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An-cap communities are states?

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"Taxation of what? Money?"~Fool on the Hill

Yes, and various other crimes.

"The state creates money."

No, it doesn't. I suggest you read MES, on the monetary regression theorem.

"If this counts as a violent act."

Yes, you are forced to pay the State; one cannot opt out of this payment. Therefore, taxation is implicitly theft, and theft is violence.

"then Disney kicking someone out of a hotel room constitutes a violent act."

No, Disney legitimately owns the land; they didn't aquire it violently, to my knowledge.  However, you are correct in stating that they may have laid claims to unowned lands, particulary using the apparatus of the State. 

By the way, when someone legitimately owns the land, he gets to make the rules (i.e., kicking people out of a hotel room). As long as he is not frauding you.

"But do you think they wouldn't resort to violence if I tried to build something there?"

What's the point of this point? The State has created problems of land ownership by giving companies claims to unowned lands. In anarcho-capitalism, this would not be the case. (By the way, both Rothbard and I are opposed to private entities laying binding claims to unowned land, which they have not homesteaded. Have you read the good professor yourself, and how are you making these conclusions?)

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No, it doesn't. I suggest you read MES, on the monetary regression theorem.

I'm not saying it invented money but that it presently (and for the past hundreds of years) mints coins and prints dollar bills. Are you saying that someone who creates a piece of paper doesn't own that paper and have the ability to rent it out with the understanding that it will be given back? Wouldn't such a position contradict the homesteading principle?

What's the point of this point? The State has created problems of land ownership by giving companies claims to unowned lands. In anarcho-capitalism, this would not be the case. (By the way, both Rothbard and I are opposed to private entities laying binding claims to unowned land, which they have not homesteaded. Have you read the good professor yourself, and how are you making these conclusions?)

I have read Rothbard, which you should have known since I quoted him extensively in the links you replied to. For example, he says this:

In the United States, we have been fortunate enough to largely escape continuing aggression in land titles. It is true that originally the English Crown gave land titles unjustly to favored persons (for example, the territory roughly of New York State to the ownership of the Duke of York), but fortunately these grantees were interested enough in quick returns to subdivide and sell their lands to the actual settlers. As soon as the settlers purchased their land, their titles were legitimate, and so were the titles of all those who inherited or purchased them. Later on, the United States government unfortunately laid claim to all virgin land as the "public domain," and then unjustly sold the land to speculators who had not earned a homestead title. But eventually these speculators sold the land to the actual settlers, and from then on, the land title was proper and legitimate.

According to this, the owners of Disney should be considered "favored persons" who never homesteaded the land. They never sold the land to the actual settlers but rather employed them and kept the land themselves. Thus, they've never legitimately owned the land and thus should be stripped of it. And yet Rothbard was in cahoots with the likes of the Koch brothers. How can one complain about poor people receiving welfare and then collaborate with someone who has received much greater benefits from the government?

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"Are you saying that someone who creates a piece of paper doesn't own that paper and have the ability to rent it out with the understanding that it will be given back? Wouldn't such a position contradict the homesteading principle?"

Eh? For one thing, there is not such an implicit contract in the first place. For another, one cannot be held to a slave agreement in the Free Market.  Rothbard once again explains this in MES.

"They never sold the land to the actual settlers but rather employed them and kept the land themselves."

Um, no, they advanced present goods to workers for future goods, i.e., money in exchange for the produced property. What is wrong with such a voluntary exchange? Despite the special privilege initially given by the State, as Rothbard says, they are now settlers who legitimately own the land. They are simply capitalists who advanced present goods for future goods, expecting an interest rate and investing at a profit. The capitalists are legitimate settlers, who justly aquired their property through voluntary exchange.

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Chyd3nius replied on Mon, Aug 22 2011 4:26 AM

I agree that Rothbard makes that claim. The thing is, Rothbard employs the Orwellian tactic of doublethink. He claims contradictory positions--that way he can resort to whichever suits him on a particular occasion. Thus, Disney is the legitimate owner of Disney World because it had a contract with the construction workers, even though those workers did the physical homesteading of the land. But Britain was not the legitimate owner of the American colonies because it did not do the physical homesteading of the land, even though those settlers had a contract with Britain.

It's not about homesteading/cultivating ALL land, it's only about virgin land. After first homesteading is done the legitimate ownership is formed and homesteaders can sell all their land to Disney. Land is no more virgin so "second" homesteading of construction workers is not acquiring property. Disney has bought its property from legitimate owners who have homesteaded it into a property, Britain is not. If Disney had done the same thing and claimed all the America to be it's own and then sold land to settlers it would have been as illegitimate as what Britain did.

