A Truly Free Market Requires Open Borders

Borders are the most violent government regulation of all

From the comic Open Borders by Bryan Caplan and Zach Weinersmith

By capitalism’s own logic, we do not live in a free market at all. Not even close. In a free market the laws of supply and demand determine where resources go, including human resources. Right now, even though there’s demand for dosa in New York, Sri Lankans cannot go there to supply it. Across the world, food will literally rot in the fields while people rot in cages. You could not imagine a less efficient allocation of human potential than our global system of borders, and we call this capitalism. It’s a joke. Capitalism is just colonialism with better marketing.


By sober estimates, free movement of labor would double world GDP (GDP sucks, that’s another discussion). Can you please understand this? Our human resources are so poorly allocated by colonial capitalism that we have reduced output by half. People keep talking about ‘skill-building’ and NGO bullshit when if we just had actual free markets people could help themselves. Forget teaching someone to fish. Just stop drowning us at sea.

Please look around and tell me this is a free market. Capital can move and labor cannot, leading to massive hoarding and inefficiencies. In capitalism’s own terms, this is shit capitalism.

Note: I will discuss ‘open borders’ in capitalist terms, but let me be clear. This is my full and final argument for free movement, what people also call open borders: 
Fuck you. We are all born free.

Free Markets = Free Labor

There is no free market if a Swiss worker can travel to 90% of the world and the vast majority of the world cannot. There is no free trade or fair trade if workers cannot move their labor. This is just the same shit we had under colonialism — rapacious countries taking out our resources, using our labor, and buying off a thin comprador class. Just as it was then, it’s all enforced by violence. The EU and US are the most deadly borders in the world: manmade disasters, militarized and killing every day.

Please look at it as a cold-hearted capitalist. Human resources are just another resource, and resources should move where they’re most productive.

A Sri Lankan can earn probably 10X in another country like Italy or Japan, but these countries will drown or starve us to death if we dare. The invisible hand would be horrified. Not by a human starving to death in Japanese detention, a 10X productivity increase was destroyed! Forget loss of life, we’re losing money!

Free movement is in many ways the engine of capitalism. How do you think American and Australia ‘developed’, do you think those white people are from there? It was massive waves of (genocidal) migration. Much modern development in India and China is from internal migration, massive movement from villages to cities. The most powerful resource on Earth is human labor and ingenuity, and allowing it to move creates the most efficient market possible.

Even today, under great oppression, remittance from migrant workers have become the largest source of external financing in poorer countries (excluding China). In a few countries it’s 25% of GDP. People are following the economic pull of the invisible hand, even if racist populations are giving them the finger.

The fact is that by violently, racistly, suppressing free movement we are cock-blocking what capitalism is supposed to deliver. The efficient allocation of scarce resources. What we’re doing is wildly inefficient, suppressing GDP by at least half, and calling it a free market is just a religious belief. Free market my ass. There is no free market without free movement of labor.

There is no logic to violent borders beyond ‘immigrants, ew’, ibid

Actual Free Markets

Modern ‘capitalist’ nations will stand on the neck of human potential and you call this the greatest, freest system in the world. Free for whom? White people get to be tourists, to be ‘expats’, to be ‘investors’. For the vast majority of human beings — with equal potential — these opportunities are violently denied. We become refugees, ‘migrant workers’, and dead.

What the fuck free market is this? Why is every resource but labor free? Why are we so conspicuously divided on colonial color lines? It’s just colonialism with tips.

I’m dunking on white people, but the cancer of this imagined reality has spread. African migrants are not welcome in South Africa, Cambodians freeze to death in South Korea, China won’t let regular Sri Lankans in. Just as capitalism is everywhere, colonial capitalism is everywhere. We’re all so trapped in this imagined reality what we shut the door on ourselves. On our own potential. On our own freedom. On what capitalism is supposed to deliver.

What I’m telling you here is imagine different. Take the religion of capitalism and follow it to its logical conclusions. If free markets are so good, why don’t we have them? If humans are a resource, why aren’t they free? If regulations are so bad, why do we have violently regulated borders? In short, what does any of this shit mean?

The simple fact is this. The rich have as much capitalist right to oppress us as nobles had divine right in the past. They have none. By the logic of markets and gods alike, we are all born free.