Today we are going to continue exploring the unusual thinking (to say the least) typically portrayed by so-called "documentaries" and "educational" TV shows and videos. The thinking portrayed by these documentaries is clearly based on arbitrary definitions of "good" and "evil" according to existing laws and socialist principles. The solutions they imply (but do not explicitly recommend nor suggest) are the old tried-and-true failures: more law and order.
Our series of articles was prompted by a neat (and short) series of videos we came across. The series is called Underworld Inc and was produced by or for the US National Geographic Channel. This series typifies all that is wrong in current popular thinking, conveniently packaged in six instalments. If you have access to them, we encourage to view the series in order to fully understand the depth of the erroneous views they portrait. The third episode is called:
As you can imagine, this episode deals with smuggling people from Mexico to US.
This episode begins in an Arizona morgue containing about 120 dead undocumented migrants "who didn't make it" across the US-Mexico border. The next shoot goes to Nogales in Mexico where Francisco (the smuggler) has the job "to keep his clients out of the morgue" by "training" his customers because if he does not deliver, he does not get paid. The entry to the US is a 5 day trip by foot through the Sonora desert. The following shot is from a Border Patrol helicopter where it is possible to see the 2.3 billion USD border fence and its surrounding areas which are now a "militarized zone". The story returns to Nogales where the viewer is made aware that the town is a centre for smuggling guns, drug and people which are controlled by "cartels". Migrants are "jealously guarded" throughout the trip but according to a Border Patrol agent "these migrants are not human beings to them". Cartels maintain their monopoly by hunting and killing independent migrants. Once migrants reach US, they are "stashed" in houses. A "transporter" believes that that "big ass wall" keeps him in business as well as "a lot" of "normal people" working for them. He also indicates that they have to do what they have to do to provide for their families.
The interior of a "stash" house provides migrants with food, clothing, first aid and other facilities while their families are notified that they crossed OK so that they may pay the reminder of the fee.
However, if the fee cannot be paid, migrants can pay off their debt as labourers (male) or strippers, lap dancers or prostitutes (females) until their debt is paid. The "debt" is sometimes sold to other traffickers. Some prostitutes "do" up to 45 "tricks" (i.e. clients) a day. But the interviewed trafficker indicates that she only deals with willing females. Although the voice in off indicates that one such female has been "working" for 3 years and must have paid her debt several times over.
Another horror story is presented where in a stash house a large number of migrants were maltreated. An immigration officer states that "we take a lot of pride and joy in our ability to rescue these people, to save them from these situations".
The "classic" solution
The implied message is always the same: human trafficking is horrible and creates modern "slaves" who are exploited mercilessly. Law and order must prevail.
THE LIBERTARIAN POINT OF VIEW
Go ahead, go wherever you want!
Let's begin with the most basic of concepts. As your body is your property, you are allowed to go wherever you want provided that the owner of such location does not forbid it. In a Libertarian system property borders or frontiers are strictly tied to the wishes of their owners.
In the current world however, all borders anywhere are "government property" which translates as nobody's property. This is so because if something is "government property" it simply means that theoretically it belongs to all the citizens of such country. Yet, the citizens have exactly zero rights to such properties rendering the concept of property void. In other words, "government property" is nobody's property. As such, as the real owners (the citizens) did not establishe transit restrictions, everybody has the right to travel through a frontier (and no, the existence of a government does not imply a mandate - this is so because Social Contracts Are A Scam). Furthermore, according to the article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right to travel is a human right! Humm… there must be a codicil in fine print somewhere in the UDHR explaining that this is so unless governments deem otherwise.
This fact that we are prohibited to travel freely is at the root all the problems exposed in this episode. The "transporter" has this fact extremely clear when he states that for as long as there is a wall, he will be "in business".
Go ahead, pay for your ticket!
As governments impose restrictions to our freedom of movement arbitrarily, invalidly and through the use of brute force these "smugglers" represent the free market solving a problem. For a fee they will get you into the US. However they are persecuted and prosecuted simply for the so-called "crime" of doing what the US has committed to do in the UDHR and it is not only not doing, but taking ever more expensive steps to prevent. Well… what do you expect? The UDHR was only adopted in 1948 and it is not legally binding. It takes time to open borders you know, particularly when they build fences to the tune of 2.3 billion USD.
And then we have the issue of payment "in specie". The documentary makes a big deal about the poor, poor migrants who must work to repay the value of their ticket. Well, they knew what they were getting into. There is nothing wrong in contracting to pay with your labour. From this perspective we have a hard time understanding what the fuzz is all about.
Go ahead, recoup your losses!
And then we have the "slavery" issue outlined time and time again in the documentary whereby people are "sold" to other traffickers to pay-off the debt. Again, there is nothing wrong with this practice in the sense that a person's labour has value and as such it is the property of the owner of such labour and if this owner chooses to sell the labour to somebody else, we have no problem with it. Banks do it all the time with mortgages and personal debts and taxation organizations steal your wages through taxation or garnishment. Yet, we don't see the producers of the documentary screaming bloody murder!
Go ahead, do anything you must do!
Furthermore, as a person's body is their own property and the capacity to contract is unlimited (with the exception of slavery as outlined in the Master Contract) we have no reason to object to people working as strippers, lap dancers or prostitutes. As a matter of fact, contracting to be a prostitute was quite common in the days of the Wild West in US. As a matter of fact, such contracts were lawful, widely supported and recognized by all states!
However, there is a line we must draw. Forcing a person to act against or beyond a contractual agreement is strictly forbidden. But if a person has no contractual agreement and a debt then under the Master Contract such a person loses all their rights to the loaner, except becoming a slave. What this means is that this person cannot be obligated to do work and their freedom is restricted but nothing more. These people are faced with two options: work or stay locked-in. Most people would voluntarily choose to work to repay the debt. On the other hand, organizations forcing people to work in these conditions actually create a damage to their bodies (i.e. properties) and as such they accrue a debt. In an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system (as well as other Libertarian systems) every time there is an in-voluntary damage to private property there will be a recovery organization ready to extract the owned amount (for a fee).
What this means is that in the event that these people are used as slaves, forced to work or cheated out of their payments, they are actually being damaged and subject to reparations. Because of this fact it becomes immediately clear that abusing a person from whom debt is being paid through labour is a very expensive proposition making it downright a losing affair. It becomes economically non-viable. But even this consideration is hypothetical because in true Libertarian systems governments would not exist and as a consequence of this there would be no migrants turned into slaves!
But then again as we are not in a Libertarian system we must ask ourselves how is it possible that people are forced to work in jobs they don't want to work in? How is it possible that they are cheated of their money and abused? Well, what can they do? They can't go to the police because they will be immediately deported which defeats the purpose of migrating in the first place. Again, the main reason why this is possible is precisely because governments exist. Remove governments, remove borders and all these problems go away.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.