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Frederick Engles "Origin of the famil, Private Property and the State"

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4 hours ago, Collectivist said:

Reading Margrett Meade and other such anthroplogists. I mean really reading their research not glancing over it!

If you pay really good attention their themselves reaveal this stuff.

So, you do not intend to provide any type of arguments in this thread?

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OK I will get ot some books and provide examples tomorrow but you will have to interperate examples in an Objectivist sense!

Edited by Collectivist

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13 hours ago, Collectivist said:

Early man did reach the stage of "pure individualism" but was considered a fahra, outcast, someone who must be controled and if not controlable must be killed! Look at DiVinci, Michaelangelo, Galileo, Decartes , Einstein and of course John Galt. All of which were condemened in some manner!

What do you mean by "early man"? Are we speaking of early civilizations like Egypt, or primitive non-civilization village-centric societies, or nomadic hunter-gatherers? 

What do you mean by "individualism": do you mean some categories of action, or do you mean some philosophical ideas? For instance, one might look at some species of animal and say they're very individualistic (people sat that about their cats all the time, LOL) but that does mean they have any philosophy of individualism... I mean, an amoeba may be seems as individualistic from a certain biological perspective.

More substantially, what is your thesis: that when man fashioned tools, or made some early "capital investment", those actions led to his advancement. You refute the idea that progress came through collective ownership.

Is that a summary of your position? If so, would your opponents claim that early tools were not useful? Or, would they claim that they were useful, but other aspects ("collective ownership") were more important? Or, would they deny the purely individual nature of tools, and argue that collectivist ideas were key to those developments? It's useful to know how your opponents would answer your claim, if those opponents were well-regarded mainstream scholars ay any point: because, otherwise one risks fighting strawmen.
 

Edited by softwareNerd

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Interesting questions. You have a very broad knowledge of the subject-why then so much anamosity? Not that I am asking for a little support (god knows Randits criitize everything) but as an Objectivist  this theory should be obvious to anyone who takes the time to read a little anthropology. I fell like John Galt when the whole world is after his butt!

But you have a right to ask these questions and receive an answer that satisfies your inquires.All I can do is to provide some examples of my investigations re-applying Objectivism standards to the works of known anthropologists-When it hi me that I was on the right track -it was literally (to me  at least) give me a new way of thinking about primitive savage early man and his struggles to progress! I can only hope it will do the same for you. If not not harm on foul. However it is always good to converse with a person who shares your view (Objectism) on life

Examples will follow sometime today (I gots to get some books out of my library)

Never give up, never give in!

R

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Before beginning, I'd like to state that I am not an anthropologist. I do no field work whatsoever in this field. My interest in private property as "first cause" of primitive man's climb from savagery to civilization is purely personal. It is my theory and I take responsibility for it for good or ill. I am an Objectivist and have been for many years and yes this may have clouded my assumptions, thesis and theories about primitive man and private property. So with that here are a few examples of why I believe private property is "first cause"

"A great deal may be learned about society by studying man; but this process cannot be reversed: nothing can be learned about man by studying society"  Ayn Rand, What Is Capitalism, New American Library Edition (Kindle Edition)

 

"The idea of property was slowly formed in the human mind, remaining nascent and feeble through immense periods of time. Springing into life in savagery, it requred all the experience of this period and of the subsequent period of barbarism to develop the germ, and to prepare the human brain for the acceptance of it's controlling influence. Its dominance as a passion over all other passions marks the commencement civilization. It not only led mankind to overcome the obstacles with delayed civilization, but to establish political society on the basis of territory and of property. A critical knowledge of the evolution of the idea of property would embody, in some respects, the most remarkable portion of the mental history of mankind" Lewis H. Morgan, Ancient Society: Researches In The Lines Of Human Progress From Savagery, Through Barbarism To Civilization (1877)

 

"These communities reflect the spiritual conduct of our ancestors thousands of times removed.We have passed through the same stages of development, physical and moral, and are we today because they lived, toiled, and endeavored. Our wonderous civilization is the result of the silent efforts of millions of unknown men." Dr J. Kaines Anthropologia, Vol 1 p.233

