Monday, 5 December 2016

Meaning of Property

Property simply means what is proper to you, in the French sense of what rightfully (and properly) belongs to you (ce qui m'est propre).

Your body properly belongs to you and land (and its fruits) that has been occupied and cultivated by you and your people for generations evidently also properly belong to you. 

John Locke justified property in the shape of whatever you mix your labour with, such as picking an apple from a tree in public land, is properly yours.

Thus, for John Locke, building a house on land that does not belong to anyone would mean that house and the land it occupies would be yours in the eyes of Natural Law.

Today, however, property, i.e. exclusive rights to objects, works and land, is acquired largely through money's purchase. Of course in the case of artistic and intellectual productions these by right belong to the creators.

In a Property Law class I attended years ago I came across a definition according to which property is the legally sanctioned right to exclude others from the enjoyment of a thing backed up by the State.

In other words the State is in a position to punish you if you interfere with someone else's property. 

Property law is likely the fundamental basis of all man-made law, everything else stemming from it.

And even in the case of Natural Law it is claimed that all natural law rights are in essence property rights and natural law wrongs all different forms of theft of property. 

The expression private property is interesting because in its formulation it suggests the notion of privation, i.e. it is your right to deprive others of your private property since, as we saw, property means being able to exclude others because property entails exclusive rights to those things that are proper to you the proprietor

The fact we still live under money's empire translates in modern forms of property that have nothing to do with land, goods and the body but creations which can be patented or fall under the remit of copyright laws. 

In a moneyless and moral community, there would be no desire nor need to have exclusive rights to creations as these would be freely given to be shared among the community's members, contributing to that community's welfare. 

It could also be said that in a moral community, a communist commune so to speak, things would be shared equally among its members, not coercively and centrally as in Soviet Bolshevism, but freely and locally because such would be the people's desire, understanding as they do that sharing is caring. 

The question of private property, expressed as it can be in the deprivation of others from the enjoyment of land and natural goods that are freely given in the first place, has historically been contentious and indeed continues to be so. 

For example Nestlé does not see water as a human right but as something they are entitled to privatise which is to say to deprive others from except in return for monetary compensation (if that). 

It does not take a Tolkienesque imagination to see the potential for abuse in so depriving others, e.g. preventing a stream from flowing into lower areas on the grounds that it passes through your bit of land first.

A strong case could also be made that most wars are essentially wars over property, i.e. access to land and natural resources. 

A question as to how one could defend one's property in a stateless society is also difficult to answer and is basically the topic of the film Seven Samurai, where a peasant community who get the fruit of their land raided by thieves seek the services of mercenaries to defend them. 

Thomas Hobbes justified the State's origins as a contract whereby each relinquishes his personal sovereignty to a Leviathan, Big Brotheresque institution so as to be protected by the latter against being preyed on by other individuals, man being a wolf for man (homo homini lupus est). 

Of course this leads to the ridiculous result of statism as being
the brilliant idea that we give a small group of people the right to kidnap, imprison, harass, steal from, and kill people so that we can be protected from people who kidnap, harass, steal and kill people. 
It seems to me the question of property is one of the most complex philosophical problems in existence of which I have only scratched the surface in this blog post. 

Popularity as Measure of Quality?

These days popularity is generally interpreted as a measure of quality. 

This view assumes that the masses who make things popular have good taste, moral discernment and a wide knowledge of the areas in which they are interested in or entertained by.

That this is in fact the case is most doubtful.  

It could also be argued that popularity comes with mass exposure however much that mass exposure is undeserved and unrelated to the presence or not of quality.

For example McDonald's remains a popular 'food' joint but, while they may enjoy their products, most of its customers know it to be poor quality food, at least nutritionally. 

Moreover quality is not always what is desired. Witness the many individuals who watch TV programmes they know to be of poor quality but nonetheless entertain them and bring them pleasure and some form or release from the pressures of life. 

The desire for quality in art, food, music, literature, information, even entertainment is possibly an acquired drive, rather than a default one, requiring skills of discernment, self-knowledge, active research and mindfulness that are won through effort rather than being innate.   

God as Symbol

The word God can usefully be seen as a symbol for the beginning of time, the so-called uncaused cause as Manly P. Hall put it in his book Lectures on Ancient Philosophy, or indeed the uncreated being as Heidegger put it, as well as the conscious creative intelligence of the cosmos and its laws.

The same can be said of God's great adversary, Satan. Lucifer too can be seen as a symbol, either as a well-meaning promethean light bearer (from the Latin lux ferre, to bring light) defying God's (or the gods') tyranny or as an ill-intentioned inverter of God's truth expressed as it is in Natural Law and Morality. 

