Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dear Dull 'Hawk, #1

Dear Dull 'Hawk,

The government steals from us all the time. That seems to mean that government people are thieves. Thieves don't have any moral right to what they have stolen, as I understand it. If we steal (really: take back,or homestead) things from government or from government people, do we act morally? If so, what of the fact that what we liberate will be repurchased with funds that come from insurance pools that include non-state people who are guilty of nothing?


[First, here is advice from Mike:

Well, anonymous, Since it's "free market" advice, I'll take a shot.
I'd have to say first and foremost that the collective "we" is out of place
here, and it muddles things considerably. If you, or any other actual person
with a name, has had some specific piece of property taken from you, then, yes,
you have a moral right to it, no matter who took it. Of course, if you you try
to take it back from the government, expect to be jailed or killed for your
trouble. Morality and reality are not the same thing-ask Jesus.

But, when you say "we" and "us" you get into very dangerous territory,
since you have no claim on something stolen from someone else-only your own
stuff. That means that if you "liberate" something, be it money or other
property, that was stolen from me, or that someone else like an insurance co.
has a claim on, you are still a thief, but morally and legally. Since just
because it was once stolen, does not make it fair game for you to take as
This is part of why collectivism is so terrible, it confounds morality. But
that's just me. Can't wait to hear Kent's thoughts.]

Dear Anonymous,

If some of your property is in government possession, if you take it back you have acted morally. I will blog about the injustice of your arrest (kidnapping) or honor your memory. Since you know the government will continue to steal from others to replace your property if you take it back, the only permanent solution is to make certain the thief can't continue to steal.

Then Mike asks:

"Since at one point virtually all property was stolen, particularly land, is it really possible to have a claim to private property? In the strict principled sense, or is there a degree of pragmatism involved since true original ownership is impossible to determine?"

Dear Mike,

If the original owner of a piece of land, or specific descendants, can be identified, I think they should be reimbursed. If the real original owners are lost in the mists of time, then no living person was stolen from, and no one alive is guilty of theft. I don't hold people responsible for what their parents did, much less for the actions of their great-great grandparents. I can wring my hands over the injustices of the past, or I can focus on making sure no more injustices occur. Just my opinion.

End the government monopoly; give people a choice

End the government monopoly; give people a choice

In the comments under the column on welfare, "straightarrow" mentioned that he thinks Social Security should be voluntary. I can fully agree to that. In fact, that is all I am truly saying on any of these issues: let people have a choice to opt out of government programs if they so choose. Don't use coercion to force people to use, or at least pay for, government "services" they don't want or need. End the government monopoly!

I have no problem paying the city for the water I use. I would prefer there were competition so that quality would improve, and price might go down, but I have no desire to get something for nothing. Trash pick-up is the same way. I get a service; I pay for it.

What I would really rather not have is a "once-a-month rabid skunk delivery service" mandated by the state, and charged to me even if I insist I don't want it. That is what most government "services" are to me.

If parents wish to home-school (or "unschool") their children, don't force them to keep paying for the system that they have come to realize is socialist indoctrination. If a person realizes that they don't need "police protection", but can do the same job better and cheaper for themselves, don't expect them to pay for the "protection" of others who are not as self-responsible. If an inventor creates a flying car that uses no government roads, don't steal money from him in the way of "road taxes" every time he fuels his vehicle. Choices, options, and an end to the destructive and coercive monopoly.

I don't want or need police "keeping drunks off the road" by violating the basic human right to travel unmolested. I can watch out for myself. That is my responsibility, after all. In fact, I don't want or need police at all.

I don't want to pay for the FCC to fine TV stations on my behalf (though, of course, THEY keep the money) to protect me from things the government thinks I shouldn't see or hear. If the TV offends me I can turn it off. If it offends you I will be glad to show you where the off-button is.

I don't want to pay for the "privilege" of having a Congress. If they want to be "in the club" so badly, let them pay a membership fee and work as volunteers. Best of all, let any "laws" they create only apply to those who are members of their club and leave the rest of us alone.

I don't want the DEA murdering people, for my "benefit", because they have hemp leaves in their possession, nor killing people who are manufacturing chemicals that the state has created a demand for through prohibition. Also, it certainly doesn't benefit me to have government keep these victims of government-gone-amok in prison, at my expense, with the real aggressors and thieves.

I don't want or need a wall built along the southern border to keep "those people" out. If you own property, you have the only say in who may or may not cross it. The US government owns NO property legitimately. Don't let it pretend it does. Do you worry about the "drain on the economy" that you imagine immigrants cause? Then demand an end to all forms of welfare immediately. Worried about the "drug crime" that crosses "the border"? End prohibition and destroy the black market for the "drugs". Otherwise you are just being hypocritical.

Now, if you want some of these "services", then you should be happy to pay for them out of your own pocket. Don't force me, at gunpoint, to "contribute" to your cause. If your "services" violate anyone's rights, even my sworn enemy's, expect me to hold you accountable.