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A question about property rights

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One Shot Wonder
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Ownership exists if property exists if property rights exist?  That sounds very reasonable, given that rights are never about things that don't exist.

Unfortunately, since I was only asking about ownership to determine whether property existed to determine whether property rights were real, your (incredibly solid) response really only moves the question back to where it came from.  B)

So your question was about the source and validity of property rights? I thought it was the existence of ownership? :( If you want me to prove the validity of property rights, I can't do that for you, since it's such a broad topic and would take quite a long essay if not a whole book--which I assure you has already been written. Furthermore, I am not an expert at this at all--only a student of Objectivism. So again I refer you to Ayn Rand's writings.

And y_feldblum

When I said "derivative", I did not meant that it was derived from the definition of property, but from another totally different field and concept. But just to clear up confusion, I'll "clean it up".

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So your question was about the source and validity of property rights?  I thought it was the existence of ownership? B)

My question was about the existence of ownership. I wanted to see whether we had a reason to believe that ownership actually existed, or whether it was just a convenient thing to include in our ontology. The fact that I asked it for a reason (no ownership = no property = no property rights) has no real bearing; I just found it odd that you moved right back where I came from.

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In a socio-political economic context, property is anything that one has the exclusive right to keep, to use and to dispose of in any way, by any means, for any reason and for any length of time that does not violate the rights of others.

I don't like this definition for a number of reasons. But first, I might as well point out that I was the one "Wonder" originally debated, and pointed him to the property thread. However, I quickly realized that the root of his error is not a mistaken view of property or even capitalism, but a mistaken view of concepts and deeply entrenched collectivism. Until he drops his nominalism and utilitarianism (which is very doubtful) any debate on the nature of property is pointless. I would also point out that I haven’t yet read more than one or two essays from CUI, VOS, or ITOE, but that I’ve found the ethical and political philosophy of Objectivism by far the most accessible.

Regarding your definition, it’s both non-essential and overly specific. First, the meaning of property does not differ according to context. Second, property rights may not necessarily be exclusive. Third, exclusivity of property is a non-essential. Fourth, not “anything” may be property. Fifth, the use of property to initiate force goes beyond its definition.

Property rights are not always exclusive because one can have both the complete rights to something, or partial rights: for example, mineral rights, water rights, or air-space rights. Property may even be shared: for example, air-space and right-of-way rights. Sure, within a certain context property rights are exclusive, but ownership does not necessary mean absolute control of any particular object.

Property is also limited to particular entities: material objects and ideas which are limited, can be exclusively assigned to a party, and the property assignment of which may be recorded. For example, words, laws of nature, and commonly-known facts cannot be property. Air may be property on Mars or the Moon (where it can be assigned to particular party) but it cannot be a property on Earth, where we cannot assign X cubic feet of air to any one individual. (There may be exceptions, but you get the point.)

The most important point is that property must be defined by its essentials, not by aspects which follow from those essentials. I like RadCap’s definition (which Wonder mistakenly attributed to Ayn Rand): “Any material element or resource to which mental and physical effort have been applied.”

In other worth, a possession is essentially a value brought forth into a tangible form. As Ayn Rand said, “Every type of productive work involves a combination of mental and physical effort: of thought and of physical action to translate that thought into a material form.” This is the basis of the concept of property: the application of reason to labor in order to create the material and intellectual objects needed to achieve our values.

As an aside, while de jure recognition of property requires a government that recognizes individual (including property) rights, de facto property ownership exists in any human society. Property is such a basic necessity of human life, that human life is virtually impossible without it. Even primitive African tribes and Neanderthals have/had de facto ownership of (for example) their tools, clothes, and hunting/gathering grounds. Property is not merely a social invention, but a pre-condition for any society. The recognition of de jure property-rights on the other hand, is a prerequisite for any civilized, human society.

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The relevance is that if ownership is claim and claim is ownership, then no, sir, you cannot use the concept of claim to validate the concept of ownership.

