Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Why Running Blog Capitalist is whack

Why don't I find Running Blog Capitalist's position on selectively withdrawing State funding from universities on political grounds compelling? Consider these premises (expressed by RBC in his posts on the subject):

1: The State has the same absolute property rights as an individual. It can fund things or assign benefits however it sees fit, and selectively withdraw that funding or benefit for any arbitrary reason whatsoever.

2: Withdrawing a benefit is not an "imposition" or a "penalty", and is not an attack on the former recipients freedom.

You can get to some very interesting conclusions from these premises. For example, the State provides an important benefit to all its citizens: the roads. However, according to RBC, it can selectively withdraw that benefit from whomever it chooses for any reason whatsoever. So for example, if it didn't like RBC, it could withdraw his right to use the roads. This would leave him confined to his own property, unless he had a helicopter or was able to persuade his neighbours to let him wander through their backyards.

This is a nightmarish scenario, but according to RBC's own premises, it's not any sort of attack on his freedom of movement. To paraphrase, he's still free to go whereever he wants - just not on the State's roads...