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How do libertarians address the issue protecting things like the pyramids and other historical artifacts. Does the government have to get involved or can they be done privately?

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    They would be owned by their owners. Why is there anything more to say?
    – James K
    Apr 7, 2020 at 0:20
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    @JamesK, but who owns things like the pyramids?
    – gbd
    Apr 7, 2020 at 0:33
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    @JamesK I guess then the question is who owns the pyramids and other national monuments?
    – divibisan
    Apr 7, 2020 at 0:33
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    It varies. In the UK, many are owned by the National Trust, a non-government charity.
    – James K
    Apr 7, 2020 at 0:44
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    I suppose the real question here is what would happen if whoever owned the pyramids decided to demolish them to, let's say, build a casino? How would a libertarian balance the owner's property rights with the cultural and historical value of the pyramids to both the nation of Egypt and the world? I think it's probably too broad of a question, though, since the answer probably depends on what kind of "libertarian" you're talking about.
    – divibisan
    Apr 7, 2020 at 0:51

2 Answers 2

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I assume you mean right-wing libertarianism as it can be seen in the US.

In that case: Proponents of unrestrained capitalism don't have "protecting things" as part of their ideology.

The point is that "the market" will take care of it. Landmarks would be privatized and whoever owns them would do with it as they please. If they want to preserve it for the sake of it, then they'd do that. If they want to preserve it and charge tourists for access, then they'd do that.

And if they want to demolish it and built something more profitable, that would be fine too. If others want to prevent it, they'd have to try to raise funds to buy it (if the owner is willing to sell). If they can't do that, then the market has spoken. The landmark doesn't add enough value to society for people to be willing to finance it, so it should be demolished.

In right-wing libertarian ideology, things (or people) don't have value in and of themselves, but only insofar as "the market" decides that they do.

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  • It's not true that people have no value for libertarians, because no libertarian advocates trading people as slaves. If anything, we may support unrestrained selling of one's services, including taboo things, but only if the service provider works voluntarily. If you refer to social services then we don't object because it's bad that people have some help from others. It's because if I didn't harm your grandma, then I don't owe her any of my money for her retirement. I'm against coercion, not against charity. I could help my own grandma though. Or I may even help your grandma, if I want to. Feb 25, 2023 at 17:37
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    @verybigcat I would suggest looking at US history especially when it comes to company towns, stores and script. There was very much businesses that treated their employees like slaves and ensuring that they where always in debt to the company and couldn't leave which sounds a lot like slavery without calling it that.
    – Joe W
    Feb 25, 2023 at 19:59
  • @JoeW if you enter into the company as a free person and then go in debt well.... either you knew what you did, or you were deceived. In first case, you deserve to be in debt, and in second case, you should sue the company, and the judge should reimburse your debt. Feb 25, 2023 at 21:14
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    And you are missing the point, when the companies have all the power and own everything there isn't a choice about doing something else or even the ability to sue them.
    – Joe W
    Feb 25, 2023 at 21:18
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    One fact in support of this is that the U.S. Civil War is one of the best persevered wars in recent history, owing to the fact that so many of it's battle fields are so well preserved. The common reason for this is that real estate speculators would often buy up the battlefield properties within hours of the battle's conclusion (some even during the fighting) in the interest of turning them into tourist attractions following war. Compare with WWI or WWII, which, despite being more recent, have many battlefields redeveloped into suburbs or other estates that do not preserve historical sites.
    – hszmv
    Feb 27, 2023 at 13:37
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Whoever purchase the monuments, will own decide it's fate.

If I had chance to purchase the pyramids one day, I would probably try to build a business around them. Maybe just sightseeing for money, maybe some hotels, spas, resorts, weddings, whatever parties. Maybe I would build artificial forest near them to allow tourists to cool down in the share (may be profitable for eco-tourism). Or maybe I'll go dirty and build casinos and brothels in the pyramids. Ancient gods were not saints after all.

Is it possible that I would destroy them? Definitely.

Would that be profitable? Probably not. My corporation would probably lose a fine tourist attraction if I destroyed them, so I would have to pay the price if I did.

And as the pyramids are highly unique, they would probably be kept quite well. After all, you cannot easily fake ancient monuments.

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    This answer appears to be made on a lot of assumptions such as the amount of money gained from tourism would be enough to make the money spent on maintaining/protecting them. Or the assumption that people would not find ways to make more money from getting rid of them. Sure things like the pyramids might not be more profitable to get rid of but those are not the only historical artifacts/sites to consider.
    – Joe W
    Feb 25, 2023 at 17:46
  • Similarly to assuming that I would earn money on pyramids, the current system also assumes that the state will always be able to get money for each and every museum it takes care of. And that it's ethical to take money from innocent people to protect an old grave. Every one of this assumptions is equally shaky. I would say, if there are so many people concerned about the well-being of ancient graveyards, I could probably make a fundraising campaign to protect those, without violating the wildly debated private property of others. Feb 25, 2023 at 17:53
  • You need to stop ranting about taxes in your posts
    – Joe W
    Feb 25, 2023 at 19:08
  • @JoeW you're not gonna tell me what I need to do. I don't need this site. Taxes are theft, and the only thing that differentiates a country from a terrorist group is what other countries think of a given country.... and sometimes the level of evil it cultivates. And I doubt the second part, as Russia is still considered to be a legitimate country by most people. Feb 25, 2023 at 19:13
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    profitability != morality and just because it might make one person happier to make more money from destroying our history doesn't mean it won't make more people upset and mad.
    – Joe W
    Feb 25, 2023 at 21:17

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