Private property and ethics

We are used to hearing private property and ethics as in some sense antithetical. This is a mistake. In fact they are deeply intertwined.

Someone has invested energy and strategy in making private property sound like a dirty word. Associations of greed, hoarding, wrongful defensiveness, wrongful building of fences. Somehow the opposite of private property would be sunny days–but not too sunny, green grass–freshly cut, bunny rabbits, and something like hippie love which would obviously finish with hippie sex which is only the beginning of new innocent needy, demanding and helpless humans tyrannizing what was a utopia. No! If everyone would just share the care for the little ones–and dammit you better enjoy it it would all be fine. Everything is always made fine by everyone playing nice. You got me?

I am in the teaching trade and practice in what is titled “philosophy”. There is no end of this utopian dreaminess about fixing everything from the innocent, dependent cherubs. It has come from somewhere. What is interesting is that behind all this call to sweetness is something like a simultaneous “Burn at the stake the greedy capitalist” rage. But enough. There is still time to spread the gospel (good news) of ethics which is the same as the gospel of private property which is the foundation of both moral and material growth.

For the utopian dreamer to even approximate their utopia there are only two ways: first, there is the way of slavery and coercion. They claim to eschew this way (but don’t be deceived). In reality they only avoid slavery when it doesn’t suit them. Second, there is the way of private property and persuasion.

Coercion and slavery deny private property rights and treat initiated aggression as legitimate. Respecting private property rights and engaging in persuasion treats initiated aggression as illegitimate. You see, I hope, at least in seed form, how the ideal human who practices no harm cannot initiate aggression against others or their property. This fundamental economic principle is also a fundamental ethical principle.

Published by Purilib

Anonymously interested in grasping the good life.

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