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Mutating Justice into injustice: the far reaching properties of Property – The Rule of Law in Progress or Regress pt.8
Mutating Justice into injustice
You’d probably not be surprised to know that I was highly aggravated that the FBI didn’t recommend Hillary Clinton’s prosecution for the crimes related to her email server – but for me, that wasn’t the most disturbing part. There was of course plenty to be outraged over, with the FBI stating that her actions had violated the law, that she was extremely careless with classified materials, that she was not truthful about her handling of them, and yet in the face of all of that, the FBI would not recommend that she be prosecuted for those violations of the law (and gave much of her staff immunity from prosecution). They didn’t dispute that she’d done what she should not have done, only whether she should be prosecuted for the violations that they’d determined she had made.
What was even more disturbing than all of that, for me, was that Director Comey made a point to say that his conclusions should in no way lead other (meaning someone less important?) govt functionaries (oh … such as a sailor, for instance, gotcha) to think that the laws won’t be applied to them, if, someone else, in a position of power, feels like they should be applied, in their case.
That, my friends, is a demonstration of the Rule of Men, being raised above the Rule of Law. BTW, on a related (by marriage) point, the reason why a person of influence, such as Bill Clinton, tries to get away with questioning what the meaning of ‘is’, is, is to encourage, exacerbate and exploit this very inversion. When men in positions of power can arbitrarily rule over the application of those laws that rule over all of the rest of us, based upon the power and influential relations of those who are involved in or have an interest in, themselves, that is Might Makes Right, and with little or no effort to conceal it. That is the reign of the Doppelganger (the evil twin of the Rule of Law), which is the default societal baseline that civilizations only become respectable civilizations by fruitfully struggling to progress away from… and yet here we are, busily progressing ‘forward!’ in the wrong direction, at breakneck speed.
Seeing all of this, many people have naturally asked:
“What is the point of having laws if those who break them at the top never face consequences?”
, and although I get the sentiment, surely they must realize that the question contains its own answer, right? Once upholding and defending Individual Rights for all is no longer the purpose of your laws, then as surely as night follows day, defending the wealthy, powerful and influential few, has already become the point of those rules by default, no matter how persistently we continue in calling such rules ‘laws’ (‘LINO’?).
For those wondering how and why this has happened, it’s worth considering a few questions which, IMHO, help explain how and why we are where we are today:
- Can you tell me what it is that connects you to your Property (IOW: if you think you have a Right to it… why)?
- Do you know what anchors the Law into protecting everyone’s Individual Rights?
- What is it that enables those in power to turn any and all of the laws against whoever they wish, as they wish?
These three are tied together, each dependent upon the other, and if unanswered, result in extra-legal situations such as those we’re seeing here, so let’s work our way through them from the bottom up, taking it from the present into the past, and so get a glimpse of our future. In considering the last question first, a better question to understand it here and now, would not be ‘How does this happen?!‘, but how could it not happen? And a question that’ll help provide the answer to #3 above,
- How much can what is Right and True matter to people, when Lies are acceptable to them?
How we got to where we weren’t going to
Have you forgotten about Gruber admitting that Obama’s entire ‘If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor’ line was a lie they’d consciously concocted and told in order to pass ObamaCare over
the heads of all of you ‘stupid people’? Have you forgotten the slew of other Politically Correct sacred cows (“hands up don’t shoot”, ‘those rioters are peaceful protesters!’, ‘Men can identify as women!’, ‘No one has a right to insensitive speech!’, etc., etc., etc.) that despite being known misrepresentations, falsehoods and outright lies, are still embraced and repeated by media, academia and other political figures without the least bit of embarrassment, and worse, with the popular approval of We The People?
When deception is openly embraced, how could things not fall apart, how could events not be occurring, as they are? For those surprised about what has been happening, take a look around at the people being fined and abused by govt for things like not baking a cake, or paying non-ransom ransom to terrorist states, or that our DOJ that permits sanctuary cities to violate the law for causes the administration prefers – do you think these and other incidents like them, express a regard for what is right and true, or a desire to use power to bring about what those in power see as a preferred outcome? Our Department of Justice is complicit in, and in some cases even instigating, these processes? Hello?
So… how’d we get to the point where the institutions which were designed to equally uphold and defend our Individual Rights under the Rule of Law, without respect to their persons, has instead been turned into a tool of convenience for a favored few, by those who use those institutions to enforce their power and privilege over the rest of us? It wasn’t accomplished by overthrowing the law from the outside, but by gutting it of its meaning from within, transforming the meaning of what has long been understood as defining true Law, into lengthy lists of rules that we’re expected to accept as ‘identifying’ as ‘laws’.
