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Menu Property is theft?

Perhaps the most basic, and paradoxically the most contentious, tenet of anarchism is its opposition to private property. In 1840, Pierre !oseph Proudhon "rote #hat is Property? $r, an In%uiry into the Principle of &i'ht and of (overnment. )his is considered one of the most influential "or*s of anarchist philosophy and is the ori'in of the rallyin' cry +property is theft,- In it, Proudhon poses this %uestion. If I "ere as*ed to ans"er the follo"in' %uestion/ #hat is slavery? and I should ans"er in one "ord, It is murder, my meanin' "ould be understood at once. 0o extended ar'ument "ould be re%uired to sho" that the po"er to ta*e from a man his thou'ht, his "ill, his personality, is a po"er of life and death. and that to enslave a man is to *ill him. #hy, then, to this other %uestion/ #hat is property, may I not li*e"ise ans"er, It is robbery, "ithout the certainty of bein' misunderstood. the second proposition bein' no other than a transformation of the first? #ith this %uestion in mind, I "ould li*e to expand upon the distinction bet"een +private property- and +personal possessions- I made in #hat I believe in. In doin' so, I "ould li*e to ma*e particular reference to the +anarcho- capitalists of the 1ustrian 2chool of 3conomics. 4i*e most anarchists, I consider +anarcho- capitalism to be an oxymoron, as by its very nature capitalism is not anarchic. 1n caps have ta*en the dictionary definition of anarchy as +no 'overnment- and pasted it onto their ideolo'y, utterly for'ettin' that anarchism is in fact a movement of philosophy and activism, "ith a lon' history and tradition, based upon principles of libertarian socialism and opposed to all forms of hierarchy and domination, not 5ust the state. (oin' further, I "ould even su''est that an caps do not "ant to dismantle the machinery of the state, but merely privatise it.

etc. an absoluteness "hich they mi'ht not have dared to claim before..of his body and the +"or*. "e may say. his sub5ects no" pay rent and he can +re'ulate the lives of all the people "ho presume to live on. is brilliant at inadvertently demonstratin' the 'enuine end of his movement. 1 *in' by another name .his property as he "ishes. and resi'n themselves to livin' under a re'ime no less despotic than the one they had been battlin' for so lon'.the =omestead Principle/ )hou'h the earth and all inferior creatures be common to all men. but 5ust before doin' so he arbitrarily parcels out the entire land area of his *in'dom to the 9o"nership: of himself and his relatives.2o.and yet then defends private property because +7o8bviously..capitalists and ri'ht -libertarians. for an +anarcho. Perhaps. +employ7s8 a cunnin' strata'em.)his nobody has any ri'ht to but himself. !ones over his.. the only difference &othbard can cite bet"een the 2tate and private property. )he +labour. for no" the *in' and his relatives can claim for themselves the libertarians: very principle of the absolute ri'ht of private property..&ather than taxes. more despotic."here he +proclaims his 'overnment to be dissolved. is that the latter "as ac%uired +5ustly. landlord. in a free society. 2mith has the ultimate decision ma*in' po"er over his o"n 5ust property.. &othbard:s next remar*s hi'hli'ht precisely ho" close the parallel is/ 0o" "hat should be the reply of the libertarian rebels to this pert challen'e? If they are consistent utilitarians. )his 'larin' contradiction is a'ain demonstrated by &othbard "hen he correctly identifies the state as ille'itimate because it +arro'ates to itself a monopoly of force< over a 'iven area territorial area. respondin' to the threat of a stron' ri'ht "in' +libertarian. .of his hands.Murray &othbard. yet every man has a +property. indeed. )he dilemma he posed "as this/ "hat if a 6in'. they must bo" to this subterfu'e.In both cases the 'et out clause. "hat ma*es property 5ust? 1ccordin' to +anarcho.capitalist.movement.in his o"n +person.

=o"ever. )he *in'. there is no re%uirement under the homesteadin' principle that a resource is in re'ular use for the proprietor to retain it. Bet a'ain. &othbard:s o"n "ords spea* a'ainst +anarcho.ho"ever he mi'ht have used the .o"n its property but both the state and the capitalist in fact ac%uired property by +homesteadin'. 2o lon' as the 2tate permits its sub5ects to leave its territory. ?ut is that not ho" states came into bein'? )he concept of nationhood arose prior to the state. 3ven to me. he %ualified this by sayin' that of course the state does not +5ustly. 'ained property throu'h accumulation of "ealth and po"er and the use of such to 'ain dominion over a land. the propertarian may transfer o"nership to someone else. and 5oined to it somethin' that is his o"n. for each community holdin' its land in common. It can le'itimately seiCe or control private property because there is no private property in its area. and for the re5ection of any claims by a landlord or employer to property on "hich others toil.capitalist thou'ht/ If the 2tate may be said to properly o"n its territory. it can be said to act as does any other o"ner "ho sets do"n rules for people livin' on his property. In the above para'raph. he removes out of the state that 0ature hath provided and left it in. then it is proper for it to ma*e rules for everyone "ho presumes to live in that area. or baron.are properly his. and thereby ma*es it his property. this sounds utterly reasonable.. as the propertarian. then. #hatsoever. or rent the property "ith no stipulations on any further labour input. >rom "hence. lord.@dominionA. and it "as the rise of feudalism "hich used the labour of those nations to develop the lord:s or *in':s +property. he hath mixed his labour "ith it. only that it has been transformed once throu'h labor. then. discard. 1fter this. does he 'et the 5ustification for private property in the capitalist sense of the "ord? 2imply. because it really o"ns the entire land surface. that is because it doesn:t sound li*e capitalism. then. $f course. "e have an elo%uent 5ustification for "or*er o"nership of the means of production.

