Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A conversation...

... with Dizzy about this "owning your own life" axiom.
Diz: "Have you got on to body parts yet?"

DK: "Body parts? No."

Diz: "Who owns your arm?"

DK: "Me, surely."

Diz: "Who decides what your arm does?"

DK: "Me."

Diz: "So who owns the body that makes your material life?"

DK: "Me."

Diz: "So it's not an axiom at all."

Good point well made, I think. He then pointed me to a section of John Locke's Second Treatise of Civil Government.
Sec. 27. Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.

Make of it what you will.


Paulie said...

Hey, DK! Rather than this meaningless exchange with Dizzy, and these post-hoc rationalisations that you keep finding, why don't you nip back to that 'sophistry of liberty' thread of yours and let us know if there are any of Sacerdote's points that you disagree with?

Just for the record, you know. I'm just looking to see if there are any points on which you aren't an actual feudalist, that's all (you minarchist monarchist, you....).

Devil's Kitchen said...


These "post-hoc rationalisations" are fairly central to the debate that is going on in that thread.

And I don't quite understand what you mean by "actual feudalist"; could you amplify?

If you mean that do I think that the majority of the electorate are wrong, then yes, I do.

However, I take your point that we live in a democracy wherein people have continuously voted for more state interference. This does not mean that I cannot disagree with them, nor that I should not be able to say so.

Oh, and, no, I pretty much agree with Sacerdote. Unfortunately, I am rather busy with paying work at present and don't have time to get into the debate properly.


P.S. I know that you are very proud of inventing the word "bloggertarian", but it really is redundant.

Tom said...

I'm sorry? You own your arm? What on earth does that mean?

I kind of got "I own my life" as a well-intentioned, if ultimately counterproductive, response to slavery, with its repulsive claim that it made sense to think of human beings as being owned. But who the hell is trying to use your arm? And is "But I own my arm!" really the best you can do? Why not just slap them? Is it because that would be an illegitimate infringement of their freedom?

Anonymous said...

Claiming your ownership of your body does not implicitly grant you a right to do with it as you will. As non-axiomatic as that may sound.

Secondly Locke's Second Treatise's primary premise is a belief in God making us all equal under His Natural Law, including the principle that 'Natural Law' (i.e. Gods Law) is superior to Human Law.

Its an argument from God DK. Not the traditional starting position for Libertarianism. Also Locke has been described by several recent theorists as being, remarkably, fundamentally very close to Hobbes Leviathan, despite Locke's argument for Limited Government. Which is certainly not in any shape or form, Liberal/Libertarian.

Newmania said...

If we all own our bodies best not become enslaved by the predations of Capitalism then ?

Bag said...

My mind boggles. I had not thought of taking it that far. At which point then do you not own parts of yourself.

For arguments sake. You own your sperm and the women own the eggs. Does that mean that my parents actually own half of me each? My mind is boggling here.

One of the things about owning like this that I don't like is the fact that our current government could easily take ownership and then where would be be? We could easily find the fine print in a loan says that in the event of non payment we will take ownership of your body and sell the parts.

Just thinking out loud.

There comes a point on every path where the rules just stop. I think this is one for libertarians.

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