Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Private Property Society and the Cannibalism Problem

I see I have a bit more work to do in getting my point across with regard to the nature of a Private Property Society.

At the post, How Would Disputes Be Resolved in a Private Property Society?, Bob Roddis comments:
The purpose of private property is to protect human beings from theft and violence. If some innocents accidently parachute onto land owned by cannibals, I cannot justify allowing those people to be eaten. Further, this "you can do whatever you want on your own property to other people" paradigm seems to allow for the most ghastly tortures, punishments and violations for people who inadvertently trespass in low population primitive societies. 
Look, this is another example of
 the fallacy of taking a specific and failing to recognize the general.

We do not live in a world where evil does not exist. Bad things occasionally occur to innocent people. In many ways, it is a very harsh world. Some very beautiful people die of cancer at a very young age.

The best we as human beings can do is structure a world that will generally provide decent outcomes.

As I have pointed out before, people die in automobile crashes but we don't ban automobiles (or stop riding in them ourselves) because there have been some truly horrific crashes.

To look at a specific crash and call for the banning of cars is to ignore the general. It is pathological altruism.

Likewise, in the specific, we can conjure up negative things that could occur under any type of societal structure.

But to conjure up an off-the-wall negative, such as, parachuting into a property filled with cannibals, and thus demanding outside rules imposed on all properties is also pathological altruism.

Imposing outside rules on ALL property requires some form of ruling body, that is, government. It is positively delusional to think that once a ruling body is formed, it is your rules that will be set in place. This is the error of all central planners. As Ludwig on Mises lectured “The worst thing that can happen to a socialist is to have his country ruled by socialists who are not his friends.”

Further, F.A. Hayek taught us in chapter 10 of The Road to Serfdom that the worst always get on top.

All governments are oppressive and the greatest horrors on earth, resulting in hundreds of millions deaths, are the result of government.

Do we really want to introduce such an evil structure as government to attempt to do the impossible and eliminate all harshness?

I say once again, I can not think of a structure that is more peaceful and offers the most freedom than a structure which is no more and no less than, "I will leave you alone on your property, please leave me alone on mine."

But to introduce government over all property because of the possibility of a parachutist landing at a place such as the Naihehe Caves of Sigatoka, Fiji is a remarkably specific focused thinking that ignores the general.

Wouldn't it just make more sense for parachutists to be aware of where they are parachuting and stay away from areas that might take them into dangerous land?

That is, shouldn't we call on individual responsibility and respect for private property rather than introducing a form of society, government, that history has shown can result in millions upon millions of deaths.

I hasten to add that there's no reason missionaries can't attempt to change cannibals from their cannibalistic ways. However, this is missionary work and not a role that should require the introduction of that great evil, government



  1. 1. I think worrying about cannibals is perfectly normal. “Sam Sawyer in Darkest Africa” was my first View Master in 1957. That story starts are 8:20:


    2. I’ve always assumed that under the NAP, most outliers, like cannibals, dog eaters and sex slavers, could be dealt with through encirclement and starvation. Plus, your defense and insurance providers would be warning you about places you must avoid to avoid cancellation of coverage.

    3. Nevertheless, I think there must be general rules in place to cover these situations:

    A group of 14 year old girls gets blown off course and lands in a place run by sex slavers. The punishment for inadvertent trespass is a life of being a sex slave and a sex slave breeder. The girls just happen to know the chords and lyrics to around 300 copyrighted songs from the 1960s and can play them on the piano but have no rights in the copyrighted songs. The sex slavers have pianos and the girls teach them all of the songs. The sex slavers then make recordings of their friends singing and playing these songs which they sell for a great profit and they refuse to pay any royalties. Everyone’s favorite song is “Land of 1,000 Dances” which vast mobs sing during sex slave orgies:


    Meanwhile, the sex slavers purchase some criminally kidnapped sex slaves and breed them just like the inadvertent trespassers.

