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What is property?

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Papirius Posted: Wed, Jul 11 2012 2:57 AM

I guess there are few theories as to what property comprises.

The first, the closest to you guys here is the Lockean-Rothbardian. You know all about it.

Another one is the pure Lockean theory of property, the one that liberals hold on to, which is similar, but different in the detail of property right not being absolute but being bellow the (positive) right to life.

Another is the Roussouan-Proudhonian theory of property. Land ownership is illegitimate accordning to it, because land is not a product of labor; employment, rent, interest are viewed as illegitimate for the same reason.

Also, the Roussouan-Georgist theory, which says that land ownership is illegitimate, but beyond that, libertarian or liberal concept of property kicks in.

All have their arguments. I don't see the libertarian concept of property being sequitur to the self-ownership axiom.

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This oughtta do ya for a while.

Self-Ownership?  (be sure to catch this link)

What Libertarianism Is

 

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Papirius replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 3:22 AM

While giving those stuff a glance, I saw an interesting point- that Rothbard was not a voluntaryist. If it's consensual, it's doesn't mean it's ok, concretly, slavery by selling oneself is not valid, no matter the consent. I agree with that. But Proudhon argued that just as it is illegitimate to sell oneself, it is illegitimate to rent oneself, and just as "You can only give away your property, not yourself." (as it says in the Private Property's Philosopher article) you can only sell your property, not your labor (which is, as opposed to it's products, a part of yourself). So, two conflicting theories of property stand.

I've been thinking for some time about the argumentation ethics by which the self-ownership is shown to be an axiom,  and does it also show the non-aggression to be an axiom, or is non-aggression deduced from self-ownership. And if non-aggression is deduced from self-ownership, is it really an axion if argumentation ethics can be shown to justify it's breaking. If that is shown, then the third, Lockean, theory of property stands as an alternative to the mention two, too.

 

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Papirius:
I saw an interesting point- that Rothbard was not a voluntaryist.

How did you arrive at that conclusion?  Not by his assertion of inalienable will, I hope.

 

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Papirius replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 3:45 AM

Yes, by his opposition to slavery by voluntary selling of oneself.

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 3:54 AM

Voluntary slavery is a contradiction of terms, sorry. If it's voluntary, it's not slavery. Rothbard is cool with people who personally like to get beaten and bossed around. He's not cool when this becomes involuntary. Hence, he is a voluntaryist.

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Papirius replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 4:28 AM

Slavery by selling oneself has existed throughout history, and no slavery is slavery if it has "cancelable by lack of consent of the slave" clause, if it has that clause, then it's not slavery, that's employment.

If you voluntarily sign a contract saying that in exchange for someone eg. givng your family such-and-such amount of money, you will become his slave, and not "slave", but slave, meaning- his property to be bought, sold, killed, forced to work, whatever, that's not a contradiction in terms. If you can agree to be beaten and bossed around, and if you can agree to be killed, you can also agree to become a real slave.

If you were informed what slave means, and were able-minded (had legal capacity) when singing the contract, that contract cannot be said to be a contradiction in terms, it is a valid contract, except it is shown that it's in contradiction with some ethical principle.

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Evidently you didn't read that latest link I provided for you.  You might want to do that.  Then migrate over to this thread...as this is of course not the first time this ridiculous notion has been raised.

And of course, that's not the only thread where we've gone over it.  It's just the longest.

Punishing non-violent actions with violence

Fraud in Libertarianism

Deterrence in Libertarianism

Alternative to intellectual property

What would Rothbard say about non-compete language in an employee contract?

 

As you can see, this "you can sell yourself into slavery" nonsense seems to find a way to be introduced almost regardless of the precise subject of discussion.  And of course, those are just the ones I recall at the moment.

 

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Papirius replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 5:48 AM

I've read it, I just don't agree with it. Also, I have written in that threat.

Rothbard, and a lot of guys here by following him, talk about some imaginary slavery contracts which have "cancelable by lack of consent of the slave" clauses and call that voluntary slavery, but by the fact of having such clause it is not slavery. Whereas, as I said, slavery by selling oneself has existed throughout history. People knew that by selling themselves into slavery they give up their right to life, liberty, property and the right to cancel the slavery contract, and they agreed to those conditions in exanchge for whatever the slaveowner agreed to. Such slavery can become involuntary on a metaphysical level, but not on the legal one, because by selling oneself into slavery one has waived his right to cancel and get out of the contract.

