Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bubble Theory vs the ZAP etc.

I've been thinking a lot about my so-called "Bubble Theory of Property Rights" recently. Part of the reason is probably because of the video I made to try to explain my views on it. The rest of the reason is simply because it seems so completely self-evident to me, even in the face of the arguments against it.

Using the concealed weapon example is easiest for me because that's where the discussion began, but it applies just as well to anything you could carry or wear privately on (or in) your body.

It applies to the TSA abuses. It is what the Fourth Amendment was supposed to protect (although it was then thoroughly compromised with weasel-words telling how government could violate it "legally"). It is at the heart of self-ownership and individual sovereignty, since it means making choices for yourself and accepting the consequences of those choices rather than being responsible for other people's choices.

But I began to wonder how it held up against the Zero Aggression Principle. After studying it, I realized it passes with flying colors.

I completely agree with those who disagree with my Bubble theory of property rights on one particular point: Forbidding weapons from being carried concealed by visitors to private property does not initiate force.

However, the reverse is also true. Bubble theory does not initiate force in any way. You are not using physical force on another person by exercising your bodily property rights even when surrounded by their property.

Is being ZAP-compliant enough? I maintain that the ZAP is essential, but not sufficient, for ethical behavior. You must also not initiate deceit nor commit non-aggressive theft (fraud).

How does Bubble Theory stack up here? It does not deceive any innocent person, nor does it steal any object from anyone. It "steals" no part of the other property owner's rights from him, since his rights end where his property ends, and therefore does not penetrate the bubble of property traveling around with other people's bodies.

The only time it would initiate fraud is if you explicitly agreed to not carry anything the property owner forbade, and then did so anyway. Otherwise, while it might be nicer to acknowledge the prohibition and agree to abide by it, you are not harming anyone in any real way, neither physically nor economically, if you ignore their unreasonable demands. You are not violating the ZAP, nor are you harming anyone, but are taking responsibility for yourself and expressing your individual sovereignty.

That leaves only trespassing as a possible wrong you have committed. Is the property open to "the public", or did you receive an invitation? Then you are not trespassing if you are there. What about your "forbidden object"? An object can not trespass; only a person can. (If you go onto the other person's property and drop your "forbidden object", then you are littering. This is about as close to trespassing as an object can come, but the offense is yours, not the object's.)

No one is obligated to open their property to the presence of others. "Hermit" is a legitimate lifestyle choice. However, if you want to have it both ways: to not be a hermit, but also try to violate the personal rights of those who come to your property, you are not being a good person. I don't think you are even being rational.

As I say, I will still do my best to respect the wishes of other property owners, but I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I respect the property and liberty of others, as I claim to, then I can not pretend to have any control over what is inside their personal property bubbles. If I don't trust you with your liberty, then I don't trust you and have no business inviting you onto my property in the first place. You do what you feel is right, just as I will.

Added: I think claiming that real estate property rights can exist without "the bubble" of personal property rights existing is like claiming that you can exist without your grandparents ever having existed. Just my view on the matter...