I probably shouldn't say this, but exhasperated sigh. Here we go again: I defined ownership as exclusive claim, and I defined claim in terms of other things. Therefore, the definition for ownership which I provided is perfectly solid assuming the definition for claim I provided is solid as well.

If you still don't agree with that, please tell me why.

You asked what would happen if someone took the product of my mind and reason away, and suggested that such a thing would negate the value of my mind and reason. << It seems to me that the utility of a product I create wouldn't change if I didn't have a claim on it. >>

Fair enough. However, it would change if nobody or everybody had a claim on it. What I meant by "others" there was people in general.

This means that even if our mind and reason could be shown to be producing only valueless things in a propertyless environment

But it physically cannot be shown to be producing.

GC, good post. Only, I take issue with what you think about exclusivity: one can have exclusive rights to 25% of a company, or exclusive rights to the minerals or water in a certain area.

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Newbie here. (I can't believe nobody had registered as JohnGalt yet.)

It's my understanding that the purpose here is to convince 'One Shot Wonder' that property rights have some basis in reality, that they're not merely a human convention. (Ownership is the concretization of an abstract, of property rights. Or another way, ownership is the practice or exercise of property rights, requiring a specific owner and specific property. Since ownership depends on property rights, the task is to demonstrate the existence of property rights, or rather their grounding in reality.)

Here's my attempt at explanation, as simply as possible:

Man is a being of volitional consciousness. He posesses reason and the free will to use it or not. The proper choice, which is to say, proper to man's nature, is to use the fullest extent of his abilities, to live by his reason. The alternative is life as an animal, acting by perception and instinct on the range of the moment. Of course, reason alone is not sufficient for man's survival, as the mind has no direct effect on the external world. Man must act on his reason, and reason must guide his action. It is by his own effort, guided by his reason, that man must survive to do so in a manner appropriate to his nature.

Property rights are a requirement of man's survival in a manner appropriate to his nature. They are not a convenience or a social convention; they are a requirement. In a society where property rights are not recognized, at least implicitly if not explicitly, man is either a parasite or a slave. The parasites live off the effort of others. The slaves have their efforts expropriated by the parasites. (This is not "social fiction"; it is, sadly, the record of much of human history.) This clearly is not survival qua man. It is survival as an animal.

It is man's nature and his requirements for life appropriate to that nature from which property rights arise, quod erat demonstrandum.

How one attains property is another question. This is where the concepts of value and claim come into the discussion. The O'ist position on what belongs to an individual (the product of his mind and effort) is hardly unique, or even original. It's been around since at least Adam Smith and John Locke.

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Here we go again: I defined ownership as exclusive claim, and I defined claim in terms of other things.  Therefore, the definition for ownership which I provided is perfectly solid assuming the definition for claim I provided is solid as well.

If you still don't agree with that, please tell me why.

You asked what would happen if someone took the product of my mind and reason away, and suggested that such a thing would negate the value of my mind and reason.  << It seems to me that the utility of a product I create wouldn't change if I didn't have a claim on it. >>

Fair enough.  However, it would change if nobody or everybody had a claim on it.  What I meant by "others" there was people in general.

This means that even if our mind and reason could be shown to be producing only valueless things in a propertyless environment

But it physically cannot be shown to be producing.

You said that a claim was "ability to arbitrary use and disposal". And of course since claim only comes in two flavors, exclusive and none at all, then we might as well call claim the "exclusive ability to use and disposal". That's ownership. It's like trying to convince me that ghosts exist by assuming that spectres exist and going from there. It's the same damn thing.

Let's say that I build an abacus and write some instructions and then just leave it tethered to the ground someplace. You'd say that no one has a claim on it, and thus that the abacus is useless. I'd say that despite the fact that no one has a claim on it, the abacus isn't useless. The smart-ass answer is, of course, "because an abacus is a tool and a tool implies utility". The real answer is that anyone can walk up to the thing and do a little math and walk away. It's useful until somebody breaks it, or until people start fighting over it, or, in short, until someone inevitably ruins it for everybody. Until then, though, it's a useful tool, and it seems silly to call such a thing valueless.

