February 10, 2014 at 11:40 am #20164
I’m really beginning to feel like a thorn in a side but I can’t satisfy this conundrum. First, I want to commend Rothbard for his thought and work in this area. I am happy for him that he was able to reconcile all matters of rights according to property rights. I may have more difficulty here. Am I right to interpret his position as, for example, if one does not own the property on which he resides–nor can conceivably, in the present time, place himself–that the owner of that property can dictate that no procreation occur there. So if procreation results then there are grounds for tort or suit depending on whether a person’s birth subjects himself to contract by established property rights. Perhaps then the adjudication would be for the “offender” to put himself in the land-owners service for an adjudicated period of time. I am not suggesting that any of this is right or wrong–it’s just a philosophy that, like all others, I may not be fully committed. If a person cannot be a subject by his mere birth (or can he) then it is conceivable that negotiations may never be reached between the owner of the space before said person existed and the user of the space by said person. So conflicts may be settled either in favor of the previously established space-owner or in favor of the new user of said space, in which case, “property rights” are not necessarily a matter of previously owned space but of whatever is accepted as more natural in that civilization in that point in time. Can I get sentiment on this from anyone?February 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm #20165
Patricia, I am having trouble following your post. Could you illustrate a scenario to help clarify what is taking place? I could offer a response but I’m concerned that I might miss your point. Thank you.February 25, 2014 at 11:49 am #20166
What constitutes “property rights”? How is a conflict between a land-owner and a person who owns himself but does not own the space he takes up resolved? Moreover, how can we own anything at all, including ourselves, if we do not own the space on which things are placed? I brought up the “right” to procreate because it seems like a natural occurrence. The property-rights’ point that Rothbard makes about not being able to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theatre is because the owner of the theatre forbids it (contractual)–not that a tort can be filed for reckless behavior. That seems plausible until you apply it to what a person can and cannot do if he does not own any space he finds himself.
I may be confusing my inquiry even more–I’m not sure how to best communicate it.March 15, 2014 at 12:01 am #20167
From your first post, If I understand your statement correctly: A landlord can dictate that a renter not have sex on on the landlords property. This would seem to be reasonable to me but not because he simply owns the land, rather, because it was stipulated in the rental contract. I wouldn’t assume this would be a favorable business practice in the first place but under such a contract, the terms of redress should be stipulated before entering such an agreement.
In the case of a person (probably at least two) engaging in sex on a private property owner’s front lawn without permission. The case should be considered as a matter of trespass, unless damages to said property are brought about in the course of trespass i.e. they broke the swing or kicked up the lawn driving their heels into it.
In the case of a business opened to the public I am a bit unsure if a prohibition of sex must be first stipulated (like the no shirt no shoes signs) or be assumed by the nature of the business. I mean, If you go into a movie theater where would you infer that you are allowed to have sex there. Now if it was Joe’s Movie Theater and Swingers Club the nature of the business is implied if not otherwise noted. I wouldn’t walk into Joe’s and begin lighting fireworks. I am not certain but I think this would also fall under trespass if some sort of redress would be sought.
When we talk about property rights I believe it to mean that an individual has sole ownership of a land, object and them self. It seems to me that universal land ownership is unlikely, for at least economic reasons, but even a situation of homesteading is unclear to me. We are not starting from some zero point. So, even if government disappeared what would be the limitations, in regards to amount, when it comes to homesteading? Someone somewhere will be left out.
A person owning land and person living on that land is a situation experienced by nearly everyone for, say, their first 18 years. In the world of property rights the parent would not own the child’s property(if they have any) but when the parent decides to expel the child from their home so to go the child’s belongings, the parent has no further right or obligation to them. The same now in a landlord tenant arrangement. I have contracted to live in your dwelling and may do as I wish, provided, I don’t violate the terms of our contract, whatever they should be I have agreed to them of my own accord.
In terms of what a person can and can not do. If a land owner provides a public space, a sidewalk, a park, whatever then he may stipulate that behaviors beyond property damage are forbidden but he may also expressly allow undesirable behavior i.e. Junky Park, Crack Alley or Murder Lane( only meaning he allows murder, individuals would still have to agree to be murdered).
All of this might seem difficult or at least cumbersome but the charm of this system is that anything can be done. A large land owner might open a park where everybody agrees to the rules of the park, gives up their life savings and lives in a communist utopia. They could call it Hell On Earth. Sadists and masochists can do as they please without fear of reprisal from ambiguous laws that don’t represent their choices.
People tend to quietly move along in their day going places to do certain things. what property rights gives us is the opportunity to go where we want and act how we want, if the cost of that freedom is not being allowed to act like an asshole on the way there, well, that doesn’t seem so bad to me.
I believe the important things to remember are that basing rights on property rights gives us a consistent grounding for making law. In my opinion one of the most harmful phrases I know is “there should be a law against that” OK why? Another important point; while it is true that people can act a certain way it is not obvious that they would. If I caught you smoking pot in my park when I stipulated that no drug use was allowed does not mean I have to take action against you merely that I can if I choose.
Problems. The issue for me, is punishments or redress. How are these formed outside of specific contract? When one rapes, murders or hurts another how or why is that person agreeing to a particular punishment? What do we deem appropriate as punishment and on what logical grounds? If we create a legal system that requires a specialist to make judgements then have we introduced an arbitrary component to law, how is this helpful? In matters of children and abortion I think Rothbard laid out a perfectly reasonable, yet, somehow unsatisfactory application of rights.
I still feel like there is some issue you raised that I am glossing over but I’m not sure what it is. Sorry for the lateness of my reply, this is an important topic and one I’m still learning about so forgive me if I missed the boat completely.March 30, 2014 at 1:28 am #20168
I used the word procreation because I was more interested in the actually having children part of sex. I was just wondering if, in a world of property rights–if all the land in all the world is owned but there are some people who do not own land, could the landowners decide to engage in population control by not allowing childbearing on their land? I guess that’s what I was saying. I see what your saying about adjudicating crime–I believe that the libertarian society agrees to the use of judges–and their decisions are accepted–something of a natural aristocracy.March 30, 2014 at 7:47 pm #20169
I think the situation you are describing is the formation of a monopoly among landlords in a free market. If all landlords created this stipulation then one of them would do well by catering to the desire to procreate and thus siphon a lot of renters to his dwellings. If you can still conceive of this monopoly existing, there are still some fundamental incentives to keep this situation from occurring.
I don’t know about you but, It seems to me, we think entirely too much on the could and not the would. I cam across this scenario: Two men wash up on a deserted island, one conscious the other unconscious. The one man quickly builds a bamboo fence around his companion. when the companion wakes , the one man tells him he has homesteaded all the land around him and did not interfere with him while building the fence thus respecting his property rights.
That’s the crux of it. My mind quickly goes to the fence, is he trapped? Has the companion been imprisoned? Is passively building a prison not an aggressive act? Let’s say that it is. The one man has no duty to allow the companion to stay on his land but does he have the right to block the companion from going back out to sea? Here’s why the one man has no incentive to imprison the companion in the first place. The companion would crush the one man’s head with a rock before taking his chances in the open sea. The one man does not want to fight to the death in the event the companion gets free. The one man crushes the companions head with a rock while he is still passed out. Why would this character go through all the trouble of constructing a prison in the first place just to uphold a law that no one is there to enforce.
So, if you can envision a scenario where everyone in a voluntary society is somehow forced to accept a ban on reproduction, I think you would have a situation where some fed up individuals kill these landlords, repercussions be damned.March 31, 2014 at 11:25 am #20170
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