Throughout history, no voluntary transaction has ever been curtailed by criminalizing supply. Be it weapons, orgasms, abortions, tea, tobacco, alcohol or other drugs, products and services will always find their way to a willing buyer from a willing seller. Criminalizing supply only drives the trade underground, makes it more profitable for the seller, attracts criminals into the enterprise, makes it dangerous to the buyer and those in the vicinity of turf wars, corrupts the judicial and political systems with bribes, which makes justice no longer equal and law no longer uniform, and compromises the rule of law for everyone, making us less civil.
Only by reducing demand is voluntary trade reduced. Truthful education and logical persuasion are the only moral and effective ways to reduce demand, but the gradual perversion of The Law (Frederic Bastiat) in the U.S.A. makes it easier to do what is politically expedient, and use government to attack suppliers. Majority rule without minority rights is mobocracy. It is the minority of those who are allowed to vote, registered to vote, who allegedly vote and whose votes are counted who use our perverted government to impose their beliefs or morality on others (Republicans), or to control or plunder the property others (Democrats). Remove government from the equation, and you see a mob bullying and mugging individuals.
While it may be politically tolerable for the hypocritical ruling class of Prosaic, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine consumers to incarcerate cannabinoid and other chemical consumers, it is still politically unwise to incarcerate pregnant women, and force them to have children.
These burning issues of the moment illuminate the underlying question: who owns a person? Is it the individual or government? There is no middle ground.
If government owns persons, then no one has any right to or responsibility for themselves or any of their property. It is all the property and responsibility of government to do with it as it pleases.
If we own ourselves as libertarians contend, then we have the right to do with our property as we please to the extent that we do not damage the property of others, or impair their freedom to do with their property as they please, which is consistent with the biblical admonition: "Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you." We have the inherent right to exclude others from our property, and to protect our property with lethal force if necessary. We have the right to ingest, inhale or inject whatever we please. We have the right to terminate our life with or without the aide of others. We have the right to exchange our labor or excess production for sustenance, shelter and any other property we deem necessary to protect and physically and mentally nourish ourselves. We have the right to acquire the tools and vehicles with which we make ourselves more productive. We have the right to associate or contract with whomever voluntarily agrees to associate or contract with us, or not associate or contract as we choose. The mere possession and private use of anything is not a crime, but we also have the responsibility to compensate others when our property trespasses upon and damages their property or otherwise reduces it value.
We own and are responsible for the chemicals and germs we exhale, excrete or otherwise allow to trespass upon the property of others. We pay sewage facilities to assume ownership of and responsibility for our urine and feces. We pay trash collectors to assume ownership of and responsibility for our discards.
We own our pets and ranch animals, the food we feed them, and are responsible for their excretions, their trespass, and any damage they may do to the property of others. This can be an ugly conundrum for those who perceive some persons as neglecting or abusing their animals, but the observers have the freedom to educate and persuade the owners to behave differently. They also have the freedom to acquire the animals from their owners.
We own our organs and their products. Males own their sperm, females own their eggs, and they are free to do with them as they please, including combine their genetic material to perform the purpose of life: procreate. How we contract to delineate responsibility for our procreation is only the business of the State if we mutually agree to name the State as arbitrator of our contract in concurrence with the State.
Like building a nest, we specialize and acquire skills and tools necessary to amass wealth as property or its accepted medium of exchange to provide a secure environment with which to attract a mate. All of our property is essential to procreation. Hence, we have the natural right to exclude others from its use, damage or theft with lethal force.
Absent a contract, responsibility for the consequences of voluntary fornication or artificial insemination is assumed to be 50-50. Absent a contract, ownership of the ovum is that of the person nurturing it in their womb. Absent a womb, ownership is that of the person that donates the larger proportion of DNA, the female. She can do with her ovum or fetus as she pleases. She can nurture it until birth and after birth, contract for a transfer of ownership (adoption) before or after birth, donate it to a medical facility, or dispose of it.
Fraud is a violation of contract, and must be appropriately compensated and/or punished. If a person misrepresents themselves as being infertile during fornication, then the person who engaged fraud is wholly responsible for the consequences of the fornication, but the female remains the owner of the ovum.
Just as murder is trespass and property damage, involuntary fornication is a trespass that likely includes property damage. Involuntary artificial insemination is a trespass. Both are rape regardless of the method. Both murder and rape require commensurate compensation and/or punishment. As with fraud, the person who engaged in rape is responsible for the consequences, but the female remains the owner of the ovum, and can do with it as she pleases.
