THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 401, January 14, 2007
"People like things that make their lives better."
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In Response to: "Your Lawn Looked Stupid This Year" by Jonathan David Morris
I wonder if this article was really meant for The Libertarian Enterprise. It seems like it would have been more appropriate for a site with a name like " BusyBody Weekly" or some other site for people that like to intrude in other peoples business.
The article consists of a rant against people decorating "their own yards" with Christmas decorations, that he doesn't like. He gives us a list of Christmas decorations such as "inflatable snow globes" and "blinking lights" that he never wants to see other people display on their property again.
We live in a world with billions of individuals each with their own tastes likes and dislikes. It makes no sense that everyone should decorate his or her own Property to please Jonathan David Morris. Nor would it make any sense for them to care about his opinion more than that there own children, family and friends. The only opinion that really maters is the property owners.
If this article was just the author's personal opinion it would be merely irrelevant, as it contains nothing related to liberty or libertarianism. But he didn't stop there.
And just who would this "Someone" be? No one man could get all these individuals to move if they didn't want to. Most of them are probably pleased with where they live. They would have to be forced to go. Neither a single man nor even a large group could do it. Only the united force of a government could force so many people to do what he suggest.
Of course to use force against a person who has not harmed another person, or their property, is clearly a violation of the Zero Aggression Principle and almost all libertarian thought.
He never says exactly how his looking at Christmas displays he doesn't like, harms him physically or deprives him of anything that belongs to him. Nor can I see any violations of his rights myself. I see things that I find unattractive and don't like everyday. It is a normal part of living and trading with other people.
To hold the view that he should have the right to decide what another persons property looks like, while still believing that all people have the same rights, would mean that all other people have the right decide what his looks like.
I doubt he holds this view, because I don't think he would take it lightly if another person said He should have to display a giant inflatable snow globe on his property or move to Iowa.
Maybe like allot of people today he simply can't see where his rights end and another persons begin. They seem to think that they have all sorts of rights in property that belongs to others.
Of course the views in his article aren't unique you can read the same kinds of statements in almost any newspaper. The pages of my areas local papers or filled with people trying to control what others do with their own property. Some people are even trying to get the local government to force property owners at a certain intersection to make any buildings they build to have a neo-classical architectural design. I doubt it ever occurs to them that some people are going to hate the architectural style they are pushing just as much (if not more) than they dislike the current style.
There is really no end to how far this could go. What's next are they going to try and have ugly cars banned from the streets so they don't have to look at them. What about clothing they don't like, or even people. Should people they find unattractive be banished.
If we wish to live are lives as individuals and use are property as we wish, we should respect others wishes to do the same. Sometimes we all just need to remember to Mind Are Owe Business.
It is a short step from telling people how you think they should run their lives, to using force to see that they actually do.
The author and others can have, speak and write any opinion they wish, that's their right, but we also have the right to tell them to mind their own business.
[Or maybe he was just being funny, eh?Editor]