For the FMAA crowd, “private property” is a sacred right that comes from nothing other than being born. Their thinking is that if you “own” yourself, than anything you do becomes and extension of your “self”. They have seized on the idea that a person should keep the “full product of their labor”, which of course we all agree with. But how they apply that is to call the product of their labor “private property”, something that can be exchanged for and hourly wage, with that wage being the ACTUAL product of their labor. For some people an “hourly wage” IS the only product they are producing. They are in jobs were no actual “product” is created. They are nothing more than a cog in the capitalist machine, dong “busy work” just to further the extent of power their employers hold within a capitalist system.
From Marx – “But does wage labor create any property for the laborer? Not a bit. It creates capital, i.e., that kind of property which exploits wage labor, and which cannot increase except upon conditions of begetting a new supply of wage labor for fresh exploitation. Property, in its present form, is based on the antagonism of capital and wage labor.”
So, as (probably) Marx put it, wage labor doesn’t create “property”, it creates capital. That capital might be exchanged for the product of someone else’s labor, and in a modern capitalist society that “property” is most often from the hands of some other exploited worker, often in areas that are most devastated by capitalist and state intrusion into the lives of the workers. A wage laborer (or more to the point, a wage slave) creates capital for their employer and gets a small piece of that to continue the class antagonism between capital and labor. The FMAA crowd falsely believes that they are creating “freedom and liberty” for themselves by being able to aquire property and meet their needs in a capitalist system. But “capital” is always in opposition to labor, freedom, and liberty. It is a social construction and nothing more, and it’s sole purpose is to divide the worker from the “product of their labor”. Far from getting the “full product of their labor”, the wage laborer receives only the minimum that their employer thinks will keep them from taking some kind of stand.
For the FMAA crowd, everything they purchase with the capital from their wage labor is “private property”. But “private property” only exists as a social construct. What the FMAA crowd considers “private property” is really nothing more than the representation of capital, and only a small slice of the capital created by their labor. These meager possessions are the “hard won” possessions of the worker that Marx addresses in dealing with the idea of “property”…
“Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! Do you mean the property of petty artisan and of the small peasant, a form of property that preceded the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that; the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it, and is still destroying it daily.”
That “self-earned property” stands in opposition to the “private property” of bourgeois society…
As Marx stated, “”But does wage labor create any property for the laborer? Not a bit. It creates capital, i.e., that kind of property which exploits wage labor, and which cannot increase except upon conditions of begetting a new supply of wage labor for fresh exploitation. Property, in its present form, is based on the antagonism of capital and wage labor.”
So the difference between “possessions”, which is that hard won, self-earned “property” of the worker, stands in contrast to the “private property” of the bourgeoisie class. That “private property”, the property which “exploits wage labor, and which cannot increase except upon conditions of begetting a new supply of wage labor for fresh exploitation” is the only thing we are concerned with, or even call private property. Like I tell people all the time, “no one wants your damn shovel”. When Proudhon famously said, “Property is Theft!” he was talking about the private property of the bougies, which is in stark contrast to the “hard won” property he was talking about when he said, “Property is Liberty!”.
So on with the show….
FMC – “ron whats wrong with private property rights”
The first problem is, what are “rights”? They are nothing but an agreement between certain individuals to behave towards each other in a certain way. They are not some universal “rule”. They are, when enforced against people who didn’t agree to be bound to those “rights”, nothing but another form of exploitation and enslavement. But the main problem is the disconnect of the idea of “property” with “possessions”. This falls back on the extreme lack of understanding of the anti-authoritarian (leftist) movement as a whole.
Private Property is property which can be used to exploit someone for “profit”. Possessions are those items you use to meet your needs. This might include just about anything, unless it is used in the process of exploitation of labor.
Sovereignty =/= freedom or liberation. Just gives the “sovereign” the self-proclaimed “right” to act in any arbitrary way to anyone they want.
“The proprietor, the robber, the hero, the sovereign — for all these titles are synonymous — imposes his will as law, and suffers neither contradiction nor control; that is, he pretends to be the legislative and the executive power at once . . . [and so] property engenders despotism . . . That is so clearly the essence of property that, to be convinced of it, one need but remember what it is, and observe what happens around him. Property is the right to use and abuse . . . if goods are property, why should not the proprietors be kings, and despotic kings — kings in proportion to their facultes bonitaires? And if each proprietor is sovereign lord within the sphere of his property, absolute king throughout his own domain, how could a government of proprietors be any thing but chaos and confusion?” – Pierre Joseph Proudhon
Marx called the group who wants their little “private property” the petty bourgeoisie. And pointed out that they were never revolutionary, always reactionary, because all they care about it their future prospects of “making it”. And because they could never produce enough on their own to wield any type of real power, they would continually be ground under the boot heels of whatever state or ruling class came along. That they are the precursors of fascism, because they have to basically become a reactionary force to their reality of loss and no REAL ownership or means of “making it”. Their fear is based on the reality that if they lose their “private property” they will end up back to being exploited by the ruling class. So they are a reactionary force to that. They claim “defense” of property as the basis of their use of violence, but again, that is based on “property rights” that they grant themselves.