8 votes

honest question: If everything is private, does that mean an end to total free speech and restricted freedom to travel?

just wanting to turn the wheel of philosophy vs. practicality and present this question to the DP community.

I was going back and forth with a violence-advocate (statist, government worshiper)about the evils and immoral and hash economic impacts of minimum wage laws and increases and this idea of everything being private could potentially have negative implications such as immediate trespass and other issues...now I know that a lot of private businesses manage open parks for the public but are privately run and maintained(usually for the better) but like all things and like is not a fixed constant.

My question is: So if everyone owns their own private land and a government that owns no land....I was wondering....what effects will d that have on freedom of expression, rights to travel and of speech and such? I mean, in this hypothetical situation, the minute I step out of my house I would be stepping on somebody else's property in the form of a private sidewalk....maybe they have codes and ordinances by whch people can't protest on their roads or whatever....now i think this is the extreme. In a true free market, a community would never allow a company that restricts free speech or freedom of assembly...they would rebel and demand change.

I would love a genuine discussion regarding this possible arising dilemma of everything being private....i know one thing for sure, private of not, if I see a mountain that is screaming to be explored...private of not, I am going to explore that wild terrain with or without the consent of someone who "owns" the mountain and be one with the wilderness.

For Liberty,

- Brennan Westerson
6 year Dailypaul member

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nope, it's not the end.

unless someone owns ALL land.

property lines = right of way easements. meaning, you can travel upon them to other properties, these were called "roadways". It has always been this way with property lines and were "roads" come from... the pavement is the luxury that everyone talks about when they ask, "but who will build the roads?!" ... the answer is, property lines "build the roads". pavement is not "needed".

Nobody can stop you from speaking, they can ask you to leave and force you to leave their property when you don't comply, but they can't shove a rag down your throat, gag you, or cut out your tongue...

I use Blue Wave, but don't expect one of THEIR silly taglines.

I'll tell you all one thing

I'll tell you all one thing though...if a man claims to own a mountain and pretend to "maintain" it and asks for fees and has restrictions on where and when I can hike or explore that huge mountain..well fuck them. No one man or company can "Own a mountain" I will traverse that mountain and explore the beautiful nature that is blessed within without permission from ANY man.

Now if you are not a steward of the land of the mountain, who have no right to enforce your ideas of property rights on others without just evidence and a bill of sale....which is laughable at best. now if an individual owns a house, is the steward around the area and has put forth time and effort into the land and made it their own through their blood, sweat and tears then yes through natural and common law that man or woman would presume to have a right to live there but would NOT hold any right to restrict another to pass by and hike around their house and into the wilderness. Permission here is not needed to travel I would say.

but yes, thank you all for contributing to this topic.

- Brennan

Great Post

First though, the wording in the title is misleading. When you say "does that mean an end to.." It would lead one to believe we currently have "total free speech and restricted freedom to travel". The correct question is "If everything is private does this mean the beginning of total free speech and restricted freedom to travel?"

Anyway, Rights to travel. Always keep in mind Bastiat's lesson that we must look at both the seen and the unseen. What we see are the roads that the government built, what we don't see is how those resources would have been used had the government not stolen them. What would it look like? Governments did not invent roads, so it's safe to say they would exist in some form. Likely avenues of commerce would pave (literally) the way. When people sailed on the open sea, although they didn't have to pay for the costs of the waterways, they did have other costs of travel to consider, among them cost of the boat and costs associated with ports. Commerce is what drove the industry in those days. I suspect business would spur the construction and maintenance of roads and, much like the parking lots they provide today, most would be free of charge.

The roads would be better too. Not only would they be more efficient - roads today are built with political interests in mind, the decisions on where they go is based on political influence, the decisions in a free market would be decided by who could voluntarily work together and pull it off, those people would be rewarded instead of those with political influence. Also a free market would spur competition in design, comfort, ect of the actual road.

Lastly on this it should be noted that we might not even be driving on roads in a free market. By subsidizing all the roads, land travel is hugely favored. If people had to consider ALL the travel costs when deciding to travel other forms, like air travel may be more appealing and focus and innovation could be directed toward that. We would all probably be traveling in flying cars by now if the government hadn't been subsidizing the roads.

I'll get back to free speech later...

Exactly - just go to a commercial airport

badmouth the TSA, try to buy a ticket with cash with no ID, and see just how much freedom you have.

Nobody is stopping me from

Nobody is stopping me from pulling into a McDonald's parking lot and park there with no intention of going into McDonald's. Businesses tend to give up a certain amount of freedom to people crossing their property so as to keep goodwill and pick their battles. Residential property owners might be a little more difficult, but the fact is everyone needs to travel and people are going to travel whether they have to cross someone's property or not. It's just a matter of who is going to have to deal with people using their property day after day.

I don't mind the govt handling the roads, but one problem is people are shielded from knowing the true costs of road building and maintenance. They think it's free, because the politicians tell them it is.

What if..

What if you went to McDonalds to protest low wages and low quality? If you left their property, at the request of the property owner, and continued your protest on the sidewalk, just to be evicted by the owner of the sidewalk.
This is the situation the OP seems to be referring to.

You are allowed on property lines

Property Lines are right of way easements.

I use Blue Wave, but don't expect one of THEIR silly taglines.

Cyril's picture

I have a very simple view

I have a very simple view on the private domain of individuals, including their privacy; putting it in my own words...

