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Communist Takes Advantage of Private Property Rights:

In this funny Bill O'Reilly segment, self-proclaimed "communist" William Ayers uses private property rights to get rid of a Fox News reporter who was pestering him. When the reporter repeatedly tries to approach Ayers at his house, Ayers tells him to go away, saying "this is my property." Eventually, Ayers calls the police, who come and instruct the reporter to get off Ayers' land. The irony, of course, is that as a communist, Ayers is opposed to private property rights.

My point, however, is not to criticize Ayers for his hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is a minor offense compared to his real crimes. Rather, I want to emphasize that this is a small example of how property rights play an important role in protecting unpopular people. Private property gives minorities with unpopular views, lifestyles, or identities, a secure space in which they are protected from the hostility of the majority. Tom Palmer's excellent post on the way in which the rise of private property rights has increased freedom for gays in China is an interesting recent example.

In that respect, property rights play a role similar to that of freedom speech. But while the importance of freedom of speech in protecting unpopular minorities is widely understood, many people still believe that property rights mostly benefit only the wealthy, powerful, and popular. As the very different examples of Ayers and the Chinese gays demonstrate, that is not so.

Of course some of those who take advantage of property rights are far from admirable, as is certainly true of Ayers. But the same can be said for free speech rights. Many of the Supreme Court's most important First Amendment precedents vindicated the rights of communists, KKK leaders, and others who would surely abolish freedom of speech for the rest of us if they ever had the power to do so.

UPDATE: I should thank co-blogger David Bernstein for sending me the link to the video of Fox's attempt to interview Ayers.

GMUSL '07 Alum (mail):
No estoppel? Cf. Stambovsky v. Ackley. Ayers has held out and profited from saying that private property has been illegal...
10.26.2008 1:22pm
therut (mail):
Property rights are extremely important. You are pretty free on your own property. Those living in rural areas are very free. Very little or no regulation by a .gov entity. For 2nd amendment supports this is very paramount. Own enough property and you can shoot away whenever with whatever as you wish. Chronic Urban dwellers have no idea of the freedom owning a few hundred acres gives to a person. Nothing better than looking 360 degrees around ones house and seeing nothing but your own property.
10.26.2008 1:29pm
anon345 (mail):
Actually your point was noun verb Ayers. You and your fellow co-conspirators rotate that one with noun verb voter fraud.
10.26.2008 1:35pm
M (mail):
Private property (especially in personal property and the like) is obviously important to freedom. But even in the Soviet Union you could tell people to get out of your apartment or off your Dacha plot or your land or whatever, and call the police if they didn't go, so this particular episode doesn't seem to be that instructive.
10.26.2008 1:43pm
Oren:

Chronic Urban dwellers have no idea of the freedom owning a few hundred acres gives to a person.

And chronic rural dwellers have no idea of the network benefits of living close to other human beings.
10.26.2008 1:52pm
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
Yes, Ayers may think that ideally the proletariat's representatives should be able to do what they like, but that doesn't mean that, in an ideal communist world, he wouldn't have rights against a particular person pestering him.
10.26.2008 1:52pm
EH (mail):
Sometimes you have to use the rights you have rather than the rights you might want or wish to have at a later time.
10.26.2008 1:58pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Technically speaking, citizens do retain property rights under Socialism which is state capitalism. Ultimately property does disappear when pure Communism arrives, except for minor personal items like your toothbrush. This is Marxism as propounded by Lenin, which requires a state capitalism (Socialism) transition phase. Marx as propounded Mao might be a different story. It's very difficult to understand Mao's version of Marxism because his writings as so childish and confused. He says things in his Little Red Book that contradict Marx.
10.26.2008 1:59pm
sputnik (mail):
ilya, what?!!!!
First , what sasha volokh said.
Second, the individual property was never the assault of the Marxism.
THe owning of the means of production was.
You should know those things.
10.26.2008 1:59pm
Eli Rabett (www):
You have some evidence that Ayers is a communist? Or are you just noun verbing. And please, don't tell me about 30 years ago. "I assume" btw is not an answer
10.26.2008 2:06pm
LL:
An intelligent and interesting Bill Ayers post. Will wonders never cease.
10.26.2008 2:06pm
Oren:

You have some evidence that Ayers is a communist? Or are you just noun verbing. And please, don't tell me about 30 years ago. "I assume" btw is not an answer

From wikipedia

In an interview published in 1995, Ayers characterized his political beliefs at that time and in the 1960s and 1970s: "I am a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist ... [Laughs] Maybe I'm the last communist who is willing to admit it. [Laughs] We have always been small 'c' communists in the sense that we were never in the Communist party and never Stalinists. The ethics of Communism still appeal to me. I don't like Lenin as much as the early Marx. I also like Henry David Thoreau, Mother Jones and Jane Addams [...]"
10.26.2008 2:11pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Second, the individual property was never the assault of the Marxism."

But "individual property" does not include owning real estate even in the transition phase to pure Communism. As far I know absolutely no one one held title to land in any of the Communist countries with a few exceptions: Yugoslavia (which allowed small businesses to operate), Hungary under their "goulash Communism" phase. Of course private property was tolerated Lenin's New Economic Policy (1921-1929), but after that it was crushed by Stalin.
10.26.2008 2:11pm
Brooklynite (www):
That's kind of beside the point, isn't it, Zarkov?

The relevant question isn't how ownership/control over one's domicile would work under communism, but whether there would be (or has been, or is) some mechanism to assert such control, and some authority that one could call on for assistance in doing so.

Unless you're contending that under communism anyone can come to your home and bug you however they like, and that under communism you have no recourse against such harassment, it's hard to see how Ayers' assertion of his right to not be hassled at his home can be construed as in any way hypocritical.
10.26.2008 2:22pm
David Warner:
So are the drive-bys noun verbing noun verbing? This is getting confusing.
10.26.2008 2:27pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
And chronic rural dwellers have no idea of the network benefits of living close to other human beings.


Generally, that's not the case. Unlike chronic urban dwellers, rural dwellers are regularly exposed to the alternatives through television and other media. Even if you attempt to avoid those attributes, other encounters are unavoidable.
10.26.2008 2:30pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"You have some evidence that Ayers is a communist? Or are you just noun verbing. And please, don't tell me about 30 years ago. "I assume" btw is not an answer"

Did you read the link? Evidently not. The author says
Just because Ayers tries to appear respectable now doesn't mean that he wasn't a violent revolutionary in the past. In fact, as the text of Prairie Fire shows, Ayers was one of the most extreme extremists in American political history. And as the links given as the end of this essay will prove, Ayers is just as politically radical now as he was back then. He has never renounced the political views he professed in the 1960s and 1970s. The only difference is that now he no longer commits violence to achieve his goals.
The author presents evidence to back up this assertion by giving recent quotes from Ayers himself. Scroll down to section called "Ayers' Current Views."

