Minutemen Vs. "Minutemen"

by Don Boudreaux on December 9, 2005

in Current Affairs, History, Work

I’m not one to believe that the state possesses exclusive moral authority to create, define, and enforce law.  And yet I get the creeps whenever I read or hear about the current crop of so-called "Minutemen" — self-appointed enforcers of immigration restrictions.

These "Minutemen" today likely believe that they are the intellectual and moral descendants of the Minutemen of revolutionary-era America.  But they aren’t.

One of the main motivations of the American revolutionaries was to free themselves from burdensome restrictions on their economic activities — restrictions meant to protect monopoly privileges for British merchants — restrictions enforced with threats of violence by what was then the world’s most powerful army and navy.

Today’s "Minutemen," as this story in the Washington Post makes plain, are enemies of freedom.  They are officious, narrow-minded, xenophobic, selfish meddlers seeking to inspire the state to unleash greater force against peaceful foreigners who want to work.

While the Minutemen of Concord and Lexington fought in an effort to abolish the British empire’s monopoly privileges in North America, today’s "Minutemen" seek to create and enforce monopoly privileges.


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