Don't get me wrong -- I think this is a completely sorry economic system, and one which would very rapidly break down because people are greedy bastards who don't like to share. If everyone would play nice, it would work wonderfully, but the fact of the matter is that under such a system, the course of action which benefits an individual the most (take stuff) hurts the system. I think it's vitally important that people believe that they can own things, and feel safe leaving their house knowing that if someone's taken up residence there when they get home, the police will come throw that person out. All I'm contesting is the idea that the concept of ownership is something other than an invention that keeps the system running (like currency).

Yes, it could not be physically shown to be producing. That's completely irrelevant, and come to think of it, not strictly true, either. We produce lots of things like languages which are valueless (by your definition) but are incredibly good evidence that we've got something going on upstairs.

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Man is a being of volitional consciousness.  He posesses reason and the free will to use it or not.  The proper choice, which is to say, proper to man's nature, is to use the fullest extent of his abilities, to live by his reason.  The alternative is life as an animal, acting by perception and instinct on the range of the moment.  Of course, reason alone is not sufficient for man's survival, as the mind has no direct effect on the external world.  Man must act on his reason, and reason must guide his action.  It is by his own effort, guided by his reason, that man must survive to do so in a manner appropriate to his nature.

Fair enough.

Property rights are a requirement of man's survival in a manner appropriate to his nature.  They are not a convenience or a social convention; they are a requirement.  In a society where property rights are not recognized, at least implicitly if not explicitly, man is either a parasite or a slave.  The parasites live off the effort of others.  The slaves have their efforts expropriated by the parasites.  (This is not "social fiction"; it is, sadly, the record of much of human history.)  This clearly is not survival qua man.  It is survival as an animal.

"Things don't tend to go well if people don't think they can own property" is a very poor reason to believe that property exists. Moreover, I don't think it's fair to say that the "slaves" aren't surviving qua man. After all, you're a slave right now, and you're probably not doing too badly.

I also think that this is a very western idea. Honest White Folk tend to behave in the way you're describing, but there are lots of other places in the world that aren't populated by assholes, and where people really will kick in their share and are able to live collectively.

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You said that a claim was "ability to arbitrary use and disposal". And of course since claim only comes in two flavors, exclusive and none at all, then we might as well call claim the "exclusive ability to use and disposal". That's ownership. It's like trying to convince me that ghosts exist by assuming that spectres exist and going from there. It's the same damn thing.

I don't know what you want me to say. You are wrong, and your conception of what I said is completely backwards. Please, reread every time I said, "I think I'll explain exactly what this concept I made up called exclusive claim is without once referring to the concept ownership ... and then because ownership is such a nice small-mouthful word and exclusive claim is such an unwieldy two-word construction, I think I'll say write in my dictionary: ownership - n. exclusive claim!" It's like me telling you all about specters, defining exactly what they are and proving that they exist, and then saying ghost is another word for specter!

Let's say that I build an abacus and write some instructions and then just leave it tethered to the ground someplace. You'd say that no one has a claim on it, and thus that the abacus is useless.

Understandably wrong. If I leave a thing I have exclusive claim to in the ground somewhere - Ie, first come first take - it always has exclusive claim and is always owned. However, if the police do not care whether people steal your tv sets and nobody is allowed to carry handguns to protect their houses, then suddenly tv sets are entirely worthless.

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I see that you One Shot Wonder has a definition of property:

'And of course since claim only comes in two flavors, exclusive and none at all, then we might as well call claim the "exclusive ability to use and disposal"'

I agree that the property right can be defined as:

"exclusive ability to use and disposal"

and thus property will be defined as:

"something that can be exclusivly used and disposed by someone"

These are good definitions since they point at the core of property right, that is exclusive use.