Of course this is all just another part of the story we’ve been pursuing across these, and other series of posts, and while they all need to be pursued further, for our purposes in this post there’s one thing that needs our attention now, and that is how the Rule of Law was made to mutate into its anti-thesis, the Doppelganger’s Rule of Rules, even while the Rule of Law was firmly in place, active and fully in effect.
The issues that brought about our current state of affairs spring from the full range of philosophical, educational, and (of course) political issues that are too many to number or take in at once, but the formal cause for it was the appearance of a flaw – not an actual flaw, mind you, but something easily spun to ‘identify as’ a flaw – which pragmatically opened a chink in the intellectual armor of the West.
To appreciate the importance of this, you need to recall that what makes The West exceptional, is that it is primarily a culture of ideas, and that it is a culture of traditions only in so far as they serve to implement those ideas. ‘The West’ is a worldview that transcends geography and ethnicity and can’t be reduced to it – if someone moves to the West, or is born into it, but doesn’t adopt its ideas, they are foreigners in all but name only. OTOH, this ideational feature of Western Culture is what makes it possible for anyone to become a Westerner, simply by adopting those Western ideas. Not because the ideas are Western, but because they’re true, that and the willingness to continually question what is understood to be true, to see that our understanding of them is as true as they can be – that’s all it takes. That is what makes The West in general, and America in particular, truly exceptional. Our greatest strengths come not from romanticizing and glamorizing our soil or our blood, but from our understanding of the world and our place – mind, body and soul – within it.
That critical place of ideas in Western Culture should tip you off to how important it is that its fundamental ideas be understood and embraced – again, not because these ‘Big Ideas’ are Western, but because they are true, such as those of:
- the value of every individual life,
- individual rights,
- property rights,
- governments limited to protecting them,
- the Rule of Law,
- Justice for all,
Having misunderstandings and errors introduced into our understanding of those ideas and our relation to them, is a devastating threat to the Western way of life – porous borders have nothing on porous minds! Which is particularly true of our civil society’s greatest strengths – the Law and the nature of Property Rights – the deliberate errors and falsehoods that have been introduced into popular thought in regards to them, are the cancer growing in the Western soul, and central to that, is the issue of Property: what it is, what it entails and why, which we so desperately need to understand again.
These ‘Big Ideas’ of The West are the bead crumbs, or the golden thread that leads us out of, or returns us from, the darkness, and truly I don’t see how we can possibly even know which way to turn in order to turn away from the Doppelganger, without accidentally rushing into its embrace – not without first understanding and reclaiming these birthrights, which should be recognized and respected by all mankind.
Property in Progress – Individual Rights, Equal standing before the Law and Justice for all.
The recognition of the principle of Individual Rights and Property was a gigantic step forward, one of a handful of instances that made truly historic progress away from the ancient and universally barbarous practice of Might Makes Right. Few things made that clearer than the phrase which Property Rights implicitly made not only possible, but necessary:
For that phrase to have meaning, what it was that we thought Property to be, could not remain in such a primitive state of thought as of it being a bauble of strength – possessions of those privileged with the power and influence to keep possession of it – an understanding that even Rome had progressed past, as John Adams noted of their relation between Property and Republic,
“…signified public, common, belonging to the people; res publica, therefore, was publica res, the wealth, riches, or property of the people. Res populi, and the original meaning of the word republic could be no other than a government in which the property of the people predominated and governed; and it had more relation to property than liberty…”
, and even after the Republic had fallen, the empire’s Emperor Marcus Aurelius would speak of receiving such ideals from his ‘brother’ Severus:
“…from him I received the idea of a polity in which there is the same law for all, a polity administered with regard to equal rights and equal freedom of speech, and the idea of a kingly government which respects most of all the freedom of the governed…”
, but even as historic a development as the Romans had achieved, without the rest, it descended into historic corruption and eventually collapsed under its own weight.
Our understanding of Property and Law and Rights, in order to be a measure of real and true Progress beyond what had gone before, had to develop and progress to the point of being able to see Property not as things that were possessed, but as a concept, a Right that is common to all, rather than either ‘resources’ which all possess in common. or as luxuries possessed by a favored few. When the community becomes committed to defending the importance of everyone else’s property, in, for, and by, that community, that alchemy implicitly joins Property together with The Law and with Individual Rights, and in the process every man’s home – whether it be a shack or a palace – becomes not only as secure as that of a well defended castle, but, with the community’s laws forming his battlements, even more secure than lone castles could ever be.
