Of Property

Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought.

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Of Property

Postby Gloominary » Fri May 19, 2017 10:26 pm

Where do you draw the line, if you draw it at all?
What makes something belong to someone, or some people?
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Re: Of Property

Postby Gloominary » Fri May 19, 2017 10:30 pm

Is something someones property simply because they claim it, and have the military/political, directly or indirectly, or personal might to defend that claim, and no one is able or willing to challenge them?
Or is your definition of property less amoral and more moral than that?
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Re: Of Property

Postby Gloominary » Fri May 19, 2017 10:34 pm

What are the like some of the major conceptions of property?
I guess you could have a democratic conception of property, like everything within a country belongs to the people of that country, and individuals and smaller groups within that country are at best borrowing things from the majority, and at worse, robbing them.
We could call this form of property demoproperty.
Similarly you could have a plutocratic or monarchic conception of property, everything belongs to the rich or to the king, even the stuff they already don't have, simply cause they're rich, powerful and 'superior'.
We could call these forms of property plutoproperty and monoproperty, or something to that affect.
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Re: Of Property

Postby Gloominary » Fri May 19, 2017 11:21 pm

And what would the capitalist definition of property be?
What would the socialist and communist definitions be?.
I'm still trying to figure that out sort of.
I think that for the communist, the poor, while they have little-nothing, own everything, they just have to get organized and take it from the rich, take what's 'rightfully' theirs, if they can't convince the rich to share out of the goodness of their own hearts, and they mostly certainly can't.

Socialism is similar.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the difference between communism and socialism.
For socialists, the means of production belongs to the poor, or to the workers who operate it/them, but not the products themselves.
But what does that mean exactly, means of production, like not if you have some food that belongs to you, but if you have some means of producing food, like a fishing rod, than I have the right to take it from you, if I'm poorer than you, or if I think or feel I need it more than you, and you won't share it with me?
I don't think that's what socialists mean by means of production, I think they mean large scale manufacturing and distributing, industry and commerce, the kind of large scale industry and commerce you'd be hard pressed to find in pre-industrial, pre-capitalist society.

For the socialist, a person can't own things in a fixed, rigid strict capitalist sense, but they can have them.
The socialist definition of property, if it can be called that (more like possession), is more fluid.
If you have something, or are regularly routinely using something personally, directly, then it belongs to you, but if you purchase or put up the money to manufacture things all over the place, like hotels in this city, land in this one, and factorizes in that one over there, because you can't possibly occupy and use them all regularly, than for the socialist, they don't belong to you, they're up for grabs.

This prevents people from accumulating and hoarding absurd, as one might see it, obscene sums of wealth.
Excessive wealth, more things than a man'd ever need in a thousand, million lifetimes, and far more than one man could every really, truly be worth to society.
Abolishing capitalist property would make the means of production and things a lot less scarce and more abundant than they are now, and probably reduce the kind of ruthless, cutthroat competition many of us have come to associate with capitalism, just like abolishing polygamy reduced violent competition for mates.

And that's kind of like how the original definition of property was, way back when humans were hunter gatherers.
Nobody owned that patch of land over there, you might be able to set up camp there for a while, and defend your territory, but once you packed up your things and left, it was no longer yours, and you wouldn't expect it to be, you would expect having you been gone for weeks, months or years, that beasts and other people would be using it, that it would become more theirs, and not yours.

Government, agriculture and permanent settlements changed this, people could now accumulate vast sums of stuffs, giving us a more fixed definition of class.
Humans always had hierarchies, the guy who carried around the bigger stick and knew how to use it tended to have more of a say in matters, or the guy who was better at making connections with others, and gaining their trust and allegiance, but with the advent of civilization, it became possible for some people to own several or dozens of times more property than most people, and now with capitalism and the contemporary postindustrial society, it's possible to own millions of times more stuffs than the average person, it's possible for the richest man in the world to buy his own country, while many of us languish in poverty.
If we all firmly believed in the morality of socialism, and had the guts to stand up for it, and get organized, we might be able to have a society approaching its ideals.

