Self-Ownership and the Right to Say No
Did you know you own a person? It’s you. When you own something, you have the right to determine who has access to it. This goes for your car as well as for your own body. While this may seem like a simple concept, it makes a big difference in how we live our lives.
Prof. Dan Russell uses an example to discuss how important self-ownership is. If we did not own our own bodies, we could be easily abused. Without self-ownership, others could try to use our bodies, our talents or abilities, or the things we produce for their own gain without our permission. Since we own our own bodies, however, people need our permission before they can have access to us or our talents or production.
If someone wants our help with something, we have the right to give that help freely or to say no. When it comes to our labor, we may make a trade with someone. We may, for example, choose to work for someone in exchange for monetary compensation. The point is, the choice is ours. We can say yes to arrangements that seem beneficial to us and we can say no to the things in which we don’t want to take part. And the right to say no and self-ownership are incredibly important to our everyday lives, although we may seldom realize it.
Milton Friedman – Self-Interest & Self-Ownership (video): Professor Friedman explains fundamental principles of Self-Ownership and self-interest to Phil Donahue
The Philosophy of Liberty Self Ownership (video): An animated video on the principle of Self-Ownership
Rothbard’s Second Argument for Self-Ownership [article]: Rothbard’s argument for Self-Ownership in his book The Ethics of Liberty
Self-Ownership in The Ethics of Liberty [blog]: Jason Kuznicki breaks down the principle of Self-Ownership in The Ethics of Liberty
Sobel’s New Argument Against Self-Ownership [article]: Kevin Vallier breaks down David Sobel’s two arguments against Self-Ownership
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