Do rights violators give up their rights?


Do rights violators give up their rights?

You may be familiar with the Anarchyball page on facebook. One recent post was one sentence, stating, “those who violate the rights of others forgo their own rights”. I think I’ve actually posted somewhere on this blog in favor of that idea, but I think now, that’s mistaken.

There are a couple of obvious problems. 1) people often violate the property of others by accident. 2) people often violate the property of others by mistake. It doesn’t make logical sense that if a person violates someone’s property by accident or mistake, that they no longer have claim to their property. For example, if someone is driving and a tire blows out, they drive off the road and damage someone’s mailbox, does that mean all of their property is up for grabs to whomever wants it?

The principle is that the mailbox owner has a claim on violator’s property. Regardless of intent (intent is unknowable and should never factor in to the discussion) one person violated another’s property. The extent of that claim is a practical matter. A matter that will have to be decided somehow taking into account the subjective valuation of the property damaged.

But what about someone who maliciously violates another’s property? The same is true. The property owner has a claim on the property of the violator (if the violator has no property, they have a claim on future property*). Since intent can never be known with certainty (even if specifically stated by the violator), it shouldn’t factor in to the principle. It could factor in to the practical matter of deciding the extent of restitution, but that’s another question.

The victim has a claim on the property of the violator. Once restitution is made, however, the claim is no longer valid. So, it is possible that, in the example above, the restitution could be made by others with their own property, removing the claim on the violator, with the violator actually restituting nothing.

The violator does not give up his rights if he violates the rights of others. He only creates a claim on his own property and that claim is resolved after restitution is made. The extent of that claim is a practical matter due to the subjectivity of the value to the victim of the property damaged.

*all people own property, if only in their bodies. So, physical “punishment” is a legitimate form of restitution, though, since restitution is a practical matter, I imagine there would be norms against it to some degree. 

Conceptual logician, libertarian philosopher, musician, economist, almost-ran businessman and other stuff.
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