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Do You Have a Right to a "Monopoly on Force" In Your Own Home?`

The title speaks for itself:

Do you have the right to a "monopoly on force" in your own home?


This is an off shoot of the thread "On Definitions and Straw Men"

UPDATE: For the record, this is not meant as a "trick" question, nor is it one I have a complete answer to. The issue is somewhat complicated, especially in regards to how one define's a "monopoly on force", but for purposes of this post I am using it in the way faithkills used it in the other thread, essentially as '"a monopoly over the legal use of violence over a given region", and in this case the region in question is one's own property.

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Mostly, yes

Though it does allow for private arbitration and such, but yes ultimately it is imposing man-made laws arbitrarily on people. But even this is somewhat complicated and watered down by states having different laws in many areas, the 10th amendment, nullification, balance of powers, etc.

You can say "government in general" attempts a monopoly on law, but it isn't so black-and-white, because "government" is not one specific entity.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

There may not be a monopoly on enforcing Natural Law...

but to my knowledge their is only one type of organization enforcing man-made laws.

I've never been a sucker for "this time will be different" argument. Go ask a battered wife.

There is?

There are all sorts of private communities with man-made laws and rules. There are private communities all over the United States that have their own internal man-made "laws/rules".

It is certainly illegitimate for any individual or group of individuals to enforce man-made laws on those who have not consented to them.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

What if someone breaks those rules....

who do those people call or get involved in the issue?

For instance, suppose someone doesn't mow their grass regularly in an HOA. What if the HOA fines the person and they don't pay? Or, what if they tell the person to leave, and he or she says "Go to hell"?

Who makes them leave?

The terms

The terms of the contract of the HOA should dictate the consequences. Ultimately if the person violates their own agreements and refuses to comply with any sort of previously agreed upon process for restitution, they are essentially violating the property of the others in the community.

In the case of the violation of property rights, force should be allowed. Though I imagine in reality this would be a very last resort. Ultimately all contracts are backed up by force, whether its "the State", or "defense agencies."

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

So, hypothetically speaking...

neighbors could get together team up on a neighbor they happened not to like and use force to remove them from property they paid for outright with the fruits of their labor - even for something as small as mowing the grass. Of course, this is hypothetical, and nothing like that would ever happen - that is, use the monopoly of force for their own ends.

Tyranny of the majority is still tyranny.

There are better answers to the problem than calling a beast by a different name. Perhaps, you could guess a few before I give the one that comes to my mind away.


I wouldn't want to live in a community that did anything outside of the enforcement of natural law.

But I wouldn't stop others from living in communities with other agreed upon man made rules.

Would you?

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Hypothetically speaking...

He exact same thing could hallen in an "AnCap" neighborhood.

Are you really trying to argue that consensual arrangements = tyranny?

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

I'm saying there's a better way...

"Once bit, twice shy."

If someone screws you or does something you don't like, quit associating with them. No need for the use of force.

If not for the rule breakers, we'd all be slaves - much more so than we are now.

And Then There Were None

A better way than...

Than what, exactly? What is it that you're arguing against? Consensual relationships? A specific method of organizing?

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

There's a better way than resorting to force...

when trying to enforce man-made rules - contractual or otherwise.

You are inserting

"Use of force" as a condition when I have not done so.

And I agree completely.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

My initial right to reply to the

My initial reply to the question is, "Currently YES! I still outweigh both my teenage boys."

I speculate that my monopoly won't last much longer, not that either boy is near the advent of outweighing me, but that they are near the advent of figuring out how to gang up on me. I sense their collectivist phase is nigh. Perhaps it has already begun as they seem to suspiciously work in concert to butter me up with compliments, telling me what a great dad I am and rendering me utterly unable to thrust my force upon them. Or so it seems, perhaps I've always been a bit overly suspicious of my children.

But then I notice that the question is not simply...
Do you have a "monopoly on force" in your own home?

