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Jon Southall
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The proper purpose of government is considered by some to be exercising a monopoly on the use of retaliatory force. The Government's use of force would be kept in check by a judicial system, which protects individual inalienable rights objectively. The judicial system exists to ensure the use of force by the government is always retaliatory in nature, and directed only at individuals who initiate force. The judicial system would also help to resolve contractural disputes. The government would otherwise remain separate from religion and the economy.

Firstly, to what extent is the form of government so described consistent with Objectivism, philosophically speaking?

Secondly, observing that there are no governments in the world that meet the above standard, do you think it is possible to introduce such a form of government? Would use of force to bring about regime change from within be legitimate, in order to have it? At the end of Atlas Shrugged, the Objectivists take back the collapsing US from the collectivists, killing them if necessary in order to do so. When would it be morally justified to do this in reality?

Finally, how far would the claims of the government extend? Is the extent of the government within reach of everywhere its citizens are, and their property, or would it only apply within the territorial limits its military power can protect; a safe zone?

Thanks for your thoughts.

 

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1) To the extent it secures the property rights of individuals within the republic for which it stands.

2) It is not only possible, but has been done with the American experiment of self governance.  The question is more properly, "Is it possible to maintain?"

2a) It would be justified as a form of self correction.  Elections might even be considered as a harnessed use of that kind of force.

2b) It is morally justified to defend yourself from all threats, foreign and domestic.

3) The government claim extends to the security of individuals within the republic for which it stands.

3a) Its citizens are free to travel beyond the reach of government, which applies only to the territory defended under its flag; wherever that flag is.

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4 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

Firstly,... consistent with Objectivism, philosophically speaking?

Secondly, ... do you think it is possible to introduce such a form of government? Would use of force to bring about regime change from within be legitimate, in order to have it?...

Finally, how far would the claims of the government extend?

First... yes, your description is consistent with Objectivism's 

Second... yes, I think it is possible if a near majority decide that they want a government that sticks to protecting rights. On the second part of your question: in modern times you really need buy-in from citizens. Even countries like China which are dictatorial are only stable because a large proportion of the population buys in to the government and don't want to rock the boat. 

Final... interesting question and one on which Objectivism is silent. I think a government should play some role in protecting a citizen's rights abroad. Diplomatic support is the most obvious and non-controversial. I think there's a "meta" issue here: that foreign relations are basically not addressed by the typical constitution. That's an area that ought to be addressed.

[Also, it is only fair to warn you that member "Devil's Advocate" does not claim to be an Objectivist]

Edited by softwareNerd
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8 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

...

[Also, it is only fair to warn you that member "Devil's Advocate" does not claim to be an Objectivist]

LOL, so I require a disclaimer now to participate?  Fair enough, be warned Jon, I identify more with heretics and dissidents than those who prefer the security of the herd to be heard.  I've been know to agree with Objectivists on many issues, but I remain a free agent.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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8 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

LOL, so I require a disclaimer now to participate?  Fair enough, be warned Jon, I identify more with heretics and dissidents than those who prefer the security of the herd to be heard.  I've been know to agree with Objectivists on many issues, but I remain a free agent.

No offense meant. I added the disclaimer because Jon has not posted much, because he asked specifically for the Objectivist view rather than simply the right view, and because you attempted to answer without clarifying that you're providing your view rather than your understanding of the Objectivist view.

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I was more surprised than offended, given my initial response seemed to agree with your following response.  Was there a particular misrepresentation of the Objectivist view I posted?  In terms of affiliation, I find myself more broadly in line with Ayn Rand's reference to "the three As".

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On 11/23/2015, 3:33:13, Jon Southall said:

Finally, how far would the claims of the government extend? Is the extent of the government within reach of everywhere its citizens are, and their property, or would it only apply within the territorial limits its military power can protect; a safe zone?

Ayn Rand was aware of the role of borders...I'm just paraphrasing, but she defined a government as the entity having a monopoly on retaliatory force within a geographic area...which in turn carries an obligation to defend those rights, within that area.

So, logic dictates, that that's the extent of a government's OBLIGATION to defend everyone's rights.

But that doesn't mean it shouldn't also defend its citizens' rights abroad, to some extent. It just means that things get a lot more complicated, and a cost/benefit evaluation comes into play. The government needs to adopt a foreign policy that weighs the costs and benefits of military and diplomatic action to its citizens (or, to be more exact, to the people who contribute to the government), in general.

