Libertarian's Forum
Libertarian Forum to discuss politics and free market economics.
Libertarian's ForumLibertarian's ForumFreedom Forum › Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy?
Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6 Send TopicPrint
Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy? (Read 313 times)
The Opposition
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Online

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 11994
Joined: Apr 30th, 2014
Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy?
Nov 19th, 2019 at 12:57pm
Print Post  
There is no question that now, Intellectual Property is legitimate property. But at some time between here and cavemen, it became so, unless you thing Buug killing Gluug for copying his firemaking was legitimate and right. There wasn't much else Buug could have done to enforce his property right, and perhaps therein lies the problem: IP couldn't have been enforced in prehistory because no mechanisms existed to do so that wouldn't have been disproportionate.

So I'll get that out of the way: Perhaps all property rights now discovered were always legitimate, they simply could not have been enforced in the past for various reasons.

But what of the transition from animals (who have no legitimate property rights) to people, who do?

(Cavemen were not really between animals and people: They were primitive people. So let's visit Buug's ancestor, Buug, the first to discover any legitimate property right.)

So going back a step further, to the dawn of property rights (which must have happened at some point), what would make a newly discovered property right legitimate, versus illegitimate? Locke has theories on this, and says that land may be claimed as long as enough and as good is left for others and that land is put to use somehow, by mixing one's labour with it.

I'm not so naive as to think that force had nothing to do with the actuality of the matter. In actuality, property rights evolved from territory, which animals do defend. Buug has a big bone club, he's good at using it, and he does not say this plot of land is his with a full Libertarian understanding of property rights, but he will bash anyone's skull in who trespasses and steals.

Force, however, can't have anything to do with the rights involved, on a purely moral level, because rights would ultimately destroy the legitimacy of initiatory or disproportionate force, completely. Therefore any rights which could not have been legitimised without the aid of such force would be rendered illegitimate.

So a libertarian is faced with the uncomfortable question of removing force from the legitimacy of the equation, but still justifying its result.

This is hardly an impossible ask as there are many possible reasons that what Buug simply bashed people for violating and had no idea was legitimate, was actually legitimate. The bashing simply couldn't generate that legitimacy - something else had to.

The only thing left (as far as I can see) is the change in the nature of Man that made him Man. For the sake of simplicity let's say it happened fairly quickly: They woke up one day much more civilised and decided to stop bashing each other at all. "We will let Buug keep his huge plot of land, because that is how he lives," said they, "but we will also be able to claim some land for ourselves, too, so that we all may live, but not under Buug's thumb, for he never should have bashed us at all."

Imagine, though, that no one decided that. Imagine that the rules they developed, to live in harmony without force, simply did not include property rights. Their brains changed in the same way, but they made a different decision... instead of everyone being allowed to claim land, no one can.

Would property rights be just as valid, then, the nascent Humans simply having made an objective wrong turn? Or would the way Humans actually developed have any effect upon the legitimacy of property rights?

Was copying off someone (specifically in a way that violates intellectual property) always wrong, and would it always have been wrong regardless of it ever having been discovered by anyone?

Does someone ever discover a right (without that right necessarily being positive) that is not legitimate, even if society deems it so?
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Jeff
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 50754
Location: USA
Joined: Feb 26th, 2014
Re: Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy?
Reply #1 - Nov 19th, 2019 at 1:28pm
Print Post  
The Opposition wrote on Nov 19th, 2019 at 12:57pm:
There is no question that now, Intellectual Property is legitimate property. But at some time between here and cavemen, it became so, unless you thing Buug killing Gluug for copying his firemaking was legitimate and right. There wasn't much else Buug could have done to enforce his property right, and perhaps therein lies the problem: IP couldn't have been enforced in prehistory because no mechanisms existed to do so that wouldn't have been disproportionate.

So I'll get that out of the way: Perhaps all property rights now discovered were always legitimate, they simply could not have been enforced in the past for various reasons.

Property rights were enforced in the past by the law of the jungle.
  

"Free hate speech"
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Jeff
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 50754
Location: USA
Joined: Feb 26th, 2014
Re: Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy?
Reply #2 - Nov 19th, 2019 at 1:30pm
Print Post  
The Opposition wrote on Nov 19th, 2019 at 12:57pm:
Does someone ever discover a right (without that right necessarily being positive) that is not legitimate, even if society deems it so?
Sure, here's some examples:

https://reason.com/2019/11/17/democrats-are-conjuring-up-new-rights/?utm_medium=...

The article begins with this:

"Living close to work shouldn't be a luxury for the rich," Democratic presidential candidate and former congressman Beto O'Rourke tweeted in September. "It's a right for everyone."


  

"Free hate speech"
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
The Opposition
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Online

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 11994
Joined: Apr 30th, 2014
Re: Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy?
Reply #3 - Nov 19th, 2019 at 1:35pm
Print Post  
Jeff wrote on Nov 19th, 2019 at 1:30pm:
"Living close to work shouldn't be a luxury for the rich," Democratic presidential candidate and former congressman Beto O'Rourke tweeted in September. "It's a right for everyone."