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Autolykos replied on Mon, Aug 22 2011 5:45 AM

Wheylous:
BP is saying that the land we live in is actually property of long-dead Native Americans. And we have no claim for the land.

I don't see how that's necessarily the case for every arbitrary piece of land within the current boundaries of the United States.

Wheylous:
I think I might have found a loophole.

1) Property doesn't exist after death (I am assuming here)

2) Had the unlawfulness been spotted in time, the US govt would have had to return the land, but the Native Americans are dead

3) Arguably, the US govt of the same time is also dead.

4) Both parties are dead, so US is open to homesteading

5) We own "our" land

Aside from the political claims by the US and the earlier colonies over land, I imagine there were cases where people effectively stole land from Native Americans, and cases where they bought it outright from them. I imagine there were also cases where the land in question was de facto unowned by Native Americans or whites. So the situation is irreducibly complex.

Wheylous:
Anyway, this question is similar to the one of corrupt contracts. If I give you land which I don't own, and you (w/o knowing) give that land to someone else, what do we do about it? Arguably every receiver is responsible to know the source of his land and verify its validity, so the land must be given all the way back.

I'd say that the just solution there is to give the land back to the person who you took it from (whether by force or by fraud). However, in the event of that person dying before that happens, the situation is trickier. One could treat the asset in question as being intestate (i.e. not having been willed to anyone in particular). In modern times equitable distribution of intestate estates typically leaves all familial survivors as joint owners of the assets in question.

Wheylous:
I am still interested in my numbered argument above, though. Because the contracts did not specify what type of government the land was given to. Arguably, the contracts are actually invalid. Thus, the Indians in reality still owned the land, and since they're dead, the land was open to homesteading.

Given my support for inheritance, I don't see this as the case here. Per equitable distribution of intestate assets, the land belongs to the descendants of those Native Americans.

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Autolykos replied on Mon, Aug 22 2011 5:50 AM

Birthday Pony:
I am not saying that historical circumstances deligitimize property, I'm saying that the US state is consistent with NAP.

How exactly do you think this is the case? Can you lay out your argument in a syllogistic format?

Birthday Pony:
If you want to take on the state by way of NAP, then you'll have a lot of going back to do.

A person who possesses a stolen car that he believes he bought fair and square from the person who stole it is still in possession of stolen property. In my view, he's still violating the Non-Aggression Principle.

Birthday Pony:
If you don't want to bother yourself will making moral corrections to the entirety of human history, then as far as NAP is concerned, the US is the owner of all the land it claims and only grants partial property rights to its citizens.

You're presenting a false dilemma, as far as I can tell. There's also the issue of aggression committed in the name of the US government against self-owning people within its territory.

Birthday Pony:
Wheylous, the contracts that the US signed do not allocate land to a person or group of persons, but the entity called the US government. As far as those contracts are concerned the US government still exists and still has a claim to the land.

When we talk about the Non-Aggression Principle, we're necessarily talking from a normative standpoint, not a descriptive one.

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Autolykos replied on Mon, Aug 22 2011 6:00 AM

Birthday Pony:
Every concession of Native American land (aside from those long dead) is in contract, and signed. Plus, if, as you've said, property does not continue after death, then how is conquest illigetimate?

I consider contracts signed by one party under duress or coercion imposed by the other party to be inherently illegitimate contracts. Furthermore, contracts signed by one party claiming to represent another party, when the latter never gave permission for the former to represent him/them, are also illegitimate contracts IMO.

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Autolykos replied on Mon, Aug 22 2011 6:04 AM

Fool on the Hill:
I agree that Rothbard makes that claim. The thing is, Rothbard employs the Orwellian tactic of doublethink. He claims contradictory positions--that way he can resort to whichever suits him on a particular occasion. Thus, Disney is the legitimate owner of Disney World because it had a contract with the construction workers, even though those workers did the physical homesteading of the land. But Britain was not the legitimate owner of the American colonies because it did not do the physical homesteading of the land, even though those settlers had a contract with Britain.

Methinks you're missing Rothbard's point (yet again). If Rothbard considers Disney to be a legitimate (i.e. non-aggressive) organization, and considers Great Britain to have been an illegitimate (i.e. aggressive) organization, where exactly is the contradiction? You see a contradiction because you're using a different standard of legitimacy from Rothbard's. That doesn't mean that his reasoning is inconsistent, given his standard of legitimacy (which is obviously a premise in his reasoning).

