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Liberty: a unified field theory
Orange County Register ^ | Sept. 15, 2002 | Alan Bock

Posted on 09/16/2002 11:56:43 AM PDT by logician2u

Edited on 04/14/2004 10:05:31 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Senior Editorial Writer.

The last in a weekly series of 12 essays about aspects of liberty. All 12 essays can be found on our Web site.

Nat Hentoff, whose columns the Register sometimes runs, titled his 1980 book on the history of free speech in America "The First Freedom."


(Excerpt) Read more at 2.ocregister.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: consistency; liberty; market; selfownership
This is a concise, well-written essay that ought to stimulate people's gray matter.

There are any number of ways this thread may branch out from the concepts Alan Bock presents, all of which are worthy of discussion.

I will only ask those who have other views to please be considerate of fellow FReepers who wish to discuss the article. Attack the message if you must, but not the messenger.

1 posted on 09/16/2002 11:56:43 AM PDT by logician2u
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To: logician2u
All those "Rights"...how about naming them various forms of property rights?

That might get a little closer to a "unified field theory"?

(With thanks to A.J.Galambos)

2 posted on 09/16/2002 12:02:51 PM PDT by AzJP
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To: AzJP
Creation/God...Christianity---secular-govt.-humanism/SCIENCE---CIVILIZATION!

Originally the word liberal meant social conservatives(no govt religion--none) who advocated growth and progress---mostly technological(knowledge being absolute/unchanging)based on law--reality... UNDER GOD---the nature of GOD/man/govt. does not change. These were the Classical liberals...founding fathers-PRINCIPLES---stable/SANE scientific reality/society---industrial progress...moral/social character-values(private/personal) GROWTH(limited NON-intrusive PC Govt/religion---schools)!

Evolution...Atheism-dehumanism---TYRANNY(pc-religion/rhetoric)...

Then came the SPLIT SCHIZOPHRENIA/ZOMBIE/BRAVE-NWO1984 LIBERAL NEO-America---

3 posted on 09/16/2002 12:11:23 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: f.Christian
liber

Latin root = free

Hillary ain't no real liberal.

That also with gratitude to Mr. Galambos.

4 posted on 09/16/2002 12:26:36 PM PDT by AzJP
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To: f.Christian; Cultural Jihad; BibChr
I've read your posts before, Mr. Christian - or tried to.

Perhaps someone will offer to translate?

5 posted on 09/16/2002 12:26:55 PM PDT by logician2u
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To: logician2u; yall; Roscoe; Kevin Curry; Cultural Jihad; Texasforever; Boot Hill
Great article log2, thanks. -- I'll flag a few of FR's more active anti-constitutional libertarian haters, as they need to read some reason now & then.

Tho I doubt they will.
6 posted on 09/16/2002 12:29:40 PM PDT by tpaine
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To: logician2u
f.Christian is a she, by the way, and she herself will have to provide the translations to her sometimes cryptic and free-flowing 'stream of consciousness' wording.
7 posted on 09/16/2002 12:31:01 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: AzJP
Galambos was truly an original thinker, one who deserves more recognition than is currently accorded him.

I'm fairly certain Bock knew him.

(Let's face it: the number of freedom-minded individuals in the '60s with the capacity to convey their ideas beyond their immediate family was pretty small. Today's group is somewhat larger, to the point that there are even different flavors of objectivists.)

8 posted on 09/16/2002 12:33:13 PM PDT by logician2u
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To: logician2u
To: f.Christian

Now I follow, thank you. Actually, I don't disagree with this at all since I see the left as abandoning the uncertianty of democracy and majority rule for the assurance technocracy and expert rule.


152 posted on 9/10/02 12:17 PM Pacific by Liberal Classic


9 posted on 09/16/2002 12:34:08 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: Cultural Jihad
Fletcher Christian!
10 posted on 09/16/2002 12:35:27 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: logician2u
"For the libertarian, however, it is virtually impossible to construct a hierarchy of rights and freedoms."

All else aside, such an impossibility would promote the extensive use of force in settling conflicts in rights.

"Many would argue that political and social rights, especially freedom of speech and press, are the most important of liberties, the rights that most directly keep despotism at bay. "

Freedem of speech is a natural right inherent in a sentient being born with the ability to speak. Freedom of the press is at a minimum, derivateive of freedom of speech and contingent on the ability to construct or obtain a press or its equivilent. I offer that as a two level hierarchy to counter the impossibility argument noted above.

