Protecting Private Property in a Stateless Society

The reality of our existence directly pertains to the fact that we do not live in a world where resources are in infinite supply. There are hardly any resources on the planet that are superabundant to the point where supply and demand become irrelevant. The only two exceptions might be the air we breath and the ideas we think. All of the planet’s resources or goods are scarce and must be subject to the laws of private property acquisition through homesteading, voluntary trade, and inheritance, which, ultimately results in the ownership of private property. There are no places which exist where there is a bountiful amount of natural resources to the point where they do not have to be interfered with by human labor to keep the supply at a certain level to meet the demands of human consumption. Food must be grown, cars must be manufactured, tools must be crafted, so on and so forth. If there was a constant supply of food that just grew from the ground with no labor and was able to be plucked from the trees with little effort, then there would be no conflict when it came to food. This applies to all other resources like land, clean drinking water, building materials, precious metals etc. These are all scarce resources. They must be homesteaded and owned to avoid violent struggles, dissension, and war. The idea that all resources belong to all humans equally is preposterous. Communal ownership of all resources means each person must ask for the permission of every other person before using a commodity or piece of land. This would be an arduous task if you only had to ask twenty people. How ridiculous would it be if you had to get authorization from a million or a billion people before using a resource?  A person must be the first one to make beneficial use of an unused natural resource by interfusing their physical and mental efforts for it to become their private property. If someone comes across a piece of land where there are no signs of ownership like a fence, or a sign that says “no trespassing” then the area of land that is worked and cared for by that person becomes their private property. Human beings are a species that have evolved to create a purpose for themselves. They are creative and inquisitive. They have complex psychological needs and it is not enough for humans to just have shelter, food, and water. They seek to build things, advance to make life easier, acquire knowledge, and accumulate possessions and property. The people who say we only need food, water, and shelter to survive are correct. However, if those same people think that those are the only things that define a human being they would be wrong. The laws of human nature instilled in our neurological wiring and biological systems make us free beings who can pursue any objectives they want as long as they do not initiate force against someone’s physical body or legitimately owned private property. Human beings act to achieve goals. Private property is an a priori truth. The very act of speaking cements the notion that private property is a natural law of human nature. We own our brains, vocal cords, and diaphragm. Someone up the street cannot not own my body. only I can own my body. So speaking is a demonstrably proven example of how we have private property rights. Whether this is acknowledged is a different story but that does not make this logical deduction any less true. We are born free! Who owns our bodies besides ourselves? Who owns our labor and the fruits of our hard work besides ourselves? Who owns or controls people’s choice to trade freely between individuals and groups so they can advance and prosper? No one owns these rights. We are free in principle and we must protect private property in order to be free.

Currently people are not free. They are controlled by tyrannical power structures like The State. The State is one giant institution that is usually made up of smaller governmental entities that have monopolistic control over the production and distribution of a variety of goods and services. The modern state has a monopoly on the use of force through security and defense agencies like the military and the police. They also have a monopoly on the political process along with legislative powers. There is a “two party” system in The United States but it is really one party made up of power mad statists that have a few minor disagreements how to steal from, murder, and control the inhabitants of the geographical area in which they control with no competition from any external individuals, communities, or organizations. They collude with corporations to consolidate more power in exchange for favors and the financial elites control everything. The hierarchical order of the power pyramid from top to bottom is as follows: Financial Elite, World Banks, Central Banks, Commercial Banking Cartel, Big Corporations, Politicians and Government Bureaucracies/Agencies, and The Serfs.

If we did live in a privatized libertarian anarchist society,then, we would have every right to protect our private property at all costs. This society is known as a stateless society, a private law society, a private property anarchist society, the natural order, free market anarchist society, or an anarcho-capitalist society. Once a person or a group of individuals has come into possession of private property through a contractual agreement, voluntary exchange, or by simply being the first to homestead the unused parcel or resource, they become the rightful property owner. They have every right to defend their property against the initiation of aggression. It should seem obvious that self defense is not the use of force and does not violate the libertarian principle of non aggression. This concept has eluded some pacifists and anarcho-communists who believe defense of private property is morally reprehensible. To the contrary, if you can not defend your physical person and the possessions you have as property then you are not free. You are willingly as a pacifist, or unwillingly as a slave of The State, losing the very essence of what it means to be a free human being when you can no longer defend your private property. There is no such thing as a free person who is prohibited from defending his private property. You must be able to defend your life and property in a free and just world. It is a moral obligation to defend your private property from pugnacious aggressors.

So if someone poses a serious unprovoked physical threat to you then you have the right to mitigate that threat of force by using force until the threat disappears. If someone is wielding a claw hammer at you and then starts running towards you with this deadly weapon, the use of deadly force would be justified in stopping the immediate danger to your physical body. Let’s say someone shoves you. That would not justify the use of deadly force. The appropriate response might be a harder shove back and then standing your ground. If the threat becomes more serious then you may defend yourself against the aggressor to preserve your life. The use of force to defend yourself must be a reasonably justified amount. It should be proportional to the aggression used against you or your property. It largely depends on the specific situation in question. A person has every right to reclaim their stolen property with as much necessary force possible without becoming the aggressor. There exists a fundamental right to not be assaulted in anyway that is not a response to you initiating aggression or provoking an attack. Some might wonder what would constitute an imminent danger to your well being. There are varying degrees of threats and they occur in different stages. The details might be minute but the aggressor never will have the benefit of doubt given to them. The person who initiates force is looked upon as a violator of the non aggression principle which would be the libertarian code of law in an anarcho-capitalist society. The victim and defender of their property is looked at as someone who has acted morally in a free society. They are exercising their private property rights.

