Monday, April 14, 2014
Many on the Right have been discussing the Bundy Ranch Confrontation, which seems to have ended with the surrender of the federal government. Breitbart is one place to look, and has links to legal documents. Mr. Bundy has not been paying his grazing fees for 20 years or so, because he thinks the State of Nevada is the legitimate owner of the land, not the federal government. That is clearly a crazy position, but many people sympathize with him because he is a rancher whose family has been there for generations. He also seems to be arguing that anyone should be able to graze there for free. To me, his position seems literally communist (as does the associated fact that as it turns out he's the one who ends up making all the money from the communist policy). From the blog comments I've seen, though, many western libertarians actually don't believe in property rights and do believe they should have the right to live off of the government. Conservative commentators that I've seen treat the subject are a bit perplexed as to what to say, since they realize the situation but don't want to call other conservatives communists.
If everyone were forced to learn law and economics, we wouldn't have this problem. Then people would realize that government ownership, common ownership by neighbors, and lack of property rights are three different things.