It is necessary to consider what that involves. To even pursue that goal – and fully achieving it is probably never attained – people must have a respect for reality and paying attention to facts; they must care about what is True, they must develop an eye for context, as opposed to a literal minded parroting of appearances. For instance, to be capable of Justice, that society needs to be able to see the difference between surface appearances of
“This sword I borrowed is his and must be returned to him without question!” , vs. the conceptual depth of
“Yes, the sword is his, but he’s feverish and hallucinating, it wouldn’t be proper to return it to him until he’d recovered.“
, such a people are able to rise above appearances, and only such a people are able to raise Justice and Truth over their personal preferences, and only such people would refrain from even the appearance of placing their preferences and gain, in conflict with propriety. For those that think fine laws written upon paper, and not upon the hearts of the people living under them, will bring justice to their people… you’re expecting depth where there is none – but for those who do see past the surface, they have already come to be self-governing people, and they will write laws worthy of themselves and who they justly desire to be.
That is a huge and massive shift in the orientation of a community, and each person within it, making Truth, and civil respect for their fellows lives, into civic virtues, and through that sort of common conceptual understanding, the institution of government – that institution that has a monopoly on the use of force in society – can come to be seen as defining its purpose and mission as justly upholding the Law as a force from reasoning that applies equally to all, that is a crowning achievement of the ‘The Big Ideas’ of The West.
As Property Rights became respected by the Laws, and the administration of justice forbade anyone from placing themselves as judges in their own causes, more than any other time in history, the rich and powerful found that they had a shared interest with their less wealthy and impoverished fellows. They found a shared interest in insisting upon the importance and integrity of every person’s property – that Property as such, must be respected and upheld, for the good of all – not because they suddenly cared about them, but because that mutual interest freed them all – it freed the rich from the fear of a mercurial monarch’s mood swings, it freed the ruler and the wealthy alike from fear of ‘the people’ demanding some part of that which didn’t belong to them, and it freed each man to be civil to another. This revolutionary understanding effectively bound Power to the laws and a government of them, with Justice presiding over their government’s use of power, and that was the moment when Liberty truly became possible.
The revolutionary nature of this cannot be overstated, as the concept is the anti-thesis of the Hobbessian ‘red in tooth and claw’ thesis that had been in place since the dawn of time. This concept is a mortal threat to the Doppelganger, whose means of maintaining the reins of power had always depended upon those with wealth and influence being able to place themselves as judges in their own causes – just ask Hillary. The Doppelganger’s view requires a cynical expectation of dishonesty and conflicting pursuits of personal advantage, over public expectations and trust. That is the life blood of tyranny. It is a vital necessity to the tyrant that the laws be little more than rules for ruling over their fellows by, and with that comes the endless turmoil of vying and struggling for the favor of the ruler (a feature, not a bug of Doppelgangers and other community organizers), of keeping your rivals in check, down or dead.
Concepts such as having a right to the Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, The Right to bear arms in your defense, are ultimately meaningless without the means to put them into action and form in the world – if you are forcibly prevented from speaking or publishing what your think, if you forcibly prevented from operating or attending the Church of your religious convictions, if you cannot own arms to bear in your defense, be they clubs, knives or guns, then your ‘Rights’ are but Soviet-like word games, Rights In Name Only. The answer to Question #2 above, is that what binds your Individual Rights to The Law, is having Property In some substance of reality, only then can the Law respect and uphold that relationship, and only then does Justice have a clear path to follow, finally having the means for Laws to bind Power upon that narrow path. Property is what anchors your individual rights to the Laws of the land – they are inseparable, and if separated, Justice and Liberty are lost. For to abandon Property Rights, necessarily means no longer having a tangible connection between reality and your rights, and so the powerful are enabled to do what they feel as if they have the power to do and get away with, and the laws become nothing more than rules for ruling over your fellows by.
The significance of the questions posed at the top of this post should be becoming clearer:
- Can you tell me what it is that connects you to your Property (IOW: if you think you have a Right to it… why)?
- Do you know what binds the Law into protecting everyone’s Individual Rights? Property.
- Do you at least know what enables those in power to turn any and all of the laws against whoever they wish, as they wish? The acceptability of Lies, or the inability or unwillingness to identify what is True.
The remaining question to be answered is a bit trickier, and is key to our current problems: What is it that connects a person to their property? What is it that gives you a right to that property?
That’s not an idyll or academic question, it concerns you and your life very seriously, because that is the question which those who crave power over others, have long understood that they had to control the answers to – one answer seats Lady Justice firmly upon her throne, while the others give men the power to shove her aside and usurp her authority.
