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Isn't Land Ownership Aggressive Use of Force?

I haven't really heard this concept addressed within either the Liberty, or the Anarcho-Capitalist movements.

How do you justify forcing people off a given plot of land which you did not create?

Thomas Paine pointed out the we "did not create the land" and thus, the very practice of Land Ownership was a government created Right, and that to compensate the rest of society (which you are using force, or the threat of violence, to keep off "your land") we pay a property tax that, according to Paine, was suppose to be directly redistributed back to the Citizenry (not to fund Government).

I personally believe Public Banking can eliminate the need for Property Taxes, but that still doesn't address the issue:

Why do you own land? What right do you have to claim a specific section of land.

Other animals claim territory, but they constantly have to fight off unwanted guests.

I understand owning your house, you built it. Or any other possession (we could go into a debate as to what right do you have to claim any material as your own, because in doing so, you must us force to stop someone else from using something you may have simply found).

This is very esoteric I know, but really, what gives you the right to extract resources and claim them as your own?

Isn't all property rights a use of force? Don't we need government to support our property rights?

How do AnCaps handle this issue? Without government, won't you need to use force to stop someone from eating out of your garden, something you build by using natural resources that you had no part in originally creating?

If you break a rock, why are those pieces now yours? Why shouldn't someone else be able to pick them up? And hold onto them?

I definitely support the idea of being able to claim a plot of land, build a house, start a garden, and ask government, or your community, to help defend that, and keep people from taking it. But what "right" do we have to do that? And is it possible to do this without the use of force?

What right do you have from stopping a Natural Man from walking through "your property?"

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Right, the old "property is a

Right, the old "property is a creation of the state".

Because without laws/rules/understandings in place that protect "your" "property", your property is meaningless. Basically, it is only your property to the extent you can protect it.

That too...if you were really such a lover of property rights, wouldn't you be advocating that we return, what, 90% of the land to the Native Americans? Land won through warfare, bullying, and intimidation.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

To your original question.

"Isn't land ownership [an] AGGRESSIVE use of force?"


But, stealing would be an *aggressive* use of force.

The bottom line is this, we don't create anything "from nothing". With that said, what, exactly, can you claim that is yours? your poop? how do you get the food to create that poop? ... and so on...

if you can claim a branch on the ground, create something from it and have it recognized by others as your property, then you can do the same with everything, even land.

Squatter's Rights.
You have to be able to defend your property or pay for the defense thereof. "squatter's rights" have always existed as part of "claim law". The real problem is the government and the fact that they will defend these large chunks of land for people who do not use the land, nor protect it themselves (their own money). they actually steal from US to protect THEIR land (taxes). it's wrong. without government, there would be A LOT LESS people without land. Even a bum could claim land that is not being used and live off of it... tent cities should technically be 100% "legal" because they are on "public land" ...

The real truth is, "Governments" are the largest thieves of land in history of mankind.

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

"and have it recognized by others as your property"

That is the crux of the matter. Does the agreement of others create "property" from a branch? Because a person could designate the branch as their "property", but would then, of course, need to defend it themselves from loss or theft. The addition of "others" into the matter - others who are willing to defend by force what the person has labeled their property - is what this question rides upon.

Does the agreement of other humans create "property"?

My thoughts on Land and government\public items...

Claims \ Finders - Keepers (losers weepers)
it comes down to claims, finders\keepers...
yes someone can dispute, and that is how legal battles started in the first place. A dispute of ownership. Let's ask this question, "Is the government the only, and best, arbitrator?" LOL, just asking that question makes me laugh. the "government" is lobbied daily, bought and sold. they are the most bias arbitrator in the history of arbitrators.

Defense of property
This can come in MANY forms. how do we do it now? "government"? what is that? you are basically "hiring" (without a choice) a company to protect what you claim is yours and they will do so as long as you can prove your claims. right? So, let me ask you a better question,

"Why is THEIR (aka the governments) choice of security firms (aka police) the ONLY and BEST choice to defend personal property?"

my answer is, it's not. I'd rather rely on either, myself, or myself to hire someone to do it. i do not like having things "chosen for me" then me being "billed automatically" (via taxes) to pay for these services which are bloated and inefficient.

Simply, I could watch my neighbor's property in exchange that they watch mine, for free. if we have a real problem around there, and many people live in the immediate area, we can pool our resources and hire a security firm, etc... that can be left up to us, the people having the problem.

Not all people need all of these services they FORCE upon us. That is, in basic terms, called "stealing".

Think about this.
Does a person, who walks up to your car at a stop light, have the right to sue you, and win, if you don't pay them after they wash your windows without asking you? no? Then, WHY THE DOES OUR GOVERNMENT DO THAT EVERY DAY?!

