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Property Is Impossible

June 25 2023

Below is my compressed proof from Chapter IV of the 1840 Work of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon "What is Property."

NOTE: This is a work in progress with the date above as the most recent update

  1. Property demands Something for Nothing

    A watchmaker permanently exchanges 10 grams of gold for 50 grams of steel from a blacksmith. The watchmaker expends 1000 hours shaping the steel into a watch. The entirety of the watch is permanently surrendered for the equivalent of 20 grams of gold to a watch buyer. The exchange is complete and the watchmaker has received 10 grams of gold for the 1000 hours they spent laboring. The 10 grams of gold then represents what the value of the watchmaker's time is. This is simple commerce and exchange.

    Lets now observe the process of magical thinking: The watch buyer now wants something for nothing - to become a watch landlord. He creates nothing but anxiety through persuasion (propaganda that you are worse without a watch) and devises a scheme in which he will exchange your real property for temporary structured posession of their property.

    Here's a great example of a scam artist showing how to invent demand:

    Unlike the watchmaker, the watch "owner" does not permanently surrender their property in an exchange; this would negate the concept. "Rent" then is the value that the "watch owner" extracts from others without the risk of permanently losing property. This desire for rent has no physical prerequisites - simply an antisocial desire to put oneself into a position of relative power over the other. In doing so, the landlord is promising depravation to the other party. Or to say otherwise, the owner actively dissolves any responsibility they have to care for the other party via a stilted power transaction. This action is scarcely different than trespassing into your victim's home to steal bread.

    Between the "watch owner" and a "watch renter" there is a one way exchange of value. The watch renter, now having surrendered back the watch, is left with a net-reduction on property while the watch owner is left with a net-increase of property. The rent was an extortion based solely upon fraud and violence on the one hand, and weakness and ignorance upon the other. The "watch owner", producing nothing but anxiety by his own labor and producing nothing by his implement (the property not surrendered), receives the excess value of the "watch renter." The only thing that has changed over the course of the exchange was the relateive economic power of the landlord and the renter.

    The act of offering such an exchange, using antisocial skills of persuasion and propaganda, is the moral equivalent of stealing directly, as both require misdirection of attention, misrepresentation of value and foundationally is a deception - as it's attempting to prioritize consumption of a good that contributes less to the long term benefit of the most people <--- there's a core philosophy here I'm flirting with, like utilitarianism.

    People throw their hands up and say "The world is too complicated, I can't figure it out, I'm just trying to survive and am going to do whatever feels right to me. Thus we are back to where we started epistemologically.


  2. Production costs more than it is worth.
  3. Production is proportional to labor, not to property.
  4. Property is Homicide.
  5. Property requires society to devour itself.
  6. Property is the Mother of Tyranny.
  7. in consuming its Receipts, it loses them; in hoarding them, it nullifies them; and in using them as Capital, it turns them against Production.
  8. Accumulation is infinite, and is exercised only over finite quantities.
  9. Powerless against Property.
  10. Negation of equality.

    Copyright (c) 2023 Andrew Kemendo