Property Locked and Un-Locked
Our #1 Question, how are you connected to your property is the key to holding together, or breaking apart, the trinity of Individual Rights, Property Rights and the Rule of Law, whose integrity provides society the strength to stand as titans against even the greatest concentrations of wealth, power, and expertise in the land – or, by ignorance or abandonment, lets the dogs loose. The Doppelganger sought desperately to breach, to misrepresent its meaning, to obfuscate and equivocate upon, and otherwise spin people’s perception of Property and a person’s connection to it, in order to transform it, in their minds, into something else entirely.
Many who had been raised in and benefited from the big ideas of The West, weren’t all that pleased with them, and they chipped away at them, regressively reducing high concepts to trivial factoids, reducing and materializing them, and dividing people over them – sort of an Enlightenment Era anticipation of Alinsky’s “Freeze it, Personalize it, Polarize it“, in such ways as reducing the prominent Ciceronian understanding of Law from “True law is right reason in agreement with nature“, down to being a mere utilitarian tool, as the likes of Rousseau & Bentham saw it, for those who ‘knew best‘ to calculatingly re-form society and impose rules to alter the mass of mens lives ‘for the greater good‘, which was how they ‘justified’ their intentions to ‘force them to be free‘.
That process was slow going however, until a little something that had been brewing since the 16th century, began to ferment into an ‘answer’ that promised to pick the lock and break the trinity, if not in fact, then at least in peoples’ beliefs about it, and which, thanks to the Modernists new ‘Philosophy’, being just as good as being ‘real’, was no less real than what actually is real (more on the details of that later).
How we answer our #1 Question, can provide the benefits of the best of modernity, or the progressive destruction of the worst of modernity, but the means to do either can both be found in how you approach a point which Locke made regarding the source of property, which now is typically called the ‘labor theory’ of property, but in Locke’s time, before the Industrial Age, it was more commonly understood and applied as, in effect:
‘if you built that, it’s yours’
From the dazzling economic prosperity which The West’s respect for Property had unleashed, there also followed confusion, and there was a denser, though at the same time less personal aspect, to people’s social relations. So many new abstractions were introduced into society through the dawning industrial age – with the coming of larger businesses, came a need for new layers of management, financial instruments, an interchangeability of employees and a new uniformity in the products that those workers produced – it was very new and very confusing and there were very few people who understood these changes or where they came from or what they all depended upon.
While some such as Adam Smith, and more so with John Baptiste Say, began to see the shape of things yet to come, those shapes remained indistinct, foggy, and amidst so much change and confusion, that societal fog provided fertile ground for the Doppelganger to re-enter the scene under the cover of the general nature of Locke’s thoughts, which were so easily spun into the appearance of something else entirely. A something else that would have monstrous effects upon entire communities, economies and families, bringing with them a body count and destruction of lives on a scale unmatched in preceding history.
These monsters of course wore masks, then as now they posed as defenders of ‘the little guy’, and if we’re to be able to tell the two apart, we need to have a closer look at what it was that the true monsters were so afraid of.
To get a clear picture of this, its especially worth noting what Locke did, and did not, do, or say. For instance, John Locke did not invent Property Rights, it’s not an idea that was dreamed up ‘think-tank’ like, as an efficiently cunning policy solution in search of a convenient problem, and he wasn’t the first to discover them either. As noted in previous posts, Coke’s ‘every man’s home is his castle‘ preceded Locke by half a century, and colonists in America established compacts for self government decades before Locke turned his own mind to the issue. Individual Rights and Property Rights were clarified through an arduous pursuit of truth and wisdom in the face of an often painful reality, but the basis for its understanding, like electricity, was always there waiting to be explored. But what Locke did do, was to explicitly put into words what was already implicitly in the English understanding of society and its laws ( the ideas weren’t originated by the English (St. Thomas Aquinas and Hugo Grotius are proof enough of that), but they were the first to consistently put them into formal practice), and as that reality preceded his understanding of it, he also contributed the indispensable spark that helped spread its light and influence throughout the Western World.
The passage from Locke which so much hinges upon, is this rather unassuming observation :
” 28. Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something  that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.”
For Locke, in his time, ‘mixed his labor with‘, was his evocative way of putting into words, what is difficult to put into words, or as one professor of law, Adam Mossof, puts it in this paper,
“… In other words, the phrase “mixing labor” is a term of art for Locke. It is his metaphor for productive activities…”.
, or in other, other words, it was Locke describing the process that was occurring when a man took it into his mind to accomplish something, and through his thoughts combined with actions, did. This becomes a little clearer in Locke’s next paragraph,
“… Thus the grass my horse has bit; the turfs my servant has cut; and the ore I have digged in any place, where I have a right to them in common with others, become my property, without the assignation or consent of any body. The labour that was mine, removing them out of that common state they were in, hath fixed my property in them….”
