The person quoted below found me in a Facebook post by a right-winger I know. After some back and forth, I finally convinced him to discuss the topic at hand. He wrote a very nice essay explaining his view in rebuttal to my assertion that 'borders are mainly useful for deciding who to hate'. (He is not a native english speaker and included no paragraph breaks. I separated the sentences in the quotation below for readability.)
"This all idea is upsetting to me.
"I grew up in Germany during a time when we did have a wall to keep people in! Any wall works both way...
"But we must have people respect the laws that will protected them once they are in the country.
"From my perspective the reason for illegal immigration is a lack of opportunity in their own countries.
"The best answer would be to create more jobs in Central America.
"I am involved in a project in Tanzania where we provide loans to farmers and educate them in financial management and farming techniques.
"The project has been going on for 10 years and has grown to 40 villages now.
"Most exciting to me is that we have save several thousand children from malnutrition and death and that the life expectancy of people in villages we are active in has grown from 51 to over 60 years!! That is bring in hope and a future for people.
"That is what we need to do an a larger scale in Central America.
"That will stop the problem.
"The terror issue to me is an issue of the conflict of civilizations - there is a book by that same title by a navy strategic think tank guy from back in the late nineties.
"He predicted the great powers to be the christian north west and the islamic east.
"Turkey being the leading power in the islamic bloc.
"I have spend a good deal of time in the middle east and Africa and done a fair amount of business in with Muslims and people of other religious groups.
"You have to understand that as a Christian in the Middle East, you are at fault, regardless of what happened, because you should not be here and if you were not here, what ever happened would not have happened.
"Logical! These civilizations are not compatible and living in the same place is very difficult, because you do need a common set of laws and that means you need to have a common set of fundamental values - and we don't.
"Singapore does a good job of creating a multi religious environment, but they are brutal enforces of law and order; the rest of the world is not good at making this work.
"And as long as we have a competition between the believes living in the same country will lead to conflict.
"Don't get me wrong, I have gained a number of very good friends in the Arab world who are muslims, but the best way for us to live is that they live where they live and I live where I live and we get to gather every so often and enjoy each other and discuss our differences.
"It would be foolish to live in the same place, because we would not be able to agree on who's rules to follow.
"I like them they like me, but let's not move in together."
To which I replied.
"I deeply appreciate your notes here. It is, I think, the first time a person from the right has actually responded to the idea, rather than calling me names. THank you.
"We agree on immigration, at least I think we do. I would expand on your observation to include legal immigration as well. People rarely leave their home if they are comfortable there.
"Your perspective on terrorism is illuminating. I suppose the difference between us is that I do not accept the notion that people with different values cannot live together. I don't disagree entirely. I cannot share space with an ax murderer. But, I am inclined to think that there are values that are intrinsic to being human that can serve as a foundation for sharing a society.
"I note, for example, that the American melting pot easily contains lots of Moslems, Jews and Christians in close proximity. In many places, environmentalists living next to oil barens. Here in Minnesota, we have a large contingent of Hmong people mostly living comfortably among big, blond people of Scandinavian descent. (The office suite next to mine at work has just such a group of tiny people. No problems at all.)
"But there certainly are value systems that seek to dominate in ways that make it difficult for others to cohabit. Fundamentally, our disagreement lies in the response to that fact. Yours is that "it would be foolish to live in the same place". Mine is that we must live in the same place and find a way. This is, at its foundation, where you and I differ.
"But I do not to disagree with the problems of unlike value systems sharing a society. In France, they are having terrible problems, substantially, in my opinion, because their value system requires submission to French culture. But in America, the problem is different and it doesn't have anything to do with Moslems. Moslems in America live with the American value system perfectly well. In American, the value system that is aggressive and intolerant is Christianity.
"And that brings me back around to the topic of immigration. America is not troubled by immigrants. Mexican immigrants, with and without papers, are great people. In general, they work hard, take care of their families, and contribute to society in a thousand ways. I literally do not know of an immigrant population that, generally speaking, fits your concern about disparate values.
"The one group that I argue is causing a problem in your context comprises native born Americans, the Christian right-wing. They are the people who want to pass laws based on their religion, who want to ignore the American value of inclusiveness by refusing to do business with people that see things differently, etc. The problem that you worry about is not immigration or borders, it is people with different values and they show up without immigrating.
"So, what do borders do for this problem. We started, after all, with my claim that borders are a way to decide who to hate. I think you have made a good case that I overgeneralize about right-wing people. Clearly your view of borders is to protect you from those nasty, middle-eastern Moslems based on a legitimate theory that their value system and ours cannot share the same society, not because you hate them.
"But, I also think that I am right for many (I believe almost all) of your co-right-wingers. Almost always, the conversation about immigration on the right starts with Mexicans and they do not, in any way, fit your theory. Their value systems are 100% compatible with ours. Without you theory of incompatible cultures, I cannot see any reason except racial hatred."