Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Should the Private Property Society Be Considered a Convention?

Mark Addleman, a passionate defender of the PPS, suggests referring to the respect for property as a PPS “convention" rather than as a “rule." I plan to use it in future discussions. 
My response:
I think using the term "convention" moves things off track.
 Michael Edelstein:
How does it move things off track?
 My response:
I am not sure where you are applying this at the PPS top level or under the PPS umbrella but it doesn't work from either perspective.

I believe most people think of "convention" as
(via "a rule, method, or practice established by usage; custom."

At the PPS level, there are no rules or conventions. It has nothing to do with custom (though it could in the far distant future as a second derivative).

At the PPS level, you only have a structure of society for a region whereby people agree to respect each other's property and allow people to do whatever they want on their own property. This has nothing to do with setting borad-based rules or thinking there are borad-based conventions. It is just agreements. Some may not agree, in a region, but if they stay off our property, we (the propertaians) leave them alone.
That said, the agreement is more a rule than a convention (for those in agreement), especially since no one has yet adopted the PPS. Though I would prefer to think of PPS at the top level as just agreements between people in a region to respect each other's property and leave people alone to do what they want on their property, rather than a rule.
To call this a rule, you are introducing ever slightly the idea that rules should be set for areas and the PPS is against setting rules for people. It is anarchy in the purist sense of the term, civilised anarchy.
On the other hand, under the PPS umbrella, there certainly can be rules on given properties based on whatever, the NAP, religion, custom, convention, Donald Trump's vision, sunspots, astrology, Ground Hog day, etc.

-Robert Wenzel 


  1. I have not yet had the chance to read the book Robert, and I am looking forward to it.

    There is a real problem with it, from what you have explained. And that’s the example of the 5 year old who wonders on to angry Joes property and angry Joe shoots him.
    I understand your argument “ well people stay away from the bad side of town” and parents would keep their kids away from him and all that.
    But, you give the example because it could happen.
    How do you suppose this works out? “Well angry Joe got my 5 year old on my property, I guess I screwed up”.
    You simply can’t live this. Period.
    The father of the child, if he is anything of a father, will raze angry Joes house to the ground. And he will kill angry Joe. Then what? Who’s going to condemn the father?
    He didn’t respect angry Joes private property. But he’s sure going to feel justified.
    And that’s what would happen. Angry Joe would be dead.
    I know you said that it would be “horrific” for such a thing to happen, but it’s more than that, it’s wrong. Some things are wrong. And killing a little boy or holding him as a sex slave or whatever because the property owner says that’s “his” Justice, doesn’t mean crap. It’s wrong, and you just can’t live it.
    And if you can’t live it, then what someone says they believe, is crap.

    1. Yes, so let's start making ask kind of rules which is government that has killed hundreds of millions--- and not theoretically. Do you realize the kind of structure you are advocating?

    2. C'mon. That's a really shoddy slippery slope argument. At least try something like "The 5 year old is the property of the parent, so response is justified."

      It doesn't matter how logical and rational the reasoning is. If your advocated arrangement leads to outcomes which are, on an emotional level, obviously wrong to humans, then you aren't going to get support except from the emotionally deaf.

  2. "At the PPS level, you only have a structure of society for a region whereby people agree to respect each other's property and allow people to do whatever they want on their own property. This has nothing to do with setting borad-based rules or thinking there are borad-based conventions. It is just agreements."

    Why is an agreement between lots of people in close proximity to one another to respect each other's property, which is actually practiced faithfully, not a "...practice established by usage; custom"? Why can't a voluntarily adopted practice not be considered a voluntarily adopted rule? Isn't this just semantics? Isn't the important point that the practice is adopted voluntarily; why is it critical that we use, or foreswear from using, a particular noun?

  3. These dilemma's arise, because as Rothbard I think put it, the NAP/Libertarianism/PPS are not a complete world view. It is a political philosophy only. The 5 year old kid scenario and Walter Block's abortion stance really bring up the question of morals and where do they come from. Are they man made/evolved or do they come from a higher power such as the God of the Bible? They answer to these questions changes things.

  4. If a PPS has no rules or conventions, then by what principle are property boundaries demarcated in the first place?

    1. Read the book, there is an entire chapter on it.

  5. I’m questioning your structure. How does this society last? Society being individual actors, the actor who is the father, with the grieving wife and mother, will kill angry Joe dude.
    Your PPS has rules. The societal rule is, “ on my property I can do anything I want”.
    Isn’t that a rule?
    But as individual actors, no one could live angry Joe killing the 5 year old, or holding him as a sex slave. “Angry Joe is holding our 5 year old as a sex slave”! “Well dear, our child did violate his property”.
    Seriously? It’s not livable.
    I know this is theoretical, and obviously States are the enemy of humankind, in real life.
    But of course we talk about theoretical stuff as a possibility, and I just think once this particular theory was put to the test in this particular PPS in real life, it would fail.

    1. Joshua,

      I doubt you are consistent on this? Should we ban guns in the houses of children becasue children have killed others (including their siblings) with those guns?

      After all, we have to protect the kids.

  6. I am not talking about protecting the kids. I am simply saying that there would be retribution against the guy who killed the kid, more than likely from a grieving family member. And that scenario is much more likely than even the angry joe kid killer in the first place.

    Intent matters also. One of my best friend’s daughter was shot point blank in the chest when she was 7 by her 9 year old cousin. She lived somehow, but no one was lynching the cousin. It was an accident. But intent is a different conversation probably.
    Another thing, I honestly want your opinion as well as others so I can sharpen my thoughts on these things, be more knowledgeable and come to wiser conclusion. I need to read your book.
    I certainly am not arguing for the sake of argument.

    1. First, you don't get PPS. It is not about overarching rules. Who says you can't seek revenge against a nut job?

      Second, you would seriously call for the start of government (overarching rules) just to more easily gain revenge?

  7. I think I can image a private property society in my mind just as well as you. I’m sorry but to always say “well you just don’t understand PPS”, is ridiculous. If I don’t understand what one is, then neither do you.
    The very term would mean that there would be several different kinds of PPS. So I do understand them, as much as anyone can, in what is still a completely theoretical proposition.
    Now you have said something that I haven’t seen you say before, and that was “who says you can’t seek revenge against a nutjob?”
    That’s changes the story.
    And no, I hate the State, terribly so, for a lot of reasons that are more than theoretical. So I am not for an overarching State rule.
    I simply think that we cannot propose a society/theory/community whatever someone wants to call it, that can’t be lived.
    On another note, finally ordered the book today! I may have a completely different frame of thought after I finish it, and more than likely a better understanding of what you mean by a PPS. I’m still young enough to say I am wrong about certain things. ;-)

    1. Well, I have never discussed revenge before becasue you are the first to justify overarching rules (i.e. government) so that revenge can be had.

  8. Where did I justify overarching rules or government to exact revenge? I said that in my estimation, the family of the child shot by the crazy guy, will kill him. I think knowing your thoughts on revenge, or retribution of the crazy guy, and how that works out would explain a lot.
    My thought is that one would kill one, and on. I just don’t see that particular situation being a livable situation.

  9. Wenzel, how is this society going to defend itself from neighboring governments looking to annex it? Oh wait, you delete and ban anyone who mentions that killing agents of the state is going to be necessary to achieve this.

  10. Propertaians are no match for majoritarians.