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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

They bought it, worked it, lived on it, used it, etc.

Question begging.

1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

If it violates rights

Question begging again. To show that it doesn't violate rights, you still need to show how public property defends or supports individual rights. 

By the way, when I say political elite, I mean that as a pejorative. Public property would be granting politicians some special elite status by virtue of discerning how the public may use the so-called property. 

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9 hours ago, Eiuol said:

To show that it doesn't violate rights, you still need to show how public property defends or supports individual rights.

You should first show how my idea violates rights. I don't have to prove a negative. I'm not talking about forcible confiscation of private property, such as what the socialists do. I'm talking about property owners who voluntarily donate or sell their land to cities or states for the purpose of public use, like with parks and roads, etc. 

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Public use is not public property. On top of that, the border is not land that was voluntarily donated by private individuals, so your argument is pointless for this discussion.

If something doesn't exist, trying to enforce its protection and defense is necessarily a violation of rights. Why? Because there is no right even there to violate!

As I already said though, you know the arguments that Rand makes against public property, I'm not going to reconstruct it for your convenience.

Edited by Eiuol

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At the risk of harping on a point, there is a difference between saying that the government owns the land, and saying that the government owns some land. From a moral and legal perspective, there is no such thing as “the land”. Each land-owner has the exclusive right to control his own property. The only difference between individual action and government action w.r.t. control of property is that with the individual, everything is allowed except that which constitutes initiation of force, and with the government, nothing is allowed except that which is necessary to prevent initiation of force. Perhaps this is no longer self-evident – I’d like to see an explicit denial of these premises, if anyone doesn’t accept them.

Given this, there are only two questions that need to be answered. The first question is whether it constitutes initiation of force if I exercise my property rights to allow a non-citizen to be present within the geographical confines of the United States (allowing them to exist on my property). If it does, the government must (not may) prevent me from using my property in this manner. The answer to this question better not reduce to saying “there is the potential for harm, therefore prior government approval is necessary”. The second question of the necessity of excluding specific individuals from government property is much more complex – e.g. it is proper that the government exclude persons without security clearances from nuclear missile silos. It is not proper for the government to exclude persons without security clearances from courthouses (but it is proper to exclude persons bearing arms from courthouses). Nor is it proper for the government to exclude from courthouses people with crazy ideas.

Invoking invalid notions like “the land” and “public land”, with no specific owing entity and no specific owned land, evades what should be an obvious point, that I exclusively own a specific plot of land, and I may rightfully allow any individual onto my land. I may rightfully operate an airport on my land, which is a right that a proper government cannot abridge. The only property-based argument that can justify denying me that right would be establishing that there actually is no private ownership of land, that all land in the US is government land, held in trust by the federal government.

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6 hours ago, DavidOdden said:

At the risk of harping on a point, there is a difference between saying that the government owns the land, and saying that the government owns some land.

No Objectivist that I know is arguing that the government owns the land--as in all the land in the country. This is part of Binswanger's straw man, and it's not serving him or his followers well. I really have nothing more to add on that topic. If you think I'm confused about whether the government owns all the land, I don't know what else to tell you.

Though, in my view, you might be confused about the purpose of government.

7 hours ago, DavidOdden said:

The only difference between individual action and government action w.r.t. control of property is that with the individual, everything is allowed except that which constitutes initiation of force, and with the government, nothing is allowed except that which is necessary to prevent initiation of force.

Regarding property, and anything else of concern, the government is allowed to protect individual rights. I'm not sure why you worded the purpose negatively or focused on prevention.

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8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

As I already said though, you know the arguments that Rand makes against public property, I'm not going to reconstruct it for your convenience.

You already reconstructed it. You even quoted her argument, and I responded. We disagree. That's fine.

8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Public use is not public property.

Didn't say it was.

8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

On top of that, the border is not land that was voluntarily donated by private individuals, so your argument is pointless for this discussion.

The sections seized by eminent domain clearly weren't donated. That's true. Do you think all the government-controlled land along the border was taken forcefully?

8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

If something doesn't exist, trying to enforce its protection and defense is necessarily a violation of rights. Why? Because there is no right even there to violate!

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Border patrol isn't trying to protect a non-existent thing. They're protecting people and their property inside the border. That's not really my focus here though.

Edited by MisterSwig

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

Do you think all the government-controlled land along the border was taken forcefully?

No, more like claimed illegitimately if we are to call it public property. That isn't to say that there can't be select channels through which people pass, and with some buildings that are dedicated to law enforcement duties. My objection is to saying that strict regulation is justified because the land is public property. It's a bad justification.