I suppose we have not proved that Ayers didn't renounce everything he believes over this last weekend.

Do you realize how stupid your question makes you look?
10.26.2008 2:33pm
David Warner:
The pertinent properties for Ayers are the copyrights to his books, his professorship, and the various private foundations which have provided him with hundreds of millions in funding. All these properties would be at the mercy of the state in a communist regime.

Not to mention the influence his father gained by serving as CEO of a quasi-private utility, influence used to get his son out of jail and into the upper reaches of the Chicago establishment.
10.26.2008 2:41pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Unless you're contending that under communism anyone can come to your home and bug you however they like, and that under communism you have no recourse against such harassment, it's hard to see how Ayers' assertion of his right to not be hassled at his home can be construed as in any way hypocritical."

We don't know what would happen under pure Communism because Marx was vague about it. In USSR families were forced to share even small apartments with other families. Of course those families could collectively decide to lock the door to keep out unwanted intruders, but only by mutual consent. One of the most common complaints against Communism was the lack of privacy.

A better example might be communal living where you dwell in a perpetually common area. In any case Ayers is a hypocrite because he's asserting a property right that he would deny to others if he were in control.
10.26.2008 2:47pm
Brooklynite (www):
In any case Ayers is a hypocrite because he's asserting a property right that he would deny to others if he were in control.

So if I think the speed limit should be 60 MPH, and I drive 62 in a 65 MPH zone, I'm a hypocrite? Really?
10.26.2008 2:49pm
CJColucci:
Is there some politically consequential person or group that would, if it had its way, make it impossible -- or even difficult -- for people to order other people (except cops, government health inspectors, and the like) out of their dwellings? If so, let me know so I can keep an eye on them. If not, what's the point?
10.26.2008 2:51pm
gerbilsbite:
I'm just shocked that those supposed capitalists at FoxNews were so unwilling to respect said property rights. Who spiked Comrade O'Reilly's victory coffee this morning?
10.26.2008 2:53pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"So if I think the speed limit should be 60 MPH, and I drive 62 in a 65 MPH zone, I'm a hypocrite? Really?"

You sure are. If someone is part of a anti-smoking movement and they publicly smoke themselves; I would call that someone a hypocrite. How would the fact that smoking is legal change that?
10.26.2008 2:58pm
Calculated Risk:
This is an interesting post about Somin and I think it reveals a lot more about how he see's the world than it does about shedding any light on the particular issue addressed.

Yes, we all are in 100% agreement that people should have a place called "home" and from this place they should be able to eject those who would harass them.

And yes, this is an important right, and it is a property right. This means it is somewhat contingent. Homeless people do not have the right to eject someone from their home, because they do not have such a home. Maybe, in our society, we should try to provide such a place. (Those little tiny boxes in Japanese hotels that are about the size of coffins sound about right... Something that no one would want to live in, if they had an alternative.)

Anyway, you are not going to start any fights with liberals and probably not even communists (not that I know a whole heck of a lot about what communists think) by asserting that the right to eject someone from your home who is harassing you is an important right.

That doesn't really go anywhere near the questions where disagreement is more likely, such as whether Kelo was rightly decided.

Here is my issue. Do you really think that liberals are so radical that they would disagree with you about the importance of the right to evict someone who is harassing you from your home? Or do you think that establishing this baseline of agreement can get you very far on things that liberals and others would actually be inclined to disagree about? Or, do you think this addresses one issue that makes liberals, all things being equal, see property rights as less preferred: the fact that they are so contingent. If your home is foreclosed and you are homeless, you no longer get to eject someone from your real property, because you do not have any. We still need non-property rights that are universally available, like restraining orders, for those situations, don't we? Is this not a genuine limitation on the utility of property rights compared to other non-contingent rights? Does the fact that a homeless person does not have the right to go to a space where he or she is free from harassment in the absence of a restraining order not matter?

I am not sure what to do about homeless people. But, I think it does matter. I think this is an important limitation on property rights. I do not think it is an important limitation because I think that the right to have a place of piece and quiet where you can be free of harassment does not matter. I think it is an important limitation precisely because I think that having such a place does matter. In some sense, establishing that X should have a right to eject Y from his own home highlights a weakness of property rights as much as a strength. What about the Xs who do not have a home? If this is such an important right, should the Xs that do not have a home have it as well? Or are they somehow morally lesser beings? Or, is the right actually not as important as we think it is? Do we need a non-property right that is universally available to fill in the gap? (i.e. restraining orders?)

Overall, it seems to me that it is quite clear that establishing agreement that X should have the right to eject Y from his home is going to get you anything. You either have a very distorted opinion of what people who differ with you on property rights think (i.e. that property rights of any kind are totally unimportant) or you illogically think that establishing this minimal baseline of agreement can get you anywhere at all with respect to more controversial assertions regarding property rights. (i.e. As much as possible, everything should be owned by someone, because it will be taken care of better. All roads should be privately-owned toll roads. We shouldn't have publicly owned and operated schools and universities. All educational institutions should be privately owned and controlled. The government should not take an equity stake in companies that are being bailed out. Or whatever.)
10.26.2008 3:04pm
YabbaDabba:
What a stupid post by Ilya. I suppose that based on his logic, a conservative or libertarian senior citizen who would rather privatize or get rid of medicare and/or social security is a hypocrite every time he collects that social security check or purchases medication as a beneficiary of medicare and the prescription drug supplement.

What people choose to do with rights or benefits currently in force does not a hypocrite make.
10.26.2008 3:18pm
Brooklynite (www):
"So if I think the speed limit should be 60 MPH, and I drive 62 in a 65 MPH zone, I'm a hypocrite? Really?"

You sure are.


Wow. Huh.

See, what I would say is that it is possible for me to believe that in an ideal world society would be ordered somewhat differently than it is, and yet accommodate myself to the way that it's ordered now without making myself a hypocrite.

If I think it should be illegal to practice haberdashery without a license, and I live in a jurisdiction where no such license is required, or even available, am I a hypocrite if I haberdash licenceless?

If I think America would be better organized in a parliamentary system under which the executive is selected by the legislature, am I a hypocrite if I exercise my right to cast a vote for president at the polls?

In each of these situations, I am exercising a right that I "would deny to others if [I] were in control," but I'm having a hard time seeing the hypocrisy in my actions.
10.26.2008 3:19pm
anon252 (mail):
The reporter wasn't in Ayers's home, he was on the stoop. If you lived in typical communist collective housing, this definitely wouldn't be a place where you could eject random people, because entryways would be held in common.
10.26.2008 3:19pm
Splunge:
See, what I would say is that it is possible for me to believe that in an ideal world society would be ordered somewhat differently than it is, and yet accommodate myself to the way that it's ordered now without making myself a hypocrite.

