In reference to the controversy over the National Defense Authorization Act, one of the candidates seeking the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination in 2012 contributes the following analysis.
And nobody cares. I have mentioned this legislation every chance I get, only to be met with "Oh, is that the Patriot Act?" or "We need to keep America safe!". But, I will (exhaustingly) keep at it.
It is worth remembering that the author the Declaration of Independence was a
slave owner as were a goodly number of the signers of the Constitution. In hte
years before the American Revolution a British stateman said "how is that the
loudest yelps for liberty are heard from Negro slave drivers?". One person's
terrorist is someone else's freedom fighter. Starchild views the Occupiers as
allies in the fight for liberty; I view them as squatters on jointly owned
I don't know exactly what point I want to make. Reality is complex. The bombers
who rained destruction on Germany in WW2 killed a lot of innocent German babies
and children, but they also got rid of a terrible tyrant and a brutal government
that violated rights on a scale vastly greater than anything our government has
Sometimes you have to separate intent from effect. The people who support the
Patriot Act are not recessarily lusting after power. They may think they are
protecting the rights of Americans to be safe and secure. I do not support the
Patriot, but I don't think that all those who do are evil people.
You make an excellent point about separating intent from effect. And there are multiple levels there too! For instance, I think the *intent* of most Occupy supporters is to bring about what they sincerely believe to be a fairer and happier society. Toward this end, of course, many of them have intentions -- such as encouraging government to coercively take more money from the wealthy -- which we know will not actually produce a fairer or happier society. The primary *effect* of their movement, however, that I can see, has been to directly challenge local government control over public spaces. I see that as a good thing.
I agree it is not ideal for anyone to be able to come along and arbitrarily squat on property that I jointly own, but I think we must also recognize that we have no de facto ownership of this property -- it is in practice owned and controlled by government. If they decide they want to let somebody else use that space for something else, they will do it, and we will have no more individual say about it than we do in the case of the Occupy protesters.
Opposing that government monopoly on the use of public space seems important enough to me that I'm willing to tolerate, even welcome, someone else who I didn't choose coming in and using that space without government permission, and setting a precedent for that to happen in other cases -- even if it was a group of Nazis or Maoists and I disagreed with a much higher percentage of their agenda than I do the Occupy agenda.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
Les, thank you for your heartfelt comment. Indeed "reality is complex." However, since ALL movements have a grain of truth, need we not weigh the costs/benefits as they relate to our objectives? Starchild, is the Libertarian party's main objective the use of public space? Even if you try to stretch this perspective to eminent domain rules, can you really, really believe Occupiers' main objective is eminent domain?
As an aside, I spoke to one of my daughter's friends today, who, like many of the Occupiers, is struggling to pay her student loans. She is hoping the Occupiers succeed in influencing the enactment of legislation that would wipe out her loan obligations. Just a thought.
I don't believe we are ever going to agree on the Occupiers. There are public
spaces and the government de facto acts as if they own it. It is not clear to me
how liberty is advanced if another group such as the Occupiers appropriate it
for their own use. At least I had a chance to vote for the people in the
government; I never voted for the Occupiers to represent me. If you want to
permit them to camp out on YOUR share of the public spaces, that is your
privilege. But they have no right to camp out on my share.
You could have gone (and as far as I know still can go, where encampments haven't been shut down) to the General Assembly meetings. My sense has been that anyone who shows up can take part in the discussions and vote on things. Unlike government in this state and country, the Occupy movement doesn't require you to fill out paperwork divulging personal information in order for you to be able to exercise this franchise, either.
I look forward to learning where my share of the public space is (and where yours is)! Presumably other people can still use our shares *sometimes*, if these are public spaces. What do you think is a reasonable length of time for such use, and why? Should some uses (e.g. First Amendment political demonstrations), America's Cup, etc.), have longer time frames than others? This is quite interesting.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
What difference does it make if I go and vote in the general assembly? The
public space does not belong to the people who are willing and able to grace the
general assembly with their presence.
Reasonable length of time??? I dont have any answer. But someone has to decide
and it is better that that someone be actually elected to represent the
public. Why do you think the occupiers should be able to decide that?
As I said before, it is great that you are showing up at the Occupiers' camps and having a dialogue with the Occupiers. Regarding the assembly, I am wondering if you would like to share with us some of the issues that were voted on, and what the vote result was. I have read articles indicating that some assemblies have voted to encourage legislation to trim the powers of corporations, such as stripping them of "personhood;" which is an excellent idea. I have also read of votes to appropriate foreclosed homes and "distribute" them to the poor; which is not such as great idea from the point of view of the lenders involved in those properties. I apologize for not searching for my sources for the two foregoing news items. But I do not expect you to formally document the vote results of which I am inquiring either.
Usually the same people who want to strip corporations of personhood also want
to tax the hell of out of them. One of the principles of the American Revolution
was NO taxation without representation. If we are going to strip them of their
right to influence government, then we should relieve them of their obligation
to pay taxes also.
Both are good.