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Ayn Rand on Forbidding Sexual Displays in Public Places

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You are misunderstanding a lot it seems about what freestyle is saying. I think the point is just that IF a piece of property is public, THEN standards of use are up to "the public" to decide. Which is, unfortunately, the same as might equals right. But I don't think that the "then" necessarily follows.

You seem to be saying that if "the public" rightfully owns the property (that it has not violated any rights in order to acquire and control it), then "the public" has the right to decide its terms of use. Is that what you mean? In other words, if all 100 people who live in a small town agree to voluntarily pay taxes, and then to spend their tax money on purchasing a small plot of land in the middle of town, then the majority of them have the right to determine how the property will be used? If so, I would say no, it does not automatically follow that the majority has the right to decide how the property will be used. The majority's larger ownership stake does not cancel out the minority's stake, unless all minority contributors explicitly and voluntarily agreed ahead of time to abide by all majority decisions. The only options that the 100 people would have would be to agree that all 100 people could use all of the land without restrictions, or, when they ran into disagreements about how the land should be used, to subdivide the land into private parcels according to how much each individual paid in taxes.

J

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The shortcoming of Ayn Rand's defense of procedural restrictions on property use is that she did not identify explicitly the legal principle involved. Ayn Rand was not a lawyer so this is no surprise

The problem is that once you allow people's "offensiveness" to be the standard by which others' rights to use their own property is limited, then you have no argument against those who claim to be "of

Neither did Ayn Rand but she still insisted that the principle of ownership applies.

She erred. She mistakenly accepted the premise of government owning property that it shouldn't. She fell into the trap of accepting a false premise and of advocating a false solution rather than challenging the premise.

The issue is who controls what happens on property. The owners or whoever wishes to use property regardless of how the owners wish it to be used?

Yeah, I get it. My point is that I don't accept the false claims that certain people are rightfully "the owners" just because they've asserted political power over others' property.

J

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It is only might makes right if you take out the existence of laws prohibiting the initiation force. Objective lawmaking is not "might makes right".

I don't think there should be public schools either, but that doesn't mean that any person has a political right to go into the classroom teach the students whatever they want.

You do have the right to be a pothead. You have an inalienable right to smoke pot anywhere the property owner allows it. You just don't have a right to smoke it on property you do not own.

The right to property trumps your right to free expression.

"The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible." -AR

Edited by freestyle
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Yeah, I get it. My point is that I don't accept the false claims that certain people are rightfully "the owners" just because they've asserted political power over others' property.

It isn't just asserting political power.

So are you against the formation of public and private corporations?

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It isn't just asserting political power.

So are you against the formation of public and private corporations?

It depends on what you mean by "public" corporations. Do you mean private citizens voluntarily and contractually agreeing to jointly fund (with their own money), use and control a private corporation, and to openly trade their stock on the market? Or do you mean a government-owned corporation? If the former, then I have no problem with "public" corporations. If the latter, then yes, I am against the existence of "public" corporations.

You appear to be confusing yourself by using "public" to mean different things. When talking about forbidding offensive images in "public places," such as public streets (or buildings adjoining them), Rand was speaking of government-owned spaces, and not streets owned by private companies who trade their stock "publicly."

J

Edited by Jonathan13
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It depends on what you mean by "public" corporations. Do you mean private citizens voluntarily and contractually agreeing to jointly fund (with their own money), use and control a private corporation, and to openly trade their stock on the market? Or do you mean a government-owned corporation? If the former, then I have no problem with "public" corporations. If the latter, then yes, I am against the existence of "public" corporations.

You appear to be confusing yourself by using "public" to mean different things. When talking about forbidding offensive images in "public places," such as public streets, Rand was speaking of government-owned spaces, and not land owned by private companies who trade their stock "publicly."

Thanks, but I'm not confused. I was not speaking of government-owned corporations.

You made it appear as if you totally rejected the idea of any group ownership of land (whereby people had to have process, such as bi-laws, establishing the methods of decision making). What you were specifically rejecting is public ownership of property via the government.

Is that rejection absolute or are there some instances (assuming constitutional laws are in place) where you would allow for the government to be the owner of property?

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Thanks, but I'm not confused. I was not speaking of government-owned corporations.

You made it appear as if you totally rejected the idea of any group ownership of land (whereby people had to have process, such as bi-laws, establishing the methods of decision making).

