Selective Property Rights

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Property rights are back in style – if you’re on the Left.

In which case, it’s ok to deny service/refuse to do business with people you dislike. People who don’t support Leftist policies and Leftists themselves (like Joe Biden) for instance. But it’s ok to force the owner of a private business to do business with you, if you’re a Leftist – because then property rights aren’t ok.

The Leftist Saul Alinsky wrote about this a long time ago. He thought it was ok to use the opponents of Leftism’s ideas against them. Property rights, for instance. Leftists have been extremely successful using these tactics, which paralyze the Left’s opponents because they are not willing to attack that which they defend, even when it means their ruin.

Viz, the last selection, in which respect for playing fair let the side that probably didn’t “win” the selection. Viz, the suicidal defense by the not-Left of the Left’s property rights when the Left “de-platforms,” “de-monetizes,” “shadow bans” and outright bans the not-Left on the Left’s nearly monopolistic privately owned social media/Internet (and soon, banking and other such) businesses.

We have the right to do it, the Left exclaims . . . and the not-Left agrees. Which is one of the main reasons the Left wins while the not-Left usually loses.

The only way to win agains the Left is to play by its rules – or at least, to insist upon consistent application of the Left’s rules.

If the Left says its ok for private businesses to refuse to do business with people they don’t like then the not-Left must assert the same right to do business with anyone they like. For example, people who do not like being made to pretend they are sick or afraid of sickness. If a private business has the right to deny service to someone because they don’t believe in Leftism then surely a private business has just the same right to do business with people who do not believe in Leftism.

Make them live by their rules – as Alinsky was fond of saying.

In order to make it clear how full of crap the Left is.

The Left doesn’t really believe in property rights except as they are politically convenient. The Left strongly supports situational rights. What works – for them – until it no longer works.

At which point the right disappears.

The same Left that has been ululating with almost Ayn Randian unction about their right to not do business with those they do not wish to do business with was ululating a very different cry when it came to such things as forcing private businesses that never forced anyone to smoke within the four walls of their private businesses to not do business with people who wished to smoke within those four walls, with the free consent of the owner of said privately owned business.

They objected mightily when private businesses asserted their right to not do business with people who expected them to violate their own deeply held personal views, as in the case of privately owned Christian bakeries forced to do business with in-your-face homosexuals demanding the affirmation via-the-oven of a wedding cake topped with two grooms.

But the Left’s situational rights do not apply in the other direction. A Leftist bakery would be defended to the hilt for refusing to do business with someone who entered their store wearing a MAGA hat.

In that case, property rights matter.

To the Left.

It is time to resurrect the idea of property rights mattering, period. Those on the Left have every right to decline to do business with those they disagree with – and for any reason at all, for that matter. Because if it is their property, then no one else has a right to it. And this right should be defended – by everyone, including those not on the Left.

Provided, of course, that everyone else’s property rights are also respected. Including their right to do business with whomever they wish, even if the Left doesn’t like it. Since “liking it” – or not – has no bearing on someone else’s property rights.

What does bear is whether such a thing as property rights exist at all – and if they do, then either they are the same for everyone’s property or no one has any property rights at all.

In which case, the Left no longer has any right to suppress speech, “cancel” or otherwise refuse to do business with anyone, including those the Left doesn’t like.

This is a rule Alinsky wouldn’t like so much but it’s about god-damned time the Left be made to play by it.

. . . .

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  1. I believe property rights aren’t just one thing. Your body is your primary property and your rights to your real estate come from this right to control your own body. So, you have no right to violate others’ rights even if they are on your property at your invitation. Slavery or rape are not OK even if you only do it on your property to people you’ve invited there.
    I get in a lot of trouble with other libertarians for this view, which I refer to as the “Bubble of personal property”.

  2. A great deal of what we are compelled to live with is based on a fantasy. That corporations are “private” businesses. They are no such thing. They are a creation of the state. As such they are not born, and have no inalienable rights. I had inalienable rights when I was born. Corporations are not born. They have only the rights their creator gives them. Which the state can likewise take away at will. Being a creation of the state, they don’t have the privilege of violating any rights that the state is denied. Although the state has waxed well beyond that denial. The fundamental flaw in the US Constitution is it does not provide for external enforcement. Although it was generally assumed the States had such authority. Until the destruction of the federation of sovereign states in 1860-65.

  3. As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may equally be said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions. — James Madison

    This about sums it up.

  4. Except these property rights are enforced in the courts, which are occupied by those on the left or those who otherwise ascribe to or fail to reject the tenets of the left. So, in the words of Ivan Drago, “you will lose.”

    It all comes down to the fact that the left, as it were, is not and never will be content to let you live your life as you see fit. To include, but not limited to, property, bank account, fuel/power source, face diaper, values, children, Christianity, and opinion. Must accept detestable things, or die or Go Gulag.

