Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution – M.N. Rothbard

We Need Our Heads Examined, Says Harvard wrote Thomas Woods yesterday, pointing out the absurdity that appears to be Harvard University these days… Woods’ article is excellent, well worth the read, and pointed out a reference to Murry Rothbard’s adept handling of the pollution question. It is best handled, wrote Rothbard, by enforcing one’s actual property rights when they are actually and demonstrably damaged. Such sound thinking flies in the face of these Harvard nitwits who claim that the market economy allows for “too much” pollution. Right… If only we had a true free market to test that assertion…

“. . . everyone should be able to do what he likes, except if he commits an overt act of aggression against the person and property of another. Only this act should be illegal, and it should be prosecutable only in the courts under tort law, with the victim or his heirs and assigns pressing the case against the alleged aggressor. Therefore, no statute or administrative ruling creating illegal actions should be permitted. And since any prosecution on behalf of “society” or the “state” is impermissible, the criminal law would be collapsed into a reconstituted tort law, incorporating punishment and part of the law of attempts.”

Excerpted from the conclusion to Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution, Mises Daily by Murray N. Rothbard

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