Say you had a next-door neighbour named Sam who abuses his dog. Sometimes his dog comes to your property to seek refuge, but he just crosses right over the property line, retrieves his dog, and keeps beating it. When you confront Sam about his behaviour, he claims it’s justified because he fed and trained the dog when it was a puppy. Also, he says, there’s ten more dogs at the pound waiting to be adopted, and if his ungrateful dog runs away he’ll just get a replacement and it’s no skin off his back. In fact, Sam says, he’s a hero because those dogs at the pound might die if they don’t get adopted.
Well sure, I guess Sam is right about one thing: he’s unlikely to suffer much harm if his dog runs away. But you can’t seriously argue that Sam’s ability to abuse his dog without repercussions makes that abuse moral. And that assessment doesn’t change whether the pound has a hundred dogs waiting for adoption, or a thousand dogs, or no dogs at all.
And clearly this argument holds a fortiori when we are discussing the relationship of free human beings to the governments they institute, rather than dogs to their masters. But Homelanders often like to pretend that their country’s large population or high number of immigrants & naturalised citizens make it perfectly acceptable to abuse emigrants and renunciants, or to ignore their concerns. A fairly typical example is this recent comment by a law professor trying to “justify” the U.S. government’s violation of American emigrants’ fundamental right to renounce citizenship:
A bit of picking and choosing of numbers to made things sound dramatic. In 2013, 750 Americans renounced citizenship. That’s 1/3 of 1% of the traffic through LAX (LA International Airport) on a single day. At that rate, assuming no births or deaths or in-migration, we’ll run out of Americans in 4 million years.