Ownership is justice

If property is peace, then ownership is justice.

Earlier I proposed that respect for property rights is an essential ingredient to a peaceful and orderly society. The atrophy of property rights – most definitely including the aggressive seizure of wealth by redistributionist government – correlates directly with social strife. That’s one of the reasons anti-capitalists turn up at violent and anarchic protests, such as the sizable communist contingent present at Ferguson demonstrations. They know property means peace, and they don’t much care for either. Conversely, a healthy respect for property rights leads citizens to respect each other more as people. A great deal of lawless behavior begins with minor property crime, while cracking down on such offenses is a good way to restore order.

A natural conclusion to draw from associating property with peace is that a healthy respect for ownership is the essence of justice. I don’t just mean that in the practical sense of daily court proceedings, although it could fairly be said that the bulk of any conceivable legal system’s time is going to be spent on property issues, ranging from petty theft to complex copyright disputes. I refer to justice in the sense street demonstrations use the term: social justice, cosmic justice, “fairness,” and so forth.

The Ferguson affair features a straightforward insistence that cosmic justice, as the demonstrators see it, trumps the machinery of the legal system. Frustration at the due process afforded to Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown animates those who think Wilson should have been given to them as a sacrifice. (Some of them quite literally demand him as a blood sacrifice.) An obsession with “social justice” also drives those who insist the facts of the case don’t matter any more, because it’s about larger and deeper issues than what Wilson and Brown actually did on that fateful day. Of course, the people who advance such social-justice arguments are prone to making the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” salute, which makes a very specific and incorrect assertion about those supposedly irrelevant facts. This illustrates how crusaders for social or cosmic justice like to mix their arguments with court- justice language and ideas. They want hazy social arguments to be accepted with the same finality as court verdicts.

One of the key ideas explored in Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book, “<a class="colorbox" …read more    

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