Walzer on open borders

"To tear down the walls of the state is not . . . to create a world without walls, but rather to create a thousand petty fortresses. The fortress, too, could be torn down: all that is necessary is a global state sufficiently powerful to overwhelm the local communities . . . . The distinctiveness of cultures and groups depends upon closure and, without it, cannot be conceived as a stable feature of human life. If this distinctiveness is a value, as most people (though some of them are global pluralists, and others only local loyalists) seem to believe, then closure must be permitted somewhere. At some level of political organization, something like the sovereign state must take shape and claim the authority to make its own admissions policy, to control and sometimes restrain the flow of immigrants." -- Michael Walzer, Spheres of Justice

So I find that Walzer made this point before me: a nation-state, just like any other human group, has the right and the need to control who may become a member of the group.

3 comments:

  1. a nation-state, just like any other human group, has the right and the need to control who may become a member of the group.

    But I don't think you believe the "just like any other human group" part. If I want to add someone to my company to show up with the group and work at the office every day, but the Nation-State says, "Nope he was born in the wrong country no can do," then you side with the Nation-State's decision, not mine.

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    Replies
    1. Why do you assume that Gene thinks that this
      "right" of the nation-state is absolute? Hasn't he done enough posts on principles, prudentia, and so forth that you'd know that this doesn't mean he will always side with a country's immigration rules?

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  2. …a nation-state, just like any other human group, has the right and the need to control who may become a member of the group.

    I'm not sure how much I agree with this. Yes, I believe in an immigration process, but I do not like quotas that much. Then again, I am someone who wishes to see homeowners associations abolished, so I'm not sure if my opinion is worth much in this matter.

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