Self-Ownership Naturally Implies Property Rights

This is segment from a facebook conversation I have been involved with. It was with a crazy Bernie Sanders supporter. The original topic was on this nonsense going on with trans people and bathrooms. I simply put forth the most simplistic and non-violent approach; let the property owner decide how their property is used. There could be some grammatical errors that follow. I’ve tried my best to correct my comments as well as my opponents for the sake of an easier read. That said, they could still be prevalent.

Me: Let private property owners decide how their bathrooms are used. Problem solved. Easy peasy.

Bernie Supporter (BS): Yeah – who wants Jews using bathrooms?! Gross!

Me: So because you disagree you get to use the coercive arm of government and force people to associate? How civil and moral of you.

BS: Oh – no! I am agreeing with you! If Trump wants to let Caitlyn Jenner use his bathroom, but forbid Mexicans and Muslims from using them, it should be his right, even if it’s a semi-public space, right?

Me: Totally. If someone is being a douche with their business, you just don’t shop there or support them. You exercise your own right to disassociate with scumbags.

BS: Jon Torres Likewise, if a trans-man breaks into your house and uses your bathroom, you’re not going to call on the strong-arm of the government to prosecute them for trespassing, right?

Me: Haha. No. I’ll take care of it myself. But using the fact that I am coerced into supporting the government monopoly on defense proves my point, not yours.

BS: And if a private contractor builds the only bridge on a public road (with partial public funding) for 20 miles across a river, but does not want to let anarcho-capitalists use it, they can just walk to the nearest crossing point!

Me:  Public property is a myth. Private property is the only legitimate form of property. Public property means it’s been stolen and gained unjustly. We’ve been over this “BS”. Your argument is that you need a gang of thieves now so that gangs won’t take over.

BS: Private property exists ONLY by the consent of the community. Period. Possessions exist under your own power. Private “property” is a communitarian socially granted “right”.

Me: //Private property exists ONLY by the consent of the community. Period.//

Incorrect. It exists as a natural right. In fact, our very disagreement presupposes private property as a natural factor of human existence. I pointed this out in another of Williams posts. Have you heard of argumentation ethics? Hans-Herman Hoppe says the following:

“Argumentation is a conflict-free way of interacting. Not in the sense that there is always agreement on the things said, but in the sense that as long as argumentation is in progress it is always possible to agree at least on the fact that there is disagreement about the validity of what has been said. And this is to say nothing else than that a mutual recognition of each person’s exclusive control over his own body must be presupposed as long as there is argumentation (note again, that it is impossible to deny this and claim this denial to be true without implicitly having to admit its truth).”

Which means that we can both agree that a disagreement is going on. Which assumes that you have control over yourself and I have control over myself. We individually own our bodies otherwise this debate would not even be possible.

If we are in control of our bodies, we are the only ones with the best moral claim to them and no one outside of our bodies has a better moral claim. This means that you own yourself. If you own yourself, you are then entitled to own your labor. If you own your labor, you are entitled to the fruits of your labor. Taking the logic the other way (the side you are arguing for) we see that you are attempting to claim ownership of someone else’s reward of their labor. To do so is to claim ownership of their labor. If you are claiming ownership of their labor, you are claiming ownership of their bodies. But we have just established that this disagreement itself presupposes self-ownership as an inherent condition of the human experience so you run into a contradiction both logically and ethically.

This makes your philosophy nothing more than an ideology of murderers and thieves. Slave masters. You are advocating for a society where everyone is entitled to a portion of everyone else yet they are not entitled to own themselves. This means that people are incapable of acting without consent of the collective. So not only is it immoral and illogical, it is devastatingly inefficient.

BS: You own your own body – that is possession, not property.

Me: Now you’re just being silly and playing with semantics because you are in a corner.

Possession: an item of property; something belonging to one.

Therefore, let property owners decide how their bathrooms are used.

BS: No. A possession is that which you can physically control. You cannot possess a mountain, you can possess a pebble. You cannot possess a slave. You can possess your own body. Property is that which, by communal consent, is socially granted ownership to one who may or may not be physically capable of defending and controlling it. You can have a mountain as property. You can have a slave as property. A bathroom in your estate is your property, not your possession – and as property it is granted you only by the consent of the community (unless you are in it, occupying it – then it may be possession). The distinction, which you elide, is critical. It’s not semantics – it’s reality. Try facing it.

Me: No. it is semantics on your part.

Again, you are simply playing with words to justify the violence inherent in your system.

“Furthermore, if the original land is nature- or God-given then so are the people’s talents, health, and beauty. And just as all of these attributes are given to specific individuals and not to “society,” so then are land and natural resources. All of these resources are given to individuals and not to “society,” which is an abstraction that does not actually exist. There is no existing entity called “soceity”; there are only interacting individuals.”

-Murrary Rothbard


“The concept of Society as a metaphysical person falls flat when we observe that Society disappears when the component parts disperse.”

-Frank Chodorov

Society itself has not created natural resources so why does an abstraction have a better claim to property than the component parts upon which it’s own existence hinges on?

So again, if you own your body, you own your labor and the fruits of your labor when you mix it with unclaimed resources (or voluntarily trade for resources that previously were unclaimed and transformed by another’s labor), then you own the rewards of your labor and no other human on earth has a better moral claim to it than you.

Let us use the example of an artist since I am a painter myself. Let’s say I am capable of creating my own pigments from natural resources and I find an area of nature unclaimed by anyone else where I find the resources to make my pigments. I take the resources and convert them into paints through my labor brought about by my body which we both agree I control. I create a really nice landscape painting on piece of canvas that I traded a canvas maker voluntarily for. Are you then saying that after my painting is complete, you have the right to come along and claim that the painting is now yours? How ludicrous is that but that is exactly what you are arguing.

