“Lunch Shaming”

One of the newer causes of Leftists is “lunch shaming,” which is, as one website puts it, “what happens when a child can’t pay a school lunch bill.” School districts treat the issue differently, but many require the child to pay for his meal by working or simply take the meal away from him.

To Leftists, it is degrading to expect payment for a school lunch. It’s not the child’s fault that his parents are deadbeats, and he shouldn’t have to suffer for their actions. They want to force school districts to provide “free” lunches.

It’s true that children aren’t responsible for the actions of their parents, but neither are taxpayers. There is no free lunch. Somebody must pay for it, and if it isn’t the parents then it will be taxpayers. Why should they be victims of the parent’s irresponsibility?

As with many other issues in contemporary America, causality is ignored. The reasons why a child can’t pay for his lunch is deemed irrelevant. All that the Leftists see is his need. And his need becomes a claim on others.

It is certainly sad when parents can’t or won’t take care of their children. But the fact that many parents shirk their responsibilities does not justify robbing taxpayers.

Ironically, the “lunch shaming” movement teaches children a very immoral lesson. It teaches them that their feelings–their shame–takes precedence over the rights of others. If the actions or words of others is hurtful, then they should be able to use the coercive power of government to prohibit such actions and words. They should be protected from anything that may hurt their fragile sensibilities. More fundamentally, they should be “protected” from reality.

The fact is, life can be difficult at times. Others do things with which we may disagree. They say things that we may find hurtful or insulting. At the same time, we do and say things that others don’t like. But if we want the freedom to live as we choose, we must respect the freedom of others to do the same, even when we don’t like it.

When “Rights” are Wrong

While celebrating Houston’s diverse ethnic and racial population, Texas Leftist decries the fact minorities are underrepresented in local and state government. To those on the Left, political power is more important than political freedom.

Until these minority communities discover the true political power which they hold, they will continue to be underserved, underrepresented and under-appreciated.

There is nothing new about particular groups complaining that they lack proportional representation in government. Blacks and women led the charge, and many other groups have jumped on the bandwagon. Each claims that its rights cannot be properly respected unless its members hold positions in government.

Such claims imply that blacks, women, and other minorities have rights that are separate and distinct from whites, men, and the majority. But there is no such thing as black rights, women’s rights, or LGBT rights. There are only individual rights, and they apply to all individuals no matter their race, sex, or sexual orientation. To claim otherwise is to believe that rights apply to groups but not to individuals.

Individual rights recognize and protect the freedom of individuals to act on their own judgment, so long as they respect the freedom of others to do the same.

As an example, individual rights protect the freedom of individuals to enter into relationships with whomever they choose, so long as all parties are acting voluntarily. If two individuals wish to get married, they have a moral right to do so, regardless of their sex.

As another example, individual rights protect the freedom of individuals to exercise control over their own bodies. If an individual wishes to have a medical procedure performed and can find a willing health care professional, she has a moral right to have that procedure.

Much of the animosity in contemporary politics arises from treating rights as a phenomenon that applies to groups rather than individuals. The result is a constant competition between groups to assert their “rights.” Invariably, those “rights” conflict with the actual rights of others.

For example, anti-discrimination laws prevent employers, landlords, and others from using their property as they choose. They are prohibited from using the criteria of their choosing when hiring, renting, or otherwise associating with others. Their right to property and freedom of association is denied under the guise of protecting the “rights” of minorities, gays, and women.

If we want the freedom to live our lives as we choose, we must defend and respect the freedom of others to do the same. We may not always like the choices that they make, but others will not always like the choices that we make. Individual rights protect our freedom to live as we choose, no matter who or how many disagree.

Little Bits 6

Too Many “Sex Toys”
In 1973, the Texas legislature passed a law that makes it illegal to possess more than six “sex toys.” The law remains on the books. Supposedly, anyone possessing more than six “sex toys” is promoting pornography. Religious conservatives would like us to believe that pornography threatens our way of life. In truth, a government that regulates the most intimate details of our lives poses a far greater threat.

Uber and DUI in Austin
While the data is limited, it appears that Uber and Lyft may have helped reduce drunk driving in Austin. Before the ride sharing companies arrived in Austin in 2014, the city averaged 525 DUI arrests per month. By May 2016, the average was down to 358.

