The last sentence of your post is particularly interesting. The idea that raw material, mixed with human effort, creates property is very near the mark. Do you see, however, the havoc that notion wreaks on the capitalist mode of property? In that it expropriates nearly the totality of those who work with the material?
The problem with the libertarian approach, minarchist or anarchist, is that it is far too theoretical. The Somali paper you refer to illustrates this well. John Rawl's book <u>A Theory of Justice</u> demonstrated to me that such a thing as natural law is indeed determinable--for a particular group at a delicate moment in time--but useless as a normative measure. Laws were indeed in some sense made to be broken. And no natural conception of law can tolerate this for long without retribution.
That having been said, the discussion of the kritarchy was intriguing, and paralleled some of my own thoughts on that score. I would just add that the most important role of the judges would be to articulate the propriety of property in a given context. Private property is essential to the well-being and fullness of individual human beings. I don't think this derives from any natural law or "right", though, but is the proper consequence of taking care of something.
You assumed wrong about my assumption about the libertarian assumption about property. (whew) It isn't a question of justification (before whom? on what basis? to what end and by what means?) or enforcement (against whom? etc. etc.). You assume that private property is a singular thing, a stable, natural right that needs justification or defense. I question it's existence. Or more specifically, I question its motivation, and the nature of it's historical reality. There have been and are now any number of different, sometimes conflicting concepts of 'private property'. I try to draw attention to the one I label the "capitalist mode" of private property (although it's really more related to the nation-state as such than a particular economic relationship), which, far from being natural or assumed, is quite steeped in the blood of millions and is less than four centuries old, period (just a century or less in the so-called third world).
Property is a slippery substance. You say the first owner of a piece of land can't lose control of it without their interests being ignored. This is clearly untrue in several respects. The farmer may ask others to join him/her in tilling the soil, or in a time of drought the farmer may have been forced to sell the land to survive. What of the capitalist who must entice others to work their property in order to make a profit.I suggest that the problem with the close relationship between force and property is the inability to define "fuzzy sets" more appropriate to the context.
It makes sense to me to say that, if a farmer invited others to help him work the land, that land would be less his than it would have been without them. Additionally, to retain his 'rights' in the land, the farmer must recognize the efforts of others, taking responsibility for the property by giving some of that responsibility away. I think a better measure for property is human responsibility, not just a fixed quantity of human effort.
An analogy that sprang to mind just now is the old saw about King Solomon's wisdom. When the two mothers were squabbling over the child, the propriety of it's belonging to one or the other was unclear. But when asked to take responsibility for the child's death, the mother to whom the child belonged became clear.
*sigh*. Sorry about the longwindedness. These subjects have been preoccupying me for some time.
"As I would not be a slave, so would I not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy." Abraham Lincoln
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