The moral promise of a free society involves the boundaries of private property. The promise is this: property boundaries cannot be legally invaded or trampled upon. When property is protected, people can keep the fruits of their labor and investment, and not have them plundered by others. People can own land, for example, and this land can be used as the owners see fit. Private propertyallows wide latitude for experimentation.
Property holders can form communities with internal cultures. Just as business can conduct its own affairs, people can separate themselves out entirely from the rest of society if they so desire. They need only respect the rights of others to do the same.
It’s the nature of private property and a free society that it allows room for diversity of work, modes of production, and ways of life. That’s how Mr. Jefferson wanted it, and that’s what the authors of the Constitution promised. In the sixties, for example, hippie communes sprang up all over the country. The participants were eccentric and the utopias didn’t work, but the attempts were tolerated by society and state.
Today the promise of private property is routinely violated by both private criminals and government. The attack on property began subtly at first, but today it has become explicit, sometimes brutal, and sometimes even deadly.
The community of faith that once lived at Mount Carmel in Waco, Texas, believed the promise of free society. They chose to separate themselves from society, as so many others have done in our nation’s history. This was not allowed in Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, or Maoist China. That’s one reason we regard these regimes as tyrannical.
Yet in its dealings with the Waco religious dissenters, the central government revealed that it has become intractably opposed to any individual or group that represents a challenge to its singular authority. To counter this challenge, the central government resorted to tactics that resulted in the death of 86 men, women, and children. As for the survivors, the government has put them on trial.
This sort of brutality is inevitable in a system of absolute and centralized power. A government that invades private business by demanding confiscatory taxes, imposes unbearable regulations, and rules over business culture through pervasive labor controls, builds an appetite for even more power. As the power builds, so does the extent of corruption at the top and the disinformation that covers up the truth about its tyranny.
So it was in Waco, where the tragic events combined all the elements of a government out of control. Most of what the public thinks it knows about David Koresh, the group’s spiritual leader, is false. But as with war, military invasions, and other acts of state – as J.S. Griffey of the University of Houston argued in an outstanding article in the Southern Partisan – the first impression is the one that lasts.
For example, most people probably believe that the government attacked the Waco Christians because they were “stockpiling” weapons. Were they? Texans own 60 million firearms, about 3.5 per person. At Mt. Carmel there were two firearms per person, most of them locked away. The rest of their protection consisted of hay bales and plywood……
- Dupes for the State (lewrockwell.com)
- A Free Society Is a Welfare Society (lewrockwell.com)
- Private Property? What Private Property? (lewrockwell.com)
- Should government get out of the marriage business? Should we privatize marriage? (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
- Liberty Defined by David Gordon (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- One of private property’s biggest virtues (cafehayek.com)
- Why My Generation Loved Western Movies (network54.com)
- (MONITOR) Andrew Lilico: Conservatives believe in property and we should understand that a Conservative should not believe in wealth taxes #budget (dreadnoughtuk.wordpress.com)
- The Fatal Conceit of Politicians (economicnoise.com)
- The Vampire Economy vs. the Free Market (lewrockwell.com)