 

Inventions and discoveries stand in serial relations along the lines of human progress, and register its successive stages: while social and civil institutions , in virtue of their connection with perpetual human wants, have been developed from a few primary germs of thought." Lewis H. Morhan (as cited above)

 

The idea of property has undergone a similar growth and development. Commencing at zero in savagery, the passion for the possession for {private) property, as the representative of accumulated subsistence, has now become dominant over  the human mind in civilized races (Ibid)

and lastly:

 

It will be my object to present some evidence of human progress along these several lines, and through successive ethicl periods, as it is revealed by inventions and dicoveries, and by the growth of ideas of government, of the family and of property." (Ibid)

 

If you can ad to this it would be helpful to me an other Objectivists interested in these ideas.

RJ  (Collectivist)

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Collectivist said:

If you can ad to this it would be helpful to me an other

My observation, for what it's worth, is that you are referencing anthropology as it was understood in the 1870's.  I think most people participating in this post are thinking of anthropology as it's understood if not in this century, then at least the last.

In the 1870's there was very little in the way of sound, scientific anthropology being conducted.  There was no understanding of carbon dating, no conducting of methodological excavations, no understanding of the genetic basis of evolution, etc. People were still struggling to even understand how old the earth was.  What's more, I can easily go back to the 1800's (if not the 1940's!) and find "scientific" anthropological and evolutionary based theories that "prove" the superiority of the White Race.  None of the quotes you provide above are even remotely scientific.

In the first sentence of your this post you state:

"When the first primitive man awoke to it's own consciousness and pointed, grunted or grabbed an object outside of himself (whether animate or inanimate) private property was born."

Tool-use by hominids predated the arrival of Homo Sapiens (Modern Man) by about 3 million years.  So how can anyone see your quote as anything more than poor speculation that contradicts the knowledge held by anyone with even a passing understanding of anthropology?

I'll repeat a point I made in a previous thread.  There is no need to make an appeal to anthropology to understand the development of the concept of property, nor does an appeal to anthropology play any role in its acceptance on moral grounds.

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47 minutes ago, Collectivist said:

My interest in private property as "first cause" of primitive man's climb from savagery to civilization is purely personal.

Fine, but there is no evidence of this. If primitive means pre-recorded history, then anything that shows a transition into recorded history is the development of trade and needing to organize groups of people. Property wasn't a thing really, although personal property was, as suggested by ancient burials with artifacts inside. Private property doesn't seem to show up until probably 1000 BC at absolute earliest, with Rome or Greece 300 BC (I don't know Indian or Chinese history well) when it seems to be recognizable to us. I would suppose that people started to care about the mind with literature, the Iliad as just one example. Civilization grows out of a need for co-operation, and how civilization allows for individual expression, private concerns, and personal development.

Individual men as some beneficent metaphorical gods who bestow their creations to lesser men, this is an interesting thought, but it doesn't pan out.

Edited by Eiuol

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43 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I would suppose that people started to care about the mind with literature, the Iliad as just one example.

Lol, I think that would really blow his mind if we were to have a go at discussing that. :devil:

Edit: You might be thinking of Julian Jaynes and his The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind , but I found this awhile back in ITOE, p. 262:

 

Prof. E:  In the development of the human race philosophically, the three axiomatic concepts were explicitly grasped for the first time at definitely different periods of history and in a definite order: "existence" by Parmenides, "identity" by Aristotle, and "consciousness," as far as I know, not until Augustine.

AR:  Why would you say not until Augustine?

Prof. E: I don't think there was any actual concept of "consciousness" in Greek philosophy.

AR:  But what was Aristotle's psychology, with the concept of "soul" as consciousness?

Prof E:  Yes, but "soul" as he used it is more of a biological concept than a mental one.

