Property Panarchy

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Hogeye 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #758

    Hogeye
    Participant

    http://www.ozarkia.net/bill/anarchism/rants/PropertyPanarchy.html

    Jacob, you can make this a blog post if you want.

  • #759

    Hogeye
    Participant

    I was reading Kevin Carson’s “Mutualist Political Economy.” I do not think I’ve read it all before. I didn’t realize how often I was quoted (from comments I made at the now-defunct Anti-State.com forum.)

    I added a Carson quote to my latest essay. Here it is:

    None of these alternative sets of rules for property allocation is self-evidently right. No ownership claim can be deduced logically from the principle of self-ownership alone, without the “‘overlay’ of a property system,” or a system of “allocation rules.” No such system, whether Lockean, Georgist, or Mutualist, can be proved correct. Any proof requires a common set of allocation rules, and a particular set of allocation rules for property can only be established by social consensus, not by deduction from the axiom of self-ownership.

    Also, Jacob, I noticed that Carson more of less approves of, and utilizes, my “abandonment criteria” concept. Unlike Shawn Wilber, Carson essentially admits that possession is a type of private property.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by  Hogeye.
  • #761

    Hogeye
    Participant

    “Lockean and mutualist property are ‘the same thing … with different parameters’ for the length of time necessary to establish abandonment.” – Kevin Carson, https://c4ss.org/content/40929, “Are We All Mutualists?”

    A series about property: https://c4ss.org/content/41421

  • #768

    Jacob
    Keymaster

    Jacob, you can make this a blog post if you want.

    Thank you Bill, I went ahead and did so! I like the article. I did a few minor edits, just changing some formatting and fixing a typo.

    I was reading Kevin Carson’s “Mutualist Political Economy.” I do not think I’ve read it all before. I didn’t realize how often I was quoted (from comments I made at the now-defunct Anti-State.com forum.)

    I noticed that when I read that part of his book, as well. I like that you quote that part of his book in your essay. I’m also curious what you’ll end up thinking of the rest of his book.

    Also, Jacob, I noticed that Carson more of less approves of, and utilizes, my “abandonment criteria” concept. Unlike Shawn Wilber, Carson essentially admits that possession is a type of private property.

    Agreed, Carson quotes and uses your idea of abandonment periods and treats usufruct and sticky property as different sorts of property norms, whereas Wilbur insists that “possession” entails rejection of formal rules or laws. I still, sadly, was unable to decide for sure whether Wilbur’s dispute with advocates of polycentric law is more semantic or more substantial, though, in the recent discussion between him, you, and I on facebook.

    I still think, from reading Proudhon’s What is Property? and the chapter of Benjamin Tucker’s Instead of a Book regarding land that the time-til-abandonment criteria, by itself, doesn’t seem like a good formalization of the views these earlier authors defended, despite Carson’s seeming endorsement of your formalization. You seem to draw that idea from the phrase itself, “occupancy and use,” along with what the phrase suggests to you, rather than from the sparse, (in my own estimation,) explanations given by Tucker or Proudhon in the works I mentioned.

    Proudhon treats land as ultimately collectively owned, but imagines that people can act as stewards of sorts, borrowing land from society so that they can make well enough use of it to live. He brings up concerns about “abuse” of the land and about dividing “the usufruct that another shall perform the labor while [the self-proclaimed land-owner] receives the product.” Tucker suggests that voluntary associations formed for defense of person and property would refrain from helping landlords collect rent from tenants, (or, presumably, from helping them evict tenants behind on their rent,) and also suggests only defending people’s claims to a limited number of acres. Unlike Proudhon, Tucker rejects the idea that land is ultimately owned collectively and borrowed by individuals, but I would not say he defends any sort of account of “natural rights” that individuals allegedly have in land, instead I think he rejects the idea of “natural rights” in favor of a sort of “egoism,” (in his later work, at least.) Tucker’s ideas seem similar to David D. Friedman’s to me, actually.

    I would be interested in any specific passage you could provide from either Proudhon or Tucker, or any other early advocate of “occupancy-and-use” norms, that explained the doctrine explicitly in terms of time between physically leaving a piece of land and losing title to it, rather than in terms of the other principles I just described. From what I have read so far my best guess is that the abandonment-period criteria is actually an innovation of your own that Carson adopted from you.

