My opinions about liberalism have changed, I was wrong. My opinions about abortion have been loosened up through thought, reflection, and respectful discussions with conservatives. My opinions about multiculturalism, "tolerance", and identity politics have shifted. My support for Democrats and Obama has disintegrated.
I'm able to agree with conservatives on many issues, even if our perspectives don't line up. I agree with libertarians on many issues, even if our perspectives don't line up.
Have you been able to change your positions through critical thinking and talking to left-wingers? From what I read, it seems as if you are a right-wing hardliner and GOP loyalist. Is there anything you can agree with liberals or leftists on?
You are right, children can own property through different means (such as inheritance.) What I should have said, is children cannot control property on their own, nor can they purchase property.That is false. Children can own property. They are limited, based on their not being presumed to give consent to contractual agreements due to their ages, from exercising full control of their property until they reach their age of majority, but when a child does engage in commerce, they are permitted to do so provided that their interests are represented by a responsible adult.
Okay let's take this one step at a time. There are many issues here to address, and they should be addressed separately. I hope you will not conflate all of this into one blurred question and answer it by attacking something else.Easy. The right to live is predicated on the ability to sustain your life through your own efforts. One who is not permitted to keep or dispose of the fruits of their efforts, i.e., their property, has no liberty.
1. The right to live is predicated on the ability to sustain your life through your own efforts? If that is true, then an unborn fetus has no right to life because it cannot sustain it's life on it's own. The same applies to people in persistent vegetative states such as Terri Schavio (my spelling may be wrong here, as it often is.)
This extends on to people who are disabled.
2. If you are defining private property as a "fruit of one's efforts" (and if this should not be taken as a definition, please correct me), then businesses or business assets which are inherited are excluded from this.
3. This also brings into questions investments. If I put money into a savings account and it accumulates interest, in what way is interest accumulation a "product of labor?" (assuming labor and efforts are interchangeable).
4. This one is important. You consider private property to be the fruit of one's labor, so let's consider this. Man A works on a farm. He works the land, plants the seeds, tends the fields, harvests the crops, loads the crops up and takes them to a market where he sells them. Let's say Man A does every single step of the labor needed to produce and sell the commodities in question, including placing orders on supplies and managing the money that comes in. However, the farm land is owned by Man B. Is the commodity produced a product of Man A's labor, or Man B's labor? Which man's labor produces the "fruit" in question?
Some would say that Man B makes an investment on the land, takes out loans, and uses the money earned to pay back the loan. This is only possible though, because Man B claims ownership of the commodities which Man A produces with his labor.
It seems it would be as long as it's not taken as a punishment for speech. If the government seized all businesses in the nation, but the former business owners were allowed to say whatever they wanted and go on tv and write books, how is that an infringement of speech?They cannot sustain their lives, and their other rights are similarly truncated. Every right in the Bill of Rights is predicated on the presumption of property rights. Take freedom of speech, for example. Is your speech truly free if the government can take everything that you own?
that's a different question.Can you criticize it if your property will be forfeit as a consequence?
the state is allowed to punish people with death in the US, but that is not an infringement on speech, as long as you aren't killed for what you say. Do you agree with that?
The right to keep and bear arms still functions as a right to protect oneself, one's family and one's personal property. The inability to own a factory doesn't infringe on the right to bear arms.The right to keep and bear arms is derived from the right to protect oneself, one's family and one's property.
For the sake of having this discussions, we should make a distinction between private and personal property. You don't have to agree with this distinction being applied legally, that's fine, but in order to have a discussion where we aren't talking about different things, we should clarify our concepts.The Third Amendment, against Quartering, was a direct response to the English Crown's abrogation of property rights. The fourth Amendment explicitly cites the right to be secure in our papers, homes and persons. Need I continue?
I am discussion Private Property, which, to put it in very simple terms, means private ownership of the means of production (yes a classic marxist designation calm down). Personal property, which are the items and goods you use or consume yourself, is something different.
The 3rd and 4th amendments cover personal property, and would continue to function even without private property.
I'm not arguing that the government should confiscate all private property, I'm merely demonstrating that our rights are not necessarily tied to the right to own private property as you claim.
You did not address my point whatsoever, you simply are saying cuba is bad and not free.The sham health care and education presented by the Cuban government is an example of the absence of property rights. People who are allowed to keep and own property are free to spend it on real health care. People whose livelihoods are beyond the reach of government can choose how they and their children will be educated, and pay for it besides. People whose homes are secure do not fear a knock on the door in the middle of the night. You complain about millionaires owning more than their employees, but when the government owns everything and the people have nothing, you say nothing. Cuba is a tyranny because the people own nothing and the government owns everything.