There is nothing in the Constitution for the United States authorizing the federal government meddle in the affairs of individuals or the States regarding drugs, birth, death or innumerable other things upon which the federal government has encroached. A politicized Supreme Court perverted with the bogus concept of a "living constitution" for the last century has violated the separation of powers, and effectively legislated from the bench when it has chosen to allow federal power beyond the Constitutional constraints obvious to any reader of the Constitution, the Constitutional Debates, the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers and other period evidence of intent.
Sorry, but there is no federal authority to establish a right to abortion. It is clearly a right of individuals at their own expense, according to libertarians, but that individual property right has been challenged by authoritarian States. When individuals loose that battle, they are free to leave the State, engage in an illegal and dangerous trade within the State, or visit a State that respects individual property rights. Few of those who believe it is their right to control the property of others, including their progeny or potential progeny will move to such States, so the net depopulation of such States will impoverish them, and the politicians and bureaucrats will eventually have to reconsider their statues to remain gainfully employed, but it will be a painful experience for all.
Who owns a child? Is it its parents or government? There is no middle ground.
If it is the government, then parents have no rights to their procreation, and have no power to nurture, educate or discipline their progeny, or have any responsibility therefore. Their progeny is the property and responsibility of government to do with as it pleases. There is no guarantee that the progeny will survive let alone share the morals of its parents, so the purpose of life is effectively neutered.
You cannot mandate that parents are responsible for any damage caused by their progeny to the property of others, and simultaneously mandate that parents cannot educate, physically constrain or otherwise discipline their children as they see fit.
Sentiments proclaiming the sancty and quasindependent nature of childhood avoids the hard reality of responsibility and the means to effect it. Until a child can be held responsible for its behavior, it must be owned by someone who can be held responsible. This reality is uncomfortable for nearly everyone.
This reality requires a distinction in our concept of slavery. If slavery is the ownership of one human by another, then slavery only applies to those who can be held responsible for their behavior: adults as I defined them
As long as parents are responsible for the physical and emotional nourishment, education and behavior of their children, they effetely own their children, and can do with them as they please. The vast majority of parents devote themselves to their children, but this can be an ugly conundrum for those who perceive some parents as neglecting or abusing their children. The observers have the freedom to educate and persuade the parents to behave differently. They also have the freedom to acquire the children from their parents (adopt).
This may seem callous, but I have witnessed the use of Child Protective Services by vindictive divorced parents to remove children from a loving parent, and give them to a parent or foster home that neglected and physically and mentally abused the children. There are ample cases of children disappearing while under government care. As with every one-size-fits-all government endeavor, it does more harm than good at the expense of taxpayers as well as children.
Mitigating the conundrum is the ability of children and potential guardians to petition for a change of ownership. In this case, the judicial system has the responsibility of determining the preference of the child, regardless of its age. Guardians can be individuals, couples or private charities, but they cannot be government organizations or government subsidized organizations that transfer responsibility to taxpayers.
When does a child become an adult? The arbitrary age of 18 years has been established as the age at which parents are absolved of responsibility for their progeny. It is the age at which ownership of the child is transferred to the child. It is the age at which the child becomes an adult, can actually own property, and is fully responsible for any damage it causes to the property of others, but age is not an accurate determination of the ability to compensate damages.
Immature, uneducated, unskilled, mentally retarded or physically disabled children may be unable to get gainful employment or otherwise produce in excess of their consumption or provide services sufficient to compensate for damages. Mitigating the conundrum are individuals and charities willing to insure or bond such adults. Further mitigating the conundrum is the ability of parents to voluntarily continue ownership with the consent of the child, and the ability of such children and potential guardians to petition for a change of ownership to other than the parent or child. The child may subsequently petition to own themselves and be considered an adult. The judicial system has the responsibility of determining the preference of the child, and the ability of a child wishing to be an adult to compensate for damages.
When does an adult become a child? Aged adults sometimes loose the ability to behave responsibly or compensate for damages. Their children can voluntarily accept the ownership of their parents as children, or the aged adults or their potential guardians can petition to have their self-ownership transferred to an adult or charitable organization. The adult-turned-child may subsequently petition to own themselves, and again be considered an adult. The judicial system has the responsibility of determining the preference of the adult-turned-child, and the ability of the adult-turned-child wishing to be an adult to compensate for damages.
When there is no public property, there is no "tragedy of the commons." When property rights are extended to individuals and respected, law is radically simplified. The uniform enforcement of private property rights is the most effective and efficient way to protect individuals, environments and migrating animal and fish populations from damage, theft or the trespass of property known as "pollution," regardless of its transport mechanism, but that is the subject of another article if you are interested.
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