Well, this is the problem with arguing by analogy. You draw an imperfect analogy and claim that if your interlocutor's answer to that does not perfectly match his answer to the actual, original issue that he's wrong, or, ha ha, hypocritical. You can't have different standards of precision. Either you must draw a more precise analogy, or you must accept that your opponent's answer may not match precisely the two situations (the real one and the analogy).

Otherwise, you're hypocritical!
10.26.2008 3:27pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Calculated Risk:

You don't seem particularly familiar with the mindset of the 1960s radicals like Ayers. I suppose one has to have lived through those times to really appreciate what the radicals were really like. They go beyond Marxist-Leninist ideas, perhaps even beyond Mao into a delusional world where all property is theft. A world where no one owns anything other than the smallest personal items of inconsequential value. I still come across people who say things like "I don't believe in property." For a person like Ayers to assert a property right is the height of hypocrisy. You can be sure that if the People's News Service wanted to interview someone with possible counter-revolutionary tendencies, he would find no sanctuary in his dwelling.
10.26.2008 3:33pm
Brooklynite (www):
Splunge, I offered an analogy in which I thought it was self-evidently obvious that one could consistently exercise a prerogative one would like to see oneself, and everyone else, precluded from exercising. I was expecting Zarkov to say that in the case of my speed-limit example, I would not be a hypocrite, and explain where he thought the two cases differed.

To my surprise, he went the other way.
10.26.2008 3:33pm
Matt Tievsky (mail):
Ilya Somin: "My point, however, is not to criticize Ayers for his hypocrisy."

A lot of people here seem to have missed this.
10.26.2008 3:34pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"A lot of people here seem to have missed this."

We didn't miss it. But obviously some people don't think he's a hypocrite, which shows that Obamabots can believe anything with enough practice. Believe things like Ayers is not a Communist even though he says so himself.
10.26.2008 3:40pm
Ben P:

The irony, of course, is that as a communist, Ayers is opposed to private property rights.



Why isn't this in the chain of posts discussing whether or not a Libertarian can rationally hold a job at a state funded educational institution and argue against state funding of an educational system.
10.26.2008 3:43pm
Splunge:
Actually, I'm amazed that anyone can dispute Somin's point, and find it hard not to think it comes from a lack of relevant experience, coupled with a vast arrogance that allows one to judge lacking the appropriate experience.

I've had the experience of living in a communal style, somewhat between a shared apartment and a commune, and I've also had the experience of living on my own property. As I think anyone who's had the same experience can testify, they're worlds apart.

It's certainly true that in a communal-living, shared-property situation in principle there is an agreement that you can tell other people to get out of your face, to some degree or another -- e.g. you "own" in some sense your own space, maybe your own room, apartment, whatever.

But it's still different, because you've already conceded the community's right to determine things far inside the normal "property line." What that means is that in practise it becomes very hard, socially and psychologically, to stand on your "private" rights when you are defying the community in some way. The social and psychological pressure is immense, and, of course, you wouldn't be in a community-living situation if you were the kind of ornery libertarian who didn't give a damn about the community's opinion.

Note that we're not really concerned with a situation in which your wish to get someone out of your face is supported by the community, that is, when you're expressing a majority opinion. You're safe expressing a majority opinion in any situation whatsoever, from flat-out pure communism to totalitarian fascism.

What you end up with when you cede a substantial degree of normal "property" rights to the community can be, in its worst aspects, very much like the caricature of early New England Puritanism you might find in Miller's Crucible, where an unrealistic public mythology of morality tyrannizes the individual, where people are mostly cynical and hypocritical about the differences between their private thoughts and actions and their public versions of same, and where the actual bonds of community are far weaker than they would be in a community with much stronger private property rights (i.e. Frost's injunction that "good fences make good neighbors").

That's my experience, anyway. I certainly agree that others with the relevant experience may draw different conclusions, and I'd respect that. But, on the other hand, anyone who's never lived in a situation in which private property rights are substantially different really has no business offering up some airy theorizing about how it's all theoretically the same, not when the practical experience of so many others denies it.
10.26.2008 3:43pm
YabbaDabba:
Yes, it's hard to miss, Matt Tievsky, when the lede and bite of this post is to attack Ayers for his supposed "hypocrisy". If Ilya had wanted to post out about property rights protecting unpopular views or gays in China without bringing in a lightning rod for current controversy, he could have done so. Instead, he tried and managed to rile up the passions willfully and intentionally.
10.26.2008 3:47pm
Brooklynite (www):
What that means is that in practise it becomes very hard, socially and psychologically, to stand on your "private" rights when you are defying the community in some way.

But that's not what we're talking about here. Ayers wasn't confronting a fellow communard, or even a fellow resident of his neighborhood. The reporter who was on Ayers' property was making no moral claim, from a communitarian perspective, about his right to be there.

If Ayers had invited a group of colleagues, or fellow Hyde Park leftists, to his house for a meeting to discuss something, and one of the attendees had said something he disagreed with, it certainly would have been hypocritical of him to tell that person to get off of his property, and even more so to call the police in order to shut someone up. In that situation, Ayers would have implicitly or explicitly set out his home as a communal space by offering to host the meeting, and it would have been a violation of the ethics of the group that he was a member of.
10.26.2008 3:55pm
LN (mail):
Communists want to eat babies. But when it comes to eating other people eating their own babies, they suddenly realize that it's a bad idea. I can't think of a simpler way to prove the invalidity and hypocrisy of Communism as a world view.

Who is Barack Obama anyway?
10.26.2008 3:56pm
YabbaDabba:
A. Zarkov: You, sir, are a hypocrite for being unwilling (I presume) to stand up (in the voting booth) for the small 'f' Fascist policies that underlie the tone and tenor of your comments here. I would hope and assume that, for you to be avoid being such a hypocrite, your vote goes to the politicians who would enact policies to investigate liberals for their views, and then hopefully denigrate, belittle and shame them into adopting the "correct" viewpoint.
10.26.2008 3:59pm
trad and anon:
And what about the ways property rights don't protect people's right to do unpopular stuff? Say, the gays who get tossed out by their landlords and fired by their employers when they find out? Property rights aren't all upside and no downside on this point (not that anything is).
10.26.2008 4:06pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"A lot of people here seem to have missed this."


Probably because it's a lot like McCain saying, "Oh I don't care about some washed-up old terrorist...", then going on to talk about said "washed-up old terrorist" ad nauseum.

"You don't seem particularly familiar with the mindset of the 1960s radicals like Ayers."


Yet another reason why Republicans are losing the election: They don't understand that nobody else is obsessed with re-fighting the battles of the 60s for the billionth time.
10.26.2008 4:08pm
JPG:

The reporter wasn't in Ayers's home, he was on the stoop. If you lived in typical communist collective housing, this definitely wouldn't be a place where you could eject random people, because entryways would be held in common.


