måndag 2 april 2012

Libertarians on dangerous ground

Libertarians are on dangerous ground when they try to defend private ownership of land. If I enclose a piece of land and call it MINE, then I am preventing anyone else from gaining access to that land except on MY TERMS. Sooner or later this creates a situation when all land is enclosed, and anyone who has not got in on what is in effect a scramble, has not option but to pay rent or work for wages or become a slave or accept whatever terms the LAND “OWNERS” choose to offer, merely to stay alive. And there is the libertarian dilemma in a nutshell.

Worse still, a claim to ownership, for it is nothing more, demands the existence of a structure of government that will defend that claim to ownership through its structures of law, administration, defence – all the apparatus of the big state that libertarians so abhor. It also creates the existence of a class of have-nots who have to receive a minimum level of subsistence if they are not to starve or rise in revolt. This ultimately leads, and has led, the the creation of the bloated and very costly welfare states that became widespread in the years after the second world war. Dismantle them at everyone's peril unless the underlying structures of property ownership are changed so as to remedy the exclusion built into the systems.

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