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Deducing property rights - my Hopp-ish take

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Wheylous Posted: Mon, Jul 9 2012 10:52 AM

I do not purport to deduce them from axioms but from two things:

1) Scarcity

2) Self-ownership

Before we get any further, I propose that the term "private property" is of superficial use - "property" by itself means "allowing" one party to use a certain resource while denying that power to another party. "Private" is more adequately replaced by "individual."

Furthermore, keep in mind that I'm trying to establish a rational basis for what is generally called "natural rights", more adequately described as "legitimate interactions in society", and I'll leave the term "legitimate" for you to define (I realize this might be no easy task).

Once this system of natural rights is established, you must follow this rule to remain legitimate:

It is illegitimate to violate the rights of a "peaceful man" (where peaceful is defined as a man acting within his rights, which shall be established later).

On to the deduction.

I'll start with (2) - self-ownership. This is not an axiom. This is a proposition. Yet I contend that it is a necessary proposition for establishing any sort of society. If you do not agree that we each have self-ownership, we really have to further use discussing the matter and we will live in a state of no established respect for each other.

I do not believe it a very onerous proposition.

So now we have

It is illegitimate to violate one's self-ownership and any other rights deduced hereafter.

So we have agreed to self-ownership.

Now, for a brief discussion on (1) - scarcity.

We live in a world of scarcity. This means that goods are not all unlimited in amount. In the Garden of Eden (or at least a fictional garden), you can extend your arm and pull whatever you want out of thin air. You can wish resources into existence with no cost to you infinitely. When resources are non-scarce, there are no conflicts between people over resources because even if I take your Mustang, you can wish another one into existence anywhere and you have not been prevented from using the good directly. In general, if I "take" a car from you, you still have 100% use of the car anytime you like. There is no need for property. Theft is inconsequential.

Yet even in the GoE, there are some scarce resources. One is your body. The other is the space in which you stand.

Moving out of the GoE into the real world of scarcity, we have a limited amount of goods. If I steal your car, you can no longer use that car. There is a 0-sum game of physical resources going on.

When we have scarcity, people are competing for a finite amount of goods. When two people want to use the same good at the same time you have a problem. I can't be swinging the same axe as you at the same time. I will be physically messing with your body, thus violating your self-ownership.

Hence, we see that a conflict arises. We'd like to establish some rules for resolving this conflict so that self-ownership is not violated. There has to be one person who is legitimately using the resource and another who is not. That, my friends, is the definition of property - the exclusion of others from a resource.

And I have hence deduced property from scarcity and self-ownership. We see that indeed property is an extension of self-ownership.

Now, for another point regarding property - can groups own property collectively? No. For more info, I point you to Walter Block's responses to Caplan on FracR and joint ownership in marriage - http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block110.html - to summarize: Due to methodological individualism (the only thing that makes sense, really), you cannot have two people at the same time have 100% ownership of something because you again have a conflict of self-owernship if they both try to use it at the same time. We cannot both be 100% legitimate when I try to use $5 to buy a soda and you use the same $5 to kindle your fire. Hence, property must be individual and not collective.

I do not claim to have deduced the "right-libertarian" property - from homesteading until abandonment or death do you apart. I just claim to have deduced the fact that property is a necessary deduction from self-ownership if you want logical consistency.

Indeed, if you think about it, literally all ideologies I've heard of advocate property in some form - whether it be the individual "permanent" property we want or the collective property that AnComs want. We all advocate a monopoly over a resource - the left cannot get away with claiming that we're the only ones.

So there you have it. Please critique.

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I'm a bit tired rightnow to actually think about the argument at hand.

But I think Ilike the way you are trying to set it up.  It looks like you may be using a Weber approach of  modeling things off of an Ideal Type:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideal_type

 

Not too sure if that's what you're doing, but that's how I filtered it.  If so, I don't think that is Hoppe-like...though it could  very well be a type of Misean or Mengarian approach.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Autolykos replied on Mon, Jul 9 2012 11:20 AM

Wheylous:
I do not purport to deduce them from axioms but from two things:

1) Scarcity

2) Self-ownership

How are those not axioms? What's your definition of "axiom"?

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I do not purport to deduce them from axioms but from two things:

1) Scarcity

2) Self-ownership

I too would like to know how you define axioms if these two "things" are not axioms. Further, by asserting "self-ownership" you already have asserted property rights (the right one has in oneself; or the right for the absence of invasion of oneself). From here, the rest of the post is circular.