  • #769

    Jacob
    Keymaster

    Actually, I’ll partially take back the guess that the abandonment criteria is an innovation of yours, Bill. I remembered a passage from Voltairine de Cleyre’s essay Anarchism that does describe the individualist position regarding land in terms that seem close to this:

    Their chief economic propositions are: land to be held by individuals or companies for such time and in such allotments as they use only; redistribution to take place as often as the members of the community shall agree; what constitutes use to be decided by each community, presumably in town meeting assembled; disputed cases to be settled by a so-called free jury to be chosen by lot out of the entire group; members not coinciding in the decisions of the group to betake themselves to outlying lands not occupied, without let or hindrance from any one.

    The phrase “for such time and in such allotments as they use only” could be taken to imply both an abandonment period criteria and a lockean-proviso criteria, (or a limit on the amount of land owned.)

    One might also suggest that the interpretation of “for such time” may depend, in part, on what happens during the time that transpires, in particular the circumstances under which a person leaves a piece of land. If someone tries to “divide the usufruct” by renting out a piece of land to another, (or several pieces of land to several others,) while still claiming a portion of the product of each tenant merely because the landlord claims to still have title to the land, I would expect Proudhon or Tucker to have suggested that the landlord had forfeited their claim to the land to their tenants. On the other hand, if someone left a piece of land to go buy groceries I would expect Proudhon and Tucker to have defended the individual’s claim to the land, even if the same amount of time had elapsed since they left the land as in the landlord case.

    Francois Tremblay seems to think of “possession” as involving more a lack of legal recognition of rental agreements than short abandonment periods. I get this impression from an FAQ he wrote:

    A property owner who lets others use his property for their own production is not owed any percentage of that production. While most mutualists are of the opinion that usury should not be eliminated but rather be phased out voluntarily, all agree that usury is undesirable and exploitative…

    ‘Property’ as used here refers to the kind of ownership that allows for accumulation of wealth through usury, which is tied in with the ‘stickiness’ and ‘ultimate decision-making power’ attributes…

    We believe that, as people come back to the fundamental idea that everyone is equally worthy of consideration and that we should all be responsible for our actions towards each other, they will rightly see property claims as an attempt to control others. In a mutualist court, such claims would simply be rejected for being logically invalid.

    We can make a comparison with intellectual property. When ancaps oppose intellectual property, they are not advocating using coercion to end an IP contract. If someone wants to claim their ideas as their own and cut off anyone else, an ancap will reject the contract as invalid, but refrain from using force to end it. The contract would simply be viewed as invalid if it came up in a court case.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by  Jacob.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by  Jacob.
  • #773

    Hogeye
    Participant

    Jacob> “I still think, from reading Proudhon’s What is Property? and the chapter of Benjamin Tucker’s Instead of a Book regarding land that the time-til-abandonment criteria, by itself, doesn’t seem like a good formalization of the views these earlier authors defended.”

    It is not “by itself.” It is conjoined with two other alienation criteria – gift and trade. Your example of attempting to rent some land in a mutualist jurisdiction seems to me to be an example of gift. I.e. If you rent land to someone in a mutualist enclave, you are (in effect, by prevailing property convention) giving him the land as a gift. The abandonment time period only applies if the owner does not gift or trade it, or otherwise take a specific action that alters ownership. If the owner effectively say “I abandon this land” by renting it out, then that is not a denial of an abandonment period. That is basically agreeing to forego the abandonment period, and give it away immediately. So: An owner can alienate his property by a specific action (renting/gift/trade) OR by non-action (non-use with an abandonment period).

    Jason> “From what I have read so far my best guess is that the abandonment-period criteria is actually an innovation of your own that Carson adopted from you.”

    I think that is the case. My “innovation” was just a common sense operationalization of “possession and use.”

    Is there a term for the division among mutualists – Tuckerites vs. Proudhonians? Today I suppose the equivalent is the Carsonites vs. Wilberians. Tucker is basically an anarcho-capitalist with a lame value theory, i.e. he supports free markets and (a type of) private property. Proudhon is a collectivist, at least for land.

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