However, last summer Austin passed new regulations to control Uber and Lyft. The companies exited the Austin market and DUI arrests immediately began rising. There were 476 DUI arrests in July 2016.

Uber has a moral right to operate its business as it deems best. The company’s success demonstrates that consumers love the service. It would appear that the company is also keeping drunk drivers off the road.

Houston’s Revenue “Problem”
In 2004, voters imposed a property tax cap on the City of Houston. Mayor Turner wants to remove that cap to deal with the city’s budget deficit, and the issue will be put before voters in November.

But the city doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. It spends money on a plethora of programs that are far removed from government’s proper purpose–protecting individual rights.

The city could solve its budget problems by limiting itself to its proper functions. As a start, it should get out of the housing business, sell its parks and libraries, and repeal rights-violating ordinances, such as building codes and land-use regulations.

In the coming months, we are certain to hear a great deal of whining from City Hall about the need to lift the cap. And we can be just as certain that we will hear threats of fewer police officers on the streets if the cap isn’t lifted. When faced with tough budget choices, politicians seldom consider reducing spending. Instead, they resort to hysteria and veiled threats.

Shared Sacrifices

Three weeks ago, Mayor Turner said that he wants voters to remove a cap on property taxes so the city can deal with its budget problems. In other words, he wants us to give him a blank check. He wants to be able to raise property taxes without the restrictions voters previously placed on the city.

“Shared sacrifice means shared sacrifice by all,” Turner told the Chronicle’s editorial board. We have all heard this, or similar mantras uttered by those who promise a brighter future. But what does it really mean?

To sacrifice means to give up something that one values in exchange for something that one values less. And that is exactly what Turner is asking us to do. Turner wants Houstonians to pay higher taxes in exchange for…nothing. In truth, what he is offering in exchange is worse than nothing.

Rather than make the difficult choices and cut city spending, Turner wants Houstonians to bail him and his cohorts out. He wants you and I to pay more so that the city can continue its profligate spending. He wants the city to continue expanding its power over our lives, and he wants us to pay for that privilege. In exchange for taking more of our money, he is offering to also take more of our freedom. That is indeed a sacrifice.

Turner and his ilk want us to believe that if we give up the things that we value, then we will somehow be better off. But if all Houstonians are sacrificing, who will benefit? The answer is: those who collect and live off of the sacrifices.

Tyranny for Me, Tyranny for Thee

Chronicle business writer Chris Tomlinson is opposed to freedom. In a recent column, he opined that those who don’t like a law need only “hire a friend in Austin”–a state legislator. Tomlinson then goes on to point out several examples of businesses lobbying state legislators to override local ordinances or rewrite state laws.

As one example, Tomlinson states that after Houston and Austin enacted “common-sense safety regulations” for Uber and Lyft, the companies lobbied lawmakers to prohibit cities from regulating ride-sharing companies. Local taxi companies, Tomlinson lamented, “will conveniently remain under the yoke of local tyranny.”

Tomlinson isn’t complaining about the local tyrannies that regulate taxi companies. He is complaining that Uber and Lyft have escaped those regulatory tyrannies. Rather than call for more freedom for taxi companies, he calls for less freedom for Uber and Lyft.

Consider further that Tomlinson calls the regulations enacted in Houston and Austin “common-sense.” Apparently, he believes that tyranny is a matter of common-sense.

Tomlinson does not like the fact that the state legislature has taken some baby steps towards protecting individual freedom. He wants the “will of the people” to rule supreme, even when it violates individual rights.

The “will of the people” is nothing more than a tyranny of the masses. It means that the majority may do anything it pleases simply because it is the majority. Justice, truth, and rights are to be swept aside in deference to the passions of the mob.

Uber and Lyft deserve credit for fighting to protect their rights. Chris Tomlinson deserves to be condemned for supporting tyranny.

A Campaign for Evil

For years, the city of Houston has pursued various schemes to make housing more affordable for low-income residents. Despite spending millions of tax dollars, that effort has done little more than create jobs for the administrators of these programs and pay fines to the federal government. Indeed, the Chronicle reports that nearly 29 percent of the $96 million spent by the city on “affordable housing” since 2007 has gone to administrative costs and fines.

If this isn’t bad enough, while engaging in a campaign to create “affordable housing,” the city hasn’t even bothered to define the term. Apparently, although city officials can’t tell us what “affordable housing” means, they have no problem wasting millions of dollars in a futile attempt to fulfill their nebulous goal.

