Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Orwell Was Right Again, Part 4

If you can’t compete ask government to protect you, especially if you ARE the government

Orwell in the dystopian 1984 (how could anyone think Orwell was a socialist !) wrote of those with speech impediments giving the nightly news on TV and putting chains on dancers to create a egalitarian society. Now our own (American that is) government is forcing other jurisdictions to raise their taxes, or actually taxing US companies at US rates for business they do in these countries, if they are below US tax rates. If other countries are able to keep their pandering (spending) under control and thus their taxes, well that is just not fair so something must be done about it.

This anti-competitive measure comes in the form of “Stop Tax Haven Abuse” legislation with 40 areas around the world spotlighted in the legislation as tax saboteurs; those areas which welcome business and competition by offering low taxes. This legislation, obviously, smacks of more US imperialism. So much for the shining light on the hill guiding the way to liberty that our country once considered itself to be.

Biological and Intellectual Proofs of Property Rights

All together now

Workers has been trying to solve the “property rights problem” for some time now and two recent, somewhat related, readings have brought light to the subject.

In pre-Darwinian days, 2 to 3 billion years ago, life on Earth was one sea of like-minded amoebas; genetic information was shared in common and transferred horizontally, equally, from one cell to another. Then “one evil day”, a bacteria cell became selfish and kept its genetic code to itself. This then created the evolution of different species, those species most fit kept on, those least fit died out. Eventually the common community died-out, leaving not a common, shared, gene mass but separate species, with be it good or bad but be it, mankind at the top of the pyramid (at least on Earth anyway). This tale, in nutshell, is the evolutionary proof of property. (This story paraphrased from Freeman Dyson’s “Our Biotech Future” in the latest NYRB.) .

The intellectual proof goes as follows (paraphrased from Hans-Herman Hoppe in The Economics and Ethics of Property Rights). An intellectual argument is a conjecture made by someone, this conjecture is then either refuted or not refuted through a counter-argument or empirical evidence. The very fact that “someone” makes a conjecture is proof that that someone exists as a separate identity. The very fact of that separate identity is proof in itself that that someone exists as a separate entity, a separate property. Another someone can refute the argument, but this argument cannot by definition be valid because that person, too, is a separate entity, making a separate argument, verifying the right to property (in this case, an opinion). This proof is further verified by the very existence of those making the arguments. If all property were held in common, with the attendant necessary agreement on the allocation of resources, then those making the conjectures would not exist as they would not have the right to the food that they eat. By the time a universal consensus on the disposal of foodstuffs is made by all those alive, no one would be living.

Lastly, to tie this all in with Karl Marx. According to Murray Rothbard’s Classical Economics, Marx’s ultimate vision of post-capitalism was indeed the common pre-Darwinian universal sentiency. Whether or not this is a Utopian vision is not today’s story.