Thursday, August 07, 2014

Liberty Lines, August 7, 2014

(Published in the Farwell TX / Texico NM "State Line Tribune". Wow... the version printed by the newspaper is filled with typos and errors that were not in my original. Because I came back and looked to make sure I hadn't made those mistakes. Sigh...)

What is authority? I think most people are very confused about that.

Let's say you have a vault which contains gold coins. The contents of that safe are yours, free and clear, and if you choose to do so, you can give me some of it. It is within your authority to do so.

If you have a butler whom you have authorized to hand out coins on your behalf, he also has the authority to give me some.

Thank you!

However, if the coins aren't yours to give away, but belong to someone else, or if you haven't given your butler permission to hand out your coins, giving them to me wouldn't be right. It is not within your authority, nor your butler's, to give them away. Doing so would be theft.

You also can't give the butler the authority to break into your neighbor's house and give away the neighbor's coins, because that authority is not yours to give. You would be wrong to pretend you could delegate that authority to anyone.

Similarly, you can't give any government employee authority you, personally, don't possess.

You can delegate the authority to catch a murderer, attacker, or a thief because you, personally, have that authority. No one had to give it to you; you were born with it. Those things are within your authority to deal with.

On the other hand, you don't have authority to forbid people from doing anything they want which doesn't directly cause physical harm- not just the potential for possible harm- against the innocent or violate private property rights, and therefore you can't delegate that nonexistent "authority" to anyone on your behalf. You would be attempting to give away something imaginary which therefore can't be yours to give. No matter how badly you want to, how you try to justify it, or how many of your neighbors agree with you. Acting as though you can do it anyway just makes you and your employee the bad guys.

Because you, as an individual, regardless of any delusions of grandeur, do not have the authority to tell others what to do with their own property, including their own lives, you can't delegate that authority. Not even by inventing governments or making up "laws". If you forge ahead, or send others to carry out your wishes on your behalf, you are a thief or an attacker.