Land Borders \ Traveling
The borders of your claim have always been "easements" in which another person is allowed to travel upon in exchange that you are able to travel upon theirs. that is mostly how "roads" are formed.

Public Land or Items...
if nobody owns something, it is free for the taking, by anyone.
once it is "taken" or claimed, it is now "owned".

that is why "public" [anything] does not work. there is no such thing as "public" items. simply put, if you cannot freely act upon something at your discretion then it is not "public", nor is it privately owned by you. it has to be owned \ claimed by someone else.

are you legally allowed to enter a "public park" at night? no, because the "park is closed at dark", therefor it is NOT public. it is owned by someone else who has more authority over it than you. IE, a corporation owns that "public park" which is no more public than federal express is "federal".

public = equal authority by all people.

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

Land ...

... is the only place we can exist. We cannot exist on the water. We cannot exist in space. We exist on land.

If I cannot keep you off a piece of land, then you cannot keep me off, either. If none of us can "own" land, then we are the same as the animals where it comes down to a fight. And you will fight your entire life to defend the land (which you MUST have to exist). No matter how big and bad you are, there is a bigger, badder dude coming down the road, and he's bringing some friends. Say goodbye to "your" land.

Back in the day when humans were nomads, they probably did not think about "owning" land. What would be the point? They would be somewhere else next month, and the month after that. The same was true of the American Indians, who were nomads. They had no concept of land ownership. That's because they were nomads. But they did have a concept of ownership of other things (clothing, arrowheads, beads, etc.).

Humans have always had an understanding of ownership, per se. Even little children know what is "mine!"

If we want to live in a peaceful society (and we don't want to be nomads), then land ownership is necessary. It became a necessary understanding when agriculture, division of labor, and villages came about.

We are either nomads or we accept the idea of property rights regarding land. There is no third option. Once we accept the idea of land rights, then we necessarily accept the idea that I have mine and you have yours.

It is not force to own land in the context of a society that recognizes the necessity of property ownership. It is only force to take away what is not yours.

Once a society comes to the understanding of property rights regarding land, then it is "first use" that determines the first owner. After that, it is voluntary transfer that determines future owners.

Meant to direct respond.

Ended up as a general responce. Reposted below.

Great conversation! Glad I got people talking.

Jack Wagner

Land ownership is a type of ownership...

It is not any type of force. That is like calling a bird a skateboard.
That being said, one can use force to assert ownership over land. The legitimacy of such force depends on your moral standard, i.e. libertarian morality, social justice theory, etc.

No offense, but to answer all of your questions would require writing a book.

I suggest reading one of

the many libertarian books that explain the origin of property rights with respect to homesteading. Murray Rothbard, Peter Schiff, and many others explain how property comes to be owned. A very good book that explains property ownership is "For a New Liberty" by Murray Rothbard.

In an extremely small nutshell, you have a "right" to it because when you mix your labor with it, no one else can have a better claim to it than you.

This is assuming of course that you believe an ownership society is preferable. There are only 3 possibilities when discussing resources. 1) Individuals own resources 2) Everybody owns all resources 3) Nobody owns any resources

I will avoid the long proof, but assuming your goal is a peaceful, prosperous society, deductive logic can be used to prove that 1) is the only option that will achieve the stated goal.

The only problem is...

They are incorrect. If a person's ownership of something is destructive, no matter how much he "mixes is labor" another person who will preserve and create resources has a better claim.

For example, if person A lives on a piece of land and mines uranium there, creates a nuclear bomb, and detonates it killing himself and making that land uninhabitable for hundreds of years. while person B lives on that piece of land sustainably growing food and hunting passing it to the next generation.

Person B has a better claim.

First claim ...

... not "better" claim is what counts.

First is objective; better is subjective. Cannot have a civilized society based on subjective ideas.


It should be emphasized that "better" as I've used it is not entirely subjective.

"Better" means preserving and enhancing the fertility of the land and the health of the community. While I'll concede that fertility and health are perhaps more subjective than "first," they may be necessary for a civilized society, or any society at all in the long run.

Oh, I know: In the long run we're all dead.

Not yet...

The problem is that we do not yet know how to have a civilized society. Therefore, your point carries no weight.

Furthermore, the fact that something is objective is not an argument for it. In fact, whatever society we have is based on subjective ideas. It is a subjective idea that you shouldn't kill other people who have done nothing to hurt you. But it's a very important idea if you want to have relative peace in society.

What you have, in fact, is an objective criterion, not an objective idea.

