People often find it difficult to accept the libertarian position that even essential infrastructure such as the road system should be in private hands. Here are two old posts to h.p.o on the subject.
From: Theresa O'Connor <t...@george.rose-hulman.edu> Subject: Re: Roads. Date: 1999/06/24 Message-ID: <email@example.com> Newsgroups: humanities.philosophy.objectivism Jesus07312 <jesus07...@aol.com> writes: > It would seem to me that every single person who owned a small > segment of road would want to have people stop there and pay a tax in > order to use it. so you'd be driving along and every 100 feet or so > someone would flag you down and charge you 5 dollars. Usualy things > are much better handled in the private This would be a very innefficient allocation of resources. > sector.. but roads? No. Private companies should build and design > roads, but the contracts and the details ought to be worked out by a > central agency. Roads are something which by their nature need the > cooperation of a large area to be effective. They do not work if > everyone builds their own little road section and tries to profit the > most off of it. Roads function much more efficiently when you have 'the cooperation of a large area'. On this I agree. How does this preclude private ownership? Remember that 'Private' does not necessarily mean 'individual'. Certainly there would not be barriers against individuals from owning roads, but a bunch of companies could definately do a better job. Given the nature of this market, I expect that it would be dominated by a small number (>1) of corporations. _______________________________________________________________________ Ted O'Connor firstname.lastname@example.org You can tune a filesystem, but you can't tune a fish. -- HP/UX tunefs(1M)
From: Theresa O'Connor <t...@george.rose-hulman.edu> Subject: Re: Roads. Date: 1999/06/24 Message-ID: <email@example.com> Newsgroups: humanities.philosophy.objectivism > Also, with this concept of no public property. Men would be fenced > into certain areas and would have to die. If neither of my neighbors > on all 4 sides of me allows me on their property, and the even own the > sidewalks, I must sit in my home and starve to death. I encountered this problem as a high school student, and described it in an email to ARI. Harry Binswanger replied to this email, and here is the substance of that reply, which cleared up some issues for me: I first heard it [this problem] in 1964, and call it the problem of the "donut." It comes from the fallacy of context-dropping. One's property rights do not extend to using that property to harm another's life. So the owner of the surrounding land does *not* have the right to imprison the guy in the center of the "donut." I believe this is even recognized in the common law of land, though the idea that even in less extreme cases the owner of nearly surrounding land has to grant an "easement" for reasonable ingress and egress. Note that the same principle would be involved if I walked up to you and extend my arms around you to encircle you without touching you. Could I make you pay me to let you out of the circle? Of course not. Someone (not an Objectivist) once aptly said that my right to swing my fist ends at your nose. It's context dropping because the origin and source of the right to property is the right to life, so you can't claim your property right gives you the right to deprive me of my life, which would be what happens in the donut case. _______________________________________________________________________ Ted O'Connor firstname.lastname@example.org America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. -- Claire Wolfe : Note that at the time, I had not encountered the issues involved in the latest 'schism', and that after considering said issues and forming my own take on the whole thing, withdrew my sanction from ARI. That, of course, does not change the legitimacy of this particular solution from Mr. Binswanger.