A Response to the Basic Income FAQ – In Five Parts (2/5)

(Nick’s Notes: For part one, click here!)

Most libertarians, honestly.

In the last part I went over why, at the very least, I’m highly skeptical of a universal basic income (UBI) distributed by the government. This time around I want to talk about the moral problems for the UBI. And I know that in the previous post I said that most of my problems around the UBI don’t have to do with morality. And while that’s true, that doesn’t mean I don’t have any moral issues or couldn’t stand to mention at least a few.

So in that spirit, I’m going to address Santens post Wouldn’t a basic income just be stealing from those who earned their money? and take it from the top:

This kind of question is built on the assumption that all money earned is earned fairly and justly, and all money taxed is both unfair and unjust.

Well, maybe.

I could certainly see some folks who ask this (i.e. right-leaning libertarians) thinking that private accumulation is inherently just and therefore any money taken from them is thus unfair. But I’m more of a left-libertarian and so I tend to disagree with assumptions like those and agree that at least some money is unfairly earned in society.

Namely corporations that rely on subsidies from the state are earning income to subsidize their businesses that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to get in a freed market. There are corporate executives who use intellectual property to make sure they retain more money than they otherwise would if information was free and abundant. And of course, some people earn their money through murder, theft, exploitation of others, etc. So sure, I’ll cede this assumption isn’t fair.

But none of that means taxing those folks is either moral or practical. So do we need to agree with this assumption to maintain the original question is valid? I don’t think that we do.

Here’s the thing, that idea of private property we take for granted as the foundation of just about everything? Perhaps we shouldn’t just take it for granted. Now, by not taking it for granted, I’m not suggesting the idea of private property shouldn’t exist or that it shouldn’t be enforced. But I am suggesting that by enforcing it as we do, we create a situation that wouldn’t exist naturally, and therefore perhaps ethically requires that we compensate for it in some way.

I’m curious if Santens is aware of Georgism. It seems likely to me that he is but if he isn’t, he should take a look. I’m not a Georgist myself and won’t pretend enough to think I could comprehensively explain it. But a lot of his criticisms here reminds me of Georgism and their critique of the ways we take property for granted.

None of which is to say I agree with Georgism. I probably agree with it more than I agree with communism because at least Georgism admits the need for private property. But I think they’re trying to have it both ways in terms of making property more common while also keeping it private. I think there are ways to do that, but it’s not Georgism.

Regardless, what counts as a “natural” situation at this point in civilization? It could be easily argued civilization itself isn’t “natural” (and some people do indeed argue that) but does that mean we are wrong to value it as much as we do? Not necessarily or at least nothing is proved by invoking the “natural-ness” of a given thing, that’s a fallacy.

So I question the premise here. I don’t know that it particularly matters whether the results or consequences of a given action are”natural” or not. Heck, is typing on my keyboard and printing off letters onto a screen, “natural”? Even if it isn’t, I don’t see why that matters or why it would mean anything for the morality of my actions.

On the other hand, I admit that there are different kinds of “natural” and perhaps Santens is using it in a way I’m not accounting for. That’s certainly possible and I’m open to correction on this point though I think my mention of the “appeal to nature” fallacy holds in any case, at least from what I can make of his argumentation here.

Think of it this way. 3… 2… 1… I own everything.

This is fair, because I called dibs, just like our ancestors did long ago. Because I control access to all resources on Earth, you are no longer allowed to live on it without my permission. Oh sure, if I didn’t own everything, you could just pick an apple off a tree, or plant some vegetables, or hunt some deer, or even eat food out of trash cans, but too bad. I own everything.

You aren’t allowed to live without my permission.

I don’t know that our ancestors (who, exactly?) called “dibs” so much as they tilled a given space, occupied it and then used it as they saw fit. I’m not going to argue it’s the best standard of property rights but it doesn’t boil down to a simple case of “dibs!” because it takes actual effort and labor and so forth. It also isn’t like “dibs” because we don’t respect people’s claims to things they cannot actually mix their labor with, generally speaking.

For example, if your neighbor told you that they “owned” the Sahara desert you would probably laugh at them. It’d be next to impossible to make use of the Sahara Desert and any sort of binding legal contract would be unenforceable over such a wide terrain. Now think about that within the context of controlling access to all resources on Earth and the claim becomes even more ridiculous to most people. Obviously I’m relying on folks intuitions here and they could be wrong but I’d like to see argumentation for why folks intuitions (at least the ones I’ve observed) are wrong.

Santens argument not only comes from a highly implausible scenario but also a highly uncharitable one. Even most hardcore right-wing libertarians aren’t arguing for a world in which one person owns all of the Earth. Even the folks who think we should “privatize” everything typically allow for either small common spaces or different individuals owning different things. Otherwise it may as well be some sort of strange dictatorship or one-man world government, which libertarians (as bad as they can be, especially these days) don’t usually advocate for.

In the real world and historically speaking property didn’t really work like this. I’m not saying it was entirely peaceful (it wasn’t) or that the history of property and the institution of it in particular was perfect (it wasn’t). But it’s also not really related to the example that Santens is posing here. Unless we’re talking about governments or corporations who tend to claim a geographic monopoly over large tracts of land and back that up through threats of violence and imprisonment.

But I doubt Santens is going in that direction.

In order to live, you will need to prove your worth to me. Don’t worry, as long as you pull your weight according to my eyes, I will give you enough access to my resources to survive.

What’s that? It’s not fair that I own everything? Why not? I called dibs. That’s totally fair.

What’s that? I didn’t create the planet so why should I own it? I should only own the added improvements I make using the natural resources no one made?

Hmmm, actually, that’s a good point. I suppose we should adjust our rules to acknowledge that shouldn’t we?

I agree with Santens this would be an unfair situation and agree we should adjust our rules accordingly.

But…

If you build a chair out of a tree, until that moment in time that tree was available to everyone else. People could sit under it, eat apples from it. It cleaned the air by taking in carbon dioxide and putting out oxygen. It would have continued to grow and maybe in another decade it could have been more than a chair. Or maybe someone else could have used it along with other trees to build a house?

Wow, come to think of it, that tree had a lot of potential uses by a lot of potential people, all born on the same planet, none of whom made the tree. And yet, you felt that tree was yours when it wasn’t. It was all of ours. So what’s that called?

Oh right… stealing.

Or maybe it would have gotten blown away in a hurricane. Or maybe the Earth explodes and no one gets anything. Or maybe the chair could’ve helped a disabled person but you wanted everyone to have it. And because there are more able-bodied people than less able-bodied, the able-bodied get it. There are many possible outcomes but we shouldn’t devise economic systems around intangible possibilities in the future. People should decide how to use the resources in front of them with the best contemporary knowledge they have and coordinate with others as needed.

And despite the fact that no one created the Earth, I don’t see how that concludes to us not having a just claim to anything on the planet itself. If I built a computer and downloaded a bunch of apps to it, I’d still own those apps even if I didn’t make them, right? I might not own them in a proprietary sense or legal sense, but I’d still own them in the most relevant of senses, correct? I’d argue we think similarly about the planet and the grass it has produced around us.

In any case what makes that tree someone’s or not someone’s? Just because I didn’t make the tree doesn’t mean I can’t homestead it and claim it for myself. If it’s a valuable communal resource perhaps I confer with my neighbors and see what works best for all of us. But something providing a certain value for a community doesn’t make a given thing unable to be homesteaded. It might mean more careful laboring and negotiating is required (and I’d encourage it) but that’s it.

That last bit about “stealing” presumes that everyone owned the tree. But how is this possible? If we don’t individually own the tree then how can we collectively own the tree?  I’m an individualist anarchist and so I’m very skeptical of rights we have collectively but then somehow don’t have individually.

If none of us individually have the right to claim the tree then what changes when we come together? What’s different about that scenario that changes our actual rights? And who gets to decide this?

But shoot, I want a nice chair, and I want people to be able to make chairs. Don’t you? So how do we get around this moral quandary?

Well, we could compensate everyone else who lost access to the tree by your turning it into a chair, by slightly increasing their access to all remaining resources. That sounds fair doesn’t it?

I can think of lots of ways people can compensate themselves or could collectively come together to make up for the “loss” of a tree. Maybe they buy some seeds at the local store or barter for it with some neighbors. Maybe they find some of their own or ask for some seeds from the person who homesteaded the tree. Maybe they could use the internet to figure out how to plant 5 trees where that 1 tree used to be.

The point being, there are many solutions here and none of which need “compensation”. You don’t owe anyone anything for “depriving” other people of a given space. I don’t owe someone my space on the subway that I’m taking up just because they can’t have it anymore. They can either find their own space, wait for the next train or find another way to get to their destination without using the train. I realize this may come off as harsh but I also don’t see what’s unfair here.

And why would it be otherwise? Would me sacrificing some of my space for someone else (let’s presume they’re not disabled, elderly, etc.) be fair to me? One issue I’m having here is how we even define “fairness” to begin with and what it means to have a relationship with others that is somehow always fair. Is that even possible? Maybe. But I’d need some elucidation about the concept of “fairness” that Santens has in mind here.

But shoot, how do we do that?

Hmmm, maybe we could tax the chair, and acknowledge this tax as the compensation for the theft we allow in order to make trees into chairs, and split this tax among everyone? Or maybe we could charge you for the tree in the first place instead of letting you just take it for free and share that among everyone?

Either way, great idea!

Let’s call it basic income.

This doesn’t really address whether basic income is theft itself. Santens is trying to argue that the UBI isn’t theft because homesteading property is inherently theft. But I’m not seeing why taking money through the threat of force isn’t just trying to rectify theft with more theft. Even if Santens was right (and the Georgists were as well) then the solution to this “problem” wouldn’t be more theft. You don’t solve murder with more murder or theft with more theft. And any system that relies on condemning X and then using a whole more of X to fix it, is doomed to fail, c.f. the US prison system.

