PROPERTY AS A HUMAN BEHAVIOR
by Bill Joslin
A demonstrated definition of property doesn’t result in a less precise criteria for deciding property.
The demonstrated definition: i.e. the investment to seek a future benefit to the extent one would seek restitution or retaliation if said investment has been imposed upon, damaged or destroyed.
This definition has two sides to it – the investment (which is demonstrated) and the willingness protect the investment. Another way to describe property is the term “demonstrated interests”.
By this we have a clear means of calculating (not interpreting) property and a measure for imposiition.
People would not be able to claim their feelings as a property because there is no demonstrated investment.
The demonstrated definition of property closes the door to discretionary interpretation (abuse) and opens the door to calculation. It accomplishes the opposite of what you are concerned about.
So think of it this way – the point of a demonstrated definition of property wasn’t to expand property rights beyond material possessions etc. (This isn’t a ploy.)
It begins with clarifying the causes for human conflict, i.e. what inspires retaliation and why do we retaliate.
By doing this it becomes clear older versions of property definitions (possession i.e. property equates to ownership, exclusive control) and mixed labour theories (material becomes property when we mix our labor with it) are partially correct but highly flawed.
Simply put, property exists as a behaviour humans exhibit toward objects. And once the behaviour was discovered then it became clear that humans behave this way toward more than just objects.
Our language use exemplifies this. We use the possessive for all sorts of things which we don’t consider property by traditional definitions… my wife, my daughter, my religion, my idea, my friend etc… And in all of these cases we have investment and willingness to maintain (reinvest), protect if threatened, and retaliate if damaged.
So this isn’t word games, it runs deeper with thicker foundations than just “changing definitions”.
(Much like “health” is an abstract, it is also something we’ve incrementally discovered, a demonstrated definition of property exists as an incremental discovery of a real abstraction.)