I'll leave the term "legitimate" for you to define (I realize this might be no easy task).

[...]

Once this system of natural rights is established, you must follow this rule to remain legitimate [emphasis added].

So is legitimate left up to the reader to decide or is it not?

When two people want to use the same good at the same time you have a problem. I can't be swinging the same axe as you at the same time.

So there is no "problem" if I use the axe when you're not using it?

That, my friends, is the definition of property - the exclusion of others from a resource.

Well, perhaps, but where did this come from? This just seems like an arbitrary sentence rather than a deduced conclusion.

And I have hence deduced property from scarcity and self-ownership. We see that indeed property is an extension of self-ownership.

Not really.

Are you familiar with the first-comer ethic or the homesteading principle (after having read the latter half of your post, I realize that you are familiar with the homesteading principle)? These may be of use. So far you have asserted the right to self ownership, recognized a conflict, defined property, and then claimed that property is deduced by what comes before. What links each part? You've yet to prove the latter sentence.

I just claim to have deduced the fact that property is a necessary deduction from self-ownership if you want logical consistency.

You have it backwards. Self-ownership is implied by property. But then again, in order for one to realize or understand the concept of property, one must will oneself to do so (implying self-ownership). Hmm. This is an interesting circle. Okay, I take back the claim that you have it backwards. This is gonna keep me awake tonight.

Indeed, if you think about it, literally all ideologies I've heard of advocate property in some form - whether it be the individual "permanent" property we want or the collective property that AnComs want. We all advocate a monopoly over a resource - the left cannot get away with claiming that we're the only ones.

Good to know.

 

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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Rcder replied on Mon, Jul 9 2012 7:06 PM

I do not purport to deduce them from axioms but from two things:

1) Scarcity

2) Self-ownership

As stated by Autolykus, aren't these technically philosophical axioms in the sense that you're establishing them as universally true and hence the foundation for your argument, or am I misunderstanding you?

Before we get any further, I propose that the term "private property" is of superficial use - "property" by itself means "allowing" one party to use a certain resource while denying that power to another party. "Private" is more adequately replaced by "individual."

Are you saying that property is purely a socio-legal construct?  That is to say, who "allows" Crusoe to use scarce resources on his deserted island?

Furthermore, keep in mind that I'm trying to establish a rational basis for what is generally called "natural rights", more adequately described as "legitimate interactions in society", and I'll leave the term "legitimate" for you to define (I realize this might be no easy task).

How can you establish "legitimate interactions in society" when "legitimate" is being used in a manner that is undefined?

Once this system of natural rights is established, you must follow this rule to remain legitimate:

It is illegitimate to violate the rights of a "peaceful man" (where peaceful is defined as a man acting within his rights, which shall be established later).

Since the definition of "legitimate" is undefined in your argument then this moral principle becomes unintelligible and therefore meaningless.  We can't even gauge whether you've satisfied the goal of your argument because the goal itself is, technically, unknowable.

I'll start with (2) - self-ownership. This is not an axiom. This is a proposition. Yet I contend that it is a necessary proposition for establishing any sort of society. If you do not agree that we each have self-ownership, we really have to further use discussing the matter and we will live in a state of no established respect for each other.

I do not believe it a very onerous proposition.

It seems to me like you're assuming that the establishment of a society is a moral imperative and that as a result actions which are social are moral and actions which are antisocial are immoral.  You haven't established, however, the moral necessity of a society or the logical veracity of self-ownership (we're simply asked to buy into it wholesale as a "proposition", which is a very weak foundation for a philosophical exposition of morality grounded in natural rights). 

So now we have

It is illegitimate to violate one's self-ownership and any other rights deduced hereafter.

So we have agreed to self-ownership.

This is, I think, addressed in my previous responses.

We live in a world of scarcity. This means that goods are not all unlimited in amount. In the Garden of Eden (or at least a fictional garden), you can extend your arm and pull whatever you want out of thin air. You can wish resources into existence with no cost to you infinitely. When resources are non-scarce, there are no conflicts between people over resources because even if I take your Mustang, you can wish another one into existence anywhere and you have not been prevented from using the good directly. In general, if I "take" a car from you, you still have 100% use of the car anytime you like. There is no need for property. Theft is inconsequential.

