09 Oct Right to Immigrate
Kohl was chancellor for 16 years. He worked tirelessly for the reunification of West and East Germany. The country divided at the end of World War II was united. Citizens were united. There are several reunification still pending well into 21st century. No one knows whether citizens chose to live in separate countries or it was just an idea floated by a few. Initial fears of East Germans flooding the West and subsequently to the rest of EU was quickly allayed.
Formation of EU and its subsequent strengthening by allowing mobility of citizens within EU seeking work allowed citizens to choose where to live and where to work. Brexit is a response out of fear of Polish citizens flooding UK for work. UK missed Kohl’s moment.
The idea of a country demarcated by a geographical boundary is old one. Modern day countries are demarcated by ideas. Ideas and fear won’t go together. It requires courage to express and pursue an idea. Idea is not the same as culture as in tribe but culture as in free society. Idea can’t be bounded by geographic borders. In fact ideas do not have borders.
The idea includes right to emigrate and immigrate. Idea does not distinguish its citizens and others. Idea allows immigrants to choose a country and pursue a work & a lifestyle of their own. Its limits are in virtue, economics, law & order (latter two are political by nature). Who should share the tax kitty? Who should get the job? And what should be the common code of conduct? If there were a market alternative to political one, in other words, if we were to determine the price of citizenship, then the politics goes away. Class comes into picture. If you have to avoid both politics and class, then you have to have a country with zero tax, zero community care and zero law enforcement but solely organized by virtue (which is voluntary in any case). Then only the right to freely choose where to live can exist in absolute terms. This idea is very close to Rand’s objectivism but not the same. Rand perhaps could not shrug the idea of revolution. What this means is value adding & repackaging the current day liberalism.