I’ve always believe that my toothbrush is mine and yours is yours; but I’ve never understood how humans can own land, how kings can bestow land grants, how the US can drive native off land previously non dominated by whites and then give the land away. In the Twentieth Century I don’t understand how the US, or Britain, or France has any claim on Arab oil: any more than I understand how the law can support the oil man who sucks the oil out from under your farm while you’re farming it.

I’ve never understood how if only Congress can declare war the White House can bomb any one anywhere: so long as it’s not down town Los Angeles. I’ve never understood how if your salary is yours the IRS gets its hands on it first. If your salary is yours how come it doesn’t drip from your employer’s account into your account by the minute instead of once a week, once a month: on Fridays, but not on Christmas.

I believe my toothbrush is mine, but what would I believe if I came home and a gorilla had gotten into my bathroom and was poking my toothbrush up his left nostril when I entered?

Property is one of those concepts that seems clear only if you’re not thinking about it broadly or deeply. had modules developing on the concept of property. I’ll be importing them here, but they’re not mature. (How can anything of mine ever mature when my careers have been sabotaged? my writing unpublished? censored? me jailed?)

My son and his Austrian Economics cronies have clear views on property: they remain clear only so long as no communication is possible with non-brothers.

2012 11 27 Property can’t be properly invented until kleptocracy is un-invented.

Here I quick offer a sampling of complications:
How is your property yours if the government can decide to build a road right through it?
How is your property yours if an earthquake takes the west side of your house and moves it to Alaska?
How is your property yours when the only way to get to it is over roads build by kleptocracy, slavery, helpless minority labor, coerced taxation …?

How can monotheists own property if everything in the universe was made by the god and belongs to the god?
If you inherit your land, how can you own it until the God of Judgment Day ratifies that it was the right of your great aunt to leave it to you? (By that reasoning we can’t know anything about anything until that God clears us for it.)
What if the property is yours under the laws of the US but then Martians invade?

My toothbrush is mine the way the nickel is mine, the way the woman: only so long as I hold onto it.

But there are complications even there: we hold things not only as individuals, but in alliances with groups. Sometimes we’re helpless within the group. You may want to lose your wife; your group may insist than you not lose your wife … Your group may drag her back to you even after she’s fled, even if you’re screaming, “Don’t let her near me!”

I posted the above 2011 05 21 abd today 07 08 see that I’d trailed off mid-sentence. I add:

No one owns their own property. The property owns them.
Robert G Ingersoll (1896)

The concept of property is one I’ve never had a single, unified view on. had a great deal on the concept of property, little of it recreated here, yet.

If we all had the same theory of property perhaps there would be no political conflict! (Or there’d be a universally fatal bloodbath!)
But that’s like saying if we all meant the same thing by words, then we’d all agree on ethics.
Or that if we all meant the same thing by “god” …

How’s this:

If we all meant the same thing, then we’d all mean the same thing!

2012 10 02 My son’s Austrian economics seems to rest on a faith in property. This is buoyed up by a argument that property is the only thing that people would reliably defend. That’s circular, ain’t it? No time to prove it, no time to prove anything; see it for yourself. Or rather, see anything that you actually see.
But realize: some people try to get away from property: not protect it, get rid of it. Buddha, for example.
It may be myth, it may be fiction, but it’s not false.


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
This entry was posted in culture, pk Teaching, semantics, social order, society. Bookmark the permalink.

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