And besides, even some Georgists recognize that land taxes aren’t the way forward or shouldn’t be administered by the state. Which is why there are some libertarian Georgists and even anarchists who describe themselves as Georgists.

I find this response by Santens disappointing because it mostly relies on unpersuasively flipping the script on the person asking the question through idiosyncratic examples. Examples that only seem to really apply (in the real world) to governments, which is the exact institution Santens would like us to trust with our trees…er, money.

Even putting aside the examples, the reasoning on the flipped script relies on too many unstated presumptions of its own. Presumptions that, when not carefully spelled our or taken the time to be thought of and written down become harder to argue against. For example, I’m not completely clear on why Santens even believes some of what he writes here. Which can cause a frustrating situation for folks who read him and misinterpret him (as perhaps I have).

But it also must be frustrating for Santens because he obviously has some clear premises in mind for his arguments, he’s either just not taking the time to lay them out, didn’t want to or didn’t think to.

Or maybe he thought we all knew what they were.

Don’t worry Santens, I feel you on that one.


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Next time I’ll be tackling Santens water room analogy.

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11 thoughts on “A Response to the Basic Income FAQ – In Five Parts (2/5)

  1. “That last bit about “stealing” presumes that everyone owned the tree. But how is this possible? If we don’t individually own the tree then how can we collectively own the tree? I’m an individualist anarchist and so I’m very skeptical of rights we have collectively but then somehow don’t have individually.”

    I don’t think about these matters in such specific fashion. But yeah I agree that using the word ‘stealing’ should be done with care, being more derogatory than anything for the most part.

    Now to the beef of the argument: Anyone who can shape nature to their wills, can have a pretty okay time on this planet, without having to strongly feel injustice about clearly similarly capable people practicing domination on you. So I don’t take the argument of “well people who came earlier did pretty well so maybe we should give em special treatment when it comes to things they didn’t make.” It’s too vague. Man individually can only add things that man can add individually. Man cannot add things that nature adds, and man cannot individually add things that consent to respecting each other as human beings adds, man cannot individually add value to a currency either, as a currency only starts to come to be by two or more people agreeing that it has value. There’s many things that are elusive to the individual. And they come to life by consent, a form of collective action.

    So the goal should be to look in the direction of fulfilling the golden rule. To ensure that if there is domination, it can be understood why it is in place, by all the affected parties, with the goal being that all who give it some thought can similarly agree with the rule, regardless of their position in the system. Let me stress this, it’s about similar agreement, not about similar outcome.

    And not to appeal to some ethereal notion of a better society that we arrived at to justify things. After all, it happens that today’s wealth relations have been strongly shaped, not by labor contributions, but by who commanded property in the past, if you investigate who ended up with the rich inheritances today, and whose parents did a lot of the hard work in the past. If we don’t seek to fulfil the golden rule, we do seem to arive at this kind of setup, as it does come with perks to have exclusive control over things that others depend on, for their livelyhood. In fact it’s your good sense as a parent, to hoard non-labor property titles to provide em to the child, in a world where labor doesn’t go so far, but non-labor property does.

    “People should decide how to use the resources in front of them with the best contemporary knowledge they have and coordinate with others as needed.”

    Exactly this. However, lack of knowledge cannot be an excuse to not continue to seek to fulfil the golden rule with more knowledge in mind, if informed of more knowledge.

    “Just because I didn’t make the tree doesn’t mean I can’t homestead it and claim it for myself.”

    It actually can mean just that. You’re obligated to leave as much and as good of ‘tree’ behind for others, who enjoy a little more trees. You generally want to come to agree with all other affected parties when it comes to your interactions with everything you didn’t make. Unless you can somehow ensure that indeed, there’s ‘as much and as good left behind for others’, a core principle behind homesteading as John Locke outlined it.

    “If none of us individually have the right to claim the tree then what changes when we come together? What’s different about that scenario that changes our actual rights? And who gets to decide this?”

    Let’s put it that way: Whether you call it individual or collective property, it doesn’t matter. Nothing actually changes when more people come together, I agree on that point in fact. Why is that? Because you have a responsibility towards any person who is not present, also if they don’t exist yet, as well. Whether you claim it to be your private property while fulfilling your responsibility towards others, or we call it ours together, and you still fulfil your responsibility towards others, it doesn’t really make a difference to me at all, right? Just act responsible within the scope of knowledge of reality that you have.

    “I can think of lots of ways people can compensate themselves or could collectively come together to make up for the “loss” of a tree.”

    So as I see it, the point is to attempt to fulfil the golden rule, regardless of whether other people are present or absent, to potentially leave as much and as good behind for others or provide a just compensation, regardless of whether or not they come a bit or a lot later, and would like to cut or enjoy a tree, without the whole ‘growing trees’ thing. Or to deliver an agreeable compensation. Having to grow trees, that’s a bullshit premise that nobody is required to respect, if acting rationally. Nobody is required to do additional work, just because it’d conveniently relief you of any duties you have towards your fellow people to treat em as you’d like to be treated yourself. You didn’t have to plant a tree. So why should they? Only a tangible compensation makes sense here (without labor requirements), ot the actual presence of actual equally good trees on equally good land.

    I agree that in times where there’s plenty trees, and no accountability with regard to claims about how someone ‘really wanted that tree there (and now pay up to compensate)’, that that is inviting abuse, to attempt to respect the rights of others to this extent. However, where practical, we should consider respecting such rights.

    “I don’t owe someone my space on the subway that I’m taking up just because they can’t have it anymore. They can either find their own space, wait for the next train or find another way to get to their destination without using the train.”

    It depends on what specifically the company owning the service sold you or the latecommer, or what society agrees is sensible in this circumstance, if it’s a publicly provided process. If people are okay with saying ‘first come first serve’ in that circumstance, as there’s enough trains coming and going, then I don’t see much of a problem here. It’s important to ensure there is indeed an agreement on this however. Either way, the responsibility is not with the person sitting in a train, but with whoever operates the transportation system. If it is deemed an inadequate, frequently injust system of transportation, of course we’d want to consider steps to imporve on that circumstance, no?

    You wouldn’t want to be denied a fare on a bus that only goes back and forth to some remote location once a day, because it is full, right? If there are increasingly severe problems cropping up as far as justice is concerned, we might want to consider looking in the direction of solutions. More fares, more personalized on demand transportation, or reserving seats are definitely options to consider. I don’t see anything wrong with requiring some companies to provide replacement services should they fail to deliver what they sold to customers, in the form of providing free rides via on-demand vehicles/taxis, in extreme cases.

    It’s about recognizing that a properly run transportation system might actually cost more for everyone. Everyone should pay for this, it shouldn’t be paid by unlucky fellas not getting a service. If there’s a hard limit to how many fares can be had, then surely we can auction the seats and ensure that the proceeds of the auctioning process go to benefit the people losing out. This is kinda the idea behind cap and trade of emissions, at least if everyone’s individually stakeholder of that resource. I don’t see why this wouldn’t be desirable where practical.

    • “Now to the beef of the argument: Anyone who can shape nature to their wills, can have a pretty okay time on this planet, without having to strongly feel injustice about clearly similarly capable people practicing domination on you.”

      Is this an argument about privilege? If so, I don’t disagree with privilege theory and see your point but don’t see how it applies to my argument necessarily. Perhaps I’m missing something though.

      “So I don’t take the argument of “well people who came earlier did pretty well so maybe we should give em special treatment when it comes to things they didn’t make.” It’s too vague.”

      I guess if that was my argument, but it isn’t.

      My argument isn’t just that they “did pretty well” or give them “special treatment”. We give first comers the same treatment we would given any first comer and that’s equality as far as I can tell.

      And whether I “made” something is immaterial. I didn’t create the Earth or make the land around me but none of that matters. What matters is what I do with those materials, not that I didn’t make them to begin with. There’s no real logical endpoint to “you didn’t make this so you don’t justly own it” because none of us “made” the atoms up that made the things we made (e.g an Ikea desk), etc.

      It’s just an infinite regression and thus not a very solid way to conduct property theory.

      “Man individually can only add things that man can add individually.”

      Not strictly true. People (I dislike the use of “man” here) can add things on that other people before them have added. They can add things that other people may have suggested but still do them themselves.

      “Man cannot add things that nature adds…”

      I’m pretty sure people have made plenty of things now considered “natural” in the word and “nature” is a pretty slippery and vague concept.

      “… and man cannot individually add things that consent to respecting each other as human beings adds, man cannot individually add value to a currency either, as a currency only starts to come to be by two or more people agreeing that it has value.”

      Some of this is true, yes.

      “There’s many things that are elusive to the individual. And they come to life by consent, a form of collective action.”

      Sure, but those actions are dependent on the individual existing to begin with. Both collective and individual action are important. Individualist anarchism doesn’t deny this, but it stresses that the collective depends on the individual first and foremost.

      “So the goal should be to look in the direction of fulfilling the golden rule. To ensure that if there is domination, it can be understood why it is in place, by all the affected parties, with the goal being that all who give it some thought can similarly agree with the rule, regardless of their position in the system. Let me stress this, it’s about similar agreement, not about similar outcome.”

      Okay, sure.

      “And not to appeal to some ethereal notion of a better society that we arrived at to justify things. After all, it happens that today’s wealth relations have been strongly shaped, not by labor contributions, but by who commanded property in the past, if you investigate who ended up with the rich inheritances today, and whose parents did a lot of the hard work in the past.”

      Yes, I am well aware that many of the things white cis upper class folks have inherited came from the benefits of intersecting privileges and domination. Unfortunately, there’s no clear cut way to really hash that out under some distributive model that’s fair.

      Again, an endless regression with no logical endpoint.

      “If we don’t seek to fulfil the golden rule…”

      The golden rule is a nice generality but there are many many flaws in practice.

      What if people want to be treated poorly? What if “the way I want to be treated” looks very different from how you conceptualize it? And so on. We don’t disagree in principle that the golden rule *can* be important for a just society, but we differ on degrees, perhaps widely.

