Want to Resolve Conflicts of Rights? Abolish Public Property

Government inherently causes social conflict. The fact that we have public spaces causes conflict over who has the right to use them, and how.

The existence of public roads causes conflict between travelers and protesters. Who has the right to mount a pro-abortion protest? When? For how long will they tie up traffic? What about when white supremacists want to spew their racist hatred? Now we have to consider their right to express themselves on the public byways.

In any case involving the use of public property, the government resolves the conflict by weighing the value of competing holders of rights. If the rights exercised fall in disfavor, the rights are deemed less valuable and are denied. This puts us in a dangerous position — our liberties are threatened.

Private property also raises conflicts of rights issues, but these are resolved by examining contractual rights and duties, and contracts are voluntary associations. When you buy a movie ticket, you buy a right to watch the show, not to disrupt the theater by crying “fire!” On this private property, the rights are clearly defined, and if you don’t like the deal, you don’t have to take it.

Not so with public property. When the government manages public property with your taxes, you have no choice in the deal. They take your money, like it or not, and set the terms of your use of the property — parks, roads, buildings, or what have you.

Consider public education. Your taxes are used for state-run educational institutions, which creates conflict over the curriculum, spending on infrastructure, salaries, benefits, pensions, and so on. In order to control the curriculum, you have to dominate everyone else in the community. But if the school were private, you could just send your kids to the school you like. If they didn’t teach what you want, and didn’t respond to your pleas, they’d lose your business. If you don’t like the steak, you’ll go to a different steakhouse.

The solution to a host of social conflicts is simply to privatize the property on which the conflict is occurring.

For Liberty,

Manny Edwards

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  • PaulBardinas

    Total nonsense. You would recommend privatizing our national parks and public lands, at which point Exxon Mobil or BP would then purchase those lands, place a no tresspassing sign at the gate, and begin exploiting and extracting all the natural resources within. Great idea! Better yet, I would like nothing more than to go to the beach and see it covered in oil because the oil rig now off the coast of the BP owned Cape Hatteras has sprung a leak they can't fix. With ownership of land, any land, comes a moral responsibility to God, nature, society, and future generations to preserve that land and be a good steward. If the owner of the land, which only owns it becomes a government (people) says he does, can't be a good steward than it is incumbent upon the people to protect it.

  • PaulBardinas

    Mind you that it wasn't long ago in this country that a black man or woman could not sit at the front of a bus, or sit at a restaurant counter owned by a white man. If private schools were the only option, and those didn't allow blacks, were would you suggest a black child get an education. Your position is indefensible. Last time I checked, Slavery preceded the Constitution and I don't remember anything about freedom and liberty in there for them. We have the laws and the government we have today precisely because when we had your vision of LIBERTY, it didn't work. I want more than anything the freedom to do as I please, but I at least realize that while I may behave well it's unlikely that my neighbor or the corporation pouring toxic waste into the stream I get my fish out of will without governement to impose some regulations that protect the land, water, and air we all share.

  • PaulBardinas

    Government is a necessary part of society, no complex society can function without government. Government should ideally be an extension of the people governed. It was this vision of government that our founders laid down. A government of the people for the people, with representation for all (except slaves, woman, etc). Hey, no ones perfect. As I have said before, our nation was an experiment and has evolved over time. It continues to evolve. Your notion that our founders invisioned some fixed concept of government that did nothing is just false and is not supported with any evidence at all. From the beginning we were making amendments to the Constitution; 27 to date.