Property rights exist because we have morality

in philosophy •  2 years ago  (edited)

If someone was standing in the subway station, and I walked up from behind and shoved this person in front of the train, most people would think of that as an immoral act. They would think that I was responsible for the person's death. Most people would find it justified to convict me for murder especially if the camera clearly showed that I did it. The reason I would be responsible is that I, and I alone control my body. My arms and legs are hardwired to my brain via the rest of my nervous system. I own my body, I own my actions. That's why I'm responsible for the consequences of my actions.

If I create a piece of art, I am responsible for that and I own it, just like I'm responsible if I shove someone. The only legitimate (peaceful) way the ownership of the artwork can be transferred to someone else is if I decided to give it away or if I agree to exchange it for some other good or service. This makes intuitive sense. You wouldn't like it if I stole your stuff. In fact, most people would feel legitimized in the use of force to prevent some from taking and/or vandalizing their stuff. 2000px-Flag_of_Anarcho-capitalism.svg.png

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Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by Pomperipossa from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, theprophet0, someguy123, neoxian, followbtcnews/crimsonclad, and netuoso. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows and creating a social network. Please find us in the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

You should probably read this book, What is Property by PJ Proudhon, if you want to continue to call your self an anarchist, if you do.

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I'm not very fond of labels. I haven't read the book but I'm guessing you do not think private property should or does exist? Could you please give me the TLDR-version of the book? Do you think that everyone owns them selves?

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The book is the founding document of modern anarchism, it is very long, somewhat dated, and didn't include all the answers.

Here is an interpretation of it from some years later:
https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/petr-kropotkin-the-conquest-of-bread

Much like being a geologist, or engineer, anarchism requires study, otherwise the word has no meaning.

Rule by force is the disease, who and how are symptoms.

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Anarchism requires no study or even thought. It requires merely the rejection of aggression as a way to get one's way.

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Rejecting aggression is certainly a part of it, but how do you propose to distribute goods?

There is more to living that just not being an abusive jerk.

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By 'distribute goods' are you asking a simple question of logistics or do you actually mean 'live at the expense of others'?

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We all live at the expense of others.

You have shoes because political prisoners in china make them.
You have TV's for the same reason.

But back to the point, do you intend to let wage slavery persist, or do you have an alternative?

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You can't say that political prisoners are a result of the free market. Slavery and voluntary exchange are mutually exclusive so what do you mean by wage slavery?

The alternative to living at the expense of others is to have a free society, a free market. It is obvious that we have very different definitions of anarchy. What is your proposed alternative?

It seems you blame employers for the fact that humans have needs and that life is a struggle. Are you a utopian? Will no one have to work after you impose your "solutions" on everyone?

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Ah - I thought that sounded like campus lefty bs... A few obvious tells from the front page of that so-called 'anarchist' site: The Chomsky effect, Interview with a Mexican Comrade, Down With The Family, When Non-Violence is Suicide, Anarchists-Intersectionality-Races-Islamophobia-Etc. Does that sound like a rather large wheelbarrow of the same, old, extreme-left narrative to anyone else?

But go ahead and read that Proud-horn waffle (if you can wade through such thick molasses) - just treat it as the opposite of what @freebornsociety purports it to be. And ain't it kinda funny how the property-is-theft crowd lay such a stern claim of ownership upon the meaning of anarchy? Literally, the word means 'no ruler'.

But it is noteworthy that @freebornsociety is able to acknowledge that 'Rule by force is the disease' and I'm curious about if / how they think the left is any less culpable of this than the right...

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I thought that sounded like campus lefty bs...

Funny, because I have never been a student on any college campus.

What we have here is a failure to explore outside what has been provided to you by whomever you accepted as an authority.

So, continue to hide behind your ignorance, because reading is too hard,.....

It really is academic, though, as long as you don't advocate using force, you can do as you please.

Literally, the word means 'no ruler'.

Right, not no definitions.

I'm curious about

If you need violence to enforce your utopia, it sux, and so do you.

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Anarchy, and when I use the word, I mean in the sense no ruler, is not a utopia, utopias are always bad ideas. (this is why I don't like labels, people have a hard time agreeing on definitions and it becomes a discussion about whos a real anarchist instead of the ideas).

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I agree, once rule by force is off the table the differences left are negligible and experimentation should be the rule of the day.

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Sorry about the late reply. Could you please define what you mean by "rule by force"? What do you propose be done before "rule by force" is off the table?

