Why should we accept the property holders' preferences? If other
people's starvation is acceptable to them why shouldn't seizing their
property be acceptable to others?
} Private property in the pure capitalist sense requires no justification
} whatsoever. It is based on a fact: someone *already* controls x,
} therefore they should be *left* in control of it. Finders keepers. By
} this definition, neither first acquisition nor exchange are theft,
Ah, but what's control? Control through use, or control through legal
mechanism of the state? A bank doesn't directly control an empty office
building, nor does someone control vacation houses they're not living
in, except through the ability to drive out any squatters who might have
occupied the unused property. Usually this is backed up by the state.
Hmm. In a world of private law, perhaps some PPLs would recognize
property by title, and others property by use. I discover someone's
been living on the abandoned farmland I just inherited from my uncle and
call my title-PPL to evict them. Their use-PPL steps in to protect
them: after all, they've been using it for the past 5 years, the land
hadn't been used for the previous decade, who do I think I am to throw
them out of their home? Private war ensues, unless a buyout occurs, but
that could go both ways: they pay me rather than defend themselves (fair
enough for me), or I pay them to leave the land to save the cost of
evicting them by force (fair enough for them).
I've just discovered, BTW, (and BTW what does IOW mean?) that the
anarchists seem to have distinguished between 'private' and 'personal'
property. I'm guess the former refers to factories and the latter to
your toothbrush, but I'm not sure yet.
} What *does* require justification is the *rule* : why *should* we leave
} people in control of what they already control? The answer to that has
} two parts: a moral, and an economic.
} Roughly, the moral justification is sort of Kantian: it is an insult to
} human dignity to just snatch something that someone is in control of;
Again, 'control' is not an absolute term.
} The economic justification is that rewards and penalties for an action
} should, as much as possible, be restricted to the actor concerned. This
} makes for economic efficiency, learning curve possibilities (a la
} Now nothing is perfect, and there are bound to be some cases where
} sticking to the rule results in 'unfairness' and inefficiency; but as
} Hayek showed, as a *general* rule, private property, and the economic
} system that goes with it, is the best we have yet discovered for getting
} the most out of our abilities and resources. Is the glass half empty or
Ding ding! That's the point of my devil's advocacy: what if there's a
better system we haven't discovered? Or more usefully, that has been
discovered but not understood or publicized? Yes, perfect competition
is maximally efficient, but ignoring the question of whether that's all
we care about (or the corollary that long term profits go to zero, which
always reminds me of the starvation state most wild bacteria live in)
the fact is perfect competition doesn't exist. Our approximation to it
have done an excellent job of approaching the ideal result, but perhaps
some other (and non-statist) system could provide a better approximation.
} half full? Leftist anarchists say half empty: they do not see what
} libertarian anarchists see, which is that 90% of the time, the system
Careful; they call themselves libertarians too. And have prior use of
the term -- both terms -- to boot. Which by our definition of property
-- prior acquisition -- means that we've been trespassing and should
find terms other than "libertarian" or "anarchist" to describe
ourselves. Anarcho-capitalist, for example.
} works *extremely* well, and gives more human beings the possibility of
} actually progressing in their lives than any other system yet conceived.
Than any other system yet widely implemented, yes. They'd argue the
conceived point, and for that matter implementation: the anarchist
communes (and militias) of the Spanish Revolution. Between Communists
on one side and Fascists on the other (and overhead) they didn't get to
} You can't order society by exceptions.
This from the person who brought us the shipwreck and the pig?
} >Mark Grant's retort that the empty office buildings are guarded by
} >zoning laws was a rather more effective defense of capitalism.
} Ooooh, sorr-ree! Maybe I should just shut my gob? ;-)
No, just make more effective defenses to the points at hand. :-)
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*> http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~phoenix
On emulating hormones and long-range neurotrasmitters:
"If your job is delivering packages and all the packages are very small and
your boss doesn't care who you give them to as long as it's on the correct
continent and you have until the next ice age to get the work done, then you
don't have a very difficult profession. I see no reason why simulating that
anachronism would present the slightest difficulty." -- John K. Clark