The fruits of that labor, perhaps better thought of as the results of those efforts that were his to direct, transformed mere materials into becoming something that he had property in. And note, Property IN, is critical to understanding the nature of Property as distinct from possessions. Whether that was done through his own physical actions or those of someone whose time he’d contracted for (which is what Locke meant by ‘servant’), that property – which is the effects of those actions he employed some portion of his life in bringing into being – is what he has property in, making that Property rightfully his.
The Rights you have in your Property, not only connects you to your property, but provides the means for the fact of them to become the ‘stubborn things’ of Justice – a recognition that anchors your individual rights into the justice system through what you have property in, also enables and requires society to treat each person justly.
So Property Rights follow from Individual Rights, and Property Rights secure your rights to justice under the Rule of Law… but what about our #1 Question ‘…what connects you to your Property? ‘? How do you establish that you actually do have a Right in the Property that you claim to? How are we to be able to ‘see’ your right in any property? Is it all just semantical word games that simply blur over possessions by force? Does it all come down to power after all? With that in mind, recall that it was Karl Marx, whose view of economics and politics rested upon the literal ‘Labor Theory’ of Property, it was he himself who realized and stated that the entirety of his Communist system, came down to, and could be summed up in, a single line:
It is necessary to consider what the elimination of Private Property really means, consider James Madison’s summing up of the importance of Property as being first and foremost that you have property in your life. Consider also that it is the simplest of things to stir emotions and revolution with that single sentence, but it is not possible to effectively answer why it is the horror show that it is, in a single sentence, because combating it requires knowledge and understanding. However, if you can’t see differences between the ideas of Marx and Madison, surely you can see the difference that their differences made to the 90+ million corpses of the 20th Century that followed directly from Marx’s single summary line.
Securely Lockeing up the Labor of the Mind – Answering Question #1
Ok, let’s start putting this all together, labor of course is the means of producing property, but it is not the source of it, and mistaking it for being so, undermines and threatens all of the progress that property promises to bestow upon an industrious society – this is key not only to law, but to economics and even civility; it is not too much to say that real progress in Western Society depends upon that being understood and upheld.
To understand the importance of property, requires, much to Marx’s dismay, looking beyond the paper thin appearances of labor being the root of property, and when you do, what becomes apparent is that it is not the potter’s labor that causes a product to come into being – but unless you look for it, you won’t find that out. For example, consider the situation of a Potter – when in business making pots for himself, he indisputably owns those pots he labors to produce, but when he’s employed in another’s business to produce pottery, exerting the same effort and labor to produce those same pots, he does not own the pottery which he labors equally to produce – Why?
Marx would say ‘exploitation’, but is it?
This is an incredibly important question that is relevant to the lives of every person in America, right now: Who has property in what, and why?
A ‘Why‘ like that should lead to a number of questions to consider, for instance, why is the employee there? By his own cause, or another’s? If the actions that he’s performing are identical, how is the result not the same, for the relation of the potter to his pots when self employed, and when employed by a business to produce them? There is a significant difference in the context of the situations.
When a business employs a potter to produce pots, those pots are in no way the potters property, because although the labor and skills used to produce them are his own, the originating idea and the material means (such as the place and materials for their manufacture) that are put into action for producing them are the true and formal cause for the origin of that property, and they came from the business owner who hired the potter to make them, and so the potter has no property claim on the pottery he physically produced. Why? Because the thought, direction, and order for producing it, did not come from himself – he (the efficient cause) is simply the willing means of production, the owner’s virtual muscles, secured by a promise of compensation.
Does that mean that the owner owns everything? No, it doesn’t, the Potter is not without property in this relationship, it’s just not in the pottery being produced, or the labor of producing it, and it is the nature of the potter’s own thoughts and actions, that determines what it is that he has property in. Does the Potter enter the factory to labor in producing pottery, or does he enter the factory for the prospect and promise of something else?
What the Potter does have property in, is first and foremost in himself and the skills his own mind directs which is the value he trades the employer for what is his primary property in their relationship, the compensation negotiated between himself and the business owner, for employing his time and skills to bring the pot into existence.
If there is exploitation going on, who is doing the exploiting? If you didn’t answer ‘both’ you’re not giving it much thought. Does the worker go to that business to get what he could get more easily elsewhere, or does it make it possible for him to get more for himself and family, from less time, effort and risk on his part? Does the employer hire him to do what he could do himself for less cost? On both counts: No. Both are trying to get the most from their time and effort as possible.