That's not true under the collective standards I know of. Not only could "random people" be "ejected" from cooperatives and collective housings, but one often needed an authorization to access a sovkhoze or a kolkhoze. More or less, the same applies(applied) in kibboutzim. In urban areas, people were to live in their allocated apartments, they were not to trespass their neighbour's (notwithstanding common entryways).

Even the most radical communist experiments in human history suggest Mr Somin's assertion is far fetched. In China, even before Deng Xiaoping's rule, one could easily rely on the authorities in order to get rid of intruders.

But I don't blame Mr Somin for that. He is taking part -pr favors, in the anti-Obama spin among fiscal conservatives. Truth doesn't matter when it comes to politics, in US as elsewhere.
10.26.2008 4:08pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
YabbaDabba:

So where have I advocated fascist policies? Do you mean property rights?
10.26.2008 4:11pm
Smokey:
Eli Rabett:
You have some evidence that Ayers is a communist?
Walks, talks, feathers, web feet, quacks: evidence.

As Zarkov succinctly puts it:
Do you realize how stupid your question makes you look?
Almost as stupid as the globaloney he constantly shills.
10.26.2008 4:12pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"They don't understand that nobody else is obsessed with re-fighting the battles of the 60s for the billionth time."

Does that include civil rights. That was the big battle of the 1960s.
10.26.2008 4:13pm
sputnik (mail):
Zarkov, to your answer at 1:11
even in USSR people had "dachas" or little small gardens .
The limitation was for the size of the property one allowed to own.
If I remember correctly, no more then 0.3 acre
10.26.2008 4:24pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
And what about the ways property rights don't protect people's right to do unpopular stuff? Say, the gays who get tossed out by their landlords and fired by their employers when they find out? Property rights aren't all upside and no downside on this point (not that anything is).
That doesn't make any sense; it's like saying that property rights don't stop the sun from going supernova. It's true, but at the same time it's a category error.
10.26.2008 4:31pm
Smokey:
LL:
An intelligent and interesting Bill Ayers post.
But then along came YabbaDabba, projecting his lib name-calling onto others without the need for any specific evidence. He knows who's a 'fascist.' Just ask him.

Mind-reader that YabbaDabba presumes he is, he believes he can accurately divine whether someone is a facist, simply by looking at the 'tone and tenor' of their comments. Which is exactly how all little dictators started out. They know everything, see? Just ask YabbaDabba, he'll tell you.

In fact, Zarkov's posts reflect the original Constitutional freedoms. It's a sad commentary on 2008 America that some folks actually believe that freedom = fascism.

Now, back to the Communist Bill Ayres thread.
10.26.2008 4:33pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
JPG:

"In China, even before Deng Xiaoping's rule, one could easily rely on the authorities in order to get rid of intruders."

Under what Communist legal theory? Remember citizens have only the rights that the state grants them. What right did the government of the PRC give citizens that would protect their privacy? I suppose one could call the police and assert an intruder might damage state property, or might be a counter-revolutionary seeking to sabotage worker's dwellings. I suppose the PRC criminal code might have something like an anti-trespass provision, but we don't know that.
10.26.2008 4:37pm
Guest2419078:
Wasn't there a thread on this blog not too long ago where some conspirator (small c) said that it was not hypocritical for a libertarian to work at a public university or to take advantage of social programs? I think there was another post about how Bork wasn't a hypocrit for filing suit after he tripped and hurt himself. Someone with more time on their hands should find that thread and link to it. I suspect some of the people here were on the opposite side of that issue then.
10.26.2008 4:44pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"even in USSR people had "dachas" or little small gardens .
The limitation was for the size of the property one allowed to own.
If I remember correctly, no more then 0.3 acre"


Are you sure that people actually "owned" their little dachas, or were they simply given permission for exclusive occupancy? A owner can rent his property, and renting is certainly forbidden under communism. An owner can bequeath property, or transfer it to someone else for valuable consideration. I don't think dacha dwellers enjoyed any of these property rights.
10.26.2008 4:49pm
YabbaDabba:
A small sampling...

A. Zarkov: The explanation of elderly support for Obama is simple: senile dementia.

A. Zarkov: Here is the dirty little secret that liberals won't talk about: they believe in school integration for other people, not themselves.

A. Zarkov: Moreover I don't take Obama seriously as a candidate. If both his parents were white, he wouldn't receive any attention at all.

A. Zarkov: Liberals don't want you carry a gun, smoke, build a nuclear power plant, an oil refinery, drill for oil, grow GM crops, use DDT, or on campus, express an opinion they don't approve of, or even look at a woman in the wrong way.
10.26.2008 4:56pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
YabbaDabba:

How are any of those statements fascist? Or even false? One is an obvious joke, and the others deal mainly with liberal hypocrisy.

Do you know what the word fascist means? Generally a fascist wants to subjugate the legislature in favor of the executive. Where have I ever advocated that. I think a fascist is simply someone you disagree with.
10.26.2008 5:07pm
sputnik (mail):
absolutely sure, Zarkov. I had owned one and I sold one.
And the kids or spouses were allowed inheritance of those....
Limitation was the size of the property( there was actually good rationalization for it as well by the authorities -with the shortages on some products some people could actually grow their own ).
10.26.2008 5:25pm
Smokey:
YabbaDabba:
A. Zarkov: The explanation of elderly support for Obama is simple: senile dementia.
Expressing that [somewhat tongue-in-cheek] opinion makes someone a "fascist"??? Libs have no sense of humor. At all.
Here is the dirty little secret that liberals won't talk about: they believe in school integration for other people, not themselves.
True. Clinton, et. al.
If both [Obama's] parents were white, he wouldn't receive any attention at all.
True.
Liberals don't want you carry a gun, smoke, build a nuclear power plant, an oil refinery, drill for oil, grow GM crops, use DDT, or on campus, express an opinion they don't approve of, or even look at a woman in the wrong way.
True. And most are anti-ethical to the freedoms embodied in the original Constitution.

It is, of course, liberals, and communists like Ayers [and IMO Obama], who are the true fascists: they want to use the State police power to take away the citizens' 2nd A rights; they want to punish folks for smoking [a legal activity], often within their own homes; they propagandize bogus issues like GM crops, which make it possible to feed the world [note that farmers have been artificially manipulating crop, animal and human genes for thousands of years]; they falsely demonize "carbon" [note that we are made mostly of carbon], with their entirely bogus sequestration schemes and carbon credits.

And it has been shown conclusively, right here on the VC, that banning DDT has killed literally millions of people.

Campuses are heavily infested with Ward Churchill and Bill Ayers clones who virulently hate America.

And expressing non-PC opinions? Guess you haven't heard of Obama's plans for the non-PC media.

And of course, women sports reporters have free access to teams' locker rooms. Name a male reporter with the same rights.

