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An argument for the opposite of agorism

CarefulNow
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12/9/2012 6:53:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
For those who don't know, agorism is a system in which there is real property but no intellectual property. What I advocate is a system of intellectual property but no real property. I use the same, neo-classical assumptions as agorists but come to the opposite conclusion. Let's start with agorists' reason for accepting real property but rejecting intellectual property.

For them, it's about scarcity. They're under the false impression that the only solution to the tragedy of the commons is privatization. But no. The tragedy of the commons is in fact the tragedy of anarchy. Giving mostly random individuals dictatorial control over fractions of the territory does no more to avert the tragedy of the commons than does giving the nation, democratically, monopoly over all of it. Such monopoly implies monopsony--monopsony over the labor currently done by landlords. The abolition of real property would force landlords/capitalists into the labor market, where they would be payed according to their labor, whithout the distortionary effects of the coercive elements of property (its rules, or lack thereof, of acquisition and holding, which contrast with its consensual, thus reciprocal, thus less lucrative, rules of transfer).

Pushing actual innovators into the labor market would, on the other hand, be impractical. This is because innovators deal in knowledge, which is to say they rely on others' lack thereof. The only way the labor of idea-forming could be profitable would thus be if the consumer didn't know what he was buying. But insofar as the consumer doesn't know what he's buying, there is lack of information and thus neoclassical models are irrelevent. To be blunt, the commodification of ideas is advisable because it is the second-best solution and the first-best solution is impossible.

The astute may have observed that I didn't go into the distortive effects of monopsony itself. True, a national monopsony over, for instance, land, would tend to over-correct landlords' inflated rents. Prices would be closer to optimal but still off, albeit in the other direction. The solution would be a subsidy, a negative income tax, on such labor.
CarefulNow
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12/9/2012 7:22:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Let me add that this insight can be generalized. Ideas, information, are special in that they are part of the neo-classical model. Whereas hamburgers, for instance, serve merely as symbols, fuel, for the model; information, ideas, form part of the very body of it. But the body is not all information. Another part of the body is price. Price, too, can be commodified. The result is a Veblen good. There are few non-Pigovian taxes that I support.

One is the income tax because I feel the labor-leisure intergchange is naturally distorted by genetic self-interest, not just in favor of labor, but in favor of labor for the consumption of Veblen goods in particular. When genes force us into leisure, say to put our careers on hold in order to care for our child, they obey neo-classical assumptions, except for the fact that we're valuing another above ourselves. On the other hand, when genes force us to work, they often force us to work for Veblen goods. I'm an unskilled laborer. The result is two-fold. On the one hand, I'm less attractive to the opposite sex. On the other hand, I feel shame. However, I spend my money exactly as the rich do. I spend less, but a greater proportion of what I earn, on diabetes and heart disease. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
FREEDO
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12/9/2012 9:20:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Thanks for the thread. I enjoy originality.

I think you need to build a clearer picture of what exactly an anti-agorist society would look like. I'm not really visualizing it.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Cody_Franklin
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12/9/2012 9:46:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 6:53:43 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
For those who don't know, agorism is a system in which there is real property but no intellectual property. What I advocate is a system of intellectual property but no real property. I use the same, neo-classical assumptions as agorists but come to the opposite conclusion. Let's start with agorists' reason for accepting real property but rejecting intellectual property.

I've never heard that. Typically, agorists concentrate on counter-economics and constructing alternatives to state appropriation of trade relations and civil society. I've also *never* heard anything about agorism requiring neoclassical assumptions, particularly because a) I didn't think anyone used neoclassical economics anymore, and b) most agorists tend to be Austrian-inspired neo-marginalist types. At least, all the ones I know.

For them, it's about scarcity. They're under the false impression that the only solution to the tragedy of the commons is privatization. But no. The tragedy of the commons is in fact the tragedy of anarchy. Giving mostly random individuals dictatorial control over fractions of the territory does no more to avert the tragedy of the commons than does giving the nation, democratically, monopoly over all of it.

"Giving dictatorial control to mostly random individuals" is a rhetorical move, not an argument.

Such monopoly implies monopsony--monopsony over the labor currently done by landlords.

I dunno what monopsony means.

The abolition of real property would force landlords/capitalists into the labor market, where they would be payed according to their labor, whithout the distortionary effects of the coercive elements of property (its rules, or lack thereof, of acquisition and holding, which contrast with its consensual, thus reciprocal, thus less lucrative, rules of transfer).

Paid by... whom?

Pushing actual innovators into the labor market would, on the other hand, be impractical. This is because innovators deal in knowledge, which is to say they rely on others' lack thereof.

Not if you have IP. If you have a patent or a copyright, it doesn't matter whether anyone else has knowledge, because you get an exclusive privilege to its use. So, if I come up with some code for a smartphone app or something, it could be that plenty of other people either know how to do it, or can do it better--but, if I patent it first, I'm the only one that gets to make money from that knowledge.

The only way the labor of idea-forming could be profitable would thus be if the consumer didn't know what he was buying. But insofar as the consumer doesn't know what he's buying, there is lack of information and thus neoclassical models are irrelevent. To be blunt, the commodification of ideas is advisable because it is the second-best solution and the first-best solution is impossible.

You didn't really give an argument in defense of IP. You just said "other solution bad, so do this." I'd prefer creative commons and open-source. It seems to work fine for academic journals, databases, programming, web developing, etc.

The astute may have observed that I didn't go into the distortive effects of monopsony itself. True, a national monopsony over, for instance, land, would tend to over-correct landlords' inflated rents. Prices would be closer to optimal but still off, albeit in the other direction. The solution would be a subsidy, a negative income tax, on such labor.

K?
Cody_Franklin
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12/9/2012 9:51:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 7:22:49 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
Let me add that this insight can be generalized. Ideas, information, are special in that they are part of the neo-classical model. Whereas hamburgers, for instance, serve merely as symbols, fuel, for the model; information, ideas, form part of the very body of it. But the body is not all information. Another part of the body is price. Price, too, can be commodified. The result is a Veblen good. There are few non-Pigovian taxes that I support.

One is the income tax because I feel the labor-leisure interchange is naturally distorted by genetic self-interest, not just in favor of labor, but in favor of labor for the consumption of Veblen goods in particular. When genes force us into leisure, say to put our careers on hold in order to care for our child, they obey neo-classical assumptions, except for the fact that we're valuing another above ourselves. On the other hand, when genes force us to work, they often force us to work for Veblen goods. I'm an unskilled laborer. The result is two-fold. On the one hand, I'm less attractive to the opposite sex. On the other hand, I feel shame. However, I spend my money exactly as the rich do. I spend less, but a greater proportion of what I earn, on diabetes and heart disease. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

1. I dunno what a Veblen good is.
2. I dunno what a Pigovian tax is.
3. I dunno how any of that entails supporting an income tax.
CarefulNow
Posts: 780
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12/11/2012 12:43:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 9:51:29 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
1. I dunno what a Veblen good is.
2. I dunno what a Pigovian tax is.
3. I dunno how any of that entails supporting an income tax.