No. Nothing I've said even remotely suggests that I oppose private group ownership of anything. We've been talking about public ownership of property, and you've been insisting that "the public" has "political rights" to control property. When talking about "the public," you clearly have not been talking about private groups engaging strictly in joint, voluntary, private ownership decisions, nor have I.

What you were specifically rejecting is public ownership of property via the government.

Yes. That's what public ownership means. When Rand was talking about public streets, she meant streets which were built by government entities and which the government claimed to own and control. She did not mean streets which were privately owned by groups of investors who had purchased "publicly" offered stock in a private company.

Is that rejection absolute or are there some instances (assuming constitutional laws are in place) where you would allow for the government to be the owner of property?

I don't think that there are any instances in which a government should own property. I would think that any legitimate government entity or activity could be limited to leasing property owned by private individuals. But I'm open to hearing opposing views.

J

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I remember having a disagreement with someone similar to this.  He insisted that standing in my living room when I wanted him to leave was not an initiation of force, therefore I had no right to forcibly remove him and could not do so without myself initiating force.  What is wrong with that thinking is the brutally literal focus on force as physical action or violence.  If that were true it would be impossible to talk about fraud as indirect force.

Someone or some corporate or governmental institution will have the right by property to set the rules for use of a public space.  Anyone going against those rules is violating that right.  Even merely standing where you have no right to be is physically possessing by force the space you take up.

I think this might have been me during this conversation. Reading your responses here, I wonder what we ever disagreed about.
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It is only might makes right if you take out the existence of laws prohibiting the initiation force. Objective lawmaking is not "might makes right".

I don't think there should be public schools either, but that doesn't mean that any person has a political right to go into the classroom teach the students whatever they want.

You do have the right to be a pothead. You have an inalienable right to smoke pot anywhere the property owner allows it. You just don't have a right to smoke it on property you do not own.

The right to property trumps your right to free expression.

"The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible." -AR

These kinds of conversations get so easily confused because, in order to have them, we must temporarily grant "public property," which is something of a contradiction... Ultimately there is no ideal solution within public property; the only solution is to abolish it altogether.

However. Since this discussion is here, I have to ask about the "right to property" trumping one's "right to free expression" within the context of public property...

If the government, according to the normal processes of representational democracy (up-to and including amending the Constitution), outlawed Ayn Rand's books in all public spaces... outlawed public discussion of her ideas... would you consider that fundamentally a violation of rights (i.e. censorship)? Or a further application of the "public's property rights"? (As the "right to property trumps the right to free expression" -- and, given public property, we must argue for the majority's right to restrict such expression as it sees fit.)

Edited by DonAthos
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These kinds of conversations get so easily confused because, in order to have them, we must temporarily grant "public property," which is something of a contradiction...

You're right. They do.

However. Since this discussion is here, I have to ask about the "right to property" trumping one's "right to free expression" within the context of public property...

If the government, according to the normal processes of representational democracy (up-to and including amending the Constitution), outlawed Ayn Rand's books in all public spaces... outlawed public discussion of her ideas... would you consider that fundamentally a violation of rights (i.e. censorship)? Or a further application of the "public's property rights"? (As the "right to property trumps the right to free expression" -- and, given public property, we must argue for the majority's right to restrict such expression as it sees fit.)

Well, context is key, but if the public places are limited and ones that people can choose to avoid, then the argument that any rules (assuming they're non-discriminatory and applied equally to all individuals) are a fundamental rights violation would be very difficult to make.

When I say that the right of property trumps free expression it is merely pointing out that your "right" to even be in a particular space may be subject to another's right to allow you to be there. So, what you're allowed to express there is obviously further down in the hierarchy.

What I'm reading in the counter arguments is that publicly owned property is equal to unowned property. That is simply not the case. If this were true then the arguments would be valid, but it is simply not the case.

So, can I claim ownership of any public space I wish and build on it? Who can stop my right to do that?

Do I have the right to litter on public property?

Can I destroy the public property at my will? If not, why not? It is my freedom to do so?

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What I'm reading in the counter arguments is that publicly owned property is equal to unowned property. That is simply not the case. If this were true then the arguments would be valid, but it is simply not the case.

So, can I claim ownership of any public space I wish and build on it? Who can stop my right to do that?

Do I have the right to litter on public property?

Can I destroy the public property at my will? If not, why not? It is my freedom to do so?