A communist is merely a socialist in a hurry; a socialist is simply a liberal in a hurry. Thanx for making my point.
10.26.2008 5:32pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
sputnik:

Ok, that's good information. But when did you own your dacha.? If you could sell it, then was the capital gain taxed? Could you rent it. If so what recourse did you have if the renter stopped paying? Were you able to own both the land and the structure? I know that during NEP this kind of thing went on, but all that ended in 1929.
10.26.2008 5:34pm
corneille1640 (mail):

various private foundations which have provided him with hundreds of millions in funding.

That's a lot of money, even for a hyperprivileged education professor former terrorist.
10.26.2008 5:38pm
Cornellian (mail):
Communist Takes Advantage of Private Property Rights

I look forward to the post titled "Libertarian lives off government payroll."
10.26.2008 5:38pm
YabbaDabba:

Liberals don't want you carry a gun, smoke, build a nuclear power plant, an oil refinery, drill for oil, grow GM crops, use DDT, or on campus, express an opinion they don't approve of, or even look at a woman in the wrong way.

-Smokey (quoting A. Zarkov)

The assertions in the preceding pile of poo are demonstrably false in every respect.
10.26.2008 5:40pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
YabbaDabba:

Accuses me of being a fascist because I said
If both [Obama's] parents were white, he wouldn't receive any attention at all.
But Former congresswoman and vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro said the same thing.
"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."
Is Ferraro a fascist? Is CNN also fascist for reporting on it?
10.26.2008 5:43pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
YabbaDabba:

"The assertions in the preceding pile of poo are demonstrably false in every respect."


Leaving aside the truth or falsity for a moment, how are the assertions fascist? That's what's at issue right now.
10.26.2008 5:45pm
sputnik (mail):
1980-1990
and it was taxed
one was allowed to rent it as long as one registered it as the rental property( but almost no one did officially-meaning there was no recourse if something went wrong))
Land(limited, 0.3 acre) and the structure.
Yes, Stalin in 1929 did get all the screwes tighten up.
But in the late years of Brezhnev era, they HAD TO EASE THE RESTRICTIONS in order for people to adjust to changing times and living conditions
10.26.2008 5:49pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
sputnik:

Very good. I like personal experiences. I note that an owner had little recourse in dealing with a renter who stopped paying. This demonstrates how weak property rights were in the USSR. It also invites people to take the law in their own hands. I can imagine an owner physically removing a renter from his property after he stopped paying.

The USSR in 1980-1990 sounds a little like NEP version 2. The government had to make concessions for practical reasons, but not for reasons organic to the system. You might get property right, but it's a fragile one as everyone found out in 1929.
10.26.2008 6:06pm
Arkady:
I suppose if Ayers had been quicker on his feet, he could have discombobulated the O'Reilly "reporter" by asking him the question Olbermann asked when one accosted him: "Are you the guy that buys Bill's luffas?"

As to the fundamental point of Ilya's post (which seems to have been passed over a lot here):


Private property gives minorities with unpopular views, lifestyles, or identities, a secure space in which they are protected from the hostility of the majority...

[P]roperty rights play a role similar to that of freedom speech. But while the importance of freedom of speech in protecting unpopular minorities is widely understood, many people still believe that property rights mostly benefit only the wealthy, powerful, and popular. As the very different examples of Ayers and the Chinese gays demonstrate, that is not so.


About the first part, "secure space," I dunno. Blacks owned property during Jim Crow, but I'm pretty sure this didn't protect them from "the hostility of the majority." And if the counter is "That's because the state was in collusion with those who harrassed the Black property owners," that only shows that property rights are not, in and of themselves, proof against oppression. It took action of the part of a superior political authority to undo, or to begin to undo, the Jim Crow regime. (And I don't mean to say that the same crap didn't go on in one degree or another outside the South.)

About the second part, that property rights don't mostly benefit the wealthy, etc., again, I dunno. I wouldn't say "mostly benefit," but I would say "are of greater benefit to the wealthy." Ask yourself this: What would be the chances of a major freeway expansion going through the middle of Beverly Hills as opposed to, say, the middle of Culver City? If you say that it would probably go through Culver City because, among other things, it would be cheaper to buy the land needed for the construction, wouldn't this show that the property of the wealthy is more protected from imminent domain than that of the less wealthy, and thus, that the wealthy are less exposed to dispossession, dislocation, and so on? (Can anyone really deny that, at least on the local level, the wealthy property owner has more political clout than the not-wealthy property owner?) I don't know what the Beverly Hills analog would be in New London, Connecticut, but I'm reasonably sure that, whatever it is, Kelo didn't live there.
10.26.2008 6:14pm
elim:
interesting compare/contrast with joe the plumber-it's not like the guy's address is a secret. why aren't they camped out there doing just what this fox guy did? certainly, ayers was actually a friend and colleague of obama's-shouldn't the press be out there with lights and cameras?
10.26.2008 6:59pm
BT:
Yabba Dabba:

The assertions in the preceding pile of poo are demonstrably false in every respect.

Yabba Baby: I happen to live in the same city (Chicago) of the One-You-Worship-His-Most-Sublime-BO. It is run and has been so for the past 50 to 60 years by the D Party. Private hand gun rights were taken away by Jane Byrne-D in the early 1980s. Only our beloved mayor with his 24-hour-365-days-per-year-taxpayer-provided-armed-security is protected by hand guns. And the police when they are not beating the crap out of defenseless female bartenders. Also the bad guys who aren't going to obey the laws anyway. But you don't care about that because you wouldn't go to 71st and Racine anyway. Also our beloved city council 49 of whom are D with 1 R banned smoking in public places before the state did with the only R voting against it BTW. The poo you refer to in the above post resides clearly between your ears.
10.26.2008 6:59pm
Obvious (mail):
The amazing thing is not that Ayers is asserting his property rights. It is hard to live without asserting one's property rights, and Ayers is the scion of a rich family, and very used to such rights. Granted, as a communist, he is acting hypocritically, but since communism cannot be practiced in the real world--it doesn't solve the Hayekian knowledge problem--ALL communists are hypocritical in a sense.

No, the AMAZING part is Ayers calling the cops. Can you imagine the dialog:

Ayers: Officer, this reporter is harassing me on my property. Remove him.

Officer: Excuse me, aren't you the guy that tried mighty hard to kill colleagues of mine back in the 1960s and 1970s?

Ayers: Well, yes; but I'm also a tax-payer. You work for me, you know.

Officer: But didn't you just write a book entitled, "Race Course Against White Supremacy," where you argue that this country is evil because it's run by whites?

Ayers: Why, yes. Thank you. I'm very proud of that book.

Officer: But I'm black, and you're white, and you're ordering me around.