  5. ‘It is time to resurrect the idea of property rights mattering.’ — EP

    As Abbie Hoffman’s notorious title ‘Steal This Book’ made clear, the Left regards property owned by the wrong people — white supremacists, for instance — as fair game for seizure and ‘liberation.’

    Property crime and petty theft inevitably rise under leftist regimes, as does violent crime too.

    As usual, leftist mecca California has blazed the trail. Shoplifters steal with brazen impunity, knowing that store security won’t confront them, and the cops won’t show up. In the unthinkable event that the cops actually did make an arrest, the perp knows he will released on his own recognizance, as Kali no longer imposes bail on petty theft offenses.

    ‘Five-finger discounts’ are coming back, big time, as little people feel empowered to help themselves in the same way that leftist politicians do on a larger scale.

    ‘Trickle-down’ works when it comes to institutionalized dishonesty.

  6. Eric,

    I love this and at the same time give it about 50/50 chance of working. Which is actually a huge upgrade because a year ago i would have given this less than a 10% chance of working because too many on the right love their convenience and would literally pay for the forging of their own chains of servitude than give up their convenience.
    I want this to work however it will be extremly difficult because unfortunately 1 side has the unlimited power of govt behind its selective property rights and the other side for decades couldn’t unite to fight if the goons were coming to throw us in the gulags tomorrow.

    That being said, why this has a chance to work is because we are no.longer talking about selective property rights of 1 subsection of society like smokers, or 1 subsection of an entire industry like manufactures of AR-15 parts vs the firearms industry as a whole. This time the left with the blessing of govt has come for not subsections of the population but 75+million people who had the audacity to support someone they don’t approve of. People tend to take notice when they are being painted as nazis, they are being censored or removed from social media platforms for their beielfs while people on the other side of the spectrum can call for outright violence with not so much as a slap on the wrist. They are seeing business destroyed and colleagues or friends being fired for their political beleifs. For the first time ever there is a chance to unite(and by unite i see this as conservatives, libertarians and those in the political center) and show the left how powerful we can be. It is no shock that Parler had the plug pulled. They showed a very serious threat to the tech oligarchs and had to be silenced. But it is opening the eyes of many conservatives who have clung to the beleif that we still had the rights afforded to us in the constitution. They see this for what it is. The only question now is can the landslide towards totalitarianism be stopped.

    • Unite the Non-Left? Definitely not Unite the (doesn’t include left or center, rhymes with unite). Too much bad propaganda juju from a few years ago. This comes full circle for me as, a few years ago, I watched as some libertarians left that political theory and its principles for another, larger and more popular but less principled a.k.a “aggression accepting” and “action-oriented” theory known as the alt-(doesn’t include left or center, rhymes with unite). Maybe it was contrived by the See-Aye-A. What was it fighting for? Liberty? Power? “Traditional” America? Things regarding peoples inherent genetics that shall not be named? Who knows. Trump ended up as their avatar. But it was against the left, or sumpin’…

      • Hatteraszek

        Normally i would agree, the problem or overreach if you want to call it here is anyone and everyone who dare say anything nice, in support of, or voted for the former resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has been labeled as part of that far far right group that noone is allowed to speak of. We are talking about all spectrums of society, libertarians, moderates, heck even people who would normally consider themselves Kennedy democrats now have giant targets on their back for attack, cancellation and more. What are these people to do if the full weight of the leftist mob sanctioned and abbetted by a govt that no longer represents the people comes for them? I saw on another site that media talking heads are now concerned because many that are on the center right or just to the right of the political spectrum are flocking to groups like the proud boys on telegram. Wow! Who would have thought that 5 years of relentless media attacks, physical attacks, mental attacks, attacks on their livelihoods & businesses, and attacks on social media would make what many would consider the “normals” of the Trump voter base seek out and begin to associate more with the more far right sections of the country.

        Personally i have a cousin, best man at my wedding, godfather to one of my kids who i don’t even want to be in the same room with anymore. He almost physically assaulted my aunt on new years eve because she had the audacity to tell his wife she voted for Trump and spoke in support of him. She would in normal times be considered centet left. He is far far left and has openly called for violence on social media against any “nazi” who voted for Trump. And in his mind anyone who voted for Trump is a nazi.

  7. Those that the left forces businesses to do business with are hapless victims of discrimination. Those that the left would like to see businesses refuse to do business with are evil people. That’s how they get away with it.

    Internet discussion needs to go back to a decentralized system like USENET. However the spammer problem needs to be dealt with better. That may be possible on the individual server level now. For those that don’t know USENET works by many individually owned servers that receive and propagate posts. There’s no censoring possible except by individual server owners. If the server you are using to read & post censors or doesn’t carry the groups you want you connect to another one. There is no central command.

  8. Alinsky’s book and tactics are interesting and worthy of review. In Ch. 2 “Of Means and Ends” there is a lengthy discussion of how he sees the means justifying the ends, which can be described as “situational ethics”. It is quite tough to stomach for anyone who is not a nihilist. Yet, it rings very true when applied to the circumstances we are witnessing. It is tactically brilliant. Among other aspects, it describes how the judgment of the ethics of means is based on the political position of those sitting in judgment. How do you make leftists “live up to” situational ethics? You can’t. By definition, they won’t and won’t be acting inconsistently.

