The God of the Machine - Tranche 32

Posted by mshupe 11 months, 1 week ago to Economics
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Chapter XVI, Excerpt 1 of 2
The Corporations and Status Law

Individual private property is requisite for a high energy system; the owner does not have to wait for permission to put it to use. Business consists of productivity and exchange. These are spontaneous activities which must be carried on in freedom. The field of business is primary. Politics corrupts business and must do so to the degree of its over extension. Politics consists of the power to prohibit, obstruct, and expropriate. Its field is marginal.

In the building and operation of the railways, whatever lay in the realm of private enterprise was done with competence. The first transcontinental railroad was the greatest engineering job ever tackled. The same genius for organization of high energy systems went into the operation of the lines. No previous type of business called for one-tenth the ability of this type. On the whole, the public respected his achievement. What people hated was the monopoly. The monopoly was the political contribution.

The newer states, creations of the federal government rather than of the citizens, tended to look to the Federal government for special legislation, including charity. Every citizen must have the right to use the resultant facilities on equal terms. Government must have the authority to enforce such equality. Successful management and productive enterprise had always been admired and respected, as they should be . . . became liable to suspicion and resentment. Government regulation is imposed.


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  • Posted by j_IR1776wg 11 months, 1 week ago
    "Individual private property is requisite for a high energy system; the owner does not have to wait for permission to put it to use..."

    I have never understood why Jefferson et al left property rights out of the Declaration of Independence.

    As written:
    "...certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."

    Should have been written:
    "...certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, pursuit of Happiness, and the Absolute Right to the ownership of Property earned or inherited..."

    Property is the most basic of Natural Rights
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    • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
      That seems to be the obvious question, and I think Jefferson had drafted property, but then omitted it or replaced it with happiness, the latter being a more broad concept. Happiness is a consequence of progressing toward earned values, including the acquisition, use, and disposal of property. Happiness also includes the attainment of spiritual values. In fact, happiness is the ultimate value.
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      • Posted by j_IR1776wg 11 months, 1 week ago
        Yes, Happiness is the ultimate value. I believe it was Aristotle who wrote that "Happiness ought to be the aim of one's life." But is it a Natural Right or a derived Right? Life, Liberty, and Property seem to be Natural Rights.

        For what its worth, George Mason published The Virginia Declaration of Rights on June 12, 1776 which Jefferson drew upon for the DOI. https://www.archives.gov/founding-doc...

        The first article reads: "Section 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."
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        • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
          I think the key is 'pursuit' of happiness. A right is the pursuit based on your own rational judgment, including defending the rights of others to do the same. Only the force of others can impair that.
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          • Posted by j_IR1776wg 11 months, 1 week ago
            Well put. The freedom to pursue is the freedom of movement. It is basic to man.
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            • Posted by 11 months ago
              Yes, you nailed it, and by extension, over international borders. There is a contentious issue about this, and there are well-informed Objectivists who claim that borders exist to define the territory in which the retaliatory power of the state has jurisdiction. Crossing a border does not infringe on anyone's rights unless it's private property, but then it gets more complicated.
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              • Posted by j_IR1776wg 11 months ago
                Complicated indeed! It might be a 1000 comment post.

                Which laws on which side of the line apply?

                Do citizens of the USA have an ownership in the country? Can they object to the flood of aliens streaming across America's southern border?

                Do the States have the power to erect fences?

                Complicated indeed.
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                • Posted by 11 months ago
                  Only the laws of the United States and their political subdivisions apply. The citizens do not "own the country." That presumes public ownership and that will be addressed in a subsequent chapter. Individuals can object all they want, but the tyranny of the majority has been addressed in previous chapters. To me, liberal immigration laws that rigidly prevent real and imminent threats is best. I suspect that the current collection of contradictory and arbitrary immigration laws give the federal government the power to erect fences, and perhaps not the states.
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  • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
    The field of business is primary to a civil and prosperous culture, but its predicate is political liberty. So, why would business be considered primary?
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