I have studied some Objectivism but Im not claiming to represent it fully, instead I like to see my philosophy as based on Objectivism. But I think Im on the same track as Ayn Rand.

To be curious I would like to know how much you, One Shot Wonder, knows about Objectivism? It would give me an hint on how detailed I should present my arguments.

First of all in the ideas of Objectivism, man acquires his rights by the virtue of his nature. Thus Objectivism in this case is a Natural Rights philosophy. This position is derived from different axioms and if you are not sure on how it is reached I recommend you to study some Objectivist literature, since it is quite time-consuming for me to explain it here.

I will present a short version of it anyway:

Rand establishes early in her philosophy the importance of Life (which is not only to be alive but also to prosper, develop enjoy it and more). That is she sees it as the goal, for every man to strive for, and as such points out the importance of man to be able to his fullest capacity to reach it. The most important thing that man has to rely on to reach this goal is his mind and reason. The mind is crucial since it is what forms our actions.

Since life is the goal and man must act to reach and preserve it, as for example he is required by his nature to produce and consume food. Man must be able to use his mind and reason.

To best explain this is to use examples.

A man who works to sustain his life will do so perhaps by farming our fishing to produce his food. To farm a field or fish in a lake a man will have to use his mind and labour. Lets say a person has decided to get some fish for dinner. To realize his thought he will start making a fishing rod and later go the lake and catch a fish. Once the person has got his fish he will have used his reason, labour, energy and time to get it.

Now if someone comes and takes the fish away from him he will have nullified his reason, labour, energy and time. To demostrate using the equation:

What was:

mind + reason = property

became:

mind + reason = 0

Thus in this scenary the man was unable to get his food, that is he was unable to sustain his life, and if this is repeated against him he will ultimately lose his life. With other words if he can no longer consume what he produces he can no longer use his reason, since the product of his reason may be taken away from him. In such a scenary the person might become forced to steal (as in not retaliate) from other persons to sustain his life, and this is what Rand says is to abbondon Life as an goal since the person is no longer sustaining his life by his own effort but instead by others, and is thus unfit for living.

This also applies if a person would be sowing a field to get food later. If someone would destroy the field for the person the persons property might not be nullified but his labour, energy and time will be and thus also his reason.

This is good examples of the purpose of the Property Right, but one thing that is sometimes missed is that property:

"something that can be exclusivly used and disposed by someone"

not only relates to things around us but also to ourself. We often belive that we have an "right to exclusive use" of ourselfs but fail to grasp that this right is really the Property Right.

With this in mind we can also make another argument for Property Rights. No other person can have more control over our body then we have. That is noone can make our arm move as we can. This could infact be viewed as an evidence for the existence of Property.

Finally one has to understand that Property is not so much about the object but more about the labour, energy and time invested in it by its owner. Lets go back to the scenary of the fishing man that got his fish taken by another person. If they starts to argue about whose the fish is, they wouldnt only argue about who owns the fish but also about who owns the labour done by the fishing man.

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Let's say that I build an abacus and write some instructions and then just leave it tethered to the ground someplace. [...] anyone can walk up to the thing and do a little math and walk away.

Gosh, Wonder, you're the most hopelessly collectivist-idealist person I've ever talked to!

I have to ask: What do you consider your goal in life? Do you want to be successful and free, enjoy your life, have friends who respect you and love you, and live in a happy marriage? Or is it something else ... perhaps something involving "society" or your "brothers" ?

I am asking this because your idea of your goal in life fundamentally influences all aspects of your thinking. If we want to have any fruitful debate, we need to make sure that our thinking rests on the same fundaments, or at least compatible ones.

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"Things don't tend to go well if people don't think they can own property" is a very poor reason to believe that property exists.  Moreover, I don't think it's fair to say that the "slaves" aren't surviving qua man.  After all, you're a slave right now, and you're probably not doing too badly.

