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  1. #61
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    Yeah, I didn't understand the socialism=lack of personal belongings at all. The socialists I've read/known often do promote a lifestyle that is simple, but I don't recall anyone writing/saying that pencils and shoes should be owned communally. That's ridiculous, no?

    I am not a socialist, but I think its useful to paraphrase certain Proudhon(anarchist and socialist) arguments here:

    You cannot own property* or protect a landowner's rights to property** in a society in which equality, individual liberty and justice are highly valued without one or more of these ideals being diminished in favor of property rights.*** The right of the landowners to their property has to be "continually defended against the poor man's desire for property": equality, liberty and justice are all diminished when, in favor of property rights, the law permits that an unused portion of land not be used to produce wealth by the landless poor.

    Probably the most obvious consequence of property rights is that something that could have been produced will not be - this is detrimental to economic growth and to, in many ways to the real owner of the land, the government. For example, by prohibiting the poor from using land in productive ways, simply because someone has claimed the land prior, you close off many options that could allow them to escape poverty. They must pay rent to the privileged landowners instead of using that money to produce more wealth from untapped natural resources. (How much crime would be prevented if someone had the option to become wealthy/improve their quality of life instead of selling their labor for food and rent money?) The property owner is given special rights to a nation's natural resources, requiring a poor man to lease the land in order to use it or live on it, which is an affront to the ideal of equality.

    In other words, to reduce poverty, usury, crime and other social cancers in a country with copious amounts of unused private land (US, Canada anyone?) it would be necessary to grant possession rights to individuals, instead of property rights. If you don't use the land to produce something, to live on then you have no right to it. I'm not saying that this is the only socialist opinion on property and land possession, it just happens to be my favorite. I'm also not saying that people shouldn't be able to have any personal possessions(trampolines, computers, cars) or that they can't have large bank accounts, only that the land itself ought not be owned.

    *(only possess it)

    **rights to UNUSED land, land that is not possessed.

    ***(disregarding the fact that all "private property" is, more or less, owned by the government in whose jurisdiction that land happens to exist within)


    EDIT: IF YOUR FORUM NAME STARTS WITH AN L AND ENDS WITH A K, DON'T REPLY TO ME!!!!!! JK, SORT OF.
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  2. #62

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    Proudhon was a sort of pop journalist and I think most of his work appeals to young people but Marx was the superior intellect really, he was write to highlight that Proudhons love of paradox lead to curious sloganeering, for instance "property is theft", well if it is "theft" then that presupposes legitimate ownership which presupposed property.

    Its a mad loop, Kropotkin was only slightly better when he made distinctions between field, factories and workshops, which allow production to take place to supply needs, and other things. Marx's means of production are the same thing.

    Realistically speaking property emerged and has endured so its likely it would re-emerge following any attempt to subvert or seriously repress it, so it could be an evil, like money, but its a necessary one.

  3. #63
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    That would be the point of distinguishing property from possession, to eliminate ownership without eliminating right to land entirely. At least, that's my interpretation of proudhon. Also, I think that most of these guys were paradoxical in their writings, including marx and kropotkin, and that's why I don't accept/reject all of what they propose. I don't think a favorable, futuristic society can be created from the ideas of one man, too many mistakes, prejudices, etc.
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
    That would be the point of distinguishing property from possession, to eliminate ownership without eliminating right to land entirely. At least, that's my interpretation of proudhon. Also, I think that most of these guys were paradoxical in their writings, including marx and kropotkin, and that's why I don't accept/reject all of what they propose. I don't think a favorable, futuristic society can be created from the ideas of one man, too many mistakes, prejudices, etc.
    Marx was a journalist too so he did use sound bites but Proudhon was the master of paradox pretty much, aswell as property is theft he said "God is evil", "universal sufferage is counter-revolution" and "Anarchy is Order", now it was all a foil to discussion, to get people thinking but it was also to grab attention and I think Marx was right about his attack on proprietorship.

    Proudhon suggested a system of banks which would make easy credit available to the public, he thought that would be enough to permit people to set up their own businesses and farmers or join together as co-ops, creating a kind of economy of the self-employed as opposed to anyone working for a boss or government. He had a lot in common with Jefferson in that respect, although Jefferson saw banks as a threat to his vision, even ones of the sort that Proudhon recommended.