As Ayn Rand famously said, morality ends where a gun begins. That's a pretty far ranging statement, when it comes to international politics, because so many governments are irrational. Obviously, this statement bears none to very little relevance when it comes to let's say US-Canadian relations: in that case, each country should, for the most part, let the other government govern its own territory without interference. But it does come into play when it comes to how a relatively free country protects the rights of its citizens in dictatorships...and there are no moral absolutes to guide those decisions. A government can neither automatically go to war at the slightest violation of rights against its citizens, nor adopt a policy of completely ignoring all rights violations. There needs to be a cost/benefit evaluation of when to act against evil, and when to refrain from acting. A single country can't police the entire world, but it also can't wall itself off and ignore it. Compromises must be made, that range beyond the scope of Objectivist politics as stated explicitly by Ayn Rand.

For instance, the US is allied with Saudi Arabia (a repressive dictatorship). And that alliance makes sense, because, at the moment, that repressive dictatorship could only be replaced by something at least as repressive, and far more threatening to both American lives and American economic interests. However, there are no moral principles that call for the US government propping up the Saud family. The US used to be at war with communism, and now it's at war with militant Islam. Both during the cold war, and now, during this war against militant Islam, it made sense for the US to ally itself with this repressive family of religious zealots called Saud. Not as a matter of morality, but as a matter of war strategy. If the threat of militant Islam were to be eliminated, then this alliance will become immoral, and it should end. But, in the meantime, it should remain in place, because morality ends where a gun begins. The alliance with the Saudi royals is necessary, to fight this war. Therefor, it is justified, even though, in a world without guns pointed at us, it would be immoral.

Edited by Nicky
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On 11/25/2015, 5:56:31, Nicky said:

For instance, the US is allied with Saudi Arabia (a repressive dictatorship). And that alliance makes sense, because, at the moment, that repressive dictatorship could only be replaced by something at least as repressive ...

... Or a crater.

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Thanks for your contributions.

It seems to me there must be a seismic change in the views of the citizenry before we will ever see an "Objectivist state" elected democratically within the current political systems found in the world. I think it is desparately needed now.

Granted the US constitution was revolutionary, but I think it has gone backwards from this noble starting point towards a form of government that is worse. I know many Americans are patriots and I don't mean to offend, it is my assessment based on my sources of information.

Sometimes I wonder if it is time to think differently about the reach of a state. The current view is that states are geographically defined, as in a particular state has a claim to territory which you could mark out on a map. However the state, in carrying out its legitimate responsibilities, needs the reach to cover the movement of its member citizens, their property and their contractual agreements, in order to provide justice and engage in retaliatory force where it is justified.

If you were to attempt to map the movements of Americans in travel, work etc, where American owned property is located and activities occurring under American contracts for thought experiment purposes, what you would see would not be a map of the United States. Instead there would be large spots, dots and tracer lines globally, reaching beneath the oceans and into space. A government would need the reach to provide its legitimate functions effectively. Doesn't this make it too simplistic to define reach as territorial?

 

 

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* WARNING - the following response may or may not agree with those who identify themselves as Objectivists *

No, it doesn't.  What you refer to as, "the movement of its member citizens", beyond the reach of American territory, is called migration.  Citizens intentionally wander beyond the reach of government for various reasons, and embassies remain available for them retreat to if necessary.  Having the liberty to migrate is a good enough reason not to redefine territory according to the location of a citizen abroad.

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Thanks DA.

I think that might be an example of question begging. You are defining migration as the movement of member citizens beyond the reach of American territory, which assumes what is being questioned - that American territory is and ought to be geographically defined. If you were to dispense of that assumption, how would you then define what is within reach and what is not?

I am not interested literally in how the world is currenty organised, I am interested in the political philosophy. 

I would say that any contract enterred into by a citizen ought to be subject to meeting the standards of his nation - so for thought experiment purposes, this would mean an Objectivist wouldn't get away with signing a contract with a dictator which in the dictator's lands allows the Objectivist to kill civil rights activists, because such a contract would be in breach of the standards of the Objectivist's home nation. He would be guilty of force initiation and sent to prison once apprehended.

It would also mean if it is alright for property to be seized by the state in another nation, that the state's unwritten contract to that effect would be invalid under the Objectivist nation's application of justice. A nation that stole Objectivist property acting 'legally' would nevertheless be violating the Objectivist's property rights. Therefore the Objectivist's home nation would regard this as force initiation and take action.

My view is that an Objectivist nation would intervene in any matters concerning its citizens, wherever they are and on the basis of its own standards of justice rather than the standards of other nations. I would welcome the views of other contributors.

