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What makes law "legitimate?" - A question from an anarchist - posed to the minarchist

So the "anarchist vs minarchist" debate is on pretty strong here at the DP. I like it, let's keep that topic open. Jan, Marc, and BILL3 have been doing well at keeping this topic alive at the DP.

So one thing that minarchists claim to be SO NECESSARY that a government or state court system supposedly has, is the "power to pass and enforce legitimate laws."

So minarchists basically say that "state courts are necessary in order to enforce laws, and the authority of the court is the highest possible authority. Without these state courts, under anarchy or voluntarism, there would be no "way of addressing criminals and criminal activites efficiently or correctly."

And then the minarchists go on to pose questions like "What makes the NAP valid at all?" "Why should the NAP be binding on others?" and "Why should property rights be binding on others?" In a non-statist world?

So minarchists are basically saying "The NAP (property rights) is not necessarily valid or binding. That is why we need a valid and binding court system."

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But here is where I see a major problem for statists and minarchists. We do have states right now. We do have courts right now. We do have a "limited govermnent" that is supposedly "bound in its limits" outlined in "the constitution."

So here is my question to you minarchists. You want a constitution; you have one. You want a "limited government," you have one, the constitution supposedly guarantees this.

But WHAT IS BINDING about laws passed by the state and limits found in the constitution????

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Because it seems that we have these laws and these courts. But WHEN THE GOVERNMENT breaks the limits, breaks the law, doesn't follow the constitution... WHAT IS THE RESULT? Are corrupt politicians and judges tried? Don't we see the government and its employees, agents, departments and agencies BREAKING THE SACRED LAWS left and right without recourse?

So to turn this line of questioning "What makes it valid?" (In reference to the NAP or property rights.) Let me turn this line of questioning around and ask you the same about the "sacred court system" that you statists insist is necessary to HAVE JUSTICE.

In other words, "Is your sacred court REALLY SO SACRED?"

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IMO, It is not.

You do not want bread production monopolized by a government because it is too important for life. If bread production were monopolized bread would be more expensive, less accessible, and less quality. I have zero interest in preserving monopolized arbitration or defense services because they already are expensive, less accessible, and less quality.

RE: The trivial case in which all property is 100% private, and individually owned, is not realistic. There will always be some property held in common with some other people, for reasons of efficiency, convenience, and preference.

Private ownership is not synonymous with individual ownership. By that kind of reasoning if a company was owned by more than one individual it would not be privately owned. In a libertarian society there would not be private and public ownership, things would simply be owned or unowned. Owned would be individually or jointly.

RE: Therefore, a highly decentralized minarchist state is likely to end up looking like an ancap state in most respects, and vice versa.

A minarchist state is nowhere near likely to end up looking like a libertarian society where all goods and services are exchanged in a free market. A minarchist state is going to have crappy arbitration and defense services that cost more, are less accessible, and deliver less quality. As an added bonus to crappy defense and arbitration services, one is forced to pay for them via taxation.

A libertarian society would have a completely different environment than a minarchist state. A libertarian society would be comprised of social institutions and social values that reinforced capitalism. In a libertarian society with an environment that valued capitalism shunpiking on toll roads would not be an epidemic like it was in a minarchist state. Nor would toll roads be handicapped by a minarchist state in the form of state granted toll-exemptions, rigid toll rates, and legislative or judicial branches favoring equity claims of the general public over any right to make a fair return on investment. Libertarian society would not have social institutions and values which promoted an entitlement, free-rider mentality.

In the 18th/19th century roads required private funding because government does a horrible job providing any good or service. In the 21st century government is again looking for private road funding because it does a horrible job providing any good or service. It didn't matter if it was a minarchist 18th to early 19th century state or tyrannical 21st century state ... both were/are horrible at roads.

With U.S. infrastructure aging, public funds scant, more projects going private
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/with-us-infrastructur...

Private Toll Roads, Learning From The 19th Century.
"In 1992, as in 1792, the private sector is being recruited to design, build, and operate highways because the public alternatives are fiscally constrained or less efficient."
http://www.uctc.net/papers/118.pdf

It does not appear

that you have thought deeply enough about the essential nature of the state versus private collective ownership.

