: Stoller : ..[T]here is no such thing as 'laws aside'...
: : I was pointing out that if a government made something legal that is against the rights of its citizens than it does not automatically mean that those rights no longer exist. It may be considered "legal" in the eyes of the courts, but it is not right in the eyes of man.
: Well... how about telling that to the Native Americans. Are you prepared to return to them the North American continent? Or do you only wish to respect property relations AS THEY STAND NOW?
Now, I have not studied in depth the Native American cultures, but as I understand it, they had no concept of property (which raises the question, how can you steal something from someone who does not recognize it as being owned?) and engaged in many inter and extra tribal wars for the land that they did not 'own.'
: After all, you say:
: : Well, since it is their property, than they should be able to dictate the terms of the usage of the property. If they acquired the property through force than it is not rightfull theirs.
Should I be able to tell you what you can grow in your garden? What if you allowed me to use half your garden space and all I planted were weeds and other stuff that killed your half. Would you feel justified in revoking my usage of your garden?
: : Ayn Rand advocated people getting what they deserved.
: WHICH people? She left out WHICH people! You continue to assert that ALL people have the same perspective. Can property owners and non-property owners have the same perspective? NO WAY.
All people. Of course, not all people have the same perspective. Just because I do not have a garden and you do does not mean that since my perspective is different I can disregard your ownership of the garden.
: : ... I would say that in order to live, a person must have a means of sustaining their life. This could be in the form of working on a farm or working in a factory.
: But why ' the form of working on a farm or working in a factory' and not the (collective) ownership of that farm or factory? I agree a person must have 'a means of sustaining their life.' And the PUBLIC ownership of the means of production would provide that means to EVERYONE instead of a minority who can thendictate their terms to every one excluded!
If a group of people decided to go in and buy themselves a farm or a factory in which they would all work together and share in the gains, then more power to them. However, when it means that you have to share your garden with me regardless of whether I sabotage the flowers or slack off and let the space go to waste, then there are serious ethical issues. Namely that you have the right, as sole owner of the garden, to tell me to take a hike and use your garden efficiently.
: : I am not sure what you mean by "property relations of an epoch." Maybe I am too idealistic, but I believe that no matter the epoch, if you own the property you own the property.
: : I see increased production and global industrailization as perpetuating life. As a result, we are able to sustain 6 billion people with better living conditions than there were when the population only consisted of 40 million.
: But the relative affluence of capitalism holds back a great deal of affluence from the majority in order to create profit for a minority. Although capitalism has created more relative abundance than feudalism, that doesn't mean socialism couldn't improve upon its performance.
No it doesn't. However, there is a strong association between socialism and dictatorships and corruption and starvation.
My justification for Capitalism is not in that it makes most of the people affluent, but in that it is a just, moral system. It makes people responsible for their own actions and basically gives them what they deserve.
: : This may be a trivial point, but if a class that owns all the property is defined as the Bourgeoise (loose definition, I know...)than once all the proletariats take back the means of production, won't they become the bourgeoise?
: Not if the MAJORITY owned the means of production. The entire concept of 'bourgeois' is predicated upon MINORITY privilege. MAJORITY privilege is an oxymoron.
Just as an interesting side point, the term "bourgeois" is french in origin. It all began when during the French monarchy, there was a lot of paper work to do. Well, the nobles weren't too fond of this sort of stuff, preffering hunts and balls. Well, obviously they couldn't trust the peasants with this sort of stuff, so they created a new class: the Bourgeois. They were a sort of middle class. They weren't nobility but they also weren't peasents. They were the functionaries of the French government.
Just some fascinating etymology.