Ayers: I don't see why you have to get uppity about it?
10.26.2008 7:01pm
Smokey:
YabbaDabba:
"The assertions in the preceding pile of poo are demonstrably false in every respect."
O really? Then demonstrate exactly how everything is "demonstrably false."

The ball is in the troll's court now.
10.26.2008 7:02pm
Brooklynite (www):
interesting compare/contrast with joe the plumber-it's not like the guy's address is a secret. why aren't they camped out there doing just what this fox guy did?

Because Joe is a publicity hound, and Bill is (for the moment) not?

If Bill Ayers were hanging out on his stoop giving out soundbites every morning, he'd have plenty of folks camped out waiting for him. But he's not, so they don't.
10.26.2008 7:06pm
sputnik (mail):
yes, Zarkov, that is about correct ...
fragile(and limited) property rights existed.
10.26.2008 7:13pm
David Warner:
corneille1640,

"That's a lot of money, even for a hyperprivileged education professor former terrorist."

You betcha!

I think that gets to where the real concern lies among conscientious liberals, and it's unlikely at the end of the day that it has much to do with Obama. That Ayers represents the edgy, radical conscience-keeper in the corridors of cultural/intellectual power while libertarians are considered beyond the pale is problematic, and not just for libertarians.
10.26.2008 7:14pm
trad and anon:
And what about the ways property rights don't protect people's right to do unpopular stuff? Say, the gays who get tossed out by their landlords and fired by their employers when they find out? Property rights aren't all upside and no downside on this point (not that anything is).
That doesn't make any sense; it's like saying that property rights don't stop the sun from going supernova. It's true, but at the same time it's a category error.
I don't think I get your point here. In the cases I was talking about, property rights don't merely fail to protect the unpopular from the majority: they actually enable the majority to go after people who hold unpopular viewpoints. Of course, e.g., employers and landlords who hold unpopular viewpoints can do the same thing to people who hold majority views, but since people who hold majority views are in the majority, property owners using their property rights to the detriment of the unpopular (by preventing them from participating in the marketplace on equal terms) will be vastly more common than the reverse.
10.26.2008 7:27pm
byomtov (mail):
this funny Bill O'Reilly segment

Funny? Did you really laugh at this? What's funny about it?

A jackass reporter harasses Ayers for a while and gets kicked off Ayers' property. Meanwhile O'Reilly, an even bigger jackass, after talking about how Ayers is not an important issue, makes big deal about him.
10.26.2008 8:11pm
CGZ:
I don't understand what is wrong with being a liberal. Are we that selfish a nation?
10.26.2008 8:28pm
anon345 (mail):
Yes. And stupid.
10.26.2008 9:11pm
Morat20:

Officer: Excuse me, aren't you the guy that tried mighty hard to kill colleagues of mine back in the 1960s and 1970s?


Seriously? You think they [i]care[/i]? Newsflash for ya, bud -- working police have slightly larger things occupying their attention than who was doing what 40 years ago, [i]especially[/i] if they didn't end up with a criminal record.

Which, IIRC, Ayers didn't because his case was dismissed due to some slight irregularities in his case.

That's sort of the entire problem with the whole "Ayers" thing. [i]No one cares[/i]. Out of the entire United States, a relative handful care, and 95% of them only care because John McCain said to care and they think it'll help him get elected.

You can forum-warrior all you want about Ayers sins and stupidities, but the vast BULK of American [i]doesn't care what some moron did 40 years ago[/i].

Especially when you idiots are trying to link a man who was barely out of [i]diapers[/i] when Ayers was committing his crimes.
10.26.2008 9:15pm
Smokey:
Some folks know the difference between brackets and parentheses.
10.26.2008 9:38pm
Smokey:
And to show how lame my last post was, it's L/R arrows, not parentheses.
10.26.2008 9:39pm
crane (mail):
Actually, some websites use a commenting system where you're supposed to use brackets instead of L/R arrows. I've seen it on a couple of forums I frequent.
10.26.2008 10:38pm
Smokey:
Thanx, crane, I did not know that. It explains why several others have done the same thing with the brackets.

Even though I know some HTML, it's easier to select the relevant word and use the cheat sheet above the comment box. [Much easier than typing "/blockquote."]
10.26.2008 10:43pm
Grant (mail):

A. Zarkov: Here is the dirty little secret that liberals won't talk about: they believe in school integration for other people, not themselves.

A. Zarkov: Moreover I don't take Obama seriously as a candidate. If both his parents were white, he wouldn't receive any attention at all.

A. Zarkov: Liberals don't want you carry a gun, smoke, build a nuclear power plant, an oil refinery, drill for oil, grow GM crops, use DDT, or on campus, express an opinion they don't approve of, or even look at a woman in the wrong way.

As a liberal, I can say that while I think you should be careful where you drill for oil, I'm ambivalent about guns and would rather you didn't smoke where I can smell it, I have no problem with you destroying your lungs in private, growing all the genetically modified crops you want, using DDT, or building nuclear power plants. Moreover, while I would rather you not say things I find so clearly wrong, I would not take away your right to say them. I am all in favor of the integration of my own school. As for Obama, I think how he came to prominence is irrelevant; he is now clearly not only a serious candidate, but winning by a comfortable margin. Regardless of whether he would have gotten so far if both of his parents were white, he's there now and is qualified to be there regardless of his skin color.

While I think calling you a fascist is extreme and a bit hypocritical, it is a fascist tendency to dishonestly exaggerate or over-generalize your opponents' positions to suppress their point of view.
10.26.2008 10:45pm
byomtov (mail):
Ilya,

In your upate you talk of Fox's "attempt to interview Ayers."

Are you serious? This was no attempt at an interview. It was designed to create a video clip for O'Reilly and his mostly subnormal viewers, which it did.

To pretend otherwise does you no credit.
10.26.2008 11:31pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Grant:

The policy positions I stated are characteristic of liberals as we currently understand the term. For example cities and states where liberals exercise power do curtail and ban gun ownership. New York City and Washington DC are certainly liberal and they have made all it but impossible for the individual citizen to possess a gun even in his own home.

" ... it is a fascist tendency to dishonestly exaggerate or over-generalize your opponents' positions to suppress their point of view."

Where have I advocated suppressing anyone's point of view? I'm not in favor of campus speech codes, restrictions on workplace speech, or "hate speech" laws. Those all come from liberals, not from me. Nor am I in favor censorship in the arts, or laws against insulting religions.
10.26.2008 11:33pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
byomtov:

"This was no attempt at an interview. It was designed to create a video clip for O'Reilly ..."

I agree completely.

" ... his mostly subnormal viewers.."


Where is the evidence that O'Reilly viewers are "subnormal?" Do you think the viewers of NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS are any less "subnormal?"