      “…we do seem to arive at this kind of setup, as it does come with perks to have exclusive control over things that others depend on, for their livelyhood. In fact it’s your good sense as a parent, to hoard non-labor property titles to provide em to the child, in a world where labor doesn’t go so far, but non-labor property does.”

      I don’t think these things depend on a lack of approval for the golden rule. I’m much more inclined to blame the state, patriarchy, white supremacy, etc. etc.

      “”Exactly this. However, lack of knowledge cannot be an excuse to not continue to seek to fulfil the golden rule with more knowledge in mind, if informed of more knowledge.

      The golden rule is not my end game. Sorry.

      “It actually can mean just that. You’re obligated to leave as much and as good of ‘tree’ behind for others, who enjoy a little more trees.”

      Says who? Under what logic? I’m familiar with Locke’s proviso but remain unpersuaded.

      “You generally want to come to agree with all other affected parties when it comes to your interactions with everything you didn’t make.”

      Again, we disagree crucially on what constitutes “make” and its relevance. I don’t think it *matters* whether I made the tree or not, you do.

      “Unless you can somehow ensure that indeed, there’s ‘as much and as good left behind for others’, a core principle behind homesteading as John Locke outlined it.”

      Not all Lockeians agree with Locke (c.f. non-proviso Lockeanism).

      “Let’s put it that way: Whether you call it individual or collective property, it doesn’t matter.”

      It seems to matter to Santens.

      “Nothing actually changes when more people come together, I agree on that point in fact. Why is that? Because you have a responsibility towards any person who is not present…”

      This is an impossible responsibility. How far does this responsibility go towards? The people in the next town? People immigrating from a nearby city? People in other countries?

      “…also if they don’t exist yet, as well.”

      What? So I have to plan for folks who have not even been born yet? This is even more of an impossible standard than I thought previously.

      “Whether you claim it to be your private property while fulfilling your responsibility towards others, or we call it ours together, and you still fulfil your responsibility towards others, it doesn’t really make a difference to me at all, right? Just act responsible within the scope of knowledge of reality that you have.”

      I don’t disagree here.

      “Having to grow trees, that’s a bullshit premise that nobody is required to respect, if acting rationally.”

      Who defines “rationality”, exactly? I’m not asking nonsense philosophical questions here, I’m serious. How did you come up with, in this example, what would be universally “rational” for any given individual?

      “Nobody is required to do additional work, just because it’d conveniently relief you of any duties you have towards your fellow people to treat em as you’d like to be treated yourself.”

      You have not convinced me I have any duties to these people. Where do these duties come from? Who enforces them? I believe I have duties to people insofar as they come into contact with me, treat me fairly and act justly in their lives. And even then, I may or may not have any obligations to them, there’s a lot of context to unpack to actually see whether I do or don’t have duties to people.

      “You didn’t have to plant a tree. So why should they?”

      Why not? Their lack of fortune isn’t my problem or was caused by me so I shouldn’t have to bear the costs of others lack of fortune. That doesn’t mean I’m not willing to help, if I feel willing. But I should not be forced to.

      “I agree that in times where there’s plenty trees, and no accountability with regard to claims about how someone ‘really wanted that tree there (and now pay up to compensate)’, that that is inviting abuse, to attempt to respect the rights of others to this extent. However, where practical, we should consider respecting such rights.”

      I don’t see “rights” as you do.

      “It depends on what specifically the company owning the service sold you or the latecommer, or what society agrees is sensible in this circumstance, if it’s a publicly provided process.”

      Most companies and societies and so forth would agree that they have no obligation to let you on, just because you bought a ticket. Especially if it would prove to be a safety hazard. Endangering many people just for the sake of one person is unwise.

      “ If people are okay with saying ‘first come first serve’ in that circumstance, as there’s enough trains coming and going, then I don’t see much of a problem here. It’s important to ensure there is indeed an agreement on this however.”

      Agreed.

      “Either way, the responsibility is not with the person sitting in a train, but with whoever operates the transportation system.”

      Sure. But I wasn’t saying otherwise, I was acting in accordance with what I understand to be the common policies under current train companies. If it changed, then that’d be another story. And they do have policies for elderly, pregnant and disabled folks and in those scenarios it makes much more sense to give up your seat or even leave the entire train, if necesary.

      “ If it is deemed an inadequate, frequently injust system of transportation, of course we’d want to consider steps to imporve on that circumstance, no?”

      Some improvements are better than others.

      “You wouldn’t want to be denied a fare on a bus that only goes back and forth to some remote location once a day, because it is full, right?”

      I wouldn’t want to, but I don’t consider this an injustice in any meaningful way.

      “ If there are increasingly severe problems cropping up as far as justice is concerned, we might want to consider looking in the direction of solutions. More fares, more personalized on demand transportation, or reserving seats are definitely options to consider.”

      Sure.

      “I don’t see anything wrong with requiring some companies to provide replacement services should they fail to deliver what they sold to customers, in the form of providing free rides via on-demand vehicles/taxis, in extreme cases.”

      I don’t think they should be “requirements” but sure. I have no problem with the larger public and private companies negotiating what is fair and what is not.

      “It’s about recognizing that a properly run transportation system might actually cost more for everyone. Everyone should pay for this, it shouldn’t be paid by unlucky fellas not getting a service.”

      I think that’s a necessary part of a service: Non-universal and non-perfect coverage. Sometimes folks won’t get the service and that’s part of the deal of being human and having imperfect people design complicated systems for other imperfect humans.

      “If there’s a hard limit to how many fares can be had, then surely we can auction the seats and ensure that the proceeds of the auctioning process go to benefit the people losing out.”

      That could be done, sure.

      “This is kinda the idea behind cap and trade of emissions, at least if everyone’s individually stakeholder of that resource. I don’t see why this wouldn’t be desirable where practical.”

      It could be.

      • “What? So I have to plan for folks who have not even been born yet? This is even more of an impossible standard than I thought previously.”

        It’s not the standard I raise, it’s the standard any homesteader voluntarily embraces as far as I’m aware (at least if appealing to the Labor Theory of Property as described by John Locke), there’s simply no logic to accept that something that was freely available previously, now due to unwanted interference, is not available anymore, if there’s not as much and as good left behind. It simply cannot stand. If people get in the way of other people, in a way that no other people got in the way previously, there’s a deep running problem, one that justifies the dull murder in good faith while maintaining moral integrity. I don’t want to build that kind of world.

        “Who defines “rationality”, exactly? I’m not asking nonsense philosophical questions here, I’m serious. How did you come up with, in this example, what would be universally “rational” for any given individual?”

        To be have a functional head on your shoulders, and to apply the golden rule or a veil of ignorance, and to arrive at a system where all perspectives share a similar level of contentness with the outcome (even with very different outcomes for different perspectives), if taking into account all known good knowledge of the situation. Rational for the individual is to similarly agree with the outcomes, even if they are very different. This might often involve equal treatment before the law and the like, people strongly enjoy notions of justice after all.

        Of course knowledge can drastically change what is considered ‘just’. Rule of kings used to be considered just by many, because many people believed in some man in the sky saying so, for one. Rationality is somewhat bound by freely available and conceivable information, as such. Now I guess there’s a more pragmatist approach to rationality, but I do think that a pragmatic rationality does require a sense of justice to go with it to be realizable, as a desire for justice simply runs too deep in the perspectives of people. It took people to come to terms with kings not being gods, by normal people being tied in debt for their labor, tied in debt like rulers between each other, not anymore by a divine decree, for people to see that kings are not so divine, and more like everyone else, for one.

        Now you might say, ‘maybe it’s rational to tell people a lie so they can believe in a fabricated image of justice, in their rational choices, to make the world a much more productive place or something’, and maybe you have a point with that. I just don’t have a reason to believe that such a fabrication would let us arrive at a more productive society, unless you are simply the king of it and only concerned about your own well-being, and define societal value as what benefits you. However, if you know of a more clear picture of reality, you do fail to experience the beauty that is in justice, in this arrangement. How do you enjoy for long, having everything, while others who are your equals in their significant features, have to eat shit? Indeed, only raising a wholly ignorant kid might make this an enjoyable arrangement. ‘Let them eat cake’. But I’m one for sharing more good knowledge between the people. Because it pleases me on the side of justice, and I can speculate on practical advantages. Anyway, sorry if that’s a little all over the place, I didn’t quite write something about this aspect yet.

        “You have not convinced me I have any duties to these people.”

        I mean duties is a harsh word I guess, let’s just say: “Try to not get in the way between people and what they depend on to subsist on this planet, what they depend on to improve their experience on this planet, if you had the pleasure of no individual getting in the way in a similar fashion as you do.”

        “Where do these duties come from?”

        From people who chose to refuse to settle for unequal access to things that no human labor has created, just becomes someone was a bit sooner to utilize something ultimately and absolutely scarce in its substance.

        “Who enforces them?”

        People who enjoy a more just society. Informing people of knowledge that builds towards a more clear picture of reality should be enough to get a large majority of people into this. I don’t see why this wouldn’t be the case at least.

        “I believe I have duties to people insofar as they come into contact with me, treat me fairly and act justly in their lives.”

        Sounds about right. How do you come in contact with others? With your actions. That’s the only method. An indirect method. Surely, you come in contact, with your actions, with other people who come later as such, right? And they respect your dead bones and your legacy, what you wanted to see done with your labor contributions, if they’re interested in justice in labor relations at least. Feel free to leave a will of any variety. It’s kinda hard to enforce intergenerational accountability, but I don’t see why people wouldn’t want to respect your just demands even when you’re dead.

        “And even then, I may or may not have any obligations to them, there’s a lot of context to unpack to actually see whether I do or don’t have duties to people.”