    Angry parents of the inadvertent trespassers, the kidnapped sex slaves and the people holding the copyrights to the song hire a private SEAL team to rescue the girls and to collect royalties or to enforce an injunction regarding the songs.
    Can the SEAL team be punished for:

    a. Rescuing the trespassers without permission; and/or

    b. Rescuing the kidnapped girls without permission; and/or

    c. Shooting and killing people guarding either the trespassers or the kidnapped girls?

    Also, what can be done about the sex slavers selling and playing the copyrighted songs?

    1. You're repeating your arguments and give no hint that you understand RW's replies. Why do you never respond to the assertion that all these "protections" you're so enamored of inevitably give rise to the murderous evils of government, which cause far more misery to the world than outlying injustices?

      ...most outliers, like cannibals, dog eaters and sex slavers, could be dealt with through encirclement and starvation.

      What a bizarre list! You're including "dog eaters", who have violated the rights of no human being, with human violating scum of the earth. Are you against all meat consumption, or only hysterical about the consumption of dogs?

    2. What a bizarre list! You're including "dog eaters"

      1. Encirclement does not involve violation of the NAP. What's your point?

      2. Please explain if you a proposing different treatment of the rescuers of the kidnapped sex slaves and their sex slave kids vs. the "sex slaves who are being punished for trespass" and their sex slave kids. Explain why. Show your work.

  2. RW says: "Imposing outside rules on ALL property requires some form of ruling body, that is, government. It is positively delusional to think that once a ruling body is formed, it is your rules that will be set in place."

    But, for some reason he doesn't see that if there are no rules requiring proportionality in punishment, then the first time that somebody imposes disproportionate punishment, people will cry out for someone to do something to stop them.

    RW's version of PPS would break down immediately, as an outside authority will be called on to punish the disproportionate punishers. It would inevitably lead to either mob justice (ie private property will no longer be sacrosanct) or the formation of a state.

    Nobody except for RW would want to live in his PPS, since nobody would want to live under a constant 24/7 threat of lifelong enslavement (or worse) due to some minor accidental crime.

  3. or d. ignoring all of the above including Mr. Roddis and MYOB.

  4. Mr. Roddis examples and an earlier one from Perry Mason where Crazy Joe creates a "rule" that any trespasser will be killed, involve violations of private property: murder, slavery, copyright. These violations could be dealt with by the security agencies contracted to those violated. Let's say Crazy Joe, the cannibals, and slavers were able to contract security agencies (which they wouldn't regarding those specific activities) then, as it would be with copyright, the strongest security agency would prevail. Problem solved.

    Of course the Crazy Joe and cannibal scenarios are very extreme along with slavery, especially sex slavery being pretty extreme. The market would supply vastly more security for those who need defense against murder and slavery than to cannibals and slavers.

  5. Some sicko property owners violate NAP on their properties now. We read about it on the news all the time. It's safe to assume that many more sicko property owners DO NOT violate NAP on their properties now because they fear Law Enforcement. In PPS more sicko property owners will violate PPS on their property because there exists no retribution to be afraid of.

    There is no reason for the sicko property owner to allow anyone to investigate accusations against him. There is no real consequence against him for his refusal. At worst he will move to a new city and resume a normal life.

    We don't need government to administer law enforcement. We do need laws and proportionality. Laws can be be deduced from the one-sentence libertarian Constitution: No government body, administrator or agent shall enact or enforce any law or other rule which violates NAP.

  6. I grew up in Kentucky. There were parts of Kentucky where, if you broke down on the road, you wouldn't dare wander into the woods lest you happen upon or anywhere near a still -- you wouldn't return from that. Parachuting in wouldn't make it safer. There are places in the greater Los Angeles area where one doesn't venture -- especially at night. Parachuting in wouldn't matter.

    That's with various levels of massive government. There will always be places where danger await you.

    1. There's no arguing that. The issue is how to respond to these NAP violations. In PPS, these crimes are OK/unpunishable if the property owner agrees. It transfers absolute State power to one hundred million property owners.