Assuming of course that there is no violence or the threat of it in their employment agreement, or any breach of contract by either, then there is no exploitation of the worker by the business owner in the employer/employee relationship, or vice-versa; it is a contractual relationship that is agreed upon as being a benefit to both, by both. The owner has property in the pottery which the potter produces for him, just as the potter employed by him has property in his compensation (and the fulfillment of any other conditions of his employment), and both are every bit as much bound to respect every aspect of their agreement and the respective property which both have in it.
But you must look even closer still: even the potter’s labor is not simply physical labor; the skills he’s developed and puts into action, are under the direction of his thoughts; his muscles alone can produce nothing, not even with the skills he’s developed – there is no producing the pottery without the potter’s mind behind his muscles directing his efforts towards bringing the pottery into being.
That may seem obvious to you, but it is an obviousness that the Marxist will work furiously to get you to pass over and ignore, because that is the key to the answer of our remaining question #1,
- Can you tell me what it is that connects you to your Property (IOW: if you think you have a Right to it… why)? Property is the effect which results from legitimate thought and action within a given context.
The intellectual activity of thought, is the root cause of all Property and it must come first; physical activity (labor) is simply the proof that a thought had existed to direct it. What person originated that thought in that context, when living in the society of others, is a question that can’t be answered on the basis of appearances alone, but it is a question that is easily answered. What is often more difficult, is remembering that the question about its origin needs to be asked, rather than simply be assumed, or passed on by.
There is no ‘Little Guy’ in a society that respects individual rights, property and law; no matter how wealthy the business owner might be, the worker has the power of the entire community, through the institution of the state, behind him to enforce his legitimate claims. The community ‘has his back’, as it were, and to do so, they must also care about what is True. A community’s willingness to tolerate or engage in lies, is a threat to the fundamental fabric of your society – to tolerate some, is to doom all. Laws aren’t the basis of Law – the community’s commitment to truth and justice, which the laws only serve to help organize and apply, is. When that falters, all else does as well.
Say goodbye, or say hello
Real Progress came to the world in terms of an explosion of wealth, literacy and well being through Western Civilization’s understanding of the integrated nature of Rights, Property and Law, it is what put an end to the master/serf arrangement.
Far from Property being the first plague, as Rousseau would have it (“…Beware of listening to this impostor…“), a community’s recognition of the nature of Property Rights is what enables people to live sociably and in close quarters with those they know little or nothing about, without worry, because of the presumed mutual understanding that each person would respect the other’s rights and property – civility and manners flourish under the just laws of that society. Property, and all that goes with it, strengthens the law and each person’s prosperity and mobility within that society, and only in such a society can the people have and express a fundamental desire for what is True, Good and Beautiful, or have any expectation of achieving and retaining the fruits of them. When a people turn away from that, when they reject that, when they willingly seek to ‘abolish private property‘, they have already ceased to be self-governing people, and become worthy only of being ruled over, for the shallowest of appearances.
Can you not see that all around us today?
What we as Americans must not only learn again, but must understand better than we ever had before, is that the thoughts & actions that a person legitimately takes, secures to them the property resulting from those actions, establishing not only an inviolable legal claim to it, but an anchor for all of their rights, and everyone elses rights as well. You have property in your thoughts through the action of speaking and recording them on paper, tape, etc. You gain property in your land by establishing and recording its boundaries and other improvements to that land, whether you are the first to do so on a ‘new’ continent, or just the latest to exchange some consideration in payment for it.
Understand also, that the material substance which we claim Property in, land and gold and so forth, has no more to do with the true substance of what we’re talking about when we say ‘Property’, than the Apple has to do with the substance of Gravity – the fact that the Apple fell upon Newton’s head, simply illustrates gravity at work, just as establishing land and trading gold, illustrates what results from the context of respecting thought and action: Property Rights. Denying that reality, desiring prosperity and liberty without property, is rejecting reality in favor of what you wish was real, every bit as much as someone who denies the laws of gravity because they wish they could flap their arms and fly. They can deny the laws of gravity, but they are going to fall anyway. Similarly, a society can deny property rights, they can say that they’ve ‘abolished private property!‘, but that society puts itself into free fall when it does, and while they might enjoy the thrill of ‘flight’ for a time (see what they wished it to be, Venezuella circa 2012), they will eventually hit the ground (see Venezuella circa now, with newborn babies kept in boxes).
These principles of Individual Rights and Property Rights are derived from the very nature of being human – what with our necessity as human beings to observe and act in the world, in concert with others, in a manner that respects what is real and true – and these principles apply universally.
