Border Wall Construction Undermines National Security

Katherine Emily
5 min readJul 27, 2018

Security cannot come if one type of right is sacrificed to another.

The term “national security” is something of a misnomer. The safety of all lies in the securing of the safety of one. In other words, individual cases matter. This is nowhere so well evidenced as in cases where the media and certain pandering partisans condemn the brutal criminal behavior of a single illegal immigrant (as is proper) and extrapolate it to paint immigrants with a broad-brush as some sort of invading mercenary force (as is improper.)

The power of this argument lies in its ability to appeal to the most fundamental of human fears: destruction, particularly born of violence, and particularly born of violence instigated by others. So long as death and decline — which generally precedes death — can be invoked, anything is justified in the name of preservation. This is the morality of barbarism.

But its protection of the individual is inconsistent at best. Those who invoke the national security rationale as an unassailable justification for intrusive government action do so under guise of protection of individual rights. They advance the tired old collectivist platitude that none are safe if one is unsafe. Security, supposedly, comes through the stability of state, whose power is necessary to secure the free exercise of rights.

But if this is true — if the security of the whole is merely a reflection of security attained for each constitutive member of the polity — how then can national security be achieved when the actions taken under its guise run roughshod over individual rights?

Construction of the border wall is not making America safer. Just as construction of Bush’s border fence in 2007 (yes, the idea of a barrier at the border precedes the unparalleled genius of Donald Trump) resulted in agents of the federal government exploiting eminent domain and ignoring the property rights of those whose land happens to abut the nation’s southern border, so too will construction of Trump’s border fence.

A short documentary produced by ReasonTV does a fantastic job illustrating a few specific cases of individuals who have effectively ceded control over their property simply because it happens to be border-adjacent.

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Katherine Emily

Founder, The Subversive Scrivener. Writer. Thinker. Intransigent ideologue. Radical individualist. Talent fully developed is the highest moral good.