1. A Veblen good is a conspicuous consumption/waste commodity, specifically one whose value lies so much in its price that taxing it actually increases demand for it. But the Veblen tax can be generalized to include any good whose price is inflated because it signals wealth. A true Veblen good is simply the extreme case in which taxing the good is not only efficient, but in fact Pareto efficient. In neither case is the tax rate necessarily arbitrary, but can rather be discovered in practice: Pareto-optimal is maximal demand and optimal is the rate at which price fluctuations affect demand according to the law of supply and demand. The reason markets cannot achieve Pareto-optimality in Veblen goods is that their essential value lies in their market price, not the individual prices in the individual transactions.

2. Pigovian taxes are taxes on negative externalities (e.g. pollution). Unlike Veblen taxes, the arbitrariness of their rates varies; however, to oppose them on that basis is akin to opposing murder sentences on the basis of their being arbitrary (which they necessarily are, and are moreso than Pigovian tax rates). As well, the laissez-faire alternative of handling negative externalities in tort is only slightly less absurd than the analogous plan to handle murder in tort. While the latter is logically impossible, the former is practically so. The Veblen tax is actually a kind of Pigovian tax, because what it's actually taxing is underpricing, which markets naturally do in the case of Veblen goods. Low prices lower the value of all of the good, even that which is sold at higher prices, because wealth is, in the case of Veblen goods (as opposed to luxury brands), associated with the good itself, not the individual seller.

3. Inequality, like taxes, is distortionary except when it's corrective (but not over-corrective). It's corrective only when it resolves differences in utility functions. Mutually consensual exchange does this to the extent that mutual consent implies reciprosity. Exchange, however, is only one part of the life of property; its origin and incubation (acquisition and holding) happen to be completely coersive. It's therefore, when too permanent, at best over-corrective of equality (e.g. intellectual property over-corrects the equality between would-be innovators and their would-be beneficiaries when it lasts longer than it would have taken someone else to innovate in the same way or that of an equal substitute). In this real world of permanent and thus overcorrective property, I support the income tax because it is particularly easy to make progressive and, on a related note, is progressive.
CarefulNow
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12/11/2012 2:10:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 9:46:11 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I've never heard that. Typically, agorists concentrate on counter-economics and constructing alternatives to state appropriation of trade relations and civil society. I've also *never* heard anything about agorism requiring neoclassical assumptions, particularly because a) I didn't think anyone used neoclassical economics anymore, and b) most agorists tend to be Austrian-inspired neo-marginalist types. At least, all the ones I know.

Marginalism descends from neo-classical economics. Any neo-classical assumptions that it jetisoned are irrelevant to this discussion. As for the part of agorism irrelevant to this discussion, if there is a name for those who advocate it but focus less on black market approaches to achieving it, I'm afraid I don't know it.

"Giving dictatorial control to mostly random individuals" is a rhetorical move, not an argument.

Indeed, it's not even a sentence. It's a phrase you find offensive for some reason you're keeping secret.

I dunno what monopsony means.

One buyer, the opposite of monopoly.

Paid by... whom?

The aforementioned monopsonist, the democratic government.

Not if you have IP. If you have a patent or a copyright, it doesn't matter whether anyone else has knowledge, because you get an exclusive privilege to its use. So, if I come up with some code for a smartphone app or something, it could be that plenty of other people either know how to do it, or can do it better--but, if I patent it first, I'm the only one that gets to make money from that knowledge.

But your patenting it first makes it more likely that you came up with it, as opposed to the would-be free-riders agorists want to effectively subsidize by effectively taxing you.

You didn't really give an argument in defense of IP. You just said "other solution bad, so do this." I'd prefer creative commons and open-source. It seems to work fine for academic journals, databases, programming, web developing, etc.

Indeed, there are exceptions to the rule that IP is necessary, just no exceptions to the rule that there's nothing wrong with it if it's only as permanent as the alternative (intellectual shortage) would otherwise be. Yes, there are countless examples of both intellectual and real commons "working fine". Are you against all property now?

K?

If you "dunno" so much of the subject matter, just say that, or say nothing. My argument is a paragraph. To fully explain every concept contained within would exceed both the character limit and my patience. Go to Wikipedia for the basics; no IP, so it must be reliable.
CarefulNow
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12/11/2012 7:27:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 9:20:26 PM, FREEDO wrote:
I think you need to build a clearer picture of what exactly an anti-agorist society would look like. I'm not really visualizing it.

In fact, an anti-agorist society already exists, just incompletely. There is already restriction of access to ideas via privatization (IP) and restriction of access to natural resources via democratic ownership (government property). Preferably, the former would be less arbitrary (e.g. linking the lifespan of IP to the rate of innovation in the particular industry), and the latter would be more complete (i.e. no private land ownership) and more democratic. It's not that I have a theoretical objection to (temporary) private ownership of land, it's just that the only labor of acquisition that couldn't be better handled entirely in the labor market (e.g. the hiring of superintendents and groundskeepers) is discovery, and land discovery is over. Even when scientists discover potentially habitable planets, they're thousands of light years away.
Cody_Franklin
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12/11/2012 7:35:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/11/2012 2:10:02 AM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/9/2012 9:46:11 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I've never heard that. Typically, agorists concentrate on counter-economics and constructing alternatives to state appropriation of trade relations and civil society. I've also *never* heard anything about agorism requiring neoclassical assumptions, particularly because a) I didn't think anyone used neoclassical economics anymore, and b) most agorists tend to be Austrian-inspired neo-marginalist types. At least, all the ones I know.

Marginalism descends from neo-classical economics.

So does any thought that engages neoclassicalism in any way.

Any neo-classical assumptions that it jetisoned are irrelevant to this discussion.

So, when they use neoclassical assumptions (whichever those may be), it's a point against them, and when they discard them, it's neutral?

As for the part of agorism irrelevant to this discussion, if there is a name for those who advocate it but focus less on black market approaches to achieving it, I'm afraid I don't know it.

It isn't "irrelevant to this discussion" if you're at all misrepresenting agorism.

"Giving dictatorial control to mostly random individuals" is a rhetorical move, not an argument.