Imagine a state the size of a condo complex on the beach having (say) 10,000 condos in it. This is not ahistorical. There have been city states on that scale.

Now imagine the same condo complex that is "private." Instead of having a "state," they have have a HOA.

I don't think you can differentiate between the state, and the HOA in any meaningful way (except name).

They will both have some form of "collective" decision making about property owned in common, dispute resolution mechanisms, and rules and regulations about what you can and can't do in the complex, even in your own condo! (loud music, etc.). They would also levy "taxes" (association dues) for upkeep of the common areas, etc.

In the real world, the only difference is that an HOA can appeal to an outside power to adjudicate disputes and wield force when disagreements arise (i.e. the HOA has limited rather than absolute sovereignty). However, it is easy enough to imagine an HOA which cannot appeal to a higher power, and is therefore sovereign within its domain.

In this case, it would be functionally identical to a state.

Obviously, of course, you can argue that the difference between the two is that, when one purchases a condo in the development, one is explicitly agreeing to be bound by the various political structures and processes of the HOA.

But, you can make the same argument about choosing to move to (or remain in) a state.

The only difference is a difference of scale (the most neglected variable in the philosophy of politics).

It does not appear

that you have thought deeply enough about the essential nature of the state versus ownership in an environment absent a state. Your use of the concept private ownership betrays you. This flaw of language carries through to flaw in thought and analogy.

RE: "But, you can make the same argument about choosing to move to (or remain in) a state."

For starters to illuminate deep rooted flaws, please provide a copy of any full and honest disclosure you have ever received registering anything in any state which is a member of the United States. It must identify the specific property being registered, all parties to the registration, and describe any distribution for the ownership bundle of rights among all parties to be considered legitimately full and honest. A copy of any full and honest disclosure for a birth registration, vehicle registration, sex offender registration, voter registration, or any other act of registration will suffice.

In the event you have never received a full and honest disclosure for anything you have ever registered please cite a court opinion from any court, state or federal, where any form of registration has been ruled unlawful, illegal, or unconstitutional due to any dishonesty from a state agency engaging in a registration business without providing full and honest disclosures.

What is this __???__ you keep calling a state? Is it a person, place, or thing? If it is a person as a character in a play or story or some kind of entity with a certain bundle of rights how does one "be in" a person? How did it justly acquire any character or bundle of rights? What is the source of any character or bundle of rights? Can it justly exercise any power or assert any right not possessed by an original source? If it is a place as in a particular position or point in space how does one "be in" a place? How did or does it justly acquire any region of space? If it is a thing such as an abstract entity or concept how does one "be in" a thing? How does one become a member of a state political club? Do members of this political club operate in a capacity as citizen members 24/7/365? Or is it more like being the sole owner and operator of a corporation where one minute you put on a President hat and the next minute you take it off to put on a Treasurer hat which is all determined by a function you are performing?

The reason your HOA analogy is faulty is because when one thinks of a condominium building they envision an original owner or owners who justly acquired it. People recognize a specific condominium unit can not secede from the building because they are inherently linked by structure. This structure is legitimate because one justly acquires land and builds the building or acquires property including an existing building.

Your faulty use of an HOA analogy comparing an HOA to a state presumes a just original owner which is not in fact the case. An HOA has no just authority over a condominium building across the street with different owners. Yet you are trying to build this 10,000 unit city HOA analogy which in essence is a cooperative model where individual members of a cooperative can in fact leave or secede but instead linking the idea of a cooperative to the structure of a condominium building where secession is impossible.

If you are going to use any comparison where a city is analogous to what we would consider a private gated community with an HOA in the existing legal framework then show me a copy of an original agreement for any city where all property owners expressly consented to forming a private gated city with an HOA of city commissioners. The precise difference between a developer justly acquiring a tract of land and developing it into a private gated community versus a political majority forcing its will upon everyone whether it is establishing a constitution, state, or city are the concepts of express consent versus coercion.

