An Excerpt from Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution

By Murray N. Rothbard


The normative principle I am suggesting for the law is simply this: No action should be considered illicit or illegal unless it invades, or aggresses against, the person or just property of another. Only invasive actions should be declared illegal, and combated with the full power of the law. The invasion must be concrete and physical. There are degrees of seriousness of such invasion, and hence, different proper degrees of restitution or punishment. “Burglary,” simple invasion of property for purposes of theft, is less serious than “robbery,” where armed force is likely to be used against the victim. Here, however, we are not concerned with the questions of degrees of invasion or punishment, but simply with invasion per se.

If no man may invade another person’s “just” property, what is our criterion of justice to be? There is no space here to elaborate on a theory of justice in property titles. Suffice it to say that the basic axiom of libertarian political theory holds that every man is a selfowner, having absolute jurisdiction over his own body. In effect, this means that no one else may justly invade, or aggress against, another’s person. It follows then that each person justly owns whatever previously unowned resources he appropriates or “mixes his labor with.” From these twin axioms — self-ownership and “homesteading” — stem the justification for the entire system of property rights titles in a free-market society. This system establishes the right of every man to his own person, the right of donation, of bequest (and, concomitantly, the right to receive the bequest or inheritance), and the right of contractual exchange of property titles.

Legal and political theory have committed much mischief by failing to pinpoint physical invasion as the only human action that should be illegal and that justifies the use of physical violence to combat it. The vague concept of “harm” is substituted for the precise one of physical violence. Consider the following two examples. Jim is courting Susan and is just about to win her hand in marriage, when suddenly Bob appears on the scene and wins her away. Surely Bob has done great “harm” to Jim. Once a nonphysical-invasion sense of harm is adopted, almost any outlaw act might be justified. Should Jim be able to “enjoin” Bob’s very existence? Continue reading “An Excerpt from Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution”

Episode 59 – WALL-E (51:49)

We hang on to the last vestiges of my youth as I turn 40 and talk about a children’s movie with my friend since childhood, and co-host, Robert.

WALL-E is a charming story of a lonely robot who gains sentience and becomes lonely; but there’s also some ridiculous economic fallacies and a few strong propagandistic messages being pushed.

RATING
(On our new “Out of 10.0 Scale”)
Robert gives it a 7.2
Daniel drops a 9.0

We hope you enjoy this one!

Continue reading “Episode 59 – WALL-E (51:49)”

Liberty and Violence: A Paradox

By Steven Clyde


The World Health Organization, though incorrectly identifying “self-harm” as a form of violence[1], provides an otherwise laudable definition of violence:

the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation[2]

The question of primacy then for libertarians as it relates to liberty is as follows:

“Is using violence against non-violent individuals ever justified?”

A common argument is that violence is warranted when used to retrieve stolen property or to mitigate the acts of being defrauded. These examples still beg the original question, as both stealing and defrauding property are considered a form of violence itself; theft is clearly deprivation; theft is clearly intentional.

However, when “defensive violence” becomes conflated with“aggressive violence”, it becomes an obvious concealment for the true intent of the aggressors.

For example, if Robinson Crusoe shows up on an island and claims a coconut tree for himself (among many), and someone else shows up and tries to claim the same tree, it would be argued that “Crusoe is inherently violent. If someone seeks to access “his” tree”, which is given to all of us by nature, he will use violence.”

It is not asked, however, “why is person B attempting to use the tree Crusoe has claimed and begun to care for when 1.) there are plenty of other trees around to homestead, and other islands for that matter and 2.) it has been expressed that conflict will unnecessarily arise.

It cannot be taken seriously that there is real concern over scarce resources being oppressively utilized, but only that a desire to encourage conflict is prevalent in the first place; the lust of another’s source of happiness, in other words, seeks to downplay the sacrifices and time preferences of people enhancing their lives.

Yet many examples exist outside of Crusoe’s fictitious island.

Continue reading “Liberty and Violence: A Paradox”

Economic Harmonies: Chapter 6 Review – Accounting For Wealth

Applying The Seen And The Unseen To Matters Of Accounting For Wealth.