I don't think that's the argument at all (that public property is equal to unowned.) Rather, the argument is that there is an owner, whether it is a particular individual (the king of the park, so to speak), or a democratically elected park government, who has an exclusive say in setting the rules and determining the property's use. It is just the case that the street or park government does not permit its electors, i.e. "the public," who supposedly are the property's equal co-owners, to sell their ownership share (and so renders them compulsory holders of something of which they might rather want to divest themselves, and which they have limited or no ability to control.) In doing so, the argument here is that conflicts will not be avoided, nor can they be solved according to objective law, quite to the contrary, conflicts of interests are institutionalized under this scenario.

The flaw with the "the public owns public property" is that the property was taken by force, and is continually held by force, so it isn't a legitimate holding for "the public" at large, even in a theoretical sense. "The public" will never be the real owners (in the Objectivist sense) of public property, unless and until you can go claim your "share" of it, and you are permitted to sell it, or do whatever you want with it. Even then, it doubtlessly would not be so simple as a majority vote. No, justice would demand not "the public," but specifically taxpayers, and more specifically taxpayers being awarded shares in proportion to the amount they have payed over a lifetime.

Then, if a vote is taken amongst this group for the property in question, it will be a clearly defined private property right. Until then, if ownership refers to ultimate control, then the government owns the property illegitimately, even if it means temporary interchangeable elected representatives who manage to gain office making the decisions. It wouldn't matter if the rules the government comes up with are applied equally to all people, or if they are discriminatory. There will necessarily be a "tragedy of the commons" effect, and there will be conflicts of interests, and any decision making will necessarily be arbitrary and pragmatic.

Edited by 2046
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What I'm reading in the counter arguments is that publicly owned property is equal to unowned property.

Yes, this is the base of the counter-argument, and it is valid. If you say it isn't, please point, precisely, to the owners of any given public property.

Of course, practically speaking in today's context, a whole slew of valid qualifications may also be necessary. We've had a "public property" system in place for ages which explains all of the current written laws and other practices, and a then process would be necessary to abolish that -- even a "cold turkey" method would still need a series of steps.

But the base argument remains.

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What I'm reading in the counter arguments is that publicly owned property is equal to unowned property. That is simply not the case. If this were true then the arguments would be valid, but it is simply not the case.

So, can I claim ownership of any public space I wish and build on it? Who can stop my right to do that?

Do I have the right to litter on public property?

Can I destroy the public property at my will? If not, why not? It is my freedom to do so?

I wouldn't say that publicly owned property is equal to unowned property, but that it is equal to stolen property. Its rightful owners have been deprived of possessing it. So, I think that any questions that you have about what you may or may not do with property which has been stolen from you and from many other people would have the same answer regardless of whether the perpetrator was an individual acting on his own or if if there were several perpetrators acting collectively as a government.

So, no, you can't claim ownership of property stolen from millions of people by government, just as you can't claim ownership of all property stolen by an individual just because some of yours was stolen along with everyone else's: If a thief in your neighborhood has been breaking into houses and stealing cash and valuable household items, and you discover that his garage is full of the missing items, you don't have the right to claim ownership of all of the stolen property. You only have the right to have your own property returned to you (or to use it if you can't get it back from the thief but he lets you use it while visiting his garage).

If a thief or group of thieves steal only cash, and use the cash to build things, and allow those who have been stolen from to use what has been built, then, since money is fungible, you have the right to use what was built, but not to destroy it, since you only own a part of the wealth used to create it.

J

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Yes, this is the base of the counter-argument, and it is valid. If you say it isn't, please point, precisely, to the owners of any given public property.

I don't think this is a valid view of public property. What does ownership mean? There are normative and positive senses of ownership, who should legitimately own the property, and who does ultimately control the property. So, insofar as any property is owned at all, all property is "private" property, all property is controlled by some individual person or group of people. All individuals forming themselves into any kind of group still "privately" control the property. The form in which they may share control, or which they choose to exercise that control, (i.e. they might be temporary interchangeable caretakers, never permitting one another to fully own the capital value of the property) might change, but these persons still ultimately exercise control over the property. The question for property is not whether it is "public" or "private," but whether the necessarily privately controlled and owned property is legitimately owned, or criminally owned. So, we indeed can always point to specific owners for any given property, and the short answer is "the government."