Indeed, it's not even a sentence. It's a phrase you find offensive for some reason you're keeping secret.

I don't find it offensive, nor am I being secretive--I'm suggesting that you fail to give an argument against private distribution of resources as a response to the tragedy of the commons--you posit that it's a false assumption, and then use a bunch of words with negative connotations to make privatization seem bad. I'm not really taking a position one way or the other; I'm just being critical.

I dunno what monopsony means.

One buyer, the opposite of monopoly.

Oh, okay.

Paid by... whom?

The aforementioned monopsonist, the democratic government.

Fair enough. Second problem--you only allude to people being paid "according to their labor". I have no idea what that entails other than labor being a threshold condition for income. One concern is that, if you just have one entity purchasing labor, what you're delivering people into isn't a market, given that resource allocation, including income distribution, is determined by the political calculations of a government, rather than the decentralized calculation of a bunch of buyers and sellers.

Not if you have IP. If you have a patent or a copyright, it doesn't matter whether anyone else has knowledge, because you get an exclusive privilege to its use. So, if I come up with some code for a smartphone app or something, it could be that plenty of other people either know how to do it, or can do it better--but, if I patent it first, I'm the only one that gets to make money from that knowledge.

But your patenting it first makes it more likely that you came up with it, as opposed to the would-be free-riders agorists want to effectively subsidize by effectively taxing you.

1. Your objection misses the point--I'm not concerned with who gets to something "first". You're beginning from a position in which first discovery seems to confer some special right to productive monopoly. Given that I do not adhere to this principle, you cannot take it as an assumption.

2. Your model only holds if you assume that all innovators are participating (at maximum capacity) in some kind of patent race, or seek a legal monopoly to maximize their profit margins. What's interesting is that, if we use this model, we're implicitly relying on certain neoclassical models of behavior, e.g., the rational utility-maximizer. It seems like that's the sort of innovator you end up with--one who focuses on profit-maximization by only producing patentable innovations. And I mean, if your argument for patents is that it increases innovation--as measured in patents--we get nowhere.

You didn't really give an argument in defense of IP. You just said "other solution bad, so do this." I'd prefer creative commons and open-source. It seems to work fine for academic journals, databases, programming, web developing, etc.

Indeed, there are exceptions to the rule that IP is necessary, just no exceptions to the rule that there's nothing wrong with it if it's only as permanent as the alternative (intellectual shortage) would otherwise be.

1. When you have a rule that includes self-referential qualifications, it isn't helpful to say that there aren't exceptions. It's like saying that the rule "You may work every day except for Sunday" has no exceptions. Technically true if you apply it consistently, but it only works if you meta the exception by just making it part of the rule.

2. I argue not only that IP is unnecessary, but that it is detrimental.

3. My primary contention here is that you do not give an argument in favor of IP. Your response is that "there are exceptions, but there is nothing wrong with under particular conditions." In the first instance, this is still not an argument in favor of IP. In the second, you seem to be reversing your position: while you start arguing that IP is the optimal (albeit second-best) solution, you now seem to be arguing defensively.

4. I deny that the alternative to IP is "intellectual shortage", whatever that entails. Given that I am asking for a positive argument for IP, you cannot assume that the absence of IP is detrimental--this is, in part, what I am asking you to demonstrate.

Yes, there are countless examples of both intellectual and real commons "working fine". Are you against all property now?

1. Ontologically? Yes.

2. That question is another rhetorical ploy--you're trying to discredit me by associating my criticism with some ostensibly undesirable position. We are specifically discussing whether IP is preferable to non-IP regimes. Your original contention is, "the commodification of ideas is advisable because it is the second-best solution and the first-best solution is impossible." I provide effective counterexamples--at the very least, we seem to agree that IP is not a universally desirable knowledge-regulation regime. If this is true, the case for IP as the "second-best solution" immediately becomes dubious.

K?

If you "dunno" so much of the subject matter, just say that, or say nothing.

It isn't that I don't understand what you're saying (minus the bit on monopsony, which you've explained to me)--I just didn't see its immediate relevance.

My argument is a paragraph. To fully explain every concept contained within would exceed both the character limit and my patience.

I did not ask you to explain every concept. I gave clear signals about the concepts I did not understand.

Go to Wikipedia for the basics; no IP, so it must be reliable.

My argument is not that things not governed by IP law are ipso facto reliable--my argument is that a) there is no clear theoretical or empirical warrant for claims about the benefits of IP; b) as we both agree, there exist at least some rather salient, rather effective non-IP knowledge hubs (e.g., open-source journals, programming). This, I suggest, undermines the case for the necessity of IP. Your willingness to admit of exceptions (but not to define IP's proper sphere of influence) corroborates this.
Cody_Franklin
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12/11/2012 7:57:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/11/2012 12:43:55 AM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/9/2012 9:51:29 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
1. I dunno what a Veblen good is.
2. I dunno what a Pigovian tax is.
3. I dunno how any of that entails supporting an income tax.

1. A Veblen good is a conspicuous consumption/waste commodity, specifically one whose value lies so much in its price that taxing it actually increases demand for it. But the Veblen tax can be generalized to include any good whose price is inflated because it signals wealth. A true Veblen good is simply the extreme case in which taxing the good is not only efficient, but in fact Pareto efficient. In neither case is the tax rate necessarily arbitrary, but can rather be discovered in practice: Pareto-optimal is maximal demand and optimal is the rate at which price fluctuations affect demand according to the law of supply and demand. The reason markets cannot achieve Pareto-optimality in Veblen goods is that their essential value lies in their market price, not the individual prices in the individual transactions.

So, diamonds, fancy cars, etc.?

2. Pigovian taxes are taxes on negative externalities (e.g. pollution). Unlike Veblen taxes, the arbitrariness of their rates varies; however, to oppose them on that basis is akin to opposing murder sentences on the basis of their being arbitrary (which they necessarily are, and are moreso than Pigovian tax rates).

Fair enough. The way I understand it, the rate is arbitrary because it's a matter of efficacy, so it's not something you contest, given that what's important is the principle of taxing negative externalities, rather than the particular manner of its execution.

As well, the laissez-faire alternative of handling negative externalities in tort is only slightly less absurd than the analogous plan to handle murder in tort.

1. Given that complete laissez-faire is characterized by a lack of central planning, the notion that externalities would become the exclusive domain of tort law is basically conjecture. That kind of approach also seems excessively litigious--societies differ, and one cannot reliably predict ex ante the extent to which some culture will opt to outsource dispute resolution to juridical mechanisms (e.g., arbitration, torts).

