If a citizen from country A purchases land in country B, does the government of country A have a legitimate role in protecting its citizen's property from, let's say, nationalization by country B?
If the governments of country A and country B get into a legal dispute over these property rights, who is the final arbiter?
The question does not specify the nature of the respective governments. In Objectivism, that is a crucial evaluation for reaching a conclusion about "legitimate role in protecting citizens' property rights." Objectivism does not accept the "multi-culturalism" premise that no objective basis exists for evaluating one government as morally superior to another. Objectivism evaluates governments according to whether or not they uphold individual rights, and how consistently.
The question seems to be seeking a "one size fits all" answer without reference to the nature of the countries involved. For example:
If country C1 is a free country with a proper government, and country C2 is a dictatorship, the Objectivist view is very succinctly summarized in The Ayn Rand Lexicon under the topic of "National Rights." Here are some key points:
The nationalization issue raised by this question arises mainly when dealing with dictatorships. If the question actually intended some less extreme form of government that nevertheless nationalizes the property of individuals and does not respect individual rights in general, then the question needs to describe the nature of such a government in more detail. Again, in Objectivism, the nature of the respective governments needs to be evaluated.
The issue of "National Rights" (and the lack thereof) is broader than dictatorships. The brief Lexicon excerpts (only two excerpts altogether) are both taken from the "Collectivized Rights" article in VOS (Chap. 13). The wider context of the Lexicon excerpts is highly illuminating, and this is a good example of why it can be very helpful to check the original sources (and cross references) for Lexicon excerpts in addition to the excerpts themselves. Here are some additional excerpts from that VOS article (pp. 120-121 in the Signet paperback edition of VOS):
The citizens of a free nation ... agree on the basic principle to be implemented: the principle of individual rights....
For additional excerpts on "Self-Determination of Nations," refer to that topic in the Lexicon, which provides two further excerpts from that same VOS article (including some of what I have excerpted above).
answered Jul 28 '13 at 17:27
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