So even if you think we have a civilized society, you must recognize that it is based entirely on subjective ideas. The fact that "first" is an objective criterion does not negate the fact that using that criterion for land ownership is a subjective idea.

I would assert, furthermore, that "better" need not be entirely subjective either. Look at the example I gave. Which leads to preservation and enhancement of fertility of the land? That is, arguably, a completely objective criterion.



The right was no more created by government than the respect...

displayed by birds of a common feather for one another's nests.

Natural rights emerge, in part, through reciprocity among individuals. When States come to dominate, the balance is severely skewed which largely quells chances of reciprocation (ie It's always the State "teaching the People a lesson" rather than the other way around).

In my opinion, property rights emerged - not only from reciprocation - but also because stewardship increases along with efficiency. For instance, public lands are much more prone to over-hunting compared to private property.

Theft decreases production. If a person works his or her arse off and is left with nothing to show for it, what is the use of working?

Property rights emerge naturally because they increase the survival probability of species.

By the way, a lot of work goes into a garden. That shit don't grow itself - not to mention direct monetary investments such as an increased water bill.


After reading your comment about Thomas Paine and his views on communal ownership of land, I was reminded of a couple of articles that relate to your post.

The first one is an article by Joseph R. Stromberg, it's title is self descriptive.

The Economic Thought of Thomas Paine:


The second and most relevant (once the you understand from the first article the link to Thomas Paine and his views on communal ownership) is an article from the "Journal of Libertarian Studies" by (left libertarian) Roderick T. Long that discussed Georgism, Mutualism and other theories of land communalism.


I thought you may find these links interesting as they are not only relevant to your post but they also hold much clarification for your misconceptions about the width and depth of libertarian philosophical thought...

It depends on who you ask.

I've no idea what other philosophies might say, so I can't speak for them, but from a Judeo-Christian perspective (probably Islamic as well), God owns everything. The concept of land ownership is the logical requirement of being a steward of God's creation and the command to go out and subdue the Earth and nature.

There's actually an argument to be made that agriculture, which can't properly function without some kind of property system, was more or less commanded in Genesis 3:23 - "therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken." How is one to cultivate the ground if his crop-growing land is subject to random people walking through and doing what they please?

From a more secular perspective, the argument can be made that it's a logical requirement for any kind of civilization. Without land ownership, you end up with the tragedy of the commons. Plus, it's just sort of natural. When people settle down, they establish boundaries in order to avoid conflict. Cultures without property rights inevitably stagnate and linger in a primitive twilight, beyond cave-dwelling but below true civilization.

The American Indians could not grasp the concept of "land...


While thay all shared different parts of the land (often depending on the time of season), they didn't own it - just occupy it temporarily.

Which, if you think about it, aren't we all just temporarily occupying whereever we live anyway since life is fleeting?

Your post is valid and begs some of the deeper questions of life.

Why are we here and what is the point of it all?

This question has so troubled me since my youth that I never had any offspring because if they had asked me that, I could not have answered it definitivly.

And I often felt that since I could not adequately answer this question of why I had brought someone into this world, I felt I had no real right to bring them here.

But for most people that is a whacky outlook and maybe so. Many people want offspring due to peer pressure or for downright selfish reasons...THEY want a child - not for the child.

Then again from a scientific standpoint, life is here for one reason - to make more life - whether it's a fruitfly, a snake or a human.

So if everyone thought like me, mankind would be extinct within 120 or so years.

Then the earth would go on as long as the universe exists I guess and it wouldn't know or care either way.

That leaves one thing left and that is the God question.

That's a whole other topic but briefly, my dad told us that the reason we're here is to please God and to make it to heaven for an eternal life of happiness.

And that this is all a big test - to see where we end up after it's all over.

I believe in God and the concept of an eternal life of happiness (depending on how you lived your existence here), but there's no proof of that - only faith.

These are just some of the questions your post about land-ownership brought to mind.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

Indians had teratory that they claimed/owned.

In fact they often fought with the neighboring tribes over territory disputes. Even animals do this in the wild. Its a very natural occurrence.

So its just a matter of word manipulation.


Your position on landownership is intriguing....

in that the land is ' just occupied temporarily'. The Native Americans have something here that is far closer to the Hebraic, Biblical view than the view of most Christians: Jesus himself describes the relationship of people to the land and other 'possessions' as a 'stewardship' role several times. God did grant parcels of land to the various tribes, but they were not free to dispose of it as they pleased, there was to be no permanent sale of the land. They were able to "sell the land" until the year of jubilee, but not for a longer period of time.

