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Property is theft! But where to draw the line?

Discussion in 'General political debates' started by hobolosophy, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. hobolosophy

    hobolosophyActive Member Forum Member


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    Aug 5, 2013
     
    This problem is bothering me for quite a long time now. I'm sure that most or all people here agree that companies, banks etc. shouldn't be allowed to own your asses, houses or the soul of your firstborn. Those institutions should be owned by the people. But things get a bit more complicated when you start to dig a bit deeper into this topic. Let's say we could snap a finger and no one owns anything and everything. What would happen? (Let's rule out the primitivist option. I doubt that the humanity goes back to that level.) The people start to collect stuff. First it might be very harmless or even positive things. Like books, records, some other nice and good stuff. Maybe everyone gets some land, a house or an apartment. But even there the trouble begins. Who decides about which person is allowed to live in the place with the nicest view or the comfy bathtub? Even the thing with books and records isn't that easy to solve. Who gets to own the thousands of years old books or the rare records? Laws aren't very anarchist. Let's rule them out too. Let's use the term public guidelines. Hm.. well, at today's standards most people are very far away from an anarchist philosophy or point of view. The public guidelines wouldn't end to our advantage. To educate the people would take a while and other political and economical systems are easier to establish. It doesn't need much to calculate that things wouldn't go in our direction again. But I'm sure that there is a way to solve this problem. The key must lie in the way we see and handle "property".
     

  2. hobolosophy

    hobolosophyActive Member Forum Member


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    Aug 5, 2013
     
    By the way, I started this topic because I'm curious how other people deal with it. I mean on a personal level. It's not about what anarchist/ communist philosophers wrote about it. I've read a lot about it. It's more about the practical application.
     
  3. Bakica

    BakicaExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Feb 21, 2010
     
    Well, that's why some people say 'Evolution before revolution' which I believe is absolutely right. Creating better world takes time, maybe even more than 100 years - it wouldn't happen overnight. The thing is that people would slowly realize how these things ( better view, healthier surrounding etc. ), material values, are not important. Realistically speaking, it doesn't really matter whether you own the house with better view than you neighbour or not. Laws aren't anarchist, but there will always be laws - call them contracts, social contracts, public guidelines etc. The difference between anarchist laws and nowadays laws is that there is no one to force you to obey them ( you are free to move to other communities with other laws that suit you ) and anarchist laws can be 'subject to change' but in this society it is very hard for common people to even influence on laws. That's called direct democracy, the most basic and important part of anarchism. Also there is a difference between private property and personal possession, which you surely know of, so I won't talk about it at the moment. I believe, as I've already said, that we must free ourselves from material thinking and stop trying to put labels and values on everything. That is part of capitalism not anarchism. Property in anarchism is definitely one of hardest things to define, but community itself should be able to handle that issue.

    If people really started arguing about it, I'd say the best way to go is balance things out. If someone gets a house with nice view, other one gets the one with biggest garden, third gets comfy sofa... I actually don't like this idea because it means that people own something others can't have and can take advantage of it, but it is still an option depending on how the community handles this problem.

    Other things, such as cds, books and such are personal possessions and should be treated that way ( no one is going to take 1000 years old book from museum)

    Very interesting topic, I'm afraid I don't have much time and it is still morning for me - but I will surely check it out later and see if I can write more ideas on practical anarchism. I think that such things should be talked about more often. Cheers !
     
  4. Annie

    AnnieExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Jun 22, 2013
     
    funny idea to leave out anarchist philosophers about property on a forum like this...
    but first i would say:
    is simply the wrong thought - because even after the liberation/ socialisation of "private property" everybody will own something called "personal property" - simply just the collections of records, books and beer crown caps - everything one might own that isn't of general value for the welfare and development of the community he or she lives with. if these things are of cultural value their respective owner might consider to give up his/her claim on them out of social reasons voluntarily, but no revolution could take it out of personal property for any reason and claim to be righteous.
    what changes from "private" to "social" property is for me best expressed in the marxist theorie about the "means of production" - which will be the property of everyone depending on it - this means that communities will even defend the means of production they rely on for their development against primitivists follies or other forces endangering their social use. in this sense everybody "owns" his or her share on the common/social property - almost nothing will be without ownership out of practical reasons, social property on the means of production will be a inherent necessity/constraint, even limiting their use to those who need them...
    almost the same goes for items of cultural or scientific value - the libraries, the stuff in museums or scientific centres - these have to be maintained and protected, but their use should not be limited to the people who directly use them - i like to see them as kind of a "world heritage", so everybody owns them and their use must be free and accessible equally to every human being.
    i don't need to agree to this, i'm a passionate lover of this "banking biz" hysteria starting with "ows" some two years ago, which is still spread by those idiot selfproclaimed champions of the credit card bankrupts - who has to give a shit about a banks claims if he/she owns the livingspace he/she needs and is part of the general satisfaction of daily needs in the good old "from each according to ability to each according to need", maybe even the abolition of money and the invention of a direct global bartering system? if there is noone left to enforce capitalist claims on property, whats the use of burning down banking palaces and corporate nests? i could'nt care less about queen lizzie's crown or someones virtual "richness" and the leftwing is - in my eyes - in dire need to de-hysterize and get more practical on those popular horrors of the declining middle class rebels, just to prevent nightmares of stalinist campaigns like the "kulaks" in the enforced collectivisation in russia and elsewhere.
    "property" isn't a basic evil - it's just it's use that turns out right or wrong for the beerdrinking masses.
     