Did you consciously add "a Right to" and "the right to"?

It is actually...
Do you have the right to a "monopoly on force" in your own home?

That complicates things quite a bit and essentially transforms the question. I can and may [I'm not yet sure if I will] go forward with addressing the question as it is actually written, but for now I shall simply leave my brief reply to my initially perceived abridged version of the question.


Yes, I used the word "right" on purpose - what are we doing in regards to libertarian theory if not trying to sort out the difference between rights vs. crimes?

Ultimately, every action must be one or the other.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

rights vs. crimes - oranges vs. arsenic

I understand how and/or why someone might focus on the difference between rights vs. crimes, but I adamantly disagree that every action must be one or the other. Even in the most general use of terms I can't imagine every action to fit either way as such. Getting grandiose with the term "rights" is not so bad, as it simply becomes more general. Of course though, I'm not one to ever confuse "rights" with "entitlements". Going grandiose on "crimes" ass though, scares the crap outta me. Don't do it! To use "crimes" as such one would have to reintroduce the concept of victimless crimes to fill that bill. The Daily Paul is the one place I thought I would never again have to engage an argument against victimless crimes. Even if "wrong" actions may cause harm to oneself, can we please just let "crime" indicate harm to another? I'll just wrap it up by asserting that there are certainly actions that I may take that may be "wrong" for me but that don't harm others. That every action is either "rights" or "crimes", reminds me of GWBush's psychotic statement that, "Yer either with us er yer with the terrorists!"

I'll get back to my general thoughts on "rights" after I eat some lunch...


I hope my comments here can remain coherent. This has turned into a colossal subject for me. Perhaps it will turn into a full post by me, but for now I can only leave a trail of crumbs. I'm currently engaged in many different comment strings scattered all over between this one, a few others at the DP, and a few over at Libertydotme. They all seem different on the surface, but they all are ultimately seeming to point toward the the same core issue(s).

What are "rights"? or more simply "What is right?" This dives headlong into the essence of what is "moral". How people use the term "moral" defines how people use the terms "right" and "rights". Not that everyone has to agree on a common definition, but what's more important actually is that we understand how we or other people are using the term(s).

I shall label myself a bit here. I am deeply libertarian, yet I am a devoted communitarian. I am as inherently objectivist as any man, yet I am consciously on the extreme relatively subjectivist side of the scale. I am relieved to have shed my excrutiatingly insufferable ways of youthful idealism and have adequately embraced a humble working model of realism. Had I not crossed paths with Jeffrey Tucker I would not be comfortable with labeling myself an anarchist. I would find myself in a room with others who call themselves anarchist, and I would throw my hands in the air and shrug, "Well, I guess I'm not an anarchist then." Jeffrey though, lays it out so clearly and so real that I am completely persuaded to use the term in self description. I would also in my own mind place Michael Nystrom in that category, not that he would give a shit, as a matter of fact I can't remember his ever making any statement whatsoever about Anarchism and such [perhaps he's way too much of an anarchist to do so :D].

I have a history of getting feisty with my arch nemesis BILL3. I took a hiatus from tangling with him for about a year knowing full well that I would jump back in when the time was ripe. The time was ripe this last sping as I found him displaying sensible and entertaining thought streams that remained sensible and entertaining until he used the term or alluded to "moral". Whenever he slipped into "morality" his thought stream was hopelessly lost and reading further was insufferably tangled and pointless, no matter how many times he would directly claim, "My point is..." He would also lose me when he used the terms "subject" and "object". I've come to realize that this is because he is an idealist. As an idealist he gets grandiose and misuses the terms by inflating them to a point at which they are not longer associated with each other and have therefore lost their meaning. BILL's objects ultimately become subjects and his subjects, objects ...willy nilly! Both Objectivism and Subjectivism transform into Narcissism, and I find that rather bizarre.