To diminish the importance or value of express consent and/or secession by asserting "a highly decentralized minarchist state is likely to end up looking like an ancap state in most respects, and vice versa" is the kind of statist intellectual dishonesty that wholly repulses me. Free market mechanisms or systems that would revolve around the very concept of express consent would end up looking nothing like a highly decentralized minarchist state in form or substance. It would be a society with companies or institutions that do not reflect any coercive values. Express consent versus coercion is a matter of substance and voluntary competing companies or institutions are form. People do not say the Constitution resembles the Articles of Confederation for good reason which is a system of voluntary federal requisition versus coercive federal taxation. Furthermore, no highly decentralized minarchist state has ever remained so precisely because the natural market competitive incentive to obtain express consent is removed from any coercive state equation irregardless of any highly decentralized or other origins.

Finally, it is honest to state I am insured 24/7/365 based on the terms of an insurance agreement or personal defense contract I expressly consent to pay for. It is dishonest to presume I am operating as a citizen in a citizenship capacity 24/7/365 when there is no evidence I am performing a function of government 24/7/365, receiving a government benefit 24/7/365, receiving compensation from government 24/7/365, and never expressly consented to any government protection racket which sends a goon squad to break my legs if I don't pay. It is extremely dishonest to say because one is born on a planet where gangs called states are known to extensively operate that I consent to any of them just because I am unable to leave the planet or defend myself from a four million member gang. If a slave was permitted to move from one house on a plantation to a house on the other side of the plantation you wouldn't make some absurd assertion "about choosing to move to (or remain in) a state" plantation. Or do you equally assign blame to all slaves for their own slavery that chose to remain on a plantation and not rise up against their masters?

P.S. If there are any visiting extraterrestrial life forms reading this comment, please forward me an application for a UFO waxing and buffing job. I can provide references and do good work. :)

Good Points.

I have made many of them myself when taking the opposite side of this argument.

However, I am talking about the 'nature' of a state vs. a HOA. And I maintain that while it is probable that no 'state' has ever been formed entirely from property justly acquired by a group of people who unanimously consent to join the state, there is nothing to prevent this from happening in the theoretical sense, just like a HOA or gated community, and once it happened, such a state would be functionally identical to a HOA or gated community.

I inherited a condo one time. I did not consent to the charter, bylaws, rules and regulations of the HOA. Nobody sent me a notice informing me of them. And yet, I was bound by them. This is because that set of constructs was inextricably bound up with the real property that was my unit in the condo complex.

You will recall that the most usual definition of a "state" is an organization that holds the monopoly on violence within a GEOGRAPHIC region, which usually funds its operations through coercive taxation.

The concept of a "state" is inextricably bound up with the real-estate that lies within its jurisdiction.

The fact remains that if we had an anarchist society today, then people could and almost certainly would band together to form things like a HOA to share the administration of certain properties held in common and (more importantly) to better provide for the common defense over a GEOGRAPHIC region with a defensible perimeter.

So, the state would be born again, and it would be born in a matter fully consistent with ancap theory. At that point, these associations would be functionally identical to states.

PS: Once that had happened, and a substantial period of time had passed (say a century), a person born into such a system would find it difficult or impossible to distinguish from a world dominated by many small states, irrespective of their genesis.

Ok ...

RE: "I inherited a condo one time. I did not consent to the charter, bylaws, rules and regulations of the HOA. Nobody sent me a notice informing me of them. And yet, I was bound by them. This is because that set of constructs was inextricably bound up with the real property that was my unit in the condo complex."

Non-argument as you could have "disclaimed" the inheritance. Basically you were offered an inheritance which consisted of a condominium under an existing agreement. You chose to accept it without further investigation. If you told me upon notification of an inheritance you contacted the HOA, asked for all of the terms, and they refused to disclose them I might agree there is some element of fraud or lack of notice. When I say no full and honest disclosure for registration it includes the fact I have specifically demanded one in writing.

RE: "You will recall that the most usual definition of a "state" is an organization that holds the monopoly on violence within a GEOGRAPHIC region, which usually funds its operations through coercive taxation."

