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Please tell me as clearly as you can: What makes a law objective


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#1 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:26 AM

What makes a law objectives over and above the clarity of its statement the the definiteness of its objective and application?

If clarity of language, definiteness of application and definiteness of objective is what makes a law objective, then the Nazi racial laws were quite "objective".

Ba'al Chatzaf
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#2 dennislmay

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:23 AM

In my assorted discussions on this topic in various forums I have concluded there are two basic forms of law - not necessarily correctly named.

Objective Law - intended to fairly protect the fundamental rights of individuals dealing with other individuals and greater society.

Arbitrary Law - intended for society directed goals or for ease or clarity of application/enforcement of law in general – law based on utility rather than ideals.

A 2 cent version of endless discussions.

Dennis

#3 Selene

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:55 AM

Gentlemen:

There is also the common law concept of:

Malum in se (plural mala in se) is a Latin phrase meaning wrong or evil in itself. The phrase is used to refer to conduct assessed as sinful or inherently wrong by nature, independent of regulations governing the conduct. It is distinguished from malum prohibitum, which is wrong only because it is prohibited.

For example, most human beings feel that murder, rape, and theft is wrong, regardless of whether a law governs such conduct or where the conduct occurs, and is thus recognizably malum in se. In contrast, consider driving laws. In the U.S., people drive on the right-hand side of the road. In the UK and other states of the Commonwealth, people drive on the left-hand side. Violation of these rules is an example of a malum prohibitum law because the act is not inherently bad, but is forbidden by law, as set forth by the lawmakers of the jurisdiction. Malum prohibitum crimes are criminal not because they are inherently bad, but because the act is prohibited by the law of the state.
This concept was used to develop the various common law offences.[1]

Another way to describe the underlying conceptual difference between "malum in se" and "malum prohibitum" is "iussum quia iustum" and "iustum quia iussum," namely something that is commanded (iussum) because it is just (iustum) and something that is just (iustum) because it is commanded (iussum).

This differs from Malum prohibitum (plural mala prohibita, literal translation: "wrong [as or because] prohibited") is a Latin phrase used in Law to refer to conduct that constitutes an unlawful act only by virtue of statute,[1] as opposed to conduct evil in and of itself, or malum in se.[2] Conduct that was is clearly violative of society's standards for allowable conduct that it is illegal under English common law is usually regarded as "malum in se". An offense that is malum prohibitum may not appear on the face to directly violate moral standards. The distinction between these two cases is discussed in State of Washington v. Thaddius X. Anderson[3]:


Criminal offenses can be broken down into two general categories malum in se and malum prohibitum. The distinction between malum in se and malum prohibitum offenses is best characterized as follows: a malum in se offense is "naturally evil as adjudged by the sense of a civilized community," whereas a malum prohibitum offense is wrong only because a statute makes it so. State v. Horton, 139 N.C. 588, 51 S.E. 945, 946 (1905).

"Public welfare offenses" are a subset of malum prohibitum offenses as they are typically regulatory in nature and often "'result in no direct or immediate injury to person or property but merely create the danger or probability of it which the law seeks to minimize.'" Bash, 130 Wn.2d at 607 (quoting Morissette v. United States, 342 U.S. 246, 255-56, 72 S. Ct. 240, 96 L. Ed. 288 (1952)); see also State v. Carty, 27 Wn. App. 715, 717, 620 P.2d 137 (1980).

Some examples of mala prohibita include parking violations, copyright violations, tax laws, cultural taboos, and doing certain things without a license.

It seems to me that the second "prohibitum" may be the objective law that you are referring too.

Whereas the common law could be viewed by Objectivists as the "objective" law in that it relates to what all moral persons would consider "wrong," similar to the Aristotelian concept of "common sense."

Adam
hope this helps
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#4 dennislmay

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:59 AM

Gentlemen:

There is also the common law concept of:

Malum in se (plural mala in se) is a Latin phrase meaning wrong or evil in itself. The phrase is used to refer to conduct assessed as sinful or inherently wrong by nature, independent of regulations governing the conduct. It is distinguished from malum prohibitum, which is wrong only because it is prohibited.

