Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Worth the Trouble

It can be difficult to convey to people the importance of life, liberty and property. Perhaps people are so accustomed to seeing thoughts and ideas acted out for them that they have trouble putting feeling to words.

This clip, from the movie Wild River, posted by Gary North, brings the right to property to life.

Later in the movie, "Mrs. Garth" uses our four-legged friends to illustrate her point further:

Later in the film, she stages a scene for the bureaucrat. It is not clear to him or the viewer at first exactly what is going on. She has a confrontation with a black man, one of dozens who do all the work on her island, which is a low-income plantation.

She confronts the man. She says she wants to buy his dog. He refuses to sell. She offers him $15, which in the rural South in the Great Depression was a lot of money. He refuses. She asks him if the price is fair. He says the dog is not worth much, but he refuses to sell.

Then she ups the ante. She tells him that she is going to take his dog, so he might as well take her money. He still refuses.

She then tells the bureaucrat that this is what ownership is all about. She walks away, having made her point.

Property Rights are a subset of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, as explained by Ayn Rand.

The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.

Bear in mind that the right to property is a right to action, like all the others: it is not the right to an object, but to the action and the consequences of producing or earning that object. It is not a guarantee that a man will earn any property, but only a guarantee that he will own it if he earns it. It is the right to gain, to keep, to use and to dispose of material values.


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