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Libertarian Answer Man: Homesteading Donuts, Hostile Encirclement, and Prostitution as Selling One’s Body

Dear Mr. Kinsella,

I’m a fan of your work, and appreciate your input into unalienable rights and the Blockean homestead problem. I’d like to add a bit of angel-pin nuance to them.
1) You’ve mentioned multiple times that the human physical body is unalienable, in the vein of Rothbard. I’d like to clarify that it is the mind/will, or in a quasi-Christian sense “soul”, that is unalienable, and not the physical body, since consensual organ sales and prostitution are perfectly fine in libertarianism (of course, this is for consensual transactions of one’s physical body, so stuff like infant circumcision is still out).

Once you cut out an organ, it’s not longer part of your body, so you can sell it, but this does not contravene the notion that selling your living body is unenforceable.
Prostitution is not a selling of the body.  It is merely an agreement whereby a customer transfers his money conditioned on the woman permitting him to use her body. It’s not a sale of her body. This is the problem with imprecise language and misleading metaphors. It is only a one-way sale not a two-way exchange, in legal terms. I explain this in Selling Does Not Imply Ownership, and Vice-Versa: A Dissection, in Legal Foundations of a Free Society.
The position I hold, that owning one’s body does not imply one may sell it, does not imply anything about the existence of the “soul” etc. It does not make the Rothbardian argument that it is “impossible” to alienate one’s will. It simply says that “saying” “you may use my body in the future” does not prevent you from changing your mind at some time before that future point arrives. That is all.  Leland Yeager made the same mistake, as I point out here: “How We Come to Own Ourselves,” in LFFS, footnote 1.
In fact I am an atheist, and reject the notion of “soul,” if taken literally. Yet my argument works even if one is a Christian and believes in mystical/superstitious nonsense like the soul. It is independent of all this stuff. This is something that mystical Christians, and stupid-empiricist-secularist atheists like Yeager alike seem unable to grok.
2) If I’m not mistaken, your position on the donut homestead problem, contra Block, is that anyone who donuts a homestead owns the hole.
I do not recall making this assertion. If you believe I have made this assertion I would appreciate you pointing it out to me.
In fact, I could imagine owning a large donut which prevents people from easily reaching the inside but the inside is unowned since has not yet been transformed.  I would personally think that the person who owns the donut-shaped patch of land owns that patch of land but does not own the interior. What I reject is Walter Block’s assertion that if you homestead the donut and thereby prevent people from homesteading the unowned interior you are committing a libertarian crime since “just as nature abhors a vacuum, libertarianism abhors unowned property.” There is no “abhorring” principle in libertarianism; Walter’s argument IMO is terrible and makes no sense, but at least he recognizes the interior of the donut (or bagel as he calls it sometimes, IIRC) is unowned since no one has homesteaded it yet. I agree. No one has homesteaded it yet. I simply don’t think the donut-owner has committed a “crime against libertarianism” by blocking people from homesteading it. My solution is not that tht donut-owner really owns the interior. It is instead that the donut owner has not violated anyone’s rights by not allowing people to cross over his land to homestead the interior of the donut.
I believe I discuss some of this in The Blockean Proviso.
This is a generally satisfying answer, but I’d like to posit a case where someone constructs a fence on both circles and explicitly refuses the enclave. In such a case, one is perfectly valid in catapulting or helicoptering into the hole to homestead it. However, quite unlike the case of a pre-existing homestead that gets donutted, there is no easement of necessity, so that homesteader is responsible for catapulting/helicoptering back out over the donut.
I am not exactly sure what your question or argument is.
I do not think libertarianism easily contemplates easements of necessity. However I think the way the civil law treats similar issues of “enclosed estates” is roughly compatible with core libertarian principles. See, e.g., my reply to Roderick Long’s post Easy Rider.
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