Interestingly, the city doesn’t know how much money its actually spent on “affordable housing.” At the beginning of the fiscal year, the city thought it had $7 million in unallocated housing funds. The city’s economic development office, which manages the housing fund’s revenue, thought the amount was closer to $20 million. After ten months of research, the Chronicle concluded that the city has $46 million in the housing fund. In a gross understatement, City Auditor Courtney Smith called the housing department’s record keeping “sloppy.”

Over the past decade the city has used its “affordable housing” fund to subsidize the construction, purchase or rental of 2,007 homes. Today, fewer than a quarter of those homes are still classified as “affordable housing” (whatever that means). The best anyone can tell, after receiving subsidies from the city, the owners sold their homes at market rates and reaped a windfall at the expense of taxpayers.

It would be easy to say that this is just another example of government incompetence, and that is certainly true. But there is a more fundamental issue involved. “Affordable housing” is another in a series of altruistic, feel-good government programs. And like other altruistic programs, objective standards cannot be applied.

While city officials want us to believe that Houston has an “affordable housing” crisis, they can’t even tell us what the term means. They want us to spend millions of tax dollars on an undefined “problem.” And this reveals the essence of altruism.

Altruism holds that we must place the interests of others before our own self-interest. According to altruism, we must sacrifice our values to others. More fundamentally, altruism holds that we must place the judgment of others before our own judgment. According to altruism, we must sacrifice our mind to others. And this is precisely what the city’s housing campaign accomplishes.

According to altruism, if city officials say that low-income Houstonians are in need of “affordable housing,” then taxpayers must be forced to sacrifice our money to fulfill that need. Our own judgment on the matter is irrelevant–we are forced to defer to the judgment of city officials.

The advocates of “affordable housing” present their campaign as noble. But any campaign that forces individuals to act contrary to their own judgment is not noble. It is evil.

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 7

As we have seen, the goal of the commons movement is the obliteration of private property. The movement holds that the creation of values is not an individual achievement, but the result of collective effort. The movement holds that what is created by the collective should be controlled by the collective. While this may seem like a fringe movement, we must remember that a former President of the United States, as well as a Senator, Elizabeth Warren, have expressed this view.

While the commons movement seeks political change, we cannot fight it on purely political grounds. The motivation and power of the commons movement is not political; it is moral, and that is where the battle must ultimately be fought. We must reject the entire idea of the commons both politically and morally.

Morally, we must reject the idea that individuals have a duty to self-sacrifically serve others. We must defend the moral right of each individual to live his life as he chooses in the pursuit of his own personal happiness.

Politically, we can demonstrate that every resource, including air and water, can be subject to property rights. We can show that the recognition and protection of property rights is not only moral, but it is practical as well. We must reject the idea of communal property, from the deepest aquifer to the most distant celestial body. When we do so, we will eliminate the tragedy that is the commons.


The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 6

In most instances, establishing property rights to a resource is fairly straightforward. If an individual turns a barren field into a lush farm, or extracts ore from the ground, or plants an orchard, most people would recognize his right to that property. But what of more complex situations, such as air and water?

In some ways, water presents more complexity than air. Not only does water exist in oceans, lakes, rivers, and other waterways, it can also be found underground. But the same principle that applies to any resource applies to water as well—those who transform the resource into a human value are the rightful owners.

This can occur in many different ways. For example, a fisherman may improve the habitat in an area of a lake or the ocean so as to increase the number of fish. He would have a rightful claim of ownership to the area of his improvement. Similarly with other improvements or uses—offshore oil wells, wharves and piers, beaches, or dredging a river to allow larger boats to use it.

In these instances, property rights are not extended to the water itself, but to the waterway. Others remain free to use the waterway, so long as they do not interfere with the use established by the owner of the improvement. For example, if a company dredges a river to permit larger boats to use it, others may still use the river. But they cannot impede the first company’s use of that river by, as an example, building an oil well that blocks the river. In other instances, property rights would be extended to the water itself.

For example, a farmer might divert water from a river to use for irrigation. Or a water company might drill a well to supply water to the residents in a community. In these cases, they would have a claim to a specific amount of water, and later users could not interfere with their use. That is, other farmers would be free to also divert water for irrigation. However, they could not divert so much water that the first farmer could not obtain the amount of water that he had claimed a right to. To do so would be to interfere with his property—his well or irrigation system.

