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if an anarchist finds a nice coat, will he / she take it home or to the lost and found section?

+1 vote
This has to do with how to deal with ownership issues in our daily life.
asked Aug 23, 2016 by whatever (500 points)
i like your question....especially because it has to do with life and the concept of ownership as i live today.
What is this question trying to get at anyways?

If someone is anarchist, what does that have to do with returning it or not?

2 Answers

+6 votes

i've done both. 

i've also asked around the areas where i found the garment (or sunglasses, or whatever) to see if anyone lost it and wanted it back.

most of the occasions where i've taken the item home, one or more of the following situations applied:

  • i came back to the same place over a two or three week period before taking it.
  • i found it in a place without homes or buildings or businesses around (i found a pair of sunglasses in the middle of a field a few miles out of town one time).
  • the item had a lot of damage/broken in some way, etc.  

when in public places, i only remember returning the item to the front desk/cashier, etc. of the place where i found it. i can't recall keeping something for myself in that situation.

when i lose or misplace something myself, i usually consider it gone after searching for it to the degree i use it and/or feel attached to the thing. i generally don't expect to get it back, and i hope someone else gets some enjoyment or usage of it.

over the years, i've tried to let go of more stuff, my attachment to material things, and to worry less about losing things. i figure if i really need and want something, i probably won't lose it in the first place.

i've enjoyed the really, really, free markets i've gone to. those experiences have helped me a lot to freely give and receive without the need for exchange. i realize the difference in intention between RRFM's versus lost and found, but perhaps only in degree - i think i often lose or find something because i wanted to in some way.  

edited: grammar

answered Aug 23, 2016 by bornagainanarchist (9,080 points)
edited Aug 23, 2016 by bornagainanarchist

ba@, great answer! i really like a few points here. first, the way you expanded further possibilities latent within the question's dichotomy (either/or). second, the notably non-moral, more immediate relationship with 'things,' whether lost or presented to you,  based in your need and desire. and the wonder of appearance and disappearance, flux and flow, in sensing gradually dis-placing the semi-planned grid of the market and the march of endless exchanges.

thanks, AF. and for noticing things in my answer that i didn't notice myself!
BA, Your answer evokes feelings of freedom, detachment and respect for others. I like it very much :)
thanks, whatever...i appreciate it.
+3 votes
If I recognize the coat as associated with (not owned by, no one owns anything) someone of concern to me I am likely to take the coat whether to return, hold in safe keeping, or destroy depending on the particulars of the way the associated individual concerns me.

If I do not recognize the coat as being so associated, then if I am in need of such a coat or am positively concerned with someone who I take to need it, I am likely to take it. If my need for the coat is expressible in terms of it being more suited to my needs than a coat I already carry, then I am likely to leave behind the coat I carry rather than be burdened with two coats.

If I have no interest in it, I am likely to ignore it the way I would any other bit of debris. I assign no special ontological status to human animals, individually or as collections of individuals, and so am no more likely to interact with their spoor than that of any other animal.
answered Aug 24, 2016 by StrawDog (1,370 points)
edited Aug 24, 2016 by StrawDog
i like your answer, SD. the point about your knowledge of who left the item i hadn't thought of in my answer, but i do think about it when finding something. and the last paragraph about ignoring it also comes into play for me too - probably more often than the situations i described. i also like how you don't assign any special status to human "remains" above things discarded or left behind by other animals or forces (wind and water can move things around a lot!).
Strawdog, what if the nice coat (more suited to your needs than the one you were wearing) was being used by someone? If that someone were weaker than you, say a child or old person, would you take it from him / her?
I don't know of a way of interpreting someone as "using a coat" which would be compatible with the Questions implication by reference of a Lost & Found that the coat is unattended. Do you have some other meaning or are you intending to ask me to describe a tentative conditional for encountering an entity wearing a coat of which I have need?
SD, you're right, it's not "used" but "worn" (irregular verb to wear, wore, worn). And yes, that's what I'm asking. It's not an extension but a variation of my initial question
So, before I respond, you are indeed asking me to explain if I would take a coat from a child or some other person where I judged my need to warrant it and my relative might sufficient to attain it?
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