The topic happened to be NAP as I jumped back into BILLworld. Easy topic for me to engage BILL, he was obsessed, I literally wouldn't [and didn't] have to do much really as BILL would [and did] ask all the questions and guide the conversation, and respond to him would be all I had to do [and I did]. I never cared with whether or not he would agree with me or anything like that, and I didn't ever even try to persuade him of anything, but what I was on a mission to do was try to communicate my perspective on NAP to him. I just wanted to feed him my take on it, as one of the many he collected on his plate. Never happened! Tell ya the truth, I'm not sure if that was because he was incapable of grasping it or if it was because the whole NAP thing for him was simply an exercise akin to batting practice.

I haven't really said much yet, but I'm taking another break...


First, thanks for taking the time to put serious thought into this. This is why the Daily Paul is the greatest.

Let me explain a bit further what I mean by "rights" vs. "crimes"...of course to understand this concept requires proper definitions of both, and I certainly don't include entitlements or services in my definition of rights.

By "right" I mean, one is morally allowed to do something. For an advocate of individual rights, any action that one takes that does not interfere with the person or property of another should be considered a "right", because you have the "right" to do it.

Conversely, a "crime" would be considered interference with one's rights. If you violate the person or property of another, non-rights-infringing individual, you are committing a crime, whether it is theft, murder, rape, etc?

Of course it gets trickier when we talk about things like fraud (interference with property) or even voting for politician that promise to violate rights (such as those that support the drug war), but, like the NAP, the principle remains unchanged.

In fact, I think the rights vs. crimes breakdown is a perfect addendum to the NAP, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

I'm not sure if we've conversed here before, so it's a pleasure to "meet" you.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

back in black

I've made a handful of comments to your posts, nothing memorable. I think one comment was even in direct disagreement to something you posted or said on one of your shows. Hmm, maybe it was a Rothbard thing, like I said, nothing memorable. Overall I've been quite aligned with your perspective on most things. Oh yeah, I remember something memorable. I'm the guy who commented a long time ago that you are reminiscent of and every bit as enjoyable as Scott Horton in your podcast persona.

Anyway, thanks for chiming in and drawing me back from my "break". The middle of summer here has me playing with my kids almost around the clock. I left off at a good point to seemlessly continue while addressing your new reply. I can fully embrace your use of "crime", but I have a difficult time placing "rights" into a comparable category. I think jumping back into the topic of NAP is the clearest way I can show my perspective on morality and such. I shall try to do this without linking to commentary I have already written.

BILL3 a few months back dedicated an entire post to an exchange he and I had on someone else's post. The someone else's post posed a question regarding NAP and atheism. I answered that question with a comment built around an event of my own direct experience. For me it expressed the core of how and why I engage NAP. I basically said that I had yelled at my brother and as a result, in the wake of having yelled at my brother I felt like crap. [Go back thirty years and substitute "punched my brother" -same thing.] I have noticed that everytime I have yelled and screamed at someone in my life, that I have ended up feeling worse than I did before I yelled at them. I embrace NAP as a tool, a meditaive reminder of spiritual principle to help me avoid engaging agressive behavior toward others, to help me not get lost in an insufferably agressive state of mind.

BILL mentioned in his first comment to me and then repeatedly in following comments that I had never answered the OP's question, that what I said had nothing to do with NAP, and that he was clueless as to how I thought that any of it had to do with morality. That was actually an immaculate reply for me to get from BILL as it cut perfectly to the chase of what I needed to iron out with him before I could successfully engage any more discussion with him about anything. What the hell is moral?