Prof B:  Aristotle has "thinking," he has "feeling," he has "imagining," but he doesn't seem to have "consciousness" as an integration of those.   The next level of abstraction for him is "soul," which applies to all living things qua living.

AR:  You mean Augustine was the first to isolate "consciousness" as a concept in the Cartesian sense?

Prof E:  Yes.  "Si fallor, sum."

AR:  Oh, that's interesting.

Prof E:  The human race developed the three axioms in the right order.

Prof B:  Good for us!

AR:  It's a very interesting observation from another aspect too. You know it's been said many times that the human race follows in a general way the stages of development of an individual.  And this would be an instance of that.  But I shudder to think of the time elements involved, if it takes that long.  It's an interesting observation, however.

Edited by New Buddha

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Very good, I won't dipute any of this but I would recommend re-reading Aristotle's "DeAnima" also Robert Brennan O.P. has a number of books worth a look at my favorite is "Thomistic Psychology"

Collectivist

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....and as I said my theory is my own and still developing! O, and the reason I chose two books from the 19th century was to frame my theory in the time frame of Engles book, to refute his theory of communal communism. Rands book of course was wriiten in the 20th century

Collectivist

Edited by Collectivist

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2 hours ago, New Buddha said:

Edit: You might be thinking of Julian Jaynes and his The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind , but I found this awhile back in ITOE, p. 262:

Haha, yes! I am reading the book now, I'm on page 200 or so. It's hard to see a complete reason to buy into the theory that early civilization was filled with so much auditory hallucination, and he doesn't quite substantiate how the "pre"-conscious (his sense of the word) mind worked as far as language and learning.

But the book is valuable in explaining the growth of concepts pertaining to the mind and consciousness. This suggests, I think, that individuality grew from really thinking about consciousness and/or art. Property is at best a late development, and doesn't really seem to matter until about 50 BC for Rome. I recall a quote by Seneca or perhaps it was Cato that mentioned concern that laborers could be exploited. That sort of worry only really crops up when capital and property become important ideas. I'd bet China took at least as long.

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7 hours ago, Collectivist said:

Interesting questions. You have a very broad knowledge of the subject-why then so much anamosity?

You do not use the 'quote' function, but if that refers to either post of mine, I apologize for any animosity. 
Your thesis seems analogous to Matt Ridlley's, in his book "The Rational Optimist"

The bottom line though is that -- to the extent that the theory is primarily historical, i.e., to the extent it primarily explains the past -- it is of interest, but of limited usefulness. 

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What about pre-recorded history priviate property? That is my focus. To say that it didn't exist would be begging the question. At least my theory explains the quantified "jumps" in knowlegde, invention and progress.

I'm not challenging you just explaing my position

Collectivist

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8 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

You do not use the 'quote' function, but if that refers to either post of mine, I apologize for any animosity. 
Your thesis seems analogous to Matt Ridlley's, in his book "The Rational Optimist"

The bottom line though is that -- to the extent that the theory is primarily historical, i.e., to the extent it primarily explains the past -- it is of interest, but of limited usefulness. 

This is an new and interesting topic. I just thought you were sure I was not an Objectivist. I chose the name "Collectivist" as my moniker to start conversations here.(reverse psychology)

Collectivist

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7 minutes ago, Collectivist said:

This is an new and interesting topic. I just thought you were sure I was not an Objectivist. I chose the name "Collectivist" as my moniker to start conversations here.(reverse psychology)

Collectivist

....and as far as usefulness, I agree. It may turn out to be "bunk" but....it gives me something to formulate and think about.

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1 minute ago, Collectivist said:

... I just thought you were sure I was not an Objectivist....

My advice on internet forums as a whole: The best way to draw selfish value from them is to ignore or downplay any knee-jerk anti-outsider reactions. Responding will draw more response from those members. Instead, responding narrowly to the points where you see value (and thus wish to encourage) will draw more of that response. But, you probably know all that already.

1 minute ago, Collectivist said:

....and as far as usefulness, I agree. It may turn out to be "bunk" but....it gives me something to formulate and think about.

