Re: Final Challenge to Socialists

Michael Lorrey (
Mon, 14 Dec 1998 11:12:57 -0500

Samael wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael Lorrey <>
> To: <>
> Date: 12 December 1998 01:04
> Subject: Re: Final Challenge to Socialists
> >>Samael said:
> >> You would call the bits accessible by everyone 'tax' and the bits you are
> >> allowed to keep 'property'.
> >>
> >Listen buddy, the resources were all good and paid for at the source.
> I don't believe you _can_ buy them. The abstract concept of 'property'
> breaks down to the denial of access to somebody. This appears to me
to be
> wrong in much the same way as 'theft' is wrong. By finding a compromise
> somewhere in between, we can come to a reasonable society.
> Samael

Of course you can buy them. Either they just sit there and nobody does anything with them, or somebody or every body organizes a system of making sure that everybody gets the maximum utility out of a given unit of resources. If the resources are offered to the highest bidder, then the original owner (typically the government, which in a democracy is supposed to represent everybody) is getting maximum value for that resource. If you are getting the maximum value for it, then you can hardly say it was stolen from you, unless it was sold without your permission. If you are a voluntary member of a body politic which does not require your individual permission, then nothing was stolen from you.

Now the person who bought that resource may find later than they cannot gain as much utility out of that resource as someone else in society, so that other person is free to offer a price which represents the utility value of that resource to them. If it exceeds the utility value which the original owner places on the resource then a sale of property is made, and nothing is stolen again.

Again, property is a means of storing resources. How the market for trading the property is organized determines how fairly the value of the property is assessed, and how efficiently the resources are utilized for the benefit of all.

Mike Lorrey