Life vs. Property: Re-examining a Key Libertarian Tenet

The most notable feature of libertarianism, other than stereotypes about marijuana, is the right to private property. Every freedom is based on this right, as the right to make use of land and possessions without government intervention implies the right to use property for any purpose, the exceptions being force and fraud.

However, most libertarian philosophers go a step further. Rand and (especially) Rothbard based political and economic freedom not merely on land and possessions, but on an alleged “property right to one’s body”. This right is an irrevocable natural right endowed by our Creator, preventing such things as slavery.

This is not a good approach, at all. And it is showing itself in rather grim ways.

In For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, Murray Rothbard proposed that the abortion issue be resolved by the future ability to induce premature births. This is now being promoted as "evictionism", where advances in science would allow babies to grow in hospitals, with adoption as the woman’s option.

This is just plain sick and grim. And this mentality is showing itself in totalitarian ways too.

Children are being treated as property, being forced to carry RFID tracking devices in the schools. Most recently, a student in a Texas school, who objected to an all-day RFID badge on "Mark of the Beast" grounds, has just been expelled.

If children have a libertarian property right to their own bodies, with age of consent for alcohol, tobacco, and sexuality varying by societies and governments, why not have children be property under tyranny too?

The first genetically-modified embyros, derived from the DNA of three parents, are now one year old genetically-modified babies.

Life is not property. Life is better than property. Life owns property. Life controls property. Life nurtures property. Life enhances property. Libertarians who believe otherwise need to take a different approach, or we will not have the free society of Rothbard, but the malicious experiments of Mengele.

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