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Propertarianism is an ethical discipline within libertarian philosophy that is used to advocate and justify private and contractual models of government as replacements for monopolistic bureaucracies organized as states.
It appears that the term was coined (in its most recent sense, at least) by Edward Cain, in 1963:
- ... Since [Libertarians'] use of the word "liberty" refers almost exclusively to property, it would be helpful if we had some other word, such as "propertarian," to describe them. [....] Ayn Rand .... is the closest to what I mean by a propertarian.
Markus Verhaegh states Rothbardian libertarian anarchism or anarcho-capitalism advocate that property only may originate by being the product of labor, and may then only legitimately change hands by trade or gift. They term this as "neo-Lockean".(2006)
"Propertarianism is the belief that all potential human conflict is resolved by the proper application of private property rights, also called the law of non-aggression. All propertarians are thus anarchists but not all anarchists are propertarians since there are a wide range of social systems possible under anarchy. Propertarianism is the highest form of anarchist society, a society where no private property violations occur, utopian propertarianism, or occur without restitution being made or forgiveness given, the propertarian society achievable immediately.
Propertarians reject any effort by anyone to pre-determine what can and can't be property and instead apply the same logic to all acquisition-homesteading/voluntary trade-contract imaginable. Propertarians also reject any substitute for monetary freedom, like digital or paper token systems, since they are inflation, redistribution, malinvestment and cannot form a solid basis for a free society. Propertarians instead demand an end to all legal tender and controls on currency-money and brook no distractions. Indeed the same is true of eliminating the state in totality. Propertarians do not believe in working within the system, meaning propertarians do not believe in voting, working for the state in any voluntary capacity whether as a state-licensed attorney, road terrorist, politician or anything else. Propertarians wash their hands of legalized crime entirely. Propertarians recognize the absolute right of individual self-defense, against any criminal, and therefore recognize any violence against the criminals who call themselves the state as being defensive and thus justified, since those criminals violate the law of non-aggression or in other words violate private property rights, which are axiomatic, absolute, eternal and universal. Of course, the right to use defensive violence in no way implies a duty to resort to it nor implies it is wise.
Propertarians recognize the self-ownership of all sentient beings of any age. Propertarians believe parents create a pure private trust with their voluntary sexual exchange-contract to create a new living entity. They are trustees, not owners. The baby is a self-owner in the process of homesteading and violence against their homesteading is akin to violence against someone peacefully homesteading any other property. Further, an inadvertent trespass that doesn't threaten the life of the mother cannot warrant a death penalty, as in the case of rape or someone unwillingly teleported on to another person's property. They must be allowed to depart as able unmolested. With a baby resulting from rape, this means the baby can be removed only when safe to the baby and when the baby can be safely adopted by competent trustees. All costs, damages, inconveniences and what have you are the fault of the rapist, not the baby, and restitution must be sought there and-or through private aggression-coercion-fraud insurance. In a case where the mother's life or health is at risk, it is clearly self-defense to terminate the baby if safe removal is impossible. Obviously, technology will be developed to make safe removal achievable ever earlier once the priority is the law of non-aggression." ~Chris LeRoux
Non or anti-propertarianism
Ursula K. Le Guin, in the science fiction novel The Dispossessed (1974), contrasted a propertarian society with one that does not recognize property rights. She used the term in a negative sense because she believed property objectified human beings. She has been described as an anarcho-communist.
Non-propertarians like Murray Bookchin also have been called anti-propertarians. Bookchin described three concepts of possession: property itself, possession, and usufruct, appropriation of resources by virtue of use.
- Edward Cain (1963). They'd Rather Be Right: youth and the conservative movement. Macmillan. pp. 32–36. ASIN B0000CLYF9.
- Hans Morgenthua, p. 174.
- Hans Joachim Morgenthau, (Kenneth W. Thompson, Robert John Myers, Editors), Truth and tragedy: a tribute to Hans J. Morgenthau, Transaction Publishers, p. 165, 1984 ISBN 0-87855-866-7.
- Marcus Cunliffe, The right to property: a theme in American history, Sir George Watson lecture delivered in the University of Leicester, 4 May 1973 Leicester University Press, 1974 ISBN 0-7185-1129-8, ISBN 978-0-7185-1129-6
- Rob Kroes, Them and us: questions of citizenship in a globalizing world, University of Illinois Press, p. 208, 2000 ISBN 0-252-06909-9
- Marcus Cunliffe, In search of America: transatlantic essays, 1951-1990, p. 307, 1991.
- Verhaegh, Marcus (2006). "Rothbard as a Political Philosopher". Journal of Libertarian Studies 20 (4): 3.
- David Boaz, Cato Institute, Toward liberty: the idea that is changing the world : 25 years of public policy from the Cato Institute, Cato Institute, p. 386, 2002 ISBN 1-930865-27-9
- L. Neil Smith, The American Zone, p. 167, 2002.
- John J. Pierce, When world views collide: a study in imagination and evolution, p. 163, 1989.
- Doherty, Brian (2008). "Rothbard, Murray (1926–1995)". In Hamowy, Ronald. The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE; Cato Institute. p. 442. ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4. LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024.
- Ursela K. Le Guin, The dispossessed: a novel, HarperCollins, various pages, 2003 ISBN 0-06-051275-X
- John P. Reeder, Source, sanction, and salvation: religion and morality in Judaic and Christian traditions, p. 113, 1988. Reeder uses phrase "nonpropertarian" to describe Le Guin's views.
- Laurence Davis, Peter G. Stillman, The new utopian politics of Ursula K. Le Guin's The dispossessed, Lexington Books, p. xvii, 2005.
- On Triton and Other Matters: An Interview with Samuel R. Delany, Science Fiction Studies, November 1990.
- Ellie Clement and Charles Oppenheim, Department of Information Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leics Great Britain, Anarchism, Alternative Publishers and Copyright, Journal of Anarchist Studies, undated.