For example, most human beings feel that murder, rape, and theft is wrong, regardless of whether a law governs such conduct or where the conduct occurs, and is thus recognizably malum in se. In contrast, consider driving laws. In the U.S., people drive on the right-hand side of the road. In the UK and other states of the Commonwealth, people drive on the left-hand side. Violation of these rules is an example of a malum prohibitum law because the act is not inherently bad, but is forbidden by law, as set forth by the lawmakers of the jurisdiction. Malum prohibitum crimes are criminal not because they are inherently bad, but because the act is prohibited by the law of the state.
This concept was used to develop the various common law offences.[1]

Another way to describe the underlying conceptual difference between "malum in se" and "malum prohibitum" is "iussum quia iustum" and "iustum quia iussum," namely something that is commanded (iussum) because it is just (iustum) and something that is just (iustum) because it is commanded (iussum).

This differs from Malum prohibitum (plural mala prohibita, literal translation: "wrong [as or because] prohibited") is a Latin phrase used in Law to refer to conduct that constitutes an unlawful act only by virtue of statute,[1] as opposed to conduct evil in and of itself, or malum in se.[2] Conduct that was is clearly violative of society's standards for allowable conduct that it is illegal under English common law is usually regarded as "malum in se". An offense that is malum prohibitum may not appear on the face to directly violate moral standards. The distinction between these two cases is discussed in State of Washington v. Thaddius X. Anderson[3]:


Criminal offenses can be broken down into two general categories malum in se and malum prohibitum. The distinction between malum in se and malum prohibitum offenses is best characterized as follows: a malum in se offense is "naturally evil as adjudged by the sense of a civilized community," whereas a malum prohibitum offense is wrong only because a statute makes it so. State v. Horton, 139 N.C. 588, 51 S.E. 945, 946 (1905).

"Public welfare offenses" are a subset of malum prohibitum offenses as they are typically regulatory in nature and often "'result in no direct or immediate injury to person or property but merely create the danger or probability of it which the law seeks to minimize.'" Bash, 130 Wn.2d at 607 (quoting Morissette v. United States, 342 U.S. 246, 255-56, 72 S. Ct. 240, 96 L. Ed. 288 (1952)); see also State v. Carty, 27 Wn. App. 715, 717, 620 P.2d 137 (1980).

Some examples of mala prohibita include parking violations, copyright violations, tax laws, cultural taboos, and doing certain things without a license.

It seems to me that the second "prohibitum" may be the objective law that you are referring too.

Whereas the common law could be viewed by Objectivists as the "objective" law in that it relates to what all moral persons would consider "wrong," similar to the Aristotelian concept of "common sense."

Adam
hope this helps

Yeah - what he said.

Dennis

#5 Xray

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:26 AM

What makes a law objectives over and above the clarity of its statement the the definiteness of its objective and application?

If clarity of language, definiteness of application and definiteness of objective is what makes a law objective, then the Nazi racial laws were quite "objective".

Ba'al Chatzaf

This is quite an intricate question because "objective" is mostly used referring to the factual, to verifiable data, etc.
In that sense (as you have mentioned above) the Nazi racial laws were "objective" in that these laws actually existed.

The mere objective existence of a law is one thing, the rationality (or irrationality) of the law, its ethical value (measured against a certain standard, like e. g. anti-racist, anti-cruelty) is another thing.

Imo "objective" needs therefore be completed by additional info, like for example: can a law be be justified as objectively as possible because it carefully takes into consideration a certain stage of knowledge that has been reached, the stage of ethical development that has been reached, etc.
In other words: do there exist objective justifications for a law?
Since laws change and evolve as we cultrurally evolve, things are in a constant flow. It makes therefore sense to work with the contextuality of "objective": given the context of a certain knowledge/ethical/political development one can try to 'make the case' pro or contra certain laws.

#6 dennislmay

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:36 AM

In other words do there exist objective justifications for a law?

I break it down into objective justifications/arbitrary utility justifications.
3rd class of bad law fitting neither can be quite large.

Dennis

#7 jts

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:21 AM

What makes a law objectives over and above the clarity of its statement the the definiteness of its objective and application?

If clarity of language, definiteness of application and definiteness of objective is what makes a law objective, then the Nazi racial laws were quite "objective".

Ba'al Chatzaf

About "objective law".

Theory 1:
That seems to be correct. Nazi racial laws apparently were objective. From Ayn Rand Lexicon.

All laws must be objective (and objectively justifiable): men must know clearly, and in advance of taking an action, what the law forbids them to do (and why), what constitutes a crime and what penalty they will incur if they commit it.


