Is There a Statute of Limitations in Libertarianism, Part II

You know when Hillary Clinton says something so stupid and inane that literally everyone, even her fans, knows she’s either seriously mentally handicapped or deliberately lying? Yeah, well, she’s not the only one.

Back in our debate on the legitimacy of Israel from a libertarian perspective, which was challenging as Hammond gave me decent arguments that at least had the pretense of some sort of logic, Hammond insisted that there does exist a statute of limitations in libertarianism as far as claims to previously homesteaded land goes.

Our argument is that there is no statute of limitations in libertarianism in terms of a hard specific quantitative amount of time that must pass before a claim from the past becomes null and void. Such a statute cannot be in libertarianism because any specific quantitative time limit would be a posteriori and would null claims that could, in theory, be proven based on actual hard physical evidence of previous homesteading.

Now, Hammond is challenging me to “make an argument”. Obviously, what follows below will not qualify as “an argument” according to him, because according to him, I have never “made an argument”. I’ll just let you all judge for yourselves if I’m raving nonsense or presenting a very simple logical progression here.

Hammond, in his debate with me, quoted a footnote from our paper, in which we said the following:

But are there no statutes of limitation? Surely, two millennia and counting would more than qualify for any statute of limitations. There is such a thing, for the libertarian, as a “natural” statute of limitations: the further back ones goes into the past, the more difficult it is to encounter any relevant evidence. Since the burden of proof always rests with he who wishes to overturn extant property rights, mere passage of time can serve as a natural limitation.

Now, woe is me, I was not fully versed in every single footnote of our paper on the fly verbatim, so I thought he caught us in a contradiction. This sure sounds like we are accepting the notion of statutes of limitations in libertarianism based on time limits. During the debate, I knew this could not be, but I had no time to skim through the whole paper to look for the footnote as I was writing notes at the time to rebut his opening statement.

Let me be very clear, for Hammond’s sake. He is accusing us of contradicting ourselves with regard to statutes of limitations. On the one hand, we supposedly say that there is such a thing as statutes of limitation, and on the other hand, we supposedly accept the claim of Jews to land obviously and demonstrably previously homesteaded by Jews in Judea. How can we accept these claims and say they are legitimate if we accept a statute of limitations according to this footnote in the paper itself?

In Hammond’s words, this argument “fails even on its own terms” because we both accept and reject a statute of limitations.

OK, follow me so far? I’m going very very slowly here, deliberately, so even someone with zero background in logic can understand. I’m presenting “an argument” to expose Hammond’s dishonesty. He will no doubt say that he has no idea what I’m talking about and that this is not “an argument”. I can’t go any slower than I’m going now. So stay with me. (Obviously I don’t think Hammond is an idiot. He’s just playing one because he knows we caught him on this and he can’t get out of it.)

Now, what is the meaning of this footnote he has cited? As a co-author of the paper, I will give it you. Let’s go sentence by sentence.

Surely, two millennia and counting would more than qualify for any statute of limitations.

Meaning, yes, in general, 2,000 years does qualify as a statute of limitations. How so? הכא במאי עסקינן? במה דברים אמורים? (In what case does 2,000 years qualify as a statute of limitations? תניא (The text states)

There is such a thing, for the libertarian, as a “natural” statute of limitations: the further back one goes into the past, the more difficult it is to encounter any relevant evidenceץ

תיובתא דרפי פרבר? (Is this a refutation of Farber et al?)

אדרבא. Just the opposite.

2,000 years is a “natural” statute of limitations only because in general, the further back one goes into the past, the more difficult it is to encounter relevant evidence of past claims. This is only an observation of general natural trends. The “naturalness” of the statute of limitations for the libertarian is הכי השתא (one and the same as, intertwined with) the lack of hard, relevant, physical evidence of a claim in the first place. The limitation is not inherent in the amount of time passed, which would be a posteriori, but intrinsic only in the lack of evidence generally due to the passage of time.

גופא (going back to the quote) תני תוהא (we already know)

Since the burden of proof always rests with he who wishes to overturn extant property rights, mere passage of time can serve as a natural limitation.

