[A-List] New Economy Bull
sherrynstan at igc.org
Sun Dec 15 15:20:19 MST 2002
> Since you are concerned about "the conquest and plunder" of the NA
> indigineous population by colonizing Europeans, don't you then consider
> to have been the property of the indigineous peoples? What's ahistorical
> about that?
Indigenous people anywhere only have "property" when it is defined as such
by a state. When I finish paying my mortgage to the bank (I'll be
70-something), I will "own" a tiny piece of land with a house on it. The
boundaries of that land, and the inventoried value of that house, etc etc,
only exist by virtue of legal documents of entitlement backed up by the
coercive force of the state. Peoples who live in times and places where
there is no state do not have property, as such. They may negotiate the
use of land, but there is no formal property. It would be absurd.
My point about the American Revolution, which Libertarians ALWAYS miss (or
evade), is not a moral one. It is an historical one. How do really
existing property relations and really existing property come to be? What
makes this piece of property I write from "mine?" Or the bank's, for now?
Who had it before me, and how did it make the transformation from shared
land of another people, to my personal residence? You talk as if
"property" is some natural phenomenon, that an unnatural state comes along
and expropriates. But the record shows, at ever stage without a single
exception, that the state came into existence and perpetuated itself with
the central mission of defining, codifying, and protecting a given set of
property relations. One cannot exist without the other. The only way to
deny this is to abstract the whole issue, which is precisely what
libertarians do. That and continually shift premises.
For those who want a relatively short explication of libertarian
philosophy - which will help address some of the confusion of
non-libertarians - pick up a copy of Ayn Rand's goofy opus, "Atlas
Shrugged," bypass the tedious story of the cardboard captialist characters,
and go straight to character John Galt's 64-page speech... a thinnly
disguised treatise where Rand combines Stirner, Mill, Smith, Neitzsche, and
others without giving an ounce of credit to them for her grotesque
bastardization. Unfortunately, it is a philosophy that lots and lots of
comfortable Americans and naive young folks take seriously. It has a kind
of strange tautalogic that seems to cast a strong spell.
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