Category Archives: Natural Law

UPDATED (10/12): Everyone Has Property Rights, Whether They Know it or Not

America, Classical Liberalism, Critique, History, Individual Rights, libertarianism, Natural Law, Objectivism, Private Property

A NEW ESSAY, “Everyone Has Property Rights, Whether They Know it or Not,” is on Mises Wire.

The Indian tribesman’s claim to his ancient stomping grounds can’t be reduced to a title search at the deeds office. That’s the stuff of the positive law. And this was the point I took away from a conversation, circa 2000, with Mr. Property Rights himself, Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

Dr. Hoppe argued unassailably—does he argue any other way?—that if Amerindians had repeatedly traversed, for their livelihood, the same hunting, fishing and foraging grounds, they would have, in effect, homesteaded these, making them their own. Another apodictic profundity deduced from that conversation: The strict Lockean stipulation, whereby to make property one’s own, one must transform it to Western standards, is not convincing.

In an article marking Columbus Day—the day Conservatism Inc. beats up on what remains of America’s First People—Ryan McMaken debunked Ayn Rand’s specious claim that aboriginal Americans “did not have the concept of property or property rights.” This was Rand’s ruse for justifying Europeans’ disregard for the homesteading rights of the First Nations. “[T]he Indian tribes had no right to the land they lived on because” they were primitive and nomadic.

Hoppean Homesteading

Cultural supremacy is no argument for the dispossession of a Lesser Other. To libertarians, Lockean—or, rather Hoppean—homesteading is sacrosanct. He who believes he has a right to another man’s property ought to produce proof that he is its rightful owner. “As the old legal adage goes, ‘Possession is nine-tenths of the law,’ as it is the best evidence of legitimate title. The burden of proof rests squarely with the person attempting to relieve another of present property titles.” (Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, p. 276.)

However, even if we allow that “the tribes and individual Indians had no concept of property,” which McMaken nicely refutes—it doesn’t follow that dispossessing them of their land would have been justified. From the fact that a man or a community of men lacks the intellectual wherewithal or cultural and philosophical framework to conceive of these rights—it doesn’t follow that he has no such rights, or that he has forfeited them. Not if one adheres to the ancient doctrine of natural rights. If American Indians had no attachment to the land, they would not have died defending their territories.

Neither does the fact the First Nations formed communal living arrangements invalidate land ownership claims, as McMaken elucidates. Think of the Kibbutz. Kibbutzim in Israel instantiate the principles of voluntary socialism. As such, they are perfectly fine living arrangements, where leadership is empowered as custodian of the resource and from which members can freely secede. You can’t rob the commune of its assets just because members elect to live communally. …

… READ THE REST. Everyone Has Property Rights, Whether They Know it or Not” is on Mises Wire.

UPDATE (10/12)Facebook Thread.

Those who are unfamiliar with the methods of praxeology and deductive reasoning will twist into pretzels to find fault with this essay. Maybe read the ancients (not the neocons) on natural rights.critiquing neocons on natural rights is a straw man.

‘Known Wolf’* Hunting In Paris Today Is Part Of A HUGE Pack Of Jihadis

EU, Europe, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Islam, Jihad, Natural Law, Terrorism

As I observed in “Life With Islam And Its Enablers”:

Be it Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Paris, Nice, Brussels, Berlin; Orlando, or San Bernardino—the men with mass murder on their minds are Muslim, often with criminal records or with a sudden heightened interest in Islam. That risk factor, Islam, is unacknowledged. Its followers are ignored, seldom stopped, and generally dismissed as misguided by the very intelligence agencies

The attack in Paris, April 20, saw “a police officer killed and two others seriously injured when a gunman opened fire late Thursday on the famed Champs-Élysées in Paris before he was shot dead, officials said.”

The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack.
French prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation into the attack on the officers, which took place at 8:50 p.m. local time.
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said authorities have identified the 39-year-old gunman but did not name him publicly. Officials are still assessing whether he had accomplices, he said.
Molins said the gunman used an assault rifle, and at least one location in the eastern Paris suburbs is being searched as officials work to learn more information about the attacker.
“The identity of the attacker is known and has been checked,” he said. “I will not give it because investigations with raids are ongoing.”
In a statement from its Amaq news agency, ISIS named the attacker Abu Yousef Al-Baljiki, “The Belgian,” adding that he was “one of the Islamic State fighters.”

