Re: Transparent society

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Fri May 12 2000 - 11:46:54 MDT

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

> > > You have no right to privacy when you are in public.
> >
> > Says who? Perhaps not out there in Hollywood where everyone's life is
> > for sale all the time, but not elsewhere. People have a right to be
> > respected and treated considerately wherever they are.
> Sorry Mike, but even radical libertarians don't argue that anyone
> has a positive entitlement to privacy, or even a right to privacy,
> anywhere but one's own home. I have no right to demand that 7-11
> not install cameras if that's what they want to do. I have no right
> to sue a company that sells the address I gave them unless I clearly
> contracted with them not to. My home is mine, your home is yours,
> and public spaces belong to the public.

And who is the public? You and me. In my area, many well known people who are
public personalities have homes they go to when they are trying to get away from
the paparazzi and the public eye. They come around town, and act and desire to
be treated like regulat folks. People like Steve Perry, Merideth Baxter-Birney,
Michael J Fox, Michael Shue, Charles Bronson, C Everett Koop, and many others
can or have been seen around town living their private lives. Up here, we
respect their privacy even when they are out in public, just as we do so with
anyone else. If paparazzi or crowds of fans ever showed up, I can guarrantee you
that they and their equipment would not have an easy time of it, assuming they
don't get arrested first for disturbing the peace. People that go up and give
them the fan/celebrity treatment are very much looked down upon.

> Privacy, like anything else valuable a person might desire, must
> be bargained for, not demanded as an entitlement. Respect and
> consideration, too, have to be earned. I have no right to demand
> that anyone do anything except what is in eir own private interest,
> so long as ey does not actively interfere with my doing the same.

Some places in the country still grant it as an assumed matter of publicly
accepted behavior. We have words for people who don't think so: flatlander,
Masshole, city slicker. Libertarian principles seem to work best in places where
people don't take advantage of them to inconvenience or offend others.

Mike Lorrey

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