"My dad told us that the reason we're here is to please God and to make it to heaven for an eternal life of happiness." ~~Pawnstorm12

That really impressed me: the Heidleburg catechism said something similar : What is the chief end (purpose) of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

You lost me at 'public banking'

Haven't we had enough of socialized banking?

But lets look at your arguments.

How do you justify forcing people off a given plot of land which you did not create?

Actually that is the question you need to answer.

Whatever your ultimate conclusion is, you are going to engage in a contradiction when you throw someone else off their land.

You may claim you do not believe people can own land, but in that case you also have no claim to toss them off what they think is their land.

If it can't be theirs because it can't be anyone's, then it can't be yours or your political group's either.

I understand owning your house, you built it

Why is a plot of land any different from any other property?

People take trees they found and make a house from it. People take a plot they found and make a farm from it. People take a Homo sapiens they found (themselves) and make a person from it. (hopefully)

It's not as if people don't change the land they occupy. It's not as if any property at all isn't made from something someone first found.

What is magical about land?

In fact there is nothing magical about land.

Isn't all property rights a use of force?

Not at all. I own my house and the lot it is on. Who am I 'forcing' exactly? Are you saying that everyone that owns a house is 'forcing' me because I have to knock on their door and ask permission if I want to visit?

Don't we need government to support our property rights?

Apparently you have never had anything stolen and tried to call the police. Apparently you have somehow not had the government steal half of your income every year. Apparently you haven't noticed people regulated, zoned, taxed, and eminent domained out of their property all the time.

If the government is 'protecting' our property rights, then I don't need that kind of 'protection'.

Without government, won't you need to use force to stop someone from eating out of your garden

Again the government hardly solves this problem anyway. The question that the government actually does protect your property is being begged. It doesn't. It may, at best, take a portion of your produce in return for keeping anyone else from taking the rest. More likely it will take a portion and leave you to have to fend for yourself against other predators.

There is exactly zero property I own that I think the government protects and that I am not fully aware I have to keep secure myself.

I definitely support the idea of being able to claim a plot of land, build a house, start a garden, and ask government, or your community, to help defend that, and keep people from taking it. But what "right" do we have to do that? And is it possible to do this without the use of force?

Ok here's the answer. The problem is your muddled use of the word 'right'. It's not your fault, progressives have done this intentionally for decades so that people on both sides will be confused.

I'm here to help.

The only meaningful definition of rights is something we all have and none of us can have taken away. Long story short, the only rights we all can have, and none can lose, is the moral right to act against aggression.

In a limited sense this means right not to be aggressed against.

So strictly you do not have a right to property, any property, land or otherwise.

(Similarly your right to self defense doesn't mean I have to provide you a gun)

You have the right to protect your property from aggression, or in general, to act against aggression against you.

You do not have the right to violate my property, or otherwise aggress against me, in order to have resources to protect your property or anything else.

This doesn't imply force unless someone first utilizes force against you, but you do have the responsibility to stand ready to perform that protection.

If you have to violate someone elses rights to provide that protection then you have engaged in a performative contradiction. If you do that then you simply believe in predation, ie might makes right.

Put in a practical example: If you leave a bar of gold in your safe is it yours? Probably. If you leave it on a park bench and go home is it yours? Only if it is still there when you come back the next day.

Another example with real estate: You can draw a line around the grand canyon because you got there first and say it's yours. Or you can pay the guy who first drew the line so you can make the claim that it's yours, ie a 'deed'.

But if you cannot protect that claim yourself then that doesn't mean you can tax people around you so that you can protect it.

So if you get 300 miles of yellow police line tape and run it around the grand canyon, and then one day you find someone built a house and a garden on it, your claim that it was your property, or that you were aggressed against is kind of weak. They were able to build a house and you were not disturbed, and in fact didn't even notice. I now you get a bulldozer or hire some mercenaries or worse, get some socialized mercenaries (cops) to come in and force them off it looks to me like you are the aggressor. And in fact we have traditions that sort these sorts of things out.

Property isn't as black and white as statists wish.

Now if you got there first and make such good use of the land that they can maintain the property assertion themselves, then you have the land so long as you can afford to maintain the property assertion. This won't please the collectivists but if someone got the grand canyon and bred like crazy and live all over it, and maybe even sell tours, yes they own the land.

But not because they have a 'right' to the land. Instead because they have a right to be free from your aggression and conversely you have no right to perform aggression.

Property is the thing that happens when we don't violate anyone's rights.

And yes, since the person who 'gets there first' must have his rights violated for you, who got there later, to get it, his claim is superior.