My point is not whether it is true or false, but that just because A caused B in some historical context does not mean A will cause B in a very different context. Therefore, to understand causation relevant to our context, we have to find evidence from very similar contexts. Then, having done so, finding that the same was true in some very different historical context is interesting, but we've already proven our point without it.
 

Back on tthe topic, I would still ask the question from my post above: 

14 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

..., what is your thesis: that when man fashioned tools, or made some early "capital investment", those actions led to his advancement. You refute the idea that progress came through collective ownership. Is that a summary of your position?

If so, would your opponents claim that early tools were not useful? Or, would they claim that they were useful, but other aspects ("collective ownership") were more important? Or, would they deny the purely individual nature of tools, and argue that collectivist ideas were key to those developments?
 

 

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

Property is at best a late development, and doesn't really seem to matter until about 50 BC for Rome.

The earliest examples of anything like writing are the cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq).  Some of the tablets are records of business transactions are taxes.   Trade deals and taxes do not occur without a prior understanding of the concept of private property.   Mercantile matters were held in low regard in antiquity which may explain why there is not much writing or epic poetry about the subject, but it definitely existed before 50 BC.  People were living in urban style apartments in the Harappan civilization of the Indus valley about 5,000 years ago implying some understanding about respecting people's belongings to enable such dense living conditions without continuous conflict.

Edited by Grames
changed "3,000 years ago" to 5,000 because the age range given was in BCE

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28 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

My advice on internet forums as a whole: The best way to draw selfish value from them is to ignore or downplay any knee-jerk anti-outsider reactions. Responding will draw more response from those members. Instead, responding narrowly to the points where you see value (and thus wish to encourage) will draw more of that response. But, you probably know all that already.

My point is not whether it is true or false, but that just because A caused B in some historical context does not mean A will cause B in a very different context. Therefore, to understand causation relevant to our context, we have to find evidence from very similar contexts. Then, having done so, finding that the same was true in some very different historical context is interesting, but we've already proven our point without it.
 

Back on tthe topic, I would still ask the question from my post above: 

 

Yes, I refute communal property (but it does exist) as a means of progress into ever higher realms of conscioueness and invention. The average primitive obayed the dictates of the tribe (this is also true) but there were those who were different paving different roads so to speak who ventured on their own (inside the tribe which is also true) Thus having created something new advanced his tribe to a more powerful state. To believe otherwise, at least for me, would prove Marx and Engles were right to acknowledge the withering away of the state into a functional communal communistic one. Historical materialism treats man as a non-thinking unconscious enity devoid of "spark" and invention-am I wrong?....and I agree that the first instance of "noted" private property accured in ancient Rome but my point is tht it existed (private property) well before recorded history

Collectivist

Edited by Collectivist

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6 minutes ago, Collectivist said:

Yes, I refute communal property ... as a means of progress into ever higher realms of conscioueness and invention.

What would be concrete examples of "private property" and "communal property" in the early society you're talking about? Also, what would be an example of "non-property" from the same time?

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24 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

What would be concrete examples of "private property" and "communal property" in the early society you're talking about? Also, what would be an example of "non-property" from the same time?

Primitve private property- a new and better way to sharpen a spear used for hunting jealously guarded by its owner (possible beginning of totem worship) Communal peoperty-a long house used for council or cultivation  of agriculturial fields inwhich everyone of the tribe was required to work (communal communism) Non-property an area outside the village secured by competing tribe(s) Medicine or the impliments of "first aid" (to the extent it existed) etc.....also the Maya had a great communal society where men with certain carving ability built large stale to pin the history of the nation (specialized stratified collective work)

Edited by Collectivist

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4 minutes ago, Collectivist said:

Primitve private property- a new and better way to sharpen a spear used for hunting jealously guarded by its owner (possible beginning of totem worship) Communal peoperty-a long house used for council or cultivation  of agriculturial fields inwhich everyone of the tribe was required to work (communal communism) Non-property an area outside the village secured by competing tribe(s) Medicine or the impliments of "first aid" (to the extent it existed) etc.