        Surely, context is relevant. I’m all about investigating different things on their own terms, and not being too concerned about the small things, like the mess of an enviornment we inherited, as we also inherited a great deal of knowledge to go with it. However, let’s just be clear on the part where nobody has ever legitimately obtained a piece of good land, if we apply knowledge of the materially limited space on the planet, and the further materially limited space in societally valued land, and that idea ownership has increasingly become a machine to extract value for whoever buys in.

        “Why not? Their lack of fortune isn’t my problem or was caused by me so I shouldn’t have to bear the costs of others lack of fortune. That doesn’t mean I’m not willing to help, if I feel willing. But I should not be forced to.”

        Why do you think that you being lucky entitles you to own more than others, things that others depend on for their livelyhood, that you and some lucky people clearly use to extract labor value from others as it’s the only use you have for the excess of such and purposely bought in for this purpose, and that you and others didn’t make or conceptually refine to an extent that what was left behind would be good enough for future generations, by upholding the lockean proviso? I mean that’s the reality of the first come first serve absolute ownership, it makes itself very clear as a means to dominate others, who depend on land yet don’t own it. Wealth extraction build on a lot of luck as such, and then some minor labor contributions in cases.

        I just have never heard of a moral argument in favor of this kind of ownership, not by homesteaders, not by anarchists, not by anyone else. How does it work? It seems entirely out of the ordinary as it’s merely so uncompromising on something so important, that it’s hard to defend. The appeal to god as kings used it, that one works here. Or some weird appeal to genes, though neither really specifically appeal to coming first.

        “I don’t see “rights” as you do.”

        Okay.

        “It depends on what specifically the company owning the service sold you or the latecommer, or what society agrees is sensible in this circumstance, if it’s a publicly provided process.”

        “Most companies and societies and so forth would agree that they have no obligation to let you on, just because you bought a ticket.”

        This depends on the type of transportation, and yeah I agree that it depends on what is sold. In planes and trains here, you get a specific seat. Also this agreement comes from a resignation in the face of impracticalities, it’s not a nod to some hidden sense of justice of early birds, as far as I’m aware.

        “Especially if it would prove to be a safety hazard. Endangering many people just for the sake of one person is unwise.”

        Yup, practicality is important. Now lets remember that as new knowledge is gained, practicality of a great many things imporves.

        “Some improvements are better than others.”

        Yup. I’m a self intrerested pragmatist at heart. As much as I fell in love with justice.

        “I wouldn’t want to, but I don’t consider this an injustice in any meaningful way.”

        Do you imply that while it’s injust in a way, it’d not be something that much could be done about? I don’t mean to disagree, depending on circumstances. I don’t think it matters much at all, as we have far more relevant matters of an infringed justice at hand, where action is plausible, practical, wholly desirable from an efficiency standpoint and societal net value generation standpoint.

        “I think that’s a necessary part of a service: Non-universal and non-perfect coverage. Sometimes folks won’t get the service and that’s part of the deal of being human and having imperfect people design complicated systems for other imperfect humans.”

        Sometimes the case, surely. I’m for what’s practical.

        • “It’s not the standard I raise…”

          Well, I hate to nitpick (this is a lie) but within the context of the conversation you obviously did raise it or we wouldn’t be discussing it. 😛

          “… it’s the standard any homesteader voluntarily embraces as far as I’m aware (at least if appealing to the Labor Theory of Property as described by John Locke)…”

          There’s disagreement about this standard and how far it should go as well as whether it should be implemented at all. So that’s what’s happening here.

          “…there’s simply no logic to accept that something that was freely available previously, now due to unwanted interference…”

          Unwanted interference? I don’t get any say over whether farmers work the land in faraway lands and claim their own just because I may want it at some time. I may not want them to do if it’s very valuable land but my “claim” to their land has no real moral or practical weight.

          “…is not available anymore, if there’s not as much and as good left behind.”

          Even under this standard, my idea of replanting trees fulfills this. It could be a voluntary Lockeian program.

          “ It simply cannot stand. If people get in the way of other people, in a way that no other people got in the way previously, there’s a deep running problem, one that justifies the dull murder in good faith while maintaining moral integrity. I don’t want to build that kind of world.”

          I have no idea what “the dull murder in good faith” sounds like but on the plus side it sounds like a good song lyric?

          “To be have a functional head on your shoulders, and to apply the golden rule or a veil of ignorance…”

          There’s lots of problems with the VoI, see here:

          https://youtu.be/P3gWGtf_w_s

          “…and to arrive at a system where all perspectives share a similar level of contentness with the outcome (even with very different outcomes for different perspectives), if taking into account all known good knowledge of the situation.”

          Yeah, I don’t believe this is possible and I think submitting all individual decisions to such a collective outcome is not only impractical but immoral. As much as I enjoy consensus and obviously want people to be as collectively happy and free as possible, not everyone is always going to be content with the outcomes and sometimes it’s best for folks to go their own different directions within the context of the community. My life and property should not be dependent on the ill will of my neighbors, at least not solely.

          “Rational for the individual is to similarly agree with the outcomes, even if they are very different. This might often involve equal treatment before the law and the like, people strongly enjoy notions of justice after all.”

          Sure, but some folks have different conceptions of justice. My notion of justice is equality *with* the law and not *under* it but this is a side discussion.

          “Now you might say, ‘maybe it’s rational to tell people a lie so they can believe in a fabricated image of justice, in their rational choices, to make the world a much more productive place or something’, and maybe you have a point with that.”

          Just as a note: I wouldn’t say this. I’m terrible at lying and feel terrible doing it (even small lies).

          “I just don’t have a reason to believe that such a fabrication would let us arrive at a more productive society, unless you are simply the king of it and only concerned about your own well-being, and define societal value as what benefits you.”

          Sure.

          “Anyway, sorry if that’s a little all over the place, I didn’t quite write something about this aspect yet.”

          S’all right. It’s clear to me you think deeply and passionately about this stuff and I appreciate that, even if we don’t agree on some of it. 🙂

          “I mean duties is a harsh word I guess, let’s just say: “Try to not get in the way between people and what they depend on to subsist on this planet, what they depend on to improve their experience on this planet, if you had the pleasure of no individual getting in the way in a similar fashion as you do.”

          If I thought land was a scarce object, maybe I’d take the Georgist concern more seriously here. But I just don’t think that under better conditions (e.g. no government) that there would be many issues of land, for starters. Many of the titles to land are currently privileged by government or government granted directly or owned by the government. Abolishing all of that would mean opening up to the land to a lot of homesteading and giving many people many more options.

          And again, this *sounds* nice but it’s awfully vague and can easily be taken to bad directions. Should I not get in the way of people who use exploitation and depend on that to improve their experience on this planet? ‘Cause that involves a *lot* of people today as I think we’d both agree.

          The golden rule is nice as a generality but as a hard and fast rule, it falls apart quickly. And what if I *want* to be treated poorly or have low self-esteem (which I do in fact struggle with) and don’t think I *deserve* many of the things I have? Then the golden rule is a terrible idea!

          “From people who chose to refuse to settle for unequal access to things that no human labor has created, just becomes someone was a bit sooner to utilize something ultimately and absolutely scarce in its substance.”

          To be blunt: That’s not much of an answer. Why should I respect these people’s reasoning, exactly? I don’t value unequal access in the same way that you do after all, so I don’t think these people’s “refusal” is meaningful or very relevant.

          “People who enjoy a more just society. Informing people of knowledge that builds towards a more clear picture of reality should be enough to get a large majority of people into this. I don’t see why this wouldn’t be the case at least.”

          Well, for starters, not everyone agrees with Georgists. 😛 Then again, as an anarchist, I’m one to talk I suppose…

          “Sounds about right. How do you come in contact with others? With your actions. That’s the only method.” An indirect method. Surely, you come in contact, with your actions, with other people who come later as such, right?”

          Sure.

          “And they respect your dead bones and your legacy, what you wanted to see done with your labor contributions, if they’re interested in justice in labor relations at least.”

          Maybe. I don’t think they have any obligation inherently. It depends on if I abandoned my land or left it with someone else and what that other person is doing with it (e.g. if that person is using the land to exploit others, etc.).

          “ Feel free to leave a will of any variety. It’s kinda hard to enforce intergenerational accountability, but I don’t see why people wouldn’t want to respect your just demands even when you’re dead.”

          I don’t think we disagree but I also think you’re introducing a different context then what I had in mind.

          “However, let’s just be clear on the part where nobody has ever legitimately obtained a piece of good land…”

          I don’t agree and as I’ve stated multiple times now, this line of reasoning is an infinite regress that brings us no closer to answering theories of property.

          “Why do you think that you being lucky entitles you to own more than others…”

          Because it’s my labor that made the Thing A into Thing B. I’m responsible for transforming the land into something that’s more usable and thus it is mine. Not someone who is far away who has never contributed to the land or its development. That makes no sense to me and seems unjust.

          “… things that others depend on for their livelyhood…”

          I’m starting to think that we don’t agree on how scarce land is.

          “I mean that’s the reality of the first come first serve absolute ownership…”

          My own idea of land ownership is rather non “sticky” (as they call it). I support usufruct or use and occupancy property rights, which I don’t see as very strict.

          “…it makes itself very clear as a means to dominate others, who depend on land yet don’t own
          It.”

          Well, again, they can get their own land. There’s plenty to go around.

          “I just have never heard of a moral argument in favor of this kind of ownership, not by homesteaders, not by anarchists, not by anyone else. How does it work?”

          I’m surprised given non-proviso Lockeianism isn’t exactly a new thing. But maybe that’s my selection bias of being around libertarians a lot.

          I recommend this series on property theory:

          https://c4ss.org/content/41421

          (And yes, I know it’s a lot to read so don’t feel like you need to read any of it if you don’t want to, but the thinker Kevin Carson is mostly where I am coming from so articles by him are really the ones to read.)

          “It seems entirely out of the ordinary as it’s merely so uncompromising on something so important, that it’s hard to defend. The appeal to god as kings used it, that one works here. Or some weird appeal to genes, though neither really specifically appeal to coming first.”

