- Capitalism and Alternatives -

In Rem

Posted by: Copenhagen ( Plebian assembly, Netherlands ) on April 21, 1999 at 15:23:12:

In Reply to: ask her not me! posted by Gee on April 20, 1999 at 16:04:39:

: : : The idea of natural property. You own your own body and mind. direct attacks against your person are crimes against your body/mind. There are some (eg supporters of conscription, national service in other areas) who oppose this idea, and lay claim to your person.

: : If you 'own' your own body then it stands to reason that you can deal with it as you deal with other property, ergo i can sell myself into slavery and have the 'property' of my body owned by another.

: If you really wanted to! You have the right to dipsose of it as you dee fit.

Well, i do not think that is really so Gee. Property is a creation of law, and the law does not recognise dealings in human property. Indeed the law does not recognise that humans are property in any meaningful sense.

On this basis i would contend that there can be NO ARGUMENT WHATSOEVER that humn beings can be considerred property (at least in the modern western tradition).

: : Attacks against your body and mind can be 'crimes' without invoking the notion of property. For instance on the basis of morals or on the basis of social utility.

: If its immoral to set you aflame it immoral because the underlying idea is that your body belongs to you and is not the arsonists to dispose of. If its immoral to bomb a village because of 'social utility', it immoral because those people belong to themselves, are not there to be disposed of by others.

On the basis of morality, i see no element of 'property' arising. Indeed as i have said earlier the notion that human being are property implies that they can be dealt with as economic goods which clearly lies outside any 'good' system of morals. The moral basis against setting aflame arises due to an innate value that morality attatches to human life (being good in itself).

Social utility involves the notion of what is best for the majority, a sort of moral calulus. That is all, it requires no further reference to notions of property to act as a justification (See JS Mill's 'On Liberty' where he justifies the harm principle on the basis of social utility without reference to absolute 'rights').

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