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Self-ownership

Self-ownership, also known as sovereignty of the individual or individual sovereignty, is the concept of property in one's own person, expressed as the moral or natural right of a person to have bodily integrity and be the exclusive controller of one's own body and life. Self-ownership is a central idea in several political philosophies that emphasize individualism, such as libertarianism, liberalism, and anarchism.

Contents

The self

American libertarian socialist Stephen Pearl Andrews frequently discussed the sovereignty of the individual in his writings. In The Science of Society, he says that "socialism, which aims to make all society a body of proprietors – giving each man the ownership of everything essential to his development – establishes the Sovereignty of the Individual." Andrews considered the sovereignty of the individual to be "the basis of harmonious intercourse amongst equals, precisely as the equal Sovereignty of States is the basis of harmonious intercourse between nations mutually recognizing their independence of each other."

Discussion of the boundary of self with respect to ownership and responsibility has been explored by legal scholar Meir Dan-Cohen in his essays on The Value of Ownership and Responsibility and the Boundaries of the Self.[undue weight?discuss] The emphasis of this work illuminates the phenomenology of ownership and our common usage of personal pronouns to apply to both body and property—this serves as the folk basis for legal conceptions and debates about responsibility and ownership.[non-primary source needed] Another view holds that labor is alienable because it can be contracted out, thus alienating it from the self. In this view, the choice of a person to voluntarily sell oneself into slavery is also preserved by the principle of self-ownership.

Labour markets and private property

For anarcho-communist political philosopher L. Susan Brown: "Liberalism and anarchism are two political philosophies that are fundamentally concerned with individual freedom yet differ from one another in very distinct ways. Anarchism shares with liberalism a commitment to individual freedom while rejecting liberalism's competitive property relations". Scholar Ellen Meiksins Wood says that "there are doctrines of individualism that are opposed to Lockean individualism... and non-Lockean individualism may encompass socialism".

Right-libertarian conceptions of self-ownership extend the concept to include control of private property as part of the self. According to Gerald Cohen, "the libertarian principle of self–ownership says that each person enjoys, over himself and his powers, full and exclusive rights of control and use, and therefore owes no service or product to anyone else that he has not contracted to supply".

Philosopher Ian Shapiro says that labor markets affirm self-ownership because if self-ownership were not recognized, then people would not be allowed to sell the use of their productive capacities to others. He says that the individual sells the use of his productive capacity for a limited time and conditions but continues to own what he earns from selling the use of that capacity and the capacity itself, thereby retaining sovereignty over himself while contributing to economic efficiency. A common view within classical liberalism is that sovereign-minded individuals usually assert a right of private property external to the body, reasoning that if a person owns themselves, they own their actions, including those that create or improve resources, therefore they own their own labour and the fruits thereof.

In Human Action, Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises argues that labor markets are the rational conclusion of self-ownership and argues that collective ownership of labor ignores differing values for the labor of individuals:

Of course, people believe that there is an essential difference between the tasks incumbent upon the comrades of the socialist commonwealth and those incumbent upon slaves or serfs. The slaves and serfs, they say, toiled for the benefit of an exploiting lord. But in a socialist system, the produce of labor goes to society of which the toiler himself is a part; here the worker works for himself, as it were. What this reasoning overlooks is that the identification of the individual comrades and the totality of all comrades with the collective entity pocketing the produce of all work is merely fictitious. Whether the ends which the community's officeholders are aiming at agreeing or disagreeing with the wishes and desires of the various comrades are of minor importance. The main thing is that the individual's contribution to the collective entity's wealth is not requited in the shape of wages determined by the market.

Ludwig von Mises

Other scholars are critical of the idea of private property, specifically within anarchism. The anarchist Oscar Wilde said:

For the recognition of private property has really harmed Individualism, and obscured it, by confusing a man with what he possesses. It has led Individualism entirely astray. It has made gain, not growth its aim. So that man thought that the important thing was to have, and did not know that the important thing is to be. The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is...With the abolition of private property, then, we shall have true, beautiful, healthy Individualism. Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things, and the symbols for things. One will live. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all".