That once common American understanding, is what we are Pro-Regressing away from at such great speed; that deeper understanding of the reinforcing nature and identity of Property, Individual Rights and the Rule of Law. When we recognized that it was necessary for governments to recognize Individual Rights and Property Rights, it meant that it would no longer be possible to use the state as the means of giving special favoritism to some because they imagined themselves to be better than others and had the muscle to force them to comply – whether as Royalty, Aristocrat, Bureaucrat or pet mob – as doing so for a few, compromises the Individual Rights of all.
How best to go about structuring the limits and uses of power, is what our Constitution was and still is all about imagining, and implementing. These principles which animated the drafting of our Constitution, declared an end to the old prerogatives of those in positions of power, and put an end to those who thought that their positions and titles gave them the power to abuse those they desired to abuse; it was only with society’s recognition of each person’s property in their actions, speech, associations and the other effects, that all of society was finally able to come together and limit the ability of the powerful, to abuse the powerless.
But as any fan of horror movies knows all too well, the monster is never really dead, it’s just waiting… waiting for someone to say the word, to kick the rock down the well, or to pull the stake out of its coffin. Which brings us back around to Hillary. How? What do you think it signifies when a powerful politician like Hillary Clinton can escape prosecution for crimes that have been publicly stated to have been committed, while the Director of the FBI warns lesser mortals that they shouldn’t expect the same leniency?
Look at our three questions we opened with, and the answers to them, and this time we’ll take them in historical order, from our past to our present.
1. Can you tell me what connects you to your Property (IOW: if you think you have a Right to it… why)? Property Rights are a society’s recognition and affirmation of that which results from those thoughts and actions legitimately taken within the context of a person’s life.
When you deny, or ‘abolish’ Property Rights, that divorces thought & action from reality within a community – a separation which not only permits, but invites the powerful to remake your world in their own image, to assert that reality is what they say it is, and you will be left with no means of saying otherwise. Property Rights are historically the only means of putting the little guy on a level playing field with the wealthy and powerful, and without them, people are no longer able to trust in the communal defense of what is rightfully theirs, as they are left to become as little and inconsequential as those with wealth and power desire them to be.
2. Do you know what anchors the Law into protecting everyone’s Individual Rights? Property. Guess what happens to the Laws of the land, when Property is no longer respected? As Property is the prime means of connecting your immaterial political rights, to physical facts by way of your property in the various aspects of your life, through laws written to defend them – when that observable link is no longer acknowledged, then those who have the power to use the power of the state to compel you to do, or to accept, whatever they want you to, will do just that. They can even turn mighty rivers into glowing chemical waste, in direct violation of the very laws that they agitated for to protect that same environment for their own benefit and without consequence to themselves, and you are left powerless to do anything about it.
- 3. What enables those in power to turn any and all of the laws against whoever they wish, as they wish? The acceptability of Lies, or the inability or unwillingness to identify what is True.
When you stop respecting Property, you no longer have the physical means of linking rights to the protections and enforcement of laws, then you have not only authorized, but provided the means for the powerful, to covet and impose a plagiarized reality upon all, the influential lie becomes the ground of your culture and your laws will be reduced to being no more than rules for carrying out the lies of those with the power to tell them and impose them, and, owing to the false notions, and the efforts of the ignorantly ‘well intentioned‘, justice will ever more frequently be forced aside in favor of the untrue ‘for the greater good‘. I’ve often mentioned, what began with the Charles River Bridge v. Proprietors of Warren Bridge case, where Justice Taney discarded a rightful contract and income from a toll bridge, in favor of promoting ‘the greater good’. Not surprisingly, matters in the nation soon progressed to the point where that same judge, this time in the Dred Scott case, used our Supreme Court to pronounce that some men had no rights (which really means that no men have any rights) and could be owned as possessions, which he had the gall to call ‘property’. It is that constant lure of ‘pleasing ends which justify the means‘, that corrodes people’s regard for Truth, and enhances their toleration for what is unreal, dulls their detection of what is false, and inclines them to exchange one easy lie for another.
If you balk at that, tell me, what is it that you think is accomplished when you permit those in power to question ‘what the meaning of ‘IS’ is‘? When you either tolerate or accept that, no matter what your best intentions might have been, you have cast aside the scaffolding of truth and integrity, and in doing so, forfeit the protections of justice. When what is Right must yield to what is merely useful, when Lies are not denounced, you’ve withdrawn the stake from the monster’s heart and invited the Doppelganger in.
Do people really not understand what the liar will do when permitted to lie? A writer wrote a very short book not too long ago, asking a similar question:
“Q: How do you kill 11 million people?
A: By lying to them.”
The Liar, when given power, will do whatever they want, especially where they feel that their good intentions for you, justifies their doing ‘what needs to be done‘ to you, and they will tell you all the lies that you so long to hear, so that you can try to hide from the guest that you’ve invited in.
