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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Rozeff Responds to Wenzel and Block on the 'Girl in the Shower'

At LRC, Michael S. Rozeff has responded to critiques made by Block, Wenzel et al. of his earlier "Girl in the Shower" post.

Rozeff is correct that blog posts are not the correct forum for outlining in detail responses to the various solutions proposed. However, I do want to briefly discuss part of the comment that Rozeff makes (my highlight):
Wenzel suggests that each property owner determine on his own property the rules of social interaction that apply. This is a possible general rule.. No one may aggress against legitimately held private property. Therefore, no one can complain if a private property owner has rules for his property that disallow smoking, or vile language, or drunkenness, or voyeurism. Barring externalities or other problems that may arise, in this scenario, the problem of the girl in the shower disappears.
The highlighted observation says it all. Without a bunch of general rules for all properties, but rather simply respecting the rules that each individual sets for his own property, most problems of what should be allowed, and shouldn't, go away.

All that is required is a general respect for private property and general respect for the rules set by property owners on their own properties.

I do want to, in addition, make a comment on one other point Rozeff makes when he writes:
It is presumed that in this private property-owner rule-making world, the knowledge of the rules is communicated to entrants to any piece of property. 
I would argue that this stipulates a  condition beyond respect for private property. If a property owner truly controls his property without any outside interference, why should he be required to put up signs or communicate in anyway what the rules are for his property?

Who is telling him to put up such signs? Under the private property rule of "leave people alone to do whatever they want on their own property," how can "You must put up signs as to your rules" fit?

I would argue that people would just stay away from properties that don't post signs?

And as I have suggested before, most individuals would sign up with security firms that would indicate what are "safe" areas where reasonable rules apply and where such rules are unclear or do not exist or are downright dangerous.

  -RW 

(ht Rick Miller)

10 comments:

  1. "I do want to, in addition, make a comment on one other point Rozeff makes when he writes:
    It is presumed that in this private property-owner rule-making world, the knowledge of the rules is communicated to entrants to any piece of property.
    I would argue that this stipulates a condition beyond respect for private property. If a property owner truly controls his property without any outside interference, why should he be required to put up signs or communicate in anyway what the rules are for his property?

    Who is telling him to put up such signs? Under the private property rule of "leave people alone to do whatever they want on their own property," how can "You must put up signs as to your rules" fit?"

    Here, here! When property owners are required to post rules, we have moved from a free society to something else.

    Can anyone explain why the libertarian should require the rules posted on a sign? Does this mean the property owner cannot change the rules suddenly?

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  2. I would agree that, in a society which respects private property rights, no one can be required (as in compelled) to post a sign. However, I would also expect that if a property owner desires recurring interaction with others, whether commercially or personally, he will end up doing things which encourage such interactions, such as posting signs, having visitor-friendly or trade-friendly rules, etc. Since most individuals are not into autarky, I would imagine that, short of compulsion, the majority of property owners will converge on a friendlier set of rules than is often hypothesized, with alarm, in the comments to this blog.

    Although Robert may not agree with this next point, in such a society I think it is possible, but not a given, that many property owners might at least adopt the NAP on their property as a minimum behavioral standard to which they conform and expect their visitors to conform. The NAP is a workable and intuitive minimum standard and a good place to start to encourage frequent interaction.

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  3. Rozeff is making a prediction, not recommending a rule.

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  4. Man leaves for work and takes his 5 year old kid to private school for the day. After dropping off his kid at school, man realizes he forgot his work ID and heads back home. There he finds his live-in girlfriend (and baby mama) in bed with another man.

    PPS: Man can murder the lady and her Casanova with no repercussion.

    NAP Society: Man can immediately evict the lady and her Casanova with no repercussion. Should Man murder the lady and her Casanova he will have his day in private court to defend himself.

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    Replies
    1. The property owner is sovereign. He can obstruct or deny any investigation. He is always and by definition in the right in his own property.

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    2. He's legally right, but not necessarily morally.

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    3. Does the property "right" of an owner to kill a trespasser trump the right of the person to his life? I think not.

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    4. Dwight, It's my understanding of a PPS it's based on the supremacy of private property, and who has what right is not a concern. I'm sure Bob could give you a more complete answer.

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  5. The advancement of technology makes this easier to accomplish. Property owners could use a standard for property-rules communication (and the lack of adhering to that standard would be a defacto warning to others that they might want to be "extra careful" in dealing with that person or company). Their property could broadcast over something like wifi or bluetooth their particular rules, and a visitor's phone could detect those rules and run algorithms to detect any rules conflicts between visitor and owner.

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