Oscar Wilde

Within anarchism, the concept of wage slavery refers to a situation perceived as quasi-voluntary slavery, where a person's livelihood depends on wages, especially when the dependence is total and immediate. It is a negatively connoted term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor by focusing on similarities between owning and renting a person. The term "wage slavery" has been used to criticize economic exploitation and social stratification, with the former seen primarily as unequal bargaining power between labor and capital (particularly when workers are paid comparatively low wages, e.g. in sweatshops) and the latter as a lack of workers' self-management, fulfilling job choices and leisure in an economy. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, thinkers such as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Karl Marx elaborated the comparison between wage labor and slavery in the context of a critique of societal property not intended for active personal use while Luddites emphasized the dehumanization brought about by machines. Emma Goldman famously denounced "wage slavery" by saying: "The only difference is that you are hired slaves instead of block slaves".

Within left-libertarianism, scholars such as Hillel Steiner, Peter Vallentyne, Philippe Van Parijs, Michael Otsuka and David Ellerman root an economic egalitarianism in the classical liberal concepts of self-ownership and land appropriation, combined with geoist or physiocratic views regarding the ownership of land and natural resources (e.g. those of John Locke and Henry George). Left-libertarians "maintain that the world's natural resources were initially unowned or belonged equally to all, and it is illegitimate for anyone to claim exclusive private ownership of these resources to the detriment of others. Such private appropriation is legitimate only if everyone can appropriate an equal amount, or if those who appropriate more are taxed to compensate those who are thereby excluded from what was once common property". This position is articulated in contrast to the position of other libertarians who argue for a right to appropriate parts of the external world based on sufficient use, even if this homesteading yields unequal results. Some left-libertarians of the Steiner–Vallentyne type support some form of income redistribution on the grounds of a claim by each individual to be entitled to an equal share of natural resources.

John Locke wrote in his Two Treatises on Government that "every man has a Property in his own Person". Libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick interprets Locke as saying that the individual "has a right to decide what would become of himself and what he would do, and as having a right to reap the benefits of what he did". Josiah Warren was the first who wrote about the "sovereignty of the individual".

  1. Andrews, Stephen Pearl (1888). The Science of Society. Sarah E. Holmes. p. 155.
  2. Andrews, Stephen Pearl (1938). The Sovereignty of the Individual. Freeman Press. p. 18.
  3. Dan-Cohen, Meir (2002). Harmful Thoughts: Essays on Law, Self, and Morality. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691090078. JSTOR j.ctt7shdn.
  4. "Toward a Libertarian Theory of Inalienability: A Critique of Rothbard, Barnett, Smith, Kinsella, Gordon, and Epstein". Mises Institute. 30 July 2014. Retrieved28 October 2021.
  5. L. Susan Brown. The Politics of Individualism: Liberalism, Liberal Feminism, and Anarchism. Black Rose Books Ltd. 1993
  6. Ellen Meiksins Wood. Mind and Politics: An Approach to the Meaning of Liberal and Socialist Individualism. University of California Press. 1972. ISBN 0-520-02029-4. p. 7
  7. Cited in The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy. 2004. Blackwell Publishing. p. 630
  8. Shapiro, Ian. 2001. Democratic Justice. Yale University Press. pp. 145–46
  9. Harris, J. W. 1996. Property and Justice. Oxford University Press. p. 189
  10. von Mises, Ludwig (18 August 2014). "Work and Wages". Human Action(PDF). p. 628. Retrieved7 September 2017.
  11. Danson, Lawrence (8 October 1998), "'The Soul of Man Under Socialism'", Wilde's IntentionsThe Artist in his Criticism, Oxford University Press, pp. 148–167, retrieved28 October 2021
  12. Ellerman 1992.
  13. "wage slave". merriam-webster.com. Retrieved4 March 2013.
  14. "wage slave". dictionary.com. Retrieved4 March 2013.
  15. Sandel 1996, p. 184.
  16. "Conversation with Noam Chomsky". Globetrotter.berkeley.edu. p. 2. Retrieved28 June 2010.
  17. Hallgrimsdottir & Benoit 2007.
  18. "The Bolsheviks and Workers Control, 1917–1921: The State and Counter-revolution". Spunk Library. Retrieved4 March 2013.
  19. Proudhon 1890.
  20. Marx 1969, Chapter VII.
  21. Goldman 2003, p. 283.
  22. Steiner, Hillel (1994). An Essay on Rights. Oxford: Blackwell.
  23. (2000). Left Libertarianism and Its Critics: The Contemporary Debate. In Vallentyne, Peter; and Steiner, Hillel. London: Palgrave.
  24. Van Parijs, Philippe (2009). Marxism Recycled. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  25. Otsuka, Michael (2005). Libertarianism without Inequality. New York: Oxford University Press.
  26. Ellerman, David (1992). Property and Contract in Economics: The Case for Economic Democracy. Cambridge MA: Blackwell.
  27. Ellerman, David (1990). The Democratic Worker-Owned Firm. London:Unwin Hyman.
  28. Rothbard, Murray N. (1982). The Ethics of Liberty. Atlantic Heights, NJ: Humanities.
  29. (2000). Left-Libertarianism and Its Critics: The Contemporary Debate. In Steiner, Hillel and Vallentyne, Peter. London: Macmillan p. 1.
  30. (2004). Handbook of Political Theory. In Gaus, Gerald F. and Kukathas, Chandran. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. p. 128.
  31. Olsaretti, Serena. 2004. Liberty, Desert and the Market. Cambridge University Press. p. 91
  32. Dan-Cohen, Meir. 2002. Harmful Thoughts: Essays on Law, Self, and Morality. Princeton University Press. p. 296
  33. "Josiah Warren Manifesto". dwardmac.pitzer.edu. Retrieved28 October 2021.