    I'm not sure that it would make private property as an institution disappear, the social trends which Marx observed on the other hand, which have been rapidly accelerated by private corporatism, is working apace to make properietorship as it was known in Marx's day a thing of the past. People own fast moving consumer goods now, they own consumer durables, they dont really own property, except perhaps their home.

  5. #65
    Oberon
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    I don't think the thread has yet addressed exactly what we're talking about when we use the term "poverty."

    Is it the skeletal African kid with the distended belly and the fly on his lip?

    Is it the single mom with four kids living in a trailer in the US on $10K a year?

    Is it the two-parent, two-income family in a working-class neighborhood who can't afford to get the transmission work done on their beat-up car?

    Let's determine exactly what we're trying to fix before we decide how to fix it.

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    I don't think the thread has yet addressed exactly what we're talking about when we use the term "poverty."

    Is it the skeletal African kid with the distended belly and the fly on his lip?

    Is it the single mom with four kids living in a trailer in the US on $10K a year?

    Is it the two-parent, two-income family in a working-class neighborhood who can't afford to get the transmission work done on their beat-up car?

    Let's determine exactly what we're trying to fix before we decide how to fix it.
    To be honest I think that people will always think about these things in a culturally specific and relativistic way, what we can and can not go without today and in our culture is different from years ago or in another culture.

    That said, I personally dont believe that any country where obesity is at epidemic proportions has any poverty at all, I favour more absolute measures, such as starvation through shortages and chronic structural maladjustment, where allocative-efficiency in the economy is completely impossible.

  7. #67
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
    In other words, to reduce poverty, usury, crime and other social cancers in a country with copious amounts of unused private land (US, Canada anyone?) it would be necessary to grant possession rights to individuals, instead of property rights. If you don't use the land to produce something, to live on then you have no right to it. I'm not saying that this is the only socialist opinion on property and land possession, it just happens to be my favorite. I'm also not saying that people shouldn't be able to have any personal possessions(trampolines, computers, cars) or that they can't have large bank accounts, only that the land itself ought not be owned.
    This was the original English system of land ownership. The King had sovereign title over all the lands in his domain, and granted estates in exchange for services. In other words, in exchange for doing something for the king, he would grant a tenant (i.e. one who holds) rights to a parcel of land for a year. The tenant would subinfeudate (divide the land) other vassals for other services, and so on down the chain.

    Problem is that this is very inefficient for selling interests in land. A freeholder couldn't just sell land; he would have to revert his title back to the granting mesne lord, and then the mesne lord would have to grant the title all over again to the second person. In other words, the person could not profit from improvements in the land. This changed with the Statute Quia Emptores in 1290, allowing alienability of interests in land.

    This is one of the major reasons capitalism developed in England and Great Britain before the rest of Europe - once a person could profit from improvements to land, there was greater incentive to utilize that land as efficiently as possible. As a result, enclosure became a common phenomenon in the ensuing centuries, and former peasants were driven off their common lands. Either they moved to the towns and cities (becoming villeins), or later, they came to the colonies, working as tenant farmers, mechanics, or merchants. The merchants benefited best from this system which allowed for profit.

  8. #68
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    That said, I personally dont believe that any country where obesity is at epidemic proportions has any poverty at all, I favour more absolute measures, such as starvation through shortages and chronic structural maladjustment, where allocative-efficiency in the economy is completely impossible.
    Based on some fairly black-and-white criteria for any given person, such as whether or not that person gets adequate nutrition, potable water, clothing, and housing to meet physical needs, poverty by that definition is pretty rare in the US. The rest of the world, of course, is a very different story.

  9. #69
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    In my opinion, poverty is something that can't be 'solved' by a race that multiplies and crowds up in big cities like us humans.

    The only thing that changes with time are the conditions of poverty.

    What is considered decent conditions now, will be considered poverty conditions a century from now.

    It is impossible to conceive of a prospering, expanding society where everyone lives in the same conditions.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  10. #70
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    This wolf is right. No matter how amazing we make things today, our great-grandchildren will laugh at how pathetic our lifestyles, beliefs, and living conditions are.

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