How this all gets sorted out in practice can get very complicated, but when the government stays out of it, we have a pretty good working tradition of how it should work, eg common law. Easements. Abandonment. Etc.

Liberty endorsement of Public Banking


I've talked thoroughly with the leading liberty-conservative in Ohio about Public Banking. We even worked together to draft a Resolution for the County/State GOP.

That aside, let me clarify:

I'm not suggesting taking anyone's property away, or moving anyone off property. Like you said, you own land, and you don't find yourself using force to keep it. I have been robbed, I have called the police, and I have had a lot of money taken out of my paychecks for taxes, at one point (the last two years I lived under the poverty line, so I didn't get taxed).

I am asking a question regarding the use of the non-agression principle in deciding which policies are just, and challenging the AnCap movement on the purity of their position; especially when that position is the disolvement of the Federal Government.

My hope, is that instead of hiding behind "principle" we can actually address policies based on the actual effect they have on people. Not on what they are doing in theory. I've paid taxes and never felt like I was being violently robbed. I didn't like it, but I also don't like going to the dentist, but I don't blame the dentist for it.

My personal position is that I am paying taxes because I haven't done the work to solve the issue. I am currently working on a policy paper that will prove that it can be done, and that it is done in a way that satifies the majority of everyone's demands, so that it may actually be implimented. From there I need to do the work of spreading it and implimenting it, I already lobby (not-paid) for Public Banking locally, am running for local office, and network with both progressive and libertarian activists around the county.

So, I don't blame the government for taxing me. They aren't stealing. They are just representing society. I am part of society. I have the same power to influence society as anyone. So, I challenge myself to fix the system, by taking personal responsibility (the libertarian principle) to make better the things I see as deficient.

My position is that property is a social agreement. If society doesn't make that agreement, then the individual must use the threat of force (and sometimes force) to defend that property. They may have to do this even with a social agreement, but no matter, the social agreement decreases the scope in which the individual must do that. And by nature, the social agreement is a threat of force against those that break it.

The only way to be purily non-agressive is to go full Buddhist/Gandhi and have no possessions. That is up to the individual. I personally do not believe that is nessessary, nor realistic. As soon as you engage with other people property comes into existance (in fact, property is purily a social concept). So even Buddhists that have no personal possession rely on others' possession in order to navigate the world, which they need to do to interact with others. At least, others outside their circle, but even the Temple requires someone to possess something.

Thus, I believe the truly spiritual man will work to make our society as least violent and agressive as possible by reforming the foundational system in which we associate, thus, allowing for individuals to engage in both the spiritual and material world.

We do this by observing natural phenomenom and passively assisting it to be most productive and free. As per the best practices chronicled in the Bible, the Tao Teh Ching and the Art of War (and many other writtings).

Jack Wagner

"I've paid taxes and never

"I've paid taxes and never felt like I was being violently robbed."

Try not paying them, violence will ensue.

Let's examine this.

When you don't pay your taxes, you get a letter, potentially a lien, some property seized. If you try to stop any of this you will get restrained, and maybe detained. Let's look at Wesley Snipes, huge tax evasion case, owed $7M to the IRS. They take him to court, eventually order him to "turn himself in." He serves, what, 2 years in a white-collar prison?

So, I can see how this tax system might seem pretty oppressive.

Now because of this would you never vote/work with someone like Ralph Nader? Bernie Sanders? Etc.?

Let's look at the policies that libertarians and progressives agree on.

War: Hundreds of Thousands, if not millions, of innocent people dead in the last ten years. Weddings bombed by drones. Schools, hospitals.

War on Drugs: Children regularly killed in drug raids. Minority communities destroyed. The vast majority of prison population black and hispanic, a lot from non-violent drug offenses (not tax evasion). Drug cartel killing thousands in Mexico just to show off. Legal drugs end up killing thousands upon thousand a year.

The Death Penalty: Disproportionately killing blacks and hispanics. 4% of death row inmates are innocent.

Do you beleive Taxes are theft and slavery? Do you think the potential violence for not paying your taxes trumps the issue of war, drug cartels, and capital punishment?

Let's look at real slavery in the modern world. 200 young girls kidnapped in Africa to be sold into wedlock (rape). Thousands of children being smuggled in and out of the U.S. as sex-slaves every year.

So, should taxes be the priority for the Liberty movement? Is that moral and ethical?

"The only thing nessesary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Do you believe that innaction is action? If you choose to draw a line in the sand with taxes, and to equate them with violence, and in turn, ruin any chance of working with those that agree on ending real-world violent policies, are you not allowing those policies to go on? Are you not doing nothing?

Or are you ready to drop the hyperbole? I am.