By Scott Albright


When the bemoaning of cheap consumer goods, trade deficits and of displacements of workers due to newer capital investments in both industrial production and various services in general are coupled with a heavy embracing of the belief that aggregate spending and “production” in the general abstract sense are what determine the health of an economy (i.e., as measured by GDP, regardless of how much so called production is in response to consumer demand or of the hegemonic rule of state planners), and this view is still alive 170 years after Bastiat wrote the Harmonies, is it any wonder that the campaign logo “Make America Great Again” was both sported and sentimentally so alluring to so many President Trump supporters last year?

The tendency of trade protectionists and economic nationalists to view property rights in a quasi-nationalist construct, seeing unemployment of domestic laborers as inherently bad, regardless of the interests of producers, investors, entrepreneurs, is dismissive of the bigger picture effects in international trade. Even if growing international trade deficits mean that more former domestic laborers are laid off, and are now employed or employable only at lower wages, it also means that laborers in other nations who’s said labor is outsourced for goods that we formerly produced, are now competitive enough to produce goods that will inevitably free up our labor to be available for other lines of employment.

Bastiat’s use of the term real wealth was very helpful in this chapter so that the reader doesn’t lose sight of the interest of the consumers, even when certain producers endure losses and have to go under.

“From the point of view of our satisfactions, that is, as far as our real wealth is concerned, we are as much enriched by the value that we have lost through progress in the means of production as by the value that we still possess.

In the transactions of everyday life we no longer take utility into account, in so far as, through the decrease in value, it becomes free of charge. Why? Because what is free of charge is common to all, and what is a common possession has no effect on each person’s individual share of the total real wealth. No exchange is made of what is held by all in common; and since, in business transactions, we need to know only that proportion which is constituted by value, that is all we concern ourselves with.” [1]

This goes back to the seen and the unseen. We must be very careful in our analysis to separate not just value and utility, as we learned from the chapter five review, but here to know that with production losses, trade deficits or labor being dislocated, not to miss the interests of consumers being served. Bastiat’s insight is very keen and from the beginning of the chapter he lays out the foundation of what we need to always observe.

“…for if we identify wealth (meaning the real, effective level of our material comforts) with value, if in particular, we affirm that wealth and value are in direct proportion to each other, we run the risk of putting our economic thinking on the wrong track. The works of second-rate economists and of the socialists prove this only too well. … and we expose our minds to the greatest of all dangers-that of becoming involved in a petitio principii in which we assume as true what we are trying to prove, of looking at political economy backwards and constantly confusing the goal that we wish to reach with the obstacle that blocks our way.” [2]

And by exposing our minds to said dangers, we inherently feed the notion of business losses/bankruptcies, outsourced various stages of production, as being inherently bad or undesirable, but missing the forest through the trees in not looking for the changing patterns of consumer demand which result from newer, more innovative methods of production as capital investment/accumulation increases enabling a much more productive labor force and higher standards of living, more leisure and time freed up to pursue other things on your value scale, so to speak. Continue reading “Economic Harmonies: Chapter 6 Review – Accounting For Wealth”

Libertarian Anarchists are Modern Day Abolitionists

. . . Wait a second! What!?

Yes, you read that title correctly. Radical libertarians are modern day abolitionists, or at least those who would advocate a complete, peaceful (and permanent) dissolution of the State apparatus.

At first glance, that statement might appear to be grandiose, absurd, or hyperbole, but it is the absolute truth.

For instance, if a good definition of slavery is using force or coercion to take one hundred percent of someone’s labor, what is it called when the State takes eighty percent of your income? What about sixty percent of your income? What about half? Twenty-eight percent (the average Federal income tax rate)?

At what rate of taxation does the forceful appropriation of funds cease to be slavery?

Still struggling with this truth? Let’s examine it more closely . . .

