Property codes violation of rights
February 3, 2011
One man’s blight is another man’s freedom. Liberty is sometimes messy, but it is still preferable to, and the ethical opposite of, “neat and orderly” socialism.
A big aspect of socialism is placing the supposed benefit to society above the inalienable rights of the individual. This means that all socialism has the myth of “the common good” or “the general welfare” at its heart, and nothing but socialism can come from this myth. Socialism is wrong, even when you approve of it, can come up with reasonable-sounding justifications for it, and even if you benefit from it.
One of the first casualties of socialism is the right to use your private property as you see fit.
I oppose, without reservation, all calls for “property codes” to be used as a tool against “blight.” That’s socialist-speak for “violating your property rights on behalf of the majority using the threat of force.”
I understand that some people get offended when a neighbor has an unkempt lawn or a junky car in their yard. Yet, what another person does with their own property, even to the point of destroying it, is no one else’s business as long as no one else or their property is being harmed — and being offended doesn’t qualify as harm. Otherwise their property is none of your business.
If a neighbor’s junk is winding up on your property, because of breezy conditions or intentional tossing, or if it is causing you harm through attracted vermin or mosquito breeding, you have the right to take action to solve that particular problem or seek restitution. If there is a credible danger that a person’s junk may catch fire and endanger your property you have the right to seek arbitration and to hold the other property owner accountable in case of damage. Reality indicates that lack of “blight” is no guarantee that no harm will ever come from a neighbor’s property.
In a free society, where firefighting would be a true free market enterprise, firefighting companies could refuse to contract with those whose property was an unreasonable fire risk, or could charge higher rates to offset the higher risk. In a government monopoly, as long as the taxation is being paid, the fire department can not discriminate. This encourages irresponsible behavior, which is then discouraged through property rights-violating “laws.” It’s an unhealthy system.
I realize many people are concerned that a neighbor’s property could impact the value of their own property. If this is a concern, you have the right to live in a neighborhood in which all the residents have voluntarily, and UNANIMOUSLY, agreed to certain conditions and restrictions. You and your other neighbors do not have the right to impose these restrictions on a neighbor who doesn’t agree to them.
I don’t like “blight” any more than anyone else, but I repudiate this violation of rights. Don’t enforce the “codes” against my neighbors on my behalf.