I'm ready to start working on ending government sanctioned violence. And taxes aren't at the top of that list (though I'm pretty sure I can rid us of taxes, but we have to put them in their proper place first, way at the bottom of the list of actual autrocities).

Jack Wagner

All of those things you list...

The things you say progressives and libertarians agree on, like funding war that results in the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent people...all of those things are funded through taxation.

So "no" refusing to pay taxes to fund all these things is not doing nothing.

Dreaming that working with Bernie Sanders is going to change any of these things because Bernie tells you so is not only delusional but contributing to the evil.

At least you're right on this: Everybody who continues to be a good law abiding taxpayer, and votes, and gives legitimacy to the system which produces these things (at least to that extent) agrees with these things.

As Sonmi 451 said: The ship must be destroyed, and the systems which created it must be torn down. And we must all fight and, if necessary, die to teach people the truth.

Sorry if I failed to elucidate.

And understand all ancaps don't agree with this. Some have an over simplified idea of property as a thing in itself. But that is inconsistent with the NAP.

This is possibly why you find issue with many ancap ideas about property. We aren't all clear on property.

So here is a briefer attempt to make clear an inductive analysis of property.

The NAP doesn't define property positively.

You can induce property from the the NAP. For one, if it requires you to violate the NAP to have it, it cannot be legitimate property.

Specifically the important part of that however is that it is not yours if you have to steal or otherwise aggress against someone else in order for it to be yours. You are personally responsible to maintain your claims.

You cannot steal from me in the form of taxes to maintain your claim to the grand canyon that you don't even live on.

If you maintain your claim to some property, land or otherwise, such that someone else has to violate the NAP to get it for themselves, then it is yours so long as you do so, and no longer.

Property is contained in the space where NAP violations do not occur. If it requires an NAP violation to occur then it cannot be legitimately property by the NAP. (statists strongly disagree of course)

Another example. Your trade secret is yours so long as you can keep it secret. If you have to force your consumers to pay, via taxes, for a patent office to protect your business secret and thus your market share, it is illegitimate.

Let me de-generalize. Question at bottom regarding your position

Quite specifically, the few AnCaps that have been getting their voices out; Kokesh, Kinsella, Rose, and Borowski. I guess I'd consider them "Political Anarchists." As in, rather than living by the philosophy of Anarchy, they wish to influence Government toward an unexplained alternative.

Kokesh seems to primarly want to abolish the Federal Government. I'm not sure if he would want to abolish the State following that, or if he is happy with State governments (if so, would he then still be a Statist?).

I understand many people, if not most, that identify as Anarcho-Capitalists do not share the puritan view that Kokesh promotes, it is likely though that many would vote for Kokesh as an Anarcho-Capitalist Candidate for President in 2020. Enough to prevent a genuine libertarian-progressive candidate/movement, who could be viable and effectivelly fix many of the policies we agree on, from gaining ground. Kokesh could effectively take away a strong base, or even split the base, just as we are gaining the momentum needed (Rand will show how to mobilize the base on the populist-right, hopefully Sanders will bring about the populist-left).

* Now, from your position, which seems much more honest and genuine, there is actually a very small amount of legitimate property that one could possess.

Would then, it be possible to legitimately possess food in a society where there are people that are hungry and desperate? Because someone will want to take your food? And you will need to use force to prevent someone from taking it?

Jack Wagner

Borowski admitted to ancappery?

I hadn't heard. Awesome if true, but I assumed her FW association would make that admission problematic.

If you think Kokesh is a 'puritan' I think you are missing something important in the discussion.

There are a few 'puritan' ancaps, Dr Block would probably qualify, who think the NAP in more of a positivist sense. IE that libertarian ethics are correct and fully expect them to be honored in a free society.. somehow. And would think anything else would be injustice, immoral, and evil. These are most often deontological anarchists.

Even they however would not violate the NAP to impose their idea of libertarian ethics.

Most anarchists don't find it reasonable or worthwhile to oppose people who want to live in the moral filth of statism, so long as they leave anyone who wants otherwise alone. If we had a free society we'd have the wealth to help any individual livestock who wanted to escape the farm and become human and would probably do so as often as possible.

But even if it were possible to bulldoze the cesspool of a neighboring state and free all the livestock, it would be a ethically problematic to do so.

Some pigs just like to live in siht:)

As a practical matter I'd be pleased if we could restore the Constitution, as illegitimate and flawed as it is. I'm opposed to evil, but I'll take what gains we can get. I'm opposed to rape, but if I have to be raped I recognize lube and a condom is a better situation. The way I see it, the Constitution isn't buying me dinner, but at least it's lube and a condom.