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Autolykos replied on Mon, Aug 22 2011 6:06 AM

Birthday Pony:
Corporations rely on government. How can a corporation exist without a state to guarantee it limited liability? A contract with all persons involved? Great, but that limited liabilty won't extend to people suing over class action suits, so the whole idea of an LLC falls apart. Maybe a contract with everyone affected by the corporation? Congratulations! You've reinvented the nation-state.

Keep in mind that most of us 'round these parts don't consider universally limited liability to be legitimate.

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Eh? For one thing, there is not such an implicit contract in the first place. For another, one cannot be held to a slave agreement in the Free Market.  Rothbard once again explains this in MES.

What constitutes an implicit contract? Dollar bills explicitly state that they were produced by the US government, and the US Constitution claims the right to tax money. Additionally, the notes state, "this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private." Hmm, I wonder what they could mean by public debts, perhaps taxation? On the other hand, I have stayed at hotels were I never signed anything. Does this mean I can stay there as long as I want without paying anything?

What do you mean by "slave agreement"?
 

Um, no, they advanced present goods to workers for future goods, i.e., money in exchange for the produced property. What is wrong with such a voluntary exchange? Despite the special privilege initially given by the State, as Rothbard says, they are now settlers who legitimately own the land. They are simply capitalists who advanced present goods for future goods, expecting an interest rate and investing at a profit. The capitalists are legitimate settlers, who justly aquired their property through voluntary exchange.

I think you have it backwards. Money is not a present good. It's a promise for future goods. And it's quite possible for a laborer to produce a good, or make the company money, before he himself gets paid. But this is besides the point. The money they advanced them was stolen. It almost definitely included at least one if not all of the following: (a) Money gained through the employment of slaves, (b) money made through the use of stolen Indian land, (c) money made as a result of limited liability protection, (d) money as direct government subsidies, (e) money from government issued bonds of stolen tax money, (f) money made through feudalism, (g) money made from capital given to them by the government, (h) money made as a result of government imposed tariffs, (i) money made through the enforcement of intellectual property rights. There's pretty much no way someone could get rich without the help of the government. You're basically saying that all of the ordinary pirates should be punished but the pirate captain should get to keep everything he bought with the gold they stole for him.

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Chyd3nius: It's not about homesteading/cultivating ALL land, it's only about virgin land. After first homesteading is done the legitimate ownership is formed and homesteaders can sell all their land to Disney. Land is no more virgin so "second" homesteading of construction workers is not acquiring property. Disney has bought its property from legitimate owners who have homesteaded it into a property, Britain is not. If Disney had done the same thing and claimed all the America to be it's own and then sold land to settlers it would have been as illegitimate as what Britain did.

No, Disney World was a virgin swamp before the construction workers built the theme park.

Autolykos: Methinks you're missing Rothbard's point (yet again). If Rothbard considers Disney to be a legitimate (i.e. non-aggressive) organization, and considers Great Britain to have been an illegitimate (i.e. aggressive) organization, where exactly is the contradiction? You see a contradiction because you're using a different standard of legitimacy from Rothbard's. That doesn't mean that his reasoning is inconsistent, given his standard of legitimacy (which is obviously a premise in his reasoning).

Rothbard states his position thusly:

To sum up, all existing property titles may be considered just under the homestead principle, provided

  1. that there may never be any property in people;
  2. that the existing property owner did not himself steal the property; and particularly
  3. that any identifiable just owner (the original victim of theft or his heir) must be accorded his property.

http://mises.org/daily/4047

He does not say anything about an "illegitimate organization" that can never own anything. He merely says that a property owner can't own a particular property that he stole. Furthermore, criteria 3 certainly does not apply in the case of most stolen property possessed by the government (that is, the rightful heirs cannot be located).

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 12:04 PM

Fool on the Hill:
Rothbard states his position thusly:

To sum up, all existing property titles may be considered just under the homestead principle, provided

  1. that there may never be any property in people;
  2. that the existing property owner did not himself steal the property; and particularly
  3. that any identifiable just owner (the original victim of theft or his heir) must be accorded his property.

http://mises.org/daily/4047

He does not say anything about an "illegitimate organization" that can never own anything. He merely says that a property owner can't own a particular property that he stole. Furthermore, criteria 3 certainly does not apply in the case of most stolen property possessed by the government (that is, the rightful heirs cannot be located).

