Re: Self Ownership or Not
Sat, 19 Oct 1996 14:47:38 +0000

> I would also claim that ownership is a mental construct. In fact I
> might be pushed to argue (I'm kind of tired as I write this) that many
> of our "rights" follow from that concept we call ownership.
I also believe that ownership is a mental construct, but I believe it
has evolved because it promotes the survival of the species. Self
ownership forces one to be aggressively responsible for the outcome
of one's life.

I would say that *all* our "rights" follow from the concept of
ownership. I can't think of a fundamental "human right" that isn't
based on the concept of self-ownership. If you don't "own" yourself
then any right you may have is transferred to the larger society or

I believe a "victim" results when a person *believes* they own
themself, when in reality they have given up much of their self
ownership. Citizens of countries such as China or Singapore don't
generally consider themselves "victims" because they know and accept
the fact they have given up aspects of their self-ownership. I think
the tendency towards being a "victim" in the United States has
actually been caused by the increasing number of government social
programs. Traditionally, Americans have placed a lot of value on
self-ownership and self-determination. The growing number of social
programs is usurping self-ownership, unnoticed by most citizens.

I find a lack of self-ownership problematic for any society because
it shifts responsibility and motivation away from the individual and
to the society at large. The "victim" attitude is what results when
society becomes responsible for a persons welfare. Because an
individual no longer owns themselves, they are not responsible for
what happens to themselves, and therefore are simply "victims" of the
entity that does own them.

Being a "victim" is an often misdirected retaliation for the purpose
of regaining self-ownership.

-James Rogers