The issue of legitimacy is distinct from the use of force, or rather enforcement of the law. Therefore, something of yours taken by force is still yours, by legitimate claim--as far as property rights are concerned. The use of force/ enforcement is a separate issue. Enforcement can be used for restoring or protecting your legitimate claims, but it never grants you the "basis for legitimacy." Enforcement can be used to carry out the laws of a dictator as well. Legitimacy and enforcement are distinct concepts...
For example, a legitimate use of force would be taking back your rightful property. An illegitimate use of force would be armed robbery.
If you still think that "right by conquest" is legitimate, then with your position there's no distinction between legitimate and illegitimate claims to property. You may as well say that theft and voluntary trade are the same things, which doesn't make sense.
What's legitimate and what's not legitimate is decided by TPTB. China walks in and takes Tibet. We say it's not legitimate, the Chinese say otherwise.
Israel took Jerusalem and now claim it as theirs and call it legitimate, others disagree.
Russia marched across Eastern Europe and brought down the Iron Curtain. To the Russians it was legitimate, to the US it was not. The US either lacked the will or the force required to see otherwise, so therefore Russian dominance over Eastern Europe was in effect quite legitimate. At least, until Russia not longer had the will or ability to hold on to those claims of "legitimacy" and lost their territories. Those who took the territories (the people living there) claim their own right to do so. And so it is, what is legitimate one day is not the next. It all depends on who has the will and ability to see to their claim.
I suppose you might just be playing devil's advocate. The Right of Conquest and the Spoils of War have always been legitimate prizes throughout history. France and England took spoils from Germany after WWI and called it legitimate and in doing so seeded the future war. At the time, Germany lacked the ability to apply force to dispute the allies legitimate claims and it took the Huns a good 20+ years before they could
do something about.
The US attacked Iraq and called it legitimate, and it was, did not Congress vote to use force? It became quite legitimate as far as the US was concerned.
The US (and Europe) bombed the hell out of Libya and called it legitimate. And so it is. Ole Gadaffi lay dead now, sodomized just before he was killed and it is all legit.
Saddam Hussein, legitimate leader of Iraq captured and tried. He was entirely correct when he said the Iraqi court which tried him did not have the legitimate right tto
try him, for all the good that did Saddam as history shows us. He lacked the ability to apply force to uphold his legitimate claim where as the court that tried him had all the force required to try, convict and hang him dead.
In two sides of a dispute both are going to say they have a legitimate claim. Who is right? Who is wrong? Well, after they fight, the one left standing must be right....LOL
I'm not arguing the merits or the morality or the ethics of such, only that it exists and is a fundamental truth. I know you already know these things.
As to Trade and Theft being the same thing, there are certain....extreme Libertarian views (and anarchist, Marxist and other such philosophies) that argue Property is Theft. To them that's a legitimate claim. Depends on ones philosophy, Trade and Theft might just be the same thing. I don't happen to believe that, BTW, but if someone took over and used force to say it was so, then I guess it would be so no matter what my personal thoughts on the matter would be. Unless of course, I could muster a greater amount of force to prove them wrong.....
BBS wrote:The issue of legitimacy is distinct from the use of force, or rather enforcement of the law. Therefore, something of yours taken by force is still yours, by legitimate claim--as far as property rights are concerned.
Tell that to the native Americans.....
Or any of the other multitude of peoples displaced, massacred and their property taken and the action called "legal" and "legitimate".
BBS wrote:For example, a legitimate use of force would be taking back your rightful property. An illegitimate use of force would be armed robbery.
It's that easy? Hmmm, if in your example of you and your buddies taking over my parents house, if I stormed in there and wasted you all (a legitimate use of force would you say?) and your family after the fact takes exception that I shot you and your buddies dead, they might feel they have a legitimate reason to exact "justice" (revenge) upon me. No matter my claims of the "legitimacy" of me using force upon you to protect my property rights.
Hell, a court of law would label me a "vigilante" and toss me right in prison for that.
An illegitimate use of force they'd call it.
BBS wrote:If you still think that "right by conquest" is legitimate, then with your position there's no distinction between legitimate and illegitimate claims to property. You may as well say that theft and voluntary trade are the same things, which doesn't make sense.
When the US does it, it's legitimate. When Iran does it, it's "aggression" and illegal. When the UK took colonies, forcibly and using force to hold those colonies, it was legitimate. The US in it's Revolution is considered by Americans as "legitimate" where as to the Brits, it was treason and thus not legitimate.
It's all in the details and depends from which angle you view it. Philosophically you can make a determination of what is and isn't legitimate, but all that means absolutely nothing if you do not have the ability to apply it. Without the force backing the claim of legitimacy, then whatever it is one thinks is legitimate won't be for very long. Someone else enacting their own "legitimate" claim will just come in and take it from you, and afterward call it "legal".
That's just how it is. I find it naive of people to not understand the role of violence in the application of natural rights, legal rights and all other things men and nations label as "legitimate".
A mob boss would consider it a legitimate use of force to waste the deadbeat who skipped out on his loanshark. The State would have another view of this I'd wager.
It's all in the pudding.