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Well, context is key, but if the public places are limited and ones that people can choose to avoid, then the argument that any rules (assuming they're non-discriminatory and applied equally to all individuals) are a fundamental rights violation would be very difficult to make.

1) We're agreed that context is key, always. :)

2) As to which public places we're discussing, I've assumed that our discussion pertains to those areas traditionally thought of as being "public." I believe that schools, parks, and "the streets" have been mentioned. I'd also like to introduce the airwaves. Do these meet your criteria? Or do you have something else in mind with "public places"?

3) All right. So if we voted for a rule -- a non-discriminatory rule, equally applied to all individuals -- that neither reading of Ayn Rand's works nor discussing her ideas would be permitted in public places... you would say that this is not "a fundamental rights violation"? I.e. that this is not censorship?

When I say that the right of property trumps free expression it is merely pointing out that your "right" to even be in a particular space may be subject to another's right to allow you to be there. So, what you're allowed to express there is obviously further down in the hierarchy.

I must voice my disagreement with your perspective.

It is absolutely true that property rights entail the choice of allowing someone use of that property, or refusing it. In my household, I can make a rule that there is to be no discussion of Objectivism, and should you flout my rule? I can insist that you leave. This is not censorship.

But the character of "the public" and "government" is fundamentally different than that of an individual. The "public," cannot, in truth, own anything. It cannot have property rights in the same way that I can. And so when we try to treat "public property" as though it were private property, it's bound to be a disaster.

That the public claims "property" is a violation of our rights. If we apply ourselves to treating that as property, in fact, and awarding the public (via popular vote, or legislative decree, or executive fiat) all consequent powers which come with being a righteous property holder, then we do not maintain the sanctity of property rights... instead, we simply sacrifice the rest of our rights. The public banning of Ayn Rand's works, or discussion of those works, is censorship. So much so that I'm sure we can all recognize it. We don't do ourselves any favors by pretending as though the public is entitled to do this, because we respect property rights, as such. The public has no property rights, and never did.

Of course, we live in a world where certain areas are treated as "public property." And I wouldn't advise littering in the park, or running down the street naked, for a variety of reasons. But in my capacity as a citizen, I would vote against littering laws, and vote against laws against nudity, and vote against laws censoring Ayn Rand, long-awaiting that time when I can vote against the "public property" itself, because I would like my fellow citizens to keep what rights they can in the interim.

On my property, I may well have certain standards of dress and decorum which all those who wish to continue to use my property must obey. But outside of my property -- and the city streets are not my property -- I will not tell others what to wear (or that they must wear anything at all).

Edited by DonAthos
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But the character of "the public" and "government" is fundamentally different than that of an individual. The "public," cannot, in truth, own anything. It cannot have property rights in the same way that I can. And so when we try to treat "public property" as though it were private property, it's bound to be a disaster.

That the public claims "property" is a violation of our rights.

But the streets and schools are property. They were paid for and built by someone. Who is that?

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But the streets and schools are property. They were paid for and built by someone. Who is that?

I don't know that they are property in the full sense of the term... but let that pass.

If tomorrow we decided that there ought not be "public property" -- and to return all such possessions to their rightful owners... gosh, what a nightmare that would be, to try to sort out faithfully. I don't know that it could be done. Surely it would all have to be liquidated and the funds dispersed in some manner, but I couldn't say which manner at present.

Earlier, Jonathan13 introduced the concept of a thief. Since that's essentially what we're discussing as well, let's suppose that a long-lived thief stole copious amounts of money from a multitude of individuals over decades, and spent that money in a variety of ways. Some items purchased in this process remain, but others do not. Some of the individuals stolen from are alive, but others have passed away. Were we to catch this thief, and wish to return the stolen goods to their rightful owners, how would we accomplish this? To take any given piece -- or the collection in total -- could we say who the specific owner(s) are? Would the disposition of these artifacts revert to a majority vote of the survivors of the victims? How would a criminal court proceed? I don't really know.

However, if I were to construct a list of all those who have a legitimate claim on the property, the very last on that list would be the thief, himself. After the thief (or, as he's "the very last," it is more accurate to say "those not even making the list") would be those entities which do not have any capacity for property rights, such as the color orange, the planet Mars, the Buddha, and "the public."

