Trespassers Will Not Necessarily Be Shot and Eaten

Perhaps as agent of my karmic penalty for titling one of my recent anti-IP posts “Our Communist Future,” François Tremblay has a new post in which he argues that the case I make against intellectual property in my 1995 anti-IP article (an article that he says is “considered authoritative” – I’m not sure by whom) can be adapted to argue against all property (where by “property” I take him to mean something narrower than what Kropotkin condemns but a bit broader than what Carson condemns).

I’ll respond in more detail later; but in the meantime, I have a quick response in his talkback.

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16 Responses to Trespassers Will Not Necessarily Be Shot and Eaten

  1. Francois Tremblay February 13, 2010 at 3:00 am #

    Hah! I love the title of your entry. Love your blog, btw, so no hard feelings I hope.

    • Roderick February 13, 2010 at 4:00 am #

      no hard feelings I hope

      Only against your sadly mistaken views, not against you. 🙂

  2. Aster February 13, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    “[A]n article that he says is ‘considered authoritative’ – I’m not sure by whom.”

    Roderick! Ssssh!! Questioning other people’s acceptance of your authority is not the way to acquire power and expensive chocolate!

    • Roderick February 13, 2010 at 4:01 am #

      What is the way?

      • Black Bloke February 13, 2010 at 9:25 am #

        Not questioning?

        • P.M.Lawrence February 13, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

          I see you are familiar with the use of logic to start a clock in Thurber’s The Thirteen Clocks.

        • Black Bloke February 14, 2010 at 8:47 am #

          Not even in the slightest, I assure you. But, sounds like a decent book suggestion.

  3. littlehorn February 13, 2010 at 5:25 am #

    Hi. Being now involved with squatters, I have to question why any of this matters. As I wrote on Francois’ blog, whatever is not strictly determined by natural law can only become a ‘law’ in the innocent sense of a rule obtaining consensus. I think the set of ownership rules belongs to such a category. So then, in order for property to become a right, anarchy and the consensual agreement of a community are required.

    Which means that, under the current state of affairs, there is neither possession nor property, and only the bare bones of strict natural law. Which also means that trespassing is both true and false, when the house is empty. Does that make sense ?

    • Roderick February 13, 2010 at 10:54 am #

      I agree that there are aspects of ownership rights that aren’t settled by natural law and so have to be settled by consensus. But it looks like François and I both think that the extent to which ownership isn’t settled by natural law is smaller than you do. (See, e.g., here.)

      • Francois Tremblay February 13, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

        Well, of course I am on Kevin Carson’s side of the debate… that should go without saying. But you’re probably right in saying that we think that the extent to which ownership isn’t settled is smaller than he thinks.

      • Zanthorus February 14, 2010 at 8:20 am #

        Dr Long:

        This is probably slightly off topic but I actually see a great deal of similarity between your own position on Ethics and the position of one Pyotr Kropotkin.

        In your essay “The Nature of Law”, you say that the primary right of mankind is a right to freedom and that our ultimate end commits us to preferring co-operation over violence.

        Maybe I’m missing something, but this doesn’t seem all too far removed from Kropotkin’s golden rule “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Or basically, treat human beings like human beings.

        Kropotkin also stresses the importance of co-operation and avoiding the use of violence (Apart from violence against tyrants).

        Again maybe it’s just me, but this all seems to be getting at the same kind of thing.

        • James February 14, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

          Ah a Rothbard-Kropotkin synthesis! I think most strands of libertarianism thought stress the importance of co-operation we just disagree on what the best way to co-operate is (which is mostly why so many ancap-ancom debates are so dull and question begging).

          As for what ownership is legitimate, I agree with Kevin Carson’s position (I don’t know..)

      • littlehorn February 21, 2010 at 11:47 am #

        I also note that you take things the other way around, making the creation of consensus dependent on the legitimacy of the ones creating it (“…so long as that means a majority consensus of the owners…”). Well, if the object of the consensus is to define what can be legitimately owned by whom, consequently who is legitimately the owner of what, then this requirement is impossible to fulfill.

  4. Hume February 13, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    Professor Long,

    This is completely off topic, but I was wondering if you had a few recommendations for articles/books that critique Rawls’ Theory of Justice (as well as his later works). I am familiar with Nozick and G.A. Cohen, I was wondering if there is anything else you would recommend. Thanks.

  5. Kevin Carson February 13, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    Francois, I’m increasingly uncertain what Kevin Carson’s side of the debate is.

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