The Beginning of Property. Was it some arbitrary claim enforced by threat and violence?Submitted by enjoiskaterguy on Sat, 05/21/2011 - 04:43
I have been reflecting on this for some time, and I am not sure what conclusion to come to.
The way that property has been illustrated for me was that in the beginning of man, property was first devised by some arbitrary idea in someone's head that they were going to make a claim of ownership on some parcel of land or object.
There's this story of two men who lived in harmony and ate, slept and went throughout there days in the same area. One day, Man A decided that he didn't like Man B eating the apples off a tree that he too loved to eat from. So to remedy his frustration, Man A erected a fence. And in doing so restricted Man B's access to the tree. If Man B were to try and have an apple off the tree without the permission of Man A, Man A would then enforce his claim to the tree by use of force and would proceed to hit Man B with a stick until he got away from the tree.
Man B soon figured that if he was able to obtain the apples he wanted, he too would have to defend himself. So, Man B decided to find a larger stick and demanded to have access to an apple. Man A saw that Man B's stick was much larger, so he stepped down and let Man B have an apple.
In the back of his mind, Man A still held a grudge about the tree, so he devised a way to rap a rock around a larger stick and threatened, again Man B with force to stay away from 'his' tree. Man B, not wanting to get hurt, finally conceded and left Man A with the tree.
Man A was left with his Tree to himself for the rest of his days...until that dreadful day when someone else came along with a bigger stick with a bigger rick tied to it. The end!
So , what I was trying to get at was that property rights initially was created through the use of threat and therefore violated the rights of another person's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Man A never made the claim that he would manage to tree to create a larger and more prosperous yield for the summer harvest, he just didn't want anyone else having access to it.
No, today property is used in a more sophisticated manner, in that our property is kept up and made profitable and taken advantage of all that said property has to offer. Property is one of the highest planks of a successful free market economy and a prosperous nation, but also it is important to note that property as an idea was not the same long ago as it is now. In today's world, property is seen as some natural right, but if we think about the first steps in the claiming of property in mankind's history, one would have to come to the conclusion that property was probably created, most likely by force.
That's just my two cents. I don't claim to have the answers, but this is just something that has been itching in the back of my might for quite some time and I wanted to share this with you all. What do you think?