Freedom is Tied to Property

Freedom ˈfrēdəm noun: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

I think we all like this idea right? This definition naturally assumes that you do not have the right to restrain another person’s freedom even though we have all been gifted (by God or nature) with different talents, intelligence, and resources. What remains consistent from person to person is their right to be secure in their person and property. This is the central philosophy of libertarianism, voluntaryism and anarcho-capitalism. It is the non-aggression principle/axiom which states that it is unjust and unethical to initiate violence against other people and their things. It is the golden rule universalized, without the arbitrary distinctions the statist observes, to everyone at all times and in all places. Do unto others what you would want a rational person to do to you.

What is hilarious is when the statist puts limits on freedoms. Let’s take the lefts lip service to freedom of speech. This is a central point to their social justice mission (though it is being fought in the name of free speech at the expense of free speech). The left has a hatred for private property but wants free speech at the same time and it is my argument that this is a contradictory position to take. The concept of private property is the offspring of self-ownership and even the most devout collectivist lives their life as if they own their body. If one owns their body, and nobody has a better moral claim to their body than themselves, it is logical to deduce that people should be entitled to the rewards of their labor which their body produced (this excludes wage contracts where a laborer contracts out their labor to an entrepreneur for a consistent wage. This is a form of voluntary exchange).

But what the anti-property leftists misses is that free speech means that one has the freedom to own their own printing press that they exercise their free speech through. It is the right of an individual to own an assembly hall and either rent it out to other people so that they have a platform, or use it themselves to express their own ideas. It is the right to own one’s own blog and publish their ideas for mass consumption. If one abolishes private property, it is the state or “managers of public property” that control scarce resources and dole it out as fiat property to individuals. This means that the state can keep recalcitrant individuals from expressing themselves since they control all property and have the final say on who can use what and when. And it wouldn’t be in the States interest to allow an anarchist like myself to use a printing press or form a gathering in an assembly hall where I can spread my ideas. This means that when the leftist wants free speech and the abolishment of private property, they are saying that they don’t want freedom at all but permission from a coercive monopoly (the State). The Rightist also falls prey to this logical fallacy when they advocate for free speech but threaten violence against you if you criticize the military, war, or really any of their sacred cows.

Some statists will come back with the idea that freedom of speech should not be absolute and must have limits by giving the example of a terrible person yelling “Fire!” in a movie theater when there really is no fire. This is a question of private property, not speech, when you dissect it beyond the moronic surface arguments the statist uses. The visitors to the theater are engaged in a voluntary exchange between the owner of the movie theater and themselves. They paid money to see a movie in return. The person that yelled “Fire!” when there is no fire is committing fraud if they themselves are the owner of the movie theater. The visitors to their business exchanged their property, their money, in exchange for the entertainment the property owner promises. By yelling “Fire!” when there is none, the business owner is depriving the customer of his end of the exchange with fraud and compensation should be made to the customer. If the individual that yells “Fire!” is not the business owner, they are violating the voluntary exchange of the customer and the business owner with fraud themselves and should compensate the injured parties for their infringement on the property of the customer and the business owner. But as one can see from this example, any kind of freedom is tied to property which is tied to the idea of self-ownership.

These people who want to place limits on the non-violent and voluntary associations and actions you and I wish to engage in are deranged psychopaths. As Murray Rothbard argued, these people who wish to separate human rights from property rights fall prey to the fallacy that people are these weird “ethereal abstractions”. But as we have demonstrated, “free speech” without private property is not actually free speech. It is simply asking for the permission of the collective to act and do as you want. The fundamental difference between a “permission” and a “freedom” is that a permission implies that it can be taken away at any time for any reason. A freedom is something inherent and inseparable from the human condition and experience and to take it away dehumanizes another person. Thus, the statist is not compassionate but a mentally unstable and dehumanizing amoral individual who is philosophically and ethically confused.

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