Debate Forum Right, 11/22/11

The violence and greed of Leftists

By Mark Luedtke

Mark Luedtke

It’s self-evident that only one person can control a piece of property at any given time. Otherwise conflicts occur. Therefore there’s no such thing as public property. That’s a fiction created by government to manipulate the people. There is only privately-owned property and government-owned property. Further, anybody who seizes control of property owned by another is committing an act of aggression against the property owner. That’s a crime for non-government agents and should be for government agents too.

Seizing control of the property of others is the primary tactic of the Occupy protesters. That’s why it’s called “occupy.” From the Occupy Wall Street protesters seizing control of Zuccotti Park to the Occupy Dayton movement squatting in Courthouse Square, the Occupiers initiated aggression against property owners. Claims of the peaceful intentions of Occupy protesters are hogwash because all are committing aggression against property owners. Some argue that evicting them would violate their freedom of speech. That’s hogwash too. Freedom of speech does not grant one the power to seize property or even access to a forum. They can protest on their own property.

This aggression should come as no surprise. Leftism is an inherently violent and greedy ideology. The goal of Leftists is to enrich themselves by seizing the property of others through force, either directly or indirectly by getting government to do the violent work. That’s why it was easy to predict that violence would run rampant in Occupy camps, which it did.

In a free society, one ordered by property rights and with law based on the non-aggression principle, this aggression could not stand. Property owners would evict the squatters and obtain restitution through the courts for any costs incurred. But we don’t live in a free society. We live in a society disordered by government coercion and violence to advance the economic interests of politicians and their cronies. The Montgomery County commissioners calculated they could buy the votes of Occupy Dayton supporters by allowing the protesters to squat in Courthouse Square, but their self-serving plan backfired when the squatters refused to leave during the Grande Illumination unless the government met their demands. This illustrates how government coercion creates conflict, chaos and crime, not law and order as our rulers pretend.

The Downtown Dayton Partnership, which obtained permission to put on the Grande Illumination, asked the protesters to move their tents to Dave Hall Plaza during the event, but the protesters refused and made a counter demand that banks stop all foreclosures and sheriff’s auctions. That was an attack on voluntary contracts. The protesters quickly retreated to a demand for access to electricity for which they will pay.

I recently visited Courthouse Square to get the protesters’ side of the story. The lone protester on the street was Mike Monett who explained the position of the majority: “Most of the people said this is a revolution. We have to stand up to the people in power and let them know they’ve done a bad job of managing the economy and the country. We can’t just back down when they ask us to move. So the big debate now is what we are going to look like on that night. Are we going to look like a messy hobo camp or are we going to have the place looking classy? Are we going to give candy to kids or be a bunch of ugly people with anonymous masks on scaring the kids? That’s a big debate going on internally.”

Another handful of protesters behind the tent ate three pizzas that had been donated by a passerby. That snapshot I witnessed perfectly captured the universal outcome produced by socialist incentives: one guy laboring while the rest enjoyed the fruits of his labor. A pizza-eating protester told me the protest was about love, but no protest based on seizing the property of others is about love. Only greed.

I share the frustration of the Occupiers, but I condemn their aggression and violent goals. Plus, they’re protesting the wrong target. Government is the problem, not business. As long as politicians control the power to steal our property and order us around at the point of the government’s gun, they will sell that power to the highest bidder to advance their personal economic interests. Others will buy it to advance their economic interests. That’s human nature. Protesting human nature is as futile as protesting the sun for rising in the east. The solution to the problems the Occupiers see is to take away government’s powers of coercion and violence, not to increase them.

Overnight last week the federal government co-opted local law enforcement in 18 cities and brutally shutdown Occupy protests in them. President Obama must have realized that the ubiquitous leftist violence was harming his re-election chances. You might think this frightening violation of the principle that police answer to local people, not to the feds, would prompt the Occupiers to realize government is the problem, but apparently not. Until the Occupiers reject the aggression and violence inherent in leftist ideology, they will remain a fringe group making Americans’ problems worse, not better.

Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

Mark Luedtke
Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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