That is a definition provided by some libertarians. A definition I have proposed is an entity with a majority of force, over a given geographic territory, which asserts authority not possessed by ordaining constituents who constitute its source of power using property it does not own. Are states a person, place, or thing?

RE: "The concept of a "state" is inextricably bound up with the real-estate that lies within its jurisdiction."

Statists claim that without providing any valid premises for such a conclusion. Without some valid, factual premises to form such a conclusion it can not be considered true. Are states a person, place, or thing?

RE: "The fact remains that if we had an anarchist society today, then people could and almost certainly would band together to form things like a HOA to share the administration of certain properties held in common and (more importantly) to better provide for the common defense over a GEOGRAPHIC region with a defensible perimeter."

Some people might do that but even in the United States today people do not want to pay for it. Enforcing trespassing within a state border is a function of state police power. Some southern states do not want to bear the cost of providing and maintaining a defensible perimeter to enforce trespassing. They complain the federal government ought to exercise police powers enforcing trespassing within a state border it does not possess.

Anyone actually interested in maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of defense will not settle for state monopolized defense services that cost more, are less quality, and less accessible. Once a libertarian society where all goods and services voluntarily compete in a free market gets established, no state will be able to compete with the wealth produced by a libertarian society. Any United States of America experiment which enabled a wealthy and prosperous nation is peanuts compared to what a libertarian free market society will enable.

RE: "So, the state would be born again, and it would be born in a matter fully consistent with ancap theory"

I do not care if some people want to live as serfs in a crappy statist society. If people demand a king they deserve one and all the bad crap along with it. I only care about establishing a libertarian free market society that values express consent. I prefer to live in a libertarian society where all goods and services compete in a free market because it is just, efficient, and the only system known to man that maximizes wealth production to increase the standard of living for all constituents.

PS: Once that had happened, and a substantial period of time had passed (say a century) I might even be for PDA's collectively entering into fugitive citizen agreements with states in order to return any run away slave citizen property to prevent any statist serfs unhappy with any king they demanded from polluting libertarian society with their violent, coercive statist ideas. Probably best to adopt a good neighbor, non-interventionalist position and let state kings manage citizen slaves on state plantations however they see fit.

"Non-Argument

"as you could have "disclaimed" the inheritance."

And again, how would this have been different if the condo complex had asserted statehood? It wouldn't. I could have still "disclaimed the inheritance."

Functionally, there is no significant difference.

"Statists claim that without providing any valid premises for such a conclusion."

I notice that you have included the concept of geographic limits and extents in your own definition of statehood as well. Also, I have provided the main justification for it. It is rooted in the nature of physical reality. The primary rationale for people to combine into political associations is to provide for the common defense, and it is empirically true from the perspective of strategy and tactics that a contiguous area is more easily defended than a divided area. Allowing enemies behind your lines opens you to attack on multiple fronts.

In this sense, "defense" is similar to the problem of "secession." While it may be philosophically true that any political minority, all the way down to the level of the individual, has the right to secede from a larger political union, it becomes impractical at a certain scale (when the seceding group drops below the threshold of self-sufficiency within their geography).

Ok ...

RE: "how would this have been different if the condo complex had asserted statehood?"

If the condo complex asserted statehood? What kind of question is that? My only choices are state this or state that? You keep bringing up this thing called a state. Statehood? What the heck is that? In an earlier comment you asserted people had not thought things through yet I keep asking a straightforward fundamental question about the nature or character of this thing you keep calling a state. Is a state a person, place, or thing?

RE: "I notice that you have included the concept of geographic limits and extents in your own definition of statehood as well"

Not sure what that has to do with anything. Is it just for an entity to use property it does not own defining a geographical boundary or border? In my definition I also included a use of property not owned and power exercised not possessed by the source.

RE: "The primary rationale for people to combine into political associations is to provide for the common defense, and it is empirically true from the perspective of strategy and tactics that a contiguous area is more easily defended than a divided area. Allowing enemies behind your lines opens you to attack on multiple fronts."