Lucifer's true status, whether he be a friend or a foe of mankind, seems ambiguous to me - perhaps his role is to awake men from their slumber and slavery through the art of thinking - but I have no doubt that practicing self-titled Luciferians and Satanists are for their part fiendish foes of mankind's moral and spiritual enlightenments. 

Freedom in Peril: World War 2 Poster

"Freedom is in peril. Defend it with all your might."
The content of this World War 2 British poster may be commended, even though the irony of it emanating from the enslaver that is Her Majesty's Government is not lost on me. I agree that freedom is in peril and must be defended, with force if necessary. But this includes defending freedom against governmental coercion. 

However many people, myself included, seem perfectly content to comply heart and soul with an immoral system. Even if not in thought and emotion, then in deed. For compliance is (political) action, however passive in intent. For
"politics is not like the nursery. In politics, obedience and support are the same." (Hannah Arendt)
In addition the word freedom has been used time and again precisely to enslave which is typical of the inversion techniques of the sorcerers that are social controllers who systematically and daily turn truth on its head. 

For Satan is the inverter of God's truth, both 'God' and 'Satan" understood in this case conceptually and symbolically, not religiously. 

(See post Black Magic as Inversion for more elaboration on these last points). 

Poor Man's Philosophy

At the risk of sounding elitist and classist, I will say that getting stupid drunk and using mind altering substances for recreational purposes rather than for purposes of self-exporation and self-knowledge is the poor man's way to philosophise. 

No Money in Philosophy

Although there's no money in philosophy, there's plenty of mon-eye (spiritual vision) to be gained from it. 

People who think monetarily will interpret the fact that no money can be effectively made from philosophy as a sign that it is of no great use or social benefit and therefore an activity of pure self-indulgence bringing no (monetary) value to the world. 

While philosophising can be self-indulgent I do not regard self-indulgence as a bad thing (rather the opposite) because, for one, I no longer identify with puritanical tables of evaluation where life is only worthy if always working, striving and seeking to prove itself in conventional terms.

Moreover, the fact no money is to be made from philosophising, despite the difficulties this of course creates for survival in our monetary system, is symptomatic for me of philosophy being too good for money and above monetary valuations and considerations. 

I would indeed be most suspicious of not to say surprised at a philosopher who charges money for his insights, especially if these insights are to do with truth and morality rather than how to be more successful or popular. 

For truth and morality are not popular priorities for the majority and this majority will rather spend its money, not on hard-won wisdom, but on lies that make them feel better and help them achieve greater worldly success and egoic power. 

This was indeed the operative difference, according to Plato's works, between Socrates, the philosopher who charged nothing for his services to wisdom, midwife as he was to souls pregnant with truth, and the much sought-after sophists (i.e. experts) of his time who charged money for their knowledge to ambitious young men seeking to make a name for themselves in public affairs. 

Plus ça change as they say. 

Heidegger, himself a paid university professor who had to make many an academic sacrifice before becoming free to write what he wanted, was aware of the absence of financial reward for philosophising when he said
"it is entirely correct to say you can't 'do' anything with philosophy. The problem is that this is seen as the final say on the matter. For a counter question arises in the shape of what philosophy can do with us."
In addition, the vast majority, not being deep thinkers, perhaps finding thinking unpleasant and therefore never becoming adept at philosophical fine tuning, see little value in philosophising and its lack of worldly rewards but I am one hundred percent with Heidegger when he wrote in Thinker as Poet
"That a thinking is, ever and suddenly -
whose amazement could fathom it?" (my italics)
Thinking can indeed smack of magic when it influences change to occur with Higher Will (Natural Law) and gives heartfelt energy to others. Not only that but deep thinking - as opposed to superficial blinking - is rare and therefore, being rare, precious. Never feel you are not good enough to think philosophically because you would be surprised at how few actually do so, whether out of cowardice or a lack of imagination.

And it could be legitimately asked whether what Heidegger calls 'prevailing man' has done too much and thought too little, leading to the disjunctive and tortured world we currently live in.  

Chubby Women

As a heterosexual man, I am partial to fuller-figured women and am often bemused by how so many women view their natural plumpness and roundness as an unattractive feature. 

There are of course many reasons for this, many men liking thinner body types and fat is often associated with unhealthiness (although being overly skinny can be just as symptomatic of poor physical health) but in my opinion this phenomenon is much more due to current, practically anorexic ideals of beauty in the entertainment and fashion worlds as well as women's own sexual preferences regarding men. 