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6 minutes ago, Jon Southall said:

I am not interested literally in how the world is currenty organised, I am interested in the political philosophy.

I have often enjoyed your participation in these sorts of threads, Jon, because I believe that you pick at the nature of government, which is a subject that interests me. I don't feel I've yet fully developed all of my opinions on this score, or my reasoning, but it's intriguing to prod them.

6 minutes ago, Jon Southall said:

It would also mean if it is alright for property to be seized by the state in another nation, that the state's unwritten contract to that effect would be invalid under the Objectivist nation's application of justice. A nation that stole Objectivist property acting 'legally' would nevertheless be violating the Objectivist's property rights. Therefore the Objectivist's home nation would regard this as force initiation and take action.

It is certainly true that a seizure of property (as in "nationalizing") is not just, not valid governance, and is a violation of individual property rights. This is true whether the victim is recognized as being a citizen of Objectivist Nation or not. It is an initiation of the use of force.

Yet whether Objectivist Nation "takes action," or the nature/type of action it takes, depends on the further circumstances/context.

6 minutes ago, Jon Southall said:

My view is that an Objectivist nation would intervene in any matters concerning its citizens, wherever they are and on the basis of its own standards of justice rather than the standards of other nations. I would welcome the views of other contributors.

Absolutely an Objectivist nation would act according to its own standard of justice, and insofar as its actions conform to that standard, I believe it is in the right, whether it intervenes in what we might otherwise regard as "the affairs of other countries" or not. Yet as I've indicated above, the nature of the particular intervention must ultimately depend upon the specifics.

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3 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

...

My view is that an Objectivist nation would intervene in any matters concerning its citizens, wherever they are and on the basis of its own standards of justice rather than the standards of other nations. I would welcome the views of other contributors.

I think for any nation to exist among neighbors there would have to be a respect for property rights, i.e., national territory.  An Objectivist nation without borders wouldn't have much to secure, although DonAthos, softwareNerd, Harrison or Nicky might offer an Objectivist position that is more in line with the kind of reach you're suggesting.  For example, the US reaching into Pakistan to dispose of Osama Bin Laden was considered justified by US citizens (and Objectivists) regardless of the territorial claims of Pakistan.

I'm thinking that the kind of reach you're proposing though may be more in line with a corporation and it's employees.  The example that comes to mind is that of Ross Perot of HP (formerly EDS) organizing the successful private rescue of his employees from Iran in 1987.  In this case, an Objectivist nation (with a separation of business and state) would primarily secure its borders while allowing businesses to look after their employees abroad; the government playing a more discretionary role.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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5 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

My view is that an Objectivist nation would intervene in any matters concerning its citizens, wherever they are and on the basis of its own standards of justice rather than the standards of other nations. I would welcome the views of other contributors.

Objectivism defines government as the entity that has the monopoly on the use or retaliatory force (or, the monopoly on the specific sphere of justice that is meant to punish crime) within a certain sphere of influence (AR actually says "geographic area", because she considers that the only possible solution to the problem of multiple governments...they need to be separated by borders, in order to co-exist without clashing. But, for now, let's go with sphere of influence).

So there is an obvious contradiction between that, and an Objectivist government enacting justice outside its territory: you can't have two governments trying to enact two different brands of justice within the same sphere of influence...or clashes would be inevitable, and they would eventually lead to war. This is true not just for two democracies (or allies, like the US and some allied dictatorships), but even for two fully capitalist governments. Two Oist justice systems WOULD in fact sometimes disagree. So, if they're reaching into each others' sphere of influence, who gets to decide what true justice is in any given case? Whoever has the better spies and covert operatives? That wouldn't end well. The answer (the only answer I can think of) to the problem, when it comes to common crime, is to have each government hold a monopoly on retaliatory force over its own geographic area...as well as extradition treaties that serve to solve disagreements amicably, along the following principle: if both countries' justice systems agree that an alleged criminal should face charges, the extradition is approved, and the trial is held in the country where the crime took place; otherwise, if the country that is being asked to extradite someone disagrees, then it shouldn't be approved. For instance, an Objectivist government would not extradite people for tax evasion, or sodomy, or adultery, or any other violation of illegitimate laws...even if there was an extradition treaty, it would be limited to real crimes.