Jealously guarded? Do you mean a technique not shared with others, or do you mean the spear was jealously guarded? 

Also, your thesis is that private property "advanced the tribe to a more powerful state". What does that mean, in concrete terms: more wealth... as in food to eat, better shelter, longer lives, more leisure? Or, something else.

Could you explain how a sharpening technique is better than a long-house?

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1 hour ago, softwareNerd said:

Jealously guarded? Do you mean a technique not shared with others, or do you mean the spear was jealously guarded? 

Also, your thesis is that private property "advanced the tribe to a more powerful state". What does that mean, in concrete terms: more wealth... as in food to eat, better shelter, longer lives, more leisure? Or, something else.

Could you explain how a sharpening technique is better than a long-house?

primitive man guarded his property to the death. Yes, sharping a weapon with a new technique would arouse jealous raving of others in the tribe less adroit. Eventually over time this new techique of spear sharpeing because common place advancing the tribe one step higher than preious (food, defense more leasure ) all those things you mentioned.

a long house is a communal meeting place for the tribes elders, chief etc. (keeping the sacred fire lit to keep the god(s) happy and provide warmth in council. A new technique or invention belongs to the person creating such. Does he share it (see my original post)

You pose interesting and stimulating questions. It clearifies my thinking. Keep it going please

Collectivist

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2 hours ago, Grames said:

The earliest examples of anything like writing are the cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq).  Some of the tablets are records of business transactions are taxes.   Trade deals and taxes do not occur without a prior understanding of the concept of private property.  

Sorry, I wasn't clear on connecting my last 2 posts.

I said that private property as a concept probably did not exist earlier than 1000 BC. By 300 BC for Greece and Rome, private property probably started to resemble a form we know know today. My reasoning is that this is about when philosophy started as a thing, although 500 BC is probably a better estimate.By the time the Roman Empire started, private property isn't far off from how we think of it today. I don't think private property matters a lot outside of a broad civilization or state. Outside that, there is either small living where personal property is plenty good enough, as we may suppose from Amazonian tribes or perhaps as far developed as an early city-state.

I distinguish personal property as we may think of a child owning "his" bottle, or in the sense that the spot on the couch is "mine", or that the family cow is managed together. Private property I mean as either the creation of a concrete value or the distribution of that value. When that cow is understood to be -of- somebody, not just a thing whose control follows social norms that resembles private property.

Merchants and trade at least require conceptualization of property broadly (the genus), but of private property, I doubt it. 

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Priviate property ownership proceeds from the labor necessesary to create it. In other words, if I create it, I  own it. Labor creates value which creates progress (I am speaking of the creative mind in application (things like shaping spears, writing books or inventing a new type of motor- not communal labor like working corn fields or being meerly an appendage of a machine owned by another). If it is given to me as a gift freely and without conditions, again I own it. If a council gives me a problem to solve and I solve it even when the problem solved is applied by others, I still own its delivery  (contractual intellectual property ownership). Our primitive may not have been able to put these processes into words but the principles therein are still valid for him.

Collectivist

 

Edited by Collectivist

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6 hours ago, Collectivist said:

primitive man guarded his property to the death. Yes, sharping a weapon with a new technique would arouse jealous raving of others in the tribe less adroit. Eventually over time this new techique of spear sharpeing because common place advancing the tribe one step higher than preious (food, defense more leasure ) all those things you mentioned.

a long house is a communal meeting place for the tribes elders, chief etc. (keeping the sacred fire lit to keep the god(s) happy and provide warmth in council. A new technique or invention belongs to the person creating such. Does he share it (see my original post)

You pose interesting and stimulating questions. It clearifies my thinking. Keep it going please

Collectivist

So, you're saying that the technique of sharpening a new spear would not advance the tribe as a whole until -- "eventually over time" -- it was shared with others. Aren't you saying that "private property" can advance the tribe if it becomes "common property"?

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