Theory 2:
Objective Law
This is a law that is discovered, not invented. For example a law in physics. It can be proved by evidence. It does not require police to enforce it. You can't violate it. A violation of this law (if that could be done) would not be a crime but a miracle.

Non-objective Law
This is a law that is invented, not discovered. For example a law made by government. A violation of this law is a crime. There ain't no such thing as objective government law.


Theory 3:
Ayn Rand couldn't dazzle us with brilliance so she tried to baffle us with bullshit.

#8 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:32 AM

For example a law in physics. It can be proved by evidence.


A physical law is a general statement about the way the natural world works. This use of the word "law" is totally disjoint from "law" meaning rules of what is permitted or prohibited in society. The former is about the actual factual workings of nature. That latter are rules made by humans to regulate humans. The two uses are 100 % disjoint.

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#9 whYNOT

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:54 AM

What makes a law objectives over and above the clarity of its statement the the definiteness of its objective and application? If clarity of language, definiteness of application and definiteness of objective is what makes a law objective, then the Nazi racial laws were quite "objective". Ba'al Chatzaf

About "objective law". Theory 1: That seems to be correct. Nazi racial laws apparently were objective. From Ayn Rand Lexicon.

All laws must be objective (and objectively justifiable): men must know clearly, and in advance of taking an action, what the law forbids them to do (and why), what constitutes a crime and what penalty they will incur if they commit it.

Theory 2: Objective Law This is a law that is discovered, not invented. For example a law in physics. It can be proved by evidence. It does not require police to enforce it. You can't violate it. A violation of this law (if that could be done) would not be a crime but a miracle. Non-objective Law This is a law that is invented, not discovered. For example a law made by government. A violation of this law is a crime. There ain't no such thing as objective government law. Theory 3: Ayn Rand couldn't dazzle us with brilliance so she tried to baffle us with bullshit.

What makes a law objectives over and above the clarity of its statement the the definiteness of its objective and application? If clarity of language, definiteness of application and definiteness of objective is what makes a law objective, then the Nazi racial laws were quite "objective". Ba'al Chatzaf

About "objective law". Theory 1: That seems to be correct. Nazi racial laws apparently were objective. From Ayn Rand Lexicon.

All laws must be objective (and objectively justifiable): men must know clearly, and in advance of taking an action, what the law forbids them to do (and why), what constitutes a crime and what penalty they will incur if they commit it.

Theory 2: Objective Law This is a law that is discovered, not invented. For example a law in physics. It can be proved by evidence. It does not require police to enforce it. You can't violate it. A violation of this law (if that could be done) would not be a crime but a miracle. Non-objective Law This is a law that is invented, not discovered. For example a law made by government. A violation of this law is a crime. There ain't no such thing as objective government law. Theory 3: Ayn Rand couldn't dazzle us with brilliance so she tried to baffle us with bullshit.


No, she's seldom been clearer. I remain quite under-baffled.

Did you read any further on that Lexicon page?

"It is a grave error to suppose that a dictatorship rules a nation by means of strict, rigid laws which are obeyed and enforced with rigorous military precision, Such a rule would be evil, but almost bearable; men would endure the harshest edicts, provided these edicts were known, specific and stable; it is not the known that
breaks men's spirits, but the unpredictable. A dictatorship has to be capricious..." [AR]
"To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge". Nicolaus Copernicus (An original objectivist) 1473-1543 ***No man may be smaller than his philosophy...***

#10 Dglgmut

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:01 PM

Objective law has two meanings: that it is objectively evident when someone breaks the law, or that a particular law is objectively justifiable. The latter is the one to question, and the one which I'm assuming this thread was made to analyze.

If the purpose of the law is to impose justice on society, then the question is, "What is objective justice?" or more specifically, "What would be the objective hierarchy of individuals' rights?"

Which right is greater: a person's to whistle in public, or a person's to peace and quiet in public?

While there may exist an objective answer, there may never exist universal agreements on such issues. Does anyone have anything to add or correct me on?

#11 whYNOT

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:16 PM

For example a law in physics. It can be proved by evidence.