What if in that time libertarians would come to power, how would they justify taking slaves from the slave-owner that got them when they voluntarily sold themselves to him? The slave-to-be knew what slavery is, he agreed to it, the slaveowner payed the slave's family, or whoever he needed to give money to according to the slave contract- and what would happen? Would libertarians take the slave from him and explain how that was an illegitimate contract? Whould they give him his money back?

If anyone has the right to do what he wants unless he violates NAP, I don't see how could it be contradictional with selling oneself into slavery.

So it is questionable whether slavery by selling oneself is inconsistant with libertarianism, and if it is accepted as such, there arises the question if employment is inconsistant with libertarianism, too..

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Papirius:
I've read it, I just don't agree with it. [...] Rothbard, and a lot of guys here by following him, talk about some imaginary slavery contracts which have "cancelable by lack of consent of the slave" clauses and call that voluntary slavery, but by the fact of having such clause it is not slavery.

Please cite the passage in which Rothbard talks about such clauses.

 

Whereas, as I said, slavery by selling oneself has existed throughout history.

Argument by terminology?  Argument by tradition?

 

If anyone has the right to do what he wants unless he violates NAP, I don't see how could it be contradictional with selling oneself into slavery.

You claim to have read this stuff, but your comments say otherwise.  From the second response in that thread:

Hence, the unenforceability, in libertarian theory, of voluntary slave contracts. Suppose that Smith makes the following agreement with the Jones Corporation: Smith, for the rest of his life, will obey all orders, under whatever conditions, that the Jones Corporation wishes to lay down. Now, in libertarian theory there is nothing to prevent Smith from making this agreement, and from serving the Jones Corporation and from obeying the latter's orders indefinitely. The problem comes when, at some later date, Smith changes his mind and decides to leave. Shall he be held to his former voluntary promise?

The point is the enforcement of such contracts is not in line with libertarian ethics.

 

So it is questionable whether slavery by selling oneself is inconsistant with libertarianism,

Proof you either haven't read what you claim to, or simply don't understand it.

 

and if it is accepted as such, there arises the question if employment is inconsistant with libertarianism, too..

 

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Papirius replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 6:30 AM

Please cite the passage in which Rothbard talks about such clauses.

"The concept of 'voluntary slavery' is indeed a contradictory one, for so long as a laborer remains totally subservient to his master's will voluntarily, he is not yet a slave since his submission is voluntary; whereas, if he later changed his mind and the master enforced his slavery by violence, the slavery would not then be voluntary".

Argument by terminology?  Argument by tradition?

Argument that redefining meaning of terms to suite one's purpose doesn't prove anything. Voluntary slavery- slavery by selling oneself was mentioned from Code of Hammurabi to Codex Iuris Civilis, it is not an imaginery concept Rothbard talkes about "if it's voluntary it's not slavery", it was goddamn slavery. You sell youself knowing that the second you do your owner has the right to kill you, and knowing that you forfeit the right to break the contract.

You claim to have read this stuff, but your comments say otherwise.

Maybe it's your assumption that if read something I will automatically agree with it.

The point is the enforcement of such contracts is not in line with libertarian ethics.

If I sell you a product, you give me money, and I change my mind and take the product back it's theft. Likewise, if I sell myself to you, if i change my mind and run away, that's theft. Calling something "title-tranfer" instead of "promise" doesn't magically make it radically different, just like I transfered a title over my product to you, I transfered the title over my body to you.

And the facepalm? The consistency of thinking that title over one's body is unalienable but the title over one's labor is alienable, is not worth thinking and talking about?

 

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Nielsio replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 7:30 AM

Hi Papirius,

Here I critique axiomatic libertarianism:

http://nielsio.tumblr.com/post/12618682679/crusoe-morality-and-axiomatic-libertarianism

 

Here are expositions of the moral traditions of Mises and Hazlitt (number 4 and 5):

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA7FF865D89D7720C

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Papirius replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 8:06 AM

Nice links, haven't seen those, but I must say that I'm for axiomatic aproach, being that I see self-ownership as an axiom, I'm just interested in what principles are axioms, which are not, which are correct and which are not.

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 9:19 AM

Nielsio - why the heck did bitbutter like your post? He's as deontologist as it gets.

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Papirius replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 12:05 PM

I don't see why shouldn't people like someone's thoughts even if they disagree with them.

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Neodoxy replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 12:26 PM

Property is entirely a societal and therefore a subjective concept, no one theory of property is inherently better than any other unless one is internally contradictory. This is also why, as you point out, adherence to property rights could lead to non-libertarian beliefs. For instance, many modern statists consider the state as a necessary part of property.