          Yeah, I’m not cool with kings and I’m against genetic supremacy of any sort.

          “Also this agreement comes from a resignation in the face of impracticalities, it’s not a nod to some hidden sense of justice of early birds, as far as I’m aware.”

          I think it’s difficult to really know people’s motives underneath everything but my own intuition is the opposite, for what it’s worth.

          “Do you imply that while it’s injust in a way, it’d not be something that much could be done about?”

          Kind of. But also it’s not a meaningful form of injustice for the fallibility reasons I reference.

          “I don’t mean to disagree, depending on circumstances. I don’t think it matters much at all, as we have far more relevant matters of an infringed justice at hand, where action is plausible, practical, wholly desirable from an efficiency standpoint and societal net value generation standpoint.”

          Sure.

          • 2/2

            “Sure, but some folks have different conceptions of justice. My notion of justice is equality *with* the law and not *under* it but this is a side discussion.”

            Sure. And I do think that all people can share a similar view of what is just, at least in majorly important areas of interaction that govern our lives, if commited to broadening one’s knowledge of the world and one’s fellow people.

            “Just as a note: I wouldn’t say this. I’m terrible at lying and feel terrible doing it (even small lies).”

            Glad to hear, didn’t expect anything else to be honest. 🙂

            “But I just don’t think that under better conditions (e.g. no government) that there would be many issues of land, for starters.”

            I can see that without a central authority to govern property, we’d have less issues. But as long as it is possible for any one person, to put up fences, that are protected by force or appeal to coming first, you do arrive in a circumstance where the most bold, most wasteful with their time (as they spend it on coming early rather than doing something useful), most aggressive with demanding exclusive rights, be it by private armies, would obtain a monopoly position to leverage over others. The problem here is that merely the premise of this being possible, be it in subtle ways at times, no need for a real army if you’re good at delegating tasks of disinformation, due to lack of perfect accountability, that this lack of accountability leads to any good parent wanting to give to their child or their most loved parties, as much of such fenced up titles of exclusive usage right, as possible, to ensure that they don’t have a real bad time, with labor not being a substitute for opportunity to use the land to eat, not being a substitute for opportunity to conceive more advanced ideas that everyone could enjoy, if their foundations weren’t patented.

            So the problem is with centralized power over property and the threat thereof, regardless of whether it is a government that excerts it or private parties.

            “Many of the titles to land are currently privileged by government or government granted directly or owned by the government. Abolishing all of that would mean opening up to the land to a lot of homesteading and giving many people many more options.”

            And idea rights are increasingly owned by people who buy in, and I do see a right for people to try to further improve the body of knowledge we used to freely benefit from. In fact, it’s the development of language as a means to pass on good knowledge between generations, that lead to the massive cultural and technological advances in most of human history. Now having fences around this, around an activity humans so readily embraced throughout the ages, it seems quite un-fun and unwarranted, at least to the extent to which we let it pass. What’s the point if we can’t have fun thinking about new and awesome things to share.

            “And again, this *sounds* nice but it’s awfully vague and can easily be taken to bad directions.”

            True true, I’m for spreading the word about delibertate democracy and sovereign wealth funds, and maybe a demurrage currency that is used to manage access to regional land, regional protection of ideas to the extent that we deem it sensible and so on, and of course allow currency competition, though taxes on regional land and protection and access to the local customer awareness have to be paid for, with the designated currency that people in self governance chose to have as method of interaction with non-labor properties and each other.

            “Should I not get in the way of people who use exploitation and depend on that to improve their experience on this planet?”

            If you can reason on grounds of fairness, then you should get in the way, go ahead. If you seek to get in the way as a matter of injustice, then you shouldn’t, or you should pay a compensation that is consentually agreed upon.

            “The golden rule is nice as a generality but as a hard and fast rule, it falls apart quickly.”

            How so? Because lack of knowledge? Let’s just apply it to the extent that we have knowledge, then. It’s not a hard rule to apply at all in my view by the way.

            “what if I *want* to be treated poorly or have low self-esteem (which I do in fact struggle with) and don’t think I *deserve* many of the things I have? Then the golden rule is a terrible idea!”

            The golden rule does not stop you from experienceing this in play. If we decide that consent is not required to treat people poorly (and as such, making it a not mutually similarly agreed upon arrangement), we arrive at an awful setup extremely EXTREMELY quickly.

            “To be blunt: That’s not much of an answer. Why should I respect these people’s reasoning, exactly? I don’t value unequal access in the same way that you do after all, so I don’t think these people’s “refusal” is meaningful or very relevant.”

            Hmm fair point. Let me rephrase: It arises from people with more knowledge who want to share it, and the more in knowledge would raise awareness of consequences of your actions that negatively impact others. This is how the duty forms. By people sharing more knowledge of the world and consequences of what’s going on. And because I’m not one to say that ‘some people know it all or whatever’, I’m all for doing this on a consent basis. Consequently, the sense of duty is awakened voluntarily in you, should it appear sensible. I consider you rational enough of an actor to have this authorty, and so do I consider about everyone else who’s an adult human.

            “Well, for starters, not everyone agrees with Georgists. 😛 Then again, as an anarchist, I’m one to talk I suppose…”

            Well for starters, a lot of people agreed with divine rule of a king being just at a point in time. Let’s not limit ourselves by ignorance of today’s people, but instead aspire to share knowledge we consider to be true, that has implications for the extent of interconnectivity in our actions.

            “I don’t think we disagree but I also think you’re introducing a different context then what I had in mind.”

            The context you had in mind might not be the context I had in mind all along. We might in fact agree to quite some extent, depending on how things are particularly worded.

            “I don’t agree”

            Why is that?

            “and as I’ve stated multiple times now, this line of reasoning is an infinite regress that brings us no closer to answering theories of property.”

            It’s not infinite because people do not have an infinite history, and further, violent appropriation kinda ‘resets’ prior relations in a way. Further, it merely makes the Labor Theory of Property in its narrow form have a problem, not other theories of property or a re-imagining of locke’s views on this as you linked to earlier.

            Now what matters to me is to not continue to build our labor relations on arbitrary domination of some kind or another. That’s the implied problem with the Labor Theory of Property or violent acquisition of land. It devalues all ‘voluntary’ exchanges of labor that build on it, in their legitimacy, as they were agreed upon based on different power relations between worker and owner, with the difference not being based on any sensible system of original appropriation.

            Also for ideas, it never really made sense, as we do see diminishing returns, increased risk, increased RnD costs, as time goes on, for improvements, so that’s that.

            “Why do you think that you being lucky entitles you to own more than others…”

            “Because it’s my labor that made the Thing A into Thing B.”

            So your labor making thing A into thing B entitles you to the presence of thing A, no matter what it is, under all circumstances, for all eternity? I it seems that’s not actually your philosophy, but what you just put into words, in a way?

            “I’m responsible for transforming the land into something that’s more usable and thus it is mine.”

            Who gives you this ‘responsibility’? Who defines that it is more useful now than before? More useful to who? There’s many uses for land.

            “Not someone who is far away who has never contributed to the land or its development. That makes no sense to me and seems unjust.”

            Indeed, this is how property functions today, not because of government but because it’s understood as somehow eternal, if you just add a little bit to id. Someone once worked the land, and for all eternity, it is theirs to move around arbitrarily. It was from this circumstance moved to owners who seek to extract land rent, as it’s in the best interest of all the people involved in ownership to do this. After all, no good parent wouldn’t want to pass on land we all depend on, to their offspring, in a world where labor is increasingly useless as we increasingly appropriated all the low hanging fruit of non-labor economic rent generating property.

            I see an option in making the continued holding onto excess land and ideas, into something that you need to continually maintain by working for the favor of others. With a fall-off period, so if you stop working the land and the ideas, you don’t immediately lose it, but slowly are pulled towards the average. Land value tax, sovereign wealth funds, cap and trade on emissions, are some constructs to consider to ensure that excess ownership must be maintained by one’s labor. And this makes clear that we probably need resource specific solutions, so I’m not one for saying that we just do soemthing like an LVT and apply it to everything and everything will be fine. We’ll have to come together to think about these things, as issues crop up, when it comes to access to material of a substance that we all can reason to have business with, that happens to be increasingly monopolized, not by labor contributions, but by a desire to gift a decent experience to loved ones, or for a personal unearned gain.

            Also keep in mind that your locality doesn’t really add much in today’s interconencted times. We can sit on the other end of the planet and make useful contributions to aggricultural, industrial, service and informational processes somewhere.

            “I’m starting to think that we don’t agree on how scarce land is.”

            I don’t really prioritize land in the non-economic definition (as in plain land on the ground). Land in societally valued locations, customer awareness in increasingly stagnant markets, idea rights, authority over currency creation, these are the things I’m personally most interested in. Though to be fair, methods of customer relation and customer habituation might not exactly be land in an economic sense.

            “My own idea of land ownership is rather non “sticky” (as they call it). I support usufruct or use and occupancy property rights, which I don’t see as very strict.”

            Cool, I like! Now I do have some gripes with this as far as accountability is concerned. Anyway, we certainly should expand these considerations to currency creation, customer awareness, and idea rights as well. As much as these do have a different structure and chances and challenges, so we might want to consider something similar in its justification, yet potentially different in implementation, on a case-by-case basis.

            “I’m surprised given non-proviso Lockeianism isn’t exactly a new thing. But maybe that’s my selection bias of being around libertarians a lot.”

            “https://c4ss.org/content/41421”

            Ah I see, I just considered that perspective left leaning anarchism for now. Also where’s the accountability in there: “Lockeanism on a spectrum of “occupancy and use” property norms. Byas lays out his “occupancy-and-use understanding of Lockeanism,” roughly understood as the incorporation of previously unowned physical material into your “ongoing projects,” and asserts its superiority to other theories on the “occupancy and use” spectrum, as well as to other explanations of Lockeanism.”