Cubans enjoy rights like health care and education. Yes it's true that if you are in America and you have a well paying job with good health insurance you can afford better quality health care, that is not the point and doesn't address the point. Yes it's true that if you are in America and you have the money to afford a top notch private school you will get a great education, again that has nothing to do with the argument I was presenting.
My argument is:
A. The post-revolution government in Cuba has not recognized the right to own private property (although Personal Property is fine).
B. The post-revolution government in Cuba recognizes the right for all people to have access to education and health care without paying anything out-of-pocket.
Therefore: C: A government can recognize Rights, without necessarily recognizing the right to own property.
A very simple argument.
You will have to demonstrate this with a line of reasoning.No. That is not my argument. My argument is that a state that forbids the ownership of private property has no constraints upon it, that it will use lethal force at will, without consequences.
(Before anyone gets hysterical, as I know some people will, I should clearly state that I am not advocating this, it is a thought-experiment used for the purpose of illustrating the soundness of a philosophic argument.)
Suppose the exact same US constitution, except with an amendment that states that individuals cannot own private property (means of production), and that all means of production are collectively owned by the state.
Why wouldn't the other rights, say those in the Bill of Rights, function? If the government takes over Exxon, would that prohibit the CEO or shareholders of exxon from writing books expressing their anger about it? Would that allow police to enter the personal homes of shareholders without reasonable cause and warrants? Would that require upper management to worship Allah or prohibit them from going to church?
A government that has ANY laws will use lethal force to enforce those laws against those who disobey the law. How is that specific to property laws?It is also that a government that forbids the private ownership of property will use that force in order to enforce its will against those who resist the confiscation of their property, that those who do not conform will be subjected to the full force of the state, including lethal force.
This is just rambling (that's okay I ramble a lot too).That is why socialism is inherently coercive, because it must impose a unifying conformity on all people, regardless of their differences.
I will keep trying to understand your argument using logical terms and a line of reasoning, and it helps if you keep your arguments more focused.Since your rebuttal is based on a complete misstatement of my argument, there is no need for me to admit anything of the sort.
Yes we consider the government to be limited to a legitimate scope, but that very scope of legitimacy has been debated since the nation was formed. A government isn't a natural physical thing with set properties or rules like the atomic weight of Helium. It's a purely symbolic, social structure that exists only as a set of concepts and relations. When you address a social symbolic entity like this as if it were a solid physical thing, you blind yourself to your own presuppositions.All governments have the authority to use force. It is the defining characteristic of government. Any transaction in which government is involved has, behind it, the threat of force. It is only the strict limitation on the power of government to encroach in areas beyond its legitimate scope that protects us from this.
In answer to your question, it depends on the contract between A and B. If A is a hired hand, he gets a salary. If he is a tenant farmer, he gets a percentage of the produce or the sale. If he is a partner in the business, then he has a share of the company, based on their contractual obligations. It all depends on what they agree to, and that will depend on a variety of factors. Is land scarce or plentiful? Is labor scarce or plentiful? If land is scarce, and the labor supply is high, the deal for a laborer is going to be less lucrative than if land is plentiful and labor is scarce.
[QUOTE=Wei Wu Wei;500559]Would that allow police to enter the personal homes of shareholders without reasonable cause and warrants?
Of course it would. If you live in state-owned housing, the state has the same rights as your landlord, which is control of the property, but unlike a private landlord, it also controls the courts and the enforcement of law, therefore it can evict you at will, and if it can do that, then anything short of eviction, such as opening your doors to the police, are hardly impositions. After all, the police can simply evict you from your home and then search it. No property rights, no home ownership rights.
Fair enough.This is true, but they can own it, and that is what matters. The government cannot unilaterally take it away from them. They have a right to own property.
Well it seemed earlier you were arguing that the right to life required the right to own property, because the right to life necessitates a right to sustain oneself and property acquisition is necessary for this.Nice try. The right to live is the first, most basic of rights, without which all others are meaningless. The right to sustain your life through the creation and acquisition of property is a logical corollary of that right, but if someone cannot sustain his or herself, it does not eliminate the first right.
I'm curious how you argue that property acquisition is necessary for the right to life. People can and do live full lives without owning any private property.
1. If a person can live their entire life without owning private property, how can you argue that the right to life necessitates the right to property? How would a person who never owns property's right to life be affected by their inability to purchase property?
If the right to sustain oneself is not necessary for the right to life, as you say in the case of abortion, then it doesn't matter whether or not property acquisition is a right, because it's not necessary to preserve the right to life.
We can agree that a person has a right to live, but how is owning a business necessary for that?
