Libertarian Jackass

"Life is short, but truth works far and lives long; let us speak truth." -- Schopenhauer

Monday, October 13, 2003

Government Employees “Rape” At Will, Kobe On Trial

Why do criminal actions (theft, murder, etc.) committed by an individual become legitimate when committed by an agent of the State?

by Peter Anderson

By now the casual observer is familiar with the allegations against Kobe Bryant. Essentially he is accused of violating a young woman's individual property rights. If he did what he is accused of, Bryant forced this woman to do something with her bodily property that she otherwise would not have done. It appears that Kobe's ultimate crime was not being a member of the government for whom property rights violations are commonplace.

At first glance this may appear to be an outrageous assertion because government decrees do not include the horrific act of raping a woman. However, they do or have included theft (inflation, taxation), attempted murder (Castro), and involuntary servitude (the draft). All of these actions fall under some sort of bodily or property rights infringement. In such cases, individuals in the government are compelling someone to do something with their body or physical goods-- under threat of legal punishment--which they would not have otherwise done. How do we know someone may not voluntarily give his or her money to fund an abortion or a road? In fact individuals may and often do such things, however, we would not know in what proportions or to what extent money would be given because taxes are not voluntary.

If one thinks taxes are a voluntarily transfer of property for services, then all they need to do stop paying them and there should be no consequences other than being deprived of various government services. However, in addition to being deprived of such services a prison term often ensues. The only way one can consistently justify that taxes and the like are not theft is if they concede the government owns all bodily and physical property. If this is true there is no controversy. There is now nothing wrong with forcing someone to serve in the military or fund something they find morally reprehensible.

The problem with this stance is answering why government employment gives an individual rights above and beyond those of any other individual. If one individual can force someone to take part in an aggressive action like war, any other individual has this right. Thus if one individual has the right to steal, rape, or murder every individual has these rights. In such a case, voluntary associations and the voluntary transfer of property are now moot points and anything Kobe Bryant is alleged to have done is justified.

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