Specifically, the income tax implies that the government OWNS YOU. Property taxes imply that you never really own any property outright. Retail tax is just a thinly veiled extortion fee. Capital gains taxes imply that you aren’t really the owner of your financial assets, the government is! (At some point in history, government actors realized it is more efficient for them that you be allowed to manage those assets, while they skim the cream off the top!)

Social Security fits the exact definition of a Ponzi Scheme. Most will never see their money returned, because the exact money they paid in is GONE. The government spend it bombing civilians in unjust wars of imperial aggression.

Finally, the Federal Reserve drives inflation, which robs your purchasing power out from under you.

With all these taxes, fees, and inflation tallied up the government eventually ends up taking more than half of your income, and you don’t even directly get to determine how it is spent!

Some may call us naive ideologues. They claim: “taxes are used to pay for important things like roads, schools, and other critical infrastructure that make civilized society possible. Sure, I may not always agree with how my taxes are spent and sometimes the government takes too much, but I gladly pay them because I like driving on roads and having a school to send my kids to.”

The problem is, the government isn’t even good at providing those things. In fact, nearly every essential service the government claims a monopoly of, or grants a private monopoly for the facilitation of, has at one time in history been provided more efficiently, affordably, and ethically on the free market (even policing!). If it hasn’t at one time been provided on the free market, it was never allowed to.

Hans Herman Hoppe, relying on Gustav de Molinari further asserts in The Fallacies of the Public Goods Theory:

“If there is one well-established truth in political economy, it is this: That in all cases, of all commodities that serve to provide for the tangible or intangible need of the consumer, it is in the consumer’s best interest that labor and trade remain free, because the freedom of labor and trade have as their necessary and permanent result the maximum reduction of price. And this: That the interest of the consumer of any commodity whatsoever should always prevail over the interests of the producer. Now, in pursuing these principles, one arrives at this rigorous conclusion: That the production of security should in the interest of consumers of this intangible commodity remain subject to the law of free competition. Whence it follows: That no government should have the right to prevent another government from going into competition with it, or require consumers of security to come exclusively to it for this commodity. [1]

He comments on this whole argument by saying, ‘Either this is logical and true, or else the principles on which economic science is based are invalid.’ [2] [3]

There is apparently only one way out of this unpleasant (for all
socialists, that is) conclusion: to argue that there are particular goods to which for some special reasons the above economic reasoning does not apply. It is this that the so-called public goods theorists are determined to prove.”

Regardless of the fundamental laws of economics, just because the government spends some of the money that it extracted from you (with the implied and credible threat of violence) in ways that benefit you, it does not change the fact that the money was obtained immorally.

For instance, slavery is not moral (or anything less than slavery) just because the plantation owner provides food, shelter, and clothing to his slaves with the money he obtained from their labor! Furthermore, if the government eventually takes half of your income, you are a SLAVE from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm every. single. workday!

Despite lifetimes of conditioning to believe the opposite, this is not acceptable.

Indeed, through a lifetime of conditioning, the declaration “libertarian anarchists are capital ‘A’ Abolitionists” may seem extreme or even cringe-invoking, but as long as society passively accepts the legitimacy of coercive institutions, the human race will remain enslaved, resigned to hand over (at least) half their incomes to violent sociopaths in the power elite that control every State apparatus on planet Earth. The founders revolted over much less!

So, yes, despite popular opinion, we must not be afraid to identify the State for what it is: a perpetual institution of human slavery. We must shout this objective truth from the mountaintops until humankind joins us in condemning it.

In conclusion, I will encourage the reader to contemplate the words of Robert Nozik in The Tale of the Slave.

The Tale of the Slave

By Robert Nozick.
From Anarchy, State, and Utopia, 290-292 (1974), winner of a National Book Award in 1975

“Consider the following sequence of cases… and imagine it is about you.