I see no way you can rationalize that conclusion. You are only considering part of an equation. There are several examples where your logic would completely fall apart. For instance, Israel continually asserts Iran obtaining nukes is a threat to its existence. Israel is a fairly contiguous area but it is not more easily defended from nukes than a divided area. For instance castles have been conquered. Armies no longer line up in rigid formations on the battle field. As a matter of fact everything about modern warfare including common use of helicopters and highly trained special forces demonstrates something else is true. Concentration of force alone does not trump mobility. Concentration of force is proportional to power but power must be applied in the right places at the right times to overcome all resistance.

No one would say the Mexican border is easily defended because it is contiguous. If it was easier to defend a contiguous border there wouldn't be any employer new hire reporting regulations or other primary legal means of policing so called illegals because it would be cheaper, more efficient, and easier to defend a contiguous border.

A city as a contiguous area is not more easily defended from crime by police. I do not think what you claim to be empirically true is empirically true. I think if you are relying upon any area to provide enhanced defense solely because it is contiguous that would be a false sense of security. A contiguous area is no guarantee for victory.

In World War II allied territory was not contiguous. How many contiguous areas have been conquered throughout history? If the White House or Congress was raided and sacked, which has happened, what would be the result of conventional contiguous wisdom? Raise taxes to build it bigger, better, and more secure.

Terrain advantages are not the same thing as a contiguous area. I am not discounting any possible benefits of large contiguous areas but I think you should rethink and clarify what those benefits are exactly. I am not convinced enhanced defense is one of them because military strategists do not typically seek to implement tactics engaging enemies where they are strongest. At best a large contiguous area might feature an infrastructure to enhance mobility which is likely a reason bridges, railways, or manufacturing facilities have been priority military targets.

Good points.

I will consider them.

I think I understand what you

I think I understand what you are saying Kyle. Personally I would never call myself "anarchist" or "minarchist" or "anarcho-capitalist" or "libertarian" or "conservative" or "republican" or "constitutionalist" or "Jeffersonian" or...etc, etc because these are divisive terms. They are divisive in the sense that the average person will be thrown off by the popular connotations and associations--in other words, you might be right, these probably are "stupid" points from which to argue. Too many preconceived notions are relied upon.

As one example of a way to use better wording--I think that anarchism, as it is often understood by the posters I have observed on this website, is synonymous with peace. Therefore it would be more effective to refer to your goal by calling it "peace", NOT "anarchism". Peace is a more universal message; "peace" is more achievable than "anarchism", yet it is the same thing!

PS:

For those of you familiar with calculus, this idea may resonate.

Anarchy is the "limit" of libertarianism.

Most minarchist libertarians envision a decentralized society (thereby implying a relatively large number of sovereign states with comparatively small populations).

Sovereign states exist in a state of anarchy one relative to another (there is no higher power to which any particular state can appeal).

As the number of sovereign states approaches the number of people in the world (or within a particular geographic region), anarchy is achieved in that world, or region.

I agree with you 100%.Now

I agree with you 100%. One of my major critiques if ancap is that it looks almost exactly like a minimal government society, even the most idealized version is not sufficiently different to justify babbling on and on about it.

Now the question is, why waste all this political capital in the mad desire to paint the Ron Paul movement as an anarchist movement?

Why try to convert all of the minarchists here?

Because these fanatics have an agenda. Everyone knows that anarchism could only be achieved after an experimentation period during a limited government.

If you look at the record, micharchists have been reacting to the anarchist evangelism since this site was founded. It is vitally important that we defeat the anarchists so that we can distinguish our movement from their bizarre ideology.

Ventura 2012

"Why waste all this political capital....

That depends on who you are talking about.

In the real world of politics, the bipartisan establishment has an interest in painting the "Ron Paul movement" as anarchists because it sounds scary.

It is likely that less than 1 person in 100 actually has any idea what "anarcho-capitalism" means. As soon as you use the word "anarchy," the common culture conjures an image of Snidely Whiplash sneaking around in his handlebar mustache with a cannon-ball shaped bomb with the fuse lit. It is a stupid name for any movement, unless you just want to attract attention and stir controversy.