Socialism can come in different forms I suppose, like there can be an anarchist socialism...but they don't call it anarchist socialism, the economic theorists who write about this stuff, for whatever reasons or no reason, they call it libertarian socialism.
Any state, and any people without a state can uphold the socioeconomic principles of communism, socialism, capitalism, and whatever other system or property ideal they wish to uphold, or various combinations of the aforementioned systems/propertisms.
And they are all ideals, so at best, they can only be partly implemented, human nature is far too fluid, selfish, as well as spineless to perfectly live in accordance with any ideal, but we can try, with varying degrees of success.
For me, I think the socialist ideal makes the most sense, is the most just of the ones I went over, it's a good synthesis of capitalist and communist extremes, as I see it.

And than there is capitalism, I'm not sure I need to get into capitalism thou, for we English speakers, and most of the world now already live it everyday, it's practically self evident and I covered it sufficiently when I dealt with socialism.
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Re: Of Property

Postby Gloominary » Sat May 20, 2017 2:35 am

Communism bases its theory of property on need, socialism on need too, but equally or more so on possession: if you have a thing, if you're using it, or occupying a place, it's yours.
How long you have to cease having a thing, or occupying a place before it's up for grabs, depends on the socialist you talk to, or they may not have thought that part through thoroughly.
And then there's capitalism, with its emphasis on intellectual property, and property being this fixed, thing, like if something is voluntarily given to you by someone it belonged to, or you bought it, or you made it yourself, or you're occupying it and paying taxes, it's yours, permanently, until you exchange it, give it away or die.
Doesn't matter who or how many people you lend or rent it to, doesn't matter if you haven't seen it in years or decades, and are involved very little or not at all with it, except for perhaps in making money off it still.
Communism is about need, socialism is about possession, but also need, and capitalism is about property.
What else could we use to determine what belongs to whom?
Last edited by Gloominary on Sat May 20, 2017 4:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Of Property

Postby Gloominary » Sat May 20, 2017 3:01 am

Like I talked about earlier, you can have a state conception of property, where the state owns everything, but let's people have or use some things for a time, at its discretion.
And in a sense that's the system we have today, for whether the state justifies itself on capitalist, socialist or communist lines, it's ultimately the state that gets to determine who controls what, where, when, why and how, and then we're supposed to have some say in that process, but of course we have very little say in it actually.

So you can have state capitalism, socialism and communism, and you can have capitalism, socialism and communism without the state, at least theoretically.
And then you can have an autocratic, oligarchic and democratic state.
I suppose you can have a state without any economic ideology too, thou these days they usually come with one, you can have a state that decides its economic policy on a whim, or selfishly.

And of course that's what we have very much so, the state, which is principally democratic but practically oligarchic, deciding things rather selfishly and whimsically, making it up as it goes along, whatever's convenient opportunistically.
And then most people put up with that while a few live according to their own contrary principles, which they try to realize, or according to no principles.

You may have no property principle, you may live without any sort of notion of property whatsoever, but you probably wouldn't last very long before being put in jail, if you did not at least recognize the state has its property laws that must be adhered to, or at least worked around, even if you yourself don't have any.
We may call such a state of thinking, feeling, being and living property nihilism, where a person doesn't care about property, the thought scarcely crosses their minds even, thou they may take this or that, or give this or that, they never stop to think who it belongs to, or have any sense of belonging at all, they may not even have a sense that other people have this sense, or they may have, but not care.

And then there is property egoism, the kind advocated by the likes of Max Stirner, where you feel as thou everything does, or ought to belong to you, even if you don't expect anyone else to acknowledge your claim, and that everyone ought to behave like this, or already do really, just most aren't conscious of it.
You'll try to manipulate what other people perceive as their stuff as much as you can according to your ends, not valuing other peoples ends unless they align with yours, not valuing their sense of agency, autonomy, self determination and sovereignty...or perhaps valuing it, but still trying to get your way as much as possible, the object of your desires irrespective of theirs.
You may take it one step further and think other people should act as thou you own the earth and everything on and in it too, just because...you're God, or just because, you're selfish.
We may call this conception of property property narcissism.