First off, I was using "illegitimate organization" as shorthand to refer to an organization whose assets have been, at least by-and-large, obtained illegitimately (i.e. through aggression). In retrospect, I should've been clearer about my meaning there, so sorry about that.

Secondly, I don't think that people who homesteaded land in North America, assuming that they didn't steal it from Native Americans, did so with the understanding that they were building farms, houses, etc. for Great Britain (or later the United States). By the same token, Disney did not pay people to build houses so that those same people could then live in them.

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 4:41 PM

There's pretty much no way someone could get rich without the help of the government.

To be a bit more precise, add "in the current system." Because the present tense can both be used to describe current conditions and an ideal system, and your statement doesn't apply to an ideal system.

But I would like to see Autolykos address your lettered points.

As to inheritance, I will start a new thread about it.

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Secondly, I don't think that people who homesteaded land in North America, assuming that they didn't steal it from Native Americans, did so with the understanding that they were building farms, houses, etc. for Great Britain (or later the United States). By the same token, Disney did not pay people to build houses so that those same people could then live in them.

I think they understood that Great Britain would retain ultimate control when they signed the contract "buying" the unhomesteaded land. Is that not enough? If the Disney construction workers had their fingers crossed when they signed the contract and secretly wished the theme park to be theirs, would that make them the legitimate owners? Are the terms of a contract about what you think and not what you say?

To be a bit more precise, add "in the current system." Because the present tense can both be used to describe current conditions and an ideal system, and your statement doesn't apply to an ideal system.

Yes, but there are a whole host of issues concerning the transition to an ideal "legitimate" system. If the distribution of wealth is carried over from an illegitimate system, then I don't see how the new system could be legitimate.

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 7:34 PM

Fool on the Hill:
I think they understood that Great Britain would retain ultimate control when they signed the contract "buying" the land unhomesteaded land.

If they signed any such contract to begin with. However, I'll remind you that I personally (pace Rothbard, if need be) consider any such contract to be illegitimate, as I don't think Great Britain ever legitimately owned the land in the first place.

Fool on the Hill:
Is that not enough?

Not as far as I'm concerned - which I think I've made quite clear already.

Fool on the Hill:
If the Disney construction workers had their fingers crossed when they signed the contract and secretly wished the theme park to be theirs, would that make them the legitimate owners? The terms of a contract is about what you think and not what you say?

For the nth time, this isn't about the terms of the contract per se, it's about the legitimacy of it. Are you deliberately strawmanning the anarcho-capitalist/Rothbardian position here?

Fool on the Hill:
Yes, but there are a whole host of issues concerning the transition to an ideal "legitimate" system. If the distribution of wealth is carried over from an illegitimate system, then I don't see how the new system could be legitimate. If we are to abolish a city government because of the way it came into being, then I don't see why we wouldn't also abolish the "government" of Disney World for the way it came into being. They are both of the same system and interdependent on each other.

Even with anarcho-capitalist property rights, I really don't see how the current distribution of wealth could be maintained in the aftermath of eradicating the state.

Regarding Disney World, you seem to be committing the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 7:35 PM

Wheylous:
But I would like to see Autolykos address your lettered points.

Did I not already do so? In any event, they're actually Rothbard's points, and they're numbered, not lettered.

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 9:28 PM

Then must all companies give back government subsidies?

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Chyd3nius replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 5:03 AM

Yes, but there are a whole host of issues concerning the transition to an ideal "legitimate" system. If the distribution of wealth is carried over from an illegitimate system, then I don't see how the new system could be legitimate.

Actually, Hoppe answered to that question, I think it was on Democracy. He states that all state-created property should be privatized by giving it to the workers of the property, because they are the ones who use it.

I think they understood that Great Britain would retain ultimate control when they signed the contract "buying" the unhomesteaded land.

Retain ultimate control? They understood that if they won't A) give money to the Britain so they can move to a land which is not owned by Britain B) give total control of their property to the Britain, they will send soldiers to do it? I'm not finding this legitimate at all. 

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 7:58 AM

Wheylous:
Then must all companies give back government subsidies?

In moral terms, I'd say it would certainly be just of them to do so.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 8:21 AM

Then anyone who has used public roads must also give back money to the government, and anyone who has received education grants, etc...?

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 9:39 AM

Again, I'd say it would be just for people to return money they received from government education grants, etc. I don't see how using public roads is the same thing as receiving money from the government.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 10:59 AM

Fair enough about the roads, those are not direct exchange of property.