NAP [for me] is entirely about my behavior and no one else's. I could water it down and say it is mostly about my own behavior, but I've tried that sort of approach and when I've tried it as such the entire ball of wax melts and runs off the table. I guess that makes me an absolutist of sorts, a pure libertarian as such. I am immaculately unconcerned with active regulation of the behavior and morality of others. Should I ever punch someone in the face, know that I will never attach "That'll teach ya!" but that I will simply be defending myself and my property. "Get out of my space! and stay out!" I don't think that likely to ever happen actually, for I've noticed something. The more I embrace NAP and my purist perspective of morality, the more at ease and respectful people seem to be around me. I mow my own lawn, and I don't mow your lawn. I will help mow your lawn though if you ask me. As I engage my version of my pursuit of morality, one unintended benefit is that every interaction I have with you leaves you with the sense that I don't stare out my window at your lawn and say to my kids or think to myself, "Wow, Marc's lawn looks like crap! What a lazy bastard!" Hence I am actually quite approachable should you ever actually need help to mow your lawn [or ask me what I think of your lawn].

There is a key point about to be injected here. Let's see, where did I put it? Oh, here it is... I don't embrace NAP that others follow suit. NAP is not some kind of pact I've signed onto. I have never engaged discussion about it to persuade others to embrace it, and I am uninterested in any missionary work carrying it forth as such. NAP pleases me. Watermelon pleases me. I am no more inclined to spread NAP to everyone than I am to carry watermelons around that I may hand out to people and say, "Here, eat this. You'll love it! Oh, you don't like it? Take at least two more bites. Here's a spoon so we can take the mess element out of the experience. Maybe it's just the messiness you don't like. Here, try it in a box with a fox..."

Hmm, which way should I go from here? into crime? or rights?

Come to think of it, I can't stand when other people use that leading rhetorical technique on me, narrowing my options down to the duopoly of this or that.

Screw both! I'm taking another break. :D

I do remember!

Your Horton compliment! Thanks so much (again!)

If one is committing an act that is not violating the NAP against another, would you agree you have a right to commit that act? That is what I mean by "right."

The opposite of this - aggression - is always a crime.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

rights, allowances, privileges, permits

These terms are all similar in how they may be used, but different in designation. Each term is borne from a different subset of terminology, as we mix the terms together their meanings tangle quickly into ambiguity. In many contexts we find the terms interchangeable and are not specifically concerned with which one we pull out of the hat, but when we are in lengthy discussion that literally analyzes what's different about these terms, it's pretty essential that we pick them from our lexical hats very carefully and keep them straight and distinct from one another at all times. It's okay to use two or more in the same sentence, but when we find them as such we need to take extra care to keep track of the nouns, pronouns, subjects, objects, entities, etcetera to which they refer.

Say I wish to grow some flowers in my yard [or smoke crack, or urinate outdoors, or go skinny dipping at the public beach, the private beach, etc.], I ask myself [or not :D], do I have the right to grow fowers in my yard? What does "right" mean there? Am I allowed to grow flowers in my yard? Who is it that would be allowing me? Do I have the privilege to grow flowers? Does not everyone have that right? Is it permissable that I grow flowers? Do I need a permit?

Each of these terms travels a different path. Each question is somehow different. Now let's see what happens when we mix them. Am I allowed the right to grow flowers? What does that mean? Am I privileged with greater rights as the permit approved by the City Council grants me a greater allowance of acreage to grow flowers than my neighbor's permit allows? Everything is pretty clear there as I struggled to keep clear all the terms. The term at the actual heart of the question though, remains unclear. What the hell are rights? With all the other terms though, I did a pretty good job at keeping clear the references to which the terms refer - who is allowing, who is being allowed what, etcetera.

I'm not saying it doesn't make sense, but I sensed impending doom of confusion as I read in your comment [a couple back]...

By "right" I mean, one is morally allowed to do something.

I have no problem understanding this, and I don't disapprove, but it is a red flag to me that things could soon get messy as two of the terms there are being used in the same sentence. The sentence presents a definition, that's great, what could be a better reason to mix terms in a sentence? A "right" is what is morally allowed. We've been wondering what "rights" are, haven't we? Now the mystery has been shifted to the term "moral". Hmm, what is moral? Isn't moral somehow defined by what is right? Hmm, I somehow feel we're closer to the mystery anyway, good move! "Right" in its moral aspect shall be the use of "right" from here on out. That is "good" to know.

