Sunday, 2 March 2014

The fundamental difference between "The Founding Fathers" and "The Government"

Emailed in by Robin Smith, from the ultimate Faux Libertarian/Home-Owner-Ist pressure group in the USA:


Our mission is to protect private sector legal rights, so that land ownership remains a fundamental right derived from natural law envisioned by our founders, as opposed to a benefit and privilege conferred by the grace of government.

I asked RS what leap of logic was required to be able to see a fundamental difference between "The Founding Fathers" and "The Government" and he replied:

Founders: do the conquering
Government: maintain the conquering

Subtle. This all works out, so long as they don't complain when a new conqueror comes along and "founds" a new state.

I personally would be interested to know whether these Faux Lib-Homeys could pin down the exact date on which there was a shift from "conquering" to "maintaining the conquering"? Presumably that was the date that they or their predecessor were granted the title to the land they currently claim to own, which might be centuries ago in some cases or quite recently for somebody who has just acquired a title from "the government" (in a UK context, those who exercised the Right To Buy their council house).

That would appear to be the date on which "natural law" gave way to "benefit and privileges conferred by the grace of government".

Or you could look at it from the point of view of the Native Americans: do they draw a big distinction between:

a) having been displaced by the "natural law" of the original settlers/founding fathers, and

b) the successors in title of the original settlers who continue to receive "benefit and privilege conferred by the grace of government"?


Kj said...

This is the extreme end of the spectrum. But OTOH, their nonsensical Royal view of landownership aside, AFAICS their truck is with limitations in what they view as the bundle of rights that is traditionally awarded to a claim, and I'm sort of sympathetic to that.

Kj said...

- or transgressions, which doesn't seem to include tax, but ramblers rights and enviro-stuff.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Kj, is the ordinary home owner or business owner much troubled by ramblers' rights? Nope, only those who own vast open spaces.

Kj said...

Minority or not. The ones who own vast open space are not the big rentiers these days are they. There are urban equivalent issues too. But then again, if there was justice in how landownership is awarded, through proper taxation, I'd care more about landowners rights.

Bayard said...

My reaction to these types is "You want to own your land as a natural right, free from taxation by or interference from the government? Sure, go ahead, but don't expect the government to help you when someone better armed than you treats you as your "founding fathers" treated the original inhabitants".

Mark Wadsworth said...

Kj: "The ones who own vast open space are not the big rentiers these days are they? "

Good point.

B, even better point.

Kj said...

Ah, I've watched more of their material now. They are pro fracking, the landownership bit is the rights for the mineral rents. Starts off with how hard work built everything, ends in how mineral royalties are saving their farms, classic stuff.

Robin Smith said...

You know that demon called Golem in Lord of the Rings?

"My Precious"

This 'precious' is the Rent Seeking demon in everyone. Its missing the mark to label just them or the ones who's agenda you do not like with it. It exists in you and I too.

True, we can see it in others. Can we see it in ourselves though? Who watches the watchers?

I've never met a single person who is not rent seeking in some way. Particularly LVT fans. Either for material wealth or the less material stuff known as public respect - 'to be seen'.

We may make far more progress if we spend less time in judgement. And more time on what is causing the demon to thrive in everyone, no matter how moral or immoral we all are.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Kj, that is what their website says.

RS, you're the one who's judging and moralising here, talking about "demons inside all of us"and so on.

Of course there is a natural desire to get something for nothing, it's a question of where is the line between 'good luck' and 'outright crime' or between 'good luck' and 'completely fucking over the whole economy and your children's future'.

Bayard said...

RS, it's called "Gollum".

Pablo said...

"The fundamental principle of human action is this:
People seek to gratify their desires with the least exertion." - P&P
I'm wondering what the difference is between this and Robin's "rent-seeking demon".