Self-ownership
Self ownership Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Sovereignty of the individual Self ownership also known as sovereignty of the individual or individual sovereignty is the concept of property in one s own person expressed as the moral or natural right of a person to have bodily integrity and be the exclusive controller of one s own body and life Self ownership is a central idea in several political philosophies that emphasize individualism such as libertarianism liberalism and anarchism Contents 1 Definitional issues 1 1 The self 1 2 Labour markets and private property 2 History 3 See also 4 Notes and references 5 Bibliography 6 External linksDefinitional issues EditThe self Edit American libertarian socialist Stephen Pearl Andrews frequently discussed the sovereignty of the individual in his writings In The Science of Society he says that socialism which aims to make all society a body of proprietors giving each man the ownership of everything essential to his development establishes the Sovereignty of the Individual 1 Andrews considered the sovereignty of the individual to be the basis of harmonious intercourse amongst equals precisely as the equal Sovereignty of States is the basis of harmonious intercourse between nations mutually recognizing their independence of each other 2 Discussion of the boundary of self with respect to ownership and responsibility has been explored by legal scholar Meir Dan Cohen in his essays on The Value of Ownership and Responsibility and the Boundaries of the Self undue weight discuss The emphasis of this work illuminates the phenomenology of ownership and our common usage of personal pronouns to apply to both body and property this serves as the folk basis for legal conceptions and debates about responsibility and ownership 3 non primary source needed Another view holds that labor is alienable because it can be contracted out thus alienating it from the self In this view the choice of a person to voluntarily sell oneself into slavery is also preserved by the principle of self ownership 4 Labour markets and private property Edit For anarcho communist political philosopher L Susan Brown Liberalism and anarchism are two political philosophies that are fundamentally concerned with individual freedom yet differ from one another in very distinct ways Anarchism shares with liberalism a commitment to individual freedom while rejecting liberalism s competitive property relations 5 Scholar Ellen Meiksins Wood says that there are doctrines of individualism that are opposed to Lockean individualism and non Lockean individualism may encompass socialism 6 Right libertarian conceptions of self ownership extend the concept to include control of private property as part of the self According to Gerald Cohen the libertarian principle of self ownership says that each person enjoys over himself and his powers full and exclusive rights of control and use and therefore owes no service or product to anyone else that he has not contracted to supply 7 Philosopher Ian Shapiro says that labor markets affirm self ownership because if self ownership were not recognized then people would not be allowed to sell the use of their productive capacities to others He says that the individual sells the use of his productive capacity for a limited time and conditions but continues to own what he earns from selling the use of that capacity and the capacity itself thereby retaining sovereignty over himself while contributing to economic efficiency 8 A common view within classical liberalism is that sovereign minded individuals usually assert a right of private property external to the body reasoning that if a person owns themselves they own their actions including those that create or improve resources therefore they own their own labour and the fruits thereof 9 In Human Action Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises argues that labor markets are the rational conclusion of self ownership and argues that collective ownership of labor ignores differing values for the labor of individuals Of course people believe that there is an essential difference between the tasks incumbent upon the comrades of the socialist commonwealth and those incumbent upon slaves or serfs The slaves and serfs they say toiled for the benefit of an exploiting lord But in a socialist system the produce of labor goes to society of which the toiler himself is a part here the worker works