Of course, when you have UBL living in comfort in a wealthy Islamabad neighborhood, the US should go in, kill him, and, if Pakistan wants to go to war over it, so be it. But this is not a matter of common crime, this is a matter of war. The US is at war with UBL's Al Qaeda network. Same with Al Qaeda operatives taking refuge in any other country: let's just say Italy (because there's actual precedent for that). The CIA should go in (as they did), and extract those terrorists, with or without the cooperation of the country in question (in this case, there was partial cooperation from Italian intelligence services, but, after a political scandal, Italy ended up issuing arrest warrants for the CIA agents involved in the operation...they were long gone, because, of course, the arrest warrants were just a political side show, everyone in the Italian government made sure none of the CIA agents were actually in Italy by the time the warrants were issued).

However, if you instead just have Roman Polanski fleeing the US into Poland, which is refusing to extradite him over what several European judges, from three different nations, have very convincingly (imo) described as "unjust treatment by a corrupt US court back in the 70s", then the US shouldn't go in, and risk conflict (it probably wouldn't be war, but US agents caught being involved with the "arrest" and repatriation of Polanski would no doubt face long prison sentences for kidnapping). Keep in mind that these are several different relatively rational justice systems, disagreeing with each other, over the treatment of a criminal (according to Europe, Polanski served his time...it's not clear what the US position is, to be completely honest with you, but they do want him extradited for some reason).

Sometimes, it happens the other way around: in the Amanda Knox case, it was an Italian court that sought to re-arrest her, after she was found not guilty and returned to the US. Of course, it is very unlikely that the US would ever extradite her to Italy (because of the double jeopardy principle, as well as the overall corruption and incompetence she faced in Italy to begin with). And, again, Italy shouldn't seek to send agents into the US and grab her. They should cooperate with US law enforcement (through an extradition request...it wouldn't work in this case, but in many less controversial cases it would work).

In conclusion, multiple, relatively or entirely capitalist governments can only exist peacefully side by side if they respect each others' territorial sovereignty when it comes to common crimes (and solve the problem of criminals escaping through a border with extradition treaties), and attempt to cooperate when faced with larger threats that require war to defeat. Their jurisdictions HAVE to be defined geographically (there's no other solution to delimiting two jurisdictions...you can't have jurisdictions defined over people, because the whole point of government is to govern interactions between people. (Frankly, I think that's all that needs to be said about that. There's a long discussion about that particular brand of anarchy, where everyone gets to shop for his own government, that I try to stay out of because it goes in circles and with anarchists constantly changing the goal posts.). If there's a border (that's hopefully at least to some extent controlled, then physical interactions will take place on one side or the other, and business interactions can be governed through treaties (so called "free trade agreements", that are actually laws adopted by multiple nations to govern international trade...they're sometimes erroneously referred to as international laws).

Without borders, the jurisdictional conflicts would become impossible to solve peacefully.

Edited by Nicky
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On 12/11/2015, 5:26:35, Devil's Advocate said:

I think for any nation to exist among neighbors there would have to be a respect for property rights, i.e., national territory.

Respect for property rights? Who's property is the national teritory?

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6 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

National territory is defined by borders that surround individual claims to property...

Correct?

I don't think this is correct.

Do you include in the national territory only the land owned by nation's nationals? What about other nation's nationals? What about nationals living overseas? Does their land property become part of the national territory also?

No, defining a national territory through property rights calls for enormous difficulties and nobody does it.

A nation's territory is defined as the territory over which that government has sovereignty. Sovereignty is about which (or whose) legislation is valid for people living inside a territory; a synonym is "jurisdiction". On the other hand, land ownership is about who can acquire, use or sell that parcel of land.

Land ownership and sovereignty are completely different concepts. Moreover, they are also independent concepts. For example, here in Switzerland we have land which is owned by Swiss citizens, but also some by Germans, British, Italians, Austrians, Spaniards, Americans, Russians, Romanians and what not. It is owned by these people because they bought it. Germany, UK, etc. has no say about how this land is used, sold or bought; only the owners have. All this land is, however, under Swiss sovereignty, that is all people who live on this land are subject to the Swiss law, and the rules of ownership are also Swiss.

Finally, in this view, national territory is defined simply through the fact that it is the sum of all the territories on which a certain jurisdiction applies.

 

Edited by AlexL
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Thanks all, this is a very interesting discussion.

What is the basis of a 'national claim' to sovereignty or jurisdiction over a territory?

From one perspective, the basis is not property rights. If it were so, then a UK owner of property in Spain for instance, would be able to refer to UK courts to settle matters arising in Spain. But a UK property owner would have to have legal matters settled by the Spanish legal system (which claims jurisdiction) even when Spain does not own the property in question.