  5. hobolosophy

    hobolosophyActive Member Forum Member


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    Aug 5, 2013
     
    To Annie:
    I didn't say that you should leave anarchist philosophers out. Hopefully everyone here is influenced by one or two of those ideas, yes. ;)
    But just quoting someone doesn't change anything. That's what those middle-class Occupy "activists" you look down on like to do. They write them on their banners and stroll down a street.
    I started this topic to discuss about practical experiences. Because you have to make own decisions when you don't just talk about anarchism.
    Many people like to talk about what they will do next year or the year after.. and so on. Yes, Marx wrote many interesting things about the means of production. But what if you have to decide which person you take into a squat because you just have limited space and you don't know who is just one of those middle-class rebels or actually really interested in taking part in it? Just to take a very simple example. I mean those experiences. By the way, what is wrong with hating banks? Occupy or other middle-class groups didn't start this topic. I don't know how the bank laws are in Annietown but you have to pay a fee for just having a bank account. So you "owe" them. Which is pretty sick considering that you give them your money and they speculate with it. Straight to point would be better when we talk about practical topics. Everything else throws the discussion off the rails.

    To Bakica:
    Anarchism without a revolution? Nah, come on! But I think that we have to combine it, yes. Everything happens fast in a capitalist system. Sometimes you have to react fast on it (in an organized way, of course).
    That is exactly what I'm talking about. We have to create such a community first. To put our "money" where our mouth is.
    That's not true. Many important paintings and old books are in private collections and not in a museum. You have to take them away from the rich bastards first.
     
  6. Bakica

    BakicaExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Feb 21, 2010
     
    It's best if she / he tells you what he / she meant but anarchist society can work with banks where wealth is distributed equally. As Stirner puts it 'private property is a spook which lives by the grace of law and it becomes mine only by effect of the law'. As far as I know ( which isn't much :D ) mutualists are all for using banks and collectivist anarchists may use banks to distribute wealth following the 'to each according to deeds' logic. Of course, community is here to decide whether to actually use banks in economy system or not.
    No, you missed the point :) I think that people must first 'evolve' and then revolt against the system because where would we end if we had successful revolution without people being prepared for the coming troubles in new world.


    Well, that can be solved by collectivisation of antique items, if I can put it that way. As Annie said :
     
  7. marsha

    marshaMember New Member


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    Sep 15, 2013
     
    and you quote max stirner aka johann caspar schmidt's "the ego and his own", which is the perfect how-to ideology for todays globalised system of daylight robbery - or are you kidding?
     
  8. Pepe Silvia

    Pepe SilviaNew Member New Member


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    Sep 15, 2013
     
    Why should I not be allowed private property?

    Lets say I make an honest living. I put 30 years in with company X. I was responsible and planned for retirement. I retire and buy two houses. One house I live in, the other house I stay at when I feel like retreating into the woods. Why do I not have a right to this second house?
     
  9. THEBLACKNOVA

    THEBLACKNOVAExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Aug 11, 2011
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    Re: Why should I not be allowed private property?

    Define an honest living.

    If you live inside a capitalist state, the state used violence to create the state, the market and your ability to "make an honest living", the honest living you make comes into the world dripping in blood...the violence used on people to provide you with an "honest living" is out of sight and out of mind...
     
  10. Pepe Silvia

    Pepe SilviaNew Member New Member


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    Sep 15, 2013
     
    Re: Why should I not be allowed private property?

    Okay, how about I shovel snow for my neighbors. I don't ask for currency in return, but they give it to me. I save everything under my mattress for 40 years, and then i buy a second house in the woods. Why do I not have a right to that? I pay no taxes on it.

    Explain to me how this is currency is dripping in blood. And, if it's not, explain to me why I don't have a right to this house.
     
  11. THEBLACKNOVA

    THEBLACKNOVAExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Aug 11, 2011
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    Re: Why should I not be allowed private property?

    What or who guarantees you or gives you the right to anything??? The State, and it use of violence.

