How would an Objectivist go about constructing a constitution?

Category: Property Rights

Posts pertaining specifically to individual property rights

The dog days of summer

It was 42 celceius yesterday. That’s hot even for Lytton. I wanted something new on the page. I have been thinking about the music industry lately. They have a problem and so far solutions are vuage. The rules have not kept up with technology. How do you protect intellectual property rights of music in such a slippery world as the internet, without crushing the rights of everyone else there?

I think the answer might be to sell the rights too the songs, one person at a time. Register your name on every song buy. You don’t buy a song twice, weither you keep a copy or not it’s yours. You may retrieve another copy at a later time if you want to. If everyone owns a little piece of the song it should be self-policing. The way it is now it’s a conspiracy of silence. nobody says anything because most everyone has someƂunregistered copies.

Also the music industry has to get real, not every song ever recorded is worth a dollar and frankly who would pay $5000.00 to fill an MP3 player. Coupons, bulk purchases, sales, demo pricing etc., all must be considered.

Also the presentation, Personally I don’t want to spend my life uploading songs to my MP3 player. It would be worth a modest fee to have the songs selected and loaded for me, doesn’t that sound like a new industry?

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Feed the Poor?

Feeding the poor?

A person might ask what does this have to do Objectivism and isn’t that charity? The answer is, it is the setting for a discussion about property rights. This arid country X in my example is unlikely to get the comprehensive water management because it doesn’t have well protected property rights. No country does, but we will concentrate on country X for the moment. Few business types will waste time, energy, capital, creative thought on the problem of irrigating a dry country unless it is profitable and you can’t have profit without property rights. If the go gooders were really interested in feeding the million poor, they would jump in first thing and establish formally recognized property rights, Why don’t they?

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Feed the Poor

I see a lot of apparently intelligent people. Doctors, Lawyers, Business Types, Politicians, do gooders in general. Taking it upon themselves and encouraging others to raise money to feed the poor.

There is nothing new in my observation. Many people including Miss Rand have commented on this folly. I’m going to comment anyway.

These do gooders, want to feed, say one million people. How is this to be done? How should it be done? What do we send to them trying to accomplish this?

We send grain and little bottles of water. Hope they have a pot and heat source and when it’s gone it’s gone. The do gooders must raise more money.

I have been doing leasure studies on the problem of feeding millions of people for years. The solutions are painfully simple. First: water management, Countries with a lot of poor underfed people tend to be dry. I have watched a lot of TV on the subject, I have studied maps, I have studied the problem of aquiring clean water. If you look past the starving children in the scene you will almost always see water, frequently brown or worse, if you look at a map of the area, there is almost always streams, rivers, lakes, and in genuine cases of no surfaceground water, potential for wells almost everywhere.

In my opinion, If a group of do gooders wants to do something useful, design a water management plan for the whole country. Starting from the highest peak and working there way down to the ocean. Build small dams, don’t flood the best farmland in the country. Send irrigation on a horizontal plane to every reasonably flat area in the country. Now the country is wet but the water is still brown or worse. Sand is the most common thing on the face of the earth. A couple of feet of sand will filter water as good as mother nature. After that a series of 3 filters costing between $2.00 and $40.00 will clean the water better than boiling possibly could, Done. You don’t have to clean to water you use on your crops, you just dump it on the dirty ground anyway. The sand filter is more than good enough for personal cleaning. The store bought water filters for cooking and drinking.

A comprehensive water management system like this would be very hard to kill, Like a road system there would be vulnerable points that should be guarded and cared for but once established killing the whole system would be nearly impossible. You can’t hoard water, if you try you will get flooded and the next person downstream collects it anyway.

Simple. So what’s the catch? The do gooders. Composed primarily of Socialists and Treehugging environmentalists. They will stop any effort to manage natural water resources. Socialists and environmentalists have a hidden agenda, They are only interested in self-preservation. protecting their infrastructer is their main concern.

A contradiction you say? No doubt of it, but these people thrive on contradiction. If these people want to feed a million poor, dump water on the ground, stuff will grow, try and stop it.

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John Locke, Chap#5: Of property

I was reading John Locke again this week end. First time in a while. I found a situation in the ownership of property I hadn’t thought of before.

Paraphrasing: John Locke felt if someone picked acorns or apples, the goods were theirs as soon as picked. he only need use them or even give them away before they spoiled or else he took more than his share and robbed others. It is indeed a foolish thing, as well as dishonest to hoard what you cannot use.

What sort of lesson is this? Use everything you need and sell the rest perhaps? Don’t keep a lot of clutter in your life? Is there some socialist aspect to this? Is it a warning to not waste your time?

He goes on to say that money is an agreement between men by mutual consent for a lasting thing that would keep without spoiling. Paraphrasing: He goes on to say that the invention of money made it possible to continue and enlarge their fortune. For without the concept of money a person would only produce what they need for themselves and their closed society, The people they know.

John Locke seems to be indicating that ongoing and expanding commerce should be an integral part of our lives. That tends to reject socialism as a proper system.

I can’t wait to read more.

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Fashion Police

From Jeff Olstad

Do you ever remember joking about fashion police, busy-bodies that think they know something about clothes.

Well in France, it is no joke. Yesterday I heard about a law in France. It goes something like this. If a woman were to walk down the street in Paris carrying an imitation Gucci purse. She could be arrested and fined 360,000 Euros. Now, I’m an Objectivist minded individual. Property rights are very dear to my heart. There is a valid point about intellectual property rights here. I cannot however condone this. I don’t want to have to care if the made in bangladash garment I am wearing was somehow somewhere been copied from a Paris fashion. France is off the list of places I have any desire to go because of this law. Nothing that country has to offer can make up for this.

The problem of how to protect intellectual property rights needs a solution, to be sure, but Facism is not it.

Let’s try again, shall we?

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