To the editor:
I am writing in response to the advocate of "libertarian socialism" (Public Forum, June 9) who wishes to abolish both government and property. You must recognize that the only way to abolish these things is ultimately by initiating force against those peaceful people who voluntarily choose to embrace these institutions. If you wish to force these beliefs on everyone, then your "libertarian socialism" is a contradiction in terms. However, if you or any groups of like-minded people wish to voluntarily create such a world, you should be free to secede from society and do so -- on your own justly acquired property.
It is impossible to retain the rights to life and liberty without the right to own (and thus control) property. Property is the only means of sustaining life. It may only be acquired through voluntary exchange, a gift or by mixing one's labor with that which was previously un-owned. A world where property is illegal might become a socialist utopia, but chances are it would devolve into the law of the jungle where the strongest person or gang is free to invade your home and take the food from your dinner plate.
Government is simply the inalienable right of each person to defend their life, liberty, and property against aggression. If individuals are free to defend themselves against aggression then they must be free to do so in groups. This is the only legitimate purpose of a just government. If you don't like it you should be free to secede.