Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  

Isabel Paterson on Private Property

Recommended Posts

But any type of organization predicates a permanent base. It must have fixed locality for its structure. This is true even of mechanisms expressly designed for mobility; an airplane requires a base no less than an old-fashioned grist-mill. The landing-field is the base of the plane; but in a larger view, the plane is part of the transmission line of a very long circuit energy system which rests on the base of private property as an institution. It has to be individual private property; neither group property nor state communism can generate such a high potential of energy. The collectivist nations of today (Russia, Italy, Germany, Japan) are operating airplanes on energy taken off at the end of a long-circuit of energy generated in free economies in the recent past. — The God of the Machine, Isabel Patterson, pg 103-104

The amount of energy generated in today's world is mind boggling. Patterson's observation that the transmission lines emanate from the free economies is very astute and highly abstract. In the concrete case of the airline industry, the landing-fields serve as one aspect of the power distribution. The planes also play a role. Private property and individualism, are yet others. Her implication being that the collectivist nations of the day, are operating airplanes on energy produced in the freer economies.

What is it about individual private property that makes for the capacity of the generation of such a high potential of energy? Here it is instructive to include another passage from Isabel Patterson's work from page 179.

Property is ownership. Things which nobody owns are not property; they are merely objects in nature. Perhaps the most senseless phrase ever coined even by a collectivist is that of Proudhon: "All property is theft." It is indeed remarkable in its own way, for the variety of errors compressed into such brief utterance; in four words it confuses objects, acts, attributes, moral values, and relations, as if they were interchangeable. Theft presupposes rightful ownership. An object must be property before it can be stolen.

Micheal Faraday discovered in 1831 that rotating a magnet with-in a copper winding produced electricity. It wasn't until 1881-1882 that electricity was provided on a commercially viable basis (50 years later). While Faraday discovered the principle, it was not commercially applied until 50 years thereafter. Faraday had passed away in 1867 (36 years after his discovery, 14 years before his discovery's commercialization). From the standpoint of intellectual property rights, Faraday is the attributed discoverer, while Hammond and Edison were among the first to make the principle available commercially. Faraday discovered the object in nature, while Hammond and Edison identified it as a commercially viable source of energy. The commercialization aspect is is either an important intellectual discovery in its own right, or merely an obfuscation blurred by a Proudhon fog of obfuscation.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.