2. Calling something "absurd" is not an argument.

While the latter is logically impossible, the former is practically so. The Veblen tax is actually a kind of Pigovian tax, because what it's actually taxing is underpricing, which markets naturally do in the case of Veblen goods. Low prices lower the value of all of the good, even that which is sold at higher prices, because wealth is, in the case of Veblen goods (as opposed to luxury brands), associated with the good itself, not the individual seller.

I might misunderstand, but it sounds like you want to take these goods--whose purchase and consumption is mediated by its own price--and put a tax on them, increasing the price, and making a whole bunch of money from it--feedback loop kind of thing. If it works as advertised, I have to say on the one hand that it's a pretty clever move. On the other hand, I don't see an argument in favor of it other than "It's a really sneaking way of raising revenue".

3. Inequality, like taxes, is distortionary except when it's corrective (but not over-corrective). It's corrective only when it resolves differences in utility functions. Mutually consensual exchange does this to the extent that mutual consent implies reciprosity. Exchange, however, is only one part of the life of property; its origin and incubation (acquisition and holding) happen to be completely coersive. It's therefore, when too permanent, at best over-corrective of equality (e.g. intellectual property over-corrects the equality between would-be innovators and their would-be beneficiaries when it lasts longer than it would have taken someone else to innovate in the same way or that of an equal substitute). In this real world of permanent and thus overcorrective property, I support the income tax because it is particularly easy to make progressive and, on a related note, is progressive.

I may misunderstand again--sounds like you're saying, given the permanence-induced overcorrection of property, that you support an income tax to relieve people of overcorrection-produced surpluses (and then do other stuff with it, presumably).
CarefulNow
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12/12/2012 12:03:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/11/2012 7:35:11 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
So, when they use neoclassical assumptions (whichever those may be), it's a point against them, and when they discard them, it's neutral?

Of course it's not a point against them. As I said, I share their neo-classical assumptions. I'm talking about rational self-interest, by the way.

It isn't "irrelevant to this discussion" if you're at all misrepresenting agorism.

Incorrect. My expressed object is not to criticize agorism, but rather to present a novel system.

I don't find it offensive, nor am I being secretive--I'm suggesting that you fail to give an argument against private distribution of resources as a response to the tragedy of the commons--you posit that it's a false assumption, and then use a bunch of words with negative connotations to make privatization seem bad. I'm not really taking a position one way or the other; I'm just being critical.

No, you're stereotyping again. I accept the veracity of the tragedy of the commons, which is why I oppose commons. The difference is that I do it consistently. The special nature of innovation argues against its direct commodification, not its non-commodification. As for the real commons, you're just conflating commons and collective ownership. That's probably why you failed to recognize my clear defense of the latter against privatization.

Fair enough. Second problem--you only allude to people being paid "according to their labor". I have no idea what that entails other than labor being a threshold condition for income. One concern is that, if you just have one entity purchasing labor, what you're delivering people into isn't a market, given that resource allocation, including income distribution, is determined by the political calculations of a government, rather than the decentralized calculation of a bunch of buyers and sellers.

I don't advocate just one entity purchasing labor. I advocate one entity purchasing the labor currently done by landlords. Currently there are zero such entities, because landlords get their inflated incomes in the land markets.

1. Your objection misses the point--I'm not concerned with who gets to something "first". You're beginning from a position in which first discovery seems to confer some special right to productive monopoly. Given that I do not adhere to this principle, you cannot take it as an assumption.

I don't take it as an assumption, I take as following from other assumptions. You defend real property, so evidently you feel getting to natural resources first confers some special right to productive monopoly, and all I ask for is a good reason to stop there.

2. Your model only holds if you assume that all innovators are participating (at maximum capacity) in some kind of patent race, or seek a legal monopoly to maximize their profit margins. What's interesting is that, if we use this model, we're implicitly relying on certain neoclassical models of behavior, e.g., the rational utility-maximizer. It seems like that's the sort of innovator you end up with--one who focuses on profit-maximization by only producing patentable innovations. And I mean, if your argument for patents is that it increases innovation--as measured in patents--we get nowhere.

No, we get to patents increasing patentable innovation, the same way property in natural resources increases the discovery of commodifiable natural resources particularly, not all of them. You assume a fixed rate of innovation that shifts between the patentable and the non-patentable, depending on patent law. No, neo-classical labor shifts between the patentable and the otherwise profitable.

3. My primary contention here is that you do not give an argument in favor of IP. Your response is that "there are exceptions, but there is nothing wrong with under particular conditions." In the first instance, this is still not an argument in favor of IP. In the second, you seem to be reversing your position: while you start arguing that IP is the optimal (albeit second-best) solution, you now seem to be arguing defensively.

I don't mean there's only ever nothing wrong with IP; I mean that even when its useless there nothing wrong with it. Granted, that's only under condition of roughly appropriate property lifespans, but they would basically have to be over twice as long as the time it would've taken someone else to come up with it for them to be less efficient than the commons.

1. Ontologically? Yes.

I'll take that as a no.

2. That question is another rhetorical ploy--you're trying to discredit me by associating my criticism with some ostensibly undesirable position. We are specifically discussing whether IP is preferable to non-IP regimes. Your original contention is, "the commodification of ideas is advisable because it is the second-best solution and the first-best solution is impossible." I provide effective counterexamples--at the very least, we seem to agree that IP is not a universally desirable knowledge-regulation regime. If this is true, the case for IP as the "second-best solution" immediately becomes dubious.

I'm not trying to associate you with anti-capitalism because it's "ostensibly undesirable" (indeed, I'm an anti-capitalist myself); I'm merely trying to get you to be consistent. This discussion after all, isn't simply about IP; it's about "the opposite of agorism", which, like it or not, I defined as IP but no real property.

It isn't that I don't understand what you're saying (minus the bit on monopsony, which you've explained to me)--I just didn't see its immediate relevance.

Don't forget Veblen goods and Pigovian taxes. So "K?" means "I don't see the immediate relevance". Noted. If you requite it, I'll try to better relate it if I think I can.

My argument is not that things not governed by IP law are ipso facto reliable--my argument is that a) there is no clear theoretical or empirical warrant for claims about the benefits of IP; b) as we both agree, there exist at least some rather salient, rather effective non-IP knowledge hubs (e.g., open-source journals, programming). This, I suggest, undermines the case for the necessity of IP. Your willingness to admit of exceptions (but not to define IP's proper sphere of influence) corroborates this.

a) One shouldn't expect empirical proof of IP's benefits, because innovation isn't consumable--its quantity cannot decrease, no matter how much its increase is decelerated by the commons.

b) IP's proper sphere of influence is where innovators bother to apply for IP; I wouldn't, for instance, copyright something nobody would pay for.
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12/13/2012 1:35:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It's so obvious that two plants cannot occupy the same bit of dirt at the same time as to not even be worth discussing.
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12/13/2012 1:35:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/11/2012 7:57:36 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
So, diamonds, fancy cars, etc.?