The claim of responsibility came unusually swiftly for the group, which has been losing territory in Iraq and Syria. It also referred to the attacker as one of the “fighters,” rather than the “soldiers” of the Islamic State.

As Catherine Herridge has reported, French intelligence sits on a terror list 10,000 strong. Naturally, the list gives rise to no deportations: Citizenship for Jihadis before the right to life for innocent French.

RELATED stories of state treason:

*“France refuses to share top secret ‘terror watch list’ with local government.”

*“‘Lone Wolf,’ or ‘Known Wolf’? The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure.”

* “15,000 on French terror watchlist: report.”

* “French Priest-Slayers Were Both on Terror Watch List.”

* “Euro 2016: 82 SECURITY STAFF Revealed to Be on TERROR WATCH LIST.”

* The term “known wolf” was coined by Patrick Poole, but other pundits appropriate it. I hate that, because I know how it feels.

* “Could It Have Been Stopped?” [Stupid non sequitur.]

UPDATED: An ‘Ebullient’ President-Elect Who Cares About The Constitution As A Timeless Document

Barack Obama, Constitution, Donald Trump, EU, Europe, Founding Fathers, IMMIGRATION, Individual Rights, Natural Law

Our magnificent President-elect Donald Trump spoke to libertarian Judge Andrew Napolitano about constitutional originalists—who is; who isn’t—and the meaning of the Constitution.

Mr. Trump also asked Judge Napolitano about how you stop The Bureaucracy from legislating. As you all know, we live under a Managerial State, where the bureaucracy has vast discretion to pass and enforce laws that are never vetted by our so-called law-makers and representatives. These cockroaches have allowed it.

The Chevron Doctrine:

Did Barack Obama ever make such an inquiry? No. Barack Obama was not in the habit of hiding how he felt about the US Constitution. As much as he disliked the philosophical foundations of the republic, the president seemed to know a bit about the intent. Here’s Senator Barack Obama talking about the document Republicans seldom mention and Democrats deem dated:

… as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution … generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that. I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn’t structured that way.

The president recognized and rejected “the Constitution as a charter of negative liberties.” Because of the obstacles the Constitution poses to “redistributive justice,” community organizing à la Obama aims at achieving extra-constitutional change.

MORE GREATNESS FROM TRUMP:

An Ode To Paul Ryan By MSNBC’s Left-Liberal Lawrence O’Donnell

Bush, Constitution, Donald Trump, Government, Kids, Left-Liberalism, Media, Natural Law, Republicans

Oh what natural bedfellows these fleas make and how they love The People. I’m talking about the Left and the left-leaning “Right” of our political and media establishment.

Last week, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell practically glorified House Speaker Paul Ryan for, as he put it, “giving little Donald Trump his first a major kindergarten lesson in government during a meeting on Capitol Hill, putting into perspective how hard it will be for Trump to pass his outrageous legislative agenda.”

Ryan was the best and smartest Republican negotiator [code for shyster] in D.C.; Trump the worst, exalted statist O’Donnell.

Note how O’Donnell frames the right thing—naturally right thing to do—as ignorant, “magic thinking. “Ryan has been dealing with children like Trump for years,” intones this pompous member of the ruling class, in reference to Tea Party fiscal impulses and Trump Nation inclinations.

Lawrence thinks the good kind of power comes from the Law and from The Constitution, rather than from The People heeding the natural law. Naturally, to O’Donnell, Ryan, a mere boy, is the adult in the room. Trump, a man of the world, who’s built stuff, is the child, sitting at the feet of legislator-cum-apostle Paul, lapping up his wisdom.

It’s simple. If Trump doesn’t fulfill his promises, just as Barack Obama did through Executive decrees (which most certainly are in the overreaching U.S. Constitution), through brute force; he’ll be a one-term president. The Constitution is a dead letter. Has been for a long time.

Besides, “The Constitution has saddled Americans with a very strong presidency, should he choose to act on the veto it grants him. Buried in the constitutional thickets, concedes historian Paul Johnson, are “huge powers.” The American president “was much stronger than most kings of the day, rivaled or exceeded only by the ‘Great Autocrat,’ the Tsar of Russia (and in practice stronger than most tsars). These powers were not explored until Andrew Jackson’s time, half a century on, when they astonished and frightened many people.”

See “The Sovereign Agrees To … A Bourbon Summit.”