Russia Has Exploitation and Thievery on Its Side

Ron Paul recently stated that secession is good, in the context of  the Crimea situation. However, he also stated that Putin “has some law on his side,” referring to contracts and treaties, regarding Russia’s naval base there. Well, but we’re talking about a government naval base, not a building or land purchased by a group of specific private individuals or organizations in which participants voluntarily agreed to setting that up and voluntarily funding it. You can say that those who agreed to such contracts were bureaucrats of the State, appointed by the people, but not all the people of Russia or Crimea, and the funding of it was certainly not based on voluntarily contributed payments. Therefore, in my view such “contracts” are invalid. The people of Crimea ought to seize the property in question away from the Russian exploiters.

Murray Rothbard, of course, gives much more clear analysis of related issues than I ever could. (Now, this is a quote by Murray Rothbard, not me. While I agree with his general theories, I am not suggesting that people just go out and confiscate government property. However, the moral grounds for such seizures are amongst the people, not the State):

Let us now apply our libertarian theory of property to the case of property in the hands of, or derived from, the State apparatus. The libertarian sees the State as a giant gang of organized criminals, who live off the theft called “taxation” and use the proceeds to kill, enslave, and generally push people around. Therefore, any property in the hands of the State is in the hands of thieves, and should be liberated as quickly as possible. Any person or group who liberates such property, who confiscates or appropriates it from the State, is performing a virtuous act and a signal service to the cause of liberty. In the case of the State, furthermore, the victim is not readily identifiable as B, the horse-owner. All taxpayers, all draftees, all victims of the State have been mulcted. How to go about returning all this property to the taxpayers? What proportions should be used in this terrific tangle of robbery and injustice that we have all suffered at the hands of the State? Often, the most practical method of de-statizing is simply to grant the moral right of ownership on the person or group who seizes the property from the State. Of this group, the most morally deserving are the ones who are already using the property but who have no moral complicity in the State’s act of aggression. These people then become the “homesteaders” of the stolen property and hence the rightful owners.

And Hans-Hermann Hoppe has some further analysis in The Ethics and Economics of Private Property, and Reflections on the Origin and the Stability of the State.