Tuesday, October 27, 2009
property thought for the day
The power over the production and distribution of material things is the power over life and death. Property rights, however, are derivative. Individual sovereignty doesn't so much arise spontaneously from God, but emerges, derives, from the breakdown of divine, feudal, and finally aristocratic sovereignty. A man's home is his castle--just like the castles of the sovereigns of old. As property itself is considered the province of princes in feudal relations, the use of force --and in the larger sense, in myriad other ways, the control over life and death--is also the exclusive province of the prince. Market relations render both man's castle and his ability to use force contingent on his share of, and role in, production and distribution.