What's Mine Is Yours--If You Say So

Column by Paul Hein.

Exclusive to STR

Reading the newspaper this morning, I got the impression that the purpose of the paper is to obscure, rather than present, the news. The front page headline, for instance, was a piece about a local hockey player, and his rise to fame. Succeeding pages concerned local school board problems, and other such trivia. Not until page seven was there any information that might be considered newsworthy, namely NSA activities, and on the next page, reports from Crimea.

What caught my interest, and was, for me, the most interesting bit of news--though far from page one--was the story headlined “Ultra-Orthodox in Israel can be drafted.” It seems that from the very origins of Israel, seminary students could, in the words of the paper, “evade army service.” (Shouldn’t the word be “avoid”?) At that time, only a few hundred young men were involved; now it’s thousands. The Rulers don’t like that, and using their self-bestowed power, have ruled that “ultra-orthodox” young men can be drafted. The point of interest, for me, was the clear and undeniable proof provided by this example that the persons, as well as the property, of individuals are not under their control, but the control of the rulers, to whatever extent they desire.

It reminded me of the story I read years ago: Two men were walking down the street. One had a gold coin in his pocket, the other a flask of whiskey. One was a criminal--the one with the gold coin--the other was not. At a different time, the same two men were walking down the street, one with a gold coin in his pocket, and the other with a flask of whiskey. One was a criminal--the one with the whiskey--and the other was not. The “law” is whatever the strangers say it is, at any given time. But what do the written wishes of the strangers in power have to do with the two men?

Suppose you are seated at one end of a table, and government is seated at the other. Between you lies your wallet, the deed to your home, title to your car, and all other assets you own.

“Does anyone challenge that these are mine--undoubtedly, certainly, absolutely, and genuinely, mine? I own them, do I not?”

No response.

“My claim upon these assets is by virtue of ownership. Mr. Gov, you desire these assets as well, and claim a greater right to them than I have. What is the basis of your claim?”

“Our claim is based upon the law. The statutes say that--”

“Never mind the statutes. You, or someone under you, writes the statutes. They are merely the formal, written declaration of your wants, are they not?”

“The statutes are the written will of the legislature, by definition.”

“Exactly. So when you say that your claim upon my wealth is by virtue of statute, you’re simply saying that you’re entitled to my property because you want it, and have written down that desire.”

“That’s a gross oversimplification.”

“It’s the unvarnished truth, which may be why you disfavor it. But tell me: what do the written desires of your legislators have to do with me?”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“Your legislators can want anything, and duly inscribe it in the law books. So what? What’s it to me?”

“This is Wonderland, and you’re a resident of Wonderland, so our statutes apply to you.”

“Prove it. What does my physical location have to do with it?”

“It’s obvious. By statute, residents of Wonderland are subject to the laws of Wonderland. That goes without saying.”

“I see. The statutes of Wonderland apply to me, because the statutes of Wonderland apply to me. You don’t see the absurdity of that?”

“It’s basic law. If you live in Wonderland, you are under the authority of Wonderland.”

“So you claim. What is your proof? Do you have a contract which I signed, subjecting myself to you? Do you have witnesses who can testify that they saw and heard me accepting your jurisdiction?”

“Of course not. We have, as I’ve said, the law, which says you are subject to us because the law says so.”

Now, dear reader, how will this end? On one side, we have the owner of the property, whose ownership is unquestioned and unquestionable. On the other hand, we have Mr. Gov, who claims a greater right to the property because he’s written down that he is entitled to it, and that by some ineffable power this transfers ownership of the property from its owner, to Mr. Gov.

It seems open and shut, doesn’t it? The rights of the owner to his property, vs. the assumptions, claims and demands of a stranger. You’d be a fool not to bet on the owner!

You’d lose.

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Paul Hein's picture
Columns on STR: 96

Comments

Jim Davies's picture

Thank you, Paul. This is frighteningly simple. You have a great way of clarifying complexity.

Paul's picture

"On one side, we have the owner of the property, whose ownership is unquestioned and unquestionable. On the other hand, we have Mr. Gov, who claims a greater right to the property because he’s written down that he is entitled to it, and that by some ineffable power this transfers ownership of the property from its owner, to Mr. Gov."

Both notions are wrong. Your property, is just the stuff you can prevent others from taking. :-)

http://strike-the-root.com/private-property-vs-your-stuff

Mark Davis's picture

Revealing circular logic to a fool typically gets little more than a blank stare, but this profound attempt just may do the trick for some.  Well done, sir.

Darkcrusade's picture

''Suppose you are seated at one end of a table, and government is seated at the other. Between you lies your wallet, the deed to your home, title to your car, and all other assets you own.''

Devil's advocate states; Who's image and subscription are upon those Federal Reserve Notes(nots) babelbux within 'your
wallet'?

Who's control number is upon 'your' deed-simple, that you submitted(applied for) paperwork to generate?

Who's control number is upon 'your' (EN-)title(MENT) for your car,from the government, that you submitted(applied for)paperwork to generate?

All other assets purchased using the kings currency and Satanic debt-money scheme?

Here lies the mystery of why the creator gets control of his creation. He that creates gets to control.

Perhaps there is an escape hatch on this Emerald city?

http://www.suijurisforum.com/it-doesn-t-work-t174.html

Jim Davies's picture

These are devilishly tough questions, Darkcrusade!
 
Seems to me they show what a lot of homework the enemy has done. Mr Gov, at the table, can point to all that in-depth preparation, done over centuries.  Much of it stems, I dare say, from the stroke of the pen of George III, by which he laid claim to North America, and the Treaty of Paris which transferred his declaration of ownership to the winners of the Revolutionary War.
 
I don't think, though, that they alter Paul's point. The governmental declaration of ownership may go back deep into history, but it's still a declaration and nothing more. Mr Gov has no more just and moral right of ownership than His Late Majesty; he "owns" it only because he says so, and can enforce his claim.
 
You asked about a remedy, but within the paradigm that government exists, I see none. There is no hope that they will interpret their rules in our favor. Therefore, the only remedy is for it to evaporate. If you're not on board the program to bring that about yet, join now.

ReverendDraco's picture

Just out of curiosity, how do you deal with reposting these articles elsewhere?

I would like to repost it, verbatim (including a link to STR and credit to Paul) - but am unsure if it is allowed.

All that aside. . . a well-written bit for sure. I can almost see Mr. Gov having an apoplexy. . .

Jim Davies's picture

Your delightfully simple scenario, Paul, conceals the fact that behind Mr Gov (or perhaps outside but surrounding the room) stand at his command several Kevlar-covered thugs with an unlimited number if guns, ready to take from you anything and everything you were unwilling to surrender at the table. In other words, Mr Gov is not merely saying "That property is ours because we say so", but also "and if you don't agree, we'll take it by force."

He is therefore revealing and exercising the government view of property: that stuff belongs to whoever can acquire, retain or recover it, forcefully.

That's another way of saying that "might is right" or that "possession equals ownership" - that is, whoever presently has stuff and can forcibly retain it, owns it. The notions of rights to property, of morality, are foreign to that government view.

That ownership and physical possession are two different things, separated by concepts of morality and justice, is not only a fundamental libertarian premise but has antecedents going back centuries, probably millennia. Those who conflate or confuse them are no better than government agents. "Property rights" did not begin with Rothbard, but their denial is a high government priority.