Property Rights and Equilibria of Force

Paul Foley
02 Jun 2001 18:03:38 +1200

On Sat, 2 Jun 2001 02:46:55 +0200, Francois-Rene Rideau wrote:

> First, this system has the advantage that any property protection costs
> are borne by the one who is claiming property, rather than by the people
> he tries to exclude from the claimed property. This is but justice.

Doesn't this argument apply to _all_ property?  I.e., shouldn't you
and only you bear the cost of protecting your car, house, etc., and
even your person?  If you agree with this (and I do), then is there no
justification for "public force" at all?

If you say "no", I'll cease to argue with you -- you're right.  If you
say "yes", you're also right (that is, I'm willing to accept either
position), but inconsistent -- your arguments against copyright don't
stack up.  [If you're willing to let me try to protect software, you
can't claim it's not property, by your own admission; if you say that
"public force" can legitimately be used to protect private property,
how can you deny its use in this specific case?]

Nomina stultorum in parietibus et portis semper videmus.        -- Cicero

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