As always, I found the lecture to be more interesting than the book as it reinforces all of the main ideas some of which I don’t always understand right away. Also, during lectures there’s always statements that capture my attention and get me thinking. This week one of them was the fact that when you put labor into something it becomes yours. Ever since Rousseau I’ve been thinking a lot of about property and how it came to be and a lot about why we accept others taking property as there own. Like I understand that when you live in a country, like what Christina mentioned, you’re giving consent to the rules that apply to that country, but at the same time who gave consent for our country to even become that country with it’s rules. The Earth is supposed to belong to everyone so why doesn’t every single person get a share of the money that comes from selling land or why are we forced to abide by the law when we haven’t agreed to giving our land away in the first place. Who cares if someone discovers it? That doesn’t give them automatic rights to that piece of earth. And even if I create something, like the example Christina made, the materials I used still belong to the earth so the object I’ve created doesn’t necessarily belong to me just because I’ve put in the labor to make it. I might be less willing to give it up, but it’s still not really mine.

Ok those were the two main issues I had

Bye bye

1 thought on “Paine

  1. Hey, nice reflections here! the issue of what legitimates private property is an important and complex one, and I haven’t really looked into it carefully myself. Rousseau seems to suggest that it is illegitimate, and that it comes about just by usurpation of lands by those who have the power to do so. Though in his later work, The Social Contract, he doesn’t speak like this, and suggests that the laws made by the people as a legislative body can create legitimate property (I guess if they all vote to have it exist, then it’s legitimated thereby).

    Not everyone agrees with Locke’s idea of labour making property, of course, and capitalism doesn’t work this way: we can labour on products or services but we still don’t own those products or the profits from them or services, but the owners of the business do so instead. In that case, the basis of the property in the product or service supplied by the labour of others seems to be that you purchase the original materials, the building, etc., as well as the labour of others in the form of wages. So there, property is created by paying for something (which is the case for much of the property we own today, I think).

    There’s lots more to think about here, but it might be better as a topic of discussion in seminar!

    Could you set up the checkbox that allows people who comment to get an email if there are replies? Go to the dashboard, then “plugins,” and then activate “subscribe to comments.”

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