Category Archives: Private Property

As I Said A Few Posts Ago Regarding Cyril Ramaphosa’s South Africa …

Economy, Federal Reserve Bank, Private Property, South-Africa

Via Zero Hedge comes the news that South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has just caused the Rand to plummet with the news that it will seek “constitutional changes for land expropriation (from whites) without compensation.” The ruling party, moreover, has decided that “the Reserve Bank must be wholly owned by the state.”

As my book, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa,” shows, the SA constitution already allows expropriation of private property, with only nominal compensation.

Facebook Friends were angry at me for raining on their parade, a few posts back, writing that the appointment of a new, South-African leader to head the dominant-party state was an insignificant game of musical chairs.

But already the news out of Cyril Ramaphosa’s South Africa is bad.

As for the alarm over the nationalization of the country’s Reserve Bank. Reserve Banks are private in name only. Who still pretends this is not the case? Central banks serve The State and are for The State and its cronies. Private shareholders are ensconced to put up a facade to the contrary.

The Colorado Cake Case: Why Such Cruelty To A Christian?

Christianity, Freedom of Religion, Gender, Homosexuality, Individual Rights, Paleolibertarianism, Private Property

Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips is a deeply religious Christian. Why would a gay couple want to compel him to decorate a cake with words his faith rejects? What kind of craven cruelty would compel such coercion? Why, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, would you proceed with force against a private property owner? What’s wrong with you?

A crude reductio ad absurdum should help:

A retail store selling Nazi memorabilia opens its doors in my neighborhood. I enter in search of the yellow Star of David Jews were forced to wear during the Third Reich. The proprietor, decked out in Nazi insignia and regalia, says, “I’m sorry, we don’t serve Jews.” “Don’t be like that,” I say. “Where else can I find a pair of clip-on swastika earrings?” The Nazi sympathizer is polite but persistent: “Ma’am, I mean no disrespect, but back in the Old Country, Jews murdered my great grandfather’s cousin and used his blood in the leavening of the Passover matzah.” “Yeah,” I reply. “I’m familiar with that blood libel. I assure you my own mother’s matzo balls were free of the blood of brats, gentile or Jewish. No matter. I can see where you’re coming from. I’m sorry for your loss. Good luck.”

There! Did that hurt?

Did I rush off to rat out my Nazi neighbor to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice? Not on your life. A principled Jewish libertarian (with a sense of humor)—who believes in absolute freedom of association and the rights of private property—would doff his Kippah and walk out.

Live and let live.

Writes Joseph Wright, in the Denver Post:

A devout Muslim with a wonderful singing voice runs a small music business featuring his CDs. A Christian couple asks this Muslim to record a song for the wedding. The song includes the words: “Jesus, resurrected from the grave and God incarnate.” The Muslim man declines, saying his sincere religious beliefs prevent him from recording the song. Would the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) take action against him and inflict financial penalties for abiding by his convictions?

A non-religious couple asks a Jewish kosher deli with fantastic food to cater their wedding reception, but demand that ham be included on the menu. The deli refuses. Would the CCRC take action against this deli for its religious convictions?

One more question: Would legal action be taken only against Christians practicing their sincerely held beliefs or against people of all beliefs?

All strength, Jack Phillips.

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.

UPDATED (12/6): Trump Tax Plan Neither Fair Nor Flat, But Based On Faction & Class Warfare

Business, Debt, Donald Trump, Economy, libertarianism, Private Property, Taxation

Whatever happened to the promise of “reducing tax rates on individuals,” Mr. President? Whatever happened to “lowering tax rates, simplifying the tax system” and overhauling the nation’s tax code? You know, to benefit ALL Americans?

President Donald Trump said Wednesday the emerging Republican tax proposal won’t cut taxes for the wealthy, and they may go up, an assurance that appeared to contradict the plan that his administration and GOP leaders are drafting.

… “The wealthy will be pretty much where they are,” Mr. Trump, a Republican, said. “If we can do that, we’d like it. If they have to go higher, they’ll go higher, frankly.”

Who are the wealthy? Two income families bringing in 100K?

Naturally, “Trump wants to lower the 35% corporate tax rate to 15%, though most analysts think that is nearly impossible.”

Gotta keep the Familia prosperous.

MORE at:

GOP to Release Tax Overhaul as Trump Says Rich Won’t Benefit; Republicans prepare for legislative sprint on a plan they expect would cut taxes for the wealthy.”

House, Senate Tax Proposals Likely to Diverge“:

The document will include a specific corporate tax rate and details on the deductibility of corporate interest, Mr. Mnuchin said at a separate appearance at the same event. He said news reports suggesting the six negotiators are far apart are untrue.

Corporations above all.


UPDATE (12/6):  Hands off Our Loopholes. Alas, It’s too late.