You think slavery is a state appropriate to man? And as for my being a slave, all I can say is, it's not total. For all its faults, America still recognizes property rights to a greater extent than most any other country. Does the fact that it's incomplete make slavery okay? Of course not! A little bit of evil is still evil. How much better could I be doing if the government wasn't expropriating a chunk of what I produce, either to give it to someone who's done nothing to earn it except to be incapable of earning it, or to spend it on some pet project (which, incidentally, amounts to the same thing)?

I notice that you don't suggest that the parasites are living qua man. There are no parasites without slaves to feed off of. The existence of one requires the existence of the other. By "parasite" I don't mean the object of voluntary benevolence or charity. A rational man values other people for the potential they hold as human beings, until and unless they demonstrate otherwise. A parasite is someone who feeds on the coercive expropriation of the produce of others.

I also think that this is a very western idea.  Honest White Folk tend to behave in the way you're describing, but there are lots of other places in the world that aren't populated by assholes, and where people really will kick in their share and are able to live collectively.

And of course all western ideas are bad because all us "Honest White Folk" are just a buch of assholes? Since there are lots of examples of people living in collective harmony, you'll have no trouble giving some concrete examples. And I'm not talking about strong communities, which coercively enforced collectivism destroys, I mean true collectivism.

I'd like to restate my conclusion from the previous post that may (but probably won't) be more to your liking: property rights are the recognition that neither slavery nor parasitism is a state appropriate to man's nature.

Finally, it occurs to me that maybe part of the problem here is that we don't agree on what a right is. I'll suggest the dictionary definition, as applicable here, which is: something to which one has a just claim; the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled. (Merriam-Webster Online) The concept of rights implies the concept of justice. The concept of justice implies a standard, something against which to evaluate what is just. A standard of justice implies a standard of value. Objectivism holds man's life, i.e. the life of each individual man, as his ultimate standard of value. This follows from the fact that life is a process of self-generated, self-sustaining action, and that each man must take the steps required to sustain his own life. (It can be demontrated that each man may hold his own life as his ultimate standard of value wihtout impairing the ability of others to do the same, but I won't go into that here.) Your standard of value, it seems, is that described as "the greatest good for the greatest number of people." This viewpoint has been held by some very intelligent people, who suggest, as you do, that rights may not exist in reality, but it would be just as well to behave as if they did. The problem with it is two-fold: first, that it ignores the facts set out above, and second, it is incredibly easy to slide from "the greatest good for the greatest number of people" to "the greater good of society" at which point it becomes acceptable to sacrifice any number of people to slavery, or worse, so long as it is intended "for the common good."

Edited by GreedyCapitalist
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After skimming through this lengthy thread, it occurs to me that this isn't really a debate about property rights at all. It's a debate about a more fundamental right: the right to life.

If a man has a right to his own life, then property rights follow pretty easily as a corollary. As Rand said, a man who does not have the right to the product of his own effort, is a slave, whose life may be disposed of at the whim of whoever disposes of the product of his effort. To deny property rights is to deny the more fundamental right to life, which can only be implemented by means of property rights.

It's pretty obvious at this point that One Shot Wonder does not recognize rights as such, be it the right to life or any of its corollary or derivative rights. That being the case, one would have to demonstrate the existence of rights as such and the right to life in particular before one could convince him of property rights. Personally, however, I think that he has aptly demonstrated his irrationality, and that it is pointless to engage in a debate with him on the subject.

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Ash, I've always conceived of property right and life right as being virtually the same, for two reasons.

1. I consider one's property to be an extension of one's self, one's life.

2. I consider one's life to be one's primary posession.

Show (not tell) how I am wrong, if that is the case.

And, it is not necessarily pointless at all to engage in debate with irrational people: the point depends on the objective (in this case I mean goal, hoped-for end-result). To convince them of the rational, perhaps the chance of success is infinitesimal. But to sharpen one's own mind, the chance of success is 100%.

Of course, I say that because it applies very well to me, as I'm somewhat (or very) new to philosophy.

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Ash, I've always conceived of property right and life right as being virtually the same, for two reasons.

