Monday, 10 October 2011

Lex Trooperis

I've been arguing over law with the Liberal Conspirators, specifically human rights law versus my conception of natural rights and property rights, which has sent me scurrying around Rothbard's 'Ethics of Liberty', wherein I find this:
But there are certain vital things which, in natural fact and in the nature of man, are inalienable, i.e., they cannot in fact be alienated, even voluntarily. Specifically, a person cannot alienate his will, more particularly his control over his own mind and body. Each man has control over his own mind and body. Each man has control over his own will and person, and he is, if you wish, "stuck" with that inherent and inalienable ownership. Since his will and control over his own person are inalienable, then so also are his rights to control that person and will. That is the ground for the famous position of the Declaration of Independence that man's natural rights are inalienable; that is, they cannot be surrendered, even ifthe person wishes to do so.

Or, as Williamson Evers points out, the philosophical defenses of human rights
are founded upon the natural fact that each human is the proprietor of his own will. To take rights like those of property and contractual freedom that are based on a foundation of the absolute self-ownership of the will and then to use those derived rights to destroy their own foundation is philosophically invalid. (Evers; Law of Contracts p7)
Hence, the unenforceability, in libertarian theory, of voluntary slave contracts.
I also see this, in a chapter titled 'Lifeboat Situations':
It is often contended that the existence of extreme, or "lifeboat," situations disproves any theory of absolute property rights, or indeed of any absolute rights of self-ownership whatsoever. It is claimed that since any theory of individual rights seems to break down or works unsatisfactorily in such fortunately rare situations, therefore there can be no concept of inviolable rights at all. In a typical lifeboat situation, there are, let us say, eight places in a lifeboat putting out from a sinking ship, and there are more than eight people wishing to be saved. Who then is to decide who should be saved and who should die? And what then happens to the right of self-ownership, or, as some people phrase it, the "right to life"? (The "right to life" is fallacious phraseology, since it could imply that A's "right to life" can justly involve an infringement on the life and property of someone else, i.e., on B's "right to life" and its logical extensions. A "right to self-ownership" of both A and B avoids such confusions.)

In the first place, a lifeboat situation is hardly a valid test of a theory of rights, or of any moral theory whatsoever. Problems of a moral theory in such an extreme situation do not invalidate a theory for normal situations. In any sphere of moral theory, we are trying to frame an ethic for man, based on his nature and the nature of the world-and this precisely means for normal nature, for the way life usually is, and not for rare and abnormal situations. It is a wise maxim of the law, for precisely this reason, that "hard cases make bad law." We are trying to frame an ethic for the way men generally live in the world; we are not, after all, interested in framing an ethic that focuses on situations that are rare, extreme, and not generally encountered.


Andrew said...

You've evidently got far more patience than I have, especially when it comes to arguing with people who think laws being so complex no normal person can understand them is actually a good thing.

will said...

Truly painful. I ventured past that link fearing what I knew I might find. I made it about twenty comments in before I wanted to end it all.

It's like they're running through a rehearsed drill rather than responding to a clear argument. All the old strawmen pop up whether you mentioned them or not. For example you write about 'natural rights', an objective and ontological philosophy and they smear you as advocating the 'common sense' of the football terraces in place of any formal systems of law. That they see the canon of natural rights philosophy as irrational emotive knuckle dragging is horrifying.

They see a top down monocentric legal environment as unquestionably essential due to the complexity of everything that law book must regulate. Everyone has to submit to the unnecessary burden of a legal system that can cope with the hostile take over of an international conglomerate whether they will ever require such tools or not. All those pages of crap you may see in the tenancy agreement for a bedsit are not for the benefit of either party to that deal. Rather, those terms lie redundant until the next lease of Hong Kong or somesuch.
A common criticism of polycentric law is that different codes of law coexisting in the same time and place would be a bad thing, but as the above point hopefully illustrates, this is a strength not a weakness of the polycentric legal environment that I suspect would be inevitable in a.voluntary world.

Current law is unfathomable precisely because it is intended to be so. 'Legalese' is at once, a barrier to entry, a tool of deception and control and an insurmountable disability to those outside the elite.

Why do these mindless tools instinctively react against clear reason in favour of spurious excuses for oppression? Do they know what, if anything they stand for or do they simply indulge in tribal muck throwing?

Pitiful and depressing.

Ps YouTube search stefan molyneux dealing with 'lifeboat' challenges and their irrelevance

Trooper Thompson said...

I thought I got a fair hearing though.