Friday, September 23, 2016

Private Property Society Hater Inadvertently Proves the Strength of PPS

My view on a Private Property Society has been attacked once again.

This time by an anonymous commenter to a post:
RW writes: "I hold that it is injured parties that should determine punishment for NAP violations."

Few people would want to live in a society where RW could murder children for walking on his grass, so his social dream is not likely to come about. Still, why does he want such a system? What purpose does it serve to advocate such nonsense?

If our purpose is to discover rules by which we can coexist, proportionality and objectivity must be part of the fun of punishing the transgressions of others.

Punishments should be according to some reasonable code, not the passions of the plaintif.
But in an important way, the commenter is supporting my point when he writes:
Few people would want to live in a society where RW could murder children for walking on his grass..
In other words,  you don't need a central power to set a "code" of rules of punishment.  No one with children is going to live or go near property where children would be killed for walking on grass. Any more than little girls are allowed by their parents to walk alone in San Francisco's Tenderloin in the middle of the night. Or any more than they are allowed to play inside ovens that are on. Do we need a central power to set rules for parents on when they can buy ovens and use them because they have the potential on a theoretical level to result in the death of children?

It is the same for other situations that will develop in a Private Property Society,

No one would shop at Macy's, for example. if the punishment for accidentally breaking a glass in the store was 30 years hard labor.

In a Private Property Society reasonableness would emerge without the necessity for a central power setting a "code" of rules of punishment  that must be applied everywhere.

There is no such thing as "objectivity" in punishment that can somehow be deemed from above, or wherever. This is simply a central planning notion. Only an injured person can tell us what is just compensation for being aggressed upon or under what pre-determined rules of punishment he has chosen to live under that will satisfy him.

A Private Property Society can do just fine setting reasonable punishment by simply respecting private property and the non-aggression principle. As anonymous inadvertently makes clear, few people would  live in an area where children would be killed for walking on another person's grass. This is the essence of understanding how PPS would work.

Who the hell would want to live in such an are if they have kids? Mission accomplished without a centralized "code of punishment."



  1. The state presently has many harsh penalties for things. Small errors of detail and state actions end up suffering life altering penalties. Various details on the transport of firearms come to mind. We're talking felonies for mere paper work and procedural errors. Possibly death with a nervous cop. What about some kid that flinches when police bust in at 2am and gets shot. How about that kid that got shot when the cop missed the dog? The teen that was shot when his procedure of asserting his rights with a cop wasn't so good? Even if he didn't get shot he would have faced various charges as people often do when they assert their rights. What about what has happened at TSA checkpoints? That's just the most obvious I can rattle off at this moment.

    So let's say these horrific things proposed are possible in a PPS, how is that different from the present situation? Basically what it sounds like to me is people objecting that PPS might, if things go very wrong, may in some way turn out to be just as horrific as statist society. Maybe all it is, is a projection of statist society on PPS.

  2. "Punishments should be according to some reasonable code, not the passions of the plaintif."

    Except 'reasonable code' is also an example of 'the passions' of the defendants, not some objective code built on reason alone. Hilarious how the commentator misses that.

    1. Except 'reasonable code' says nothing about its source or emotional motivation. A reasonable code might be that which is agreed to by a majority of people and has "emerged" (RW's term) in a private property society. Hilarious how Dexter Morgan misses that.

  3. ─ Few people would want to live in a society where RW could murder children for walking on his grass, so his social dream is not likely to come about. ─

    As Robert said, if "few people would want to live" in such a society, then what exactly IS the problem? The anonymous author is conceding that most people would find such behavior abhorrent.

    At the same time I don't see the validity of the argument that only a government or overseer would save children from being murdered by property owners for stepping on their grass. Many years ago I was responding to some lefty bozo in Reason's Hit and Run blog (whose nickname was "Edward"), who was arguing that a libertarian society would allow a property owner shoot a kid for walking on his lawn. I asked him he really thought it could not be the case that parents in a libertarian society would have the ability and responsibility of warning their children to not walk over that lawn. He replied "How can you accept that someone would just shoot a kid for walking over his lawn?" To which I replied: "I don't understand your outrage. Do you want to be able to walk on people's lawns with impunity? Because if I know a property owner would shoot me for walking over his lawn, then I would be pretty damned sure not to do it and I would warn my children not to walk over that man's lawn. Perhaps what you really want is protection from your own mistakes or transgressions. Why should the rest suffer under an authoritarian regime just so you feel safe?"

    ─ Still, why does he want such a system? What purpose does it serve to advocate such nonsense? ─

    Yeah, it's the same argument I heard from that guy Edward. Why would we allow a property owner shoot some kid (ah, the conveniently emotional go-to victim for all leftists: children) who merely walked over his lawn?

    What justifies this system based on punishments, in the minds of statists, is this thinking that people are more scared of punishment than motivated by reason. Obviously this suggests that statists believe people are no better than the beasts that merely exist in nature, which begs the question how can these unthinking brutes come up with "proportionality and objectivity" when it comes to the "fun of punishing the transgressions of others."

  4. Rothbard explained the principle of proportionality (and how it follows from NAP) in The Ethics of Liberty.

    Basically, if I shoot a kid trespassing on my property, I committed aggression far in excess of any reasonable restitution I'm entitled to because of his trespass. So the kid's parents would be in their right to come and shoot me, or ask others to do so.

    Now, if the trespassing "kid" is 6'5" 250lb gangsta who not only refuses to leave when told to but actually threatens me physically if I dare to remove him forcefully - I'm quite justified in shooting him, because it's no longer a mere trespass, but a threat of grave bodily harm to me while I'm enforcing my property rights with proportional means (such as removing the trespasser without harming him).

  5. There was nothing in the comments of Anonymous that advocated a "central power" - that straw man was edited in by RW. Anonymous speaks of a reasonable code, gets scolded by RW, who then says that "reasonableness would emerge". Was there something naughty about the word "code" that triggered RW into thinking "totalitarian dictatorship". Can RW's "reasonableness" not take the form of a code?

    Smearing Anonymous as a "hater" of private property seems totally unjustified. He appears only to be a hater of disproportionate and unreasonable punishment.

  6. I probably don't understand RW's position on property and proportionate response, but he seems to be saying that he can murder a child for trespassing on his lawn and the first clown to think of murdering children for lawn tresspass can murder RW for stealing his idea.

    RW characterizes those who disagree with him on these profound positions as "haters" of a private property society. Doubtful..........