1. I consider one's property to be an extension of one's self, one's life.

2. I consider one's life to be one's primary posession.

Show (not tell) how I am wrong, if that is the case.

Well, that's basically right. Except then I would not characterize them as being "virtually the same," but rather more along the lines that I did in my previous post--property rights are a closely-related corollary of the right to life. They are not identical, but they pretty much self-evidently imply one another.

And, it is not necessarily pointless at all to engage in debate with irrational people: the point depends on the objective (in this case I mean goal, hoped-for end-result).  To convince them of the rational, perhaps the chance of success is infinitesimal.  But to sharpen one's own mind, the chance of success is 100%.

I agree, but that only works to a certain extent in any given debate. I don't know exactly what personal benefit you have derived from the discussion with One Shot Wonder, but to an outside observer after a while it just seems like you're shouting at a brick wall. :)

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I don't like this definition for a number of reasons.  But first, I might as well point out that I was the one "Wonder" originally debated, and pointed him to the property thread.  However, I quickly realized that the root of his error is not a mistaken view of property or even capitalism, but a mistaken view of concepts and deeply entrenched collectivism.  Until he drops his nominalism and utilitarianism (which is very doubtful) any debate on the nature of property is pointless.  I would also point out that I haven’t yet read more than one or two essays from CUI, VOS, or ITOE, but that I’ve found the ethical and political philosophy of Objectivism by far the most accessible.

Regarding your definition, it’s both non-essential and overly specific.  First, the meaning of property does not differ according to context.  Second, property rights may not necessarily be exclusive.  Third, exclusivity of property is a non-essential.  Fourth, not “anything” may be property.  Fifth, the use of property to initiate force goes beyond its definition.

Property rights are not always exclusive because one can have both the complete rights to something, or partial rights: for example, mineral rights, water rights, or air-space rights.  Property may even be shared: for example, air-space and right-of-way rights.  Sure, within a certain context property rights are exclusive, but ownership does not necessary mean absolute control of any particular object.

Property is also limited to particular entities: material objects and ideas which are limited, can be exclusively assigned to a party, and the property assignment of which may be recorded.  For example, words, laws of nature, and commonly-known facts cannot be property.  Air may be property on Mars or the Moon (where it can be assigned to particular party) but it cannot be a property on Earth, where we cannot assign X cubic feet of air to any one individual.  (There may be exceptions, but you get the point.)

The most important point is that property must be defined by its essentials, not by aspects which follow from those essentials.  I like RadCap’s definition (which Wonder mistakenly attributed to Ayn Rand): “Any material element or resource to which mental and physical effort have been applied.”

In other worth, a possession is essentially a value brought forth into a tangible form.  As Ayn Rand said, “Every type of productive work involves a combination of mental and physical effort: of thought and of physical action to translate that thought into a material form.”  This is the basis of the concept of property: the application of reason to labor in order to create the material and intellectual objects needed to achieve our values. 

As an aside, while de jure recognition of property requires a government that recognizes individual (including property) rights, de facto property ownership exists in any human society.  Property is such a basic necessity of human life, that human life is virtually impossible without it.  Even primitive African tribes and Neanderthals have/had de facto ownership of (for example) their tools, clothes, and hunting/gathering grounds.  Property is not merely a social invention, but a pre-condition for any society.  The recognition of de jure property-rights on the other hand, is a prerequisite for any civilized, human society.

The meaning of property does differ according to context. Property can be physical characteristic--such as weight, height, etc...known as physical properties.

Aside from that, I do realize that my definition was rather specific and full of inessentials, but as I said in my disclaimer, I am not a expert but a student; and my cognitive context certainly varies from yours greatly.

Didn't John Locke say in his Second Treatise that the security of property rights is the foundation of society? I think read that somewhere in there...

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Ash, you've got to be the one doing the shouting to see how your own understanding's changed. Mine tripled in the course of the brick wall thing. Brick wall or devil's advocate, practice is practice.