"You could even make an argument that if we do not own ourselves, if we do not assert complete control over our actions (subject to circumstances, limitations and exigencies of the human condition) we cannot be truly moral beings or be held accountable to a higher power."

If you can't transfer ownership of yourself can it be said that you truly own yourself?
11 posted on 09/16/2002 12:35:57 PM PDT by KrisKrinkle
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To: logician2u
I'm absolutely flabbergasted that anyone even recognized his name!

Much less had a clue of his worth!

(former AJG student)

12 posted on 09/16/2002 12:37:42 PM PDT by AzJP
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To: f.Christian; Liberal Classic
Might as well bring you into this and see what you think . .

My apologies, ma'm, for thinking you were a Mr.

(Mutiny on the Bounty stuck in my memory, I guess.)

13 posted on 09/16/2002 12:38:33 PM PDT by logician2u
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To: logician2u
BUMP!!

'Cause I, too, have"...an unusual proclivity for intellectual consistency"!!

14 posted on 09/16/2002 12:40:51 PM PDT by lucyblue
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To: Cultural Jihad
Read the post, then make a logical rebuttal of ANY of the authors points, CJ.
-- Two bits you can't do it, any better than 'f.C' could.
In fact, - You never have made such a post in your FR history, to my knowledge.
15 posted on 09/16/2002 12:41:01 PM PDT by tpaine
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To: tpaine
Mr. Expert...

the assurance technocracy and expert rule.

You!

16 posted on 09/16/2002 12:45:28 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: f.Christian
Bizarro.
- Go have a dialog with our 'ideolog', CJ. --- S/he/it seems to understand you.

17 posted on 09/16/2002 12:54:03 PM PDT by tpaine
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To: tpaine
nwLo---you!
18 posted on 09/16/2002 1:02:04 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: tpaine
Try... this!
19 posted on 09/16/2002 1:04:06 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: lucyblue
Thanks for the BUMP!!

. . and proud to be similarly afflicted.

20 posted on 09/16/2002 4:32:17 PM PDT by logician2u
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To: logician2u
Bump for Alan Bock... and to read later! He's a treat to read, most times!
21 posted on 09/16/2002 8:04:01 PM PDT by dcwusmc
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To: logician2u
bump for later
22 posted on 09/16/2002 8:06:03 PM PDT by Fzob
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To: KrisKrinkle
If you can't transfer ownership of yourself can it be said that you truly own yourself?

Not relevant. Of course you can transfer ownership of yourself. Self surrender is as much a protected right, as self ownership. The problem occurs, when one chooses to reassert ones self ownership after once surrendering it to another. This is because the restriction is not upon the slave claiming self ownership, but upon the master who chooses to enforce the slavery.

A market economy might grant the purchaser of such acquired ownership a civil award for contract violation, and could under certain circumstances go as far as laying a criminal penalty for fraud upon an individual reclaiming self ownership after once surrendering it (or selling it). But the condition of slavery can not be enforced.

I would suggest that in a libertarian society, only a fool would purchase another's self ownership, as no means would exist to collect, except by way of a continual voluntary transfer on the part of the surrenderer.

Saying one can not own, that which they cannot transfer, is like saying one cannot own their imagination, which they cannot transfer in full. Only the state can legally lay claims to such immoral and impossible ownership.

It is that kind of state that needs to pass into history.

23 posted on 09/17/2002 5:36:12 AM PDT by jackbob
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To: logician2u
Very good article. One of the best I've seen at FR. BUMP
24 posted on 09/17/2002 5:38:46 AM PDT by jackbob
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To: jackbob
The article says: The concept of self-ownership is at the heart of what many libertarians view as a foundational belief. and you post that my question about self-ownership is Not relevant???

Self surrender is as much a protected right, as self ownership.

My question wasn't about surrender. My question was about transfer of ownership.

The problem occurs, when one chooses to reassert ones self ownership after once surrendering it to another.

Yes, going back on terms of surrender generally causes problems. But I am not asking about a surrender. Reasserting ownership after it has been transferred is called theft, unless the transfer was fraudulent or otherwise defective.

Saying one can not own, that which they cannot transfer, is like saying one cannot own their imagination, which they cannot transfer in full.

That at least, is more responsive to my question. But you need to expand on it. And you need a better example.

25 posted on 09/17/2002 5:22:27 PM PDT by KrisKrinkle
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To: KrisKrinkle
My question wasn't about surrender. My question was about transfer of ownership.