That the individual still must act in this hypothetical Garden of Eden scenario disproves the notion that all goods and services are superabundant; if one has to discriminate between two states of being then opportunity cost and therefore scarcity still exists.  In a world of true superabundance action would cease because the prospects of satisfying utility would all be spent.

Yet even in the GoE, there are some scarce resources. One is your body. The other is the space in which you stand.

If scarce factors exist then this places a break on the amount of goods and services available in the economy, and therefore we're no longer discussing an Elysian Fields scenario.

Moving out of the GoE into the real world of scarcity, we have a limited amount of goods. If I steal your car, you can no longer use that car. There is a 0-sum game of physical resources going on.

When we have scarcity, people are competing for a finite amount of goods. When two people want to use the same good at the same time you have a problem. I can't be swinging the same axe as you at the same time. I will be physically messing with your body, thus violating your self-ownership.

Why is it immoral to disrepect self-ownership and moral to respect it?  Again, the moral necessity of respecting self-ownership seems to just be taken as a given and isn't established in your discussion of natural rights.

Hence, we see that a conflict arises. We'd like to establish some rules for resolving this conflict so that self-ownership is not violated. There has to be one person who is legitimately using the resource and another who is not. That, my friends, is the definition of property - the exclusion of others from a resource.

And I have hence deduced property from scarcity and self-ownership. We see that indeed property is an extension of self-ownership.

Even if I was to take self-ownership as valid arguendo then at best you've simply established property as a synonym for scarcity, a word which implies the exclusivity of goods and services.  You certainly haven't established property rights or the moral requirement of supporting said rights, assuming they exist.

I do not claim to have deduced the "right-libertarian" property - from homesteading until abandonment or death do you apart. I just claim to have deduced the fact that property is a necessary deduction from self-ownership if you want logical consistency.

Indeed, if you think about it, literally all ideologies I've heard of advocate property in some form - whether it be the individual "permanent" property we want or the collective property that AnComs want. We all advocate a monopoly over a resource - the left cannot get away with claiming that we're the only ones.

Of course no anarcho-communist, or anyone for that matter, could dispute your definition of property since it's simply established as being equivalent to scarcity, a condition that's ever-present in the world.

In summation, I believe that your argument is ineffective at providing a meaningful definition of property or establishing natural rights morality.  It was certainly interesting and thought-provoking to read, though; I'm interested to see what else you have to say on the subject despite my criticisms. 

 

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David B replied on Tue, Jul 10 2012 12:49 PM

Without going too far, I've attempted something similar.

But I start from a basic breakdown of human action such that it generates an a priori concept of conflict, which seems to me to be the prerequisite for politics.

So, a conflict would be two incompatible actions by different actors.  Meaning that the intended results of each action cannot both exist in reality.  If both were attempted, the laws of reality would demonstrate what actually happens, and it would differ from one or both actors intended outcome.

I view the intersection of human mind, matter, specific period of time, and location in space as the essential component over which conflict occurs.  In it's simplest form the same matter cannot be in two locations at the same time, and the same location cannot hold two different instances of matter at the same time.  Note this is an epistemological conflict (at the level of the human mind); reality has no problem with either plan or attempting to merge them.  An example is putting two different cars through an intersection at the same time.  The plans were to go through, but reality demonstrates that actually the plans result in an accident.

This intersection of time, space, matter, and human mind is the idea of property in it's most nascent form.  I believe the essential political question is, "Who has the right of way?"  As an anarcho-capitalist and a libertarian, I have reasons for supporting the Natural Rights Theory.  First appropriation, voluntary exchange, self-ownership, abandonment (how long?), mixing of labor, etc.   I believe from a systems point of view it sets up the feedback loops such that you get a general upward trend in terms of human advancement, technology, wealth, and thus expands and improves our ability to satisfy our preferences.

So, the derivation of an inherent right to your own body is simply one of closeness to the source.  I AM connected by nerve endings through my brain to the physical matter that makes up my body.  I cannot give the reins (direct nerve control) to another.

Politics then becomes a way of generating systems of rules about the boundaries for such intersections of time, space, matter, and mind.

I hope that thinking in those terms might help form a value free basis for analyzing the systems of rights that we discuss.  

I don't believe you can establish that Natural Rights are "Right".  Right and wrong are subjective and individual value judgments.  Right and wrong appear as soon as human action appears.  But they arise in the human mind not in the underlying reality.  True and False is a question of correspondence between our knowledge(modeling of reality) and the underlying reality.  What we can do is argue about true/false propositions about the nature of reality.  