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Nielsio replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 12:37 PM

Wheylous,

I don't think so. He considers himself a Friedmanite (David) as far as morality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMt6CxZUOog

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...the enforcement of such contracts is not in line with libertarian ethics

And why is that?

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Papirius:
"The concept of 'voluntary slavery' is indeed a contradictory one, for so long as a laborer remains totally subservient to his master's will voluntarily, he is not yet a slave since his submission is voluntary; whereas, if he later changed his mind and the master enforced his slavery by violence, the slavery would not then be voluntary".

I asked for the passage in which he brings up a clause in a contract.  Simply pointing out the fact that a person can decide to not obey an order is not citing a "cancelable by lack of consent of the slave" clause of a slave contract.

 

Argument that redefining meaning of terms to suite one's purpose doesn't prove anything. Voluntary slavery- slavery by selling oneself was mentioned from Code of Hammurabi to Codex Iuris Civilis, it is not an imaginery concept Rothbard talkes about "if it's voluntary it's not slavery", it was goddamn slavery. You sell youself knowing that the second you do your owner has the right to kill you, and knowing that you forfeit the right to break the contract.

slave

[sleyv]  verb, slaved, slav·ing.

noun

1.a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant.
2. a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person
 
slavery  (ˈsleɪvərɪ)
 
— n
1.     the state or condition of being a slave; a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune
2.     the subjection of a person to another person, esp in being forced into work
 

The whole point is nothing you say (i.e. promise) prevents you from simply deciding to not do what you are ordered.  So then what. 

Basically you're alleging that one can surrender control of (i.e. alienate) something that is inalienable from him...control over his own will and person.  You cannot "sell" (that is, transfer ownership of) your will because you cannot alienate yourself from it.  You can voluntarily choose to obey orders, but everytime you carry out an order it is of your own volition (assuming of course there is no coercion involved...in which case we wouldn't be talking about "voluntary" behavior anymore).

The new "owner" of your will doesn't really own anything.  He isn't controlling you.  You are still in complete control.  You're just voluntarily choosing to obey orders.  This is not slavery.  The minute you decide to not obey an order, you have illustrated the fact that was true all along...it is in fact you who is owner and controller of your will and person.

Of course you can be physically forced or coerced into obedience, but by definition this means this is obviously not voluntary on your part.  This is when it becomes "slavery".

 

Maybe it's your assumption that if read something I will automatically agree with it.

It's my assumption that if you are presented with a logically sound reasoning, you will not deny it's validity.  Evidently I assume too much.

 

Papirius:
If I sell you a product, you give me money, and I change my mind and take the product back it's theft. Likewise, if I sell myself to you, if i change my mind and run away, that's theft. Calling something "title-tranfer" instead of "promise" doesn't magically make it radically different, just like I transfered a title over my product to you, I transfered the title over my body to you.

Your will and control over your person is not alienable from you as is some outside object.  This fact is not "magic", nor is "magic" required for this difference to exist.

 

The consistency of thinking that title over one's body is unalienable but the title over one's labor is alienable, is not worth thinking and talking about?

The notion that "labor" is property is indeed worthy of a facepalm, and yet again illustrates that you have not read all that you have claimed to read.

As evidenced above, I apparently cannot expect that you would accept the validity of logically sound reasoning...but if you intend to reject it I would expect at the very least, if you had actually read the sources you claim to, that you would actually address the points addressed in them...rather than simply continuing to make preposterous claims based in your own nonsense reasoning that illustrates no knowledge (or at least understanding) of the logic presented in those resources.

You title a thread "what is property", and I provide you with one excellent exposition of the libertarian position (which includes not only an explanation of property and the concept of self-ownership, but numerous footnotes and links to various sources), and another one which includes even more links to sources specifically about self-ownership (something you asked about in your OP).  You claim to have read them, yet do nothing in this thread but post nonsense that demonstrates no understanding or even exposure to the points presented in those sources.  And this latest suggestion that "labor" is property is yet another perfect illustration.

 

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Minarchist:
...the enforcement of such contracts is not in line with libertarian ethics

And why is that?

Because read the links.

 

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Because read the links.

So that I search through dozens of pages of posts to find your answer to a question which you could easily provide right now? No thanks.

The whole point is nothing you say (i.e. promise) prevents you from simply deciding to not do what you are ordered.