Yep.

1. Given that complete laissez-faire is characterized by a lack of central planning, the notion that externalities would become the exclusive domain of tort law is basically conjecture. That kind of approach also seems excessively litigious--societies differ, and one cannot reliably predict ex ante the extent to which some culture will opt to outsource dispute resolution to juridical mechanisms (e.g., arbitration, torts).

Arbitration and torts aren't central planning. They're centralized, but they're no more planned than the anarchistic alternative you implicitly favor. Pigovian taxes are planning, which is why they're more efficient.

I might misunderstand, but it sounds like you want to take these goods--whose purchase and consumption is mediated by its own price--and put a tax on them, increasing the price, and making a whole bunch of money from it--feedback loop kind of thing. If it works as advertised, I have to say on the one hand that it's a pretty clever move. On the other hand, I don't see an argument in favor of it other than "It's a really sneaking way of raising revenue".

What about the argument I gave? Revenue has nothing to do with it. Even if, immediately after collection, the tax-dollars were gathered into a great bonfire and set ablaze, the tax would still benefit everyone: the consumers would get the high prices they want, the producers would sell more product at higher pre-tax prices, and everyone else would be enriched by the conversion of money that definitely won't subsidize them to money that either doesn't exist (as in the bonfire approach, which would enrich them by adding value to the money they do have) or might subsidize them (as in the revenue approach).

I may misunderstand again--sounds like you're saying, given the permanence-induced overcorrection of property, that you support an income tax to relieve people of overcorrection-produced surpluses (and then do other stuff with it, presumably).

Again, revenue is irrelevant. Reducing the quantity of money adds to the value of all income equally, whereas a progressive tax disproportionately taxes the income of the rich, so the poor benefit even prior to the reintroduction of the money in the form of spending. In fact, it's the spending part the poor have to worry about, because in real life it's typically regressive.
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12/13/2012 1:46:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 1:35:17 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
It's so obvious that two plants cannot occupy the same bit of dirt at the same time as to not even be worth discussing.

You're right, the exact opposite of agorism would include a real commons; however, what I have been arguing for is equal access, not free access. The proper resolution of the problem you cite is a reciprocal, consensual one, not the coercive introduction and enforcement of permanent property that we have seen.
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12/13/2012 5:50:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 1:46:58 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/13/2012 1:35:17 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
It's so obvious that two plants cannot occupy the same bit of dirt at the same time as to not even be worth discussing.

You're right, the exact opposite of agorism would include a real commons; however, what I have been arguing for is equal access, not free access.
Equal access? They've tried that, forced communes don't work out well.

The proper resolution of the problem you cite is a reciprocal, consensual one
Equal access or free access, which is it, and how the **** are you supposed to bargain with 5 billion other people and expect a resolution?

not the coercive introduction and enforcement of permanent property that we have seen.
Private property is created when someone plants on soil that is not presently utilized. The coercion is introduced when someone interferes with that plant.
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12/13/2012 10:28:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 5:50:49 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Equal access or free access, which is it, and how the **** are you supposed to bargain with 5 billion other people and expect a resolution?

You're right, the transaction costs of such consensuality are comparable to the transaction costs of handling negative externalities in the courts, so I'm obviously not advocating that. What I should have said is "a reciprocity worthy of consent". In reality, of course, religion and ideology cause some to reject reason. There is unfortunately no reasonable alternative but to give such people what they want, coercion, only not on their terms.

Private property is created when someone plants on soil that is not presently utilized. The coercion is introduced when someone interferes with that plant.

There you exemplify the aforementioned ideology. It is yours to demonstrate that permanent property is a reasonable reward for preventing a temporary lack of utilization.
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12/15/2012 2:54:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/13/2012 10:28:20 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/13/2012 5:50:49 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Equal access or free access, which is it, and how the **** are you supposed to bargain with 5 billion other people and expect a resolution?

You're right, the transaction costs of such consensuality are comparable to the transaction costs of handling negative externalities in the courts
No, the latter's far easier, and been done for centuries. See, courts don't need the parties to agree, they exist for precisely when parties don't agree

so I'm obviously not advocating that. What I should have said is "a reciprocity worthy of consent".
Vague totalitarian nonsense. If you're going to "Consent" for other people, remove the conception from your premises, and also devague.

In reality, of course, religion and ideology cause some to reject reason. There is unfortunately no reasonable alternative but to give such people what they want, coercion, only not on their terms.
They don't want coercion, they (some of them) want the stuff they create left alone.


Private property is created when someone plants on soil that is not presently utilized. The coercion is introduced when someone interferes with that plant.

There you exemplify the aforementioned ideology. It is yours to demonstrate that permanent property is a reasonable reward for preventing a temporary lack of utilization.
It's not a "reward." It's what they created. For it to be a reward, someone else (the rewarder) would have to have a preexisting claim to it.
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12/15/2012 2:57:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
And it's eminently obvious when coercion is introduced. When I plant on unused soil, no one is coerced. I am interfering with no one. Only when the planter is interfered with by force does anyone begin to be interfered with by force, and that begins with the action of interfering with the planter.
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12/15/2012 7:19:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/15/2012 2:57:21 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
And it's eminently obvious when coercion is introduced. When I plant on unused soil, no one is coerced. I am interfering with no one. Only when the planter is interfered with by force does anyone begin to be interfered with by force, and that begins with the action of interfering with the planter.

Doing something that another person doesn't like isn't necessarily coercion. If you don't want anyone to interfere with your plans, I suggest you either make them for an uninhabited planet or coordinate them with the other occupants of this one. My access to the given piece of dirt comes from my having a brain and four working limbs, not any sense of entitlement. Entitlement would be if you were simple enough to believe you should forfeit your access to said piece of dirt based on my absurd rationalization that I'd gotten there first. If you were rational instead of so moralistic, you would expect to either retain your access or be traded something of at least equal value. That's the basis of rules of transfer; I don't see why it shouldn't be the basis of rules of acquisition and holding.
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12/16/2012 8:01:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/15/2012 7:19:48 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/15/2012 2:57:21 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
And it's eminently obvious when coercion is introduced. When I plant on unused soil, no one is coerced. I am interfering with no one. Only when the planter is interfered with by force does anyone begin to be interfered with by force, and that begins with the action of interfering with the planter.