Among the more philosophically inclined, well, that is what they do. They split hairs and artificially exagerate differences. How do you think we ended up with so many Christian sects?

(needless to say, not only in the common culture, but in the philosophical culture, there are those who make their living by creating division to serve a political objective. You can rest assured that we have some of that right here on the Daily Paul. It would be rather naive to assume otherwise).

You are no doubt correct.

You are no doubt correct.

Ventura 2012

Cyril's picture

I hear what you say, but I wouldn't call it "stupid".

I hear what you say, but I wouldn't call it "stupid".

For the sake of being a little more forgiving, I'd rather just say it is likely too abstract and it is indeed still unclear whether anything constructive can come out of it, eventually - especially when one considers for how long such a debate has been around already...

Just my .02.

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

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

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

Good to have you back Cyril.

.

.

Hear, O Israel: YHUH our God YHUH one. And thou shalt love YHUH thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

how does one get to own property?

With regard to private vs. public property, you're only considering the fact that the property owner gets to make the rules - but there is a big difference that you left out that makes public property very different from private property.

Public property violates the homesteading principle, while private property follows it.

The government claims ownership over vasts amount of land that it actually doesn't own. So, it gets to make rules on public property, but it's not the property owner.

This is not the case for private property. The private property owner makes the rules, but -- the owner actually owns the property.

That is false.

It would be nice if things were so tidy, but they are not.

Where did a lot of private land come from? It was conquered by governments, then handed out to cronies, and then sold down from there in the chain of title.

Where did a lot of public land come from? It came from trails, footpaths, rudimentary roads, common areas, etc. that were established (and thereby homesteaded) by small groups of private property owners who legitimately homesteaded their own individual parcels as well. They owned these trails, footpaths, and common areas "in common," and this relationship was eventually formalized by turning them over to government.

Further, some land was legitimately purchased by governments from the people who originally homesteaded it. Not all lands were stolen from the Native Americans. Some were obtained in trade. It is a case by case analysis.

If you look back far enough, property rights in most real property is a mess, and there are few completely clean tracts.

The principle for deciding whether or not a particular claim is legitimate in the present is whether or not specific victims and specific perpetrators can still be identified and whether the land can be realistically returned to its rightful owners. If it can't, then justice cannot be served in any realistic sense. It is about who has the best claim in the present. And this includes property owned in common with one or more persons (and even the HOA known as "the state"), just as it does property owned by a single person.

I know that the chain of

I know that the chain of title is a mess, but the homesteading principle is still the only libertarian way to determine who owns what. If information about original ownership is lost, it might not matter because the people who have the best claim to a property are probably dead now. I don’t believe the natives owned all the land. They only owned the small portions which they homesteaded.

Further, some land was legitimately purchased by governments from the people who originally homesteaded it.

Governments cannot own land because they “purchase” it with stolen money (taxes), therefore it is not the government’s property.

It is about who has the best claim in the present.

As a libertarian, would you agree that the government does not have the best claim in the present? Firstly, because they claim ownership of undeveloped land such as forests and lakes - which they have not homesteaded. Secondly, because you cannot purchase land with stolen money.

I would agree,

in general, that homesteading is the only way to originally appropriate land from nature.

However, once it is appropriated, the property owner may sell it (chain of title).

In the modern era, the vast majority of tracts are acquired by purchasing land rather than by appropriating it from nature. Further, the knowledge of original appropriation has been lost in the mists of time. So, in the present, the question of ownership is settled by determining who holds the best claim to title in the land.

I would disagree that it is impossible for a government to justly own property. A "government" can be voluntarily funded, and can therefore serve as a vehicle of joint ownership. A HOA would be one example of such a government.

Of course, I will concede the point that most governments (especially geographically large ones) not only hold the monopoly on violence in their region, they fund their activities through coercive taxation. This muddies the question of ownership. Once gain, however, if the government "owes" anybody for their theft, it is the people who they stole the taxes from to purchase the property, and not the people who they purchased it from (unless it happens to be one in the same). There again, if you cannot identify the specific victims and return the stolen property to them, you cannot actually achieve "justice," and the question again becomes who holds the best claim to tile in the present?