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But go ahead and read that Proud-horn waffle

I agree that it was written for a better educated audience than the average today, but folks didn't have anything to do but read and discuss ideas back then, once the work was done.

This book does a better job of breaking it down into bite sized pieces.

how they think the left is any less culpable of this than the right...

If the status quo refuses to acknowledge the violence that keeps them in power the only way to reach them is to show them the errors attached to using violence to stay in power.
If you believe that the status quo isn't kept in place by violence, try resisting when a cop pulls you over for not following the rules like a good boot licker.
They will literally crash you car without regard for your safety, I know, I have first hand personal experience because of a plant, tyvm.

I am afraid that until you open your mind we are really wasting our time, but I got plenty, so go right ahead, if that is your thing.

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Thank you for the link @freebornsociety, however, the interpretation of the book that you linked to here is still a pretty long read. I think reading is very important to increase your knowledge, though asking you for a TLDR-version was a mistake on my part. I realize now that what I wanted, was for you to write why and which parts of my text that you disagree with so that we can have a constructive discussion.

Otherwise, I could just counter with a link to a book that supports my side of the argument and wait for you to read it. This is not an effective way of communicating and I doubt that you would read it. If you could make a convincing argument against my text then provide a link to a book supporting it I would probably be more motivated to read the book. At the moment I'm not even sure on what we disagree on. Reading the book without knowing what I'm looking for seems like a waste of time.

This is just speculation, feel free to correct me if this is not the case but, maybe you don't have a good argument and you just want to win anyway. If this is the case it makes sense to waste my time instead of presenting arguments.

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I absolutely freaking love this article it puts a lot of things in perspective for a lot of people

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Thanks! :)

Excellent points, pomperipossa! Thank you for sharing this. Yes, we own ourselves, our minds, and our bodies. A bunch of people getting together and deciding that they own you (think voting) still doesn't change that important principle.

I think Leonard Reed, the founder of the Foundation for Economic Education said it very well as a philosophy of life, "Anything that's peaceful."

Thank you for sharing this and please keep up the good work!

Terry

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Thank you, Terry!

I disagree with a lot of what you wrote here. You would own the artwork you created not because you created it, but because you already owned the medium or substrate it was expressed on, the canvas and paints, or the stone for the sculpture, or the paper or computer for the book. The artwork potentially increases the value of the substrate, but doesn't per se cause ownership. Property rights may not exist. Where are they if they do? Where do they come from? They seem to exist only in their violation, whereas ownership is primary and requires no property right.
Morality isn't the source of property right (assuming it exists), but is an effect derived from it.
One can't own an action, but one can be responsible for one's actions, which is why you'd still be thrown in prison, if not hanged or shot, for pushing that person in front of the train.

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Thank you for disagreeing and writing why and which parts you disagree on! I agree it is required to own the medium or substrate. If I were to use someone else's property I would be guilty of theft and the artwork would not belong to me.

As to the question of not owning an action, this might be a question of semantics? Isn't being responsible for your actions the same thing as owning your actions? Property rights do not exist in the physical world, you can't touch them. They do however exist as a concept in peoples minds, you could say they are social constructs. As to where they come from, people made it up just like you make up the rules for a sport or game. If you don't have any rules the game is pointless, so why play it? Without property rights you can just hit someone over the head and take their stuff, there are no rules after all.

This also explains why I believe morality is the source of property rights. People probably realized that playing "the game of property rights" led to less conflict and greater prosperity. Tus they discovered it was what they were already doing and that it was working, then they inscribed it in their law.

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Saying property rights don't exist because they can't be touched (or as some would say, because they have no shape) is to not recognize that many abstract ideas exist despite not being tangible, e.g., families are more than the people who comprise them; they are also the relationships between the parents and children and other members of the family. Qualities and relationships are as much a part of existence as tangibility.
I have doubts that property rights exist in any form. What does exist, as a relationship between a person and a thing, is ownership.
One can't own an action. An action is not a thing. One can be responsible for an action, of course, but that isn't the same as owning. One can't sell or buy an action. If he could, then the buyer would own the action and be able to do with it as he pleases. One can pay for a service (e.g., an action), but the service isn't owned by the person who receives it, even if said person does own the result of the service or action, such as a haircut or house-cleaning.

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I'm fine with using the word ownership instead of property rights. I guess you are right about not being able to own an action in the same way as owning an object. What I was trying to convey was that you have to own the responsibility as in "own up to something".

Very good post you are a big greetings ..