“Can” כתיב, “Must” לא כתיב. It says “can”. It does not say “must”. When “can” 2,000 years serve as a natural statute of limitations? Only when there is no longer any hard physical evidence of past claims due to the “natural” passage of time. This would apply to all land in Israel for which there is no hard physical evidence of previous Jewish homesteading. The Right of Return for non-Jewish Palestinians who do not descend from Jews applies only to that land.

Meaning, if and where there is hard physical evidence of previous claims, the mere passage of time does not constitute a statute of limitations for the libertarian.

Now, what did Hammond leave out of his selective quotation of this footnote? Only this:

However, there can be no man-made statute in this regard, at least not for the libertarian. If there were, injustice would prevail when the plaintiff can marshal proof that a property title is illicit, and yet the court would not uphold it. This would also spell almost the death knell for reparations, surely a basic element of the libertarian philosophy. See on this note 75.

Now, I have challenged Hammond to quote the footnote in full on this dishonest incomplete lazy excuse for a rebuttal on his site here. And suprise suprise, he thinks the rest of the footnote is irrelevant.

Anyone forming pictures of Hillary Clinton in their heads right now? I certainly am!

I actually feel stupid, as if I’m talking to a 10 year old in an introductory course to symbolic logic and Aristotle’s basic premise that contradictions don’t exist. How could this not be relevant? I don’t know. I don’t know what to say anymore other than Hammond is being deliberately stupid so as not to get himself caught in the contradiction he has placed himself in.

What contradiction specifically? He says that our argument “fails on its own terms”. What “terms” are those? The terms that Jews’ claim on land previously homesteaded by Jews in Judea, with hard physical and indisputable evidence of previous homesteading by Jews (Har Habayit, Ma’aarat Hamachpela, most of East Jerusalem in Ir David), is valid because there is no man-made statute of limitations in libertarianism, when supposedly in this footnote that he quotes, without quoting the end of it, we supposedly admit that we believe in a statute of limitations for the libertarian when we do not and we never did.

So let me make this very clear to you Jeremy Hammond and fans, even though I am absolutely positive you all already understand perfectly and are just feigning idiocy in order to stem yourselves from admitting your contradiction:

There is no man-made statute of limitations in libertarianism, nor can there possibly be one, by the very a priori nature of libertarianism itself. The only natural statute of limitations in libertarianism is when there is no longer any hard evidence of previous claims, whether due to mere passage of time or anything else that erases evidence. OR there is an explicit relinquishment of all claims, as in the case of ייאוש.

But in cases where there is hard evidence of previous homesteading and no ייאוש, plus hard evidence that the nearest of kin to those original legitimate homesteaders still exist and claim this land and never ever relinquished their claims…

Well then, all land with hard physical evidence of previous homesteading by Jews, must go to the nearest of kin, which are Jews, by shares of stock in that landregardless of any subsequent homesteader on that land.

Practically speaking then, because there is no man-made statute of limitations in libertarianism, all land with hard physical evidence of previous Jewish homesteading from the Roman period, must go to the descendants of those original homesteaders, given that no one Jew can prove descent from any specific homesteader. Therefore, all of it must go to all verifiable genetic Jews with certain Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA markers by shares, to be determined by impartial third-party judges with zero connection to the Judeo-Christian-Muslim line.

Is this “an argument”?

Will Hammond quote the entire footnote at that dishonest article of his? No, because he thinks it’s “irrelevant”.

Why will he not actually quote the entire thing in reality, when he knows full well that it’s VERY relevant? Because he knows if he does, the stupidity he is currently feigning will become obvious even to the densest of his own readers.

When your only defense is to play dumb (I don’t know what “C” means on these classified emails! I never knew you couldn’t have a private email server! What’s the definition of “is”?) then I may as well be arguing with Hillary Clinton, which really, is not worth anyone’s time.

If Hammond wants to continue acting like Hillary Clinton, he is welcome to it. But if that’s really the best that the anti-Israel libertarian crowd has to offer, it’s really sub par.

Give me and every other genetic Jew on the planet (including Palestinian non Jews with Jewish genes!) Har Habayit by shares of stock. Give us Ma’arat Hamachpela, give us every single piece of land in Israel with verifiable physical hard evidence of previous Jewish homesteading, and the “Palestinians” can have the right of return to the rest. (See? I accept the right of return by Palestinians, but only to land where there is no hard and obvious physical evidence of previous Jewish homesteading. There is no hard obvious physical evidence of previous Jewish homesteading in most of Israel, so practically, we actually agree on much even though he insists I reject the right of return, which  I DO NOT.)