Also, one could perhaps characterize this thing as a dual right then, ie each corollary implies the other and depends on the other to lend it meaning, and is meaningless without the existence and presence of the other.

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Well, that's basically right.  Except then I would not characterize them as being "virtually the same," but rather more along the lines that I did in my previous post--property rights are a closely-related corollary of the right to life.  They are not identical, but they pretty much self-evidently imply one another.

Also, one could perhaps characterize this thing as a dual right then, ie each corollary implies the other and depends on the other to lend it meaning, and is meaningless without the existence and presence of the other.

Everyone seems to agree on how the Right to Life and the Property Right is closely related, yet it seems as if you still belive that there is a difference between them two.

In my understanding of the Property Right I have come more and more to the conclusion that the Property Right (using a property relation to yourself) serves all the need that the Right to Life is adressing and thus makes the Right to Life more or less redundant.

So in my language I only talk about the Property Right now days and therefor Im very interested to hear what you belive the Right to Life includes that the Right to Property doesnt?

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Except, the right to life is the philosophic underpinning of the right to property ... ?

Basically.

To say that we don't need to recognize the right to life, since everything it implies is also contained within property rights (and thus using both is redundant) and all the other derivative rights, would be sort of like saying that we don't need to recognize the Law of Identity since the Law of Non-Contradiction and all of the other derivative principles of logic say basically the same thing. But the Law of Identity is the philosophical basis for the Law of Non-Contradiction. It's the more fundamental principle, without which all of the derivative principles would not be true. The same goes for the right to life and property rights. Even if they're so closely related as to basically be just different perspectives on the same actual facts in reality, those differences in perspective are still philosophically relevant and important.

You can't just do away with the right to life on the grounds that property rights cover the same facts, first of all because I don't think that that's entirely true, but also because the right to life is the foundation for property rights. Without the right to life, there are certainly no such things as property rights. And you need to be able to see it from the more fundamental perspective before you can fully justify all the derivative principles.

The right to life names the fundamental fact that man's nature as a rational being requires that he be free to act according to his own judgment, free from the threat of physical force from his fellow men, in order to survive. Property rights name the basic means of implementing this fundamental fact. But without first recognizing the right to life, there can be no reason for or means to implementing it.

It is true that we don't want to multiply concepts beyond necessity (I believe this is the principle commonly referred to as Rand's Razor). But that can be taken overboard. If we said that we don't need to recognize any concept that is already implied by another, well, carrying that out to its logical conclusion would take us in one of two directions: either we would take the most basic fact of all, existence exists, and say that everything else is implied by that, since that abstraction subsumes everything that exists; or we would take only the most derivative facts yet discovered in every field and say we can do away with the preceding chain of principles, since they are all implied by the truth of the derivative ones. Or a third option would be, I guess, to do away with all concepts, since they are, in a sense, "implicit" in concrete reality. But obviously, all of these options ignore the function of our faculty of reason.

Edited by AshRyan
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Cute video.  It automatically assumes you own yourself because.... well, it didn't exactly say.  Just that's the way it is.  Very informative, huh?

It do point out the connection between the Right to Life and Right to Property. That is, it says that if you dont have the exclusive right to the use of yourself, someone else has the right to the use of you. And that means that you have no right to not be killed.

Most people do belive that one has a Right to Life and thus the maker to this movie didnt thought it was necesary to explain this. Secondly this movie is an introduction to libertarian philosophy so its not as complete as objectivist philosophy. So if you want to know how to deduce the Right to Life read some objectivism or perhaps start a new thread named "A question about the Right to Life" or "My case against the Right to Life", and perhaps you will get an explanation there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Property rights are such because they are a condition for the survival of human beings.

To live a man must work.

To benefit from "work" he must keep that which he has produced.

If he is denied that he, essential, is denied the work of his mind and thus, his mind itself. As a rational animal if he is denied his mind, he is denied his life.

Property is the product generated by the work of mans -each individual man's- mind and effort.

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