One person says...
"Two plus two equals four."

Another person says...
"Two plus two is twenty two."

Who is "right"?

Answer ---> whoever is smiling!

Back to your sentence... "allowed the right"... At this level of simplicity I might just assume I know who or what entity is doing the "allowing". Here I might assume, being sort of a natural rights kinda guy, that God is the entity to which you refer that is engaged in the act of allowing, or perhaps I could think of my conscience as that which allows, or Judge Napolitano might say my humanity allows me the right. Perhaps I assume this and move on. Later I am confused as I struggle in coming to find that you were not speaking so generally, but you were thinking of the City Council in your head when you used the term "allowed". Yes, this entire paragraph is silly and hypothetical, but I'm simply illustrating where most discussions fall apart, and the points at which we must take extra care of precaution.

I enjoyed the Shayne Wissler interview. I shared many concerns with him as you did. I particularly enjoyed his saying, "Semantics are important!" I also noted later on when he refered to something as "permissable". I can only assume, for he did not make perfectly clear who or what was doing the permitting. As a libertarian I am always keenly aware of the use of such terms. "Who claims the right to permit me?!!!" These are the most important points of semantic concern to a libertarian.

I've lost brevity. Time to reclaim it...

If one is committing an act that is not violating the NAP against another, would you agree you have a right to commit that act? That is what I mean by "right."


I accept that's what you mean by "right", and I think I have a pretty good handle on your working definition. Personally, I am careful to not use the term so broadly. I can, and I will, but before I do I must express to you the specific essential foundation upon which I build any broader sense of the term. I shall attempt that after I take another break.

The opposite of this - aggression - is always a crime.

"Crime" too heavily suggests broad judicial concern. It does not belong [at least yet] in basic moral discussion. "Wrong" needs to be established before "crime" enters the scene. "Rights vs. Crimes" takes quite a leap. "Rights vs. Wrongs" is semantically appropriate. "Crimes" is a subclassification of "wrongs". It's unfortunare that we don't have an equivalent subclassification of "rights". We often simply use "rights" as a subclassification of "rights", and that challenges our notion of the term "simply". :D


http://youtu.be/gWGVh4TUaes -um, don't know if this was such a good idea

I'll cut to the moral chase. Let's focus on the one term of the four that you have so helpfully pointed out as the one concerned specifically with morality. What are "rights"? More basically for now, what is "right"? At the risk of making biochemists cringe, I shall compare the term "right" with the term "sweet". At the risk of being too general here I'll also compare the word "right" with "sugar", "rights" to "sugars". "Rights" and "sugars" are often used quite generally. Honey is sweet. Jelly is sweet. Watermelon is sweet. They are are all sweet as they all bear sugar. "Sugar" may sometimes specifically mean crystaline extract from sugar cane or sugar beat. "Right" is often used to mean something specific in the speaker's mind, but let us for now rid ourselves of those specific references. Candy and grapes are both sweet for containing sugar. I may engage what is right as I am allowed or permitted. Sugar is not the only content of candy and grapes. I also may engage that which is wrong as I am allowed or permitted. Upon choice of either in either context, the sweet sugar is what I seek, my intent or goal. I might seek a permit. I might seek grapes. Grapes might not be in season. I might be denied a permit, but the permit is not actually what I seek. I might choose to eat candy when grapes are unavailable. I might choose to plant my garden without a permit if a permit is not available. The permit is not what makes it "right" for me in the first place. I have already decided a garden is "right" for me, before I found out that the City requires me to get a permit.

I don't know why I wrote that last paragraph, but I have an inkling that it will come in handy on down the line.


