Origins of Private Property -Reply

Tue Jul 11 18:02:42 MDT 1995

You are right about what I meant, John.  People didn't necessarily
use a word like "rightful" either, that is a concept that was
invented also.  I think that maybe what happened is a [dialectical?]
co-development of behavior, language and ideology.  What I'm on about
is that this development would not have happened unless there was
some incentive for people to do these things in the first place.

I think of material/social incentives as prior to ideology, because
any ideology can be modified and manipulated to "justify" what ever
somebody wants to do anyway.  I think of ideology not as an abstract
[reified] thing which simply determines/influences/conditions human
behavior.  We are more active than that, positively pursuing,
creating and manipulating ideology very flexibly, to our own ends, as

I'm glad to find some list-ers interested in this topic.  I think it
is interesting partly because I think that mechanisms of social
change are still the same, in terms of individuals responding to
local incentives, and ending up with unintended societal consequences
in the longer run.

Also, the "why" PP started may be similar or give insights about why
it persists sometimes but not other times, why it varies in which
kinds of things are treated as PP and which are not, and what might
it take to get people to give it up.

I wonder, if there is something particular about Origins of PP that
you can flag as making it interesting to you, John? and anybody.


>>> jwalker <jwalker at>  7/11/95, 05:30pm >>>
I strongly suppose that Lisa means by "private property claim" not an
 utterance which includes the words "private property", but instead a
 assertion of rightful exclusive control over some object, parcel of
land, or whatever.  Such claims came to be *called* private property
claims  only later on.

The question when and why such claims were first made is, I think, an
interesting one.

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