            Sounds like a great setup to bullshit people into submission on premises of circumstancial merit rather than individual capacity and suitedness. As in, just because you happen to do some pretty good stuff with land/ideas/whatever and prior recognition, it does not make you very well suited to continue doing so, compared to what other people could do. The circumstance of acquisition simply makes too little of a statement about your capacity and drive to give it much credit, in my view, while the merits of perpetuating the position are too great to pass up on. Being well known is maybe even more powerful than inheriting a lot. People enjoy gifting to those who they love.

            Also see intel/amd. I’d prefer to have a lot more companies working on x86 cpu architecture right now. But the legal setup, while hinging on some labor contribution to maintain and find new patents, it’s not very well done for maximizing opportunity to contribute in the sector, if you ask me.

            At the same time, I see a point to enable people to obtain money for their labor contributions in the process, which isn’t so easily accomplished. Representative heads of a company surely generate more emotional support, hence would rake in most money if it’s simply a popularity contest. If you want to reward the engineers, I was thinking we might even want to re-frame unconditional income, if it’s big enough, as a kind of labor income, and define further income that people receive, as compensation for suffering on the job (so menial labor could surely be rewarded well if people embrace this perspective), as well as gifts that people provide for their love of the person.

            It’s a bit of a spin on the whole idea of labor value, sure, but I haven’t heard a good reason yet to believe that in a perfect market equilibrium, wages for everyone wouldn’t be the same, anyway. So might as well consider the variances owed to non-labor factors, like how much you hate the job or how much you are loved, or how lucky you were to happen to have the right education at the right time, and the conenctions to go do something with it, and the support structure to encourage you to pick it up ahead of time. You know the temporal component we briefly touched on with the tree. I think there’s a structural injustice in differently sized labor compensations there, as just because you save lives by working to provide food in times where it’s needed most, it doesn’t affect the quality and quantity of your labor, right? Similar for less life-and-death scenarios, consider Pokemon, Coca Cola, Amazon, Apple, Windows, etc. Also makes a statement about how willed you are to put fences around what you made in the past. So whoever is willed to take more, gets more. Weird. So different valuation of contributions is an external aspect to labor value in my view. Either way, I’m all for people to be able to gift to each other, also in context with labor contributions, because people enjoy gifting and being honored for outcomes they helped achieve. This is the kind of freedom I want to enable people to have, as it appears most just to me.

            So unconditional incomes and fees on maintaining forms of non-labor property ownership, they do seem pretty important to me there from that perspective. Merely working something that is of non-labor substance and somewhat scarce, that doesn’t qualify enough, not on a plane of merit, as just having the position to be loved is worth a lot of its own, and not on a plane of quality and quantity of work, because temporal and local factors play into the monetary reward too much. We can and should respect these aspects in people’s contributions, I mean nobody would be helped by people being very commited to digging ditches in the desert with a lot of quality and quantity labor, but I do enjoy entertaining the idea of looking such as non-labor aspects. Additionally, increasingly, what you do sell for how much really makes a lot of a statement about who you’re trying to sell it to, rather than how societally useful it is from a sort of utilitarian perspective, given today’s currency creation system. I think of currency as a useful method of expression, and we should see about enabling people to have some of that, so they can make useful expressions to each other, in many economic contexts. The more removed a currency expression is from the initial issuing, by the individual, the more it might as well decay in value. Be it with demurrage or transaction fees, vat, or whatever. Maybe food for thought!

            “I think it’s difficult to really know people’s motives underneath everything but my own intuition is the opposite, for what it’s worth.”

            True true. Of course I think it’s interesting to more understand each other, and yourself at that. As much as that’s a really general point now, oh well.

          • Ok this time with the link removed, maybe that was that:

            1/2

            “There’s disagreement about this standard and how far it should go as well as whether it should be implemented at all. So that’s what’s happening here.”

            Okay, I see you elaborated on this further down.

            “Unwanted interference? I don’t get any say over whether farmers work the land in faraway lands and claim their own just because I may want it at some time.”

            Actually, the reality of the thing is that often, you do have such a say, or well, some people do, who do not work the land. That’s the kind of property relations we increasingly have. But you seem to be aware of that.

            “Even under this standard, my idea of replanting trees fulfills this. It could be a voluntary Lockeian program.”

            Surely, if you replant the trees at equally good locations and they become available in a timely fashion, then yes. Though keep in mind that there’s a temporal component to this. Availability of something in the immediate has surplus value over availability in the future. This value is something you need to replicate in cases as well, where you take it and others anticipated it in some way, shape or form, and they inform you of this in a reasonable fashion. So it depends on what reasonable claims are leveraged against the immediate trees by neutral parties in the sphere of influence of your actions. Different aspects of the process have a different sphere of influence of course. The wood itself, not so useful on the other side of the planet. The reduction in CO2 absorbtion capacity for a period of time, something to ideally negotiate globally, with a decentralized, consent based system.

            “have no idea what “the dull murder in good faith” sounds like but on the plus side it sounds like a good song lyric?”

            It means that if you negatively influence others with your actions, and despite being informed of such, refuse seek to come to a consent based agreement with affected parties, that it is legitimate to deprive you of freedoms you’d have otherwise, and at worst to do so indefinitely and of quite a lot of freedoms.

            “There’s lots of problems with the VoI, see here:

            …”

            The example made is kinda awful as it assumes a centrally elect leader or commitee, which has nothing to do with the Veil of Ignornace per-say. Everyone is responsible to apply a veil of ignorance, not a commitee or anything. It’s a moral standard for each and everyone individually to uphold. I mean we are talking about ‘rationality’, not about building a society. We all have different knowledge levels, and a veil of ignornace clearly delivers different ideas of what is rational based on your level of knowledge.

            It’s about holding yourself to the standard in your actions, that if you were unlucky, you’d still similarly agree with the system, as you were to agree with it if you are lucky. Which supposes some sentiment about equal treatment before the law in my view. To me, it’s about the golden rule as something to make individually informed expressions, really. So lets stick to the golden rule in this conversation. More on this later down where you pick up on it.

            “Yeah, I don’t believe this is possible”

            I don’t think it’s a bad idea to aim to go further in that direction at all, what about you? It seems very practical for more freedom and justice to me, to go further in that direction. Maybe we will never reach an absolute situation, but simply giving up on more freedom and justice seems not ideal to me. Maybe the perspective doesn’t appear to provide more freedom and justice to you? I can see that usurfruct and a more lax idea of property rights as you propse em is useful too, but I still see merit for those considerations in some contexts, if you ask me.

            “and I think submitting all individual decisions to such a collective outcome”

            It’s not a collective outcome, as the outcomes are individually quite different. Only the sentiment of justice would be shared more or less. Or do you propose that we should not seek to look in the direction of more or less decently informed actors (who are not completely insane) feel that things are fair? Rational actors in that sense, that for no fault of their own, they have to have a very hard time, while others have everything that nature provides us with?

            “is not only impractical but immoral.”

            How is seeking to ensure people who are sane enough, is possession of some good knowledge and seeking to act morally, how is seeking to ensure that these people feel that things are fair, immoral and impractical? I think you’re going down arguing for some strawman about central authority when I’m all for decentralized power in fact, to realize this.

            “As much as I enjoy consensus and obviously want people to be as collectively happy and free as possible”

            See I’m putting justice first, not collective happiness, not collective freedom. These would just be likely to improve as well, but they’re not what I’m most concerned about.

            “not everyone is always going to be content with the outcomes”

            Then we can investigate why that is. Do they lack knowledge or refuse to gain insight? Are they done injustice? In the former case, I don’t mind leaving em alone with that, and would consider em somewhat irrational. In the latter case, and if it is quite a severe lack of contentness, we’re in a moral obligation to act, unless we embrace the unfair. I don’t want to live in a world where things are unfair and purposely so, to an extreme extent.

            “and sometimes it’s best for folks to go their own different directions within the context of the community.My life and property should not be dependent on the ill will of my neighbors, at least not solely.”

            Surely.

          • 3/2

            Also to specify with regard to ‘leaving people alone with their lack of knowledge’, I didn’t mean it quite as harshly as it came off there. If some people feel so free to respect societal rules anyway, then there’s nothing wrong to leave people with their lack of knowledge to let em figure things out at their own pace. We can and should however consider to provide the opportunities to obtain knowledge as to why such societal rules would probably appear just, if some knowledge was shared and understood. In such a process, we can always put to a test if our ideas were so right about what we think is fair, after all. I’m for consent based policymaking (say deliberate democracy; sorry for the typo on that earlier.), after all.

  2. Addressing ½:

    “Actually, the reality of the thing is that often, you do have such a say, or well, some people do, who do not work the land. That’s the kind of property relations we increasingly have. But you seem to be aware of that.”

    Well individuals tend to not but governments and corporations do and I oppose that. I wasn’t talking about the current society anyways, but my own ethical system for property.

    “So it depends on what reasonable claims are leveraged against the immediate trees by neutral parties in the sphere of influence of your actions.”

    Possibly. If people want to enter communities like this voluntarily, that’s fine. I’m just wary about this as a panacea.

    “The example made is kinda awful as it assumes a centrally elect leader or commitee, which has nothing to do with the Veil of Ignornace per-say.”

    Sure, not per se’ but it relies on the VoI as a premise and explores the flaws of that premise. I think those flaws exist whether it’s involved with a centrally elected leader or not.

    “Everyone is responsible to apply a veil of ignorance…”

    And for the reasons outlined, I don’t think anyone would or has good incentives to.

    “I mean we are talking about ‘rationality’, not about building a society.”

    We’re talking about property theory,which is, as far as I’m concerned, a theory very much concerned with how a society is built. Am I wrong?

    “So lets stick to the golden rule in this conversation. More on this later down where you pick up on it.”

    Sure.

    “…further in that direction. Maybe we will never reach an absolute situation, but simply giving up on more freedom and justice seems not ideal to me”

    That presumes we agree on what freedom and justice does, right? I don’t think we have entirely similar notions, though they’re not entirely dissimilar either, else there may not be as much discussion as we’ve had thus far.