That's true. Likewise, when I sign a loan contract agreeing to repay the lender in the future, does that prevent me from deciding later not to repay him? No. Does that fact mean that the loan contract is invalid? No. The ability to change your mind about a contract does not make the contract invalid. I suppose your idea is that what the contract purports to transfer ownership over (the will) is not actually transferred, evidenced by the slave's ability to change his mind later. And such a contract would indeed be invalid (though not quite for the reason you cite, but no matter). HOWEVER, that is not what a VS slavery contract is. A VS contract transfers ownership over the body. That is not the same as control over the body. The fact that the slave can later change his mind indicates he never transferred control over the body, it is no way demonstrates that he never transferred ownership.

Basically you're alleging that one can surrender control of (i.e. alienate) something that is inalienable from him...control over his own will and person. 

No pro-voluntary-slavery (VS) libertarian is "alleging that one can surrender control of...[one's] own will and person." We are alleging that you can sell your own body: transfer ownership of it. Control has nothing to do with ownership, except in the case of initial appropriation through homesteading, but that has no bearing on the question of VS.

You cannot "sell" (that is, transfer ownership of) your will

Correct.

because you cannot alienate yourself from it.

No, because the will is not property, and cannot be owned: and cannot therefore be sold. No non-physical thing can be property.

The new "owner" of your will doesn't really own anything

Who said anything about owning the will? VS is about owning the body.

He isn't controlling you.  You are still in complete control. 

Correct.

You're just voluntarily choosing to obey orders.  This is not slavery.

You are confusing voluntary choice in the ethical sense with voluntary choice in the physical-metaphysical sense. A slave picking cotton in the antebellum south is making voluntary choices in the physical-metaphysical sense (i.e. he is not an automaton which the master can move at will), but he is not making voluntary choices in the ethical sense (because he is acting under coercion: e.g. the threat of the whip).

But not all violence is aggression. When is violence not aggression? Violence against one's own property is obviously not aggression (e.g. beating my dog), nor is violence against the property of another when one is in the pursuit of one's own property (e.g. breaking down the door of a thief to retrieve my stolen TV set).

It is certainly violence for the master to whip the slave, but is it aggression? First, to clarify, "whip the slave" means "whip the slave's body." The master is whipping a piece of matter, he is not whipping a will or a mind or a soul or any other non-physical thing. Now, if the slave's body is the property of the master, then the master is not aggressing. That is the claim of pro-VS libertarians: the slave's body is the property of the master, and so any violence or threat of violence against that body is nothing but the master using his own property: it cannot be aggression. The slave can no more object to the master whipping the body than I can object to you beating your dog: it's not my property, it's yours, to do with as you please.

  The minute you decide to not obey an order, you have illustrated the fact that was true all along...it is in fact you who is owner and controller of your will and person.

Again, you conflate control of the body and ownership of the body. This is wrong. The former concerns physical reality. The latter concerns ethics and law.

It's my assumption that if you are presented with a logically sound reasoning, you will not deny it's validity.  Evidently I assume too much.

You do, namely that what you present is logically sound reasoning.

N.B. Perhaps some of the problem here is that when anti-VS libertarians think of "the body" they think of it in first-person perspective, whereas pro-VS libertarians are talking about "the body" from the third-person perspective: i.e. as one piece of matter in the world, which is capable of being owned and sold like any other.

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Malachi replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 7:29 PM
It is certainly violence for the master to whip the slave, but is it aggression? First, to clarify, "whip the slave" means "whip the slave's body." The master is whipping a piece of matter, he is not whipping a will or a mind or a soul or any other non-physical thing.
I'm actually trying to figure out how you expect a piece of paper representing an opinion a person had in the past to literally sever the relationship between mind and body...perhaps its related to the inalienability of the will? Hmmmmmmmmm

If we are methodological dualists, and metaphysical materialists, then this distinction is impossibke because materialists necessarily believe that the mind has no existence apart from the body. Correct me if I am wrong, because it follows from that that to even make this argument you must be a spiritualist, meaning believe that a meaningful nonmaterial world exists.

also note that "ownership" does constitute control, either personally or through an intermediary. Your notion of enforcing the agreement does not constitute control in any sense of the word, merely negative incentive. The will of the individual is the only known way to control the body. Come back when technology catches up to the point where you can actually control someone and we will talk.

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Minarchist:
So that I search through dozens of pages of posts to find your answer to a question which you could easily provide right now? No thanks.

The links are there because, as I said, this is of course not the first time this ridiculous notion has been raised.

Inalienability of the self

Punishing non-violent actions with violence

Fraud in Libertarianism

Deterrence in Libertarianism

Alternative to intellectual property

What would Rothbard say about non-compete language in an employee contract?

