Re: Gov't NOT Coercion

Ian Goddard (
Fri, 24 Oct 1997 12:08:26 -0400

I should observe that I'm a dyed-in-the-wool libertarian.
I've spent the last seven years promoting libertarianism,
whether with pamphlets at protests, county fairs and the
like or over the Internet.

But I always practice and encourage questioning your
memes, which is in fact how I became a libertarian.
In many ways it's more important to make the case
against what you believe/believed than for it.

Now, in reply: wrote:

> I've a problem with this...two things...
> One...who gave the federal government the property? Did they buy it?
> Did they steal it? Are you saying that theft is ok and confers ownership
> as long as it happend yesterday?
> Second thing...since the theft is an accomplished fact...then it ok as
> long as you can leave your wordly possesions in the hands of the theif
> and leave? Your money or your life?

IAN: So if my apartment is on land that was stolen
from the Indians, I get to live rent free? If that
pesky landlord comes around here again I'll just
get out the gun... "How dare you extract rent
from stolen land. Do you think theft is OK?"

I don't think theft is OK. My eighth great grand-
father Roger Williams vigorously opposed, as I do now,
the theft of Indian lands (
But even as the Indians did trade for land among
themselves (a very significant fact rejected by
socialists that Roger observed himself after living
with Indians for several years), still much, most,
or all Indian land was at sometime stolen from
another tribe.

In short, there's no way to establish the rightful
owner. Clearly, even as Indian lands may have been
stolen, it was the duty of European settlers to
respect what claims they came upon. Perhaps they
could have said, "If it was stolen, the claim is
void, so we get it. Get those thiefs out of here."
That would be analogous to someone saying, "Since
the U.S. robbed Indian lands, I don't have to pay
taxes." So the case that if the U.S. was stolen,
it's void is a circular argument, since it also
justifies the existence of the U.S. to the extent
that Indian property was once stolen, which the
evidence suggests most-to-all probably was
at some point after a tribal war.

So I don't see the case that the U.S. is void.
In which case the preexisting established claims
stand, with libertarian moral theory activated
now, or at most to the point rightful owners
can be established and proven.

Ian Williams Goddard ---> (NOT UP YET)