The simplest way I can think of to make clear what this "moral" thing is, is to fix the language, to place moral terms in the simplest of context and build out from there. We have grown sloppy in using the term "right". It's almost become slang. We have become comfortable in abstracting it with figures of speech. It has been loosed from its foundation. As a moral term "right" can only refer to one of two things, a person(conscious being) or his/her behavior. I could very well have said just one thing as the second is the initial abstration from the other. The term's use is monolithic, and at it lowest level are you and I [preferably me :D].

I am right.

The second non-ambiguous use of the term is an abstraction of the first.

Eating food is right. (or) It is right for me to eat food.

Notice the injection of the pronoun "It". It is a figure of speech that satisfies some mysterious urge in me to wax axiomatically, to objectify my experience. It begins to flirt with ambiguity, but no one misunderstands what I mean as I say it that way. Here's the crux, the most crucial thing to stay on top of as we ride up the monolith. When I say "It is right for me to eat food", I am actually saying "I am right upon eating food". "I am right to eat food" is actually a slight abstraction. When I claim that an action is "right", I am claiming that during my engagement of that action or in the wake of doing that action, that I am, was or will be right. "Right" ultimately refers to my state of being. "Love is right." Who wouldn't agree? But that simple abstraction is founded on my experience that "I am right as I love or am loved". Should the term "right" be used in a way that is not translatable to that basic form, it has parted from its monolith of reality and become essentially meaningless, a purely abstracted and unsubstantiated hypothetical.

By the way, "I am wrong" purely and simply means "I am not right".

Okay, now that we have proper context, what does "right" actually mean?

Stay tuned..?

I wouldn't equate

The last 3 terms with the first. the last 3 suggest some sort of power structure - perhaps legitimate, perhaps not - but the first is universal.

Human beings should have the right to do whatever they please, so long as they do not interfere with the same rights of others individuals.

"Say I wish to grow some flowers in my yard [or smoke crack, or urinate outdoors, or go skinny dipping at the public beach, the private beach, etc.], I ask myself [or not :D], do I have the right to grow fowers in my yard? What does "right" mean there? Am I allowed to grow flowers in my yard? Who is it that would be allowing me? Do I have the privilege to grow flowers? Does not everyone have that right? Is it permissable that I grow flowers? Do I need a permit?"

Yes, you do (or should, in our modern context this isn't the reality of the situation) have the right to do those things?

However, individuals also have the right to join communities that might restrict those things as well. This is the right of freedom of association. One can subject themselves to man-made laws through contract,they just cannot enforce them upon others who have not agreed to such terms.

In the middle of working right now, so I'll return to the rest later.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*


Could you give us a simple definition for monopoly on force, to keep everybody on the same page.

monopoly on force

good point.

I should clarify that I'm using it in the context that faithkills uses it, as in "a monopoly over the legal use of violence over a given region", in this case, the region being one's private property.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

How about these

Let's break it down:
: exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action

: exclusive possession or control

: a commodity controlled by one party

: violence, compulsion, or constraint exerted upon or against a person or thing

According to libertarian

According to libertarian principles, I don't think the property owner is the final arbiter of how libertarian code should be applied.

For example, if a guest becomes upset during a conversation and breaks something in your home without threatening you, then you wouldn't have the right to apply deadly force.

Which force?

Do you have the right to a monopoly on any force in your own home?

Do you have the right to a monopoly on defensive force in your own home?

Case in point:

Person A in error opens door entering home and upon entering home Person B in error assumes intent by Person A to harm Person B, so Person B employs lethal defensive force in error.

Under Question 1 (if yes) there is no question as to the right or wrong done by Person B.

Under Question 2 (if yes) there is a question as to the right or wrong done by both Person A and Person B.

Is it not important to accurately discriminate the difference between aggressive force and defensive force?

Under Question 1 (if no) Person B is always wrong, even if Person A is intending to kill Person B.

Under Question 2 (if no) Person B is always wrong, even if Person A is intending to kill Person B.

If no is the answer to both questions, then Person A is right even if Person A willfully intends to kill (murder) person B, in, or out, of any home of any kind?