I agree that cable news in general is pretty much a wasteland, designed to be more entertaining than informative. I especially dislike CNBC because it fails to fully inform the viewer about financial matters. They constantly over hype the bullish viewpoint. Larry Kudlow and Jim Cramer are a joke and I feel sorry for people who have lost money because of them.
10.26.2008 11:43pm
byomtov (mail):
Where is the evidence that O'Reilly viewers are "subnormal?"

They take him seriously.
10.26.2008 11:51pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
How do you know they take him seriously? After all people do visit zoos.
10.26.2008 11:56pm
Grant (mail):

Where have I advocated suppressing anyone's point of view? I'm not in favor of campus speech codes, restrictions on workplace speech, or "hate speech" laws. Those all come from liberals, not from me. Nor am I in favor censorship in the arts, or laws against insulting religions.

Okay, granted, the fascism thing was indefensible and I probably shouldn't have tried. But the point remains that a lot of the points you attribute to liberals are far from unanimously accepted.

For example, I notice you focus on the guns and cigarettes to the exclusion of the other positions you ascribe to us. Is this because you don't feel you can't defend the thing about school integration?

And I think basic morality means that any decent person has to not want other people to smoke. Would you wish a painful death by lung cancer on your fellow human beings?

Actually taking steps to prevent them from doing it if they want to is of course a different matter. And I do think I have the right to object to people smoking in air I have to breathe. Would you defend by right to smear excrement on the pavement in front of where people are smoking? And if not, why should they be able to do the equivalent to me?
10.27.2008 12:00am
A. Zarkov (mail):
From the BBC: Migrant row minister hit by pie
"We threw the pie because we didn't want to engage in debate and legitimise what he was saying."
Good example of how liberals deal with debate. How often does the press call them fascists?
10.27.2008 12:03am
Floridan:
Is this any more hypocritical than a libertarian taking home a government paycheck?
10.27.2008 12:04am
Grant (mail):
You know, Zarkov, that rationalization sounds a lot like how McCain explains why he won't talk to people he doesn't like...
10.27.2008 12:05am
newshutz:
CGZ:
I don't understand what is wrong with being a liberal. Are we that selfish a nation?


Its not generosity, when you use other peoples money.
10.27.2008 12:10am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Grant:


"For example, I notice you focus on the guns and cigarettes to the exclusion of the other positions you ascribe to us. Is this because you don't feel you can't defend the thing about school integration?"


I choose that focus to save space. I can and have defended the other characterizations. Go to the original posts for details.

For the record I'm opposed to cigarette smoking. I have never smoked even a single cigarette. I managed to stop my mother from smoking by nagging her for years. I raised my daughter not to smoke and she never has. But I'm nervous about the liberal jihad against smoking. Some jurisdictions have even banned people from smoking in their own homes under the dubious theory that they might open a window. Smoking on many beaches is banned. This is going too far. I'm skeptical about second hand smoke on scientific grounds, which I could go into if necessary. I said liberals don't want people to smoke and that stands. I suppose I'm liberal too.
10.27.2008 12:19am
byomtov (mail):
How do you know they take him seriously? After all people do visit zoos.

Fair point, Zarkov.
10.27.2008 12:21am
YabbaDabba:
That's a good example, A. Zarkov? Again, you spew complete nonsense.
10.27.2008 12:28am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Grant:

"You know, Zarkov, that rationalization sounds a lot like how McCain explains why he won't talk to people he doesn't like..."

I'm not a McCain supporter, but let's be clear about summitry. Diplomacy is best done out of sight. Once all the work is done, and agreement reached, the heads of state have a symbolic get together. Otherwise summitry poses extreme risks. For example JFK's meeting with Khrushchev was a disaster. Khrushchev got the impression that JFK was inexperienced and weak. He then proceed to put up the Berlin Wall and install missiles in Cuba. We know all this from Khrushchev's memoirs and declassified documents from the USSR.
10.27.2008 12:30am
Tritium (mail):
I was taken back by the comment that because someone is communist, they are apposed to private property rights. (Or at least that was the implication.) But how do you come to this conclusion? My definition isn't by example, but is by principle. The original intent of Commonism was equality amongst all man. Due to greed and Aristocratic ideology, those who were in greater numbers than that of the Aristocrats decided that one man shouldn't be allowed to profit in such a greater degree than that of ordinary man.

Believe it or not, it's the same failure to create a balance, which exists naturally all around us. If people have the same opportunities, then when a person rises above their peers, they have earned a greater respect. As we can see with the offspring of wealthy families, they don't necessarily earn the opportunity to own a business, they inherit it.

But getting back to private property, I would argue that if it's common to expect people not to rob you of your food, then it's common to expect privacy rights. Otherwise, there would be no need for police in this ideological perspective. Freedom is not absent from the true ideology if you know how to separate fantasy from reality. It always involves a balance, and as soon as you allow corrupt people to control any aspect of any ideology, you have religion and tyranny once again.

Balance/Scales/Justice - Will always lead to prosperity for the greater many, and when less balance or less Justice exists in the world, the sooner prosperity ends. Oligarchic themes would also tend to signify an end is approaching.
10.27.2008 1:02am
Mark Rockwell (mail):
I'm not sure that you understand "Communism."
10.27.2008 1:25am
Ken Arromdee:
Why isn't this in the chain of posts discussing whether or not a Libertarian can rationally hold a job at a state funded educational institution and argue against state funding of an educational system.

I pointed out that the reason a libertarian in that position is not a hypocrite is that refusing to accept a government-funded job doesn't actually avoid the effects of government funding. He can't avoid taxes, nor can he avoid government-caused market distortion that may lead to fewer non-government jobs.

I fail to see how Ayers is in a similar situation with respect to communal living. Exactly what negative effects of living individually would remain if he himself were to live communally?
10.27.2008 1:26am
David Warner:
"Why isn't this in the chain of posts discussing whether or not a Libertarian can rationally hold a job at a state funded educational institution and argue against state funding of an educational system."

Why isn't it discussing Hannah Montana or underwater basket weaving? You want to discuss that, fire up your own blog and let 'er rip.

Or would you rather claim that your own life is free of hypocrisy altogether, and that you therefore have standing to offer criticism under your own theory?
10.27.2008 2:47am
Visitor Again:
Ayers and Dohrn and the rest of the Weather Underground were adventurists and opportunists whose ideas and conduct were roundly criticized by all right-thinking communists. They were a tiny minority in the radical movement of the time. While most radicals of the time, including small c communists, did not regard them as the enemy, they certainly did not approve of their political analysis or their actions. They thought they were a bit crazy.

Those now bent on rearguing the struggles of the Sixties and Seventies seem to have no idea of the temper of the times. The vast majority of young people regarded the Government and law enforcement as much more of a threat to their safety and well-being than the Weather Underground. And they were right.

