RE: Final Challenge to Socialists

Billy Brown (
Fri, 11 Dec 1998 13:13:25 -0600

Samael wrote:
> The land does not belong to anyone. Some people have just grabbed it and
> denied others access to it. The basic resources do not belong to anyone..
> Some people grabbed them and denied others access to them. All other
> property and wealth derives from those sources (except, possibly for
> like software and other intellectual knowledge and even then a connection
> could be made). Therefore all wealth derives from communal
> property..

In very primitive societies wealth is primarily determined by what natural resources you can get access to, so your argument would hold. In more recent societies wealth is produced through a combination of natural resources, human labor, capital, and human innovation. The more advanced the society, the less important natural resources become. Today, the vast majority of all wealth is derived from a combination of labor and innovation.

Besides, most natural resources have no intrinsic value. You can't eat oil, after all. In a primitive society the value is created when someone figures out a way to do something useful with the resource (innovation), works to extract the resource (labor), and then sells the result to others. He spends some of the resulting money on tools, draft animals, and other means of increasing his production (capital), and eventually begins hiring other people to do the work (more labor). Modern society works the same way, except on a larger scale.

So, if I figure out a way to make something useful out of something everyone else considers useless, and I invest my time and energy to make the idea work, and to actually produce that "something useful", and I offer it to other people for a set price, which they freely pay - how is it that society is entitled to the fruits of my labor?

Billy Brown