The Ethics of Liberty

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Rothbard, Murray. 1998. The Ethics of Liberty. New York University Press.

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Description

A book that conveniently ignores actual history to declare homesteading is the one true justification for property.

Links

Reading The Ethics of Liberty, Part 2 – Rothbard on Natural Law [More...]
Matt Zwolinski points out that right at the beginning, The Ethics of Liberty runs into the famous "is-ought problem" that David Hume identified as a fundamental problem of much philosophy.
Reading The Ethics of Liberty, Part 3 – Rothbard’s Confusion About Self-Ownership [More...]
"Rothbard proceeds to argue in the chapters that follow as if he had established the normative claims of self-ownership and ownership of external goods. Indeed, his entire understanding of the free society is based on these concepts. And so, the oversight here is not a minor one. It is, instead, absolutely fatal."
Reading The Ethics of Liberty, Part 4 – Rothbard’s Second Argument for Self-Ownership [More...]
" Rothbard’s argument for self-ownership, I will argue, reveals a basic mistake in his understanding of the concept of property – a mistake that plagues not only a great deal of Rothbard’s thought on the subject, but that of many other libertarians as well."

Quotations

So long as the State permits its subjects to leave its territory, then, it can be said to act as does any other owner who sets down rules for people living on his property.
Murray Rothbard, "The Ethics of LibertyThe Ethics of Liberty" p. 172.
If the State may be said to properly own its territory, then it is proper for it to make rules for anyone who presumes to live in that area. It can legitimately seize or control private property because there is no private property in its area, because it really owns the entire land surface. So long as the State permits its subjects to leave its territory, then, it can be said to act as does any other owner who sets down rules for people living on his property.
Murray Rothbard, "The Ethics of LibertyThe Ethics of Liberty" p. 172.