 

Every single one of those links directs to a specific post, each offering the answer to your question.  You seem to have a real problem doing any sort of outside investigation of your own.

 

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@ John James

Fair enough, I assumed you just linked the entire threads, which it would be absurd to ask me to read through when you could simply respond here.

Now, I have read through those posts, and what I found is you repeating and linking to Rothbard's position.

I am familiar with his position, and I disagree with it.

He says no title transfer occurs through a VS contract, therefore the contract is invalid, therefore violence used to enforce the contract is aggression.

If no title transfer occurred, then the rest of his argument would follow.

But I say title transfer did occur: title to the body of the slave. See last post.

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I'm actually trying to figure out how you expect a piece of paper representing an opinion a person had in the past to literally sever the relationship between mind and body

I'm not suggesting that a VS slave contract severs the relationship between body and mind.

If we are methodological dualists, and metaphysical materialists, then this distinction is impossibke because materialists necessarily believe that the mind has no existence apart from the body. Correct me if I am wrong, because it follows from that that to even make this argument you must be a spiritualist, meaning believe that a meaningful nonmaterial world exists.

....huh? If you are a "metaphysical materialist" that means you believe that only physical reality exists: no mind et al. I have no idea what you mean by a methodological dualist. Method for what? You believe in dualism for the purpose of....? But you are at the same time a materialist? I also have no idea what this has to do with my argument, or how it makes me a "spiritualist."

also note that "ownership" does constitute control

Think about what you mean by "control." Ownership has something to do with posession (on the far ends: i.e. homesteading and abandonment), but nothing to do with control in the sense you mean. By control you seem to mean the ability to will the limbs of the slave into motion (i.e. the same kind of control the salve has over his own body). But I don't have that kind of control over my car, or any property (except my own body). Control thus defined is not a condition for property ownership.

Your notion of enforcing the agreement does not constitute control in any sense of the word, merely negative incentive

Correct

The will of the individual is the only known way to control the body.

Correct

Come back when technology catches up to the point where you can actually control someone and we will talk.

When technology allows one person to control another (i.e. will their body into motion), then it will be possible for one person to control another. It is already possible to own other people's body, as ownership has nothing to do with control in the sense you mean.

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gotlucky replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 8:17 PM

Minarchist,

In the other thread, I made this very polite post that you never responded to. Since you hate reading threads, I will repost it for your own ease:

gotlucky:

 

In A LIBERTARIAN THEORY OF CONTRACT: TITLE TRANSFER, BINDING PROMISES, AND INALIENABILITY, Stephen Kinsella provides an argument for certain inalienable rights. It is in the section Clarifications and Applications towards the end. The whole essay is interesting, but you probably don't have to read all of it in order to understand his argument. Anyway, he brings up many of the criticisms you have put forth, and he explains his reasons for certain inalienable rights. He explains his theory more in depth than Rothbard, and he considers his theory to be different than Rothbard's.

As I just said to Autolykos, Rothbard does include the body in the will, so Rothbard does consider the body to be inalienable property just as Kinsella does (even though Kinsella is critical of Rothbard's theory regarding the will).  I don't think Rothbard's theory has the problems that you and Kinsella claim, I think that Kinsella explains it better and more in depth.

But for some reason, you decided that this post lacked substance, as you have stated that you would only respond to my posts if they were "substantive". So, you can continue to argue only against Rothbard's arguments, or you could broaden your horizons and read other arguments against "voluntary" slavery. I won't hold my breath.

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@gotlucky

Kinsella's criticism of Rothbard is essentially the same as my own.

The problem with this view is that it assumes that a person’s will has to be transferred in order for him to become a slave, or for others to have the right to control his body. But this is not necessary. Rather, the slave owner need only have the right to use force against the recalcitrant slave. It is true that one cannot alienate direct control of his body; one person can have only indirect control of another’s body. Yet, we own animals, even though the animals retain direct control over their actions. The owner exerts indirect control over the animal’s actions, e.g., by coercing or otherwise manipulating the animal to get the animal to do what the owner desires.

But then Kinsella makes this new argument trying to justify inalienability of the body.

Because the body is not some unowned resource that an already existing individual chooses to acquire, it makes little sense to say that it can be abandoned by its owner. And since alienation of property derives from the power to abandon it, the body is inalienable. A manifestation of intent to “sell” the body is without effect because a person cannot, merely by an act of will, abandon his or her body. Title to one’s body is inalienable, and it is not subject to transfer by contract.

Does it really? So I cannot sell anything that I cannot physically separate myself from? Why is that?

