HOME INDEX  

Demonstrations, Protests, and Other Adolescent Tantrums
Acting Without Principles: The Absurdity of "Intellectual Property Rights"

The media fills itself with every form of novelty to satisfy the popular lust for the sensational—anything that provides some diversion from the monotony and meaninglessness of the average individual's life. After the murders, rapes, and squalid sexual escapades of so-called celebrities come the reports of riots, protests, and demonstrations by those who fill their own meaningless lives by "doing something" about what they perceive as social injustices—anything that stands in the way of having whatever they think they would like to have at someone else's expense.

Violent racial riots in California, peaceful tea-party demonstrations across the country, and squalid "occupy" protests in major cities currently dominate the news. The most recent "demonstrations" are the Internet site shutdowns protesting the SOPA and PIPA bills.

Riots, protests, and demonstrations are nothing new in the world, but they are always evidence of a kind of adolescence. Whether examples of public temper tantrums, like riots, or huge public pouts, like the tea parties, they are nothing more than childish foot-stamping and hysterical blubbering about what one does not like or wants and cannot get that accomplishes nothing but mischief. However they are carried out, they are all expressions of self-righteous spite, sometimes so extreme to be at the cost of one's own nose— or life.

Besides the fact that all these public acts of childishness are carried out by boorish ignorant loudmouths, with apparently nothing better to do then march around with signs, yelling empty slogans like a high-school pep rally, while annoying as many real adults as possible, they are universally void of any principles whatsoever and, to whatever extent they have any affect, it is always harmful.

Fighting Evil, Supporting The Lie That Makes It Possible

Consider the recent SOPA and PIPA Internet demonstrations. To demonstrate their outrage at the possibility of the government arbitrarily blacking out sites they blacked out their own sites for anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. Both the potential SOPA and PIPA legislation are certainly very wrong, but not one site anywhere identified the principle that makes it wrong.

Most of them actually support the evil principle at the heart of SOPA and PIPA, writing things like:

"Some who oppose the bill, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, ... see a bright spot in a potential compromise called the OPEN Act, which would provide for the International Trade Commission to judge cases of copyright or trademark infringement. If the commission found that a foreign site was largely devoted to piracy, it could compel payment processors and online advertising companies to stop doing business with it."

Another writes, "The Internet is the greatest engine for free speech and innovation ever known to humankind. Certainly its power can be used for good as well as bad, but censoring content, jeopardizing the security of the Internet, and stifling innovation is not the answer for protecting intellectual property rights."

The principle that both these arguments miss is the lie of intellectual property.

The Intellectual Property Lie

"Intellectual Property," is one of the greatest intellectual swindles ever put over on mankind. It is not the only one, but certainly is one of the most insidious.

In my article, "Patent Absurdity and Tyranny of the Mind," I address most of the absurd arguments in defense of the pseudo-concept, "intellectual property." The purpose of the article is not to convince others so-called "intellectual property rights," is nothing but a government scheme to reward certain individuals with government-coerced monopolies, especially when those individuals support that government.

The only purpose of my article is to help those who have not been taken in by the government lie, to understand they are not being "immoral" when copying or reproducing any product and selling it; that they never have to worry about whether anyone else has had an idea like theirs which they wish to use to produce a product or create a work of art.

The truth is, no one should ever have to worry about who might have thought of, or done, something when thinking about what they choose to think or do. Whatever you own that you have acquired by purchasing it, or producing it by your own effort, is yours to use in any way you choose. Whatever ideas you have in your mind, however you acquired them—by thinking of them yourself or learning them from someone else—they are your ideas to use in any way you choose.

The Government Lie

The government is not interested in the truth, of course. It is only interested in power, and it can only gain and hold power by means of deception, usually by convincing people they are threatened with some terrible danger that only the government can protect them from.

Nobody wants to be the victim of thieves, of course. When government wants to convince people a certain class of individuals are dangerous threats it will label them thieves, or pirates, which sounds even more threatening. In the case of the "intellectual property" lie, it labels those who make copies of their own property to give away or sell, thieves.

Those who profit from the government lies are quick to copy the government propaganda method. One example is the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). It has a website called, "Rogue Websites."

"Rogue websites traffic in stolen movies, TV shows, and music ...," it begins. This is an outright lie. Buying a CD is not theft. Recording a movie with one's own equipment, using one's own electricity, and one's own materials is not theft. However one acquires something, by making it, purchasing it, or being given it, it is their property. In a moral society one is free to use their own property in any way they choose; they may wear it or watch it or listen to it or burn it, throw it away or give it away. The real crime is when force is used to prevent people from using their own property as they choose, or the outright theft of that property by confiscation.

When Gangsters Collude

When governments work together to destroy and steal the property of others, it is not only crime, but crime on the wholesale level. The US government, in collusion with New Zealand's government, closed down the Megaupload site, charging seven executives and arresting four, for what real government crooks have the audacity to call, "piracy." The only pirates were the thugs responsible for destroying the property of millions of innocent individuals who, without warning, have lost access to their property, files they stored on the Megaupload site.

To prove they are nothing but thieves, New Zealand "authorities, on Friday ... seized guns, millions of dollars, and nearly $5 million in luxury cars" from "several homes and businesses linked to the founder of Megaupload.com." That's real theft of real property from individuals, none of whom have been convicted of anything, and some only "linked" to Megaupload.

Protests Always Wrong

The rallies, riots, protests, and demonstrations are always wrong. They are wrong, not because the things being protested are not, in some cases, like the Megaupload fiasco, truly evil, but because all such protests fail to identify the principle that makes such evils possible. In this case, of course, the principle is that every individual is free to use whatever ideas or property that are theirs in any way they choose and no one may morally interfere in that use.

The "Anonymous" hacker protest that shut down a number of sites supporting the Megaupload shutdown, not only failed to identify the "intellectual property" lie as the basis for the government's thuggery, but engaged in the same kind of thuggery itself. The SOPA and PIPA protests also failed to identify the lie of "intellectual property" as the basis of those oppressive laws. So long as the principles behind the evils in this world go unidentified, all the demonstrations and protests in the world will not improve anything. It requires adult minds in adult individuals to make such identifications and real adults are too busy living full productive lives to waste them on adolescent protests, rallies, and demonstrations.

[If you are in doubt about the nature of Intellectual Property, please read the articles: "Patent Absurdity and Tyranny of the Mind," and the earlier one it references, Commentary - Intellectual Property.]

—(01/21/12)