Is property theft?

I will now simulate an average response that might follow the assertion that, “property is theft”.

“Even animals recognise property rights… you know, territory… I’m sorry, are you legally retarded?”

I understand your point. I would firstly say that we should separate ownership of land, means of production, and capital. Of those, the least legitimate is the ownership of land, because there is only a certain amount of land on this planet and it belongs collectively to the people. Of course people should have their own homes which cannot just be broken into, but the running of that land should be done for the good of the people at large. When rich Arab investors own 20+ properties in London, this is clearly wrong. The means of production I won’t get into here. As for capital and goods (e.g. money, mobile phones, etc.), yes, animals and cavemen in a hunter-gatherer society recognises ‘possession’ but not ‘ownership’ or ‘property’. There’s a key difference there. Having something in your hands means I cannot simply violently rob you or dishonestly deprive you of it – that is natural law. Fair enough. Am I saying we should abolish all property rights? Maybe. Probably not – but in a hunter-gatherer society, the richest man is the strongest and the best hunter. The very smart man may even acquire items to sell and become rich. Even so, the richest man will never be more than 5 or 6 times richer than the poorest. That is natural. In our world, the richest 8 people have as much money as the poorest 50%. The richest man is literally billions of times richer than the poorest. That is artificial, not natural. That is why in 2008 after the financial crisis the government bailed out the banks. That was wrong. We were told that the banks were “too big to fail”. Iceland let their banks fail and had one of the fastest economic recoveries ever. Okay, fine, the UK and the US are very different from Iceland. While I would suggest that private interest groups in government (corruption) were the main reason for our bailing out of the banks, let’s just assume for the sake of argument that the banks were too big to fail. This is exactly the problem; capitalism is an economic system which is propped up by big government, and is designed to screw the poor. Inequality is at a record high in the UK.

It is perpetuated by a corrupt capitalist system. Naturally, a person cannot get billions of times richer than another person. It only happens because of the interference of the state to build this establishment – this system – which is based on the abuse of the labour of the poor: essentially slavery, because there is no consent free from duress.

In the UK, Jeremy Corbyn has proposed a system whereby within a private company, the wage of the lowest-paid employee is tied to no less than the wage of the highest-paid employee. I didn’t like this idea at first, because the idea of a “maximum wage” seems to kill incentive. But a “maximum ratio” doesn’t kill incentive at all, the rich can still get richer, it just means that the poor cannot get left behind.

Is possession theft? No. Is property theft? At least for the rich, in our current system, yes it is.


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