But what about pollution? Is Hardin’s claim that a free market encourages pollution true?

Just as you cannot damage the automobile, home, or other property of your neighbor with impunity, damaging another’s waterway would carry legal penalties. In short, if waterways were privately owned, you could not morally pollute in such a fashion that the property of others would be damaged.

If an individual (or a corporation) dumps toxins into a river, thereby killing fish stocks or vegetation, or making the water unsafe for human or livestock consumption or for human recreation, he violates the rights of property owners in or along the waterway. Even in unowned waters, one may pollute only if and to the extent that one can do so without (demonstrably) damaging another’s property. But, given water’s free-flowing nature, the ability of individuals and corporations to pollute a waterway without violating another’s property rights is quite limited. Those who do harm another’s property—whether on land or in waterways—risk prosecution and punishment by a government dedicated to protecting its citizens’ rights.

The recognition and protection of property rights allows individuals to act according to their own judgment and use their property as they judge best. If they take actions that damage the property owned by others, a proper government would hold them responsible. Recognizing and protecting property rights provides us with the principles required to have clean air and water.

I hasten to add that there are many technical and legal issues involved, and I am not claiming to have all of the answers. I am merely indicating how property rights could be applied. The specific details would require the input of competent and rational experts in both the philosophy of law and the relevant technical fields.

In the case of air, nuisance laws provide one way to apply property rights. With roots in common law, a nuisance “is an interference with a person’s enjoyment and use of his land. The law recognizes that landowners, or those in rightful possession of land, have the right to the unimpaired condition of the property and to reasonable comfort and convenience in its occupation.” You have a moral right to use your land without being subjected to loud noises, nauseating fumes, or similar conditions that interfere with your “comfort and convenience.” However, creating loud noises or obnoxious odors does not necessarily violate the rights of anyone, and therefore, nuisance is highly contextual. A property use that constitutes a nuisance in one context may not be a nuisance in another context. For example, burning rubbish in a rural setting is likely to impact nobody, while doing so in a suburban neighborhood could send unhealthy smoke and fumes into the yards of neighbors. Nuisance laws recognize a property owner’s right to use his property as he chooses, so long as his use does not interfere with the mutual rights of others.

As a further example, if you use your grill on your back patio, you will generate smoke. But the amount of smoke that you create is unlikely to impact your neighbors. However, if you build a bonfire in your back yard and send plumes of smoke over your fence, your actions could pose a threat to the welfare of your neighbors. But, if you build a bonfire in the middle of your thousand-acre ranch, nobody is likely to be impacted by the smoke. In each instance, you have generated smoke, but your action is a nuisance only when that smoke prevents others from using and enjoying their property. You have a right to use the air that is on your property, just as your neighbors have a right to use the air that is on their property. If you wish to fill your air with smoke, you have a moral right to do so. However, if you fill your neighbor’s air with smoke so that he cannot use and enjoy his property, you have violated his right to use that air.

Again, there are complexities that are beyond my knowledge or expertise. For example, the emissions from a factory might cause damage miles away. Or, the emissions from a single plant may not cause harm, but the cumulative emissions of many factories might do damage. But such claims must be proven with objective, scientific evidence, not the type of hysterical predictions and data manipulation that characterizes so many claims by environmentalists.

As a final point, Ostrom and other commoners assume that resources exist in a fixed quantity. Garrett Hardin, for example, argued that rational actors would seek to maximize their own utility, and when multiple actors do so, they will deplete the resource. While it is true that everything is finite, some resources, such as fisheries, are renewable, to use a favorite term of environmentalists. Fisheries can support much larger populations of fish than they currently do, but the focus of commoners is on managing the existing supply, not increasing it. When property is owned “in common” there is no motivation or means to increase supply. However, when property is privately owned, both a motivation and a means to increase supply exist. When individuals can profit, they often find innovative solutions to expand production. Fish farms are but one example.

Property rights address any legitimate concerns—such as pollution—that commoners may hold. Not only are property rights practical, they are moral as well—they recognize and protect the freedom of individuals to take the actions they deem best.


The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 5

With no exceptions that I have discovered, commoners dismiss the idea of privatizing the commons. For example, Elinor Ostrom notes that in regard to fisheries “the establishment of individual property rights is virtually out of the question” (Govering the Commons, page 13). She cites a report by the Canadian government that states that “the establishment of private-property rights in fishery resources is impractical in the great majority of cases…” (page 176).