Property rights: Short answer in block. Elaboration after.

Deontologists want to describe morality with a simple algebraic formula and chop off outliers as 'error'. IE Property is important, so anything which seems to imply that sometimes something can trump property must be considered 'error'.

Consquentialists see no exact algebraic match for morality and conclude their is no pattern at all, and instead just consider it statistically.

Both of these are wrong. Morality is a chaotic function. It changes with our evolution and in turn changes our evolution. There is no simple pattern that is a perfect match. But there is a pattern.

I quibble with your statement about property being illegitimate in this sense though it may seem semantic. If it's not legitimate it's not property.

Strict propertarians think there is something about things which makes them property. Property is about people.

Anarchists shouldn't (in my view) be strict propertarians because the primary principle is non-aggression.

Whatever the ethical situation, yes force may be used to repel aggression. Protecting life, liberty, property, to name a few.

Collectivists (ie nihilists) like to conflate aggression with someone else having something you want or need. This is a logical absurdity. If aggression means anything, it can't mean everything. Moreover.. who is to say what you want or need, to justify 'aggression'? Well right away you need rulers to decide, and the definition of aggression becomes mutable with the whim of the rulers.

(All of collectivist thought is aimed at one end. Apologia for kings.)

So yes, your food is legitimately your property irrelevant of the state of other people having or not having food.

It couldn't be otherwise. For one, if it were otherwise you would not be able to give them any food. In fact the word 'give' would be meaningless, and again the word property itself evaporates.

So for clarity and sanity I suggest we leave the words aggression and property alone, and instead try to deal with logical and ethical reality.

I think you may be unintentionally engaged in trying to square a circle so that what you want to do doesn't look as bad. Instead I suggest we leave the words be, and suppose that expressed honestly what you want to do may not necessarily be bad.

You don't like it that people can go hungry. So you are tempted to redefine property so that it suits your purpose. But in so doing you would make it meaningless, but more importantly it's dangerous and it makes rational thought about it impossible.

I suggest a different approach that doesn't try to redefine property but also doesn't try to claim property is a categorical ethical elemental thing whose violation is universally sacrosanct.

In fact this is necessitated by the NAP. If non aggression is the first principle then plain grammar tells us that property cannot be.

Ethics are not an algebraic equation. Ethics are like prices. You can only approach a 'real' price in a free market, and you can only approach 'real' ethics in a free society.

Example: In a free society a shopkeeper catches a hungry boy (assuming somehow people were hungry in a free society) stealing an apple. The apple is clearly the shopkeeper's property.

Say the man shoots the boy. Would this just be allowed in a free society? The boy was stealing. He was engaged in aggression. The apple was not the boy's property. Let's not clutter our thinking by trying to redefine the words so that the boy somehow was not engaged in aggression or the apple was somehow actually the boys property.

Does that make it right to shoot the boy? I think very much not. Property doesn't trump everything. Dr Block would disagree. But thankfully most people don't feel that way. In fact it would be a rare shopkeeper that would feel that way. This would almost never occur. If his humanity didn't prevent him shooting the boy, whatever free law that had jurisdiction would deter him. It would almost certainly be considered manslaughter at least.

Our morality comes from our nature. Whether you think that is, from God or from evolution (as I do), doesn't matter. What matters is it's in us. An intelligent species evolved from solitary predators would have a different morality. One evolved from herd herbivores would have a different morality, and different rights.

So our natural law and natural rights are not an innate part of the universe.

But they are nevertheless real. They are not subjective. They are a part of us, and can be mapped.

Just like Pi is real. For most purposes 3.14 does for Pi. For most purposes the Ten Commandments or common law does for morality. These are approximations. We can never know all the digits of Pi. We can never know every possible moral situation and know the best answer beforehand.

But Pi is real. Morality is real. Pi is the circumference of a circle divided by the diameter. Morality is the optimal way we interact with each other with the least violation of rights.

Your rights are the moral authority for the set of actions that do not necessarily contradict someone else having the same moral authority.

Avoiding the violation of rights is important because they are inalienable.

Has the murderer in prison had his right to liberty violated? Most conservatives would say no. I would say to them, let's not make the word rights meaningless.

Yes his rights were violated. We should own what we do. We assume it was the best solution we had, but we violated his rights. One way we know this is because, given the chance he would try to escape, and maybe kill anyone in his way. In a part of us that cannot be erased, in our humanity, is the moral authority to act to be free. The murderer in prison may be otherwise a monster. We may not like to consider he has rights or anything like morality. But his very truncated, primal, elemental, unalienable morality informs him that he needs to be free.