So, the self-ownership issue is one that's been resolved for us, in it's most fundamental form.  Someone can't take over my body as they could for example steal my house.  

Also, scarcity is a prerequisite for conflict.  If we all can access equal amounts of air, then it's not an factor in economic production, nor is it a factor over which you and I can dispute.

Just my two cents, I talk more about this, and how I believe it flows as a natural follow on out of the work Mises did in The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science.  My blog post is http://determinedindividualism.blogspot.com/2012/06/all-human-science-starts-with.html

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 12:09 AM

About the axiom question:

No, these are not axioms. Axioms are something we accept without deductive proof. So why are these not axioms?

Well, scarcity is a fact, not an axiom. I am unsure about the semantics, but it seems to me that not all facts are inherently axioms.

Self-ownership is not an axiom because it's not a factual proposition but a behavioral one. "You should to buy oranges" is a proposition but not a fact. Just because you're accepting something doesn't mean it's an axiom. It means that I'm asking you to make an intuitive jump of sorts, I guess.

So is legitimate left up to the reader to decide or is it not?

I meant the actual semantics of "legitimate," not the content. As in it's difficult to define the meaning of legitimacy, while it's relatively easy to say what may be considered legitimate. Let me give you a taste of why I relied on an intuition of legitimacy instead of defining it:

Legitimacy is once again a social construct. Saying that it is "illegitimate" for a person to kill means that other actors in society ought to recognize this as an unacceptable action and as one punishable by force. Whether they do or not is a separate matter. Saying that something is illegitimate assumes some justice system which will seek restitution/retribution (whichever one you like) on the part of the victim. Sorry I can't explain it better.

Anyway, I am making statements of what actions are legitimate and not exactly what it means for these actions to be legitimate. I am relying on your intuition here. I hope to be bale to deconstruct this later.

So there is no "problem" if I use the axe when you're not using it?

Not at this point in the deduction.

Well, perhaps, but where did this come from? This just seems like an arbitrary sentence rather than a deduced conclusion.

Not at all. I've established that we must establish a monopoly over a resource at a point in time. That is property. Hence, we've established a need for property.

What links each part? You've yet to prove the latter sentence.

Conflict arises over resources. To resolve the conflict it must be said who is "right" to use a resource. Whatever this system turns out to be, it is a property system. Hence, we've deduced property.

Self-ownership is implied by property.

And where does property come from? Note - I'm not convinced by AE currently.

Are you saying that property is purely a socio-legal construct?  That is to say, who "allows" Crusoe to use scarce resources on his deserted island?

I am not very well-versed in the terms, but yes, I think I am. The second question is why I didn't want to define "legitimate" - because saying that it is "allowed" to do X assumes (at least it seems) that there is someone who is doing the allowing and hence has the power to decide.

How can you establish "legitimate interactions in society" when "legitimate" is being used in a manner that is undefined?

Intuition :D

It seems to me like you're assuming that the establishment of a society is a moral imperative and that as a result actions which are social are moral and actions which are antisocial are immoral.

Not a moral imperative. But I'm running off the assumption that we want to create a society. I thought it was obvious. Maybe I should preface it with "Given that you want to establish a society..."

That the individual still must act in this hypothetical Garden of Eden scenario disproves the notion that all goods and services are superabundant

Why? I don't see how this is true at all. Just because you can have anything at will doesn't mean that you don't need to act.

 if one has to discriminate between two states of being then opportunity cost and therefore scarcity still exists

Opportunity cost would only exist over your body (which I already said is scarce).

Again, the moral necessity of respecting self-ownership seems to just be taken as a given and isn't established in your discussion of natural rights.

Yes. I made it as a proposition that you can accept or reject personally. If you reject it, however, be wary that it means that you're an open target working outside the society's justice system.

established property as a synonym for scarcity

I said that given the existence of scarcity, a property system must be established or you will violate self-ownership.

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hashem replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 1:44 PM

I think your view is fairly indistinguishable from that of Stephen Kinsella's in What Libertarianism Is—Which would make it very similar to Hoppe's view, considering Kinsella is Hoppe's most famous student. That is, rights are rules that people invent, propose, and acknowledge, and they require enforcement. In other words they are not laws of nature, but ideas that people agree to support.

And clearly a person is only a self-owner when someone else isn't controlling him, so there is no natural right to self-ownership. Thus I don't accept that property rights follow from a natural right of self-ownership. We don't just have rights, regardless of the value of ideas about self-ownership, property, or rights.