private property from ille'itimate state property. 1s the "riters of 1n 1narchist >1F put it. no place to shelter. . save the proprietor and his friends . as it involves no victims. is that it is exploitative. for its life. it is e%ually sacred in all individuals. should not even exist. that is.: 2o. =ere. if it needs property for its ob5ective action. "atchin' them die. on the contrary.0or are they the only ones "ho. and soon the people . for example. . then. . althou'h +the liberty and security of the rich do not suffer from the liberty and security of the poor. "ill have no"here to rest. from appropriatin' an amount of material e%ual to his o"n.term to @falselyA differentiate +5ust. then. no one has a ri'ht to step. Does it not follo" that if one individual cannot prevent another . . henceforth. < )he purchaser dra"s boundaries. must contest for the +le'ality. multiply.of their homes or die freeCin' in the streets E steal from and *ill others to survive because they have no home. "e find the =omstead Principle already effectively refuted. &eturnin' to Proudhon in 1840. the private propertarian needs someone to act a'ainst trespassin' . no more can he prevent individuals to come. and it entrenches the class system "hereby the fe" live in privile'e "hilst the 'reat many face poverty and deprivation. . "ill exclaim. a +crime. )he anarchist:s ar'ument "ith private property."hich. . travellers: camps +ille'al. far from that. no loss of safety or liberty. )hey "ill die at the proprietor:s door. that. on the ed'e of that property "hich "as their birthri'ht. by its very definition. ..)he very notion of private property renders. ."e see that +the rich man:s ri'ht of property. is a piece of land upon "hich. . +social relations bet"een capitalists . no violence. needs to be enforced. 4et 7this8. and the proprietor. it is coercive. they mutually stren'then and sustain each other. fences himself in . 92o perish idlers and va'rants. in the propertarian system. If the liberty of man is sacred. #hether a state or its private e%uivalent in protection and security companies. the appropriation of material is e%ually necessary for all . . .. Private property. . has to be continually defended a'ainst the poor man:s desire for property. no 'round to till.

but that does not ne'ate the fact that the system itself is one of dominion and servility. rent or be "ithout shelter.not to the ice cream vendor:s +raspberry or vanilla.. the soverei'n G for all these titles are synonymous G imposes his "ill as la". but the choice is a*in to the mu''er:s +'ive me money or die. yes.)he an caps contend this by definin' coercion as the purely overt threat or use of physical force. $nce a'ain. . Instead. )here is no e%ual footin' in the relationship. that is. )hat is so . and suffers neither contradiction nor control. . . #hat Is Property sums up this position perfectly. then. 0ot all heads of state are despots or tyrants. he pretends to be the le'islative and the executive po"er at once . it is also true that the threat is not made by the employer or landlord themselves.and employees can never be e%ual. )he threat is there/ "or* or starve. )he proprietor. i'norin' economic coercion and the restriction of choice throu'h the environment of property domination. the robber. )he landlord or employer can afford to re5ect a potential tenant or employee . the hero. )hese are choices. he can al"ays find others in such an event.. 7and so8 property en'enders despotism .4i*e"ise. but the threat nonetheless remains. especially "hen it comes to potential loss. #hilst it is true that the tenant or employee does benefit from their transaction . . created by the very system of private property they operate in. there is no coercion in the relationship bet"een landlord and tenant or employer and employee. )o them. this does not mean the transaction is non coercive. because private o"nership of the means of production 'ives rise to social hierarchy and relations of coercive authority and subordination. If not. they no" have a roof over their head or a "ay to provide for themselves and their family . he must submit to some landlord or employer. and some can even have the very best of intentions. 3ven if it is not that one. he is left homeless or 5obless. ?ut the tenant or employee has no choice. they see it is a voluntary and mutually beneficial transation.

"e:re run into the 'round M underclassrisin'. Pin'bac*/ ?ritish "or*ers aren:t laCy . to be convinced of it.net ephraiyim on N8E10EN010 at 1H/4O . if 'oods are property. and observe "hat happens around him. Property is the ri'ht to use and abuse . one need but remember "hat it is. . Pin'bac*/ #hy there is no liberty to be found on the +libertarian. &e%uired fields are mar*ed J 0ame J 3mail J #ebsite Komment 0otify me of follo" up comments via email.ri'ht L Property is )heft. and despotic *in's G *in's in proportion to their facultes bonitaires? 1nd if each proprietor is soverei'n lord "ithin the sphere of his property.clearly the essence of property that. "hy should not the proprietors be *in's. 4eave a &eply Bour email address "ill not be published. . absolute *in' throu'hout his o"n domain. ho" could a 'overnment of proprietors be any thin' but chaos and confusion? 2hare this/ )"itterH >aceboo*14 2tumbleIpon Di'' &eddit More 4i*e this/ 4i*e ?e the first to li*e this. 0otify me of ne" posts via email.