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Malachi replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 8:44 PM
I'm not suggesting that a VS slave contract severs the relationship between body and will.
well then you must acknowledge that the will cannot be transferred and then so neither can the body.
....huh? If you are a "metaphysical materialist" that means you believe that only physical reality exists: no mind et al. I have no idea what you mean by a methodological dualist. Method for what? You believe in dualism for the purpose of....? But you are at the same time a materialist? I also have no idea what this has to do with my argument, or how it makes me a "spiritualist."
well, its obvious you need to read more austrians. Methodological dualism considers the abstract things like the mind to be separate from the physical for purposes of discussion, but makes no statement on metaphysics. Rather than saying "no mind et al" materialists assert that the mind and thoughts are patterns of neurons firing and chemical interactions in the human sensorium. Thus, if you were a materialist you certainly wouldnt assert that whipping a (actual, nonconsenting) slave did not constitute an assault on someone's mind. Meaning you must somehow believe that the mind/will can be divorced from the body. Explain yourself.
Think about what you mean by "control." Ownership has something to do with posession (on the far ends: i.e. homesteading and abandonment), but nothing to do with control in the sense you mean. By control you seem to mean the ability to will the limbs of the slave into motion (i.e. the same kind of control the salve has over his own body). But I don't have that kind of control over my car, or any property (except my own body). Control thus defined is not a condition for property ownership.
you think about it. Ownership contains the control over an asset, meaning that one can permit and deny possession to other people. I can let someone borrow my car, it still belongs to me, I still have nominal control over it. I can tell that person not to go over to the east side of town, or to return my property at 3 pm sharp. Insofar as my dictates are respected, I have control over the car. As soon as the possessor of the car ceases to follow my instructions, it becomes one or more crimes and/or torts. That is, as soon as I lose control, while I have title, it becomes a crime.

But cars are alienable, living human beings are not, because the cognitive element that exercises control cannot be separated from the corpus. You can only transfer possession of the body, not ownership, because if and when the current occupant changes his mind, enforcement of the agreement becomes a libertarian crime. And call me crazy, but being against nonconsensual torture seems like a good litmus test for a theory of ethics.

When technology allows one person to control another (i.e. will their body into motion), then it will be possible for one person to control another. It is already possible to own other people's body, as ownership has nothing to do with control in the sense you mean.
It is certainly true that slavery exists, although its not as prolific as it was several hundred years ago. The libertarian argument is that it is wrong. if you have a piece of paper that represents an individual's prior consent to slavery, dated three years ago, and you beat that individual against his or her will, today, you have done wrong, legally and morally.
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I think gotlucky's post provides a perfect illustration of Minarchist's MO, that I kind of described earlier.  You do not seem to be actually interested in learning anything or progressing in discussion, so much as just spouting your own fallacious notions again and again, attempting to indirectly proclaim everyone else is just wrong.

I think this was made evident in the very first thread you created after joining this forum.

 

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Malachi replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 8:48 PM
Does it really? So I cannot sell anything that I cannot physically separate myself from? Why is that?
because if you change your mind and want to leave then we have to coerce you into staying, which constitutes aggressive violence which is wrong.
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Malachi:
Minarchist:
I'm not suggesting that a VS slave contract severs the relationship between body and will.
well then you must acknowledge that the will cannot be transferred and then so neither can the body.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ytCEuuW2_A

 

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gotlucky replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 9:01 PM

Minarchist:

Does it really? So I cannot sell anything that I cannot physically separate myself from? Why is that?

Obviously, depending upon the legal system, you can sell whatever you want to sell. What Kinsella is doing is demonstrating that the title to the body cannot be alienated as the body cannot be abandoned (well, at least so long as you are alive). Again, you can alienate body parts, as you can cut them off or out of you (though I advise having a professional surgeon do it :p).

What Kinsella is saying is that transferability is derived from abandonment. So, we should see why that is. Consider:

You are going to buy an apple from me for $5. How do I come to possess the $5 and how do you come to possess the apple? Well, let's look at the definition of the word abandon:

 

Verb

abandon (third-person singular simple present abandonspresent participle abandoningsimple past and past participle abandoned)

  1. (transitive) To give up control of, to surrender, as in a ship or a position, typically in response to overwhelming odds or impending dangers.
  2. (transitive) To leave behind; to desert; toforsake, in spite of a duty or responsibility.  [quotations ▼]
    Many baby girls have been abandoned on the streets of Beijing every day.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To cast or drive out; to banish; to expel; to reject [quotations ▼]
  4. (transitive) To no longer exercise a righttitle, or interest, especially with no interest of reclaiming it again; to yield; to relinquish.
  5. (transitive) To give oneself over, or to yield without restraint or control.
  6. (transitive) To turn away from; to permit to lapse; to desist in doing, practicing, following, or adhering to.
  7. (transitive) To surrender to the insurer the item that was insured, so as to claim payment for a total loss.