    “”It’s not a collective outcome, as the outcomes are individually quite different. Only the sentiment of justice would be shared more or less.”

    That’s fair, you didn’t qualify that and I must have glossed over it (which, at this point in the debate, I think is understandable, given how complex and drawn out it has become…) collective process then.

    “How is seeking to ensure people who are sane enough, is possession of some good knowledge and seeking to act morally, how is seeking to ensure that these people feel that things are fair, immoral and impractical?”

    A lot of this is question begging. You’re using terms that are very philosophically vague that we don’t completely agree on. What I’m getting from this sentence and the last few passages of yours is that (at least in some cases) the alternatives are just advocating insanity, which seems, uncharitable, to say the least. Perhaps I’m wrong about that interpretation though.

    “I think you’re going down arguing for some strawman about central authority when I’m all for decentralized power in fact, to realize this.”

    I’m glad you’ve clarified this, but I have little hope your system could be enforced without a central authority. I admire your tenacity for a consent based system that uses direct democracy and think it has some merit, I’m just not convinced it would work in practice.

    “See I’m putting justice first, not collective happiness, not collective freedom. “

    I think your concept of justice is delegated towards collective happiness more than individual freedom. Even if we want to call the latter “side constraints” on your main goal (justice) I would say your main goal is much more *defined* by the former than the latter.

    Addressing 2/2:

    “And I do think that all people can share a similar view of what is just, at least in majorly important areas of interaction that govern our lives, if commited to broadening one’s knowledge of the world and one’s fellow people.”

    I have mixed hopes about this, at best. I think anarchism will succeed but it’ll take a long time (long after I’m dead) and will result from different ideas of justice cohabiting more than monopolizing or become panaceas.

    “But as long as it is possible for any one person, to put up fences, that are protected by force or appeal to coming first, you do arrive in a circumstance where the most bold, most wasteful with their time (as they spend it on coming early rather than doing something useful), most aggressive with demanding exclusive rights, be it by private armies, would obtain a monopoly position to leverage over others. “

    I don’t buy this argument. You’re just making an appeal to humans being “inherently X” (in this case greedy) and that neither holds water in evidential fact (people are very complex) or theoretically. Private armies are very very expensive and in practice are usually subsidized heavily by governments (either indirectly through blowback theory or directly through war profiteering and corporate subsidies, e.g. Blackwater).

    Without a central authority it would be much more difficult to demand exclusive rights over large plots of land, much less raise the funds for private armies without someone noticing and stopping it beforehand either through persuasion, economic sanctions, communal sancctions, or defensive violence, if necessary (not preemptive though…let’s not get into this side discussion).

    “The problem here is that merely the premise of this being possible…”

    You’ll never be able to make it *impossible*. That’s the bad news. The *good* news is that you don’t have to make it possible or not. You just need a good system that is able to *deal* with this possibility by giving people the best set of incentives.

    Where are the best incentives for a usufruct property system within an anarchist society? Shit, I have no idea. I think it’ll heavily depend on community context and some may not even want to embrace the usufruct ethic for starters. Maybe some want to be anarcho-Georgists or communists or maybe even some short-lived anarcho-capitalist project, who knows?

    “What’s the point if we can’t have fun thinking about new and awesome things to share.”

    Agreed, but let’s not delve into intellectual property…unless we’re just out and out both agreeing IP should be abolished. Otherwise, it’s too much to add on!

    “…though taxes…”

    Oh? Who enforces this, central committees? 😉 (I’m half-teasing you about the VoI thing we’ve been talking about but also half-serious)

    “If you can reason on grounds of fairness, then you should get in the way, go ahead”

    Could you give me an example?

    “How so? Because lack of knowledge?”

    Because of diversity of views on what constitutes justice. As we’re seeing in this conversation. 😉

    “Let me rephrase…”

    Okay, I think we agree.

    “…and so do I consider about everyone else who’s an adult human.”

    As a youth liberationist I have some issues with this framing but I don’t wanna get too bogged down. Trying to condense the debate a little.

    “Well for starters, a lot of people agreed with divine rule of a king being just at a point in time. Let’s not limit ourselves by ignorance of today’s people, but instead aspire to share knowledge we consider to be true, that has implications for the extent of interconnectivity in our actions.”

    Ha! It’s funny to see someone use this argument *against me* when I use it on people who argue against anarchism. As you said to my previous statement, “fair point”.

    “The context you had in mind might not be the context I had in mind all along. We might in fact agree to quite some extent, depending on how things are particularly worded.”

    Sure.

    “Why is that?”

    I don’t think the statement is accurate, for one thing since we have different theories of what constitutes a “legitimate” property.

    “It’s not infinite because people do not have an infinite history…”

    You’re taking me too literally here. I don’t mean an “infinite regress” in terms of temporal measures but logical ones. There’s no real clear demarcation for the beginning or end of this thinking and it’s very vague in terms of what the implications would be if it was even true. It also often leads to conclusions I disagree with (such as distribution programs sponsored by the state) but I admit that’s not a sufficient reason to dismiss the premise.

    ”So your labor making thing A into thing B entitles you to the presence of thing A, no matter what it is, under all circumstances, for all eternity? I it seems that’s not actually your philosophy, but what you just put into words, in a way?

    What? Why would you assume I believe this? No mutualist (which is basically what I am) thinks this and you even admit my philosophy doesn’t seem to advocate that. And even the way I worded it made no reference to temporarily or how long my claim lasts. We’ve barely even discussed that so far.

    But anyways, the choices are not “mine but [georgists stipulations] or “mine [for all eternity, no matter what], that’s a false dichotomy.

    “Who gives you this ‘responsibility’?”

    I do, when I labored on it and chose to create value from it.

    “Who defines that it is more useful now than before?”

    Me and anyone else who wishes to dialog with me.

    “More useful to who? There’s many uses for land.”

    Don’t know who, depends on the land and so forth.

    “Indeed, this is how property functions today, not because of government…”

    Well, why not? The government owns lots and lots of land (at least the US government does) without ever actually homesteading it. Much of the land in the western part of the US is claimed owned by the US government but they’ve never actually touched it!

    “…it does not make you very well suited to continue doing so, compared to what other people could do. “

    I don’t think that’s up for you or a community to decide unless it’s actively harming others.

    Addressing 3/2

    “Also to specify with regard to ‘leaving people alone with their lack of knowledge’, I didn’t mean it quite as harshly as it came off there. If some people feel so free to respect societal rules anyway, then there’s nothing wrong to leave people with their lack of knowledge to let em figure things out at their own pace. We can and should however consider to provide the opportunities to obtain knowledge as to why such societal rules would probably appear just, if some knowledge was shared and understood. In such a process, we can always put to a test if our ideas were so right about what we think is fair, after all. I’m for consent based policymaking (say deliberate democracy; sorry for the typo on that earlier.), after all.”

    Fair enough. Appreciate the clarification.

    You’ll notice I cut a ton from the conversation here and there. That was either ‘cause it seemed too tangential to me or too much to tackle.

    • “And for the reasons outlined, I don’t think anyone would or has good incentives to.”

      You mean the fact that we all have different knowledge to work with? I think that if we all apply it, we can come to find out about significant differences based on those knowledge differences, and then see about broadening our knowledge mutually to arrive at more similar perspectives, an overall more just perspective.

      If people enjoy a sense of justice, we have plenty incentives to seek to come to broaden our knowledge base to an extent that we arrive at similar conclusions when it comes to important matters, if you ask me. However, some people go through life without ever fully recognizing this passion, is my concern.

      “We’re talking about property theory,which is, as far as I’m concerned, a theory very much concerned with how a society is built. Am I wrong?”

      In my view, we’re talking about the individual’s rational approach to such, moreso than society building in actuality. Though I guess it doesn’t really make a difference then.

      ““…further in that direction. Maybe we will never reach an absolute situation, but simply giving up on more freedom and justice seems not ideal to me”

      That presumes we agree on what freedom and justice does, right?”

      I think it merely presumes that we all agree to desire more justice, not so much what they do or how they can and should look like. The details are something to investigate along the way on the journey of mutually broadening of our horizons.

      “I don’t think we have entirely similar notions, though they’re not entirely dissimilar either, else there may not be as much discussion as we’ve had thus far.”

      I think we have different sets of knowledge to work with, but our goals align somewhat. Different knowledge can mean different weighting of goals and different conclusions as far as feasibility, course of action, and so on, of course.

      “What I’m getting from this sentence and the last few passages of yours is that (at least in some cases) the alternatives are just advocating insanity, which seems, uncharitable, to say the least. Perhaps I’m wrong about that interpretation though.”

      I meant to imply that most of all people are, in my view, perfectly capable of being rational actors in my view, and it is availability of knowledge, and willingness to internalize it, that make the differences in perspectives.

      “I’m glad you’ve clarified this, but I have little hope your system could be enforced without a central authority.”

      I mean I have little hope that your system could be enforced without central authority, either, at least not without widespread abject poverty, constant warfare, and a further ravaged planet. Unless we do solve the issue of adequate information and accountability for everyone, with Artificial Super Intelligence. However, I see merit in your system for some relations. Just not as a wholesome thing to govern everything.

      “I admire your tenacity for a consent based system that uses direct democracy and think it has some merit, I’m just not convinced it would work in practice.”

      I think it has merit to include such elements to the extent that is found feasible.

      “I think your concept of justice is delegated towards collective happiness more than individual freedom.”

      To the contrary, I would rather embrace the individual freedom of an outcast, then the collective happiness of a society that denounces his rights, if he acts on grounds of justice. If he can reason to be able to have a pretty good time in this world, if it wasn’t for other people who try to make him fit in somewhere where he doesn’t want to be, then he is just in being his own state. This is, in a reduced form, a core idea behind unconditional income, in my view. It’s about freedom to do what you want with what is yours or a monetary representation thereoff.

