No Right to Privacy Without The Right to Property

by | Jan 21, 2014

Without the right to one’s property (including one’s wealth), any right to privacy is irrelevant and nonexistent.

U.S. Senator (and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman) Dianne Feinstein recently complained about the proliferation of U.S. government drones [robots used as spies] and their impact upon the right to privacy.

You really have to wonder if these politicians even hear what they say, much less think about what they’re saying.

Like most of her colleagues in charge of Congress and the White House, Feinstein is a stalwart supporter of privacy violations, across the board. Why the sudden concern with privacy rights when it comes to drones?

The IRS is one gigantic privacy violation. Every line-item of anyone’s budget, every last detail of one’s income or spending, is subject to government intrusion virtually any time the government insists.

The so-called Affordable Care Act’s intrusive requirements represent unprecedented privacy violations in the most personal of areas, one’s health records.

EPA restrictions  invite the federal government into our bathrooms and kitchens. FDA mandates require federal intrusion into our refrigerators and medicine cabinets. The vast majority of these regulations are not about health and safety; they are about what government thinks and says we may, or may not, eat or put in our bodies.

I could go on and on with examples, but you get the idea.

Senator Feinstein is one of the strongest proponents of all of these invasions of our privacy, “for our own good,” not to mention many more yet to come. She supports her President who claims not only that we don’t have enough laws meddling in the private matters of millions of Americans as it is, but we’re going to have more executive orders imposed, as well, unless Congress starts immediately passing the ones he demands.

Yes, these edicts and orders are imposed primarily on businesses more than individuals. But it’s individuals who trade and otherwise interact with businesses. When you impose mandates on businesses, you’re imposing mandates (and extra costs) on everyone—big guys and little guys, alike.

That’s why politicians get away with all this. A majority of Americans continue to think, “Oh, the government is just imposing those rules and burdens on business; not on me. It won’t cost me anything. And those rich fat cats deserve everything that’s coming to them!”

Seriously? From whom do you buy your groceries, your cars, your smart phones, your computers, your televisions, your television shows, your pet’s food, your prescription drugs? Anything important to you is manufactured by a profit-making, profit-seeking business. When you invade their privacy and/or destroy their rights, then you are simultaneously harming your own interests.

Feinstein’s statism is not confined to her own legislative body, nor her own political party. It’s absolutely bipartisan, although her own party and President—who control everything at present—are its most unwavering proponents.

What are we to make of political figures, like Feinstein and others, who cry about a right to privacy while routinely violating individual rights (including privacy) on a scale that would have made the royalists of Great Britain in the years leading up to the American Revolution blush with shame?

That’s why I wonder if these arrogant and ignorant politicians even give one moment of thought or objectivity to what they’re saying. Obviously, they don’t. Plus, who challenges them?

I’m not against privacy rights. But privacy can only exist in a society where individual rights (including property rights, most of all) are upheld—not violated daily—by the government. Without the right to one’s property (including one’s wealth), any right to privacy is irrelevant and nonexistent.

In the past, privacy rights have been utilized to uphold the right to abortion. Actually, privacy rights are not a way to uphold the right to abortion. Only individual rights are. Either a fetus is to be considered a full human being, under the law, or not. If so, then abortion should be illegal because the fetus is a human individual whose individual right to life may not be violated. If not, then abortion should be legal because the fetus is only a potential, but not yet (at least prior to viability) an actual human individual. (My vote is for the latter position.)

It stretches the concept of absurdity beyond the realm of humor—even dark humor—to watch these caricatures of human beings we elect to decades of high power in Washington DC make such self-evidently contradictory claims. If would be funny, if the very concept and reality of freedom were not dissolving right before our mostly self-blinded eyes.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at:

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

Have a comment?

Post your response in our Capitalism Community on X.

Related articles

The Young in America Turn Against Capitalism

The Young in America Turn Against Capitalism

If young people worry and wonder about their retirement future, their health care, and medical needs, their chance to afford a place to live, and a reasonable possibility for their lives to be better and more prosperous than their parents, it is precisely because government over the decades has either taken over or heavy- handedly imposed itself over all these and other sectors of the American economy — and brought them to financial crisis and imbalance.

The Justice of an All-Volunteer Military

The Justice of an All-Volunteer Military

The most equitable and just sharing of the burden of America’s military is assured by its all-volunteer nature, and that conscription would be inequitable and unjust.

No spam. Unsubscribe anytime.

Pin It on Pinterest