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Anti-Capitalist Demonstrators
Are
Anti-Freedom, Anti-Rights

Unpublished Letter submitted to the Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer,
12-03-99



To the Editor:

What we've seen in Seattle [WTO protests] are the convulsive death-throes of an ideology that the rest of the semi-civilized world has already relegated to the trash heap of history: Collectivism.
The salient lesson of the 20th Century is that the deadly philosophy of Collectivism is finished. It has decisively failed every shabby grasp at logical, ethical, or even pragmatic plausibility ever advanced on its behalf - and its faithful are not happy about it. The goose-stepping haters of freedom know they have no arguments left. They know there is no ethical justification for pushing an ideology that has resulted in the obliteration of human lives on an unprecedented scale, in every place it's been imposed on Earth.
Q. What, then, is a residual collectivist to do?
A. Destroy.

The right to free speech and assembly does not include a "right" to violate the legitimate rights of others. To paraphrase both Aristotle and basic physics, nature abhors a contradiction - there can be no such thing as a "right to violate rights." The anti-freedom protests are a lawless assault on the civil rights of others, by people who have failed - or are simply too daft or lazy - to make persuasive arguments in rational debate.
Setting aside as obvious the criminality of the "peaceful" rioters, vandals, assailants, and arsonists - what of the others, the self-designated, "non-violent" demonstrators? They claim that the obstruction of traffic, the de facto shutdown of downtown Seattle businesses, the physical barring of WTO trade reps' entry to the convention center, are all justifiable elements of "nonviolent" protest. Then they complain that Seattle law enforcement personnel, in using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse them, are guilty of unleashing "violence" against the "nonviolent."

This is an equivocation on the nature of force. Violence is just one degree of force - physically depriving other people of their right to move about freely, whether via active or "passive" means, is another. But force is force. Such supposedly benign acts of "civil disobedience" are violations of the legitimate rights of others, and are therefore criminal acts. The sole purpose of government is to protect those rights, by the use of retaliatory force if necessary.
In their attempt to use the Bill of Rights to justify criminality, the anti-freedom thugs are undermining the most vital of our Constitutional guarantees.

When all of this is over, I recommend that the citizens, downtown businesspeople, and city government of Seattle file a class-action lawsuit against all of the anti-freedom groups responsible for coercive activity - not only for monetary damages, but for violating the Civil Rights of Seattle's rational citizens.


Portland, OR
12-03-99




Copyright ©1999-2009 Poor Richard
All Rights Reserved



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