    What is the "State?" why where they created and for what reason??

    We here have critiques on the "State" and "Capitalism" along with hierarchies between people, or institutions in society along with this and that ha

    heres a link where these and other questions you might have are answered in detail....

    http://www.infoshop.org/AnAnarchistFAQ

    and oh welcome :ecouteurs:

    and for this equation lets make company X, Academi, formerly known as Black Water USA :ecouteurs: i think this company and its employees make an honest living as defined by the state....
     
  12. Pepe Silvia

    Pepe SilviaNew Member New Member


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    Sep 15, 2013
     
    Re: Why should I not be allowed private property?

    Who gives an anarcho-communist worker the right to a fair wage?

    I guess instead of "right" we can substitute "fair". What is unfair about harvesting my own garden?

    Just for the record I'm not trying to start a flame, I learn the best through asking questions
     
  13. THEBLACKNOVA

    THEBLACKNOVAExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Re: Why should I not be allowed private property?

    We are against wage labor, we see it as the exploitation by the "property owning class" of the "non-property owning class," and this here is facilitated by the state and violence...

    A fair wage is still a wage and we are against selling ourselves as commodities to employers for money.

    We want to be free individuals and not wage-slave...

    \m/

    take a listen to this to get an new perceptive on what "work" is and what "work" should be...

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DuoI4bQ07M[/video]

    Please answer this for me and give me an example in any one country in the world, since your post is titled: "Why should I not be allowed private property?" I ask you what is private property?? How is private property acquired, maintained and grown...
     
  14. THEBLACKNOVA

    THEBLACKNOVAExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Aug 11, 2011
     Mexico
    Re: Why should I not be allowed private property?

    We are not against people harvesting their own gardens like members of the autonomous community in mexico do, the zapatistas, no one there owns the land they garden on, it belongs to anyone of them that can work it. As one of their saying gos, "For all everting, for us nothing"

    [​IMG]
     
  15. traqn dimitrov

    traqn dimitrovActive Member Forum Member


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    Mar 7, 2013
     
    We are against wage labor, we see it as the exploitation by the "property owning class" of the "non-property owning class," and this here is facilitated by the state and violence...

    A fair wage is still a wage and we are against selling ourselves as commodities to employers for money.
    - See more at: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16346#sthash.QWxKuPk0.dpuf
    then how does your work get repaid ? I mean with goods such as food or with the other person doing something for you
     
  16. Rebellious twit

    Rebellious twitExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Jul 21, 2012
     
    "wage" as you call it doesn't exist in a anarchist society, or at least not the kind of wage you see as wage, as in an anarchist society, you own the production, you can trade and stuff like that, but i don't think like actual currency would exist, for a look into what an anarchist society might look like: the anarchist commune in catalonia, where the factory workers(the syndicalist union) nationalized the production and they owned it they collectivized it , since then the ideal of anarchist society was a reality for a time until francos forces crushed the society...

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUig0lFHDDw[/video]
     
  17. traqn dimitrov

    traqn dimitrovActive Member Forum Member


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    Mar 7, 2013
     
    thanks for the video it actualy clears a lot of stuff i couldn't figure
     
  18. ungovernable

    ungovernableAutonome Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    Re: Why should I not be allowed private property?

    Because there's still homeless people.
     
  19. fubarista

    fubaristaExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Nov 13, 2011
     
    I was homeless for many years. I still owned private property, the shirt and pants I wore, and sometimes shoes and a jacket in winter, but most were given to me and were not in good condition when I got them. In good times I also owned a comb, and I always stuffed my pockets with toilet paper when I used a bathroom that had any, just in case the next one didn't or there was no accessible bathroom.

    I have a lot of private property now. I don't own my home, as I live in a subsidized senior apartment building, nor do I own the appliances like the stove and refrigerator, but I have lots of gadgets like a toaster, a juicer, a blender, and a rice cooker, and I have both a desktop computer and a netbook.

    I have lots of books, but I have also given lots of books away to a library in the DRC in Africa, and to libraries and friends here.

    I have lots of clothes, but most of them were purchased second-hand more than 10 years ago.

    I don't have, want, or feel entitled to a car, a TV, a cell phone, an iPod, or anything that uses fossil fuels or contains coltan.

    My building in being sold and is due to be renovated, but if I'm still alive I'll still be able to live here. Right now the building is equivalent to the apartments in Kabul, Afghanistan, that were called Sovice-block housing because they were built by the Russians before the fall of the Soviet Union. It seems to be sort of a standard type of housing for people who have the good fortune not to be homeless or living in makeshift shacks. I have luxuries that billions of people in the world do not, such as hot and cold running water, electricity, and theoretically air conditioning, but since the air conditioning is old and blows dirt all over the apartment from the vents, has no individual thermostat but is set for the entire building, and would be charged to my electric bill, I don't use it. San Diego has mild weather, so I can add another sweater or blanket when it is cool, and put a wet towel around my neck when it is hot.

