Sunday, February 19, 2012

A theory of property

This theory of property consists in the assumption, that the consciousness that is embodied in a body, has greater claim to that body, than any other individual; said in another way, each person, owns themselves. They are exclusive resident of their minds (failing multiple personalities), and that mind having exclusive control over their body, each individual has an exclusive property right to their own body.

The action of labor, indeed all human action, is a result of the individual being somewhat at ill-ease (uneasiness) with their current condition, and therefore, they seek to act/labor to improve their condition in some way. Their action/labor is an exchange of the exertions of their self-ownership, for a more satisfactory condition.

As exclusive owner of one's body, one finds themselves in a world of other things, external to the body; one finds that their body requires some things external to it to survive and inasmuch as we can assume that it is not unethical to live, one seeks to supply one's body with the stuff of life; air, water, food, clothing and shelter.

To acquire these bare necessities of life, one must either labor or exchange for them. If one has no property to exchange, one must labor on their own in or with nature to produce them, or they might exchange their labor-time itself, for some kind of compensation agreement, that they may then use to satisfy their bodily requirements.

Property then, is a claim to one's self-ownership in terms of labor (or exchange thereof) of past exertions of one's self-ownership. The claim of property, is not a claim to external material objects; the claim of property is rather that one has mixed their life-force (self-ownership) with the material objects (through direct labor or exchange of relative subjective value). Nor is a property claim *merely* a claim to property in the present, for one may divest themselves of the property in the present through abandonment or through exchange of relative subjective value; rather, the claim of property is a claim that extends into the past, referencing past labor or past exchange of relative subjective valuations for the property in question.

[If property, were a claim of present property only, without regard to past expenditures of labor through exertions of self-ownership, then the argument that all property must/should be nearly (as possible) divided evenly (generally equal distributions of relative subjective value) between all persons becomes an argument of great strength; as without regard to time, all find themselves upon the same orbital mass, and none having a greater claim on another, than the other's claim to self-ownership, the conclusion that all property should be equivalently distributed is a logical conclusion. The extension of property right in the past is the condition which weakens such an argument. Of course the proponent of an equivalent distribution argument would be quick to point out that many so-called property claims are the results of involuntary action (theft) and that these extensions of property claim are illegitimate. I am in agreement with this criticism, and it is just this question as to the ramifications of a world replete in illegitimate property claims has on a theory of property, ethics and political theory, that I would like to take up in chats with persons of diverse perspectives.]

All exchanges are a result of two distinct/separate persons having different perceptions as to their subjective valuation of the goods to be exchanged. In a successful exchange, that is, in an exchange which is voluntarily completed with the consent of both parties, each party assesses the exchange as having a greater potential to increase the satisfaction their felt uneasiness. Therefore, exchanges, in all times in places, when successfully completed with the consent of both parties under fair representation of the exchange in question, at the time of the exchange, both parties anticipate that their relative conditions of satisfaction will be improved; that they both will benefit from the transaction, for if this were not the case, they would not consent to the transaction.

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