A physical law is a general statement about the way the natural world works. This use of the word "law" is totally disjoint from "law" meaning rules of what is permitted or prohibited in society. The former is about the actual factual workings of nature. That latter are rules made by humans to regulate humans. The two uses are 100 % disjoint. Ba'al Chatzaf


That's exactly it: if one can show as AR did that it is the law of identity (of human nature) that ultimately
defines his laws, you have the "actual factual workings of nature" as objective law.
"To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge". Nicolaus Copernicus (An original objectivist) 1473-1543 ***No man may be smaller than his philosophy...***

#12 Selene

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:41 PM

Binswanger defined objective law in this article in the Fall of 1990:

#7 Fall 1990 Page 1

WHAT IS OBJECTIVE LAW?
Harry Binswanger

[See also a later version of this article at (Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1992 of The Intellectual Activist (www.intellectualactivist.com)]
__________________________________

A law is a rule of social conduct enforced by the government. In distinction to all other social rules and practices, laws are backed up by the government's legal monopoly on the use of physical force. Breaking the rules of a business, fraternal organization, educational institution, or other voluntary association may meet with disapproval, loss of privileges, or expulsion, but only a government can enforce its rules by subjecting those who break them to fines, imprisonment, and, ultimately, death. (Any fines levied by private organizations are enforceable only via the government's enforcement of contracts.)

In order to define a standard for evaluating law, one must refer to the purpose of government. In "The Nature of Government," Ayn Rand writes: "Since the protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of a government, it is the only proper subject of legislation: all laws must be based on individual rights and aimed at their protection."1 Rights can be violated only by the initiation of physical force. A proper, moral government limits its use of physical force to retaliating against those who initiate its use, in violation of rights.

By its monopoly on the use of physical force, a government is potentially the greatest rights-violator in a society. The threat to rights posed by private criminals is small compared to the threat posed by governments, as the mass slaughters perpetrated by statist governments throughout history testify. It is essential, therefore, that the government's use of physical force be "rigidly defined, delimited and circumscribed; no touch of whim or caprice
should be permitted in its performance; it should be an impersonal robot, with the laws as its only motive power."2

This is the basis of the need for objective law. Laws must be objective in both derivation and form. And in both respects, "objective" refers to that which is based on a rational consideration of the relevant facts---as opposed to the subjective, the arbitrary, the whim-based.

<a href="http://www.tafol.org...letins/b07.html


It is certainly one point of view.

Adam
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#13 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:07 AM

Binswanger defined objective law in this article in the Fall of 1990:

#7 Fall 1990 Page 1

WHAT IS OBJECTIVE LAW?


Harry Binswanger

[See also a later version of this article at (Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1992 of The Intellectual Activist (www.intellectualactivist.com)]


__________________________________

A law is a rule of social conduct enforced by the government. In distinction to all other social rules and practices, laws are backed up by the government's legal monopoly on the use of physical force. Breaking the rules of a business, fraternal organization, educational institution, or other voluntary association may meet with disapproval, loss of privileges, or expulsion, but only a government can enforce its rules by subjecting those who break them to fines, imprisonment, and, ultimately, death. (Any fines levied by private organizations are enforceable only via the government's enforcement of contracts.)

In order to define a standard for evaluating law, one must refer to the purpose of government. In "The Nature of Government," Ayn Rand writes: "Since the protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of a government, it is the only proper subject of legislation: all laws must be based on individual rights and aimed at their protection."1 Rights can be violated only by the initiation of physical force. A proper, moral government limits its use of physical force to retaliating against those who initiate its use, in violation of rights.

By its monopoly on the use of physical force, a government is potentially the greatest rights-violator in a society. The threat to rights posed by private criminals is small compared to the threat posed by governments, as the mass slaughters perpetrated by statist governments throughout history testify. It is essential, therefore, that the government's use of physical force be "rigidly defined, delimited and circumscribed; no touch of whim or caprice


should be permitted in its performance; it should be an impersonal robot, with the laws as its only motive power."2

This is the basis of the need for objective law. Laws must be objective in both derivation and form. And in both respects, "objective" refers to that which is based on a rational consideration of the relevant facts---as opposed to the subjective, the arbitrary, the whim-based.

<a href="http://www.tafol.org...letins/b07.html



It is certainly one point of view.

Adam


Straight out of Hobbe's Leviathan.

In short, it is GORT, the robot from The Day The Earth Stood Still that will rule us.

GORT! B'ringa!