If the streets and schools are property, it is property currently occupied by thieves and attributed to entities which by-their-natures cannot own any property at all. We do not make anything better by deciding that, while the thieves hold this property, they also have rightful possession of all of the pursuant rights of property accorded to those who ordinarily deserve them. We do not better protect our property rights by forfeiting our rights to life and liberty while on this stolen land. And we do not better argue for those rights by seeking to tell others what to wear, what to read, what to say, etc., in our capacity as a citizen.

Edited by DonAthos
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You are misunderstanding a lot it seems about what freestyle is saying. I think the point is just that IF a piece of property is public, THEN standards of use are up to "the public" to decide. Which is, unfortunately, the same as might equals right. But I don't think that the "then" necessarily follows.

Actually, wouldn't it have to necessarily follow? How does one exercise ownership without control over it's use?

These kinds of conversations get so easily confused because, in order to have them, we must temporarily grant "public property," which is something of a contradiction... Ultimately there is no ideal solution within public property; the only solution is to abolish it altogether.

...

What I'm reading in the counter arguments is that publicly owned property is equal to unowned property. That is simply not the case.

I don't think that's the argument at all (that public property is equal to unowned.) Rather, the argument is that there is an owner, whether it is a particular individual (the king of the park, so to speak), or a democratically elected park government, who has an exclusive say in setting the rules and determining the property's use. It is just the case that the street or park government does not permit its electors, i.e. "the public," who supposedly are the property's equal co-owners, to sell their ownership share (and so renders them compulsory holders of something of which they might rather want to divest themselves, and which they have limited or no ability to control.) In doing so, the argument here is that conflicts will not be avoided, nor can they be solved according to objective law, quite to the contrary, conflicts of interests are institutionalized under this scenario.

Yes, this is the base of the counter-argument, and it is valid. If you say it isn't, please point, precisely, to the owners of any given public property.

I wouldn't say that publicly owned property is equal to unowned property, but that it is equal to stolen property.

You are all wrong. :D "Public property" is an anti-concept. Every thought employing an anti-concept is invalid.

From the Lexicon:

Observe the technique involved . . . . It consists of creating an artificial, unnecessary, and (rationally) unusable term, designed to replace and obliterate some legitimate concepts—a term which sounds like a concept, but stands for a “package-deal” of disparate, incongruous, contradictory elements taken out of any logical conceptual order or context, a “package-deal” whose (approximately) defining characteristic is always a non-essential. This last is the essence of the trick.

A property right is the right to control, use and dispose of the object of that right. All rights are rights to actions, and property rights are rights to take action by owners on things owned. All rights entail a right to exclude others from interfering. Yet with "public property" no one can be excluded and no one can be defined as interfering. It is an impossible construction of words.

The legitimate concept which is wiped out by the anti-concept of "public property" is "government property". Government must have the power to possess, own, use and dispose of property even if only the minimal form of money to pay for facilities and salaries as needed. Government property is not publicly owned property, and is not publicly controlled property. A recent thread and federal circuit court opinion discussed this subject ( see Silent Dancers Violently Arrested Jefferson Memorial post #48 ). What the government may and may not restrict depends on whether the government property in question is designated as a "public forum".

.

From Oberwetter v. Hilliard, 680 F. Supp. 2d 152 (D.D.C. 2010)

We analyze Oberwetter’s claim under the familiar

“public forum” doctrine, which divides government property

into three categories for purposes of First Amendment

analysis. The “traditional public forum” includes public areas

that have “by long tradition or by government fiat . . . been

devoted to assembly and debate.” Perry Educ. Ass’n v. Perry

Local Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37, 45 (1983). The

government must respect the open character of these forums,

and can only impose speech restrictions that are “narrowly

tailored to serve a significant governmental interest.” Ward v.

Rock Against Racism, 491 U.S. 781, 791 (1989). Next is the

“limited public forum” or “designated public forum,” which

comprises “public property which the State has opened for

use by the public as a place for expressive activity.” Perry,

460 U.S. at 45. Expressive activity in these forums may be

restricted to particular speakers or purposes. Third is the

“nonpublic forum,” which encompasses government property

that is “not by tradition or designation a forum for public

communication.” Id. at 46. Here the government “may reserve

the forum for its intended purposes, communicative or

otherwise, as long as the regulation on speech is reasonable

and not an effort to suppress expression merely because

public officials oppose the speaker’s view.” Id. This rule

recognizes that “[t]he State, no less than a private owner of

property, has power to preserve the property under its control

for the use to which it is lawfully dedicated.” Greer v. Spock,

424 U.S. 828, 836 (1976) (quoting Adderley v. Fla., 385 U.S.

39, 47 (1966)) (internal quotation marks omitted).