      “I have mixed hopes about this, at best. I think anarchism will succeed but it’ll take a long time (long after I’m dead) and will result from different ideas of justice cohabiting more than monopolizing or become panaceas.”

      I don’t have much hope for anarchism till we solve the problem of naming, lack of enough information, accountability, and so on. A proper anarchism doesn’t need names. At the same time, it wouldn’t even be so fun if we had no names, if we simply interacted based on the facts that we understand each and every other human being to their very cores, in a way, we’d become a human cloud, a planetary scale organism, in a true anarchism. Maybe something that might happen, maybe for some people. For the people who don’t want this, anarchism seems elusive. But maybe it’ll be readily embraced by everyone, I actually can see some appeal to that.

      “But as long as it is possible for any one person, to put up fences, that are protected by force or appeal to coming first, you do arrive in a circumstance where the most bold, most wasteful with their time (as they spend it on coming early rather than doing something useful), most aggressive with demanding exclusive rights, be it by private armies, would obtain a monopoly position to leverage over others. “

      “You’re just making an appeal to humans being “inherently X” (in this case greedy)”

      Not greedy at all, no. Merely unreflected. Some people clearly don’t understand the consequence of their action when they fight a little more ruthlessly for permanent property titles on things of scarce character they didn’t make, and they go through life never figuring this out, unless someone tells em ‘hey this is troubling for others and if you don’t stop doing it, you’ll get in trouble’.

      “You’ll never be able to make it *impossible*. That’s the bad news. The *good* news is that you don’t have to make it possible or not. You just need a good system that is able to *deal* with this possibility by giving people the best set of incentives.”

      Agreed, so we need a system where people aren’t falling into a trap of thinking that they’re hot shit when they’re just bold and loud and ruthless, we don’t want a system where people consistently can get away with that, without more reflection on their worldly experience.

      “Where are the best incentives for a usufruct property system within an anarchist society? Shit, I have no idea. I think it’ll heavily depend on community context and some may not even want to embrace the usufruct ethic for starters. Maybe some want to be anarcho-Georgists or communists or maybe even some short-lived anarcho-capitalist project, who knows?”

      Good question indeed. I see an appeal in a lot of these constructs, for different interactions. People enjoy a lot of things, with some things better left to play and fantasy/simulation, however. If people can get away with awful things in reality and don’t fully comprehend and enjoy justice, pretty awful things happen. This doesn’t mean people are awful. People just enjoy a lot of things, and that’s okay! Sometimes people enjoy a good competition, sometimes people enjoy empathy and the beautiful things, sometimes people enjoy domination in one context or another, it’s perfectly normal.

      “Agreed, but let’s not delve into intellectual property…unless we’re just out and out both agreeing IP should be abolished. Otherwise, it’s too much to add on!”

      Okay, I basically agree. There’s details like ensuring people can get credit for particiaption, as people enjoy getting credit, and it helps for earning income to have your name on something (patreon is a thing), but then again we’re looking at incomes that are ultimately hard to justify as labor incomes in my view.

      “Oh? Who enforces this, central committees? 😉 (I’m half-teasing you about the VoI thing we’ve been talking about but also half-serious)”

      Taxes can be enforced through the authority that manages access to something that you want to gainfully interact with. Be it protection for your name or what you live on. If there’s no such instances around, period, then no need for taxes. However, if private entities form, that do make claims on any such, be it simply a person being famous and making money for being loved, not any quality of contrubtion, as a 1 person entity, then they are in a responsibility to collect taxes that benefit those who lose out, in my view.

      “Could you give me an example?”

      Someone is known, hence you should get in the way where they collect rental income to the extent that they get it because they are known only.

      A known ‘rightholder association’ (vehicle for owners to make money) demands a cut from artists for exposure, so you should get in the way of the rightholder association to the extent that they gate exposure for a profit, vs actually providing a human labor service in the relation of interfacing between artists and customers.

      A brand is popular. Hence you should get in the way to the extent that its popularity makes customers unwilled to look around at other products, systematically killing competition.

      But yeah this depends on what level of brand protection we have, what level of name protection we have, what level of customer habituation forms in different markets and so on.

      Getting in the way can also mean to start up independent agencies to spread good knowledge to customers for customers to rely on more than advertisement and viral marketing, so I’m not saying this needs to be all so direct. But just because something’s not direct doesn’t mean it’s not conflicting with the interests of such superfirms and associations as they exist today, and that they’d certainly not be very welcomed by existing players for the most part, unless it builds into strategically swallowing the organization and provide the service in a way that it directs customer awareness to the entitity that took over. Moneyowners of today are very much not reliable as strategic partners, as you can see with the state of funding of open source alternatives to software suites.

      “Because of diversity of views on what constitutes justice. As we’re seeing in this conversation. 😉”

      I view this as something that can be reduced to a lack of knowledge, personally. But yeah maybe you have a different view on this. I just don’t know any view on justice that I could not consider agreeable, if I were to blind out or insert some pieces of false or true information.

      “As a youth liberationist I have some issues with this framing but I don’t wanna get too bogged down. Trying to condense the debate a little.”

      Fair, I chose the wording for convenience here as well. I don’t feel particularly good about excluding the youth from rights.

      “I don’t think the statement is accurate, for one thing since we have different theories of what constitutes a “legitimate” property.”

      I’m not sure I have an idea of legitimate property to begin with. Really not my favorite topic. I’m happy if people get to actually use things, get access to circumsntaces, as they may do so on grounds of justice as I find em appealing. Finer distinctions between what is property and what is not, on what basis, I’m not too fond of. Because property is intermixed with stuff that you certainly don’t have business refusing others access to, for a good part, in this world, and even if we abolished government by tomorrow, this would continue in some aspects. How severe an issue or not that’d be if we get access to the obvious things like land/idea rights, I’m not entirely sure. I do like to think that everyone should have the freedom to similarly connect with other people today, and prior recognition that people enjoy for convenience gets in the way there, however.

      “”So your labor making thing A into thing B entitles you to the presence of thing A, no matter what it is, under all circumstances, for all eternity? I it seems that’s not actually your philosophy, but what you just put into words, in a way?

      What?” Why would you assume I believe this?”

      The use of the word “mine” seemed to imply as much to me. I don’t really comprehend how someone can refer to something in its entity as “mine” with a straight face, when it’s clearly of a substance that others depend on in some of their interactions with fellow people or nature, that is scarce in some way. Only to aspects of the composite thing B, can one refer to as “mine” in my view. Though sorry if I’m overthinking this, I guess “mine” can express a less final verdict on the relationship between you and thing B, and then I can barely let it slide, as much as it strikes me as imprecise use of language. I like trying to be thorough in language, even if the practical implications sometime might be elusive.

      ““Who defines that it is more useful now than before?”

      Me and anyone else who wishes to dialog with me.”

      I like this, but it introduces complications. Your willingness to embrace people in dialog with you, as figures of authority, of governance as such, it’s quite problematic. If agreement cannot be reached, it can imply that reliability of ownership breaks down then and there on the spot, or if you and the other party make decision in good faith, it can mean you both end up with an agreement that neither benefits from as much as if the other party wasn’t around to begin with.

      Now what do you do with an uncompromising fella? Don’t tell me you’d go like “I was first so I’m the more final authority”. You either embrace the dialogue and might have to require a third party body to come to help to arrive at sensible agreements without violence, or you’re basically saying “I came first so I’m the final and conclusive authority here, whatever folks we’re done here. Rule of the early bird is awesome, and if I have my name on something that I do work on something in south africa remotely from my computer, of course I’m the final authority on that too.”

      ““Indeed, this is how property functions today, not because of government…”

      Well, why not? The government owns lots and lots of land (at least the US government does) without ever actually homesteading it. Much of the land in the western part of the US is claimed owned by the US government but they’ve never actually touched it!”

      Check out the land that has a lot of value in its unimproved state. It’s basically getting auctioned up by private parties due to them experiencing growing incomes, while most other people do not experience growing incomes, so we see growing residence sizes in NY, growing rent prices per square meter, and a progressing labor value extraction via the land from the people. Surely, this also has to do with currency creation favoring those on top more. But yeah currency system is an interesting topic to further talk about. Keep in mind that deflationary systems suck a lot, as they reward hoarding of the currency, so business is increasingly urged to opperate on smaller sums, while growing the value of hoarded money. It’s a really strange game to play with a deflationary currency, and business would chose to go for something else more often than not. Not so cool to build up a currency to the point where you’ll just get bought out after some years by some who happens to have a bunch of it (was most ruthless in their efforts to collect and hold onto it), due to the way the currency works.

      So it’s a topic where I think people might want to more coordinate, based on what they want the language look like, that they use between each other for relations with nature and their respective labor. Land would probably be integrated in this conversation of currency design to the extent that we want to make claims towards land with money. This is where geolibertarianism and unconditional incomes can play a role. Of course there could also be a commitment to making available a lot of land for usurfruct, alongside geolibertarian considerations. Sounds good to have both if you ask me.

      “I don’t think that’s up for you or a community to decide”

      Why is it not also for it to decide? I think this is exactly what you said, as you appealed the mutualist aspect of seeking dialogue with you. You either embrace the mutualist aspect of relying on dialogue, and lets just assume it is done in good faith in fact, or you don’t, and appeal to some authority or some ‘right’ of coming first that negates all practical rights that dialog partners might have, effectively making em applicants, not partners. A dialog is supposed to be a mutual thing, right?

      “You’ll notice I cut a ton from the conversation here and there. That was either ‘cause it seemed too tangential to me or too much to tackle.”

      No problem. 😀

      • Hi, Hauu. I think I’m getting diminishing returns on this debate at this point.

        Appreciate your perspectives but still disagree with you overall. Thanks for the conversation.

        • Okay, no problem with that! I’m sure you’ll continue to come to interesting insights and perspectives as long you keep an open mind on what is labor value and what is not. 🙂

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