    That being said, I’m not sure your derived tactic of making leftists “live up to” their use of “situational rights” is workable in service to Liberty due to the political position of those sitting in judgment. It seems to me an attempt to use the law against the law, when the application of the law by the gov’t has become “situational”, or, in other words, completely political, and captured by those who eschew ethics. By choosing the same strategy, you can no longer claim to be ethical, and will have implicitly rejected the tenets of libertarianism. Just another thug in the scrum for power. Perhaps this is the heart of the matter and must be accepted in order to “win.”

    Because unethical folks seem to have won, are ethics a losing proposition? Must we become evil to defeat evil?

    • Hi Hattaras,

      I was actually advocating that the not-Left insist on the same property rights the Left is insisting on to destroy the rights of the not-left…

      • Eric: Maybe I’m not following. In your OP you seem to be suggesting the left be “made to play by a rule” that respects your property rights. While mixing in a discussion of Alinsky tactics, specifically “make them live by their rules.” In your reply, you summarize your point with strangely passive terminology with respect to this defense of serious rights. Non-Left? Insist? With some strongly worded e- mails? By appealing to the arbiter that exists, “that is sitting in judgment”, the gov’t? Which has been captured the Left? And not only overlooks but encourages said destruction of rights via inconsistent/selective application/enforcement? By “voting” with dollars? By using actual or modified or derived Alinsky tactics? How else do we insist?

        FWIW: The blurb on the back of Rules for Radicals: First published in 1971 R for R is Alinsky’s impassioned counsel to young radicals on how to effect social change and know the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one. Written in the midst of radical political developments whose direction Alinsky was one of the first to question, this volume exhibits his style at its best. Like Thomas Paine!!!!!!!!! (my emphasis) before him, Alinsky was able to combine, both in his person and his writing, the intensity of political engagement with an absolute insistence on rational political discourse and adherence to the Americans democratic tradition!!!!!!! (my emphasis again). Then it mentions his influence on Obama and Hillary.

    • There are no rules in a street fight and there are no rules in a war. There are only tactics and strategies. When a society has strong cultural institutions to deal with evil this is not necessary. Americans have allowed their institutions and culture to be diluted and adulterated until there is no longer any defensible positions. We’ve been spoiled, now we’ll get unspoiled.

      It’s not evil to kill a murderer or rob a thief or destroy a traitor. Or lie to save and defend the good.

      • Have you read it? You sound like an acolyte. The quote at the top of the first page of the first chapter of R for R “The Purpose” reads: The life of man upon earth is a warfare” Job 7:1

        This first chapter framing politics as warfare sets up and justifies his embrace of the means justifies the ends. His point also is that “evil” is relative and it’s meaning dependent on the perspective of those sitting in judgment.

        It’s truly fascinating stuff and he cuts to the quick regarding “rhetorical” radicals vs. “realistic” radicals.

    • Adam Weishaupt, aka Spartacus, said the same thing in his papers, written in Proofs of a Conspiracy by John Robison. The faces change, but the ideas never do.

      • Mine was a question, not a suggestion or answer, particular to the underlying premise of Alinsky tactics, which are known to have influenced pols like Obama, whose veep is now Prez and whose underlings have resurfaced in many positions of power within the bureaucracy.

        I had to look up the term you mentioned. It’s interesting but there seem to be myriad ways of looking at it. Due to the facts of history in the US, I’m not big on the application of Indian ideas to political theory. That being said, I like the Navajo saying, “it is difficult to wake someone when they are pretending to be asleep.”

  9. Selective property “rights” are a variation on a theme expressed in 1965 by the Frankfurt-school Marxist Herbert Marcuse in his essay “Repressive Tolerance”:

    “Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.”

    Now, of course radical Cultural Marxism is the actual governing policy of the U.S.A.

  10. This is something I’ve never understood about the left. I don’t want your business, but for political grandstanding you force me to do business with you under the guise of civil rights. Everyone is aware that you are grandstanding, yet we are going to play the game anyway. Well, OK fine, I’ll bake you a cake. I’ll use the minimum quality ingredients I can find, and with all the enthusiasm of paying my taxes. You’ll get your product at the latest possible minute, with the bare minimum garnishment required to meet the requirements of the contract. I will give the job to the least able employee, with minimal instruction. Your one-star review on Yelp will be printed out and hung in the window as a warning to those who wish to do the same.

    Meanwhile, there’s a bakery out there who’s owner holds similar views to your who would be happy to bake you a cake, but because you focused so much of your attention on the “right wing” bakery you never found out about it.

    As for social media deplatforming, this is what happens when you give up control of your product to others. Run your own servers, own your own domains. We the people need to take it back and there are lots of ways to make that happen. But it takes effort.


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