Re: Private Property and Capitalism

Dr. Rich Artym (
Sat, 26 Oct 1996 20:51:15 +0100

In message <>, Ian Goddard writes:

> Perhaps the most scientific measure of "ownership" is that X
> owns Y where X controls Y.

Hrmmph!!! Since when has the scientific method been able to say anything
about "ownership"? By all means let's discuss ownership, but please leave
science out of it. It's not within its scope.

> The Earth owns us all, the galaxy
> owns the Earth, and the Universe the galaxy.

No it doesn't. The great power-being Polkadot The Meaningful owns
everything. So there! :-)

> But at the smaller
> end of things, "I" own my body, or my body owns my body, because
> my body controls itself. Or more clearly, my body owns itself
> to the degree that it controls itself. By extension, my body
> owns those things in its external area that it controls,
> or manipulates. In this sense "ownership" is not "a
> hilariously ridiculous notion" as you suggest.

I'm afraid it is. "Ownership" is meaningless except as an accommodation
between people. If you were my slave then I would "own" your body
despite the control you have over it. There really isn't any future in
reasoned argument about intrinsic rights of ownership, because the whole
area is founded on a figment without substance outside of human society.

Yes, it's a useful concept in society today, like God was for thousands
of years. However, there is only partial intersection between the sets
of what is useful and of what has substance in the universe.


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