Klaatu Barada Nicto!

Ba'al Chatzaf
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#14 Brant Gaede

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:13 AM


Straight out of Hobbe's Leviathan.

In short, it is GORT, the robot from The Day The Earth Stood Still that will rule us.

GORT! B'ringa!

Klaatu Barada Nicto!

Patricia Neal had to do that scene over and over again because when she tried to say those words she kept breaking out in laughter.

Objective law is only objective respecting its congruence to a philosophy--any philosophy. Congruence to reality is too big a jump. An intermediary is needed. In a system designed to protect individual rights--we can call that Objectivism though it's not the only applicable ism--"objective law" is a confusing redundancy.

--Brant

Rational Individualist, Rational self-interest, Individual Rights--limited government libertarian heavily influenced by Objectivism


#15 Xray

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:07 AM

Binswanger defined objective law in this article in the Fall of 1990:

#7 Fall 1990 Page 1

WHAT IS OBJECTIVE LAW?


Harry Binswanger

[See also a later version of this article at (Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1992 of The Intellectual Activist (www.intellectualactivist.com)]

<...> In "The Nature of Government," Ayn Rand writes: "Since the protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of a government, it is the only proper subject of legislation: all laws must be based on individual rights and aimed at their protection."1 Rights can be violated only by the initiation of physical force. A proper, moral government limits its use of physical force to retaliating against those who initiate its use, in violation of rights.


If the government is solely seen as the protector of individual rights, who decides what kind of rights are to be bestowed upon whom?

Take the right to private property for example:

Imo to argue that in today's modern civilized societies, real estate property is already regulated via ownership deeds, etc. does not address the core problem:

Who is it that can claim ownership to e. g. a piece of land? Is it the one who happened to have been there first and claimed "This is mine"? If yes, then a lot property would have to be given back to the original inhabitants of the five continents ... :smile:

Land ownership would also pose quite a problem in an anarchist society. Imagine five anarchists, each of them wanting to settle down in undeveloped land belonging to no one yet. Can each anarchist claim individual right to ownership? Right of ownership bestowed by whom?

They cannot agree on who is going to own the piece of land. What do they do?



#16 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:00 AM

If the government is solely seen as the protector of individual rights, who decides what kind of rights are to be bestowed upon whom?

Take the right to private property for example:

Imo to argue that in today's modern civilized societies, real estate property is already regulated via ownership deeds, etc. does not address the core problem:

Who is it that can claim ownership to e. g. a piece of land? Is it the one who happened to have been there first and claimed "This is mine"? If yes, then a lot property would have to be given back to the original inhabitants of the five continents ... :smile:

Land ownership would also pose quite a problem in an anarchist society. Imagine five anarchists, each of them wanting to settle down in undeveloped land belongng to no one yet. Can each anarchist claim individual right to ownership? Right of ownership bestowed by whom?

They cannot agree on who is going to own the piece of land. What do they do?





The reason that the Indians lost their land to the White Eyes is because those savages never invented property rights and deeds.

Apparently hunting and otherwise using the land for ten thousand years was not a sufficient claim.

Ba'al Chatzaf
אויב מיין באָבע האט בייצים זי וואָלט זיין מיין זיידע

#17 whYNOT

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:25 PM

If the government is solely seen as the protector of individual rights, who decides what kind of rights are to be bestowed upon whom?

Take the right to private property for example:

Imo to argue that in today's modern civilized societies, real estate property is already regulated via ownership deeds, etc. does not address the core problem:

Who is it that can claim ownership to e. g. a piece of land? Is it the one who happened to have been there first and claimed "This is mine"? If yes, then a lot property would have to be given back to the original inhabitants of the five continents ... :smile:

Land ownership would also pose quite a problem in an anarchist society. Imagine five anarchists, each of them wanting to settle down in undeveloped land belongng to no one yet. Can each anarchist claim individual right to ownership? Right of ownership bestowed by whom?

They cannot agree on who is going to own the piece of land. What do they do?

The reason that the Indians lost their land to the White Eyes is because those savages never invented property rights and deeds. Apparently hunting and otherwise using the land for ten thousand years was not a sufficient claim. Ba'al Chatzaf


A: "All property is theft!!"

B: "Uh-huh - theft from whom?"

A: "Why, from the people, of course!"

B: "And who did they steal it from?"

