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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Humankind's Obscenity Of Private Property

I learned of this years ago and could not agree more. I didn't realize Rousseau was on to this, a Frenchman and from proper French society.

Solidarity's photo.

So many--most people, I think--don't get this. There would be no poverty nor need for it, if we had never adopted this roping off property and locking people out. Africa wouldn't be racked with poverty if we remained more communal, as just one huge and glaring example.There wouldn't be the glaring wealth and obscene poverty, also.  It will never be undone, of course, but if we'd never gone down this road, humankind would have been far better for it. Native Americans knew this as another simple, even perfect example.


Sevesteen said...

Native Americans didn't have wars, slavery or poverty? You learned history differently than I did. Collectivism is the source of much of Africa's poverty. Talking with inlaws who spent time as missionaries in Nigeria a big problem there is that anyone who wants to work hard, prepare for the future and get ahead is ostracised unless they give ALL their savings away. Collectivism results in equal distribution of inadequate resources, while capitalism has unequal distribution of abundant resources. The best examples of collectivism are places where capitalism is successful enough at the corporate level to allow enough excess wealth to be redistributed.

Mo Rage said...

This was the perfect topic for you to respond. The last thing I would expect is that you would agree.

Two out of three aren't bad. Native Americans certainly, heaven knows, had wars. I mentioned nothing of those. But slavery? Please, post a non-partisan source showing they did. And if any Native American tribes in the US did, it wasn't in all of them, if, again, any did at all.

As for Native American poverty? You did, in fact, learn different history than I or you just never learned of the people, period. They weren't a consumer-driven society, of course, as we are, for a huge understatement. There's no comparison to our society in that respect. If you compare their existence to ours, thinking of them as only consumers, you would come to that conclusion, that some or many experienced poverty. Because they weren't all about consumption, no, in fact, there was no poverty. All they wanted and needed and strove for was food, clothing and shelter, their horses, once they were here, and maybe the tools to create these. That was it.

That you would call on the situation of Africa not only shows you don't know the continent, you more prove my own point. The fact is, people have been taking the natural resources from that continent---whether gold or diamonds or whatever--keeping the gains from it all and also keeping the indigenous people in stark poverty. If the resources of the continent for the last few centuries were evenly distributed or even more evenly distributed with and for and to people of the continent, there wouldn't be the outrageous illness, starvation and problems all those people in all those countries suffer.The DeBeers family alone, with their diamonds and diamond mines and outrageous wealth proves this and many, many times over, as just one huge, glaring example. Thanks for bringing that up.

Sevesteen said...

Poverty is a difficult thing to define in a meaningful way across centuries, since even kings and emperors didn't have running water, air conditioning or central heat. Obviously Native Americans didn't have a mall-type consumer society, but they did have individual ownership of at least some goods--and wealth as status, in Potlatch celebrations. Pre-Columbian native skeletons show evidence of short average lifespans high rates of nonfatal but debilitating injury, high rates of skeletal disease, and very high death rates due to injury or violence. That does not sound like an idyllic life even without measuring consumption.

Colonialism may have been as big a problem for Africa as collectivism, I won't argue that--I've said many times that government should be as local as practical, and subordinate to the people it governs. Colonialism and mercantilism aren't the same as capitalism. Mercantilism is government granting monopolies to favored groups, using government violence to enforce those monopolies, and with those monopolies becoming de facto (and in some cases dejure...) unelected governments. That's hardly local and subordinate. Free trade with Africans, uncoerced by European military might would have been much better for Africa--not perfect, but a vast improvement.