Posted in philosophy | 5 Comments »
From the LA Times:
First of all, everyone knows I love cats, right? KITTIES!!! You go, kitties!
Now, to serious matters.
With homeowner in doghouse, bobcats move in
Cute uberkitties challenge capitalist property rights
A family of feline squatters has moved into a foreclosed home in Lake Elsinore. Residents of the Tuscany Hills development first noticed the bobcats about a week ago.
With real estate values plummeting and foreclosed homes sitting empty, a family of bobcats apparently decided the time was right to pounce.
So last week, they slipped out of the parched foothills of Lake Elsinore and into a spacious, vacant home in well-groomed Tuscany Hills.
Residents of the development got their first look Aug. 27 when the feline squatters — at least two adults and three kittens — lolled atop a wall outside the Spanish-style house.
There arises now a moral question, the resolution of which sits at the base of your conception of property rights.
Very likely there is a bank that is presently the legal owner of this house. Can the bank come around randomly shouting “get offa mah property!” like Fuzzy Lumpkins, and if the cats disobey and refuse to vacate the property be justified in shooting them? Regardless of whether they were cats, moral actors, Randian ubermenschen or even Republicans, I should say no, and not wish to share my table with the type of folk who would believe that was really okay. Can the bank transfer legal title to the place to another party, and therefore be justified in killing the bobcats if they fail to timely vacate? I say that the bank may transfer title, but it may not evict the tenants (assuming that, quite characteristically, the bobcats have executed no auditable contractual agreement with the bank). Could the new owners evict the bobcats? To be consistent with the values that underlie the foregoing, I can’t permit them to do that. Could any of the foregoing (presumptively) evil owners delegate killing the bobcats to a disinterested third party charged with handling such matters, in the interests of all? It would all be legal, of course, approved by democracy of the highest quality and refinement.
If you’re the bank, is killing the cute, fuzzy kitties okay? If you’re the new owner? If you’re a delegate elected by the neighbors? If you’re the employee of Bob’s Ancap Defense Services and Pizza Company, Ltd.? If you’re the toppermost of the topmost federated syndicalist committeemen?
It is not okay to kill the kitties in these scenarios. If you kill the kitties under any of these scenarios, I don’t want you around me.
There are other scenarios. Maybe I’ll think about them while I go hunting for more photos of these adorable anarcho-cuties.