Self-Ownership and the Right to Say No

What would you say if someone asked you to do something absolutely awful without offering to compensate you in any way? To be clear, there is nothing in it for you. You would probably say no. If that same person tried to force you to do this, you would probably question their authority. What right does that person have to make you do anything? You own yourself. And as your owner, you have a right to decide who has access to you. This right may seem simple and obvious, says Prof. Dan Russell, but it plays a big part in your everyday life. Without self-ownership and the right to say no, you could be controlled by someone else. Your life might look very different if you had to toil for someone else’s benefit instead of your own. Because you own yourself, you can choose which activities to participate in and which to avoid. How do you value self-ownership? How important do you think it is to your life? Are there ways your self-ownership is threatened?


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  • greg scott

    Great little video with a clear message showing government is incompatible with basic human rights.

  • BigUgly666

    This is an important IRS learning moment video.

    If YOU own yourself,
    You own your own labour.
    If you choose to ‘trade your labor’ for something else, that something else becomes YOURS.
    Unless it is “profit” the “government” has no right to any of it – including “taxes” on your own property.

  • R.Young

    Under the curren Regime, you own nothing, not even yourself, what you think you own (property) is actually owned by the Regime and you are just the caretaker!

  • Jordan Garrett

    There are many aspects of libertarian thought that I find profoundly unconvincing, which I should probably avoid delving into, so as to avoid a bottomless hole of a debate, but there is one aspect of libertarian thought that I value profoundly: the primacy of the individual and his right to assent or dissent to certain requests made of him, irrespective of how others try and coerce or manipulate him into doing their bidding. My rights end at another person’s will, and I cannot force them to do what they are unwilling to do, unless they are contractually bound, and vice-versa.
    The defining hallmark of a dictator and a tyrant is that he tries to impose his will on others, with no consideration for the feelings or autonomy of the other person. If people do not appreciate that comparison being made, then they should not aspire to behave in that manner. To blame another person for holding you accountable for your own behavior is the epitome of cowardice. As you sow, so shall you reap.