Maybe you're right, but...

> There will always be some property held in common
> with some other people, for reasons of efficiency
> and convenience, and preference.

Whatever the reasons, joint ownership will always be impossible. Only individuals can own property. Any notion to the contrary is based fundamentally on deception.

So you may be correct that the mainstream of anarcho-capitalism is lead back to the contradiction of minarchism, but it may also possibly be forced to face reality instead.

Farmer, are you suggesting

Farmer, are you suggesting that two people cannot own one thing?

If two people own one thing what do you call this if not "joint ownership?"

In what fundamental way is the concept "joint ownership" deceptive?

This phrase "joint ownership" exists, therefore it has meaning, what does it mean to you?

What?

The phrase "limited government" exists.

The phrase "empty black hole" exists.

The phrase "dense vacuum" exists.

The phrase "corporate responsibility" exists.

The phrase "corporate personhood" exists.

The phrase "anarchist governmental system" exists.

None of these phrases has any meaning; they are all self-contradictory, therefore they mean nothing to me. In each case, the adjective contradicts the meaning of the noun.

Yes, I am suggesting that "joint ownership" is also such a phrase. The "own" of "ownership" necessitates an exclusive relationship between a *single* person and certain matter. Thus, to "own" and to be "joint" are logically mutually exclusive. Any relationship that exists between more than one person and anything else is not onwership. To speak of it otherwise is deceptive.

Alternative (musical) title for this post: jumbo shrimp or baby grand? (Taken from LeeAnn Rimes' "Nothin' 'bout love makes sense.")

Gotchya. Would I be right to

Gotchya. Would I be right to summarize what you're saying as follows?: "two people cannot own one thing"

What do you call it when a husband and wife share a home that they bought from a joint bank account (can you have a "joint" bank account? lol). You are saying that the husband and wife do not own the house? This is interesting. Please correct me if I'm getting off track.

I disagree about your list of phrases that you say have no meaning. Getting philosophical here, but everything that exists has meaning. I think you mean to say that the phrases don't hold up to your logic, and I would share your view on that on most counts.

home ownership

Home ownership of any sort is pretty rare these days unfortunately.

Also, the question of husband and wife is a bit peculiar given the notion of "the two become one" and such things. I suppose to the extent that is valid (that the two are actually one), then ownership might be possible, but...

You are right that I'm saying two people cannot own one thing. There is no corporate stomach.

We are, of course, discussing definitions. And certain definitions lead to contradictions. And not thinking about things clearly leads to problems in society. This question of property ownership is one of the main fundamental things which has led us to enormous problems in society.

Some people have been so put off that they reject property ownership altogether. I don't think that is the correct approach. I think property ownership is crucial (and natural). Nevertheless, we obviously have to rethink what constitutes legitimate property ownership. And if you really think about it honestly, it is really difficult to justify property ownership. Certainly the title/legal system under the state system of livestock management is not legitimate. It always leads to collapse in society.

When you say "everything that exists has meaning" do you mean that every collection of words has meaning? Every phrase?

What is an "empty black hole"? What is a "full void"?

Anything that exists exists, but just because you string together words doesn't make things exist. Just becaues I say there is a "thousand foot tall man" doesn't mean that such a man exists. It doesn't have anything to do with my logic.

I am so with you regarding

I am so with you regarding the importance of language. If we are to change then it will come through communication, which is based, at least in regards to the things we're discussing, in language.

The goodness of property ownership is due to its usefulness as a system of peaceful human organization--there is no universal truth, yet we can put together some pretty good "if, then" statements such as: IF the property of the individual is respected, THEN there will be greater prosperity amongst civilized people.

The husband and wife example throws a wrench in your reasoning regarding ownership. It is my belief that two people CAN own the same thing at the same time, and I think this has been demonstrated by real human action--joint ownership is a matter of agreement between the parties, joint ownership should not be judged by any kind of universal explanation of truth. My point is that the parties to an agreement create governing definitions, not some overwhelming authority.