    There's some writing by Nick Turse, which was reposted by Maximillian Forte, and then I reposted it to my own website, explaining how most things people in the US buy are from defense contractors:

    The 100% (Militarized) American http://fubarandgrill.org/node/1542

    Since I try to avoid buying stuff, the main thing I'm guilty of in that article is having an HP computer. I bought it 3 years ago, before Mar turned me into an anarchist, and was very upset when I got it home, plugged it in, turned it on, and Windows immediately took it over and started doing things without asking me. A couple of weeks ago the Windows OS fell to planned obsolescence, so after many trips to the library and a lot of googling, I finally managed, despite being old and lacking tech skills, to switch to LINUX. I'm on dial-up, and the new distros don't all support dial-up, so I'm running Puppy LINUX for now and if you're reading this, it must be working.

    But I do feel guilty about having and owning so much private property when so many people have nothing. I've lived for extended periods in Honduras and Afghanistan and know that an adobe hut with a thatch roof, a dirt floor, a clay oven that will burn wood or dried cow dung, access to a well for water, and kerosene lamps made by putting a piece of sock for a wick into an empty can with a narrow top, is enough to keep me happy--a thousand times better than being homeless.

    I confess that I would like to own a Kindle e-reader. There's a new one coming out called the Paperwhite for only $119.00. Of course I don't want the spoils of genocide and electronic gadgets contain coltan, so I'm not going to get one. In order to get one I feel that instead of letting a corporation or government do it for me, I'd have to go to the Congo and rape and kill a couple of children to get the coltan myself. That isn't going to happen because I don't want it that badly. But if I do want something badly enough to kill for it, I hope I'd have the honesty to do my own killing.

    I think that if people understood where things come from and how they are obtained, some might be more thoughtful about what they want to own. Do you care if your clothes are made in sweatshops?

    Shovelling snow for neighbors is nice, but few people can earn enough that way to buy food, no less save money. And where did the neighbors get their money? How did you get the house that allows you to be their neighbor? Maybe you inherited it from a long line of good people going all the way back to when European predators invaded Turtle Island and killed off the Native Americans to get their land? Does that make it yours?

    THEBLACKNOVA wrote:

    ungovernable wrote:

    Fuck fascists, capitalists, "anarcho-capitalists," libertarians, voluntarists, and all commodifiers.

    Stuff don't mean shit. People matter. Animals, plants, birds, and insects matter.

    We lived on this planet for tens of thousands of years without fencing it off or polluting it beyond repair. It provided for everyone for tens of thousands of years before the concepts of private property or money were invented.

    You know how people tried to justify commodifying the planet? They said it belonged to a deity who created it, and that deity had given it to them to own and to do with as they wished. As if some omnipotent and omniscient deity would create something valuable and then give it to a bunch of genocidal apes to destroy. You can't be all-knowing and still be that stupid. There never was such a deity. No first landlord who had no prior landlord. It's a bullshit myth. It is the land itself that created and nourished us, until we decided that we owned it and that it was ours to destroy.

    So what was the question? Why can't you rape your grandmother if you want to? Maybe you can. But don't expect anarchists to applaud, and don't be too surprised if grandma fights back.
     
  20. predic

    predicMember Forum Member


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    Feb 11, 2010
     
    if no one owns anything, and there is no state, people would do the same what they did when they came from europe to america:
    1)they would gather, 100 people or more, they would choose some place for living, they would mark their peace of land and help each others to build houses. in one year they can finish houses for all people. who will have better view on the sea? spanish or croatian see is so long, there is enough place for all people, if all of them want sea view. but not all people are living near to the sea.
    simply, there is no state to forbid to you to take land, cut wood and build house without permission and without money. do it today, the state will destroy your house, so called illegal construction. so, without state, even homeless could get home, they help to others, others help to them, and all people get house.
    2)parallel with building houses, people would organize to produce something, to cover their basic needs. beside houses, people need cloths and other things for hygiene, they would produce food, etc. the same as people did when they came to america. they gathered in small communities and they organized themselves.

    books are last problem, first problem is house because of winter and climate, second problem is cloths and food, books come after that. books and other things can be possession of community, the same as houses, people can use houses instead to possess it. if they move to other part of the world, community would give house to the people who are newcomers.

    if you transfer present society in anarchist society, those who already possess property, they would keep it and people without home would organize with other people to build houses. so, in short time, nobody would be without house, people are without house now because of capitalist system (prices, etc). material for production belong to society, so, nobody pay for making houses.
     
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