I don't distinguish a difference. Transferring the ownership of ones self to another, regardless of the situation which instigates such transfer, I view as a surrender of ones self. I concede that under certain circumstances such a transfer can even be profitable to the person who no longer has the self ownership. But that in and of itself, does not make the transfer any less a surrender.

Reasserting ownership after it has been transferred is called theft, unless the transfer was fraudulent or otherwise defective.

This may be quite true. But only where such ownership is recognizable by society at large, or by the state. Surrendering your self to your husband may be legally permissable in our society, but it is not legally enforceable. Thus no legal theft has occurred. At best, only a contract violation. The political concept of self ownership as a first principle, may allow non-self ownership, but by definition cannot recognize that ownership as legal.

26 posted on 09/17/2002 11:38:10 PM PDT by jackbob
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To: jackbob
Different dish, but with a not entirely dissimilar flavor:

"We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of its majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country." --Thomas Jefferson

27 posted on 09/18/2002 2:12:50 AM PDT by Roscoe
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To: jackbob
"I don't distinguish a difference."

Then we are at an impasse because I do. "Transfer of ownership" encompasses more than "surrender" and at the same "surrender" has connotations inconsistent with "transfer of ownership" as I asked about.

Your second paragraph does not make any sense to me. Let me hasten to add, since I have seen some "less than cordial" posts on this general subject, that I do not mean that as an attack. I mean it as a statement of the situation.
28 posted on 09/18/2002 6:15:02 PM PDT by KrisKrinkle
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To: KrisKrinkle; jackbob
Reasserting ownership after it has been transferred is called theft, unless the transfer was fraudulent or otherwise defective.

I see the transfer of self ownership as defective.

The master can never really own the slave's self. He can't will the slave's arm to move. He can't will the slave to love him. He can't know the slave's thoughts unless the slave shares them.

Pretend the slave sells himself to a master. If a potential master should buy another's self, he has no one to sue should this purchased self "reassert" itself. The slave could always say he had no will once he transferred same to the master.

Obviously the master has unconsciously willed the slave's body to "escape". In fact, the master has assumed perpetual responsibility for whatever future actions the zombie might take. For example, should the zombie kill the master, the master has merely committed suicide.

29 posted on 09/19/2002 12:33:05 PM PDT by secretagent
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To: secretagent
"I see the transfer of self ownership as defective."

My question from post 11 was:

"If you can't transfer ownership of yourself can it be said that you truly own yourself?"

If the transfer of self ownership is defective, can it not be said the concept of self ownership is defective?

Like the concept of dry water--internally contradictory.
30 posted on 09/19/2002 5:27:39 PM PDT by KrisKrinkle
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To: KrisKrinkle
I've always felt a bit uneasy with "self-ownership". If I say "I own myself" it suggests to me a 2-part self. One part that owns, and the other owned. Then another part to own the first part - and so on. I don't see this as an internal contradiction, rather an infinite regression.

I don't know whether my unease points to a clunkiness in English, something deeper, or my fear of impending schizophrenia...


I see the appeal of including the "right of freedom from enslavement to other humans" in "rights to property", though, and for one reason besides simplicity. The idea seems to serve the cause of liberty against those who would assert ownership over others. "You don't own me, I do!"


31 posted on 09/19/2002 7:31:31 PM PDT by secretagent
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To: secretagent
"I don't see this as an internal contradiction, rather an
infinite regression. "

I have no quarrel there. I am not stuck on "internal contradiction." I am just, as you say, "uneasy" with the concept and groping for a good (and short) description of what makes me uneasy.

As to the "right of freedom from enslavement to other humans," I'd tie it to the unalienable right to liberty.

"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others." -- Thomas Jefferson

To those who would assert ownership over others I might say such ownership would be an unrightful limitation on rightful liberty.
32 posted on 09/19/2002 8:57:25 PM PDT by KrisKrinkle
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To: KrisKrinkle
"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others." -- Thomas Jefferson

I see more promise of a unity of rights here - all rights to property then derive from the right to liberty. Seems much more sensible to me than trying to derive the right to liberty from the right to property.

33 posted on 09/20/2002 9:07:38 AM PDT by secretagent
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To: logician2u; Liberal Classic
"As Robert LeFevre put it, the operating ethic will be "Harm no one. After that, do as you like." The government will leave alone those who honor the ethic. People will prosper and pursue happiness. It might not be utopia, which in this world is not an option. But the vision has the capacity to inspire."

Somewhat overly vague..."vision has the capacity to inspire"---anarchy is a prelude to the police state!

34 posted on 10/16/2002 4:29:59 PM PDT by f.Christian
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