As long as technology remains at the point where humanity requires rules to be enforced through violations of person or property, then the best thing we can do is spread ideas about the value of ideas about property and rights. Personally, I can only imagine two future scenarios:

A) People violate person and property until humanity is extinct.
B) People violate person and property until technology is at a point where either resources are no longer percieved to be scarce or else the scarcity of resources no longer has a percieved effect on the human psyche.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain
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Scarcity must be presupposed for human action to exist. There is no reason for acting in a world in which any good may be obtained instantaneously. The presence of conditions in which uneasiness is felt is itself a demonstration of the requirements for action. So scarcity itself is axiomatic; scarcity is inseparable from action.

The right to self-ownership cannot be refuted as -like the action axiom- to do so would presuppose its validity.
 
Ergo, both of your two things are in fact axioms.
 
The one part of your response you don't address is my claim that you already assume property rights the instant you propose self-ownership as a premise. Self-ownership is a property right; property rights result from the recognition of scarcity and serve as a means of conflict-avoidance. That self-ownership comes from property may be accepted by argumentation ethics, but argumentation ethics is in no way necessary to deduce self-ownership.

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Jul 18 2012 4:38 PM

 you already assume property rights the instant you propose self-ownership as a premise. Self-ownership is a property right; property rights result from the recognition of scarcity and serve as a means of conflict-avoidance.

I only assume property rights in the self.

Furthermore, why is denying self-ownership a performative contradiction? I remember Hoppe explaining why self-ownership is the only logical choice for whom to own the self, but I'd like to see your reasoning.

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Jul 18 2012 4:46 PM

One of the main problems I see in my proposition lies in my appeal to intuition about self-ownership. I'd like to claim that you cannot have a meaningful society without self-ownership, but the Drug War is a clear violation of self-ownership yet we still are able to have a society. Hence, self-ownership is not required for a society to function.

Hm... Here is my response to that:

Yes, the Drug War violates self-ownership, yet we are not in a constant state of violation. If indeed everyone but the cops were to become a criminal and the cops tried doing their jobs, then society would fall apart as everyone was chased down by cops and arrested.

Valid?

The problem with that counter that I see is that even if we're not in active physical struggle against each other, there is a constant threat of violence against us and we are still able to have a society together. Hence, it appears that threats of violence do not lead to a destruction of society even if made on a massive scale.

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I only assume property rights in the self.

Irrespective of what application, you assume property rights. This is like saying that you're going to prove time preference while assuming the action axiom as a premise; time preference is not proven, but is implied by the very mention of the action axiom; you're rebuttal being equivalent to I don't assume time preference, I only assume the action axiom. And so it is with the OP: you assume property rights as a premise and then conclude that property rights are valid in the conclusion. After all, with reference to your response to my critique, what is self ownership but a recognized monopoly over the self? 

Furthermore, why is denying self-ownership a performative contradiction?

Think about it: can you deny self-ownership without willing your body to do so? To do so would demonstrate the validity of self-ownership (just as it is with the action axiom; i.e. can you will yourself to achieve something without action?). This is really all it takes to reach the conclusion Hoppe does. However, for good measure, Hoppe (and Rothbard) show further that there is no other logical conclusion to reach by argumentation ad contrario. There are three other alternatives: some class of people own another class of people; everybody owns everybody, or; nobody owns anybody.

1. some class of people own another class of people

This proposition is untenable for the reason of Kant's categorical comparative: there's no distinguishable class between people where it would be acceptable to all that a proposition such as this were valid. Because it some people are one way and other people are another way, it can't possibly be a universal norm.

2. everybody owns everybody

This proposition cannot even be stated without engaging in contradiction. If everyone does own everyone, then one is incapable of making this proposition without first seeking permission from everyone, but in order to do that, one must first ask permission (from everyone) to ask permission. And so on ad infinitum. By speaking, one demonstrates that this norm is untenable.

3. nobody owns anybody

This also is contradictory. By speaking one demonstrates the control of his body by himself.

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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hashem replied on Fri, Jul 20 2012 10:18 PM

Fact of self-ownership VS right of self-ownership. Don't conflate them. Rights are positive norms, not natural facts.

This is not to say we shouldn't acknowledge the value of supporting self-ownership rights and property rights. It is just to acknowledge reality and start from there.

