Property

Play and work; childhood and adulthood

It’s odd, how as we grow up, we tend to play less and less. When was the last time you had a game of it, or tag, with friends? Why do we “grow out” of such great things?
Even animals play more when they’re young. Puppies chase their tails, and kittens play with string, but cats and dogs have grown out of it. It’s a natural change.
Yet, we do still play. Sports, computer games, card games all survive into adulthood. Why not all the wonderful running games? I think, the change is, that we want the games to increase, and change, and be games upon games. We want long term improvement and therefore training in the game. We want the game to be part of a bigger game, and so we make cups and leagues.

I think society’s negligence of play is partially responsible for many of today’s problems. Amongst playing children, we find equality, friendship, and freedom. We find much the same among sports playing adults (not so much when sport becomes work). And what about the creative industries/businesses where workers are largely just playing around?
My question is, why don’t we play more? If a child will build an entire house out of Lego, why must the real thing be made drudgery? If children happily build their own toys from mechano, why bother with exploitation and the division of labour in foreign workshops? Why do we work, rather than play?
Capitalism [gasp!]. The demand for “efficiency” has long been at work, forcing man to be a part of a grand machine. The system demands quantity, and hates true quality.
Cost pressure drives the minimization of work, in order to minimize wages. But in doing so, it both ruins work for man through the division of labour, that may otherwise have been done as play (or art), and by reducing the demand for workers, increases their dependency on working the same way.
Arguably I should be blaming the consumers for wanting goods which weren’t made for art/play. To an extent maybe.
But more so, I blame the institution of property. Without this, we would be free to play. We wouldn’t be working on another’s property for his gain, and according to another’s desires; it would be ours to take joy in, and manage for ourselves. Even if it wasn’t for the worker’s own final use, it would be their work (play/art), for their own pleasure, even in the aid of their fellow man. We would all be self-employed, and have the joy and hard work of it.

We desire nearly everything we do to be part of ever greater and greater games. Why not?

I also believe the lack of play this is leading to social issues. There comes a point when working and recovering from work are too much, and there is stress, and there is boredom in work, and boredom in recovery, and there is depression. Or the unemployed have nothing to do, as work is taken, and no good play/art is accepted or available, so video game, watch TV, and little more is available; and therefore, feel unproductive and worthless, leading to depression (unemployed people are more likely to commit suicide). One in seven people in Scotland are on anti-depressants, and rates are similar elsewhere, showing how dire the situation is.
Lack of play and art is obviously not the only cause, but no one gets stressed or depressed from over play.

Here are a couple vaguely related scriptures

let all your things be done in love.
1Corinthians 16:14

Perhaps I should have defined play earlier. I consider it an act of love. I believe it’s largely with God, as it enjoys creation, but also about sharing with humans.

‘verily I say to you, whoever may not receive the reign of God, as a child—he may not enter into it’
Mark 10:15

Accept the reign with joy and humility, like children. If this reign is among us, let us all be like children.

I often feel like we grow into fools. Childhood made more sense. But I also feel, that the important part of childhood never does grow up or disappear; it’s just not listened to as much.

God bless you.

Capitalism vs Communism, Property vs Belongings

A lot of people misunderstand capitalism. Capitalism isn’t about profit, or GDP, or getting rich, or greed, though they are all part of it. Capitalism is about property.
Many socialists and communists criticise capitalism with poor understanding and arguments, and few take on its foundation. I will now attempt to lay down its foundation.

You begin with the premise of property– each person may have complete control over what s/he owns, and may use that control to whatever ends they wish. As long as this is one of your premises, you will either end up with capitalism (anarcho-capitalism?) or a contradiction.
Now, within each person’s control of a possession, they have the power to hand over control. So you can trade.
And importantly, no object has any value of its own. This is a common misunderstanding. You never pay for anything in itself: you pay for someone else to hand over their power to you. If you paid for the object itself, where would the money go? And this value is subjective.
So, one man (we’ll call him No1) has an ornamental (but functional) tractor and many fields, and another (No2) has a field and bags of gold. No2’s field is on an island with No1’s tractor, and No1’s fields are on the mainland. No2 offers enough gold to buy a thousand better tractors on the mainland, because he doesn’t want to transport a tractor to the island, but No1 says no, because his tractor was his dead grandfather’s. The objects value was different to the two. Is there anything wrong with keeping your heirloom to make you happy?
It is the same with a business. A (monopolist) farmer might burn some of his crops, despite hunger around him, because he wants more money to be happy. It is in his power to do with as he will.
A nice note on capitalism, is that because value is subjective, so is the idea of being rich. For one man, money makes you rich, for another, it’s friends, family, kindness, or anything.

‘for where your treasure is, there will be also your heart.’
Matthew 6:21

Each actor in the market uses their own power, to their own ends. Whether consumer, employer, investor, employee or anyone else. (If you accept the government’s possession of the land and the people, they do too)
Capitalism flows logically from ownership. Anyone who wants to attack capitalism, must attack property.
Peter Kropotkin, the great anarcho-communist, understood this. When other communists, socialists, and anarchists, suggested any form of ownership, trade, or money (“work notes”), he told them it would lead to tyranny or capitalism.

So what argument can be levelled against property itself?
Property is based on increasing freedom. The argument is that, if a man in his freedom can change an object, for his past freedom to be sustained he must have complete authority over the object. For the freedom to change an object to exist, that change must be protected.
But this premise is false. Freedom to do, doesn’t require the removal of the freedom to undo.
And property, in the privatisation of freedom over an object, is violent. You cannot remove freedom by free action in the past. It makes no sense.
How can property be gained by being first to act upon it? What would count as acting upon it? How come such a right is eternal, lasting beyond the actor’s life. No, property rights are nonsense. Property began when men threatened violence for touching an object.
That said, I respect that some things mean more to some people, and I don’t want to upset them. I call this, belonging. Heirlooms belong in families. Everyone belongs at their own home.

‘We belong together.’
Mariah Carey

When you respect possession, you respect violence, and papers. When you respect belongings, you respect people’s feelings, their hearts.
All that being said, I don’t intend on stealing (or expropriating) anything. Just living by love, regardless of the idea of property, but keeping in mind those who consider themselves owners. It’s still not kind to steal.
Arguably, using property in love would work out as not treating property as your own anyway. I like this idea, because it means the problem of what to do with property and of property being false, solve each other if you live by love (which I believe you should).
Love cannot be bought. It cannot be forced. It cannot be tempted out. It is definitively free. All things in love are free.

God bless you.

Anarcho-capitalism vs freedom

“Anarcho“-capitalism is not anarchist, because it’s not really free. Every other anarchist believes everyone has the freedom to bread, to education, to housing, to work, to life and so on. Anarcho-capitalists only believe in the right to private property. That is, they only believe in the right of each man to dominate as much as he wishes.
Property rights and all other rights are incompatible, because one says one man may control everything for his own good, while the other shouts, “all things for all men“.
But how will I have any privacy without private property? Because while you can abolish property, (because it’s on paper) you cannot abolish belongings (because they’re in hearts and minds). If you need to know the difference, listen to ‘we belong together‘ by Mariah Carey. A farm belongs to its farmer, not its landlord, and food belongs to the hungry.
Now to leave concepts and get practical. I‘m not going to take from anyone’s property, because it wouldn’t be kind. But I should disrespect all property, especially my own, and respect other’s belongings.
So I won’t be breaking into your house, or stealing loaves from the bakers. But I may walk through private fields or forests, and pick grains and berries as I go, and I may give all I have to those in need.
But really, my anarchy is based entirely on love, and love is the only principle it needs.