Okay that's fine for an elaboration on inheritance rights, but I was asking how inheriting property represents the product of one's own effort? That's fine if you say it's someone else's effort and given to a person, but that doesn't explain how receiving it = effort on one's own part.No, again. All property is the result of somebody's efforts, either intellectual, physical or both, but the right to inherit isn't a right of the heir, it is a right of the person who bequeaths it. The property that my children will someday inherit from me is my property. When I die, my last will is the statement of how I want my property disposed of. Hence the term "last will". It is literally the last expression of my will. Their inheritance is based on my right to keep and dispose of my property as I see fit. Once it is no longer mine, then it belongs to my heirs, and it is theirs to use as they see fit.
So you are saying that the mental decision required to put money into an account that will accumulate interest is the effort that makes interest a "product of one's effort?"My savings account is a loan to the bank, at a fixed rate of interest. It allows my money to be used for other purposes (such as mortgages, business loans, etc.). The amount of return on a loan is based on the supply of money available and the demands of various borrowers, as well as their likelihood of paying off the loan. High risk loans carry higher interest rates. My investment is a calculated risk, and calculation is effort, too.
It sounds like you are saying anything at all, including making a decision counts as effort. Does deciding to wake up, get dressed, and walk several blocks to a welfare office to get money that you've calculated into your budget count as effort?
I figured you may not agree that effort is the same as labor, which opens up the door for any sort of labor, as in the welfare example listed above.Nice sleight of hand there. I never equated effort and labor. You're trying to take this back to Marxist labor theory.
Assume A is a hired hand. You are saying the commodities produced by A's labor belong to B and a portion is given to A because of an agreement between A and B?In answer to your question, it depends on the contract between A and B. If A is a hired hand, he gets a salary. If he is a tenant farmer, he gets a percentage of the produce or the sale. If he is a partner in the business, then he has a share of the company, based on their contractual obligations. It all depends on what they agree to, and that will depend on a variety of factors. Is land scarce or plentiful? Is labor scarce or plentiful? If land is scarce, and the labor supply is high, the deal for a laborer is going to be less lucrative than if land is plentiful and labor is scarce.
What this means then, is that the fruits of the labor belong to whom they belong to because of a social agreement, rather than simply going to the person who did the work to produce it. The commodity produced does not go to the person who's effort produced it. It belongs to the person who owns it and is divided up according to an agreement.
Workers work for wages precisely because they do not own the products of their own labor. This economic relationship between the owner of the land and the worker of the land only functions because the worker does not own the products that he produces with his labor.
Therefore, your implication that private property is the product of one's own labor is incorrect. It's an expression of a social relationship. A owner of private property can "earn" money without doing a single iota of work towards producing goods, selling goods, or running the business (as if often done by shareholders of companies).
Private property can belong to someone without them doing any productive work whatsoever, while a person who do all the work can have no ownership over the property.
I'm not ascribing morality to it.Or not. The owner of the land has other options. He can let it lay fallow, parcel it out and sell it, develop it for other uses, or sit in one corner of it and paint landscapes all day. You are attempting to apply an arbitrary morality to voluntary transactions which are completely moral with or without your approval.
Are you saying that the people who own the media control the messages? Is this true when the media is owned my mega-corporations?How long would the former business owners be permitted to call the government thieves on government-owned stations? Can you cite an example of a state-owned media monopoly that is permitted to criticize the state?
Also, non-profit organizations can and do produce news media. If an organization is not producing a commodity, it's not a private business and wouldn't be government controlled.
What would stop a non-profit organization from speaking their mind?
A state interesed in private property would have no interest in your car or your home or your record collection or anything else like that.A state that can take your factory, your home, your car or any other property can take your arms as well. And a state that wants to take your factory, your home, your car or any other property will start with your arms, because it will make all other resistance futile.
A house used for shelter is not the same as a house used for rent. Private property requires other people, a flow of money, and economic activity.
My car, my house and my business are my property, and there is no difference between them. For example, if I own a house, and move, but keep it as a rental property, it becomes a business. At that point, the Marxist definition changes it from my personal property to my private property, and permits its expropriation. It's still my house, and I may have intended to retire to it somewhere down the line, but that's no longer an option. Let's say that I own a family farm, and we have a harvest. I hire temporary labor to bring in the crops, which I have nurtured throughout the year. My personal land then becomes private land. If I work my land and have a surplus that I sell, my surplus marks me as a business, rather than a subsistence farmer. My property is therefore changed arbitrarily from personal to private to public. Marx's distinction is therefore nonsensical.
It's not nonsensical and existing US laws already recognize the difference between these. I'll give a simple example:
Say I purchase a movie, Iron Man 2. That DVD belongs to me, it's my Personal Property. I can watch it, I can make wind chimes out of it, I can submerge it in water, I can eat it if I so choose. If I play it on a big screen tv and eat popcorn that is perfectly fine. However, if I decide to charge people to come into my house and watch the movie, it's different.
