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Roderick Long brilliantly covers the emergence of property rights

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Wheylous Posted: Sun, Jun 17 2012 6:16 AM

 

Many people think that without government we wouldn't have property rights in place. However, they fail to realize that property rights exist because the public in general supports them. Not because of government. When you take away the government, the public favor for private property still remains there. Here is how he explains it:
I think that a lot of people – one reason that they’re scared of anarchy is they think that under government it’s as though there’s some kind of guarantee that’s taken away under anarchy. That somehow there’s this firm background we can always fall back on that under anarchy is just gone. But the firm background is just the product of people interacting with the incentives that they have. Likewise, when anarchists say people under anarchy would probably have the incentive to do this or that, and people say, “Well, that’s not good enough!  I don’t just want it to be likely that they’ll have the incentive to do this. I want the government to absolutely guarantee that they’ll do it!” But the government is just people.

 

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Jun 17 2012 6:20 AM

By God, he's brilliant:

 

Worries about poor victims who can’t afford legal services, or victims who die without heirs (again, the Randians are very worried about victims dying without heirs) – in the case of poor victims, you can do what they did in Medieval Iceland. You’re too poor to purchase legal services, but still, if someone has harmed you, you have a claim to compensation from that person. You can sell that claim, part of the claim or all of the claim, to someone else. Actually, it’s kind of like hiring a lawyer on a contingency fee basis. You can sell to someone who is in a position to enforce your claim. Or, if you die without heirs, in a sense, one of the goods you left behind was your claim to 
compensation, and that can be homesteaded. 
That's amazing!

 

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Jun 17 2012 6:21 AM

Oh, and link:

http://mises.org/etexts/longanarchism.pdf

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Wheylous:

Oh yeah, love that paper, Roderick Long is a legend.

Not only is he the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted, but the lecture that paper is a transcription of is one of the best (and funniest) Mises.org lectures IMO. 

Direct mp3 link: here.

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As long as we are linking awesome Roderick Long essays, this one is my personal favourite: Market Anarchism as Constitutionalism

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How can you cover the emergence of property rights without actually going into any historical examples of the emergence of property rights?

Oh wait... he does give ONE example; England.  The problem being?  He's talking about the emergence of states, not property rights; and has to admit that, even tho they were really just specialists in fending off foreign invasion, they already held the monopoly on law...

 

Next week I cover the emergence of planetary bodies, by exclusively discussing various people's objections to Newton's theory of gravity. cool

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

~Peter Kropotkin

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