Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Property Wrongs

In King County, Washington, on October 25, 2004, the county council enacted a trio of ordinances which convert much of the land of county residents into a sort of nature preserve.

The Seattle Times published a good article describing the council's action.

The people who thought they owned all that land will each suffer a rude awakening as they learn what has been done. One by one, they will find out that they can take a walk on their land, but do nothing else which would disturb the natural vegetation.

This sort of abuse of the state's police power is not the first time in the history of mankind that people have used control of the government to discriminate unjustly against others.

While it's bad news for many King County residents, this particular abuse of power presents a good opportunity for what is sometimes called a "teaching moment."

People who believe Hitler's National Socialist ("Nazi") Party was a right-wing political organization should consider the following excerpt from an article by Richard Pipes and compare the Nazi view of property rights to that of the Democrats on the King County Council.

The same applies, though to a lesser degree, to fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, which are often erroneously depicted as "capitalist" societies. True, both Mussolini and Hitler tolerated private property in the means of production but only as long as it served the state. In the early 1920s Hitler explained to a journalist his views on the subject:
"I want everyone to keep the property he has acquired for himself according to the principle: the common good takes precedence over self-interest. But the state must retain control and each property owner should consider himself an agent of the state. . . . The Third Reich will always retain the right to control the owners of property."

"Private Property, Freedom, and the Rule of Law"
Richard Pipes; Hoover Digest, 2001, No. 2

Neither the Democrats of King County nor the Nazis of 20th century Germany can be fairly described as right-wing. They both stand on the left side of the political spectrum, as is evident from their disregard for property rights.


Post a Comment

<< Home