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LICENSES vs. RIGHTS

In the concept of the validity of the states licensing of radio and television stations. This is argued, correctly, that radio and television stations are private property and require no one's permission to operate. You would go on to observe that licensing is not only a violation of property rights but a threat to freedom of speech since such stations can be silenced by the with-drawal of their license. Lets take this a step further and reject the validity of the very concept of licensing, as such, by the state.

The license is the legal permit to take certain action. What is the source of this concept? If you own certain property, you have the right to control its use and disposal. Your owner-ship means that you have the right to grant, or re-fuse, per-mission for its use. You may issue a license, or a permit, for the property's use. A license is necessarily tied to owner-ship. This, if some-one claims the right to issue a license, the unassailable implication and meaning is that this "person" and man or woman owns the property being licensed. The same is true of actions taken by the individual. If you have the right to an action, you need no one's permission, no license to under-take such action. In fact, the "person" who holds the power of licensing certain actions holds the owner-ship of the right to the actions.

Properly, and in a "free society", licenses are issued only by private individuals and are in recognition of individual rights, of the fact that you may not use an-other "person's" property with-out their permission. Statists reverse this principle: you may not own certain property or take certain action with-out their permission. The license is the legal prohibition of certain action with-out the express permission of the owner of the right to such action. State licensing rests on the notion that the state, not you, is the owner of the action and or property being licensed.

So-called professional licenses are no-thing more than the permit, from the state, to live your life pursuing your chosen profession. This means you do not have the right to engage in your selected profession. You may only do so at the sufferance of the state.

We have licenses for plumbers, electricians, physicians, pilots, stock-brokers, engineers, teachers and a host of other professionals. You must obtain a permit before occupying your newly constructed home. You must, in most places, obtain a permit before opening certain business. You must obtain permission from the state before you can own certain property, such as land. This country is drowning in licenses. And what is being swept away by this flood of legal permits is the concept of a right-of that action you may take with-out any-one's permission.

The validity of state licensing has sunk in-to the stagnant back-waters of so many minds that it has be-come one of the most formidable threats to freedom's future. Its acceptance as valid has provided statists with the tool with which they can continue to dis-mantle freedom. If the state has the right to license one activity, then it may license any activity. This is the logic that has driven the proliferation of licenses over the past few decades and continues to feed the growing call by statists to license even more areas of once-free life.

Now statists are calling for the licensing of guns. And they will win this argument as long as the validity of licensing continues to re-main un-challenged.

Licenses, or permits, issued by the state stand in direct contradiction of rights.

They are the obliteration, intellectually and in practice, of rights. Licenses (by the state) and rights are mutually exclusive. It is either-or: either you have the right to certain action-or-you do not, and must get permission, a license, from the state for acting. Take your pick. You can't have both.