Doing something that another person doesn't like isn't necessarily coercion.
Doing something that alter's the course of one's life, in however small or large a way, via physical force, is.

If you don't want anyone to interfere with your plans, I suggest you either make them for an uninhabited planet or coordinate them with the other occupants of this one.
An impossibility.

My access to the given piece of dirt comes from my having a brain and four working limbs, not any sense of entitlement.
Lots of people have brains and four working limbs without accessing dirt I already started building on.

Entitlement would be if you were simple enough to believe you should forfeit your access to said piece of dirt based on my absurd rationalization that I'd gotten there first.
Forfeit? You NEVER HAD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

If you were rational instead of so moralistic, you would expect to either retain your access
There's nothing to retain!

or be traded something of at least equal value.
There are 5 billion people on this planet.
In order to utilize land (which someone has to do or everybody starves ) you want them to pay out the value of the land to 5 billion people?

[quote]That's the basis of rules of transfer; I don't see why it shouldn't be the basis of rules of acquisition and holding.[/quote]
Because a transfer involves someone losing a value they presently have as well as gaining one. There's NOTHING TO TRADE FOR. The whole concept of exchange is an absurd impossibility in the absence of private property.
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12/16/2012 11:14:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/16/2012 8:01:11 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Lots of people have brains and four working limbs without accessing dirt I already started building on.

You're speaking hypothetically, of course; we both know primitive accumulation didn't go that way. But you're wrong all the same. My access to a given piece of dirt doesn't determine that I will use it. If you can convince me that it's in my best interest to refrain, specifically by offering me something of greater value in return, I'm open to persuasion.

Forfeit? You NEVER HAD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Again, your logic is circular. When I speak of access, I'm speaking in realistic terms, not moralistic or legalistic terms. Your pretense that I should restrict my access is the very thing under debate.

In order to utilize land (which someone has to do or everybody starves ) you want them to pay out the value of the land to 5 billion people?

Not the value of the land, the value of restriction of access thereto.

Because a transfer involves someone losing a value they presently have as well as gaining one. There's NOTHING TO TRADE FOR. The whole concept of exchange is an absurd impossibility in the absence of private property.

That's simply not true. Private property is precisely restriction of non-owner access. If you don't think that's something you have to trade for, you must think me very simple.
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12/17/2012 9:26:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/16/2012 11:14:11 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/16/2012 8:01:11 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Lots of people have brains and four working limbs without accessing dirt I already started building on.

You're speaking hypothetically, of course; we both know primitive accumulation didn't go that way.
Well, it had to happen that way before Big Chief said "Nope, my land now." Otherwise there's nothing for him to seize.

But you're wrong all the same. My access to a given piece of dirt doesn't determine that I will use it.
Your access is defined by use. You don't access a computer just because the computer exists, you have to turn it on and log in.

Forfeit? You NEVER HAD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Again, your logic is circular. When I speak of access, I'm speaking in realistic terms, not moralistic or legalistic terms. Your pretense that I should restrict my access is the very thing under debate.

In realistic terms, you never accessed it.


In order to utilize land (which someone has to do or everybody starves ) you want them to pay out the value of the land to 5 billion people?

Not the value of the land, the value of restriction of access thereto.
That's not a payment (to the extent your conception is coherent which isn't far), that just consists of not accessing the land those other 5 billion use to produce the needs of THEIR existence. Rights are reciprocal needs.


Because a transfer involves someone losing a value they presently have as well as gaining one. There's NOTHING TO TRADE FOR. The whole concept of exchange is an absurd impossibility in the absence of private property.

That's simply not true. Private property is precisely restriction of non-owner access.
An access which never existed in the first place.'

I guess you think you should have to pay me not to remodel your face, after all, you have no right to restrict access to it.
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12/17/2012 12:31:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/17/2012 9:26:06 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Well, it had to happen that way before Big Chief said "Nope, my land now." Otherwise there's nothing for him to seize.

What does history prior to such seizure matter? The point is that modern property descends from such coercion, not the consensual (which is not to say individualistic; property in pre-agricultural land and water was non-existent, and property in agricultural land was varied in terms of its permanence and its very existence) regimes that preceded it.

Your access is defined by use. You don't access a computer just because the computer exists, you have to turn it on and log in.

"Access" the verb is semantically distinct from "access" the noun. The password and power switch constitute access constantly, not just when being used. My access lies in my capacities and the lack of natural barriers. If you still dispute the term, use another, as the nitpicking has become tedious.

In realistic terms, you never accessed it.

Once again, the mythical fact of your accessing it first isn't under debate. It's granted. What I'm talking about the property relation, the restriction of access. That you consider it to be justified does not make it the same as its justification.

That's not a payment (to the extent your conception is coherent which isn't far), that just consists of not accessing the land those other 5 billion use to produce the needs of THEIR existence. Rights are reciprocal needs.

It would only be reciprocal if the land you restricted your access to were no more valuable than the land I restricted my access to, but that question clearly doesn't concern you.

I guess you think you should have to pay me not to remodel your face, after all, you have no right to restrict access to it.

Why would I pay you not to make a long-distance trip to do something that's not in your interest? It would be as reasonable for you to pay me to not drag you here, grab your hand, and hit myself with it. My ideology is consistent, so, yes, trivially, I consider my body to be as much yours as it is mine, but to actually commodify such rights would be like giving people gift cards to a gift card store. It would be all transaction costs, because you would inevitably pay me right back not to remodel your face.
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12/17/2012 9:56:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/17/2012 12:31:48 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/17/2012 9:26:06 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Well, it had to happen that way before Big Chief said "Nope, my land now." Otherwise there's nothing for him to seize.

What does history prior to such seizure matter? The point is that modern property descends from such coercion
And if the will of such coercers is the only claim provided for property, a court should throw it out. Modern property, however, is USED. If we abolish recognition of old claims by initiators of force, most property will stay in the same hands because those people have built new **** on it since then.

Your access is defined by use. You don't access a computer just because the computer exists, you have to turn it on and log in.

"Access" the verb is semantically distinct from "access" the noun. The password and power switch constitute access constantly, not just when being used.
They don't do anything when not being used. They have no value and are nothing to trade for in the absence of use. Furthermore, what you seek to claim "access" to is something that ceased to exist. That meadow no longer exists, a farm is there now. You have no right to the farm, he built it.

My access lies in my capacities and the lack of natural barriers. If you still dispute the term, use another, as the nitpicking has become tedious.
No term can give moral relevance to the absurd concept that everyone has a legitimate claim to everything.

