Who Has the Right to Use Public Property When There is a Conflict?

From: P
Sent: Sun 6/18/2017 9:34 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Laura Loomer free speech? Q for WB
Hi Professor B – Journalist Laura Loomer interrupted the Shakespeare in the Park play of Julius Caesar. Now, correct me if I’m wrong but let’s begin by asking about a play on my own property, funded with my own money. In that situation I can hold a play about anything, including acting out the murder of any person, multiple person, sex acts, whatever I want, no? If the play is ‘artistic’ or not is irrelevant. On unequivocal private property with my own funds I can perform what I want. I understand it gets tricky when the company that performs the play uses public property, and may be subsidized by the government in other direct monetary terms ( I don’t know exactly how the theater company exactly works with the government but at the very least they are subsidized by being able to have temporary rights on Central Park public property). So, my question is this. In the former situation we can agree that Laura Loomer would be a trespasser violating the NAP. But, does she have any way she can legitimate her actions for what she did in Central Park? Thanks, P

I don’t think libertarians have a fully worked out theory as to who has the right to use public property, when there are contending forces pulling in different directions. One possibility is that such a theory would give the nod to the more libertarian of the competitors. Thus, the Nazis should not have been allowed to March in Skokie, IL, since they were the least libertarian of the two contenders (them versus the mainly Jewish protesters). I’m not sure who is more libertarian when it comes to the Trump vis a vis the anti Trump forces. Probably, I’d give the nod to the former, but it would be a very close thing, given that Trump is now violating his non intervention foreign policy promises, the main reason that drew me to him in the first place. Therefore, according to this theory, we libertarians should come down on the side of Laurie Loomer.

However, there is a different theory more compatible with basic libertarian principles of homesteading and private property rights: whoever’s tax money went into the production of the public property in question should be given the nod. That is, all public properties should be awarded to the people who paid for them through taxation. This is very difficult to determine, of course, without a God’s eye point of view, which we of course lack. Another possibility is to give the farms to the farmers, the factories to the workers, the schools to the teachers, etc. Namely, utilize homesteading one of our core principles. Here, possession is 9/10ths of the law, and Loomer was wrong, since the stage would then belong to the actors and actresses (the overwhelming majority of whom are socialists).

From an aesthetic point of view, however, her behavior is very welcome. All too often our friends on the left disrupt the activities of our friends on the right. It is time that the so-called liberals, the so-called progressives, got a little taste of their own medicine.

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2:52 pm on June 27, 2017

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