An excellent article by Alejandro F. Mercado, which comes at a time when private property is at a stake in Bolivia. Alejandro writes for La Razon:
Rómulo Chumacero Escudero, who is one of the most prominent Bolivian economists and one of the most prestigious internationally, in one of the opportunities that was in the country, he offered a Conference that resulted in the difference between the reading of reality from the viewpoint of an economist, and of who is not knowledgeable in economic science. Once finished his exhibition, one of the attendees commented: – Dr. Chumacero, the topic seems very suggestive, but I think that you are a neo-liberal. The Chumacero Professor smiled and responded: – you are wrong, I am not a neo-liberal, but a libertarian, which means neoliberal multiplied by ten.
What it means to be a libertarian? Being a libertarian is a philosophy of life, a way of seeing and understanding the world based on certain principles, among which the most important are: the property of one’s own and the so-called non-aggression axiom. The first emphasizes that each and every human beings are owners of their own lives and no person, nor any group of people, can have more right to self about his own life, as well as the fact that, under no circumstances, no one should be owner of the lives of others. The axiom of no aggression establishes that no person, or group of people, can commit an aggression against another person or the property of another person.
These principles shows that the product of the life of the people, i.e. the value that each created with their effort, their sacrifice and their talent, is owned and has an inalienable character, it is the part of nature that a person made something of value. That is not to say that the goods that people produce can not be transferred to others, but these transfers of goods must be the result of voluntary exchanges. Nobody has the right to seize the assets of others without the free consent of their owners, or in other words, the use of violence is not acceptable for an Exchange by force or force cooperation against the wishes of the people.
In the words of John Locke: “Every man is proprietor of his person. No one other than one’s own is entitled to this. The work of your body and hands, we might say, are really yours. Then everything that he pulls out of the form in which it has been provided and left by nature, and thereby has mixed his work, becomes something that belongs to him, and therefore makes his property”.
Thank you Alejandro for making it SO clear, I’m certainly a Libertarian!!
From time to time we see on TV or read on newspapers that people have invaded land and claims as their own; they even have the audacity to say “I’m willing to pay, but he [current owner] must sell it to me…” Anarchy rules over and current government still struggles with property rights’ implementation/protection.