But we can’t hide from what we’ve invited into our lives.
In light of that, permit me to rephrase Director Comey’s comments into the words he avoided using:
‘Should Hillary be prosecuted? Oh, seriously, I don’t think any prosecutor would take this case, because she is far more powerful than they are. I’m sorry, did you just ask me ‘what about the proof?’ Proof? Ha! How quaint, as if reality was knowable or something, or that we’d even acknowledge it if it were! We’re not going forward with this case, because we don’t feel like it would be best for us to do so. End of story. Oh, and don’t you go getting any ideas, if you’re not one of us, you’re nothing, we’ll squash you like a bug.’
And you think you’re going to prosper under a government such as that? That your lives are going to matter? Under the rule of men such as that, rather than of Law? How cute.
In breaching the integrity of Rights, Property and Law, by tolerating and permitting lies to go unquestioned, then power, not responsibility to what is true (Responsibility: Able to respond by identifying the connection between thought and action), becomes dominant in your relations with your fellows, and through that breach the Doppelganger rushes in, and when it rules over you, the state no longer “has your back”, it holds a gun to it. You and your Property are reduced to those possessions able to be held onto by the strongest (or by those favored by them), as your Laws become Rules to Rule over you by, and Lies become the means of negotiating a reality that’s preferable to those with the power to do so, at the expense of everyone else.
It is much more than a slippery slope. It is slippery, though not in a fallacious way, but in a necessary progression, as one lie requires another to support and excuse the other, and then as good intentions must soon yield to ever more envious ones, more and more of what is true, must be ignored or denied in order to make ever more unbelievable pretenses of ‘justice!‘.
The goal of the Pro-Regressive, whether Socialist, Fascist or Communist, is the Marxist goal of abolishing Private Property.
The modern American Administrative State is the means of achieving that goal, right out in the open, for all to see and ignore, through regulations which deprive individuals of their property in their property, replacing their rights with the controls of Govt power which supersede them. By whatever name you call it – regulation, appropriation, communal property, oversight – you’ve picked the Locke on the door of the Doppelganger’s cell, freeing it to take from each according to his ability, and to redistribute them to each according to those needs of theirs which the Doppelganger approves of. Such power soon enough abandons every individual to the age old primitive contest of who has enough muscle, will, guile and power, to take what they want from the weaker, whenever they desire it, and with whatever pretense they spout as justification for ‘the greater good‘.
But there is a twist to this: The Pro-Regressive goes beyond the mere thuggery of forcing you to comply with what you both know is wrong. While your mind is of no particular interest to mere thugs who just want your stuff, that’s not the case with the Pro-Regressive, they will not be satisfied so long as you believe they are wrong, they will not be satisfied until they’ve plundered and colonized that ‘undiscovered country’ as well.
What we as Americans must realize, now, today, is that unless we affirm that your thoughts & legitimate actions secure to you your property in your life, then all you have will be transformed from property, into possessions, to be held only by force and favors – and at the low, low price of divorcing your soul from its roots in reality.
~ If you have no property in your thoughts, you will be made to speak and write and endorse those thoughts which those in power wish to force upon you.
~ If you have no property in your religious convictions, you will be forced to believe – or not believe – what the Doppelganger demands.
~ What you now assume is yours, is only what the Doppelganger hasn’t found another use for – yet.
Because its imperatives are fundamentally opposed to the very nature of being human (respecting what is real and true and acting in accordance to them), then the greatest discovery of Western Civilization – Humanity – will be targeted, violated and eliminated. Society will experience pro-regression at an ever increasing velocity, as every protection once afforded to every individual, will be abandoned to the age old contest of who has enough muscle, will, guile and power, to take what they want from the weaker, whenever they desire to, and to that we can add the one new goal of the Pro-Regressive: The Mind – a hitherto unexplored land to be dominated, cultivated, and improved as they see fit.
The trail of Why’s which that leads to, will have to wait until the next and last post in this series, but for now be aware – the Pro-Regressivism is about denying, and repealing Individual Rights and their legal & political anchor in Property Rights, so that those in power can use the power of Govt to live other people’s lives for them. No matter how many good intentions might be motivating them, nothing but evil follows from that, or can.
It has been the Pro-Regressive’s undoing of the nature of Rights, Property and Law in the ‘modern’ educated mind, that is bringing the master/serf arrangement back into vogue in new and improved fashions, as the Doppleganger progressively takes charge with a vengeance. The rejection of the Rule of Law for the Rule of Rules, coupled with a self-justifying resentment of its fundamental principles, is what first introduced the world to its greatest regressive leap backwards in history, through the many faces of Fascism, which we’ll look at in the next post.
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