May 30, 2013 at 10:07 pm #19913
Just wondering how one reconciles that as a human being we take up space and may find ourselves subject to a landowner. What rights do we have as human beings if we own no property but there is no available place for our existence outside of someone else’s property?May 31, 2013 at 3:50 pm #19914maester_millerParticipant
We have the right to negotiate with the landowners to exist on their property. That’s basically it.June 1, 2013 at 10:33 am #19915
Darn it. I just spent a half hour writing a reply and it didn’t register! I was suggesting a hierarchy of natural rights beginning with life, then property, then freedom. Not suggesting positive rights in that we are not morally obligated to give sustenance to someone but in that we cannot get in the way of his survival. At which point does our defense of property give a death sentence to someone? Well, that is a gray area, I suppose on which the community must decide.June 1, 2013 at 10:35 am #19916
Do people have a right to protect their property by shooting at trespassers on sight? I believe Hoppe wrote that that sort of aggression is not congruent with defense of property. I would have to agree. Ultimately, however, it is the community that decides this–I’m not sure “natural rights” address these gray areas. Even with negotiating, the property owner has the final say–he may be persuaded by discomfort to compromise, I suppose. A scenario in which property owners chase someone off their properties until the trespasser dies of exhaustion does not sound moral to me. That may sound extreme and unlikely but, with refugees, I suppose it applies somewhat. Perhaps life takes precedence over material/land property and freedom as a natural right; and, therefore, a system of containing those that are not accommodated freely would exist through private contract to satisfy this dilemma. Rothbard and Block, if I understand it correctly, address abortion as a means of evicting a “trespasser.” I find this morally repugnant and, indeed, an assault on natural rights. I suppose that my philosophy is life first; and, indeed, that there is a hierarchy of natural rights. Perhaps I would put it as: Life, first; Property, second; Freedom, third. Has that principal ever been suggested–if so, by whom and whence? Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence wrote …”Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” The latter originally being, “the pursuit of property,” or so I have heard; but, I’m not sure he was putting them in order of importance. I think I would put private property before liberty, myself, because otherwise it is wholly untenable. Now I’m not suggesting that we have “positive” rights in that we must provide sustenance for others; but, morally, we cannot get in the way of their personal survival. At which point does our defense of property create a death sentence? Well, that’s another area of gray that the community must decide, I guess.June 1, 2013 at 10:36 am #19917
Cool, got it back!June 1, 2013 at 11:30 am #19918david_konietzkoMember
In my understanding, the libertarian position is as follows: A landowner has power over those who are on his land only in that he can evict them or prohibit them from using his land in specific ways. However, his right of eviction is not unlimited. He can evict people only if there are other landowners who are willing to accept them or if there is unowned land.
If there is no unowned land and no landowner wants to accept you on his property, then you can stay on whichever plot of land you are currently living on, since its owner cannot evict you without violating another landowner’s property rights. However, he can prohibit you from using his land in specific ways or from using certain parts of his land. I think if this doesn’t allow you to survive, then it is morally permissible to break these rules to the extent necessary for your survival, provided you pay compensation afterwards as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean that life generally takes precedence over property, since it is (at least sometimes) permissible to kill a criminal (i.e., a violator of property rights) even if he doesn’t threaten your life. And I don’t see how property can take precedence over freedom. What is freedom but a state of affairs where property rights are not violated?June 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm #19919
Thank you, I’m much more comfortable with that answer.
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