(For a discussion of property rights in waterways, see The Objective Standard, “The Practicality of Privatizing Waterways.” For examples of property rights in other “public goods,” such as parks, mail delivery, infrastructure, education, and libraries, see my book Individual Rights and Government Wrongs.

The values that man needs to sustain and enjoy his life are not simply waiting for us to pick them up. Automobiles, televisions, computers, and food must be produced. Nature does not provide us with I-Pods, ceiling fans, or smart phones. These values must be created from the resources provided by nature.

For example, oil is a resource. As it exists in nature, oil is of no value. Until it is brought to the surface and refined, it is useless to human beings. Indeed, oil was known for millennia and was regarded as an unusable and undesirable resource until the middle of the nineteenth century. It takes intellectual and physical effort to discover how to turn a resource such as oil into a value.

Even berries growing in the wild require thought and effort to become a value. An individual must discover which berries are edible and which are poisonous. He must exert the effort to pick the berries. Until someone picks the berries, they serve no human purpose.

A resource that has not been transformed into a human value is unowned and open to use by all. (I hasten to add that you cannot trespass on your neighbor’s property and pick his berries or chop down his trees. The berries, trees, etc. are his property by virtue of his ownership of the land on which they grow.)

It is the act of transforming an unowned resource into a value that gives rise to the concept of property. Morally, the individual who transforms a resource into a value is the rightful owner of that property. As Ayn Rand wrote, “Any material element or resource which, in order to become of use or value to men, requires the application of human knowledge and effort, should be private property—by the right of those who apply the knowledge and effort.” The concept of property implies ownership, that someone has transformed nature or created a value. A resource that remains as nature left it is not property, communal or otherwise. “The commons,” then, is not communal property. It is an unowned resource open to use by all.

Consider the moon as an example. The moon is an unowned resource, not property, and anyone who can colonize the moon or build a mine or otherwise make use of the resource has transformed a part of the moon into a human value. By right, it is his property. And those parts of the moon that he has not made use of remain unowned and open for use by others.

To restrict an individual’s access to an unowned resource is to violate his right to act as he judges best. It is to prevent him from taking the actions necessary to sustain and enjoy his life. For example, if an individual colonizes the moon, he does not own the entire moon, only that portion which he has transformed. Other individuals have a moral right to colonize other parts of the moon, as long as they do not interfere with the first individual’s use of his property. The same applies to any unowned resource.

Rights sanction freedom of action in a social context. Rights recognize and protect our freedom to act as we judge best, so long as we respect the mutual rights of others. This means that we must refrain from using force or fraud. In regard to property, this means the freedom to create, produce, use, trade, and dispose of material values. But a resource in its natural state is not property. Where there is no property, there is no property right. That is, no individual or group can restrict or control use of an unowned resource.

Commoners imply that use creates a property right, that those who have hunted in a particular forest or fished in a particular harbor have a right to continue doing so to the exclusion of others. As an example, commoners decry the enclosure of the prairies, arguing that those who had used the prairie should have been permitted to continue doing so. They make similar arguments regarding the Internet and other intellectual property.

Use alone does not create property, nor does it confer a property right. For example, a hunter who uses a forest to shoot game does nothing to transform nature and thus create a value. He is simply using nature as he found it, and his rightful claim of ownership extends only to the deer that he shoots, not to the land. However, if he plants certain vegetation or digs a pond that will attract game, he has created a value that will serve human life. It is the act of applying human intelligence and effort to a resource that transforms it from an unowned resource as nature has left it into a human value, and thus, property.

If use confers ownership, then the user of any resource would have a claim of ownership. Drivers could claim ownership of the roads, students could claim ownership of the schools, diners could claim ownership of the restaurant. Not only would this create a legal nightmare, it would be an act of extreme injustice to the rightful owners of these properties—those who exerted the thought and effort to create those values.

Originally, the commons meant an unowned resource. But it included the claim that such resources cannot and should not be privately owned. In truth, there is no resource that cannot and should not be privately owned. Let us now examine how property rights can be applied to air and water.

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 4

According to today’s commons movement, the commons includes much more than resources such as air and water. For example, the website for On the Commons, an organization dedicated to the commons movement, states that the commons is “a social system for the long-term stewardship of resources that preserves shared values and community identity.”