  1. There is a slave completely at the mercy of his brutal master’s whims. He often is cruelly beaten, called out in the middle of the night, and so on.
  2. The master is kindlier and beats the slave only for stated infractions of his rules (not fulfilling the work quota, and so on). He gives the slave some free time.
  3. The master has a group of slaves, and he decides how things are to be allocated among them on nice grounds, taking into account their needs, merit, and so on.
  4. The master allows his slaves four days on their own and requires them to work only three days a week on his land. The rest of the time is their own.
  5. The master allows his slaves to go off and work in the city (or anywhere they wish) for wages. He requires only that they send back to him three-sevenths of their wages. He also retains the power to recall them to the plantation if some emergency threatens his land; and to raise or lower the three-sevenths amount required to be turned over to him. He further retains the right to restrict the slaves from participating in certain dangerous activities that threaten his financial return, for example, mountain climbing, cigarette smoking.
  6. The master allows all of his 10,000 slaves, except you, to vote, and the joint decision is made by all of them. There is open discussion, and so forth, among them, and they have the power to determine to what uses to put whatever percentage of your (and their) earnings they decide to take; what activities legitimately may be forbidden to you, and so on.

    *     *    *

  7. Though still not having the vote, you are at liberty (and are given the right) to enter into the discussions of the 10,000, to try to persuade them to adopt various policies and to treat you and themselves in a certain way. They then go off to vote to decide upon policies covering the vast range of their powers.
  8. In appreciation of your useful contributions to discussion, the 10,000 allow you to vote if they are deadlocked; they commit themselves to this procedure. After the discussion you mark your vote on a slip of paper, and they go off and vote. In the eventuality that they divide evenly on some issue, 5,000 for and 5,000 against, they look at your ballot and count it in. This has never yet happened; they have never yet had occasion to open your ballot. (A single master also might commit himself to letting his slave decide any issue concerning him about which he, the master, was absolutely indifferent.)
  9. They throw your vote in with theirs. If they are exactly tied your vote carries the issue. Otherwise it makes no difference to the electoral outcome.

The question is: which transition from case 1 to case 9 made it no longer the tale of a slave?”

[1] Gustave de Molinari, The Production of Security, trans. J. Huston McCulloch (New York: Center for Libertarian Studies, Occasional Paper Series No. 2, 1977), p. 3.
[2] Ibid., p. 4.
[3] Hans Herman Hoppe, Fallacies of the Public Goods Theory and the Production of Security, Journal of Libertarian Studies 9, no. 1 (Winter 1989).

The post Libertarian Anarchists are Modern Day Abolitionists appeared first on Liberty Weekly.

Source: Liberty Weekly – Libertarian Anarchists are Modern Day Abolitionists

How to Be a Good Advocate for Liberty Ep. 50 Feat. Keith Knight

In the big 5-0 episode of the podcast I am thrilled to welcome back Keith Knight of Don’t Tread on Anyone to discuss Larken Roses’ great book “The Most Dangerous Superstition.” In doing so, we discuss (humbly) the best and most honorable ways to advance the cause of liberty.

Check out Keith Knight’s “Don’t Tread on Anyone!”

Download a PDF of Larken Rose’s “The Most Dangerous Superstition”

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The post How to Be a Good Advocate for Liberty Ep. 50 Feat. Keith Knight appeared first on Liberty Weekly.

Source: Liberty Weekly – How to Be a Good Advocate for Liberty Ep. 50 Feat. Keith Knight

FPF #143 – Turkey's Game

On FPF #143, I look at the Turkish position on the geopolitical stage. Turkey is a NATO member state and houses US nuclear weapons. Turkey has recently moved closer to Russia and bought the Russian S-400 missile system. In Syria, Turkey backed rebels linked to Jihadists, calls for Assad to step down, and plans to attack the US-backed Kurds. I discuss how Turkey’s coming decisions will have big consequences. I also update the Neocon takeoverNorth Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia

Source: Foreign Policy Focus – FPF #143 – Turkey's Game

Ep. 25 – So On & So Forth w/Cousin Carmine 4: NJ Gov. Phil Murphy to Usher in Progressive Era

itunes pic

Cousin Carmine is back with Jeff and Tony to discuss NJ’s new Governor, Phil Murphy, who was inaugurated on January 16, 2018. Murphy brings his 23 years of “experience” working for Goldman Sachs, and a stint as Ambassador to Germany during Obama’s presidency (Obama gave Murphy lots of juice when he supported his campaign against Republican Candidate Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno).

