Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Propriedade, Coacção, etc.

Para todos aqueles com quem debati temas como "aquisição original de propriedade", "o que é coacção?", "liberdade positiva e negativa", "o que são trocas livres", etc, um texto de Kevin Carson sobre o(s) assunto(s):

Point 3. All the parties to the debate tend to throw around the term coercion, in discussing whether coercion is essential to collective ownership of the means of production, without addressing the prior question of what constitutes coercion. Now I would argue that whether the establishment and enforcement of collective ownership is "coercive" depends on what set of property rights rules you start out with. Forcibly invading someone's "rightful" property, by definition, is coercion; but using force to defend one's "rightful" property claims against invasion is not. So the question of whether force is coercive depends on who the "rightful owner" is. When the parties to the dispute adhere to two separate sets of rules for property rights, they will disagree on who is the aggressor and who is the defender.

For example: the Lockean system of ownership, like all others, requires the use of violence as an ultimate sanction to enforce property titles and contracts. An adherent of the Ingalls-Tucker doctrine of ownership based on occupancy and use (like me) would consider the actual occupant of a piece of land to be its rightful owner, and an absentee landlord's claim to rent to be analogous to a state's demand for taxes. Any attempt to collect rent on the self-styled "landlord's" part, it follows, would be a coercive invasion of the rights of the owner-occupant. But the Lockean would regard the occupant, who refused to pay rent, as the invader of the absentee landlord's property rights. To complicate the issue further, even radical Lockeans like Rothbard considered personal occupancy and use to be necessary for initial appropriation; so the state's enforcement of titles based on grants of large tracts of unmodified land would be an act of aggression against the legitimate first homesteaders. Even to a Rothbardian, many if not most present land titles are illegitimate, with justice being on the side of those legally classified as "trespassers" or "squatters."

In Chapter Five of Mutualist Political Economy, I included an extended discussion of property rights theory that relied heavily on "Hogeye Bill" Orton's commentary from sundry message boards. According to Orton, no particular theory of property rights can be logically deduced from the axiom of self-ownership. Rather, self-ownership can interact with a variety of property rights templates to produce alternative economic orders in a stateless society. So whether rightful ownership of a piece of land is determined by Lockean, mutualist, Georgist, or syndicalist rules is a matter of local convention. Questions of coercion can only be settled once this prior question is addressed. And since there is no a priori principle from which any particular set of rules can be deduced, we can only judge between them on consequentialist grounds: what other important values do they tend to promote or hinder?

So it's quite conceivable that non-severable, non-marketable shares in a collectively owned enterprise might depend, not on contract among the members, but on the property rights convention of the local community. Saying that such an arrangement is "coercion" is begging the question of whether the Lockean rules for initial acquisition and transfer of property are the only self-evidently true ones.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

direito a propriedade ou não, eis a questão.

eu sou a favor como prodhoun do direito de posse.

propriedade e posse são coisas diferentes.