So does our argument “fail on its own terms”? NO. It fails on his terms, which are that libertarianism necessitates a time-bound man-made a posteriori statute of limitations. These terms are wrong.

Dramatic effect follows for rhetorical emphasis only, no violence implied against any government official (skip to 1:21, and FYI Mandy Patinkin is a Jew):

Offer me money. (Not really, not interested.) Power too. Promise me that. (Not interested either.) Offer me everything I ask for. (Har Habayit, Ma’arat HaMachpela, and every parcel of land with hard evidence of previous Jewish homesteading. That I actually DO demand. Not of Hammond. He is irrelevant. Of the Israeli government yemach shemam. They are my real enemy.)

I want my Beis HaMikdash back Binyamin Netanyahu you son of a bitch. The Feiglinites are coming.

The Jews are back. The exiles are gathered. Our only stumbling block left is the Israeli government itself. After this post I will get back to only that, because these Hammondeers only dig in by deliberately acting progressively more ignorant of basic English and logic.

Put the whole quote on the post. Yeah, no chance of that. Because it’s irrelevant obviously. Whatever Hillary. C is for Clinton, that’s good enough for you.



5 thoughts on “Is There a Statute of Limitations in Libertarianism, Part II

  1. I believe you are right when you say there can be no statute of limitations in a libertarian system. Justice demands that rightful ownership be honored and stolen property be returned. If I see a difficulty here it is that the person seeking to recover stolen property must provide proof that it is, indeed, his property by uninterrupted rightful claim, because the farther we get from the original injustice, the more difficult it is to secure the evidence needed to make the claim. For example, suppose that 2000 years ago your direct ancestor made a business decision to sell his land and do business in Greece instead. At that point, the rightful ownership transferred to the purchaser (let’s say a non-Jew) and from that point forward your ancestor’s progeny lost all claim to land in Israel. The non-Jewish owner then had the right to pass the land on to his descendants. Any violent action taken to remove the non-Jewish owner from the land would be a gross injustice. Over the course of time, evidence of any of these transactions and the chain of ownership impossible to find, making subsequent claims and counterclaims moot. DNA evidence doesn’t really help much except to describe an interesting historical movement of people.

    Of course, your solution to the ownership issue in the Middle East does not require historical claims or DNA sampling. Simply having rich people pool their money, buy the property from willing sellers, and distribute it to whomever they desire (perhaps using DNA samples, perhaps using a religious test, perhaps neither) is a perfectly libertarian action. It does not really fix an ancient wrong (since if the land was stolen from your ancestors it would be a double insult to make their descendants purchase it back) but it does achieve the goal of creating a country using moral means, something that no country on earth can claim at this time.

    • Ron –

      I completely agree with everything you say here. That’s why I have limited the transfer to Har Habayit (Temple Mount) and Ma’arat HaMachpela (Cave of the Patriarchs) and Jerusalem. Those three areas were indisputably owned by Jews during the time of the destruction of the Temple and/or the fall of Bar Kochba. All the other places are not as important, but if there is evidence of Jewish homesteading carbon dated to the time of either destruction (70CE or 130-135CE) then it would go to Jews in an IPO as well, since chances are the previous Jewish inhabitants of those lands were either murdered or sold into slavery.

      There are places that were simply abandoned due to natural disasters or sales or other things, and where it is inconclusive then it would go to the most recent homesteader, or more practically it would be bought out by Jews in a national initiative.

      When it comes down to it though, the only things I absolutely demand are Har Habayit, Ma’arat HaMachpela and Jerusalem. The rest I’d be OK with buying out, or if there are non Jews who insist on returning to or keeping whatever it is at any price, they can have it. There won’t be many of those practically speaking.

  2. Is Hammond even Jewish? Why would Halacha be of any concern to him? Besides, as you’re discovering, there’s no dialectical reasoning with him. The only way to approach this is rhetorically.

    Don’t worry Rafi, you’ll be a nationalist soon enough.

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