Towards A Good Samaritan World

Thursday, April 06, 2006


My latest pro-immigration article is up at Tech Central Station. An excerpt:

Thoreau is right that civil disobedience can vastly empower a minority that is willing to take risks and make sacrifices for a just cause, in the context of a liberal state which is not willing to commit atrocities against non-violent people. Mahatma Gandhi led a successful movement for Indian independence by means of satyagraha, an Indian version of civil disobedience. He succeeded because the British were not willing to kill on a large scale to maintain their rule of India, and because Gandhi and others in his movement were too brave to be diverted from their purpose by lesser punishments, like imprisonment.

It's a safe bet that the American people would not countenance the massive coercion and violence -- the Berlin Wall at the border, the long trains full of deportees, the raids of peaceful suburbs, the tearing apart of families, the repression of peaceful protesters, the jeers of "ethnic cleansing" from around the world -- that would be necessary to block or reverse the natural process by which migrants are drawn from poor, low-opportunity countries to the thriving economy of the United States. The question, then, is whether illegal immigrants and their sympathizers have the courage and conviction to organize civil disobedience until they force lasting change.


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