PD: A group of individuals decide in order to help assure mutual survival they will venture out into the wilderness and build a fort. An agreement is made among the individuals that in order to live within the walls and enjoy the protection provided they will comply with the following:
1. All males between the ages of 14 and 50 must take a turn standing guard on the wall.
2. All adults over the age of 18 will supply a monthly allotment of fuel oil to maintain lanterns and be sold to pay for collection and penalties
3. All individuals who do not perform their duties will be punished and/or banished.
4. All individuals upon reaching the age of responsibility must agree or be banished
5. All individuals must perform any additional applicable future duties as deemed necessary from time to time to help assure mutual survival as set forth by a majority vote.
Define for me the following:
1. This agreement
2. The obligation to stand guard
3. The role of the oil collectors
4. The obligation to provide fuel oil
5. The role of the punishers
6. The role of the banishers
7. The role of the individual/group who employs the oil collectors and enforcers
8. The obligation of compliance upon those who reach the age of responsibility
After years pass a representative of another group comes and informs this group that the fort is built within the boundaries of another much larger fort and there exists an agreement made many years prior by their forefathers and that all inhabitants are also subject to this agreement if the wish to stay in their fort.
Define this agreement.
Me: 1. They've appropriated previously (assuming) unappropriated land and built a fort out of previously (assuming) unappropriated wood (assuming). Unless someone else has a better claim, ie. they're the real first appropriator, to this land and wood, they are the homesteading joint owners. It is now their privately owned property.
2. Rules of the property. As in any rules that an owner places over his property, observe them or leave (exit the boundary of what's been appropriated). When banishing, it must be done in the "gentlest manner possible". The more resistance they give, the greater amount of force may be used, etc.
3. See 2.
4. See 2.
5. See 2.
6. See 2.
7. See 2.
8. See 2.
Unless the land and wood was appropriated, ie. put to some use or planned use, not simply fenced off, it's still a part of nature and not owned by anyone. The fort builders have every right to appropriate it for themselves and to tell these latecomers to bug off, and of course to defend it by force. The latecomers' claim has no weight as evidenced by their actions in failing to appropriate what they are claiming to own. And yes, "ownership" is the correct term. Something is either owned (pulled out of a state of nature) or it's not. Who owns it, and how many owners is the next logical question to ask.
Since there are vast swathes of land supposedly "owned" by the Federal government all over the West, we would be justified (ethically) in doing the above. The Federal government does not really "own" the land, of course, and that is why it would be ethically justified to appropriate it for oneself and use it in any way one sees fit. Though ethically justified, it would be unwise.
I can't recommend highly enough Rothbard's "The Ethics of Liberty", found here in several free formats.
Yes, they can subdivide and transfer title to others, all well within their right as owner. Once transferred, it's no longer theirs. They can't take it back unless it was a trade and the other party failed to deliver title to whatever property (or performance, which is a property in oneself) was promised.
As a side note, this is why "fraud" is technically an act of theft. What was promised is not delivered and unless the benefit is returned, it has essentially been stolen.
What is the "non-aggression principle"? Only the "lynch pin" of libertarianism. See Block.
Further, if someone (or more than one) does not have the final say on the use of his (their) property, then they are not the true owner(s) of said property. They're merely stewards/renters/placeholders without the power of ultimate decision making.
I may not like it either, However like it or not our property ownership or use is subject to prior societal agreement. An agreement that we by virtue of our choice to live here we are agreed to. We must pay for the fuel oil, take our turn on the wall and abide by the laws of our society. We can chose to leave or stay and try to change the agreement or comply with or face the consequences. These agreements are made with our communities, cities, states and nations. They are a contractual obligation. They have offer and acceptance. They have an exchange of goods or services. There is no need for written evidence to be a valid contract. As in the prior example we are subject to these agreements by being born here and choosing to stay.
The government (supposedly) provides a service. Non-governments provide services too. Why is it that we only see these so-called "permanent" agreements applied to government services? What makes the individuals who make up what we call "government" special? Why are they able to enforce permanency on their demands and other service providers aren't?
By this logic, the American colonists had no right to secede from Great Britain. "Representation" or not, that's how things were at their birth. They had every right to leave, after all. If we are to be logically consistent, we must be fighting to re-unite with "the motherland". We must reject Federal rule and demand that our government be handed back to England. Right? (of course, even England used conquest and exploitation to create and extend it's rule, as all states have.)
The biggest difference in our reasoning is our starting point. You're assuming a given nation has legitimate authority over a given area. I'm not. Hypothetically, I agree with you. As far as the world right now, citizens are not joint owners in any meaningful sense of the word. See Hoppe.
I too would choose to live within society. I submit for the time being because I can bear it. At some point, it may become unbearable, as evidenced by the Berlin Wall. It was used to keep people in, not out, as you know. They had every right to live as they pleased in their home land. What they lacked was the power.
What the Austrian School shows is that government intervention in the marketplace, it's regulations and laws, distorts price signals, creates moral hazard, and protects privileged people and businesses. Mises showed why government intervention always begets more government intervention because of the damage the original intervention causes. He also proved why socialism, with it's absence of economic calculation, will always fail. And further, he proved why a mixed-economy, such as we have in the US, will continually move closer and closer to complete socialism (intervention begets intervention). See Mises.
One of the Austrian Schools greatest contributions to economic thought is it's work on the business cycle. The Austrian School has shown why fractional-reserve central banking creates economic booms via encouraging malinvestment, and with an inevitable bust which creates unemployment and the justification for the central bank to create more inflation, leading to another boom, bust, rinse, and repeat. It's the history of fractional-reserve banking. It's why the US dollar has lost 96% of it's value since 1913. The Austrian School has explained every economic boom and bust on these grounds, both in the US and out. See Rothbard. And see the Mises wiki on business cycles.
My point is, even if our government had any legitimate authority, it is incredibly foolish to give it any amount of power over people's lives and the economy. "Government is the negation of liberty". It quite simply CAN'T do what the people want it to do. It will fail at even basic roles, such as the protection of person and property.
So then, my ethical concerns with government aside, on purely consequentialist grounds, government is a bad idea. It is not the vehicle to happiness and prosperity. It's the vehicle to misery and death. I choose to deal with others on a voluntary basis. Coercion is wrong, and produces "bads".
And for what it's worth, here's 100 ways that Obama is Bush 3. Really though, there's very little substantial difference between Republicans and Democrats. Both believe in using coercion, ie. law, to mold society to their ideal. At least my idealism is based on voluntary human relations and mutual consent, not on violence, guns, and cages.
But really, take the time to read my links above. You'll learn something they never teach in school (for logical reasons).
Yes, there are a lot of economic ideas, a lot of really crazy, illogical economic ideas. The Austrian School is grounded in logic, not history, and not experiment. It's on solid intellectual ground. You'll know that after you study it. I recommend Hoppe.
Rothbard wrote a powerful essay in defense of radical idealism, here.
Yes, it's catchy.
I'm safe mostly of my own choosing. I choose to submit, and that's kept me safe so far. But as a libertarian, I'm now on the government's threat list.