I'm glad to see Bill and Bernardine have come around to teaching and writing. They are very bright people, driven off course by the times, which included a government that lied through its teeth about the most important matters as a matter of routine, the sssassination of political figures most admired by young people, the drafting of people who were not deemed old enough to vote or even drink to fight in an unjustified and unjust war, genocide in Southeast Asia, riots in the cities at home, law enforcement that hated long-hairs and leftists and that sought to terrorize them, and so on.
10.27.2008 3:26am
Ken Arromdee:
Those now bent on rearguing the struggles of the Sixties and Seventies seem to have no idea of the temper of the times.

You can't use the "temper of the times" excuse for things that happened long after the times. Obama didn't associate with Ayers in the sixties; he did so more recently.

(And some of your excuses sound questionable even when applied to the sixties. For instance, what assassinations? I can think of several assassinations, none of which the US government had anything to do with except in the minds of conspiracy theorists. The CIA did try to kill Castro, I admit, but I find myself unable to work up any rage over that.)
10.27.2008 4:18am
Visitor Again:
Ken Arromdee-

What on earth are you on about? I did not seek to excuse Obama for anything. I didn't mention his name or refer to his campaign, directly or indirectly. I did not in any way seek to blame the U.S. Government for any assassinations. Your capacity to raise the irrelevant and nonsequiturs is noted. You're either loony or drunk, in either case delusional.
10.27.2008 6:50am
bikeguy (mail):
Not a surprise here to see that the Ayers apologists don't understand the concept of being hypocritical.
10.27.2008 8:51am
gpc31 (mail):
I believe it was John Locke who said that property is a fence against tyranny.
10.27.2008 11:37am
Ken Arromdee:
I didn't mention his name or refer to his campaign, directly or indirectly.

The only reqason we care about Ayers now is because of the Obama connection. Nobody cares about whether radicals in the sixties liked Ayers or not.

I did not in any way seek to blame the U.S. Government for any assassinations.

Considering you wrote that right after writing that people thought the US government a threat for justifiable reasons, and considering that you described Ayer's grievances in such a way as to list acts conventionally blamed on the government, it's a bit disingenuous to claim that you didn't try to imply an association.
10.27.2008 12:26pm
Aelfric:
Bikeguy--The problem here is that people are simply assuming they understand both communism and Ayers' ideology, when clearly they do not. Saying that means of productions should be communally owned does not equate to having strangers walking through your house at all hours with no recourse.
10.27.2008 12:57pm
TM Lutas (mail) (www):
Look at the video again. Not only did the police protect Ayers' private property rights but they protected him from interaction with the reporter on the public street. That's one level of hypocrisy that has been largely unaddressed. A university professor, presumably committed to free speech and inquiry preventing conversation on public property because the questions are uncomfortable for him.

A second level of hypocrisy is that Ayers not only does not believe in private property but in assaulting and killing police officers. When he is inconvenienced, he depends on those same police to protect him. Anybody care to defend that bit of hypocrisy?
10.27.2008 1:04pm
GMUSOL05:
Oh, this is just silly. I don't like paying income taxes, and I think the tax system in this country is wrong and flawed, but I still pay my taxes, and I still take deductions that I might think are silly and should not be a part of the tax code. All that means is that I am living and operating within a particular system, not that I condone nor expressly affirm the tenets of that system.
10.27.2008 3:19pm
stringph (mail):
But surely ... under Communism, there would be no Fox News reporters anyway.
10.27.2008 3:36pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
tm:

Ayers not only does not believe in private property but in assaulting and killing police officers.


Really?

Anybody care to defend that bit of hypocrisy?


Anybody care to show proof for the claim you made?
10.27.2008 4:32pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Anybody care to show proof for the claim you made?"


Read the link.
10.27.2008 11:53pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Read the link.


You sound a bit like Yoda. Could you be slightly less inscrutable? I was responding to a comment that contained this many links: zero.
10.28.2008 12:15am
Jesse M. (mail) (www):
A. Zarkov was quoted as saying:
Liberals don't want you carry a gun, smoke, build a nuclear power plant, an oil refinery, drill for oil, grow GM crops, use DDT, or on campus, express an opinion they don't approve of, or even look at a woman in the wrong way.


In the case of "build a nuclear power plant", "grow GM crops", "use DDT" you seem to have confused liberals with luddites, forgetting that there are quite a lot of these on the conservative side as well, and that scientists are far more likely hold liberal political views than the general population (scientists and those who respect science also tend to be strong free speech advocates, so saying that liberals don't want you to 'express an opinion they don't approve of' is unfair as well--do you think ACLU supporters are more likely to be liberal or conservative?) Of course most scientists and people who trust scientific expertise realize the danger of global warming and destruction of ecosystems and therefore have good arguments for wanting to minimize the building of new oil refineries, and in many cases to oppose new drilling in areas where spills could cause serious ecological damage. The people who deny these dangers are typically crackpots who have no respect for scientific expertise and think they have the capacity to independently evaluate scientific theories in which they have no advanced education, much like creationists and AIDS denialists (victims, I think, of the 'unskilled and unaware' syndrome discussed at www.damninteresting.com/?p=406 ).
10.28.2008 6:31am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
zarkov, maybe I should add that the five links in the OP don't answer my question, either, as far as I can tell. And there are essentially no other links in this thread.

I now see that in an earlier comment you referenced one of those OP links. So I suppose that's probably the one you're thinking of. But none of the 6,000 words on that page address my question, as far as I can tell.
10.28.2008 9:03am
cheeflo (mail):
All rights derive from property rights. Your ultimate property is your person, your own life. All of the rights guaranteed and protected under our Constitution come from that basic fact.

Rights are not something the government gives you -- they're already ours. Rights are something that a government protects. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are meaningless without the concept of property rights.
10.28.2008 2:35pm
Joseph N. Wilson (mail):
To accuse Ayers of hypocrisy is misguided. It assumes that he actually is a communist. Instead, look at the reality. He, along with all the rest of us is a capitalist. His remark about being a small c communist should be considered to be the pinings of a one-time radical. It's not reality.

And Ayers is repentant (even if he doesn't think he is) in the modern sense of the word, that is, in turning away from sin. He repented by stopping his illegal activities (assuming he did stop). A reformed alcoholic is still an alcoholic, but is certainly repentant.
10.28.2008 3:59pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Ayers is repentant (even if he doesn't think he is)


Ayers said this:

'We did go off track … and that was wrong,' Ayers now says.


One of many important facts that are routinely overlooked.
10.28.2008 4:20pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
One of the classical authors who has quickly become one of my favorites is Marcus Tullius Cicero. Cicero observed that the primary rule of society has to be that people can live together in a manner in which they are reasonably safe from harm that others incur, particularly for their own benefit. This theme occurs throughout his work "On Duties" as well as many of his other works. To him, private property rights were an important protection in this regard and something the state needed to respect for this reason.
10.29.2008 7:17pm