Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Property Rights Work Both Ways

In the comments section of Vanderboegh's reaction to an objectivist's objections to his "Window War", a few commenters made an obvious point which I wish I'd seen in my previous post:

B Woodman says, "He forgets ... who started stealing from whom first."

An anonymous commenter writes:

Had they applied the same logic to my own property rights (including the money I work so hard to earn) I would not have to resort to using a louder form of persuasion to get their attention. Hello?! Anyone out there? If you take something that belongs to me without my consent then I will do the same to you. Get it yet?

Roger wrote:

...the feral government has taken my personal property by force with the threat of violence for three decades of my life. My hard earned money represents my direct time, my blood, sweat and tears. It is stolen, never to be reclaimed, never to be recovered, and something I can never replace.

Unfortunately, Roger, like many others in the comments, goes on to repeat the bullshit Broken Window Fallacy when he says, "At least with a broken window, it creates jobs. Jobs that are needed." With that sort of inane thinking, we could evacuate a few towns and carpet bomb them to cure unemployment. Destruction of value is destruction of value. It is always a net loss to the owners. The benefit to others (new jobs) comes at a cost to the owners. (Which, in the case of the "Window War" is the point.)

Another anonymous commenter writes:

So by that logic, when the government begins to wage war on our property, they are waging war on our person. I'll accept his premise which would conclude with John Locke's premise on the rights of the people over the government.

Among the rest of the comments, there are the lame attacks on the objectivist author, concocting all sorts of fantasies and straw man arguments. A few collectivist interlopers come in to share their stupidity. But, curiously, a comment I posted early Tuesday never seemed to make it into the bunch. [Update: I resubmitted and it's there now, slightly edited.] See my previous post for the full text.

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