Friday, November 12, 2004

Values: Private Property

Private property did not enter into my list of personal values at all.  This was not neglect or oversight.  It is simply that I am coming to the view that private property/ownership is one of the all time worst ideas of mankind, ever. 

You can probably easily see why I don't fit in very well with Republicans or Democrats either, for that matter.  In fact, since I also think that this stance should apply to states, governments, organizations, institutions, corporations, etc, it is also clear that I do not fit in really with communists, socialists or libertarians either. 

I am not going to propose any kind of utopian state free from the concept of property here.  I recognize that my view is such a minority that it is only held by me and my tiny cult of radical jihadist warriors (my pet dogs, Buzz and Zoey).  I will never see this concept exercised in my life, nor will my child.  So it really is not worth the effort to create such a fictional society.  Nor will I oppose or hinder others in their quest to accumulate property.  I will even join in.

First of all, I should define what I am talking about.  Ownership is the act of having and controlling property with the right to transfer possession to others.  Property here is defined as the right to use or possess a specific physical thing, and the right to exclude others from doing the same.

I am not articulate enough to really express what I feel about private property other than the fact that by its very existence it excludes.  If I have x, you don't have x.  By what basis can I justify depriving you of x?  By my labor?  Don't you labor as well? 

Think about war.  Remove territorial ownership.  There would still be fights over resources, but some of the dumbest wars would not have been fought.  Or if they were, a different rationale would have been used. 

In my life, property has brought me transitory happiness.  I cannot think of a single thing I own that has brought me the happiness I sought in buying it.  When I purchase a new computer, I am already looking for the next generation of computers.  The same is true of cars.  Bigger, better, newer and yet all unsatisfying.
Relationships bring me lasting pleasure, although they are sometimes difficult.  That is where the real rewards of life lie, in my relationships with others.  That is also where the real difficulties arise as well. 

I can already hear my friend, Matt in Houston sharpening his rhetorical knives to skewer me, but I'll stand firm. I know these arguments are not particularly well expressed and that is fine. As noted above, this culture we have is practically rooted on private property, it won't change anytime soon, so I have not worried much about making my viewpoints persuasive.

So I shall return to waiting for the kilt and the Prius I ordered. I just know that when I get them I will be happy and contented. After all, he who dies with the most toys . . . probably was a selfish asshole most of his life.

Good Morning Goddess Brigit! My name is Andy and I am an alcoholic. I have been kept sober since Imbolc of 2001 and that is by Your grace and Your grace alone. Please be with me today, all through the day and help me to stay sober all day long. Show me Your will for me and grant me the power to carry that out. Thy will, not mine be done. Be welcome in me and to me; body, heart, mind and soul. Today is a good day to be sober. Thank You, Blessed Be.