The Owner Decides, Not the Neighbors

“I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire


This principle of individual liberty is the foundation of Western Liberal philosophy. If we expect others to leave us alone to do as we please with our property, then we must leave others alone to do as they please. Even if we wouldn’t choose the same. We can talk with them, reason with them, bribe them, try to persuade and convince them, but in the end, it’s the owner of a thing who gets the final say in what happens with a thing.

It is a wonderful service for the neighborhood to schedule a day for us to get together and talk about this issue and how it affects us, but ultimately no one has a higher claim to this property than the owner. If they decide to rebuild, then that is their right as the owner. No one can charge them money or stop them from building.

To claim otherwise would be to say that someone besides the owner has a higher claim to their property than they do. That doesn’t make sense in a post-enlightenment society that claims to respect the rights of the smallest minority: the individual.

“I may disapprove of what you build, but I will defend to the death your right to build it.”


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  1. A lot of people in Keene cannot stand freekeeners. Why would you think they would sit down with you to hear your rhetoric and empty platitudes?

  2. Jacks sweetie, there are people out there who are no longer as easily persuaded by the formulaic mantras and slogans slavishly uttered by people like yourself. They’re beginning to question the intentions and real-world outcomes of your side’s propositions and some are eager to hear any sort of ideas that will help them move away from that.

    You know Jacks, this really is your side’s own fault. None of it would even be a thing if you sorts had the wherewithal to elect better liars. Now the jig is up and eager voters like yourself lack the intelligence and ambition to do a thing about it. Scary, huh?

  3. one word : explosives

  4. The “neighborhood” didn’t “schedule a day” for anything. The City of Portsmouth Planning Board scheduled a hearing.

    Local residents have a reasonable expectation that property owners don’t make changes that are so out of keeping with the neighborhood that it would substantially degrade or change the character of the area. That means, for instance, no 5-story combo mosque – bar – poolhall – strip joint where a residence has been. Property rights are not absolute and unlimited. If they were, we wouldn’t pay property taxes, and we wouldn’t give regulatory powers to planning departments.

Care to comment?