The question that immediately arises, though, is just what are “people’s rights” other than property rights? Libertarians who follow Rothbard subscribe to a doctrine of “self-ownership,” which they mean quite literally: you own yourself in much the same way as you own other property, except that you cannot alienate your own will. (This is why most Rothbardians don’t believe you can sell yourself into slavery: you can’t give up your volition and become in effect a robot subject entirely to someone else.)
Self-ownership means you have a property right that must be respected even when you’re standing on someone else’s land. Indeed, even a trespasser, in Rothbard’s ideal, cannot be assaulted, robbed, or killed—and he can only be removed from one’s property with the minimum necessary force. So that’s one thing David probably means by “people’s rights” on “your property.”
The trouble is, that might be the only thing a follower of Rothbard means. Rothbard was an anarcho-capitalist, and in general his disciples envision a world in which all land is privately owned: Disneyland or a shopping mall is sometimes invoked as a practical illustration of what a fully privatized, property-based community might look like. Gated communities are another example.
In each case, the sharply constrained character of “liberty” should be obvious. There’s no free speech in a shopping mall—vendors are not obliged to let you loudly criticize their wares on the premises—and employees in Disneyland must adopt the “Disney Look.” Gated communities impose all kinds of restrictions on their members. The regulations one encounters in all these places may be good or bad, but they don’t match up with what most of us conventionally think of as freedom. (...)
Employees in Disneyland may not be allowed to congregate to petition for a redress of their grievances against management, but within a state those employees are also citizens, and citizens can assemble on public property to criticize private or state institutions. No business is required to let you exercise “free speech” on its premises, but citizens have won the right to speak freely on public property. Arguably, free speech is a concept that only makes sense outside of a purely property-based system—free speech has to be speech somewhere, someplace under an authority that chooses to grant freedom of expression. Discussion is integral to the idea of a republic in a way that it is not integral to the idea of Disneyland or a shopping mall. In practice, of course, a state may or may allow free speech, just as a private property owner might or might not. (...)
In a purely propertarian system, the limits of what is permissible, in speech or anything else, are set according to the principle of ownership and the will of the owners. In a totalitarian state system, or even a strongly authoritarian one, the limits of what is permissible are set solely by the government. Neither of these situations, however—that of pure property power or pure state power—is normal in the modern Western experience, however. Instead, a system that includes both private property and public institutions is the context in which our ideas of liberty have formed. (...)
This polycentric liberty seems to me more capacious than either a liberty based entirely on the private-property principle or one based entirely on government fiat—the latter, of course, is the “freedom” of the Soviet Union.
I’m skeptical that anything good would come of investing all managing power (or governing power) in property holders, who already by definition have some advantage over other people—namely, the advantage of property or, at a more conceptual level, accumulated capital. Worse outcomes would arise from investing all power in the state. (...) Property limits the power of the state, and the state limits the power of property.
The ruled/ruler distinction applies not only to states—where there’s a difference between, say, king and subject—but also to property, where there’s a parallel difference between owner and nonowner. The owner makes the rules, and the nonowner agrees to them or leaves. There may be negotiation, and the nonowner may even have some leverage against the owner for other reasons, but I think the theoretical distinction remains clear.
Add to this the hypothesis that most people want to think of themselves as more ruling than ruled. Thus even when the ruled get a good deal—and even when the ruler gets a lousy one—there may still be a demand to change places. Expropriation and revolution, on this model, are both examples of violent changes in roles of ruler and ruled.
I suspect, then, that even a benevolent king may face resentment from his subjects sooner or later. Similarly, a benevolent proprietor may find his employees or tenants one day challenging his role. This is the conceptual class divide.
A system of all politics and no property necessarily sharpens the ruled/ruler conceptual divide. The ruler is absolute, and the ruled are absolutely subject.
A system of all property and no politics also seems to sharpen the divide, though in practice it would surely be milder than what we see in totalitarian states. But in theory, at any given moment some people are rule-making and others are rule-obeying, based on who owns the land one is standing upon.
To say that there may be some fluidity in who owns which patch of land is like saying there may be some fluidity in which party or family or other entity governs a state. In real life, the absolutes are rare. But keeping the model as simple as possible, let’s think of both ownership and political power as things that don’t change hands and don’t require compromise with the ruled. (...)
Libertarians understand very well that a state is a state, no matter what its form or how benevolent it may seem for a time. Shouldn’t the same conceptual uniformity be applied to ownership, no matter how much turnover there is in who particularly owns something, or how benevolent the owner mat be at a given time?
For the same reason, then, that libertarians don’t quite accept the idea that competition among multiple states is sufficient to qualify a world as justly ordered—even if those states aren’t all in collusion—does it not follow that competition among owners, even if they are not all colluding, might not be sufficient either?
And I do argue that narrowly: “might not be” rather than is/isn’t. One can devise best- or worst-case scenarios to answer definitively, but in the real world there is doubt about the question, and my argument would use that doubt to say: if we’re unsure about aligning all power (that is, all ruler/ruled relationships) according to one principle (politics or ownership), shouldn’t we maintain the division? In theory at least—rather than accepting an ideal the reduces the ruler/ruled distinction to a single dimension.
Uma objeção a estes artigos de Daniel McCarthy é que ele se limita a comparar as 3 opções "Estado e Propriedade", "Estado sem Propriedade" e "Propriedade sem Estado" (optando pela primeira), ignorando uma quarta possibilidade "Nem Estado nem Propriedade" (ou pelo menos sem concentrações de propriedade suficientemente grandes para criarem uma distinção significativa ente proprietários e não-proprietários)