“The Georgists argue that, while every man should own the goods which he produces or creates, since Nature or God created the land itself, no individual has the right to assume ownership of that land. yet, if the land is to be used at all as a resource in any sort of efficient manner, it must be owned or controlled by someone or some group, and we are again faced with our three alternatives: either the land belongs to the first user, the man who first brings it into production; or it belongs to a group of others; or it belongs to the world as a whole, with every individual owning a quotal part of every acre of land.”

-Murray Rothbard

Practically speaking, it is impossible for everyone to own a quotal share of everything. Again that is a world where everyone must ethically wait for the approval of everyone else. Nothing would ever get done. In practice this leads to dispute since if I want to do X with resource A and you want to do Y with the same resource (and both X and Y are mutually exclusive), we must come to blows over who gets to use the resource. The only way to stop this is to put “special” individuals in place as “managers” with the ability to use force to “defend” resources they have neither traded, homesteaded, or been gifted. These individuals can now use the resources to control the actions of others, unjustly, by exercising their coercive control and monopoly over various important resources. How can I control my body by exercising free speech if I a collective owns all the outlets of speech and can use violence in order to silence me since I am a recalcitrant? Self ownership is inseparable from private property.

Economics is based on of 2 axiomatic laws.

1. All individuals engage in purposeful behavior towards the fulfillment of ends by applying the scarce means in their control. This is a synthetic a priori proposition meaning that any attempts at refuting this axiom as false requires the axiom to be true. So by arguing that it is false you are taking purposeful action by using time, labor, etc, towards the fulfillment of a purposeful end, namely proving the axiom false. It constitutes a very fallacious and poor argument to rely on that which you are trying to refute in its own refutation.

2. Individuals vary in preferences (which is made evident by our disagreement here which again, through argumentation ethics, proves self ownership). Your collective cannot satisfy all preferences individuals may have therefore it must use coercive force in order to CONTROL PEOPLES BODIES to only engage in economic activity that is within the parameters of the collective.

So stop pretending like you believe in self-ownership. You don’t.

BS: Stop pretending like you understand the vocabulary you are using. You don’t. First off, Economics is not based on axiomatic laws. And the economic gobbelty-gook you are spouting is sheer (as in: rather baseless) ideology. Most of what you spout is the justification that commes with “Just-World” theories – which are patently false, but very satisfying to those who hold them.

You have utterly failed to understand my (and Rousseau’s and Jefferson’s) distinction between “property” and “possessions” – you haven’t even tried. Instead you retreat to the first of a set of definitions of common usage, and ignore the rest. (You seem to conflate “property” and “possession” completely.)

Me: //Economics is not based on axiomatic laws//

Thanks for proving that it is “BS”. You just performed an action with expressed purpose which means you relied on the synthetic a prior proposition (the action axiom) in its own refutation. Good job. You did the work for me.

I see that the rest of your statement is nonsense. It is not an argument because you are just saying “I’m right and you are wrong because I say so”… So thanks for proving that second axiomatic principle that all individuals vary in preferences. I appreciate other people voluntarily doing the work for me in proving my arguments

//Instead you retreat to the first of a set of definitions of common usage, and ignore the rest.//

Oh really? Like how you ignored how I showed self-ownership is inseparable from property rights? You are the one putting your hands over your ears going “La la la I can’t hear you.”

So since all you have left is baseless accusations, I guess we’re done here.

//Stop pretending like you understand the vocabulary you are using. You don’t.//

Last comment. I know exactly what these words mean. It’s why I used them and it’s clearly why it bothers you. So please don’t project your issues on to me.

Actual last comment. If you can own your body and nothing else, you might as well not own your body since you cannot express yourself or act without permission of the collective. You speak out of both sides of your mouth on this issue with your appeal to authority fallacy (“You just don’t get Rousseau or Jeffereson!”).

BS: LOL – you again conflate “ownership”, “possession, “property”, “use”, “control” – you refuse to examine these concepts or even the ideas and structures behind these concepts. You also have not “shown” how self-“ownership” is inseparable from “property rights” (of external objects and things or people). And you accuse ME of supporting slavery? Hah! That’s YOUR specialty!

Me: //If you can own your body and nothing else, you might as well not own your body since you cannot express yourself or act without permission of the collective.//

I’m just going to keep reposting that. You keep accusing me of ignoring things. “The pot calling the kettle black”

//And you accuse ME of supporting slavery? Hah! That’s YOUR specialty!//

Slavery: thralldom, enthrallment. Slavery, bondage, servitude refer to involuntary subjection to another or others. Slavery emphasizes the idea of complete ownership and control by a master: to be sold into slavery. Bondage indicates a state of subjugation or captivity often involving burdensome and degrading labor: in bondage to a cruel master. Servitude is compulsory service, often such as is required by a legal penalty: penal servitude.
So nice straw man “BS”. That’s your specialty. How is advocating from self-ownership equal to slavery? You are the one that is advocating for taking things you did not earn from others by paying lip service to self-ownership and then castrating it by limiting the ways, through force, individuals can act. Get out of here with that BS I have no time for it. I’m not the one claiming the ownership/thralldom/involuntary subjugation of others. That’s you with your “You can own yourself but nothing else” BS.

Have fun in those breadlines.

I think what occurred here is that this guy had never encountered argumentation ethics. He realized he couldn’t refute it without proving it true so he accepted self-ownership as true and then attempted to divorce self ownership from property rights. But again, owning yourself in a world where the collective owns everything means that you cannot exercise your self ownership without asking for permission from the collective. If you have to ask for permission of the collective to exercise your “self ownership”, you do not actually own yourself and the ownership of yourself is a fiat right.

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