for himself as it were What this reasoning overlooks is that the identification of the individual comrades and the totality of all comrades with the collective entity pocketing the produce of all work is merely fictitious Whether the ends which the community s officeholders are aiming at agreeing or disagreeing with the wishes and desires of the various comrades are of minor importance The main thing is that the individual s contribution to the collective entity s wealth is not requited in the shape of wages determined by the market Ludwig von Mises 10 Other scholars are critical of the idea of private property specifically within anarchism The anarchist Oscar Wilde said For the recognition of private property has really harmed Individualism and obscured it by confusing a man with what he possesses It has led Individualism entirely astray It has made gain not growth its aim So that man thought that the important thing was to have and did not know that the important thing is to be The true perfection of man lies not in what man has but in what man is With the abolition of private property then we shall have true beautiful healthy Individualism Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things and the symbols for things One will live To live is the rarest thing in the world Most people exist that is all Oscar Wilde 11 Within anarchism the concept of wage slavery refers to a situation perceived as quasi voluntary slavery 12 where a person s livelihood depends on wages especially when the dependence is total and immediate 13 14 It is a negatively connoted term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor by focusing on similarities between owning and renting a person The term wage slavery has been used to criticize economic exploitation and social stratification with the former seen primarily as unequal bargaining power between labor and capital particularly when workers are paid comparatively low wages e g in sweatshops 15 and the latter as a lack of workers self management fulfilling job choices and leisure in an economy 16 17 18 With the advent of the Industrial Revolution thinkers such as Pierre Joseph Proudhon and Karl Marx elaborated the comparison between wage labor and slavery in the context of a critique of societal property not intended for active personal use 19 20 while Luddites emphasized the dehumanization brought about by machines Emma Goldman famously denounced wage slavery by saying The only difference is that you are hired slaves instead of block slaves 21 Within left libertarianism scholars such as Hillel Steiner 22 Peter Vallentyne 23 Philippe Van Parijs 24 Michael Otsuka 25 and David Ellerman 26 27 root an economic egalitarianism in the classical liberal concepts of self ownership and land appropriation combined with geoist or physiocratic views regarding the ownership of land and natural resources e g those of John Locke and Henry George Left libertarians maintain that the world s natural resources were initially unowned or belonged equally to all and it is illegitimate for anyone to claim exclusive private ownership of these resources to the detriment of others Such private appropriation is legitimate only if everyone can appropriate an equal amount or if those who appropriate more are taxed to compensate those who are thereby excluded from what was once common property This position is articulated in contrast to the position of other libertarians who argue for a right to appropriate parts of the external world based on sufficient use even if this homesteading yields unequal results 28 Some left libertarians of the Steiner Vallentyne type support some form of income redistribution on the grounds of a claim by each individual to be entitled to an equal share of natural resources 29 30 History EditJohn Locke wrote in his Two Treatises on Government that every man has a Property in his own Person Libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick interprets Locke as saying that the individual has a right to decide what would become of himself and what he would do and as having a right to reap the benefits of what he did 31 32 Josiah Warren was the first who wrote about the sovereignty of the individual 33 See also EditCastle doctrine Civil libertarianism Civil liberties Cognitive liberty Counter economics Dualism philosophy of mind Empowerment Free will Freedom of speech Freedom of thought Harm principle Individualist anarchism Law of equal liberty Negative