Thus a society built on the violation of rights will always be degenerate and twisted, as we see. No matter how clean the streets, everyone knows they should not be forced to pay tribute to the state. Everyone knows they should not step and fetch for the cops and bureaucrats. Everyone knows they should not have their sons killed making the world safe for democracy.

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. H.L. Mencken

The class or category of rights doesn't mean that every particular action in pursuit of something in that category will always be just. As in the case with the boy in the apple.

This is why we have courts, and had them long before we had kings and states, and will have them after we no longer have kings and states.

Summation: Legitimate property is legitimate:) This doesn't mean a property violation will always justify defensive force in all circumstances.

If I was the shopkeeper I would hire the boy to shoo away shoplifters. Clearly I had a need for this.

Borowski admits to nothing...

That's sort of my point.

First, my post didn't propose any positions (other that the fact I think Public Banking is a step to making much of our arguments of welfare and redstribution of wealth irrelevant).

I've responded to comments with my position on property, but my post simply asked, in a few ways, if property is possible without government and the threat of violence, in other words, if Property violates the Non-agression principle.


Now, onto some of you other points/questions:

My question about food in a hungry society was in response to this statement of yours:

"If you maintain your claim to some property, land or otherwise, such that someone else has to violate the NAP to get it for themselves, then it is yours so long as you do so, and no longer.

Property is contained in the space where NAP violations do not occur. If it requires an NAP violation to occur then it cannot be legitimately property by the NAP. (statists strongly disagree of course)

Another example. Your trade secret is yours so long as you can keep it secret. If you have to force your consumers to pay, via taxes, for a patent office to protect your business secret and thus your market share, it is illegitimate."

So, if you can keep it out of someone's reach then it is your property. So, then, weak people can't have property?

And if a weak person were to join a union that offered security services to help protect the property and deter theft, that still wouldn't allow them the right, or legitamacy, to own property?

Isn't that the complete opposite of civil society? Isn't that the mob state? The bully state?

"If aggression means anything, it can't mean everything."

I was a vegan for 10 years. One argument for veganism is that meat and dairy are aggression toward animals. It forces them into a life style.

I deconstructed this puritan notion by examining the effects that the transportation of food does to animals and the environment. Trucks hit animals on the road. They pollute the air. Non biodynamic/permaculture farms, i.e. monocrop (including soy, corn, wheat, etc.) are incredibly destructive to the environment, and thus, to animals.

So is it possible that the real change is toward local, sustainable production? And doesn't that require animals, and the use of their proteins? Doesn't the puritan approach block that?

You don't like it that people can go hungry. So you are tempted to redefine property so that it suits your purpose. But in so doing you would make it meaningless...

How can you make a tangible item meaningless? Whether the food is my property, or whether I'm semantically able to "give" it, when I hand a hungry person some food and they eat it, it makes a difference. It has meaning.

And again, I'm not trying to change the definition of property, I'm asking questions, in a manner, that may bring out inconsistencies in logic, if logic is inconsistent, that it can't be used to govern policy, and thus, we must find a new principle. I think we agree on what that principle is.

So, the question, if the 2016 election hypotheticaly ends up being Bernie Sanders vs. Jeb Bush.

The polls show Bush at 50%, Sanders at 49% and independent Ron Paul at 1%.

You can count on Sanders auditing the Fed, withdrawing troops from overseas, ending the Drug War, and abolishing capital punishment. But he doesn't agree with you on taxes.

Who would you vote for? Who would you suggest others vote for?

Do you believe by paying taxes you are experiencing the same amount of violence and suffering as those being kicked out of their homes, being bombed and invaded, being raided and thrown in jail over marijuana, or being wrongfully (often racially) executed?

What is your moral priority and responsibility? Ethically speaking...

Jack Wagner

I must really suck at explaining

I've said several times property cannot violate the NAP or else it's not property.

You being hungry is not me violating the NAP by having food.

You being hungry is a different. It has nothing to do with property.

At this point I can only assume intellectual dishonesty. If you want to believe you being hungry means I don't have property, fine, but that is a logical contradiction and logical contradictions preclude anyone thinking rationally.

What I said was that property doesn't ethically trump everything. The NAP trumps everything. This means your ability or anyone's ability to asset property claims may not involve them violating the NAP.

You can't tax me to protect your legal circle around the grand canyon.

You can't tax me to prevent the repercussion from shooting a kid who stole your apple, even though it was your property.

Actually no, I don't suck. This is plain as day.

Days should not be plain.

Let's take this one step at a time:

By not shooting a kid stealing your apple, have you validated him stealing that apple?

Jack Wagner