Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Speech is a Good, a Product of Thought-Labor

Governments don't define our rights, they restrict them. They take them away. They define the boundaries within which they will allow us to exercise our rights.
In social contract theory we say that we exchange the exercise of some of our rights for the protection of the rest. I think that's bogus too.

In practice most people do accept the premise that the state defines their rights. Wherever this is the prevalent mindset people will find their rights even further encroached upon.

We must learn that the state doesn't charge taxes to pay for programs, but that the state creates programs as an excuse to tax.

Again, I contend that freedom of speech is not a right in and of itself.

Your question has to do with a poor person without any property upon which to protest. Who cares?
Why should I care whether a poor person is poor? Why should I care if they have a right to protest? Why should I give a skinny rat's ass?
If he cannot afford any property upon which to protest then he can try to sell what he has to say to someone who does. If no one is interested in buying then no one cares to hear what he has to say. If no one cares to hear what he has to say then why should he bother to say it?

This proves that speech is a good. If no one is buying, there is no market, then there is no reason to produce. To suggest otherwise would also require that a producer of widgets has a right for them to be purchased, and if no one is willing to buy, the state should assume the role of buyer of last resort. This is ridiculous. A slightly lesser evil is the state insuring a given price to all producers of any particular good, such as in agriculture.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

"We must learn that the state doesn't charge taxes to pay for programs, but that the state creates programs as an excuse to tax."

I call shenanigans. Prove it.

And as for your free speech analogy, I just wonder how IP comes into all of this. If a poor man's land doesn't sell (can one be defined as poor if they own property?) that doesn't inherently translate to the speech he produces.

My thought-capital, my speech, my own intellect and my beliefs and theories, are non-rival and non-excludable. If someone doesn't want to listen to me, it doesn't hurt me, but if by sheer coincidence I obtain utility from the speech I make (my dad used to tell me I talked to hear myself), then I should be allowed to produce that speech, regardless of slander or inaccuracy.

Likewise, if you correct my inaccuracies, I can choose to ignore them.