Thursday, February 22, 2007

Land Ownership

I use these two words to distinguish here.

Person - someone who respects people's ownership of property.
Animal - nonperson.

All rights are property rights. So by extension:

A person has rights.
An animal doesn't.

Rights aren't inherent, there are no "natural rights", they're conditional. If you want your rights to be respected, you must respect others' rights.

If you have a human that doesn't respect people's ownership of property, then they are not a person, they're an animal. Person does not always mean human, nor does human always mean person, as I use the words.

In case it's not obvious yet, I deny the idea of proportional force. If someone threatens you with a pocketknife, you have every right to blow their head off their shoulders by any means necessary, or make a slave of them just as you would if they were an ox plowing your field, for instance. When they do that, they make themself no longer a person, they make themself an animal.

I got an objection recently that this would mean that if you even set foot on my property without my permisson, I could kill you or enslave you.

No. There's a difference here.

You can violate someone's rights without rejecting their rights.
You can reject their rights without violating them.

Suppose I own a patch of land and I don't want people walking across it. But I fail to put out any signage saying "No Tresspassing" or a fence or something to that effect. You have no way of knowing that I don't want you walking on my property. You could think yourself in the right to be on my property unless told otherwise, similar to your assumption that you are in the right as you walk around Walmart.

Now, this is a violation of my property rights, whether you know it or not. What determines whether I can rightfully kill you or not is how you respond to being told to leave.

If you leave, then you have violated my property rights, but you are respecting my right of ownership of that land, and if I attempted to sue you for restitution, I couldn't prove any damage to be repaid for. Unless you did some damage while you were there, this would be the end of it.

But, if you do not leave, I can assume you do not respect the idea of rightful ownership. By logical extension, you deny any exclusive right to your own body, and if you do that, you surrender your "person" status and reduce youreslf to an animal. Then I can do whatever I want rightfully, pertaining to you.

If you want to become a person again, you'll have to start respecting my ownership of the land again. You'll have to leave (or at least say you will and act toward leaving) if you want me to assume you have any right to your life, liberty and property. You may also owe me restitution if you caused any damage.

In other words, just because you violate someone's rights doesn't mean you don't have rights anymore. But if you want to keep your rights, you will have to pay them back any restitution, and respect the rules they set with their own property.

One of the reasons this was brought up was because the idea was brought up of people mining their yards with explosives.

I do have a right to plant mines all over my property. It is after all, my property.

If one of those mines happens to injure you before you deliberately ignore my ownership of the property, then I'm wrong.

You still own yourself as you walk onto someone else's property. They can tell you what to do so as not to violate their rights, but you still have rightful ownership of your own body. You do not make yourself my property as you walk into my yard.

Before I can be made irresponsible for anything that happens to you, you have to disrespect my rightful ownership of the property, you have to deny my rights and act to violate them.

If you have rights as I violate them, then I owe restitution. If you were obeying all the rules of the property, you still own yourself, and it's still wrong for me to blow you up with a landmine.

That's why I can't kill you just for walking on my lawn.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jake said...

Who made the decision that land should be ownable by man? It is not something that man produced, so what right does mankind have to claim ownership of it? What is the difference between one man trespassing on another man's property, and a man cutting down jungle habitat or otherwise defacing/destroying some other organisms habitat?

11:59 AM  
Blogger jomama said...

When you bump your boat up on an
island that I claim, you'll have to deal with me.

Rights are a bad con.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Zhwazi said...

Shade: Only ideas are produced by man. People cannot create, people can only work with what already exists.

Land is scarce and valuable. We wouldn't have efficient or sustainable use of land without property rights in it, after all, we might just as well destroy one patch of land and move on to another if there is no ownership of it.

The difference is that people claim ownership, animals don't need to. A person's right over his own land doesn't exclude animals from using it because animals need no right to use it.

4:29 PM  

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