Well, the most relevant definition is the fourth one. So, abandon may sound like a funky word to use, but given the definition, it makes sense. So, in what manner can you cease to exercise a right, title, or interest in your body? You cannot. You can pick some berries from a bush, and you can claim ownership over it. And then you can relinquish ownership over it. But you cannot relinquish ownership over your body.

Now, I imagine your criticism will be, "Even if I cannot relinquish ownership of my body, I can still trade ownership". But relinquishing ownership is what you do when you trade.

Back to the apple. When you give me the $5, you relinquish ownership of the $5, and I claim ownership over it. I relinquish ownership of the apple and you claim ownership over the apple.

But you cannot relinquish ownership over your body. You cannot say to the world, "I cease to own myself". Okay, well you can. But you still own yourself. But you can say to the world, "I relinquish ownership of this blueberry plant". Someone else is free to come along and claim ownership over the blueberry plant.

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gotlucky replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 9:10 PM

@Minarchist

I have a post pending moderation the specifically addresses:

Minarchist:

Does it really? So I cannot sell anything that I cannot physically separate myself from? Why is that?

But, until it gets approved, I have some other things for you to read. Here is a post I made to Autolykos quoting some of Kinsella's comments from elsewhere (okay, some of them are reposts of Conza88 posting the quotes).

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well then you must acknowledge that the will cannot be transferred

I do. It cannot be physically transferred. Nor can ownership of it be transferred: namely, because it is not property and cannot be owned in the first place.

and then so neither can the body.

This is where we have problems. Why does the fact that the will cannot be physically or legally transferred have any bearing on whether the body can be? Consider this. I cannot sell some land and at the same time not sell some part of that land. That is a contradiction: I cannot both sell and not sell the same piece of property. But why can't I sell my body and not sell my will? The will is not a part of the property that I am selling: because it is not property at all. Or, if it is property, then it can be sold. Either way, it in no way prevents the sale of the body.

Methodological dualism considers the abstract things like the mind to be separate from the physical for purposes of discussion, but makes no statement on metaphysics.

Ok.

Rather than saying "no mind et al" materialists assert that the mind and thoughts are patterns of neurons firing and chemical interactions in the human sensorium.

That means no mind at all. Identity theory = pure eliminative materialism.

Thus, if you were a materialist you certainly wouldnt assert that whipping a (actual, nonconsenting) slave did not constitute an assault on someone's mind.

So If I'm a materialist, I think mind=body, and so whipping a slave is an assault on someone's mind. Ok, and?

Meaning you must somehow believe that the mind/will can be divorced from the body. Explain yourself

You first. None of this has any bearing on what I'm talking about.

Ownership contains the control over an asset, meaning that one can permit and deny possession to other people.

Do I have control over my stock in Coca Cola? I have ownership of it. I have no physical connection to it in any way whatsoever.

I can let someone borrow my car, it still belongs to me,

Yes it does.

I still have nominal control over it.

And this nominal control has nothing to do with physically controlling it - someone else is driving it.What you have is ownership, which has nothing to do with physical control.

I can tell that person not to go over to the east side of town, or to return my property at 3 pm sharp. Insofar as my dictates are respected, I have control over the car.

Kind of like how the slave-master can tell the slave to do something, but doesn't have actual control over whether he does it?

  As soon as the possessor of the car ceases to follow my instructions, it becomes one or more crimes and/or torts. That is, as soon as I lose control, while I have title, it becomes a crime.

The guy who is using your car violates your property rights by using your car in ways contrary to your wishes....kind of like how slave uses his body contrary to the wishes of the master and therefore violates his property rights?

living human beings are not [alienable], because the cognitive element that exercises control cannot be separated from the corpus

If you're claiming that the will is part of the body [which is property], then the will must be property. And if you're claiming that the will is distinct from the body, then the will plays no role in the sale of the body. Either way, there's no reason to disallow sale of the body (with or without the will).

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because if you change your mind and want to leave then we have to coerce you into staying

To what does "you" refer in this sentence? To my body? My body is not my property anymore, it is the master's. It is not aggression for the master to use violence against his own property. To my will? How can one use violence against the will? Is that like punching ghosts?

