Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Double standard makes government its own counterargument

Double standard makes government its own counterargument

(My Clovis News Journal column for March 29, 2013.)

Civilization depends on unwavering respect for property rights, and the recognition of the right to defend property. Without the ability to own property, use it as you see fit, and defend it from those who wish to steal or destroy its value, we would still be living a nomadic stone age life. I don't know about you, but I enjoy some of the trappings of civilization, though, and I don't appreciate those who are tirelessly working to roll them back.

If you can't feel confident about your ability to hold on to what is yours and use it to your advantage, there is no reason to make any improvements or put any effort into anything beyond basic survival.

Long ago, some people decided the best way to protect those property rights, and other rights, was to establish governments.

Obviously they were very mistaken. The biggest violator of property rights is- and has for a long time been- various iterations of government.

Double standards never work. If it is wrong for me to take your property, to tell you what you can do with your land, or to demand you hand over your money, then it is wrong for everyone, and for any group, to do.

If you prevent a person from using their own property as they wish, even if you say you will pay what you believe is a fair price for your violation, you have stolen a portion of that property's value. Even if you "generously allow" them to retain possession- in exchange for a yearly ransom, of course.

The act of "eminent domain" is a growing threat to property in America. It was never right, and has grown beyond what any of its early advocates ever imagined. It is now used to benefit businesses, supposedly in "the public interest". If you want to use another person's property you either need to reach a mutually agreeable arrangement with them, or you must find an alternative. Asking someone else- a government, for example- to steal the property on your behalf is not ethical, even if it is said to be "legal". So sorry if doing the right thing is inconvenient or costly.

All government control of private property is a violation of property rights. Eminent domain, being outright theft of real estate, is just the worst example. Taxation, property codes, licenses and permits do the same thing, in less obvious ways.

If government was instituted to protect rights, then by violating property rights government invalidates its own existence. It becomes its own best counterargument.


"No guns (for you!)"

If you attempt to disarm anyone who is not threatening you right now- through "laws", words, policies, or whatever else you might use, you are the bad guy.

Go ahead and do it- however you seek to justify it.  You may even have the right in some instances.  But you are never "good" for doing so.