Part of the prosperity and security of people in the home county here in Southeast Tennessee is the right of free movement. By that I mean not just the power of relocation and change of residency. But the right of free movement within the space of 30 minutes from point A in Ooltewah to Point B on M.L. King Boulevard in downtown Chattanooga.
If Hamilton County is going to find its way out of the administrative spider web of national government and state hegemony over its people’s affairs, its people are going to have to deal with the concept of passports and free movement.
By David Tulis
Passports exist as a function of nation-states. Martin van Creveld in his monumental Rise & Decline of the State puts passports in the same category as borders, police departments and public schools. They are a means of regulating — controlling, really — the movement of people. Schools control whither go the ideas and desires of the people. Police departments control people by forcing them to think of continual submission to the state’s laws, which cops enforce. Passports control people’s ideas of moving distances into other countries. Passports exist because national and state boundaries exist.
Passports and licenses create an identity distinct from the common law human being or natural person.
License to travel
Nation-states go to war over these lines that are marked on maps and often built into border centers through which motorists and freight must pass to exit one nation and enter another. Passports show that the holder of the document is entitled to cross a border and allowed entry because he is in an official capacity. A passport holder is a recognized and sanctioned party, and if he has the document, he is allowed to enter with few or with no restrictions. The carrying of a passport and crossing borders is an open acknowledgement that the carrier is a subject and belongs to a certain political entity or government.
With a passport, you have a license to travel, with other nation-states able to identify you as an American, say, or as a Greek or a Swiss.
PASSPORT, or safe conduct in time of war, a document granted by a belligerent power to protect persons and property from the operation of hostilities. In its more familiar sense a passport is a document authorizing a person to pass out of or into a country, or a licence or safe-conduct to. The person specified therein and authenticating his right to aid and protection. Although most foreign countries may now be entered without passports, the English foreign office recommends travellers to furnish themselves with them, as affording a ready means of identification in case of need.
Notice this definition, as Bo Marinov in an unpublished study suggests, describes a passport as protection against government, not a means by which government controls the individual. Mr. Marinov, a Texan and student on immigration, starts an analysis of travel this way: “Now, close your eyes and imagine a world where you could travel to any country without having to carry with yourself any means of identification, whether passport, visa, or ID card.
“(Actually, try to imagine a world where you can drive in your own home state without any means of identification, driver’s license or anything else. If you can.) Imagine a world where you don’t have to meet the perverts of the TSA, police thugs, border control bureaucrats, corrupt and greedy customs officers, etc. Imagine a world where the government has no means to track your movement, and if they want to stop a criminal from going somewhere, the burden of proof is on them: they need to first provide the court with an incontrovertible proof of committed crime, and then do the arrest in such a way that no innocent person’s rights are violated – no road blocks, no rounding up innocent people to check their papers, etc.
“Imagine a world in which you can freely carry your weapons with you on a plane or a ship, or any substance you want, or any kind of valuables, without any fear that some government crook somewhere may have decided that certain substances or valuables can’t cross borders. Imagine a world where you can buy a house or do business or get a job in any place in the world and never see a government bureaucrat, or never need to see one; or never have to have ID for any of the activities you have chosen. That, my friends, was the world our ancestors lived in a little over 100 years ago. The quote I gave [above] you was from Encyclopedia Britannica of 1911. In 1911, a person could travel the world without a passport. If they decided to furnish themselves with a passport, it was to protect them from government thugs, not to make it easier for government thugs to track their movements.”
Our immigrant neighbors
The modern executive state has effectively destroyed the right of free movement internal to itself. That is to say, Tennessee and other states have pretended to deny the men and women within their borders the right to travel freely within the state, crossing no state or national border. This limit on travel is being challenged in court by a man and human being in Lawrencburg, Tenn., named Arthur Jay Hirsch.
His case has implications for people such as Gladys Pineda-Loher of Chattanooga State, who is promoting Latin culture and diversity.
An event April 30 in Chattanooga promotes Latin culture and, indirectly, the idea of free movement and migration.
Innocently enough, a theme of the program is Passport to Latin-American Challenge. The passport is your ticket to enjoying your Anglo-Saxon and black neighbors, moving to a new country to exercise your right to labor and work, and to seek new opportunity for one’s self and one’s family. The passport event is “a fun cultural learning experience available for up to 500 participants. It will ‘challenge’ people to connect with 16 educational booths and activities to learn about *** Latin countries represented in Chattanooga. Goodie bags prizes will be available for participants completing the challenge.”
Hispanic interest in Hirsch case
The free movement of individual human beings is always in view if we enjoy the fruits of God’s law and the restraints of constitutional government (securing our constitutionally secured rights) as against the power modern state.
The Hirsch case promises to make a proper challenge to Tennessee’s internal passport.
This internal passport is administered in administrative law by every sitting governor and his executive agency. Today that governor is Bill Haslam. The agency is the department of safety and homeland security, which has been aggressively hounding a free human being and man, Arthur Jay Hirsch.
Mr. Hirsch is not a Hispanic immigrant. But he represents many of them who, like he, use the public road without a driver license. He, like the Guatemalan and the Honduran, represents the true free man that is the idyl of American life. The day laborer from a far country, here “illegally,” is under our constitutional system a free man, just as Mr. Hirsch is a free man, exercising rights recognized by law.
By law, but not by courts. He was convicted Dec. 22 of exercising these rights to passport-free travel, and this week notified his enemies in Gov. Haslam’s office that he plans to appeal.
Potential allies? They are in the Hispanic world. Chiefly, as noted on the website for the coming Latin festivities:
“ *** La Paz Chattanooga, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Bessie Smith Cultural Center, Chattanooga Sports Ministries, YMCA Metro, Highland Park Neighborhood Association, Chattanooga Neighborhood Association, CGLA, Chattanooga Zoo, 21 Hispanic churches, Chattanooga Football Club, Chattanooga Police Department and some of the private and public schools to develop a very nice diverse program during ‘Latin Week’/‘Semana Latina.’”
Yes. Liberty awaits allies.
Sources: Bojidar Marinov, “History of Immigration Laws in the US and the West,” unpublished paper, 2015