Federal courts are not staffed with Objectivists, but this opinion does a better job at finding the legitimate referent of "public property" in certain government property used as a public forum than the Objectivists in this thread.

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Federal courts are not staffed with Objectivists, but this opinion does a better job at finding the legitimate referent of "public property" in certain government property used as a public forum than the Objectivists in this thread.
Uh, yeah I don't see how that is any different from what I said, except implicitly in your post it seems that you may approve of this state of affairs. Note in the bold part the word "supposedly," which means under the argument freestyle was presenting, "the public" is supposed to be equal co-owners, and I'm obviously claiming they aren't because you can't actually go claim such a share (and that if they could, with minor adjustments, then the problem can be fixed.) But since they can't do such a thing, it doesn't exist, then the government is the owner. Edited by 2046
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Government can't perform its function without the means to do so, which at the minimum means owning money. If it can own one form of property then it can own others. I approve of government able to own property.

A government is an 'artificial person' much like a corporation is. Shareholders of publicly traded corporations do not have the perogative of walking into their nearest offices and helping themselves to office supplies in proportion to the quantity of shares they own. Similarly, citizens do not have rights to government property.

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Right, I don't think anyone has disagreed with that here. That's why I said the question isn't whether or not it is "privately owned" versus "publicly owned" (or owned by the government), but whether any of the necessarily "privately" owned property in question is owned legitimately or criminally. (see #64) Surely you are aware of the fact that the government can illegitimately come to own property, and surely you are aware that, most of the time, that is the case in the real world, and surely you are aware that that is what we are talking about in this thread?

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No, I was unclear what was being referred to by the anti-concept "public property", so the various points of view advocated here (public property is stolen, ban public property, the public ought to have say in the use of its property, government should not own property, etc.) could mean anything. No one can know what "public property" means.

Everyone should use "government property", and if needed to make the distinction between legitimately funded and illegitimately funded government property, or government property that is a public forum and government property that is not a public forum.

The Brooklyn Bridge is government property of New York City that is not a public forum, so protesters there have no right to assemble there and block traffic. It doesn't matter if those protesters were naked or not. New York City is also free to forbid (or permit) naked or masturbating pedestrians on that bridge. The same would be true if the Brooklyn Bridge were still a private corporation, so the legitimate/illegitimate funding issue does not impact how the bridge is used.

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Everyone should use "government property"...

I'm fine with that distinction.

The Brooklyn Bridge is government property of New York City that is not a public forum, so protesters there have no right to assemble there and block traffic. It doesn't matter if those protesters were naked or not. New York City is also free to forbid (or permit) naked or masturbating pedestrians on that bridge. The same would be true if the Brooklyn Bridge were still a private corporation, so the legitimate/illegitimate funding issue does not impact how the bridge is used.

There are those here that will argue that the Brooklyn Bridge is either a.) un-owned property or b.)stolen property

If they choose b, then obviously they should be able to identify a rightful owner.

So, whomever that is... OR, If they choose a, then my questions in reply #60 still remain.

Is one free to dispose of or destroy the property (with the same freedom they cite to do whatever other "contemptible" thing they wish)? If not, why not?

Edited by freestyle
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She seems to endorse the general principle that the government can and ought to regulate the actions of private property owners, if that property is open to the public, so as to prevent certain people from being offended.

...

There needs to be a better standard.

I would word it as her endorsing the specific principal that people in public have the right not to be "confronted" with something without their consent.

Is that a better standard or the same thing just said a different way? I don't know. I'm asking.

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If they choose b, then obviously they should be able to identify a rightful owner.

For the Objectivist view on the subject of rightful owners of property stolen by government, and repossession of that property, you may want to familiarize yourself with the character Ragnar Danneskjold in the novel Atlas Shrugged.

I think the best argument to be made in support of Rand's erroneous opinion on banning public displays of "offensive" images would be that, according to Objectivism, a legitimate government has the right to own certain property in order to perform its proper functions, and it has the right to ban the public display of images that it deems to be "offensive" on such property which it properly owns and controls, and, since government's proper role is very limited, therefore the government may ban "offensive" images from being displayed in courthouses, on military bases, on soldiers' and police officers' uniforms, vehicles and weapons, etc. That's as far as the banning could go.

J

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