Response to edhopper (Original post)
Fri Apr 26, 2013, 03:11 PM
JDPriestly (57,936 posts)
1. I posted this in response to someone who said that taxes should not be raised to require
those who work hard and accumulate money and run businesses to pay for those who don't work.
It's about what protects the right to property.
I would like to remind all DUers that, contrary to the teachings of the right-wing and corporations, the right to private property is not "natural." The right to private property exists by force. If someone steals something from you, you can only get it back by persuasion or by force.
Who or what enforces property rights in our country? The police who are controlled by the government.
In feudal societies, a hierarchical structure of nobility and everybody else controls the government and owns the property. The nobility enforces its own property rights.
Our government is democratic meaning that the people as a whole control it (supposedly). Thus, it is the people as a whole through the government that enforce property rights. Any property you think you own, you own only because the government is willing to enforce your right to that property.
Corporations understand this. That is why they work so hard to control the government. A system in which corporations and businesses control the government and its enforcement capacity including its police power and military, is called "fascist." The NAZIs were a form of fascism.
So, when you work for something and think you own it, ask yourself how you will enforce your ownership rights.
The answer is that you will support a government that enforces your ownership rights and protects them on your behalf.
We think we own businesses and build them and create them. But we can only do that if the government protects our right to own, build and create them.
The Republicans and conservatives in general want to use the government to protect the property and other rights of the rich -- of those who have won the biggest prizes in the game to acquire property.
In feudal societies, the rich, the owners, wisely provided work, shelter and food to those in need. They claimed to do it as a religious obligation. They did it because they feared going to Hell if they didn't. Hell for the rich is no property rights. If the rich fail to take care of the poor, the rich will lose their property rights. That is because when the rich fail to take care of the poor, fail to share, the poor take from the rich. But the only way the rich can enforce their rights is through brute force. The rich, even in a feudal society, need enough physical support from the poor and middle class to be able to enforce their property rights.
So next time that someone tells you that they don't want to pay higher taxes to support people who don't work, ask him whether paying higher taxes to support the poor and the jobless is really such a high price to pay for domestic tranquility that secures the majority of his property rights.
That's what it boils down to. You refuse to share with others; you run a huge risk of losing what you have. The survival of the fittest bit that so appeals to libertarians is not so appealing when you think that a society in which only the "fittest" can survive becomes very brutal very quickly. Ayn Rand is a fraud. She never understood social interaction. I have wondered whether perhaps she was extremely autistic.
Property exists in our democratic society because of a social agreement among us to enforce an individual's right to property. That is part of what our Constitution is about.
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The Koch brothers want to control the government because they claim a lot of property rights that they want the government to protect.
Here is an example of how the government protects and enforces property rights:
During the foreclosure crisis, the banks went to court and got orders permitting them to foreclose on mortgage debtors in default. The sheriff or other official
(As an aside, the irony was that the banks had used an unofficial, extralegal method for recording their interests in the properties, so the entire foreclosure process in many cases, although enforced by the courts, quite probably did not comply with the rules that enable the government to enforce the banks' claims to the property. I find that very ironic. The banks broke the law, but sought to rely on the courts that enforce the law to help them out when borrowers defaulted. Typical right-wing, short-sighed, illogical view of life and society and property and how things work.)
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