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Monday, December 19, 2022
CNS Publishes Incoherent Defense of Private Property

A Dec. 1 column by Keith Knight of the Libertarian Institute regarding property rights included this bizarre rant:

Remember January 6th, 2021?

We explicitly saw the government forcibly excluding people from the Capitol building, an officer even murdered an unarmed woman, Ashli Babbitt. I’m sure that trial will begin any day now.

Try walking into a government school and taking computers, printers, textbooks, projectors, and the wallet of the professor.

Imagine walking into a government police station and taking the property including the bullets, cars, guns, documents, badges, etc. Would you be met with exclusion or a kind round of applause?

The government excludes us from massive amounts of “state property” all the time and yet the socialist claims exclusion is unique to the voluntary sector. They print or steal trillions every single year and the socialist still claims ‘if only they taxed MORE everyone would have yada yada yada’.

In a nutshell: Socialist institutions forcibly exclude people from property yet the socialist pretends only capitalists do this to tarnish them as greedy people who value property over human life.

No, Keith, Babbitt was not "murdered" -- she was a domestic terrorist who was killed by police while committing a crime. Beyond that, we're not sure what point Knight was trying to make here. The fact that governmental entities have belongings that help them perform governmental duties like education and law enforcement does not make them "socialist." And he seems to be advocating communism when he complains that the government won't simply give that property to citizens.

Knight also appears to be endorsing discrimination by writing: "There is no principled difference between excluding someone from a car, a computer, a house, or if you start selling things out of the house and it’s now a 'business' involving a web of voluntary contracts" (bolding in original).

Somehow, all this prompted Knight to conclude that "more private property has increased the productive capacity of the people and the land making virtually everyone better off with more choices and opportunities in 2022 than they would have had in 22 AD," adding, "Jacobin Magazine once asked 'How did private property start?' – the answer is when the first person resisted enslavement."

Yeah, we don't get it either.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:12 PM EST

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