Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Batman Can Let Alfred Use the Batmobile, But Not the Invisible Jet

We all love Batman, but how could Batman do what he does without the help of his trusted butler, Alfred?  Alfred is Batman's best friend and confidant.  Sometimes Batman needs help and Alfred is always there for him.  Could Batman let Alfred drive the Batmobile should the need arise?  

Of course!  The Batmobile belongs to Batman and so Batman can let Alfred drive it.  Could Alfred use the Invisible Jet if Batman gives him permission?  

Of course not!  Batman does not own the Invisible Jet.  Wonder Woman owns the Invisible Jet.  Batman is very talented, he has many skills and he can do a lot of things.  But one thing Batman can't do is give Alfred permission to use something not owned by Batman.

The principle I'm trying to illustrate here is the principle of delegation.  The delegation of authority is how a lot of things get done in the world.  Many people have agents who have the authority to act in some way, whether it involves a job, a will, an estate, or an investment.  In each case the agent acts on behalf of the person who delegated the authority.  One always has to be careful when delegation is involved.  You can't act with authority that's not delegated to you and you can't delegate authority that you don't have.  If you try to do those things, you will get in trouble.  That's why agents have detailed contracts and the delegated authority is clearly defined.

Government is a thing that exists because people delegate authority to it.  Remember that government can only exert its will through force so it can only use force if it received the delegated authority to use force.  So the question is, who has the authority to use force in the first place?  We all do!  Every single person has the authority to use force in the defense of his life, liberty, and property, and under no other circumstances.  Therefore, every single person can delegate that authority to another person or entity.  That's where government gets its authority to use force in the defense of life, liberty, and property, and under no other circumstances.  That's like Alfred driving the Batmobile with Batman's permission.

So what if government tries to use force in a circumstance other than the defense of life, liberty, and property?  In that case government is trying to use authority that it never received.  That's like Alfred trying to fly the Invisible Jet.  What if government says it received the authority in the last election when the majority of people voted for certain policies or political candidates?  In that case government is claiming it was delegated authority from people that did not have the authority to begin with.  That's like Alfred trying to fly the Invisible Jet with Batman's permission.  It just doesn't work.

Whenever a government forces an individual to do anything without the individual first being proven guilty of violating the life, liberty, or property of another, that government is using authority that it never received.  If I can't force my neighbor to pay for things that I like, government can't either.


  1. OK that is a great way to look at a simple concept that most people don't understand. THANKS!

    1. No problem! I really try to boil things down to their core principles. It makes it a lot easier to understand.