My private domain is:

1) what I came to the world with, provided by nature; most notably: my body, but also, indirectly, what my parents transmitted to me, in things, ideas, values, education at home, relative health and balance

2) what I earned, that is, bought, by trading my work voluntarily, without using force on anybody or anything

3) the stuff I bought and I own with zero debt on it

4) my kids

5) what I have chosen NOT to disclose of my past, present, or future experience or intents, yet, or ever

For what I accept as NON part of my private domain prerogatives:

anything else, including what I have already disclosed, or given away voluntarily, and anything on which I have no claim about - that is either, in the public domain, or OTHER PEOPLE's private domain I CANNOT and DO NOT WANT nor CARE to claim about.

The sad thing is often times I am denied parts of my prerogatives on ANY of the first four items because of unjust affirmative action or planning laws using force against me because some people deemed it "better" for the public domain's well being.

So, which one is - factually - "the usual bully domain" there, to complain about? And which one is the usual victim domain?


And now, thanks to the NSA, even the fifth item above is ALSO at stakes

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

I asked Tom Woods a similar question recently

Just earlier this week, I asked Tom Woods a similar question. The following is my question, then his answer. At the end I give my reaction.

If all property was privately owned, including roads, sidewalks and parks; where would protestors go to peacefully assemble? Couldn't the owner of those roads and sidewalks use the argument of property rights to remove all those trespassing? How would you protect the freedom of assembly?

I would step back and consider the question anew. Is there such a thing as "freedom of assembly"? Is there such a thing as "freedom of speech"? Or, rather, are there property rights, and whatever follows from those? You do not have the freedom to protest in my house, or to come into my house and exercise your "free speech" rights. You can do whatever you want on your own property and on the property of a consenting adult. That is all. Anything else is confusion.

I've had a couple days to think about this and came to the conclusion that, yes, if there was no "public" property (in the sense that it was government owned via collected taxed dollars) individual's voice, right to assembly, and means to travel would all be limited by property rights.
However, this concept doesn't have to shatter your world. Let's consider the argument for the age old question "Who will build the roads?" The answer is clearly, communities would build and maintain them voluntarily; after all, who wants to do business in a town without roads? That being said, the property purchased and used to build the roads would be "private" in the sense that someone's name is on the deed (possibly a corporate entity such as "The Township of [name]." But "public", in the sense that the guidelines and pretext made before investing in this endeavor would be decided by the contributing members of the community. Limiting the power of this small form of government would be necessary to ensure that people have access to these roads and sidewalks, not just for travel but for expression and for peaceful demonstration.
Libertarian philosophy does not forbid people from pooling money together for joint ventures, it only forbids demanding tribute be paid to those spending the money.

Generally when the right to

Generally when the right to travel is impeded by crossing private property, an easement is forced upon the landowner, "ownership" is retained, but usage is infringed by the state for the benefit of others. Lame, but what's the better solution?

In this hypothetical nation you'd probably have travel routes demarcated and easements enforced through private property. I expect the neighborhood asshole would have a toll booth. I feel like by the time you carve out all the ways people could screw it up, you'd have functionally the same system we have now.

As far as free speech goes, only the government ever was hamstrung from objecting to what you say, not citizens or businesses. I fully support the notion that I should be able to eject protesters from my living room or restaurant.

Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.


Also author of Stick it to the Man!


Forcing easement is an initiation of force

I would consider eminent domain and forcing easement for passage over private property an initiation of force. If the owner were to refuse passage (builds a wall, digs a hole, etc.) what would be the consequences? If there is anything more than an apology followed by an investigation into an alternative, then the initial attempt to coerce and bully away the property rights of the owner is force.

property lines

property lines are "right of way easements", they always have been. it allows one person to travel down the edge of the property in exchange that the other person is allowed to travel to their property and so on. the majority of "roads" are "property lines"...

I use Blue Wave, but don't expect one of THEIR silly taglines.

With regards to "an end to

With regards to "an end to total free speech," it seems you might be referring to it as free speech anywhere and everywhere you want ("total"). If that's the case, "total" free speech has already ended and probably never existed.

Your "free speech" that is guaranteed in the 1st Amendment prohibits the government from infringing on your free speech. It has nothing to do with you having a freedom of speech on another person's private property.

For example, you have no right to walk into another person's home to say whatever you want. Nor do you have the right to do the same in their front yard, back yard, woods they own or even on their website. The "freedom of speech" doesn't guarantee or protect your 'right' to even speak/type on websites such as the DailyPaul, because it is not a 'right.' The owner of the DP allows you to talk here and can take that away at any moment because the DP is his private property. However, the government could not do the same as that's what the freedom of speech is all about, preventing the government from infringing on your speech.

Same as the freedom of assembly. You have no freedom or right to assemble on property which is not yours. You cannot assemble 'anywhere' simply because you want to.

You mention that in a true free market communities would never allow companies to restrict freedom of speech or assembly. I think the part you are missing is that a company or individual having the right to do with their property as they see fit is also part of that 'free market.' Because what 'freedom' would there be if you or your company owned a building or land & could not do with it what you wanted?

What a "true" free market would do is allow those companies you refer to as well as the community surrounding it to both co-exist with everyone having the freedom to choose whether or not to support the other with their business.


Bump for input!

Bump for input!

- Brennan