liberty Non aggression principle Perpetual traveler Public order crime Redemption movement Right to die Self determination Slavery Sovereign citizen movement Sumptuary Victimless crimeNotes and references Edit Andrews Stephen Pearl 1888 The Science of Society Sarah E Holmes p 155 Andrews Stephen Pearl 1938 The Sovereignty of the Individual Freeman Press p 18 Dan Cohen Meir 2002 Harmful Thoughts Essays on Law Self and Morality Princeton University Press ISBN 9780691090078 JSTOR j ctt7shdn Toward a Libertarian Theory of Inalienability A Critique of Rothbard Barnett Smith Kinsella Gordon and Epstein Mises Institute 30 July 2014 Retrieved 28 October 2021 L Susan Brown The Politics of Individualism Liberalism Liberal Feminism and Anarchism Black Rose Books Ltd 1993 Ellen Meiksins Wood Mind and Politics An Approach to the Meaning of Liberal and Socialist Individualism University of California Press 1972 ISBN 0 520 02029 4 p 7 Cited in The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy 2004 Blackwell Publishing p 630 Shapiro Ian 2001 Democratic Justice Yale University Press pp 145 46 Harris J W 1996 Property and Justice Oxford University Press p 189 von Mises Ludwig 18 August 2014 Work and Wages Human Action PDF p 628 Retrieved 7 September 2017 Danson Lawrence 8 October 1998 The Soul of Man Under Socialism Wilde s IntentionsThe Artist in his Criticism Oxford University Press pp 148 167 retrieved 28 October 2021 Ellerman 1992 wage slave merriam webster com Retrieved 4 March 2013 wage slave dictionary com Retrieved 4 March 2013 Sandel 1996 p 184 Conversation with Noam Chomsky Globetrotter berkeley edu p 2 Retrieved 28 June 2010 Hallgrimsdottir amp Benoit 2007 The Bolsheviks and Workers Control 1917 1921 The State and Counter revolution Spunk Library Retrieved 4 March 2013 Proudhon 1890 Marx 1969 Chapter VII Goldman 2003 p 283 Steiner Hillel 1994 An Essay on Rights Oxford Blackwell 2000 Left Libertarianism and Its Critics The Contemporary Debate In Vallentyne Peter and Steiner Hillel London Palgrave Van Parijs Philippe 2009 Marxism Recycled Cambridge Cambridge University Press Otsuka Michael 2005 Libertarianism without Inequality New York Oxford University Press Ellerman David 1992 Property and Contract in Economics The Case for Economic Democracy Cambridge MA Blackwell Ellerman David 1990 The Democratic Worker Owned Firm London Unwin Hyman Rothbard Murray N 1982 The Ethics of Liberty Atlantic Heights NJ Humanities 2000 Left Libertarianism and Its Critics The Contemporary Debate In Steiner Hillel and Vallentyne Peter London Macmillan p 1 2004 Handbook of Political Theory In Gaus Gerald F and Kukathas Chandran Thousand Oaks CA Sage p 128 Olsaretti Serena 2004 Liberty Desert and the Market Cambridge University Press p 91 Dan Cohen Meir 2002 Harmful Thoughts Essays on Law Self and Morality Princeton University Press p 296 Josiah Warren Manifesto dwardmac pitzer edu Retrieved 28 October 2021 Bibliography EditCohen G A 1995 Self Ownership Freedom and Equality Cambridge University Press Ellerman David P 1992 Property and Contract in Economics The Case for Economic Democracy PDF Cambridge MA Blackwell ISBN 978 1 55786 309 6 Retrieved 9 March 2013 Goldman Emma 2003 Falk Candace et al eds Emma Goldman A Documentary History of the American Years Volume I Made for America 1890 1901 Berkeley amp Los Angeles CA University of California Press ISBN 978 0 520 08670 8 Hallgrimsdottir Helga Kristin Benoit Cecilia 2007 From Wage Slaves to Wage Workers Cultural Opportunity Structures and the Evolution of the Wage Demands of the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor 1880 1900 Social Forces 85 3 1393 411 doi 10 1353 sof 2007 0037 JSTOR 4494978 S2CID 154551793 Marx Karl 1969 1863 Theories of Surplus Value Moscow Progress Publishers Proudhon Pierre Joseph 1890 1840 What Is Property or An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government New York NY Humboldt Publishing Sandel Michael J 1996 Democracy s Discontent America in Search of a Public Philosophy Cambridge MA Belknap Press ISBN 978 0 674 19744 2 External links EditSelf Ownership The Ego and Its Own also translated as The Individual and His Property the main work by German philosopher Max Stirner The Philosophy of Liberty What is a sovereign individual Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Self ownership amp oldid 1052215479, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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