That Perennial Western Malady, the Revolt of the Individual Against the Species

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

White Trash Pick Up Trash

Well this is interesting.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court let stand on Monday a ruling that the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group can take part in Missouri's "Adopt-A-Highway" program in which volunteers pick up trash along the road and the state puts up a sign thanking the group.

It's a perfect example of the conflict inherent in (or the inherent impossibility of) "public" or "communal" property owned by "everyone." Every Missouri citizen is financially responsible for the construction and upkeep of the highway and is therefore a part-owner and entitled to equal use. When a hate group such as the KKK contributes, some people are offended, violating their rights as part-owners and controllers of the property. But denying another group's use of the property violates that group's same right.

The individual KKK members are part-owners as well, and entitled to access as long as they are forced to subsidize the highway through taxation. It is a problem with no solution.


At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OR - perhaps it's not a problem at all. I happen to think that the KKK is dreadful, but that's my opinion and therefore my problem. The KKK's peaceful participation in public life may be distasteful to me, but it's no violation of any rights of mine. We are not guaranteed the right to 'not be offended.'

At 11:08 PM, Blogger spenwah said...

You have the absolute right to control the use of your own property. If the Klan in your state decided to jump on this publicity wagon as well, you would not be angry that you were funding their ad campaign?

So long as there are blacks, gays, Jews, and atheists funding the highway as well, there definitely is a problem when their tax dollars subsidize KKK recruitment.

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, all you've done here is tidily indict the income tax. THAT is indeed a serious problem. No-one should be compelled to surrender his income so it can be spent in a manner he abhors.

However, the idea pf public property is still intact as far as I can see. In fact, I find the very notion of private property terribly agrarian. Granted, I have no master plan to remake society such that we do away with the (rather bizarre) concept of 'land ownership.'

Anyway, on the original topic - I think it's a non-problem as long as whatever rules that are applied to the use of public property are applied even-handedly. Great - so we don't have klan rallies on public land. Then we don't have pride marches either. Simple.

At 10:45 PM, Blogger spenwah said...

Yet the Klansmen and the homosexuals will still be held responsible for the financing of a piece of property they are denied the right to use? Doesn't that negate your own right to access? After all, you aren't entitled to it any more than they are. By whose right do the people "in charge" of the property legislate how it will be used?

In effect, public property is owned by no one, or more accurately, by everyone except you.

At 1:19 AM, Blogger Jute said...

Excellent headline!

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