Is it because the UK property owner in Spain resides in territory claimed by the Spanish community? Yet what gives the Spanish community any rights over the parcel of territory once it has been sold? In purchasing the property in Spain, has the purchaser enterred into some kind of contract with the Spanish community to be bound by Spanish jurisdiction? Is this a kind of contractual moral relativism (when in Spain, do as the Spanish do)?

I can't fully work out how a hypothetical Objectivist state would accept a moral relativism of this kind, unless the differences were so trivial in extent as to render them unimportant.

Why ought an individual recognise a community claim to jurisdiction? What is the basis of the claim to it when it is not private property? Is it just force-based?

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23 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

What is the basis of a 'national claim' to sovereignty or jurisdiction over a territory? [...] Why ought an individual recognise a community claim to jurisdiction? What is the basis of the claim to it when it is not private property? Is it just force-based?

First of all, the "community", whatever it means, has nothing to do with this. A "community" has no particular rights, only individuals have.

The only claim a government has to legitimate its sovereignty / jurisdiction over a territory is that it fulfills its role, that is it respects and protects the individual rights of people living in the area (as explained in Ayn Rand's The Nature of Government).

Again: the sovereignty of a government over a territory has nothing to do with who owns the various parcels of the land.

(Nothing of the above is specific to a hypothetical Objectivist state.)

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1 hour ago, AlexL said:

First of all, the "community", whatever it means, has nothing to do with this. A "community" has no particular rights, only individuals have.

Hi AlexL. I hope you don't mind my asking you a question or two?

First let me agree with the above: the only rights are individual rights. Anything a "government" (which is still a collection of individuals) has the right to do may only come from individual rights.

1 hour ago, AlexL said:

The only claim a government has to legitimate its sovereignty / jurisdiction over a territory is that it fulfills its role, that is it respects and protects the individual rights of people living in the area (as explained in Ayn Rand's The Nature of Government).

But suppose that you have two groups (roughly equal in terms of "respecting and protecting individual rights," or poised to be) which each claim jurisdiction over some territory--or, in order to better serve the OP, two groups which each claim the right to act in the capacity of government in some case (perhaps a British citizen living in Spain who is charged with murder; the Spanish and British government both say that they have the right to prosecute the supposed crime). How do you know which has the legitimate authority?

And if it matters to your reply, suppose another case where the two governments are unequal with respect to individual rights... suppose that we're talking about Fascist Spain with the same British citizen. Does that change anything?

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AlexL,

"Again: the sovereignty of a government over a territory has nothing to do with who owns the various parcels of the land."

What does it have to do with?

I don't think there is anything wrong with referring to a community. A group of individuals who identify as sharing a particular way of life can self identify as belonging to the same community. So for example, we are part of a community that is interested in Objectivism. I agree with you that a community doesn't have rights, only individuals do. Which takes me back to the question, what gives a state jurisdiction?

You suggest that a state has jurisdiction by virtue of the fact it respects and protects the rights of individuals living in the area. However this begs the question of why people living in a particular area fall under the jurisdiction of one particular state or authority rather than another. Spain and the UK to varying degrees respects and protects the rights of their citizens, so why ought Spain have jurisdiction when it comes to property that is owned by a UK citizen? Why can't the UK claim jurisdiction over it?

The Spanish state operates through individuals of course. Let me put it a different way. Why do the individuals who are operating the Spanish state have jurisdiction over matters concerning UK citizens?

Also under your idea, if say a large group of Americans decided to live in a foreign country where the state fails to respect and protect the rights of individuals, would you agree than an implication would be they could claim that the state there has no jurisdiction, giving them the right to put in place a new state covering the territory in which they live. I don't necessarily disagree with this thinking - I want to explore it further if you would oblige me.

 

 

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On 12/13/2015, 3:25:24, AlexL said:

...

No, defining a national territory through property rights calls for enormous difficulties and nobody does it.

A nation's territory is defined as the territory over which that government has sovereignty...

Finally, in this view, national territory is defined simply through the fact that it is the sum of all the territories on which a certain jurisdiction applies.

The sum of all territories is the sum of all individual claims to property, which in turn establishes the jurisdiction of those property owners; and the sovereignty is their sovereignty.  A government is property owned by the individuals who create and maintain it.  Their jurisdiction defines the property lines, which are more a reflection of ambition than geography; consider events in the Ukraine and South China Sea for recent examples of ambition pushing the envelope of jurisdiction.

