I ran across this quote from R. J. Rushdoony and I’m pretty sure you would support it,
We must render honor and justice to all men wherever due, but we have a particular responsibility to care for our own. This means first of all our families. . . . Biblical conduct is regulated by relationship, and to subvert this is to lead directly into welfare economics and socialism. If a man must exercise towards all men the same care, oversight, and charity he does towards his own family, then an impossible burden is placed on him. . . . Every system of ‘universal’ ethics is at one and the same time a system of universal slavery.”
R. J. Rushdoony
On illegal immigration and Amnesty
“Politics of Guilt and Pity”, p. 248
Pastor, I see this quote not as an argument for regulation of immigration, walls, and border patrols but rather as an argument against welfare. I do not see how the need to take care of my own family necessitates that I have a government that prohibits an individual from crossing an imaginary line in say Arizona. This is not logical. Furthermore, to construe this to mean that Rushdoony supported immigration laws is not honest. Could you help me see what I’m not seeing?
Thank you for writing. First let’s consider the RJR quote itself to see if it speaks to immigration. RJR says,
“If a man must exercise towards all men the same care, oversight, and charity he does towards his own family, then an impossible burden is placed on him…”
I would say that this indeed is an argument for regulation of immigration, walls, and border patrols as well as an argument against welfare. So, I do believe you misinterpreting the quote when you say it is not about immigration at all. To hopefully help you see where the relation is between “imaginary lines” and taking care of your family, allow me to offer,
1.) The need to take care of our own families includes the idea of having a stable culture and economy. The flooding of our nation with people of a different religion and culture means your family will not be taken care of because the consequence of such policy means the balkanization of this Nation into hostile religion, ethnic, and economic enclaves which demands a Centralized tyrannical Government can keep in order. One reason the FEDS are following this policy Lovey is that it creates a need for their presence since only a strong handed Government can mediate the hostilities that will arise from the policies of purposeful balkanization that they are pursuing.
2.) The depression of wages resulting in the destruction of the middle class is assured by the current immigration policy. This likewise will eventuate in the voiding of care for our current families. Harvard Professor and Immigration expert George Borjas has analyzed the effects of immigration on the middle class and the conclusion is that this immigrations redistributes capital upwards with the consequence that the mega-Rich get richer and the middle class are increasingly impoverished so that what is created by this policy is a have vs. have not social order. I’m sure you’ll agree with me Lovey that impoverishing your children in order to enrich the Mega-Rich Corporatism class, via this immigration policy, is not taking care of your family.
3.) This quote clearly advances the idea that RJR supported immigration laws when the consequence of them meant the voiding of the care, oversight and charity towards one’s own family. The current status quo does just that. Here is another quote from Rushdoony that communicates much the same idea that Scriptures do call for the extension of hospitality and justice, but not an open-borders re-ordering of social life.
“To call for the modern, humanistic society with an open relationship to all men would have appeared to the Israelites as the ultimate tyranny. The law did not require any such a re-ordering of any man’s private life: It simply required justice in dealing with all men.”
Highest Regards Lovey,
Lovey wrote back,
Part of your answer was that “immigration “brings down wages”? So we should keep wages artificially high by regulating the number of people that can live or move through a particular area? I guess we not thinking in terms of a free market economy.
When Rushdoony said we need to “take care of our own families” I am sure you are right an he meant extending more power to the government to interfere with the natural right of individuals to move about freely. Yep, that sounds like something Rushdoony would say.
Thank you for writing back. Let’s see if we can tease this out for you.
First, I am not the kind of Libertarian that you seem to be. I do not support this free market economy that you are championing because it is most certainly not a Free Market economy. What you are supporting is the Corporatism wherein the Mega-Corporations are in bed with the Mega-Government to the end of turning the rest of the citizenry into slaves for their pleasure and use. This current immigration “policy” enriches the Mega-rich class and destroys the middle class. Statistics (See George Borjas’ work)
clearly show that current policy means a transfer of wealth from the Middle class to the Mega Rich who are in bed with the Government class. I’m all for free markets when they are fair Markets but the game is rigged right now and I do not support a policy which destroys the infrastructure of the middle class in order to worship at the feet of Austrian Economics while at the same time serving the ends of creating a Globalist New World Order.
Second, per RJR, he was not the Libertarian that North is. North has been destroyed by his worshiping at the feet of Austrian economics.
Thirdly, I would challenge you on your individual natural rights language which is straight out of Enlightenment Humanism. Strictly speaking individuals have no natural rights. As Christians, we have duties. Only God has rights. In this case, per the first RJR quote, my duty and responsibility to care for my own is my particular responsibility. Since Biblical conduct is regulated by relationship my duty as a Christian to my family outstrips your Humanist idea of individual rights. I have already demonstrated in the first response how all of this impinges upon my duty to my family.
A good book to help you think through your whole “Individual Natural Rights” language is,
Fourth, you warn about artificially high wages but I hardly believe that anybody would make the case that we are currently living in a time where artificially high wages is a problem for our families which reflect the middle class. The real problem here is the artificially low wages that would result were we to turn this country into a huge sweatshop. Also, I would repudiate the idea that immigration restrictions necessarily lead to extending more power to the Government especially when the policies you are advocating concerning immigration works to the end of setting in concrete a Tyrannical state. The immigrants we are speaking of here are a natural constituency for the Marxist (Democratic) party. That party will use the votes of the immigration pattern to grow the Government into a centralized top down Usurping State. So, you chastise me for my alleged support of larger government because I want it to “provide for the common defense and yet your support of the current immigration imbroglio assures the rise of the totalitarian state. I fear you have not calculated the impact of Corporatism enough in your thinking Lovey. I also think that you need to listen to the RJR lectures where he points out that Libertarianism and Marxism are two sides of the same coin.
All the Best,