We introduced The Master Contract (or MC for short) in a previous post. The Master Contract for the Absolute Austro-Libertarian theory is a small set of rules that forms the basis of the Absolute Austro-Libertarian way of life.
We must now expand on its concepts and shed light on its principles.
The second Condition of the Master Contract states:
Property rights are absolute with only one exception:
a) Slavery is forbidden. A human being cannot be sold or purchased even voluntarily.
This condition addresses the fundamental question: where do rights originate from?
The answer is: from property.
The very first property that any human being of any race, color, belief or physical condition has it its own body. The only person in the planet that can command a body to do something is its owner. As such, the ownership is absolute. But it is also unlimited. Subject to the laws of nature, a body owner (person) can order its body to do anything including destroying itself (suicide). As such, the ownership is also unlimited. This is only natural and as such the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system accepts it.
Going further, we extend this principle to all property that was properly acquired (as described in Condition #4). We do so because property is acquired through the use of our body, which we command. Hence the product of that effort is our property and inherits from our body the quality of being owned absolutely.
It is strange, but children actually understand this principle far better than adults: “It Is Mine!” sounds familiar? They get it, we don’t.
The current legal thinking is that rights of property owners are not absolute. In the past this was not so. For example, the Romans were among the first organized Libertarians. They believed that property rights were absolute to the point of slavery.
But why is that current thinking changed? Because governments needed a “legal way” (whatever that may mean) to command private property on demand. So governments created nonsensical rules such as “Eminent Domain” that were imposed “for the good of Society” (who? this is a topic for a future post). These rules are not based on any logic or system, but are simply based on the greed and insatiable thirst for power that politicians have.
Now, to be clear. The Absolute Austro-Libertarian system fully acknowledges that human beings are greedy and thirsty for power. But the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system does not attempt to re-program humans through meaningless governments and laws. What the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system does is to limit greed and thirst for power by opposing them to other people’s greed and thirst for power to achieve a balance. This balance is automatic, instantaneous and self-organizing. No government, leader or laws required.
If the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system would stop here, then simply achieving a balance of power would do very little for mutual prosperity. What the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system does is to provide a single exit channel for all that greed and thirst for power. And that channel is the marketplace. As all these human energies are placed in the marketplace, general wealth increases and with it general prosperity.
Let’s now address slavery.
The Absolute Austro-Libertarian system is purportedly a logical system. It is intended to be as much self-consistent as possible.
If we follow this logical consistency through the end, we will come to this path: as property rights are absolute, I, as an absolute owner of my body can sell it to somebody else. This is slavery since now a person (other than myself) owns my body and can sell it to other person since his rights are absolute. This means that I no longer possess any rights to my body.
Slavery is incompatible with Libertarianism. The main reason is that libertarianism is based on the freedom to make choices. That’s it’s primary goal. A slave, by definition, has no choices. Therefore an amendment to the second Condition of the Master Contract must be made forbidding slavery.
Furthermore, the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system is based on contracts, which must be accepted voluntarily. A slave has no rights, hence no will, hence it cannot enter into any voluntary contract. This, again, goes again what the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system attempts to achieve and therefore we need an amendment.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.
Continue to The Master Contract Explained - Condition #3