Libertarianism/Property Rights Framework
The value criterion is...consistency with libertarian self-ownership.
Here are some of the best justifications for a libertarianism/property rights framework.
NECESSARY LINK: see page Argumentation Ethics True
Argumentation ethics necessarily leads to the rights of self-ownership and property acquisition.
Stephan Kinsella, Friday, May 27, 2011, Argumentation Ethics and Liberty: A Concise Guide
In essence, Hoppe's view is that argumentation, or discourse, is by its nature a conflict-free way of interacting, which requires individual control of scarce resources. In genuine discourse, the parties try to persuade each other by the force of their argument, not by actual force: Argumentation is a conflict-free way of interacting. Not in the sense that there is always agreement on the things said, but in the sense that as long as argumentation is in progress it is always possible to agree at least on the fact that there is disagreement about the validity of what has been said. And this is to say nothing else than that a mutual recognition of each person's exclusive control over his own body must be presupposed as long as there is argumentation (note again, that it is impossible to deny this and claim this denial to be true without implicitly having to admit its truth). (TSC, p. 158) Thus, self-ownership is presupposed by argumentation. Hoppe then shows that argumentation also presupposes the right to own homesteaded scarce resources as well. The basic idea here is that the body is "the prototype of a scarce good for the use of which property rights, i.e., rights of exclusive ownership, somehow have to be established, in order to avoid clashes" (TSC, p. 19). As Hoppe explains, “The compatibility of this principle with that of nonaggression can be demonstrated by means of an argumentum a contrario. First, it should be noted that if no one had the right to acquire and control anything except his own body … then we would all cease to exist and the problem of the justification of normative statements … simply would not exist. The existence of this problem is only possible because we are alive, and our existence is due to the fact that we do not, indeed cannot, accept a norm outlawing property in other scarce goods next and in addition to that of one's physical body. Hence, the right to acquire such goods must be assumed to exist. (TSC, p. 161)
Self-ownership provides the necessary framework for action and exercise of reason, making it a starting point for ethics and a prerequisite to answering other ethical questions.
David Boaz (Executive vice president, Cato Institute). “Libertarianism: A Primer.” Simon & Schuster. pp 61-62. 1997.
Any theory of rights has to begin somewhere. Most libertarian philosophers would begin the argument earlier than Jefferson did. Humans, unlike animals, come into the world without an instinctive knowledge of what their needs are and how to fulfill them. As Aristotle said, man is a reasoning and deliberating animal; humans use the power of reason to understand their own needs, the world around them, and how to use the world to satisfy their needs. So they need a social system that allows them to use their reason, to act in the world, and to cooperate with others to achieve purposes that no one individual could accomplish. Every person is a unique individual. Humans are social animals—we like interacting with others, and we profit from it— but we think and act individually. Each individual owns himself or herself. What other possibilities besides self—ownership are there? • Someone – a king or a master race – could own others. Plato and Aristotle did argue that there were different kinds of humans, some more competent than others and thus endowed with the right and responsibility to rule, just as adults guide children. Some forms of socialism and collectivism are—explicitly or im- plicirly—-based on the notion that many people are not compe- _ tent to make decisions about their own lives, so that the more talented should make decisions for them. But that would mean there were no universal human rights, only rights that some have and others do not, denying the essential humanity of those who are deemed to be owned. • Everyone owns everyone, a fully-fledged communist system. In such a system, before anyone could take an action, he would need to get permission from everyone else. But how could each other person grant permission without consulting everyone else? You’d have an infinite regress, making any action at all logically impossible. ln practice, since such mutual ownership is impossible, this system would break down into the previous one: some- one, or some group, would own everyone else. That is what happened in the communist states: the party became a dictato- rial ruling elite. Thus, either communism or aristocratic rule would divide the world into factions or classes. The only possibility that is humane, logical, and suited to the nature of human beings is self-ownership. Obviously, this discussion has only scratched the surface of the question of self-ownership; in any event, I rather like Jefferson’s simple declaration: Natural rights are self-evident.