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Wheylous replied on Sat, Jul 21 2012 9:30 AM

And so it is with the OP: you assume property rights as a premise and then conclude that property rights are valid in the conclusion.

All deductions are inherently imbedded in the assumptions. It's like saying it's invalid to "prove" triangles have angles which sum to 180 degrees because that conclusion is embedded in the axioms you start with.

What I did was I said assume we know for sure (by proposition) that ownership of the self is legitimate. Is ownership of things besides the self also legitimate?

Think about it: can you deny self-ownership without willing your body to do so? To do so would demonstrate the validity of self-ownership (just as it is with the action axiom; i.e. can you will yourself to achieve something without action?). 

How so? I can use property legitimately without owning it. What if John Doe in fact owns my body and he is merely allowing me to us it?

Because it some people are one way and other people are another way, it can't possibly be a universal norm.

It's universal if applied to everyone. That's why I think universality is a nice concept but breaks down upon examination. It could be a universal truth that everyone owes all their money to me. It's still universal. I mean, property itself is arguably not universal - if only I own my house, how is this universal? Seems like special privilege to me.

2. everybody owns everybody

This is where I cannot help but agree with Hoppe.

 

3. nobody owns anybody

This also is contradictory. By speaking one demonstrates the control of his body by himself.

Again, you do not have to own yourself to control yourself.

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Yes, I understand that proofs only make explicit in the conclusion what was implicit in the premises. 

What you've done, however, is go from your premise of property rights (in oneself) to the conclusion of property rights (in not-oneself). There's a difference between logical deduction and circular argument: The title of the thread is "Deducing Property Rights [...]"; you start out the deduction by assuming property rights (in oneself). 

[In retrospect, my bit about time-preference and the action axiom is something I'd rather forget; I now understand how you can see me not comprehending what a proof is.]

How so? I can use property legitimately without owning it. What if John Doe in fact owns my body and he is merely allowing me to us it?

Prove that John Doe owns you and prove that he's even allowing you to have this conversation then. That you can use property "legitimately" without owning it is only situational.

It's universal if applied to everyone. That's why I think universality is a nice concept but breaks down upon examination. 

If applied to everyone, the proposition becomes everybody owns everybody to which you reply that you 'cannot help but agree with Hoppe.' 

It could be a universal truth that everyone owes all their money to me. It's still universal. 

You're right. That is a universal norm. The universalization test is not the only criterion for a valid, universal norm.

I mean, property itself is arguably not universal - if only I own my house, how is this universal? Seems like special privilege to me.

The homesteading principle is universal; home ownership is an implication of homesteading.

Wheylous:

2. everybody owns everybody

This is where I cannot help but agree with Hoppe.

How so? I can use property legitimately without owning it. What if everybody in fact owns my body and they are merely allowing me to use it?

Again, you do not have to own yourself to control yourself.

Even if someone were my slave and I asked him to move his arm, he has the capacity to refuse/not hear me/ignore me/not understand English/not understand me, all of which are factors that demonstrate that I do not own him in the sense that Hoppe means. I can't will his body to act in the same manner as I can will my body to act. I doesn't follow from I "own" a slave that I control that slave

 

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Jul 31 2012 8:13 AM

How so? I can use property legitimately without owning it. What if everybody in fact owns my body and they are merely allowing me to use it?

I don't have much time to reply to the whole post, but I want to address this.

For everybody to allow you to use your body, you must allow them to use their own bodies. But this allowance would require a permission on their part to you, etc. It's literally impossible to have any legitimate action.

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@Wheylous

What should be (ethics) cannot be justified through an argument from what exists.

However, you are not even arguing strictly from what exists. Scarcity is a fact of existence, true, but "self-ownership" is already an ethical claim: unless by "self-ownership" you mean only the fact that individuals control their own bodies (as opposed to the ethical claim that individuals have the exclusive right to use their own bodies). If that's what you mean, then the problem remains that it is impossible to go from an "is" to an "ought."

 

apiarius delendus est, ursus esuriens continendus est
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I do not claim to prove self-ownership as a right, I merely propose it. If you reject it, fine. But if you accept it, then the rest follows logically, is my claim.

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I do not claim to prove self-ownership as a right, I merely propose it. If you reject it, fine. But if you accept it, then the rest follows logically, is my claim.

Alright then, understood.

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Which if true is a good thing, since self-ownership isn't a very difficult proposition to put forward.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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