How is that different? Why is it that playing it on the tv is fine, but charging people to see it is not? It's because US law recognizes a difference between property that is used for your own consumption and property that is used as a business to generate money.
In a sense, the law already recognizes the difference between Personal Property and Private Property. So let's use your logic:
It's my DVD and there is no difference between property I own and property I use to generate money. I can put the DVD into my DVD player and that's fine, but at some arbitrary moment, when I charge money for my friends to come watch, it becomes illegal? Even if I charge money to see it, I can still use it as Personal Property in the future. If I wanted, a month from now I could watch it myself without charging anything. So why does the law treat one of these issues differently?
It's because they are different. You own the movie for Personal use, but not for Private use. This distinction is the only way these laws can function.
What about the freedom of religion? If the State owned all private property, how would that prevent you from going to church?But, as a socialist, you do advocate it. And you are wrong. Property rights are the basis of all other rights, with one exception, which I have explained above.
Private property owners are not allowed to discriminate based on religion, so if the state owned the property, it would be illegal for the state to do so.
In fact, millions of Americans already work for state-owned institutions and they have no infringements on their rights of religion, speech, or anything else.
The government recognizes them as rights.If, by not addressing your point, you mean that I demonstrated that it is not valid, then you are correct. Cuba is bad, and is not free, because it has no property rights. However, since you want to play that, let's have at it again.
First of all, health care and education are not rights.
Just because you don't pay them doesn't mean they are not paid. If someone breaks into my home and the police come, I don't have to hand them my credit card to pay for them, and they are not slaves.You cannot have a right that is contingent on someone else supplying it for free. I do not have the right to uncompensated labor from someone else, because I do not have the right to make that person my slave.
I have a right to be secure in my person and home, and the police are meant to protect that right, and the police are a free service. It's true that they are paid with taxes, but even if a person doesn't pay taxes, they still have the right to equal protection under the law.
So you can, indeed have a right that is contingent on someone else supplying it for free.
Why not? It seems that your argument that you can't have a right that is contingent on someone else supplying it for free doesn't hold up.It doesn't matter if that person is a doctor, a teacher, or the person whose taxes pay for the doctor or teacher. The state cannot simply decide that health care or education is a right.
Do you have another argument, or can you refine your first argument to address my criticism?
Are public school teachers slaves? Parents and children have a right to demand their services without paying them, and tax payers foot the bill for that too.Again, back to property: A doctor's practice, his business, is his private property. I have no right to demand his services, but I have every right to purchase them, if he is willing to sell them. If I demand his services without his consent, then I have enslaved him, and he has no rights. If the government enslaves him on my behalf, he is still enslaved. Without property rights, the doctor is a slave to the state.
[quote]Except that the government has not recognized a right, it has enslaved one group of people and forced them to provide services to another group, which it then claims is a right. However, since nobody has any rights, the health care and educational services are not rights, so much as the largess of a sovereign to his serfs. They are the bones thrown to dogs by feudal lords. If a feudal lord "recognized" a right to eat for free, and fed his serfs and dogs the same scraps, can you truly say that these are rights?
Are you a slave? You work for the government. I don't have to write you a check to do your job, even if that job benefits me. If the US is invaded by a foreign army I can demand that the military work to defend the nation, without having to pay upfront.
Now I know you are going to try to illustrate the difference between government functions that are necessary and constitutionally authorized vs those that are not. However, before you do, I should point out that that is an argument about the role of the government, not an argument about what is at hand here.
What we are discussing here is whether you can have a right that requires someone else to do something without you paying them up front. Police, military, teachers, social workers, and all other government employees do this all the time.
PBS is a non-profit media organization that regularly has right-wingers on the air espousing anti-government viewpoints.Well, for one thing, the government w
ould own all of the publishing houses. Does Hugo Chavez permit dissent? Does Castro?
Second, public housing already exists and the people who live there still have their rights. The police cannot arbitrarily enter their homes without going through the proper legal routes. The fact that these not privately owned doesn't mean you don't have rights in them.
Even if the state did have the same rights as your landlord, that still doesn't mean they have unlimited rights. Almost every state in the US has restrictions on when and how landlords can enter a home. Landlords also must give notice before evictions.
That's already illegal for the state to do with it's employees. Having more employees wouldn't change that.It might, if the state decided that only those who worship a certain way could work in state-run enterprises, which would be all of them. That's pretty much the idea behind the various communist states' persecution of religious groups.
1. Stealing land is not petty thievery. Again, you're conflating the two forms of property.That is not true. A government in which property is privately held will not use lethal force against petty thieves, for example. It is only when the state owns all property that petty crimes become crimes against the state.
2. Also, the state certainly would use lethal force against a petty thief who resisted the police.
3. Crimes against the state do not mean lethal punishment. Tax evasion is a crime against the state but you don't get the death sentence for it.
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