Immigration to Europe is not a human right

A democratic principle shared by most people is that sovereign countries have the right to determine their immigration policy. The elites are increasingly abandoning this position. Swedish bishop Eva Brunne in her opening of the parliament made statements that have been celebrated by the Swedish media:

“Yesterday evening thousands of people gathered in Stockholm and in various parts of the country to make their voices heard. To call out their disgust at that which divides people. The racism which says that you don’t have as much worth as I do; that you shouldn’t have the same rights as me; aren’t worthy of living in freedom, and that is the only reason – that we happen to born in different parts of our world – that is not worthy of a democracy like ours to differentiate between people.”

Reading this carefully you will see that the text extolled by the Swedish elite contains a radical left agenda that denies the nation any sovereign rights. She is saying it is “racism” to tell people that they don’t have the same right to live in Sweden as someone born to Swedish parents, because they “happen” to be born somewhere else.

But Sweden is the collective property of Swedish citizens, just as Brazil belongs to Brazilians, just as GM belongs to its shareholders and just as a condo-association belongs to the owners. While there are human rights that are inalienable, (such as the right to live your life in peace without oppression), there is no “right” to come live in Sweden because your own country is bad.

Intellectuals noticed that when Socialists allocated more and more “rights” to people, they were simultaneously taking the freedom away from the people who were assigned the responsibility to fulfill those rights. Positive rights such as the right to a job doesn’t increase freedom, it reduces freedom because it imposes on others the obligation to create a job for you.

The “right” to immigrate to Sweden similarly forces Swedish people to give away their property right (to the collective assets of Sweden, such as its land), forces Swedes to finance the living standard of poor immigrants, up to Swedish levels, and most importantly forces Swedes to give away much of their own political power, because the immigrant is given the right to vote, with the vote carrying the power of political coercion.

The classic socialists wanted to give away private property that successful people had created to the poor in our own nations who had not managed to create wealth of their own. The modern, multi-culturalist socialists (including many who call themselves liberal, classically liberal or libertarian) demand that we give away the collective property that the west has created (wealthy, free societies with a high standard of living) to the poor in the rest of the world that have not managed to create good societies of their own.

This absurdity is what happens when you take concepts designed for one society (the “right” to freedom and a good life) and apply them to everyone everywhere.

This is why deep philosophers such as Friedrich von Hayek who thought carefully about the issue defined individual “rights” as relevant within a society, not across societies. Within a society rights, even positive rights, can be absolute (say the right not to starve), but between societies, rights are reciprocal, and we decide what right we grant others. As free people we simply do not have an obligation to, say, invade and pacify Somalia in order provide Somalians with the right to live in peace.

These “rights” that Eva Brunne so generously bestowed on the entire world dramatically reduced the rights and freedoms of Sweden.

As a side note, the example of Somalia above is not merely made in jest. George Bush’s argument, for instance, was simple: If people in another country lack “freedom”, then they have the right to expect that the west will fix that problem for them, either through migration or invasion.

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