This is a very vague definition, and it raises more questions than it answers. Which resources do they mean? Which shared values? What does community identity mean? Fortunately, we don’t need to guess. Other commoners, which is what advocates of the commons appropriately call themselves, tell us quite clearly.

The Commonweal Institute, a “progressive” think tank, issued a report in 2008 (the report is no longer available online) that states:

The Commons are what we share, what no one can claim as private property and what all of us need to live healthy, happy lives. We need The Commons as individuals and our communities need to use The Commons effectively in order to function and thrive. The Commons include the environment, transportation and power infrastructure, education, language, and cultural heritage.

Among other concretes cited by commoners are information, culture, knowledge, television, and software. The implications of these claims may not be clear. But again, we don’t need to rely on implications, for commoners are quite explicit about their meaning and goals.

While commons advocates welcome the Internet and the vast information it makes available, they decry the “enclosure” of much online content. Nancy Kranich, in a report titled The Information Commons: A Public Policy Report, writes that “much online content is now wrapped, packaged, and restricted−treated as private rather than common property. This ‘walled garden’ or ‘enclosure’ online creates an inequitable and often inaccessible information marketplace.” Comparing this to the privatization of fields, she claims, “No single decision or act caused the enclosure of public fields—a story similar to today’s enclosure of the commons of the mind.” Kranich goes on:

A leader in the field, Elinor Ostrom, has analyzed the characteristics of resources held in common, and concluded that the common property regimes that regulate these resources are distinguished by group, rather than individual, control; the group is then responsible for balancing benefits and costs, defining who may participate in resource use and to what degree, and designating who will make management decisions.[v]

Kranich wants the group—the community—to determine “who may participate in resource use and to what degree.” Remember the resources that she is referring to: information and knowledge, that is, the products of the mind.

Consider what this means. If you write a book, a song, or software, you should not be free to determine how it will be used, who has access to it, or anything else. These resources should be under the control of the group, not the individual who created them. The group, not the individual, should determine “who may participate in resource use and to what degree.” Kranich is not alone in holding this view.

At the website On the Commons, activist David Bollier writes:

One of the great unacknowledged problems of our time is the enclosure of the commons, the expropriation and commercialization of shared resources, usually for private market gain. Enclosure can be seen in the patenting of genes and lifeforms, the use of copyrights to lock up creativity and culture, the privatization of water and land, and attempts to transform the open Internet into a closed, proprietary marketplace, among many other enclosures.

Enclosure is about dispossession. It privatizes and commodifies resources that belong to a community or to everyone, and dismantles a commons-based culture (egalitarian co-production and co-governance) with a market order (money-based producer/consumer relationships and hierarchies)….

[T]he contemporary struggle of commoners is to find new structures of law, institutional form and social practice that can enable diverse sorts of commons to work at larger scales and to protect their resources from market enclosure….

Thus to actualize the commons and deter market enclosures, we need innovations in law, public policy, commons-based governance, social practice and culture.

Like Kranich, Bollier believes that copyrights “enclose” resources that properly belong to a community. Like Obama, he believes that production is a collective effort, that individuals don’t build things. A business, a book, or a song is not the result of individual achievement, but “egalitarian co-production.” Because I have learned from others, I didn’t really write this. Because you have learned from teachers, mentors, and colleagues, your accomplishments aren’t your own. According to Kranich, Bollier, and Obama, achievement and production is a collective enterprise, and what the collective builds, the collective owns and should control.

Not surprisingly, Bollier, Kranich, and other commoners hold that the individual exists solely to serve the collective. They hold that the individual must sacrifice his thinking and achievements to the group. They want the products of your mind—your discoveries, inventions, and creations—to be treated as communal property, to be used and disposed of as the group chooses. This is the collectivization of the mind. It is an attempt to submit the mind to the control of the group. This is the end—both logically and politically—of the commons movement. It is also the logical consequence of altruism/collectivism.

If service to others is a moral duty, as altruism claims, an individual cannot act as his life requires. Instead, he must act according to the needs and demands of his others. His judgment of what is best for his life becomes irrelevant. Instead, he must defer to the needs of others. His mind and his life become communal property—a part of the commons.

The influence of these ideas is not confined to the ivory towers of academia. Indeed, saw an attempt to put these ideas into practice in the Occupy movement.