Anytime you guys want to return your properties to their original,
rightful owners, I'm sure nobody will get in your way.
"To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge". Nicolaus Copernicus (An original objectivist) 1473-1543 ***No man may be smaller than his philosophy...***

#18 Dglgmut

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:43 PM


Binswanger defined objective law in this article in the Fall of 1990:

#7 Fall 1990 Page 1

WHAT IS OBJECTIVE LAW?



Harry Binswanger

[See also a later version of this article at (Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1992 of The Intellectual Activist (www.intellectualactivist.com)]


<...> In "The Nature of Government," Ayn Rand writes: "Since the protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of a government, it is the only proper subject of legislation: all laws must be based on individual rights and aimed at their protection."1 Rights can be violated only by the initiation of physical force. A proper, moral government limits its use of physical force to retaliating against those who initiate its use, in violation of rights.



If the government is solely seen as the protector of individual rights, who decides what kind of rights are to be bestowed upon whom?

Take the right to private property for example:

Imo to argue that in today's modern civilized societies, real estate property is already regulated via ownership deeds, etc. does not address the core problem:

Who is it that can claim ownership to e. g. a piece of land? Is it the one who happened to have been there first and claimed "This is mine"? If yes, then a lot property would have to be given back to the original inhabitants of the five continents ... :smile:

Land ownership would also pose quite a problem in an anarchist society. Imagine five anarchists, each of them wanting to settle down in undeveloped land belonging to no one yet. Can each anarchist claim individual right to ownership? Right of ownership bestowed by whom?

They cannot agree on who is going to own the piece of land. What do they do?


Isn't it when you mix your labor with unclaimed material that it becomes yours? (claimed?) Rules for untouched resources were not needed when everything was abundant, now that a lot of stuff is scarce we treat it as a commodity even before it's been turned into something of use.

#19 Xray

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:20 AM

Isn't it when you mix your labor with unclaimed material that it becomes yours?

I'm interested in the political justification of "unclaimed material + labor of individual X resulting in the material becoming the property of X.
Even if one accepted this, what does one do in the case of several individuals wanting to own the same patch of unclaimed land?
(See my above exampe with the five anarchists)?

(claimed?) Rules for untouched resources were not needed when everything was abundant, now that a lot of stuff is scarce we treat it as a commodity even before it's been turned into something of use.

But wasn't it mostly scarce resources that drove our stone-age ancestors to battle each other?

The "everything was there in adundance" reminds me more of a paradise-like idyll that exists only in the head. Since many of the natives populating those 'idylls' waged wars on other tribes, there must have existed conflicts about the distribution of resources that at first glance look "abundant".

The biological explanation of the human urge to "possess" something is easy: the one who possesses something furthering his life (a piece of meat for example) has a survival advantage over the one who does not
How strong this impulse is still vivid in us one can see e. g. each time people flock to the freshly opened delicious buffet at festive occasions.
Although the danger of starving does not exist anymore for the nobel laureate swiftly trying to be first in line with his plate, the laureate is driven by the same impulse that drove his stone-age ancestor: to get the best bite fast, before others grab it. :smile:

But I doubt that a political justification for property can work on the sole basis of "man's survival".
Arguing form biology alone has many snags.

Religion too has been used to justify ownership:
The highly influential New England Puritan minister John Cotton (1585-1652), in "God's Promise to his Plantation":
"If therefore any Sonne of Adam come and find a place empty, he hath liberty to come, and fill, and subdue the earth there."

#20 Dglgmut

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:17 AM

I'm interested in the political justification of "unclaimed material + labor of individual X resulting in the material becoming the property of X.
Even if one accepted this, what does one do in the case of several individuals wanting to own the same patch of unclaimed land?


By the time people are arguing about where to live, they've already got stuff to trade. A resource and a commodity aren't the same because a commodity is the result of a resource + work. A piece of meat cannot be claimed without hunting for it, or trading for it with someone who did the hunting.

With the five anarchists, I imagine it'd be like an auction (even though the scenario would never happen). One of them would say, "Alright, I'll give you four $10 000 if you go and build a house somewhere else and let me have this."

Resources have not been treated as super valuable until semi-recently. Consider that steel was once worth more than gold, which indicates that effective work was more scarce than raw materials. Now that we're much more advanced, there's so many uses for raw materials and less of them to go around.




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