If the community has an ethical obli'ation to care for the poor and sic* mi'ht the one "ho "ill not "or* be admitted once his lac* ma*es him so ill that the community must then ta*e him in. In both cases eliminatin' 'overnment is 'oin' to re%uire a lot on the part of those "ho a'ree to follo" such communities. or to ar'ue differently. 1nd it should be no 'reat sha*e to share "hat is left amon'st communities. If they are old or sic* their share may be very 'reat indeed compared to a healthy. &eply P Phil Dic*ens on Q0E10EN010 at 10/1R )he point is about reachin' a democratic consensus. in my personal opinion. =o"ever. trou'h disability or a'e can no lon'er "or*.2o ho" does one deal "ith those "ho. and a community or society or'anised on the basis of mutal aid has a different mentality any"ay than one or'anised to serve those at the top of a class system. say. =o" do they live. #ill said "or*er not come to resent those "ho do not "or* but still receive a portion or maybe a 'reater portion. If the community ta*es responsibility for them "ho decides "hat resources "ill be made available to them. and people are of course free to abstain from that consensus. &eply P . those "ho can "or* and don:t should be a minor issue. refuse to "or*? >or that matter "hat of those "ho. I:m not a primitivist. youn' "or*er. and so ho" any individual anarchist community "ould act is not somethin' I can 'ive a blueprint of. If all that are able are expected to "or* then ho" "ould that be enforced and by "hom. so I see no issue "ith technolo'y eliminatin' the more menial tas*s and the "or*in' "ee* bein' 'reatly reduced more 'enerally. People are more invested in their labour if it is not done simply to *eep the boss fat in return for a pittance. I realiCe the 1 K:s have a lot of problems to "or* out but I am not sure if the 1 2:s have any less.

and the left )$P P$2)2 . &eply P >31)I&32 More. an anarcho syndicalist strate'y 1narcho syndicalism and the limits of trade unionism >ascism.or a'ainst hierarchy.. I:m not for +liberty. and class< Marxist =ypocrisy 10< on )he principle and practice of < &ita cahull on Klass "ar and the a'ents of th< &ita cahull on Klass "ar and the a'ents of th< &3K30) 1&)IK432 Property is )heft. I:m not an anarchist. has moved< $n the trade unions and +borin' from "ithin?uildin' the ran* and file )he revolutionary 'eneral stri*e in an era of casualisation )he pros and cons of the blac* bloc 2tandin' on the pic*et line Kommunism throu'h the eyes of corpses Defeatin' the cuts .. fundamentalism. &3K30) K$MM30)2 )hou'hts on &evoluti< on Kommunism throu'h the eyes of< 5afran*lin0H on Kharity. I:m a libertarian and am 'enerally dis'usted at anarchism.(host on 1SE0OEN01N at NQ/44 Bes. mutual aid. )his is "hy I don:t call myself an anarchist.

has moved.Property is theft? #hat is anarcho syndicalism/ revolutionary unionism 1narchism. ethnicity. and culture/ blac* anarchism Kontact T subscribe 3ducation and child rearin' 3xplorin' anarcha feminism/ sex and suffra'e 3xplorin' anarcha feminism/ "omen and class stru''le 1narchism and the capital punishment debate Kommunism throu'h the eyes of corpses Property is )heft. )&I)=.. &312$0 T 4I?3&)B )he last post 04E0OEN01N 1narchists and trade unionists rattle Iain Duncan 2mith in ?ootle NRE0SEN01N 14e 4iverpool feel the impact of another pic*et and communications bloc*ade NOE0SEN01N 4iverpool maintains the momentum a'ainst "or*fare N4E0SEN01N 1nti "or*fare activity at ?ootle !obcentre Plus N0E0SEN01N >$44$# M3 $0 )#I))3& 3rror/ Please ma*e sure the )"itter account is public.. )1(2 activism anarcha feminism 1narchism anarchist anarchist communism 1narchist >ederation anarcho syndicalism anti fascism antifa ?0P Kapitalism class stru''le class "ar K0) direct action 3mma (oldman e%uality >ascism Imperialism Islam I## libertarian mi*hail ba*unin militancy 0ationalism 0oam Khoms*y Patriotism PK2 Pierre !oseph Proudhon private property racism revolution revolutionary leadership &udolph &oc*er self or'anisation 2ocialist #or*ersU Party 2ol>ed solidarity 2olidarity >ederation terrorism )he state trade unions unite a'ainst fascism van'uard of the proletariat "or*in' class .

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