Some of Murphy’s stated agenda: social justice, equal pay for women, a $15 minimum wage, legalized recreational marijuana, immigration reform, and tougher gun laws.

Recorded 1/13/18 – https://www.DontWasteYourHate.com/25

Phil Murphy’s Inauguration Speech

Everything you need to know about Phil Murphy’s inauguration and his first day on the job

Murphy Plans To Create State Agency To Aid Illegal Immigrants

Murphy’s Campaign Website

NJ Marijuana Debate Heats Up Ahead Of Phil Murphy’s Inauguration

Phil Murphy signs executive order on equal pay for women

Reason Magazine: Gov. Jerry Brown: Courts Must Let California Slash its Public-Sector Pensions

Carmine’s Prior Appearances on DWYH:

Ep. 3 – Fat Chris Christie Ruins July In Jersey

Ep. 4 – Military Trans Ban, Scaramucci, and Trump

Ep. 5 – Brexit And Secession: A View From Old New Jersey

Source: Don’t Waste Your Hate Podcast – Ep. 25 – So On & So Forth w/Cousin Carmine 4: NJ Gov. Phil Murphy to Usher in Progressive Era

Meet the woman who fought against “Breast Tax”

150 years ago, in Kerala (a regional state of India), lower caste ladies were compelled by the Brahmins and the King of Travancore to pay the “breast tax”. The tax rate was proportional to the breast size. The rationale behind it was to religiously sustain the cultural domination and social control over lower caste people. A “breast tax” or mulakkaram was imposed by the landowning and voyeuristic Brahmins on lower caste Hindu women (if they wanted to cover their breasts in public).

Mainly the Nadar and Ezhava communities weren’t allowed to cover their chests in front of members of the upper caste (Brahmins). This was considered a sign of modesty and it was important they complied. Clothing was considered a sign of wealth and prosperity, and the poor and the lower-castes were simply not entitled to it. No doubt to note that Hinduism is a religion of caste which continues to execute the features of social hierarchy. But, unfortunately, the fascists cannot control – all the people – all the time. With all due respect, instead of paying the “breast tax”, a lady named Nangeli stood up for her dignity or self-respect and cut off her breasts.

To make her protest known, she chopped off her breasts and presented them to a village officer in a plantain leaf. She died the same day from loss of blood. Nangeli’s husband, Chirukandan, on seeing her mutilated body, overcome by grief, jumped into her funeral pyre committing suicide.

Following the death of Nangeli, a series of people’s movements were set off and the breast tax system was ultimately annulled in Travancore. The place she lived came to be known later as Mulachiparambu (meaning land of the breasted woman). Sadly speaking, in today’s time, CBSE (a governmental body that regulates and censors the content or curriculum) issued a notification or a circular “banning the history of Nangeli from school books” because it finds the content “very objectionable”. This blog is an attempt to educate the readers about an unsung and unpopular revolutionary lady who fearlessly stood up to fight against the tyranny. In my view, you too have Nangeli’s conscience in your mind. It’s high time that you bring her out in yourself and “smash the tyranny” in any form. Freedom isn’t given to you. You have to snatch it. You may also view my video wherein I ratiocinate that taxation is theft:


Please share this blog, before your elected government issues any notification against my blog.

FPF #142 – Syria & a False Alarm

On FPF #142, I discuss the war in Syria. Israel has continued to bomb the Assad regime. Turkey is now threatening to invade Syria to attack the Kurds. Syria and Russia are waging a brutal air war against the Syrian rebels. The US says we are staying in Syria out of concern of Iranian influence. The US also announced plans to create a huge border army to defend the Kurdish state in eastern Syria. I cover the false alarm in Hawaii and Tulsi Gabbard’s demand the US engage in talks with North Korea. I also update Korean peace talks and Panama

Source: Foreign Policy Focus – FPF #142 – Syria & a False Alarm