A stringing together of words does put something into existence. What comes into existence, even by a seemingly nonsensical phrase, is all about the phrase itself and the ideas that it conjures. The point is that EVERYTHING exists, otherwise you could not have thought of it--thoughts are real things in my view.

Edit: I would like to add that "joint ownership" does not necessarily imply corporatism.

join ownership is possible

join ownership is possible, its called joint tenancy or stock or a partnership

Ventura 2012

join ownership might be possible.

But that's not even an adjectival phrase. That's kind of a random concatenation of a verb and a noun.

Come to think of it, I guess some pothead might own a joint. And I guess you would call that "joint ownership." Again it wouldn't be an adjectival phrase. Joint ownership can't exist as an adjectival phrase because the adjective contradicts the meaning of the noun.

While it is an interesting semantic debate,

the idea that there is "no such thing" as "joint ownership," is beyond absurd.

Clearly there is such a thing, and nothing in minarchist or anarchist philosophy precludes it.

I suppose we can say that it is impossible under the philosophy of the person making this claim, but it lies so far outside the libertarian philosophy that it is hardly worth debating.

Joint ownership makes perfect sense in a lot of situations. I like the HOA example, since I have personal experience with that, and most people can relate to it. I had a condo in a building with 9 other condos. We had a HOA. The HOA was owned and controlled by the individual property owners, and the HOA managed certain properties held in common, such as the hot tub. This was an economically efficient arrangement, since people cannot stay in a hot tub all that long without getting heat stroke. The down side was that, on rare occasion, the hot tub might not be available when you wanted to use it. If the individual property owners did not own the hot tub, then who did?

There is nothing wrong with collective ownership. Big "C" corporate ownership, on the other hand, implies a packages of privileges and immunities not granted to individual citizens. In that case, I think you can convincingly argue that it is illegitimate. But it is not illegitimate because there is more than one owner. It is illegitimate because of the grant of special rights and immunities (much in the same way that unions are illegitimate, as legally constituted).

legitimacy

Perhaps what I am trying to communicate should be called "legitimacy."

The fact that what I am saying is outside some particular view of "libertarian philosophy" is hardly an argument to dismiss it or call it absurd.

Using language to describe things and discuss them in those terms is an implicit attempt to give them legitimacy. I am challenging the legitimacy of joint ownership.

I would challenge your example of an HOA on another level. All property, to be legitimately considered property, must be actual matter, i.e., made of atoms---as best we understand it. An HOA has no material substance. It is not property "owned" by anyone. You can get together with your fellow condo occupiers and claim you "own" your condos and the HOA. I don't care about that. But if you want a notion of property which is viable as a concept upon which to construct a society with clear intention and legitimacy, then (I think) you need to adopt my views as dictates of nature. (I'm not suggesting their adoption, of course, simply because they are my views. What I'm suggesting is that expecting people to base their view of reality upon whatever arbitrary definitions you happen to make is absurd, and nature itself suggests reasonable definitions and ways to think about things based on the consequences or ill advised and arbitrary legal and linguistic constructs.)

My two proposed principles of property ownership:

1. All property must be material, i.e., made of atoms.
2. Ownership is something that a person can legitimately exercise only, i.e., is something one can do only, on one's own. That is, joint ownership is illigitimate to the extent that individuals are individuals.

I understand that people can invent various legal definitions of joint ownership. I understand that people have been doing that for a long time. I understand that most people don't think that way. But the thinking of most people is what has led us into the situation which we now experience and are going to leave, i.e., force on future generations.

It's time to start thinking differently and more clearly.

Although, as I have expressed,

I don't wan't to become embroiled in a debate about whether or not "joint ownership" is "legitimate," (since to conclude otherwise would undermine the right to contract freely), I did at least want to respond to your characterization of an HOA.

I generally agree with you that all property is tangible.

But an HOA is not a "property."

It is a political body of multiple individuals who own the underlying property in common.

To say that the HOA "owns" the common property is merely shorthand for the truth - That the individual persons own an undivided interest in the property held in common, and that the HOA (a body of the individual owners in assembly) controls the use of the property according to some political process.