From The Meaning of Morality.
As I write in an upcoming paper (“The Ethical Case Against Intellectual Property,” Griffith Law Review, Symposium on Law and Anarchy: Legal Order and the Idea of a Stateless Society (Symposium Editor, Gary Chartier; forthcoming 2012)) [update: this article was withdrawn from this symposium due to a disagreement with the editors; a version was published as “Law and Intellectual Property in a Stateless Society,” Libertarian Papers (vol. 5, 2013)]:
First, as Professor Hoppe has argued, the assignment of ownership to a given resource must not be random, arbitrary, particularistic, or biased, if the property norm is to serve the function of conflict-avoidance. This is because any possible norm designed to avoid conflict must be justified in the context of argumentation, in which participants put forth reasons in support of their proposed norms. The norms proposed in genuine argumentation claim universal acceptability, i.e. they must be universalizable. Reasons must be provided that can in principle be acceptable to both sides as grounded in the nature of things, not merely arbitrary or “particularistic” rules such as “I get to hit you but you do not get to hit me, because I am me and you are you.” Such particularistic norms or reasons are not universalizable; that is, they are not reasons at all, and thus are contrary to the purpose and nature of the activity of justificatory argumentation. B’s claim that he owns his own body and also owns A’s body, while A does not get to own his own body, is an obviously particularistic claim that makes arbitrary distinctions between two otherwise-similar agents, where the distinction is not grounded in any objective difference between A and B.
See Hoppe, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, supra note 4, pp. 131–38. See also Kinsella, “A Libertarian Theory of Punishment and Rights,” supra note 16, pp. 617–25; idem, “Defending Argumentation Ethics: Reply to Murphy & Callahan,” Anti-state.com (Sept. 19, 2002).
See also Defending Argumentation Ethics: Reply to Murphy & Callahan, Anti-state.com (Sept. 19, 2002); Hoppe, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, pp. 131–38. See also Kinsella, “A Libertarian Theory of Punishment and Rights,” pp. 617–25. And “What Libertarianism Is,” text at n. 15 et pass.