The underlying point of the libertarian critique is that if I own something, I can sell it (and should be allowed by law to do so). If I can’t sell it, then, and to that extent, I really don’t own it. Take my own liberty as perhaps the paradigm case of the debate over inalienability. The claim is that if I really own my liberty, then I should be free to dispose of it as I please, even if, by so doing, I end up no longer owning it…………..My thesis: No law should be enacted prohibiting or even limiting
in any way people’s rights to alienate those things they own. This is “full monte” alienability, or commodification.
Suppose that the master says to his human property, “Now that you are my slave and must obey me, give me back that $1 million I just paid for you.” At most, this example proves it was foolish to sell yourself into slavery, not that
it was wrong, illicit, or contrary to libertarianism. It would be like agreeing to work for $1 per year. Silly, perhaps, but no rights violation.
The voluntary slave agreement is not a “mere” promise. Rather, it is a bona fide contract where consideration crosses hands; when it is abrogated, theft occurs. If you pay $1 million for the right to enslave me, and I spend it, work for a week at your plantation, change my mind, escape, and the forces of law and order refuse to turn me over to you, then I have in this manner stolen that amount of money as surely as if I broke into your vault and absconded with it. [The slave owner is entitled to force the slave to return.]
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Top Ron Paul Supporter Defends Slavery
Libertarian philosopher Walter Block and board member of Jews for Ron Paul, an organization I had already exposed as a fraud, makes the argument for slave ownership. Now connect this to Ron Paul's argument that the Union should have bought the South's slaves and you recognize that we're dealing with Mises school devotees who believe slavery is legal.
Posted by Daniel Greenfield at 8:52 PM