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That means no mind at all. Identity theory = pure eliminative materialism.

Identity theory is not eliminative materialism.

Identity theory =df S is in mental state X if and only if S is in brain state Y.

Eliminative materialism 'eliminates' discussion of folk psychology or mental states altogether and prefers we adopt some sort of neuroscientific vocabulariy. I, for one, think EM is self-refuting. Identity theory isn't very plausible either, given that it can't account for the thought experiment of non-carbon based life forms exhibiting the signs associated with something like pain. Even though the non-carbon based life form might exhibit the typical signs of being in pain, the identity theorist would have to completely deny this, since the non-carbon based life form lacks C-fibers.

“Remove justice,” St. Augustine asks, “and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms?”
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@gotlucky

I think what Rothbard was getting at is this: in the normal, default situation, each person IS a selfowner BECAUSE he has a will: i.e., a direct control over his body. THis direct control is the natural position, and gives the person a better claim to his body than anyone else. Thati s WHY he is a selfowner.

I certainly agree. Every person is the original owner of their body. I would characterize it as a special case of the homesteading principle.

Now Rothbard is implicitly recognizing that the slave who promises to be slave still has his will, as he did not literally alienate it. Therefore, he still has the best link to his body, and thus he is still its owner.

The underlined passage is a problem. Suppose I homestead a piece of land. I spend years improving it and living on it. I decide to sell it to a man living 3000 miles away, while I am still living on it. Who has the "best link" to this property? I do, obviously. Yet I don't own it anymore, the man I sold it to owns it.

Now it is true that iti s possible for someone to alienate their rights to their body, despite still having a will: by committing aggression. When you commit aggression you overcome the default presumption that you have the best right to control your body; now your victim has a better right to your body, despite your having the direct link to and direct control over it.

So the special link between myself and my body cannot be broken voluntarily by myself, the owner of my body, but it can be broken if I commit aggression. This distinction seems both arbitrary and intuitively unjust. What's the reasoning behind this?

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jodiphour replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 9:43 PM

John James:

Of course you can be physically forced or coerced into obedience, but by definition this means this is obviously not voluntary on your part.  This is when it becomes "slavery".

 

 

So then taxation is not coercion in and of itself. You must first refuse to pay the tax and have the threat of jail brought as a means to influence you to pay. The mere existence of law does not mean coercion? In the example at hand, the mere existence of the contract does not amount to coercion?

 

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Identity theory is not eliminative materialism.

The ontology of identity theory is the same as the ontology of eliminative materialism: i.e. purely physicalistic.

P and M are not actually identified. What they're saying is that Ms are a subset of Ps.

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Malachi replied on Wed, Jul 11 2012 9:48 PM
This is where we have problems. Why does the fact that the will cannot be physically or legally transferred have any bearing on whether the body can be?
because people change with the passage of time and so a contract, which conveys intent, cannot declare someone's intent for all of time. So the inalienability of the will has a direct bearing on your control, and therefore potential ownership, of the body. Do you not see a problem with owning someone else's body? Like they might one day change their mind and decide to leave?
Consider this. I cannot sell some land and at the same time not sell some part of that land.
actually you can
Do I have control over my stock in Coca Cola? I have ownership of it. I have no physical connection to it in any way whatsoever.
I imagine thats because you prefer to accept additional risk in exchange for convenience and leave the shares with a broker. Although I cant imagine a person who actually owns stock saying this. As for the rest of your post, you seem to relish the idea of owning live human bodies. I didnt see anything worth responding to, since you cherry picked two statements and decided to ask rhetorical questions that made no point, please explain to me how you can justify the idea of assaulting someone for failing to follow your dictates for the rest of his or her life. What theory of contracts justifies this?

As I said before:::

you think about it. Ownership contains the control over an asset, meaning that one can permit and deny possession to other people. I can let someone borrow my car, it still belongs to me, I still have nominal control over it. I can tell that person not to go over to the east side of town, or to return my property at 3 pm sharp. Insofar as my dictates are respected, I have control over the car. As soon as the possessor of the car ceases to follow my instructions, it becomes one or more crimes and/or torts. That is, as soon as I lose control, while I have title, it becomes a crime. But cars are alienable, living human beings are not, because the cognitive element that exercises control cannot be separated from the corpus. You can only transfer possession of the body, not ownership, because if and when the current occupant changes his mind, enforcement of the agreement becomes a libertarian crime. And call me crazy, but being against nonconsensual torture seems like a good litmus test for a theory of ethics.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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