Re: Property Rights

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 10 May 1999 23:43:22 -0400 wrote:

> Lee Daniel Crocker wrote,
> "Excludable property--resources that can only be used by one person at a
> time--are a simple fact of objective reality, and no amount of
> hand-waving and pretty prose can change that. "Hoarding" can
> exacerbate shortages, and even create them, but to think that eliminating
> hoarding will eliminate all shortages is childish fantasy. Property
> rights may or may not be the best way to allocate scarce resource; it is
> definitely the best one so far tried. There may be an even better
> solution, but I doubt that denying the problem will lead to finding it."
> Most property that humans use is created by humans, and we can always
> create more. There is a finite amount of accessible natural resources on
> Earth, but there is plenty to provide all humans with a very comfortable
> living situation, with current technology. Because humans generally view
> most other humans as enemies, they refuse to cooperate with each other to
> provide a comfortable situation for all involved. This perpetual war
> among most humans is the source of most human problems.
> "Property rights" is a good solution when people have little respect for
> each other and would routinely deprive each other of the basic
> necessities for living. But the concept of property rights does little
> to heal the underlying hostility among humans. If people were not so
> hostile towards each other, there would be no need for "property rights".

Its a simple matter of human nature. Different people have different extroversion/introversion levels, so we each have different ideas of what one's personal boundaries are. There is also, as you said, a matter of respect for others, but usually those with little respect for others also have little respect for themselves, or have less respect for others than they have for themselves. For these reasons, we do need formalized systems of establishing boundaries.

The reason why systems of government gradually gain in tyranny over time is that the overbearing busybodies constantly erode the formerly established boundaries with the goal of making everyone's boundaries more like what they are comfortable with, while the introverted individuals are in a live and let live mode, and would rather do little other than try to evade repression of themselves individually, because they are not very cooperative individuals by nature, while the extroverts are far better at cooperation. Eventually, the busybodies reach a point of tyranny where the introverts snap and declare NO MORE. Many of the introverts will kill off many of the the extroverts and reestablish a more conservative concept of boundaries. This is revolution.

Early signs of fomenting revolution are an increase in reprisal attacks of introverts on their extrovert opressors (Columbine HS, Tim McVeigh, the militia movement, etc), and mixed public sentiment about publicized episodes of the extroverted tyrant bringing introverts "to justice" for the crime of merely trying to separate themselves from the body politic to a degree that is not politically correct (the Branch Davidian seige/massacre, the Ruby Ridge ambush, and the "Roby Ridge" standoff).

My personal view is that when the technological trends reach a certain slope on the techno-genetic gradient, outright conflict will erupt not only between the luddite and technophilic demographics, but between the introverted/individualistic techno-libertarians and the extroverted/communistic proto-borganisms. This is not a 'maybe' or 'what if', but a 'when' and 'how much'.

We need to develop models, much like weather models, tracking the flow of molecules of air (people) in a chaotic system to see what, if any, means of controlling the destabilization of the socio-political equilibrium is possible to minimize the actual effects on human beings. We need a Hari Seldon at this point in history to see if the suffering can be decreased by long term dampening or a very short term shockwave type shift.

Those who doubt my introvert/extrovert dichotomy, look at the various leaders who have been part of cults of personality. With the questionable exception of Hitler, all have been extrovert personalities (I wonder about Hitler). If Hitler was in fact an introvert (I think he was more of a bipolar, myself) don't say that what he did was so much worse than the others. Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Chiang Kai Shek, and DeGaulle all caused as mach, if not more, human suffering and death. Stalin along outranks Hitler by several orders as an evil being. Even DeGaulle was personally responsible for the orders to arrest and kill 310,000 communists after WWII (an interesting case, most of the details of which are still classified) after he tricked the Communist Party boss in France (and Stalin as well) into supporting his bid for power.

Today we have Bill Clinton, who has incarcerated more Americans than any President in US History, who is the first US President to be fighting two separate wars simultaneously (and he's a draft dodger, no less ;) ), a serial rapist, and pathological liar, who is steadily rebounding from one domestic scandal to another foreign scandal, and back again selling out the nation's military advantage for campaign dollars (a two-fer) while getting us bogged down in an ethnically based civil war in a country posessing no significance to us (not as much as the European countries, who preferred doing nothing until Bill prodded them into getting off their hinies). It seems as though the main european problem is that most europeans regard themselves first as belonging to some minor ethnic group, then secondly as citizens of their country, while thirdly as europeans.

Yet it can't just be ethnically based, can it? I mean, we in the US have a far higher level of ethnic diversity than any other country, while at the same time having more guns and other weapons. Despite claims to the contrary, a european is far more likely to be killed in a violent crime in his or her lifetime than an American (of course, that is counting deaths in combat, military or civilian, as a crime, by somebody). It has to be the idea that we are Americans first, and ethnic only as an afterthought or of secondary importance.

Granted many Serb Yugoslavians have tried to live as europeans first, and tried to emulate American lifestyles, but they still associated their ethnic Serb heritage with the Serbian Republic, which is why Milosevic has been able to plot as he has.