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Posts posted by JohnRgt

  1. You're begging the question here, in the sense that you're assuming that the People have the right to delegate ownership rights as part of an answer to the question, "How do the People come to own these resources?"

    It is not an assumption, Rand made it clear that the People hold such a right to delegate via a Constituional document.

    In her essay on government in the 'Virtue of Selfishness', Rand explains how the People can come to own a natural resource such as a river, which differs in principle how they come to own a material good. A material good is man-made, a river is not. Since no individual can claim direct ownership of a natural resource, how do they get to claim indirect ownership in an Objectivist society ? Rand explained the process this way (1) the source of government authority is the consent of the means the government only has 'rights' delegated to it by the citizens (the People) for a specific purpose, (2) the People grant the government a right to act as a custodian of ownerless resources, (3) for such resources the government has a right to define objectively impartial rules by which potential owners (the People) may acquire ownership (4) potential owners of natural resources are not limited to individuals but also include associations, non profit organizations, etc. plus the government itself (5) as legal custodians of natural resources the government has a right to create rules that allow the government to own natural resources with the specific purpose to protect individual property rights of the People.

    Thus are the logical steps by which the People come to own natural resources, via objectively impartial rules defined by the government and codified into laws and rules for all to understand and follow. When Rand claimed that governments cannot have ownership rights she was referring to material goods they do not create, she was not referring to natural resources where Rand spcifical said that the People must grant the government custodian rights to define proper ways for potential owners to become actual owners. Rand makes it clear that the government itself can become such an owner of an unowned natural resource, under the very limited specific purpose to protect property rights of all the People that use the resource.

    Once I put the river to productive use, it's mine. It may well be that others can find other productive uses for it that don't interfere with my use, but that's nowhere near the People owning it, and government having the right to determine how it's used.

    (I come across an unowned forest and a nearby valley I think would make a great town. I cut down enough timber to build a few homes and a shopping district. I advertise what I've done, set the necessary zoning and bylaws, and start to sell parts of the town: shops, houses, multi-use open land, a plot that has ideal access to a sea of oil a few hundred feet underneath the surface, etc. Where in that use of natural resources, which I didn't create, does anyone have the right to intervene with my plans and why?)

  2. >>>In an Objectivist society, metaphysical objects that are not created as a product of a human mind, such as the Mississippi River, are not owned by any individual human, this is a metaphysical fact of reality. <<<

    You keep declaring what an Objectivist society would and wouldn't do on a forum that's packed with people that know the philosophy in and out. (You may want to look into who it is you're making these pronouncements to.)

    >>> But, very important, this does mean that such objects to not have potential to be owned by some entity iff such ownership right is delegated to some entity by the People. <<<


    >>> The short answer to your question is....via legal delegation by the People of such right. <<<

    You're begging the question here, in the sense that you're assuming that the People have the right to delegate ownership rights as part of an answer to the question, "How do the People come to own these resources?"

    >>> In an Objectivist society the only entity that the People can grant ownership rights to metaphysical natural resource objects such as the Mississippi River is the government because this is the only legal entity with the power to pass laws and rules (and to enforce those rules) to ensure that the manner in which the object is used by any individual does not violate the rights of use by all individuals that make use of the object. <<<

    All this does is lead to the question, how is it that everyone has the right to access such resources? That's another form of the question I asked originally: "How do the People come to own these resources?"

  3. Ayn Rand held that in a free society all property is privately owned. A right is moral principle sanctioning freedom of action in a social context. A property right in particular is the right of use and disposal.

    In a free society a proper government must be limited in its functions. The citizens are free to act in accordance with their rights and are limited only in what they cannot do -- because of laws protecting the rights of all individuals. The government -- as an institution that operates by force -- is limited to doing only what it can and must do. It does not act by freedom and has no "rights". A government that acts through "freedom"of government officials in the name of "rights" to do what they want is tyranny.

    Limited government functions require that government have control over limited amounts of property such as some buildings and the land they are on. It can only use that property in accordance with its required, proper functions, for example as an office, jail or fort. It does not act by "right" and has no freedom of action do whatever it wants with the property. It may hold the deed to legally establish its control over a particular property, but it has no property rights. Again, in a proper society all property is privately owned. That is the only form of ownership rights permitted.

    The notion of government "owning" property on behalf of "the people" is collectivism antithetical to Ayn Rand's principles of ethics and political philosophy. Collective "ownership" or government "ownership" is not owning property at all; it is a lack of ownership. When the government "owns" something, no one owns it. Government control over resources in the name of "ownership" is the opposite of property rights.

    It may make sense for a number of specific people, for example along a stream or road, to share ownership in some form, such as the right of passage, through joint ownership. There may be a legal partnership or corporation responsible for maintenance. That is an application of property rights and is distinct from government control in the name of collective ownership by "the people".

    I would argue that if it may make sense for the 10's millions of rational people that live along the Mississippi River to form a legal partnership to protect their joint property rights to make use of the river, and maintenance, it is more reasonable to think that in an Objectivist society, they would grant the government these responsibilities, that this would be viewed by rational indiiduals to be a proper role of government to protect the legal property rights of all.

    Rand did not view the proper role of government to be any kind of control in the name of collective ownership by the people. What is proper for Rand is for individuals to delegate rights to governments, to corporations, to partnerships, etc. Rand never claimed that it would not be a proper role of government to own natural resources, such as a flowing stream or river, if such a role was delegated by the objective thinking individuals of the society.

    How do the People come to own these resources?