Origins of Private Property -Reply -Reply

Jim Jaszewski ab975 at
Fri Jul 21 16:56:18 MDT 1995

On Fri, 21 Jul 1995, kevin john geiger wrote:

> > You don't have to believe it, but I know that many pre or
> > noncapitalist societies do indeed have concepts and behavior
> > regarding property.  There is no such thing as a "communal herd" or
> > "communal garden" in "primitive communism".  Everyone knows exactly
> > which cow belongs to who, who dug those tubers, who's arrow killed
> > the wildebeast, who shot the arrow, which garden is which, who has
> > rights of land use or tenure, etc.

> Quite right!  I think the important point that needs to be understood from
> this discussion is that the private property paradigm, and avarice, are
> much more developed under capitalism than any other social system in
> known history.  I think there is evidence that private property is not
> restricted to capitalist societies but it has never been *this* perverse.
> Why that has occurred may be the question we need to explore.  For example,
> what has been the role of governments in protecting private property and
> enabling an accumulation of property?  Also, isn't it odd that property
> crimes in the USA, and other capitalist countries, are treated more
> seriously than let's say an assault, ie rape?  You raise an
> important question.

	I'm not denying that pre-historic societies had Private Property
-- I'm merely pointing out the _preponerance_ of communal property
originally -- and what this _means_ materially (and especially for our
projections into the future). The genesis of 'PP' is a proper subject for
investigation under Historical Materialism. But I'd caution confusing
those herding (and other) societies, with a long history of interaction
with more 'advanced' PP-type societies, and those original 'pristine'

> Of course, the example I used of dividing air up is not very feasible at
> the moment (good thing).  But if it were, be sure that they would want to
> setup a system of property rights for the air.

	Ever seen that Arnie "I'll be Bach" Schwartzenegger flic 'Total
Recall'??    |>


   Jim Jaszewski   <jjazz at>

   WWW homepage:   <>


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