Re: Property [was Re: The Education Function]

Fri, 11 Dec 1998 20:02:34 +0100

The word PROPERTY appears to be used in the somewhat different meanings:

  1. The relation between a person or group, the OWNER, and the objects or persons OWNED. This is an abstract realtion without any physical meaning whatsoever. This is the social dimension of the word.
  2. The OWNED objects or persons.

Given this distinction, you then notice the following:

  1. In the market economy, the PROPERTY(a) above exists as a central concept. On the market consists people exchange the PROPERTY(b) to and fro. Each PROPERTY(b) gets a VALUE assigned to it. The VALUE ideally depends on demand and supply. MONEY becomes the formalized VALUE indicator.

There exists two different forms of market economy:

(i) Ideally, the State either does not exist or at is an OWNER among

	 others having no special governing abiblity over the economy.
	 This is the libertarian utopia.

(ii) In practice, the local power (the king, the local guild, or what
have you) defines the local rules of conduct on the market as to stop robbers from ruining the trade. In exchange for allowing the use of their territory, they offered protection for a percentage of the business incomes. This rôle is the State of current world order. With a strong governing body you finally get...

2. The state capitalistic economy (such as SSSR) is much like (1) above,

except there exists only one OWNER, the State. This is equal to the laissez-faire capitalistic monopoly situation where a single OWNER dictates the price.

3. In the communistic society the PROPERTY(a) does not exist. This is a

collective where the PROPERTY(b) is for everybody to use and share. I am only aware of a few such societies, mainly among primitive tribes, peasant societies, and religious/political collectives (such as various anarchist communes).

[Since the State capitalistic countries (S.S.S.R., Albania, Cuba, etc.) always have been called "Communist countries" (being their ultimate goal in theory) many libertarians in the U.S.A tend to display a knee-jerk reaction to the word.]

In the current world order most economies are of Type 1, subtype ii. The discussion is mainly about how much power the local power should have.

The more power the government has the less flexible the market becomes to ultimately cease existing as such in the State capitalistic economy.

I firmly believe that the Type 3 economy only works within small, closely knit communities.

If this was the whole picture everyone could agree on the Type 1, subtype i, as being the best, given some way to handle the physical security of the market and its players.

However, in some of the Type 1, subtype ii, economies with a socialist type political system, the State has been used to subsidize various activities, such as support of handicapped people and such.

The question arises how these kinds of people would live in a Type 1(i) economic system. Would they have the same level of human dignity or would they become like the handicapped people in India, barely living on begging? They would definitely not have means to buy all the technological devices, such as high-tech wheelchairs, as they can when subsidized by the State.

Charity by taxes appear to work better than charity by individual kindness. Egoism appears to overrun altruism in most humans.

I fail to see that the libertarian system makers on the list have succeeded in explaining how to solve this problem.