[ExI] Basis of property rights/was Re: The Circle of Coercion

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Tue May 12 17:57:06 UTC 2009

On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 08:54:35AM -0700, Dan wrote:

> But (most*) libertarian property rights theories are not based on
> consent.  Rights don't arise by consent.  In fact, consent only arises

See, I'd disagree there.  If someone claims some property, that claim is
honored either by ability to defend the claim, or by the consent of
everyone else.  Whether there's a "right" is ultimately irrelevant;
rights don't defend themselves.

> because there are prior rights.  For example, you can consent to give
> me this for that only if you have a right to this and I have a right
> to that.  This is true of any consent argument: it presumes the
> consenting parties have prior rights -- even if the term "rights" is
> not used.

THe original libertarians -- the 19th century left anarchists like
Proudhon and Bakunin, and perhaps the non-libertarian Hobbes before them
-- migh well say that initially everyone has a right to everything.
Certainly everyone in the state of nature can walk wherever they please.
To fence off some land as "my farm" is to seize land formerly available
to all.

-xx- Damien X-) 

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