2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Border patrol isn't trying to protect a non-existent thing.

Therefore, border patrol isn't protecting public property. That's all I was saying.

2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

We disagree.

Okay, that's all I have to offer for now then.

 

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12 hours ago, Eiuol said:

No, more like claimed illegitimately if we are to call it public property. That isn't to say that there can't be select channels through which people pass, and with some buildings that are dedicated to law enforcement duties.

Were those select channels claimed illegitimately? If not, what do you call those properties? If so, why would you support them?

Even if property was seized by eminent domain, I'm thinking it should still be a type of public property. It's stolen property, but our only choices are to give it back to the rightful owner, let the political elites own it, or attempt to make it public property and insist that we (or our elected representatives in government) vote on its use. If it's not going back to the rightful owner, then making it public property seems like the better option. Unfortunately we are in a mixed political situation where some property rights are respected and some are violated. This makes dealing with concepts like "public property" difficult.

Edited by MisterSwig

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On 9/5/2019 at 11:36 AM, MisterSwig said:

Binswanger says, "The government does not own the country," and he's correct, in a sense. It's the people whom the government represents who own the country--meaning the public lands within that country. Obviously society in general has no claim on private lands.

Alright.

 

First of all you're arguing for the validity of "public property" in a big way. I don't remember all of Ayn Rand's arguments against it off the top of my head, but she's made quite a few and they all apply.

For starters: since there is no such thing as "the public", only some number of individual men, it has all the same problems with it as that of the concept of a "public good". Who gets to decide how best to use such public property and by what standard? Now, if you were to mention the Democratic process (as I suspect you probably will) then it wouldn't be too difficult to show how, in practice, this would actually mean pressure-group warfare.

In short, everything that's wrong with today's "mixed economy" would also apply to what you're arguing for (since they're both based on the same kind of fallacy).

 

Secondly, you say that "society in general has no claim on private lands", which I would wholeheartedly agree with. That's absolutely right.

It also means that if some rancher on the border wanted to hire a truck-full of Mexican (or Columbian or Somalian or whatever) laborers to work his own land -or if someone who owned some land in Minnesota chartered a private plane for the same purpose- then it's none of "society's" business.

Right?

 

I do agree that your argument deserves serious consideration (as you mentioned in the other thread). But I don't think it's sturdy enough to survive it.

 

On 9/5/2019 at 11:36 AM, MisterSwig said:

Such an absolutely open border policy displays no regard whatsoever for the life and property of the nation's people.

Actually, it does. By defending the rights of immigrants at the borders we are also defending our own rights, inside of them (and several of Binswanger's examples demonstrate precisely how); anyone who defends the rights of one man is defending the rights of all.

 

You are right that it doesn't take much imagination to think of ways in which open immigration could go horrifically wrong. That is true. But the same could be said for every other way in which our government is not allowed to meddle in our private lives.

Think of warrantless wiretapping and surveillance. Surely it's important that we allow our government to do the necessary snooping to discover who is or is not an objective threat to everyone else. Not much imagination is needed to think of the terrible things that could happen if we don't allow the government to do that. Not much imagination is needed to think of what could happen without legally mandated insurance (of either the health or automotive varieties), either. You'd probably think it was a straw man if I threw drug prohibition on top of the pile, but it wouldn't be.

"What could happen if we allow people to do X" is not the proper yardstick to apply in this situation. And it turns out that pointing that out does, actually, show regard for the lives and property of our citizenry.

Because neither really matter without freedom.

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On 9/14/2019 at 11:57 AM, MisterSwig said:

He needs to believe that public  property is not actually property in any way, shape, or form--in order to maintain his open borders position. If he admits that public property is owned, then he must figure out who owns it--and that will ultimately take him to my position.

See, that actually seems to be true. If "public property" is a valid conception then something similar to your position certainly would follow (although there would still be the problem of your inappropriate yardstick).

 

So... What do you think of all the arguments Rand made against public property?

 

I mean, as an advocate of "open Objectivism" I'm always willing to entertain the possibility that she was wrong about it; maybe this was something she really screwed up, and now you've found the solution that she hadn't. That's not sarcasm; it's actually how I try to approach this kind of thing.

But it would make this whole conversation much easier if you'd address her arguments about it, first, to give the rest of us a clearer picture of where you're actually coming from.

 

Would it help if someone (preferably not me) went and tracked down everything she said about public property?

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2 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

But it would make this whole conversation much easier if you'd address her arguments about it, first, to give the rest of us a clearer picture of where you're actually coming from.

You might be interested in this new article. I address a problem I have with Rand's argument.

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