And then there's property elitism, you could call it.
Like you believe the rich/powerful ought to be rich/powerful just because they're rich/powerful, maybe you think they ought to be even more rich/powerful, that they ought to have everything.
You wouldn't take it from them, even if you had a chance, or you wouldn't take it from them, unless you could in a 'fair fight', like you wouldn't try to take it from them by force in order to create a classless society, but you would take it from them by force so you, your friends and allies could become the new elite, furthermore you'd try to take it from them when they're at their best and most prepared, not when their back is turned, or when they're down on their luck, cause you believe in some sort of socialist Darwinist survival of the fittest thing, not the luckiest or most treacherous, but nor the most benevolent either, sheer strength, smarts, courage, determination and will is what you admire, not benevolence, or you think what's benevolent for society as a whole will always be whatever the strongest determine anyway, or whatever also benefits the strongest, in a more qualitative, less quantitative sense.
Might makes right.
Such a property ethic is obviously very reminiscent of Nietzschean ethics.

Yea, such an ethic would be strange indeed, where it's okay to kill someone or some group and take their stuff, so long as you kill them in a 'fair' fight, one to one, or group to similarly sized group, no 'cheating'.
Reminds me of a warrior code, like chivalry or bushido...we don't tend to think like that anymore.

Another is property, equitism, if you will, where you believe property ought to belong to those who merit it, or have in the past, and will probably in the future, make the best use of it, for themselves and/or for the greater good of society.
This is what capitalism likes to portray itself as, but isn't necessarily, as there're clearly all sorts of blokes protected by the capitalist system even capitalists will often admit profit at the expense of society at large, like Casinos, alcohol, cigarette, sugar and arguably pharmaceutical drug companies, banksters, or infomercialists, fast food chains and preachers arguably, or kids who inherit their rich parents and grandparents wealth, but don't have half the talent or tenacity they did.
In property equitism, it would be okay to steal peoples money, via government, or yourself, so long as you could prove to government, or some group, or yourself that you could do better with it than they could, that you could make better use of it for yourself/society, or that you'd give it to someone that could.

Such an ethic could be summed up as: from each according to their absence of need and ability, to each according to their presence of need and ability.
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Re: Of Property

Postby Gloominary » Sat May 20, 2017 5:30 am

I don't like capitalism very much, a little here and there perhaps.
I'd say I fall somewhere in between socialism, and what I will call equitism.
Equitism is kind of a synthesis of egalitarianism and elitism, and so is socialism, for they don't do away with property altogether, like communism, but set arguably natural and necessary limits to how many wares a person can accumulate.
Last edited by Gloominary on Sat May 20, 2017 2:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Of Property

Postby Gloominary » Sat May 20, 2017 5:47 am

We could also have a fluid sense of property, leave it up in the air like, have different, often subconscious reasons for thinking or feeling why this or that belongs to x or y person or people, at different times, places.
And really that's how we, and governments are to a great extent, we all make it up as we go along, according to customs, feeling each situation out, considering multiple criterion.
We may call this property fluidism, or pluralism.
It's really all of the above, all the aforementioned theories on property, and more, all these different criterion can be used to decide what belongs to whom, and that's what we do and government.
Reality is dynamic, our principles are too blunt, simplistic to encompass the intricacies and variables of every situation, and so we must improvise, intuit, there's only so much we can consider beforehand, ahead of time, but it can pay sometimes to do so still, to have a plan, an order, to prepare for life, and not be too erratic, impulsive or flaky.
Nearly everything has a time and a place in the scheme of things.
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Re: Of Property

Postby Gloominary » Sat May 20, 2017 5:57 am

So there you have it, there's many different ways to determine property, even many different ways to not determine it, and leave it to the wind.
And I'm sure there's many I haven't considered, and the ones I have can be further extrapolated many times over, infinitely really.
So what is property to you?
Property legalism, whatever the law happens to say it is at a given placetime, or if not, what're your standard(s)?
And if your standard is other than capitalism, what are the drawforwards/backs of it versus capitalism, as you see it?
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