Indeed it might well be the case that many women preferring leaner, more muscular men they think they would be more attractive if themselves leaner and more toned. 

Yet in my opinion what suits men does not suit women and I do associate the features of plumpness and roundness with increased femininity and female attractiveness as did so many artists of days past - witness the classic and ancient example of the Venus of Willendorf.

Large Souls Squander Themselves

It is to German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who knew a thing or two about these things, that we owe the sublime insight according to which it is in the nature of large, great souls to squander themselves in their care for others and the world. 

Great souls squander themselves because unlike the hoards of shrunken and tiny souls in the world, as evidenced by so much commentary in the mainstream media, their concern is not what Nietzsche called petty prudence and egoic self-service but higher ideals of truth, morality, beauty, people's welfare, sharing and so on. 

Great souls thus need be careful who they give themselves over to and perhaps it is a good idea for them to use their magnanimity (large soul-ness) in artistic and philosophical work rather than humanitarian ideals because this could bring them to ruin, the majority of people constituting 'crooked timber' as Immanuel Kant so fantastically put it. 

In other words large souls need to learn to put themselves first, however much this might offend their generous and altruistic sensibility, and use their large soul-ness to their own advantage and fulfilment through allowing it to express itself in works, words and deeds without falling into disrepair through over extension and self-squandering. 

For unfortunately some if not many people will take advantage of and exploit those who are generous of spirit for their own selfish gain and as I've written before good hearts can be most naive and blind as to the wicked and base motivations of the heartless, not themselves being of a wicked or base disposition. 

What You Care About Can Destroy You

I have often extolled the importance of care along with contemporary thinker Mark Passio but it is unfortunately the case, life being the bitch that she can be (see Life as Bitch Teacher), that what you care about has the capacity to destroy you.

For example something bad happening to a loved one of yours that you deeply care about can cause you much personal damage and lead to your wanting to be dead. 

Caring too much about truth, factual and philosophical, also has it heavy price tag as it can lead to madness, unhappiness, isolation, anger, persecution and all kinds of neurosis. 

Caring too much about your professional career can also come at a heavy price if it leads you to neglect other facets of your personal life. 

And most people have experienced the most unpleasant and difficult phenomenon of caring deeply for someone who didn't care for them in return. 

When something or someone I've cared (too) much about comes to bite me back in the arse I sometimes wish I was a psychopath, devoid of caring emotions and therefore the pain and hurt these can lead to. 

Yet other times I believe that all the pain is worth it and that I'd rather have care and emotions, even if these can lead to suffering, than be a heartless piece of garbage. 

For without care and the positive emotions it can bring, genuine joy at life and people would likely never manifest and one would amount to what T.S. Eliot termed a 'hollow man'. 

Without care, all goodness in the world would disappear and in fact the world itself would end. 

For world always means spiritual world. Only the earth would remain, albeit possibly in a devastated fashion - a wasteland if you will.

And it was Nietzsche who said
"The wasteland is growing. Woe to him harbours wastelands!" 
This 'him' is of course the superman, the one who must inhabit the darkness (i.e. the wasteland) in order to reach to the light (i.e. the oasis). 

Life's Too Long

People often say life's too short to be pissed off all the time, to be uptight, to sweat over the small stuff, to do what one doesn't love doing etc. 

My view, however, is that life's too long for such things because if life were short then being uptight, neurotic and unhappy would be of little consequence, as you would die before suffering the consequences. 

It's because life is long that one needs to be relaxed and in tune with one's inner being since otherwise life would be one almost-never-ending journey of personal hell. 

Am I Crazy?

It's likely that many who read my blog posts think I'm crazy and, to be perfectly honest, if I had not read the books that I have read, listened to the podcasts I have listened to or watched the videos I have watched, I too would think I was crazy.

For truth is stranger than fiction. 

Men & Women as Weird Creatures

Many heterosexual men who've been in relationships with women will take the view that women are 'weird creatures' and that they can't live with them or without them.

In turn many heterosexual women who've had relationships with men will take the view that men too are 'weird creatures' and that they can't live with them or without them. 

But it is also possible that someone who's been in relationships with men and women would take the view that both genders are weird.

In addition gay men may find men to be weird creatures and gay women women to be weird creatures.

It would seem that it all depends on who you have relationships with since it is through relationships, and the emotional interpersonal neurosis that usually comes with them, that you see people in all their weirdness, heterosexual people thereby assuming it has something to do with someone's sex rather than it being generally true of everyone.

My contention, you will have guessed, is that both men and women are weird creatures because humans are weird.