Obama think he was going to get the money for Obamacare?)

    But the numbers we’re seeing DOES, in fact, bring with it all kinds of externalities, from crime to middle-class schools that can’t afford to offer music any longer because all the money’s going to teach minimal English to non-English-speakers.

    So yeah, to take California for an example, you’ve got all these nominally ‘conservative’ agribusiness types who want Feinstein to turn the water back on, but at the same time they also want their flood of cheap illegal workers and never mind the social impact of unscreened mass immigration.

    • BJM says:

      “So yeah, to take California for an example, you’ve got all these nominally ‘conservative’ agribusiness types who want Feinstein to turn the water back on, but at the same time they also want their flood of cheap illegal workers and never mind the social impact of unscreened mass immigration.”
      .

      I live in the Central Valley and you are so badly informed that I was tempted to make an unseemly remark but given your obvious ignorance of the subject I’ll not go there.
      .
      The agribusiness types, as you call them are far more likely to have offices in Menlo Park or LA than my neighbors who have worked and farmed the land for generations. What they want is their historic, legal contracted water rights honored.
      .
      As to illegal workers, they are not as cheap as you might think, they have unions and rights, it’s not 1955. Would it be better if unemployed Americans sought the work? Sure, but pigs will fly. Much of the coastal and central valley was built on the backs of the “Oakies” and they made damn sure their children didn’t have to work in the fields, orchards and canneries. I can’t blame them, it’s damn hard work and long hours. Ever disc an orchard? I know I’m doing it.
      .
      As to the consequences, we live with them everyday as the illegals live among us. We “enjoy” increased crime, uninsured drivers and overburdened county services. However, I don’t fault these people, their home country govts. suck up the billions in remittances and it solves their problems with unemployment and developing provinces. They come here or their families starve while the ruling oligarchy buys 200 ft yachts to summer in Cap Antibes.

  • coondawg68 says:

    Those white supremacists screaming “Cuck!” at me all weekend would love Bernie. Nationalism. Socialism. Double-plus good!

    • Moe_Lane says:

      God, those people are starting to piss me off.

      • Wombat-socho says:

        You’re lucky you haven’t had an infestation of them here. I spent several hours over the weekend and today cleaning them out of the comments section of a conservative blog where I have banhammer privileges. It reminded me of he kinds of posting I used to see back when I hung out on the /b/ forum at 4chan, only with a lot more Naziism, racism, and related antisemitism.

    • Mikey NTH says:

      White Supremacists?
      What websites do you *actually* visit?

  • ChrisValentine says:

    Seems to me that open borders work best when you don’t have a generous welfare system with few checks on it.

    It also seems to me that the best way to curtail immigration from any given country is for said country to experience sizable economic growth of its own. As a corollary, it seems to me that arming drug cartels does not help economic growth in any country.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      …which is generally what is happening vis a vis Mexican illegal immigration right now: they’re enjoying reasonable growth and their birthrate is sinking like a stone.

  • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

    Hey! I’m not /that/ much small government.
    .
    Rejecting slavery, I otherwise ask myself what the Romans would do.
    .
    I think ‘line the interstates with crosses’, start thinking about automation, and then realize I’ve fallen off the recovering technocrat wagon again.
    .
    Of course, I think the first step is convincing society that my position isn’t entirely nuts, so maybe that is what you are talking about.

  • Herp McDerp says:

    I wish some troublemaker (“Earth to Trump! Earth to Trump!”) would reframe the problem and solution: Don’t let people violate our borders, redraw the boundaries. Float the idea that Mexico’s border states should hold plebiscites on whether to secede from Mexico and become territories of the United States, with their current residents to become citizens after twenty years provided they pass a citizenship test (in English). Meanwhile the new territories would become Special Administrative Districts (or some such) and American troops would go in, clean out the drug cartels, enforce U.S. law, and maybe engage in a few public works projects.
     
    This isn’t necessarily a
    great idea, but it would be way the heck better than the situation we have now … and I’d love to hear the screams from American leftists and the Mexican government in reaction to it.

    • Herp McDerp says:

      Dang. I left out the classical reference (as well as a close-italics tag):
       
      “Tijuana … America’s heartland!”

      • acat says:

        I have proposed, more than once, that the U.S. should purchase, in fee simple, parts of or all of Mexico.
        .
        Once they’re all citizens, the border patrol can shift its’ efforts to the new southern border .. which is much shorter.
        .
        Once they’re all citizens, the same (federal) laws that apply to me apply to everyone else .. *including* the “hundred families” … and the FBI and DOJ and the others would have some seriously *nasty* corruption to sink their teeth into .. (and imagine the orgasmic happiness of the Greenies, getting to sic the dogs of the EPA on some literal third-world shitholes…)
        .
        Once they’re all citizens, the death penalty will (for the time being) still apply .. no more hiding in Mexico.
        .
        Once they’re all citizens, the unions can either become useful or go extinct.
        .
        Perhaps an idea that we should take .. marginally more seriously. If we were to total up all of the foreign aid, private investment, tourism dollars, money transfers from illegals working in the U.S., etc. etc., that’s a hell of a lot of money .. we really ought to be getting something of value for it.
        .
        Mew

  • Adjoran says:

    The Libertarian Party was founded with Open Borders one of its tenets, and it was in the platform through at least 1988 – I haven’t bothered reading them since. So since the Kochs are considered libertarians, that may be Sanders’ thinking.

    Free trade has a long history back to Adam Smith, and open borders was never considered a part of it. Immigration was and is a separate issue. Never heard of any “right wing” concept of open borders. Ever.

    • Luke says:

      The Wall Street Journal is considered right wing (for whatever reason), änd they do love themselves some rentseeking.
      So naturally they’re huge cheerleaders for open borders.

    • acat says:

      There’s Libertarians and libertarians .. they’re *very* case-sensitive.
      .
      The ones who claim to have their own party are even stupider than the American Communist Party .. the latter figured out, eventually, to vote Dem, the Libertarians .. haven’t.
      .
      Mew

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