What I'm talking about the property relation, the restriction of access.
There's no restriction, you could have been first, you just didn't.

That's not a payment (to the extent your conception is coherent which isn't far), that just consists of not accessing the land those other 5 billion use to produce the needs of THEIR existence. Rights are reciprocal needs.

It would only be reciprocal if the land you restricted your access to were no more valuable than the land I restricted my access to
That's not what reciprocal needs. I still need the food I grow, you still need the food you grow, even if we grow different amounts of food. It is a reciprocal need-- we both need to be allowed to produce the material needs of our existence. If we prevent each other from doing so, both die.

I guess you think you should have to pay me not to remodel your face, after all, you have no right to restrict access to it.

Why would I pay you not to make a long-distance trip to do something that's not in your interest?
It's clearly in my interest once you take the government out of the picture (as we have to do to analyze your claims anyway). It will prevent you from f***ing up my farm. If we don't have reciprocal respect for one another producing the material needs of existence, then only the first one to remodel the other's face successfully actually gets to succeed at that production by keeping the goods. Property and trade, or eternal war, those are our choices.
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12/18/2012 3:51:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/17/2012 9:56:02 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
And if the will of such coercers is the only claim provided for property, a court should throw it out. Modern property, however, is USED. If we abolish recognition of old claims by initiators of force, most property will stay in the same hands because those people have built new **** on it since then.

It's hard to enforce the illegality of theft when the only punishment for purchasing stolen property (with other stolen property, for the most part) is that you have to build something on it. Relinquishing the property would seem bare minimal.

They don't do anything when not being used. They have no value and are nothing to trade for in the absence of use. Furthermore, what you seek to claim "access" to is something that ceased to exist. That meadow no longer exists, a farm is there now. You have no right to the farm, he built it.

The idea that something must be in use in order to have value is absurd. An ear of corn, from its beginnings as seed and land and farm equipment to its arrival on my plate, has been unused a number of times. But every time, the buyer bought, because it had value in its potential to be used. Virgin land has of course been bought as well, and for the same reason.

There's no restriction, you could have been first, you just didn't.

No, there are and always have been natural and artificial differences in persons' ability to be first. Chief among them, in my case, is that I wasn't around to get in on the coercion and don't descend from those who did. And again, you're confusing the law with the justification thereof. I understand that you feel future restriction of access is justified by past failure to access; it's just that you've failed to explain how such a regime would be in the interest of the majority.

That's not what reciprocal needs. I still need the food I grow, you still need the food you grow, even if we grow different amounts of food. It is a reciprocal need-- we both need to be allowed to produce the material needs of our existence. If we prevent each other from doing so, both die.

So everybody should be subsistence farmers? Presumably you mean that we both need to be able to perform labors whose products or services can sustain us or be traded for things that can. I just don't see how your rules of acquisition and holding are necessary or sufficient for it. They're insufficient because my theoretical right to claim virgin land doesn't guarantee there's any left; and of course there isn't, save the precious little that's protected by governments and charities. Nor are your rules necessary, because the amount of land needed for subsistence is far less than the amount it's possible for an individual to ultimately claim under your regime.

It's clearly in my interest once you take the government out of the picture (as we have to do to analyze your claims anyway). It will prevent you from f***ing up my farm. If we don't have reciprocal respect for one another producing the material needs of existence, then only the first one to remodel the other's face successfully actually gets to succeed at that production by keeping the goods. Property and trade, or eternal war, those are our choices.

Lets keep trade out of it, because we both support that. Again, even in the absence of property, how is it in anyone's interest to force a fight? It's negative-sum, a chance of death or injury (for the lucky winner). Thus, two rational people would compromise instead and, hopefully, institutionalize that compromise. Your suggestion is that I should refrain from accessing your big farm with good soil that blocks my direct path to the metropole; in exchange, you'll refrain from accessing my small farm with bad soil that's completely surrounded by your farm. Granted, Nixon's Madman Theory, may be correct; I may take the one-sided deal because it's preferable to the mutual destruction you threaten with. But reciprocity it is not.
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12/18/2012 12:03:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/18/2012 3:51:34 AM, CarefulNow wrote:
It's hard to enforce the illegality of theft when the only punishment for purchasing stolen property (with other stolen property, for the most part) is that you have to build something on it.
There's a radical difference between stolen property that still has a living owner it was stolen from and property stolen hundreds of years ago. The two merit radically different responses. Obviously the guy it was stolen from has a better claim, than the guy who bought it and then built-- who in turn has a better claim than just about everyone else unless he knows for a fact he was buying from a thief.

The idea that something must be in use in order to have value is absurd.
A thing can have no value except to be used.

An ear of corn, from its beginnings as seed and land and farm equipment to its arrival on my plate, has been unused a number of times. But every time, the buyer bought, because it had value in its potential to be used.
When it was planted, that was use, when the seed was harvested, that was use. Actuals and potentials are different things.

Virgin land has of course been bought as well
From evil fascist sellers who have no right to charge for such a thing.

No, there are and always have been natural and artificial differences in persons' ability to be first. Chief among them, in my case, is that I wasn't around to get in on the coercion
There's plenty of unused land.

t's just that you've failed to explain how such a regime would be in the interest of the majority.
The alternative is eternal war.


That's not what reciprocal needs. I still need the food I grow, you still need the food you grow, even if we grow different amounts of food. It is a reciprocal need-- we both need to be allowed to produce the material needs of our existence. If we prevent each other from doing so, both die.

So everybody should be subsistence farmers?
No. Producing something to trade for the material needs of your existence is morally equivalent to the direct production.

They're insufficient because my theoretical right to claim virgin land doesn't guarantee there's any left
There is, but if there weren't, it would mean an increased demand for your labor anyway.

save the precious little that's protected by governments and charities.
If by "precious little" you mean "Most of the Western United States." You ever seen flyover country? Most of that has never been legitimately claimed (i.e. claimed by actual improvement).

Lets keep trade out of it, because we both support that. Again, even in the absence of property, how is it in anyone's interest to force a fight?
Because in the absence of property they have no other way to secure the needs of their existence. Someone can just grab it out of their pocket.

Thus, two rational people would compromise instead
We have more than two people, and plenty of irrational ones.
and, hopefully, institutionalize that compromise.
This is nonsensical. An agreement between two parties cannot be binding on a third qua agreement.