Let’s say you own an apple tree and an intruder picks an apple off the tree. You can approach this individual and demand your apple back and explain that they are on private property. The owner of the tree can also use force to reclaim the apple. He may not use deadly force against someone who has merely stolen an apple, a lawn ornament, or a candy bar, however, if when he is reclaiming his stolen property in a reasonable matter the thief begins to become violent and uses deadly force, then you may respond by using deadly force to eliminate the threat. The apple thief used aggression in the first place when he entered your private property. He then violated the non aggression principle when he stole the apple. Let’s say he did not know it was private property. That is why you let him know it was private property and then demand your property back. You can just take the apple back. There would be little conflict unless the apple thief is crazy. It would behoove most property owners to define their property lines by putting up fences. They would also put “no trespassing” signs outside to clearly warn invaders that they are entering privately owned land. There would be cameras around the property too so trespassers can be easily identified and punished in accordance with private property laws through private arbitration agencies. This will help avoid conflict and doubt as to who is the aggressor.

In an anarcho-capitalist society people could hire private security firms to defend their property for them. If a street owner wants his street to be clean of all pan-handlers, bums, and aggressive riffraff then he can hire a police agency that patrols his property to make sure these types are kept out. People will also be able to defend themselves by owning firearms. There would be no regulations from a centralized authority. Your typical progressive liberal response might be, “so you are okay with people owning nuclear warheads and machine guns?” This is just idiotic and another weak attempt from the leftists of the world to stifle private property ownership and freedom. Only weapons that are not capable of causing collateral damage would be legal under libertarian laws. The use of weapons that cause collateral damage would be a violation of the non aggression principle and that person would be punished in proportion to the crime. When you defend yourself from a criminal aggressor there must be no harm done to innocent bystanders otherwise you will also become an aggressor. Nevertheless, people of all creeds, backgrounds, colors, and lifestyles would be able to own firearms. The objection to this would be high crime and a society that resembled the Wild West. Despite what Hollywood has depicted over the years, The Wild West and the frontier were not as wild as the movies have lead people to believe. Any violence committed throughout the mid to late nineteenth century on the frontier and in the west was by the government. People thought twice before they robbed and assaulted people since they knew they would be met with a Colt .45 pointed at them and their possible demise was a very real sobering truth in these towns if you stepped out of line with people’s well being and belongings. The bottom line is that higher percentages of gun ownership among communities dramatically decreases crime. If shop owners and small businesses had signs in their windows that said, “Private Property Will Be Defended At All Costs” with a picture of an AR-15 or a 357 magnum, how many looters in Ferguson and Baltimore would have risked entering those stores for a pair of sneakers or a bottle of booze. My guess is not many, if any at all. The people who do burn down towns and loot during race riots, or any riots made up of violent mobs (usually social justice types and anarcho-communists) for that matter, should be punished in a harsh manner. The punishments should be proportional unless the offender belongs to a community where Canon Law is practiced and used to sentence criminals. Otherwise libertarian punishment theory is quite explicit in setting guidelines for how convicted violators of the non aggression principle will be dealt with in an anarcho-capitalist community. The society may be an anarcho-capitalist one that stretches over a vast land mass made up of thousands of communities. The laws would be strikingly similar in all of these communities. You may also have an anarchist society that covers a giant land area where tens of thousands of defined anarchist communities exist. It could be  continental region like North America where cities and regions across the continent are made up of different anarchist villages. There would be capitalists, feminists, ethnic, religious, and syndicalist communities, amongst others across the territory. They would each have their own laws and societal norms. I just want to speak for the anarcho-capitalist community since that is the political philosophy I am most familiar with and would most likely be the most productive one out of the bunch. The destruction of private property would yield a punishment that made the offender pay retributive damages along with restoring the damaged property to its original condition. This is how rioters, arsonists, and thugs would be punished in this system of justice. They would also be ostracized and labeled by society as outcasts. They would be rejects and pariahs who would dwell on the outskirts of civilized cities. They would have to work diligently to prove they could be productive individuals. Unfortunately, it could be difficult once you have been identified as a violent barbarian.

This is not Utopia. What I have described is the maximization of freedom. The anarcho-capitalist model is not perfect but it does strive to protect and uphold the laws of human nature as it relates to private ownership of the means of production and legitimately acquired possessions. The system fails and we become less than human when we must share our earned income from labor to bail out and sustain less intelligent and indolent parasites. There is law and order in anarchy. The way to peace and prosperity is to acknowledge private property rights and to ferociously protect those rights from aggressive invaders and murderous gangs in whatever form they appear.