What about dollars? Those needed taxes in order to be printed (correct me if I'm wrong, please).

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 11:09 AM

Strictly speaking, dollars don't need taxes in order to be printed. Otherwise I consider using dollars to be akin to using public roads.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 11:12 AM

It doesn't need taxes theoretically, but it does use taxes. And what about the penny which costs more to produce than it is actually worth in a store?

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 11:26 AM

Regardless, I still see using dollars as the same kind of thing as using public roads. What's more, using dollars is required by law.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 12:05 PM

Though it would be nice to read the sources you cite:

There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.

Also, go directly to the source:

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Currency/Pages/legal-tender.aspx

So no, it's not required.

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 12:33 PM

It seems I overlooked that part, sorry. So a person isn't obligated to pay in dollars unless the person he's paying asks for dollars. In any case, I still see using dollars as the same kind of activity as using public roads. What I think would be just for the government to do in this context is return the gold it confiscated from US citizens in 1933.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 12:41 PM

I made the same mistake about legal tender over at FLL.

In the case of the roads no one was given the roads, and hence no one must return them.

In the case of dollars banks were given dollars, so banks must return them.

(At least this is how I frame the question - in terms of "giving")

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 12:43 PM

By "mistake about legal tender" are you talking about using government dollars vs. using government roads? Or what?

One could say that people are "given" government roads, but the construction of those roads is already paid for by taxes. Likewise, people are given government currency, but the printing/minting of that currency is already paid for by taxes.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 12:49 PM

I meant about having to pay debts with dollars.

In either of the cases you present, both are paid for by taxes. And the taxes must be restituted in some way.

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 12:58 PM

One thing I've neglected to mention with restitution is that I think it should only be made if the aggrieved party asks for it. For example, if a homeless person takes $20 out of my pocket, and I catch him in the act, and he says that he hasn't eaten in days, and I then let him keep the $20, I see no need for restitution.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 1:11 PM

I agree.

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If they signed any such contract to begin with. However, I'll remind you that I personally (pace Rothbard, if need be) consider any such contract to be illegitimate, as I don't think Great Britain ever legitimately owned the land in the first place.

You're saying that Great Britain didn't legitimately own the unhomesteaded land? That part I would agree with, and thus I would agree that it would have no right to sell it. But that's not my argument. If that alone was sufficient for making the contract illegitimate, then the contract that Disney made with its construction workers would also be illegitimate. But perhaps your argument is that the Disney contract is illegitimate but the property becomes legitimately Disney's after the workers finish and turn it over to them? In this case it wouldn't be the signed contract that establishes ownership but a later unsigned contract.

For the nth time, this isn't about the terms of the contract per se, it's about the legitimacy of it. Are you deliberately strawmanning the anarcho-capitalist/Rothbardian position here?

If the terms of a contract don't establish legitimacy, then what does? If I build a house and you pay me to inhabit it, is it not the terms of the contract that dictate whether it is legitimately yours or whether I am just renting it and thus legitimately retain ownership? Clearly, the construction workers have (physically) homesteaded Disney World. If Disney can be said to own it, it must only be because of the terms specified in a contract, correct?

Regarding Disney World, you seem to be committing the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

I am saying that Disney secures and defends the unhomesteaded land through the state military/police force. If this doesn't make what they build on the land illegitimate, then why would it make the Department of Transportation's claim over the roads it built illegitimate? Further, both the Department of Transportation and "private" railroad companies (maybe Disney too) built their transportation networks with money stolen by the IRS. The fact that we call one a state agency and another a private company seems largely nominal to me, at least in regards to establishing legitimacy under the homesteading principle. 

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 7:41 PM

After the Civil War, Reconstruction, railroads, and transforming the North and South war machines towards peacetime required public funding. However, in 1872, seven years after the war, lawmakers allowed the temporary Civil War income tax to expire.

Just clarifying it wasn't the IRS the whole time.

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Actually, Hoppe answered to that question, I think it was on Democracy. He states that all state-created property should be privatized by giving it to the workers of the property, because they are the ones who use it.

And how do we determine what state-created property is? Is receiving state money for building something enough to consider it state created? All US dollars were issued by the state at some point. Does that make everything state-created property? Many people own treasury bonds. Doesn't owning a treasury bond make one a thief and an agent of the state? I'm amazed at how the same people who call taxation theft are often the same people who insist that the national debt should be paid off. Cut public spending so that taxation becomes simply direct theft by bondholders.