Granted, Nixon's Madman Theory, may be correct; I may take the one-sided deal because it's preferable to the mutual destruction you threaten with. But reciprocity it is not.
Yes it is. Reciprocity doesn't mean communism. It means that there's respect for the same principle in both directions-- it's not a one sided deal at all.
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12/18/2012 2:16:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/18/2012 12:03:18 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
There's a radical difference between stolen property that still has a living owner it was stolen from and property stolen hundreds of years ago. The two merit radically different responses. Obviously the guy it was stolen from has a better claim, than the guy who bought it and then built-- who in turn has a better claim than just about everyone else unless he knows for a fact he was buying from a thief.

So first dibs is the wage of ignorance?

When it was planted, that was use, when the seed was harvested, that was use. Actuals and potentials are different things.

Yes, but the grocer cares little whether the corn was harvested or (like land) fell from the sky. His concern is its potential to be sold, which is to say its potential to be eaten.

From evil fascist sellers who have no right to charge for such a thing.

Irrelevant. The point is that it would not have been bought if it weren't valued.

The alternative is eternal war.

The status quo is eternal war. Landlord and tenant, capital and labor, have been fighting each other since the emergence of the categories.

There is, but if there weren't, it would mean an increased demand for your labor anyway.

Why would I care about demand for my labor when there's prime real estate that can be had at the cost of a light sprinkling of seed?

If by "precious little" you mean "Most of the Western United States." You ever seen flyover country? Most of that has never been legitimately claimed (i.e. claimed by actual improvement).

Again, the important fact is not that it was claimed illegitimately, but rather that it's claimed and thus won't be scooped up by homesteaders with the rapidity we saw in the Eastern United States.

We have more than two people, and plenty of irrational ones.

That's my point. Capitalism is irrational. A rational solution would be, for instance, for the natural state of free access (I'm not speaking of rights; I'm speaking of the fact that people are physically and mentally capable of using land, regardless of whether the farm on it is theirs or another's, hence wage-labor) to manifest in rents, determined by supply and demand, but paid to the public equally as opposed to a landlord.

Yes it is. Reciprocity doesn't mean communism. It means that there's respect for the same principle in both directions-- it's not a one sided deal at all.

It's one-sided in terms of utility, which is the basis of rational decision-making. The principle is clearly more useful to the descendants of the coercers or, as in the myth, those who got to the most, best land first.
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12/18/2012 10:39:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/18/2012 2:16:00 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/18/2012 12:03:18 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
There's a radical difference between stolen property that still has a living owner it was stolen from and property stolen hundreds of years ago. The two merit radically different responses. Obviously the guy it was stolen from has a better claim, than the guy who bought it and then built-- who in turn has a better claim than just about everyone else unless he knows for a fact he was buying from a thief.

So first dibs is the wage of ignorance?
Clearly second dibs, first is the guy it was stolen from, I already said that.

Yes, but the grocer cares little whether the corn was harvested or (like land) fell from the sky.
He cares plenty. One of these he has to buy to motivate continued production, the other falls in his lap.

Irrelevant. The point is that it would not have been bought if it weren't valued.
Potential remains different from actual.

The alternative is eternal war.

The status quo is eternal war.
The status quo doesn't respect property.

Landlord and tenant, capital and labor, have been fighting each other since the emergence of the categories.
Landlord sells to tenant, labor sells to capital. It's GOVERNMENT that's been doing the fighting.


There is, but if there weren't, it would mean an increased demand for your labor anyway.

Why would I care about demand for my labor when there's prime real estate that can be had at the cost of a light sprinkling of seed?
The statement I was responding to assumed there wasn't. Furthermore, light sprinkling will not clearly demarcate your claim. Your claim has to be recognizable to be enforcable as a practical matter, or a moral one for that matter.


If by "precious little" you mean "Most of the Western United States." You ever seen flyover country? Most of that has never been legitimately claimed (i.e. claimed by actual improvement).

Again, the important fact is not that it was claimed illegitimately, but rather that it's claimed and thus won't be scooped up by homesteaders with the rapidity we saw in the Eastern United States.
It will in the event of actual respect for the concept of property (i.e. cancellation of such unconsummated claims).

That's my point. Capitalism is irrational. A rational solution would be, for instance, for the natural state of free access
That is not rational.

(I'm not speaking of rights; I'm speaking of the fact that people are physically and mentally capable of using land, regardless of whether the farm on it is theirs or another's, hence wage-labor)
People are not, only some subset at a time are.

to manifest in rents, determined by supply and demand, but paid to the public equally as opposed to a landlord.
There is no such thing as " the public."


Yes it is. Reciprocity doesn't mean communism. It means that there's respect for the same principle in both directions-- it's not a one sided deal at all.

It's one-sided in terms of utility
Both sides gain utility. That one side gains more does not make it one sided.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
CarefulNow
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12/19/2012 8:29:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/18/2012 10:39:01 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
It will in the event of actual respect for the concept of property (i.e. cancellation of such unconsummated claims).

That's my point. Then there will be neither unclaimed land nor illegitimately claimed land and your point will be moot.

People are not, only some subset at a time are.

Which? The able-bodied and -minded or, in keeping with your confusion of capacity and realization thereof, the wage-slaves who actually work the land? Neither set is identical to the set of owners.

There is no such thing as " the public."

But there are real things that you know I mean when I say public, so save your constructed vocab lessons for someone who's interested.

Both sides gain utility. That one side gains more does not make it one sided.

Sometimes both sides gain utility, but even then it's irrational for the side that gains less to accept, because there's an alternative mutually beneficial solution that's preferable to it by a greater margin than it's unpreferable to the other side.
CarefulNow
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12/19/2012 12:01:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/18/2012 10:39:01 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Clearly second dibs, first is the guy it was stolen from, I already said that.

But you also said that he no longer exists, which makes second dibs equivalent to first.

He cares plenty. One of these he has to buy to motivate continued production, the other falls in his lap.

But that's a cost concern, not a utility concern. He values the corn according to the money he can get for it; any money he has to pay for it is only a factor in his valuation of that transaction.

Potential remains different from actual.

Your point? I never said the value stems from actual use. It suffices that there's potential use, a fact you were having trouble with.

The status quo doesn't respect property.

That's my point. Property as we know it isn't worthy of respect, so it isn't respected.

Landlord sells to tenant, labor sells to capital. It's GOVERNMENT that's been doing the fighting.

When government is strong, yes, it does the fighting, largely on behalf of one side or the other. But when government is weak, the fight is more direct; that's just historical fact.

The statement I was responding to assumed there wasn't. Furthermore, light sprinkling will not clearly demarcate your claim. Your claim has to be recognizable to be enforcable as a practical matter, or a moral one for that matter.

How hard is that? All you would need would be monoculture, non-indigenous seed, unnatural spacing, or a simple string around the perimeter. Such costs are tiny fractions of the prices of land in the resulting conditions.