Tuesday, June 20, 2006

 

Socrates on Illegal Immigration

Very good read at VDH Private Papers

After Socrates was convicted by a court of questionable charges, his friends planned to break him out of his jail in Athens. But the philosopher refused to flee. Instead, he insisted that a citizen who lived in a consensual society should not pick and choose which laws he finds convenient to obey.

Selective compliance, Socrates warned, would undermine the moral integrity of the entire legal system, ensuring anarchy. And so, as Plato tells us, the philosopher accepted the court's death sentence and drank the deadly hemlock.

Socrates' final lesson about the sanctity of the law is instructive now in our current debate over illegal immigration.

There are, of course, many objections to illegal immigration besides that it is against the law: Unlawful workers undermine the wages of our own citizen entry-level workers. Employers who depend on imported labor find common ground with ethnic chauvinists; they both exploit a large, vulnerable and unassimilated constituency. And security analysts warn us that it is insane to allow a 2,000-mile open border at a time when terrorist infiltrators are planning to kill us. more...

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