Retain ultimate control? They understood that if they won't A) give money to the Britain so they can move to a land which is not owned by Britain B) give total control of their property to the Britain, they will send soldiers to do it? I'm not finding this legitimate at all.

The construction workers understood that if they didn't (A) give the promise of labor to Disney so they could move to a land which is not owned by Disney and (B) give total control of their property to Disney, Disney would send soldiers to take it.

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Just clarifying it wasn't the IRS the whole time.

Thanks for clarifying. I meant the tax collecting function of the government. I wasn't sure what to call it.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 7:51 PM

Then what solution do you propose, FotH?

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Then what solution do you propose, FotH?

That's a rather big question. But I think perhaps where I differ fundamentally with people here is that I don't think actions obtain legitimacy based on the past. I think actions are legitimate for what they currently are and for what they are likely to bring about in the future. Human desire is forward looking and that's how I think our political philosophy should be as well. I think the structures of society should be made to conform to human desire and not the other way around.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Aug 25 2011 8:13 PM

Something more concrete, perhaps? The issue of state "property," private courts, something?

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Aug 26 2011 7:08 AM

Fool on the Hill:
You're saying that Great Britain didn't legitimately own the unhomesteaded land? That part I would agree with, and thus I would agree that it would have no right to sell it. But that's not my argument. If that alone was sufficient for making the contract illegitimate, then the contract that Disney made with its construction workers would also be illegitimate.

I guess the question then is whether a person can homestead something on behalf of another person. In leftist terms, this concerns whether labor can be "alienated". It might also concern whether "staking a claim" (i.e. actually marking off something to indicate that it's now yours) can be considered a kind of homesteading.

Fool on the Hill:
But perhaps your argument is that the Disney contract is illegitimate but the property becomes legitimately Disney's after the workers finish and turn it over to them? In this case it wouldn't be the signed contract that establishes ownership but a later unsigned contract.

No, I don't consider Disney's contract with the construction workers to be illegitimate. If no one staked the claim for that land on Disney's behalf already, then the construction workers did so.

So then you might ask, "In that case, didn't the settlers homestead the land on behalf of Great Britain?" My answer is no, because the settlers didn't turn the land over to British authorities after homesteading it. And as far as I know, they were considered to be the "actual owners" of the land and had no contract with Great Britain stipulating otherwise. I certainly consider them to have been so (assuming they didn't effectively steal it from Native Americans). Colonial charters and the like were bogus IMO, because (to my knowledge) no claim had even been legitimately staked on the land in the charter.

Fool on the Hill:
If the terms of a contract don't establish legitimacy, then what does? If I build a house and you pay me to inhabit it, is it not the terms of the contract that dictate whether it is legitimately yours or whether I am just renting it and thus legitimately retain ownership? Clearly, the construction workers have (physically) homesteaded Disney World. If Disney can be said to own it, it must only be because of the terms specified in a contract, correct?

Don't make the mistake of believing that my position is that any/all contracts are valid per se. But yes, if you have a legitimate agreement to homestead something on behalf of someone else, that means he'll own it. In leftist terms, labor can be "alienated" by contract.

Fool on the Hill:
I am saying that Disney secures and defends the unhomesteaded land through the state military/police force. If this doesn't make what they build on the land illegitimate, then why would it make the Department of Transportation's claim over the roads it built illegitimate? Further, both the Department of Transportation and "private" railroad companies (maybe Disney too) built their transportation networks with money stolen by the IRS. The fact that we call one a state agency and another a private company seems largely nominal to me, at least in regards to establishing legitimacy under the homesteading principle.

By "post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy", I mean your apparent argument that, because Disney Corporation came into being well after the state did, Disney Corporation necessarily came into being because of the state - that is, the state (and nothing else) caused Disney Corporation to come into being.

Now by your reasoning above, the fact that I received federal student loans while I went to college means that I don't legitimately own my house. Am I right? Why or why not? What if I call the police after someone breaks into my house?

Otherwise, while it's true that private companies often do take money from the government, they don't all do so equally. If a company receives the lion's share of its income by providing things that consumers want, but does receive some amount of money from the government, are all of the company's assets necessarily illegitimately owned?

My point is that it's not nearly so cut-and-dried as you seem to make it out to be. I can understand the attractiveness of declaring all present property relations illegitimate - that way you can justify the desire to "cleanse the entire world".

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