The only difficulty is getting individual property owners to contract together for the benefit of mutual security, without claiming rights they don't have to the contents of each others' backyards.

 

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On 12/14/2015, 6:05:33, Jon Southall said:

...

Why ought an individual recognize a community claim to jurisdiction? What is the basis of the claim to it when it is not private property? Is it just force-based?

The individual ought to recognize a community (of individuals) jurisdictional claim in order to have his own claim of jurisdiction recognized.

terra incognita.

The security of all private property is force based, but ideally only as a credible threat of retaliation.

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DonAthos: Anything a "government" (which is still a collection of individuals) has the right to do may only come from individual rights.

I am not sure what you mean. If you mean that anything a government has the right to do comes from the individual rights of its officials or representatives, then I disagree. Persons who are also government officials exercise their function not because of their individual rights, but as their specific duties. Remember, we all have the exactly same individual rights, but most of us are not authorized, for example, to question a suspect, as a police officer is. 

Quote

DonAthos: But suppose that you have two groups (roughly equal in terms of "respecting and protecting individual rights," or poised to be) which each claim jurisdiction over some territory […] How do you know which has the legitimate authority?

In this case the legitimate claim to authority has the one which was the first to establish on that territory a rights-respecting régime.

Quote

DonAthos: suppose another case where the two governments are unequal with respect to individual rights... suppose that we're talking about Fascist Spain with the same British citizen. Does that change anything?

It does. If those British citizens try to establish a rights-respecting government on parts of Fascist Spain, they cannot do it in UK's name if they have not been authorized by the British government, and they are not entitled to help from UK. They are on their own. On the other hand, UK had the right to eliminate the Franco's régime in order to install a rights-respecting government, and could have done it if it was in its legitimate interests.

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Jon Southall: I don't think there is anything wrong with referring to a community […] what gives a state jurisdiction?

I didn't say it was wrong, or even that the concept is invalid. I said only that it is irrelevant in our context: the fact that (some) members of a community/group own some land is not the source of the legitimacy of the government/state claim for holding sovereignty over that land.

Sovereignty of a country and its jurisdiction (the right to implement its laws and institutions) over a territory are justified if it is rights-respecting and by the fact of being the first to do it on that territory.

Quote

Jon Southall: Why do the individuals who are operating the Spanish state have jurisdiction over matters concerning UK citizens?

You mean – over matters concerning UK citizens when they are on the Spanish territory? Simply because these UK citizens are on the Spanish territory! The authority of the Spanish government extends over all persons present in Spain, irrespective of their origin, citizenship, etc. This is so not only in theory, but also in practice. If a UK citizen commits a crime in Spain, or buys a chunk of land, it is the Spanish law which is applied.

Quote

Jon Southall: Also under your idea, if say a large group of Americans decided to live in a foreign country where the state fails to respect and protect the rights of individuals, would you agree than an implication would be they could claim that the state there has no jurisdiction, giving them the right to put in place a new state covering the territory in which they live.

No, they could not – for the reason I stated in the similar question by DonAthos.

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Devil's Advocate: A government is property owned by the individuals who create and maintain it.

I have no Idea what you mean.

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Devil's Advocate: The sum of all territories [on which a certain jurisdiction appliesis the sum of all individual claims to property, which in turn establishes the jurisdiction of those property owners; and the sovereignty is their sovereignty.

I am afraid you/we have a terminology problem, because individuals do not have jurisdiction or sovereignty – over anything-, only government and its institutions do. Individuals may have property and the right to use and dispose of it; it is not jurisdiction or sovereignty that they have over their property.

Edited by AlexL
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47 minutes ago, AlexL said:

...

I have no Idea what you mean.

I am afraid you/we have a terminology problem, because individuals do not have jurisdiction or sovereignty – over anything-, only government and its institutions do. Individuals may have property and the right to use and dispose of it; it is not jurisdiction or sovereignty that they have over their property.

"... The only proper functions of a government are: the police... the army... and the courts..." ~ ARL, Government

 Who owns the police station, the army and the courts?  These are not voluntary services that just happen according to unique rules of justice.  The people own the government and the services it delivers on those properties (territories) they have jurisdiction over.  The American government is an experiment in self-governance, and to the degree it's successful, it allows individuals to retain sovereignty over their own lives and property; and they remain free to dispose of it by vote, or force if necessary.

Private property implies sovereignty and having the jurisdiction to dispose of as the individual owner chooses.  If he doesn't have these powers, then term private is where the error lies.

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