Rationality in a World of Suicidally Deluded People

I take the non-aggression principle to be a “relatively-absolute absolute”

I believe that societies that follow the non-aggression principle (NAP) are better than those that don’t. To me, the NAP is a “relatively-absolute absolute”. I learned the concept of relatively-absolute absolutes from James Buchanan. These are persistent truths about the world of humans; they are not necessary in some absolute sense like, say, the conservation laws but are generally true and fundamentally important for human flourishing. Continue reading “Rationality in a World of Suicidally Deluded People”

Human Rights are Property Rights

The phrase “property rights” appears to refer to the rights of property. That of course is meaningless because property aren’t people, and therefore property cannot have rights. Property rights refers to the notion that humans have the right to their private property. Therefore to place property rights in some form of opposition to human rights — as I did in the previous post — is silly. The two essentially mean and amount to the same basic idea. Human rights are property rights, and vice versa.

It all begins with the axiom of self-ownership. To quote Murray Rothbard, the brilliant libertarian economist, from an April 1959 article:

. . . each individual, according to our understanding of the natural order of things, is the owner of himself, the ruler of his own person. Preservation of this self-ownership is essential for the proper development and well-being of man. The human rights of the person are, in effect, a recognition of each man’s inalienable property right over his own being; and from this property right stems his right to the material goods that he has produced. A man’s right to personal freedom, then, is his property right in himself. Continue reading “Human Rights are Property Rights”

Property Rights or Human Rights

Should society (through its institutions such as the government) defend property rights or human rights? That question is of course meaningless if one of the sets includes the other as a proper subset. But let’s assume for the moment that they are indeed distinct, and therefore the question makes sense.

I believe I have an answer to that but I will not go into it. For now, I’d like to pose a related question. Should society (through its institutions such as the military) commit resources to defending its weapons prior to defending the lives of its citizens? To put it more concretely, should society choose to build bomb-proof missile silos or build excellent bomb-proof shelters for its citizens, assuming that the society does not have the resources to build both?

Feel free to leave your answer in the comments.

{Followup to this post Human Rights are Property Rights.}

Happy Birthday Darwin & Lincoln

What are the chances that two of the greatest figures of history would be born on the same day? I would leave that to the statisticians and only remark on the fact that in 1809 on this day, February 12th, Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenvill, Kentuky in the United States, and Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire in England.

Who would have predicted that those two babies — remember we all were babies at some point — would have an enormous impact on the world as they eventually did? Continue reading “Happy Birthday Darwin & Lincoln”

Information about the novel coronavirus

There is a lot of news about the 2019 novel corona virus (coronavirus). I suppose there’s some chance that this flu will blow up across the world. Therefore it is important to know what this 2019-nCv does. Here’s a video that I found very instructive.

This is a PSA post. Keep well and do good work.

Defining Classical Liberals

Labels are useful. They indicate the content of objects which could be anything — from cans and bottles to people and institutions.

But labels can also be confusing if they are not properly defined before they are used. I think it is always prudent to define labels before using them. I agree with Confucius that definitions matter above all else. Confucius say[2]:

“If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.”

I identify as a classical liberal, aka an Old World liberal. I believe in individual freedom, and equality of all persons.  So what exactly is a old world (or classical) liberal? Part of my ideology is described by Murray Rothbard thusly:

Continue reading “Defining Classical Liberals”

Saturday Special

A few things that I recently found on the web that especially caught my attention. I will lead with the cute.

Meerkats

All young animals are shy. Here’s a shy baby meerkat by Japanese photographer Mamekoro (@mamekoro51). No different from a human baby tentatively peeking to see what’s out there.

Continue reading “Saturday Special”