A Minority of One
September 2, 2010 by Robert Ringer
As President Barack Obama continues to transform the United States into a socialist hell, yet another poke in the eye is the National Mediation Board’s recent proposal to make it easier for airline and railroad workers to unionize.
For 75 years the rule has been that in order for any class of workers (e.g., pilots) employed by an airline or railroad to unionize, a majority of all employees in that class have to vote for unionization. But the proposed new rule would require only that a majority of employees who actually vote on the question of unionization would be needed to unionize.
All Democrats love unions; Republican progressives love unions; and even many conservatives believe that a worker should be allowed to join a union voluntarily, so long as those who do not want to join the union are not forced to do so.
Which probably makes me a minority of one. Why? Because not only do I believe that workers do not have a right to unionize a company through tyranny of the majority, I don’t believe that any worker has a right to join a union without the consent of his employer.
It is a basic tenet of libertarian-centered conservatism that without property rights, no other rights are possible. Unfortunately, most people do not understand this fundamental concept. They view property only as inanimate matter, separate and apart from a person’s life. They cannot seem to make the connection between the two.
In actual fact, they are so connected that one is virtually an extension of the other. How can one separate a person’s life from his property? If you took everything that an individual owned, the fact is that he would not own his own life because whenever he attempted to create something for his personal gain, the fruits of his labor could again be confiscated.
The same is true of purchasing property. The money used to make a purchase presumably was earned through the purchaser’s efforts. That makes the money an extension of his life and, therefore, the same would be true of anything purchased with that money. No matter what the circumstances, when a person’s property rights are violated, his freedom is violated.
A libertarian-centered conservative (i.e., a true conservative) believes that no one has a right to any other person’s property, which includes both his body and everything he owns. Once this concept is understood it would be proper to say that, in reality, all crime is based on trespassing on the property of an owner.
When people make “humanitarian” statements about human rights being more important than property rights they are, in a sense, correct. That’s because human rights include property rights, as well as all other rights of man.
A man has the right to dispose of his life and his property in any way he chooses, without interference from others. By the same token, he has no right to dispose of any other person’s life or property, no matter what his personal rationalizations may be.
As explained in The Fundamentals of Liberty by Robert LeFevre, there are only three possible ways to view property:
- Anyone may take anyone else’s property whenever he pleases.
- Some people may take the property of other people whenever they please.
- No one may ever take anyone else’s property without his permission.
It is self-evident to anyone who believes in individual liberty that the only morally valid way to view property is No. 3. Likewise, no one has a right to tell a property owner (property being land, buildings, a business or anything else that a person may own) what he can or cannot do with his property.
Take a business, for example. It belongs to the owner, whether he started the business himself or bought it from someone else. No one has a right to take any part of someone else’s business, nor do they have a right to tell him what he can and cannot do with his business.
If a business is a public company, it is the property of a large number of people (shareholders). Thus, size is irrelevant when it comes to property rights. When property rights are violated against a multinational corporation as opposed to a mom-and-pop business, it simply means that far more people become victims of government aggression. It is a moral absurdity to believe that bigness validates aggression.
Therefore, as a minority of one, I am compelled to say that regardless of the size of a business, the only way unionization is morally valid is if the owner of that business voluntarily agrees to it. Why? Because it’s his business! It’s his property! And it is his human right to set the rules for his own property!
In a truly free society, a worker has one inalienable, overpowering right with regard to his job: He can quit at any time. He is not a slave, so his employer cannot chain him to his work. If he wants to belong to a union he is free to search for employment with a company that allows workers to unionize.
The fact that many people reading this article will find my comments to be extreme speaks only to how far down the road toward socialism we have traveled. We no longer respect property rights, especially when the property is a business. Generations have been brainwashed into believing that abstract notions such as “the good of society” and “social justice” are more important than private ownership.
The proposed new ruling by the National Mediation Board opens a debate over the issue of whether 75 percent of the overall majority of workers in a given class should be required to unionize an airline or railroad, or just 75 percent of those who actually participate in voting on the question. But, in reality, the debate is nothing more than a distraction. The real debate should be over whether or not employees should be allowed to unionize at all without the consent of the owner.
This is precisely the kind of issue that has caused conservatives to lose their way over the years. Until politicians have the courage to confront an issue such as unionization head on and stop buying into debates about whether to move further to the left or stick to what has become the status-quo left, America will continue its acceleration toward total collapse — both morally and economically.
It will be interesting to see if anyone reading this article has a strong enough belief in the absolute sanctity of property rights to agree with what I’ve said here. That would be nice, because it would instantly elevate me to the status of being part of a minority of two.