Yes, but that's a positive right; an entitlement. No entitlements are legitimate basic rights.

I'm asking if anyone has ever discovered a negative right that is illegitimate, and what makes the difference in that case, between the legitimacy and illegitimacy.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Jeff
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 50754
Location: USA
Joined: Feb 26th, 2014
Re: Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy?
Reply #4 - Nov 19th, 2019 at 1:51pm
Print Post  
The Opposition wrote on Nov 19th, 2019 at 1:35pm:
Yes, but that's a positive right; an entitlement. No entitlements are legitimate basic rights.

I'm asking if anyone has ever discovered a negative right that is illegitimate, and what makes the difference in that case, between the legitimacy and illegitimacy.
Let's just call them "rights" or "real rights".

It was held by many for a long time that people had a "right" to own other people as property. It was supposedly just a part of property rights in general, and in some places, at some times, society in general approved.

What makes the idea of a property right in a slave illegitimate is that the slave is a person who also possesses rights.

Edit: Did you have an example in mind?
  

"Free hate speech"
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
The Opposition
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Online

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 11994
Joined: Apr 30th, 2014
Re: Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy?
Reply #5 - Nov 19th, 2019 at 2:00pm
Print Post  
Jeff wrote on Nov 19th, 2019 at 1:51pm:
Let's just call them "rights" or "real rights".

It was held by many for a long time that people had a "right" to own other people as property. It was supposedly just a part of property rights in general, and in some places, at some times, society in general approved.

What makes the idea of a property right in a slave illegitimate is that the slave is a person who also possesses rights.


Sometimes, you have to decide between one person's idea of rights and another.

You have decided, for example, that free speech is real and the right not to be offended is different from the right not to be stabbed.

You could as easily say that people really are prevented from speaking freely - a legitimate limit on the right to fee speech, the same as yelling fire in a crowded theatre - because the other people in question are in possession of a legitimate right not to be offended.

Both of these rights require someone to refrain from doing something to them - one requires refraining from speech and the other requires refraining from stabbing.

My question is, how do you decide? By what process have you come to the conclusion that there is no right not to be offended?
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Jeff
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 50754
Location: USA
Joined: Feb 26th, 2014
Re: Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy?
Reply #6 - Nov 19th, 2019 at 2:09pm
Print Post  
The Opposition wrote on Nov 19th, 2019 at 2:00pm:
Sometimes, you have to decide between one person's idea of rights and another.

You have decided, for example, that free speech is real...
If I don't have a right to speak freely, it must be because someone else has a right to shut me up... Where would that  right come from, the right to prevent opposing opinions from being aired?
  

"Free hate speech"
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Jeff
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 50754
Location: USA
Joined: Feb 26th, 2014
Re: Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy?
Reply #7 - Nov 19th, 2019 at 2:12pm
Print Post  
The Opposition wrote on Nov 19th, 2019 at 2:00pm:
You could as easily say that people really are prevented from speaking freely - a legitimate limit on the right to fee speech, the same as yelling fire in a crowded theatre..,


https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-time-to-stop-using-the-...

Be that as it may, if a "right to not be offended" exists, then no one can speak at all.
  

"Free hate speech"
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
The Opposition
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Online

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 11994
Joined: Apr 30th, 2014
Re: Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy?
Reply #8 - Nov 19th, 2019 at 4:29pm
Print Post  
Jeff wrote on Nov 19th, 2019 at 2:12pm:
https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-time-to-stop-using-the-...

Be that as it may, if a "right to not be offended" exists, then no one can speak at all.


Well, if rights prevent you from yelling fire in a crowded theatre, then no one can speak at all if everywhere is a crowded theatre and everyone is going to hear everything you say as "Fire!"

Yes, a right not to be offended, if it exists, would prevent you from potentially saying anything. It would not prevent you from saying all things in all situations. When you're alone, or the only person near you is a Vulcan, it wouldn't prevent you from saying a single thing.

I'm not saying there is such a right; I'm asking you how you decide that one right is legitimate and exists, and another is illegitimate and does not exist.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Jeff
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 50754
Location: USA
Joined: Feb 26th, 2014
Re: Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy?
Reply #9 - Nov 19th, 2019 at 5:05pm
Print Post  
The Opposition wrote on Nov 19th, 2019 at 1:35pm:
Yes, but that's a positive right; an entitlement.
Entitlements are privileges, and I can't see anything positive about them, speaking broadly.
  

"Free hate speech"
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6
Send TopicPrint
 
Libertarian's ForumLibertarian's ForumFreedom Forum › Property Rights: What Causes Legitimacy?
Libertarian's Forum

Libertarian's Forum Information Rules, Agreement and Privacy Policy