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How would life without possessions work?

0 votes
John Lennon said it would be easy to imagine if I tried.
It turns out, not so much.
If I have no right to gather and keep possessions for myself necessary for my survival.. how will I survive?

Simple question. Anyone?


edited by dot to add tags
asked Sep 9, 2011 by JaysThoughts (790 points)
edited Jul 13, 2014 by dot
a working definition of what it means to "possess" something might help in answering this question.
Totally. My imagining is they are conflating private property and possessions the way libertarians are wont to.
jay's thoughts doesn't post here anymore, so... use your own definition!
i think of "possession(s)" only as a legal definition....another word i've come to stop using (in any sense other than legal) when i describe or imagine something.

so i look at the meaning in the lennon song as imagining the absence of law in relation to things one might use...or eat....or stand or lay on...

i like this question because it challenges my notions of (and attending emotions and responses to) "ownership", "property", and "possession" as those terms/concepts come into play in my life.

5 Answers

+3 votes
I don't really find it so hard to imagine.

From my perspective, possessions are not anathema to anarchy. what is is the accumulation of property. In most hunter-gatherer societies, personal possessions were limited to those that an individual needed, and could carry with them. They were often willingly shared. Items needed for mutual survival were commonly held. This was not formal communism, but rather a sort of communalism. Since h-g bands are generally nomadic, none of this amounted to more than could be taken with them.

If you are hoping to maintain modern amenities without the state, capitalism, hierarchy and domination, I can't help you. The infrastructure needed to maintain all that goes in to maintaining your stuff is based on the (often unwilling) participation of others. That isn't going to work out so well.

On the other hand, what you actually need to survive - clothes, some basic tools, food, shelter - is (or would be, sans "the system" available in abundance, and would likely be shared with people with whom you shared interests and affinity. This is important, because humans are social animals - we can live alone, but we thrive in groups. Hopefully there are other people who care about and would aid you in surviving, and who you care about, and would aid in surviving as well. This is both in the proactive sense (finding food and shelter) and the reactive sense (defending against threats). That already happens in lots of little ways in our everyday lives.

I'm not a utopian (and I doubt many on this forum are), and I don't believe that anarchy will suddenly mean not inter-group or inter-personal conflict. I do think that in the absence of the state, and market relationships we have an opportunity to find a different way of living and relating to each other.
answered Sep 10, 2011 by ingrate (22,360 points)
edited Jul 12, 2013 by ingrate
I am of the mind that it's not merely my most base and physical survival I have a right to, but also the pursuit of my happiness- that prosperity and/or abundance are not in and of themselves Evil things, if justly acquired in a way that aggresses against no one. If I want in addition to food and shelter for instance, a coat that is not only livable but comfortable. Or for my child to have toys to aid in their development. Or for my wife to have something in our home which serves no other purpose but to have some beautiful bit of life for ourselves.
I don't think that what I'm describing necessarily means that those things would not be possible - but that accumulation of things would not be necessary/desireable. Sure you have a comfortable and warm coat, but do you need ten of them? What about if there are nine people freezing to death and you have ten of them? If you aren't willing to share what you don't need, I see no problem with them taking them from you, by whatever means necessary. I don't personally know many anarchists who argue that people shouldn't have personal property, it is more criticizing the lording of things by some while many don't have them, as well as a critique of the concept of land ownership (which is different than living somewhere, therefore it is your home).

This doesn't even begin to broach the topic of where did that coat come from? Who made it (not to mention who/what is it made of?) Much of the infrastructure that allows for the mass production of coats, toys and pretty things is dependent on exploitative relationships and industries, which, IMHO are entirely incompatible with anarchy.
Saying that I should or Ought give something of mine does not mean you have the right to Take it from me by force. Yes. People Ought to be charitable and compassionate. Theft "by any means necessary" does not encourage this. I am not aggressing against someone by Not being compassionate. You ARE aggressing against me by stealing.

The denial of a positive is not the application of a negative.

Yes it's possible to be exploited. This is why I clarified "if justly acquired in a way that aggresses against no one." We seem to agree on that. If someone is hoarding or say, cutting down one person's apple tree just so they can charge someone else more for the fruit from their tree, that is exploitation and clearly aggression- destruction of one's means of survival. But if my tree grows more fruit than yours, no. My prosperity does not mean you have the right to take from me by any means you see fit merely because you see them as fit, governing by your will what others are allowed to keep sheerly because they have it and you do not.

Morally there can be No Such Thing as a right to encroach upon someone else's prosperity just because you find yourself less prosperous or less fortunate. Why? Because mandated charity never results in positive change. Because the Ought of Giving is not the same as the forceful requirement of handing over, or else.
Consider the impracticality of this proposition- how would you enforce this "equality"? By an means necessary? Truly? Even murder? The moment I had more apples than you, you would have someone do anything you saw fit to me? And this.. is the greater freedom you see as coming from Anarchy?

Who would verify that I have greater apples? Who would have the right to open my bag and count them? Anyone? Everyone? Is that how we'd live then, all being suspicious of one another's affects? So afraid of things that we forget it's the principle of People, not things, that has gone awry? It's not things that are evil. It's people loving things more than other people. Taking from me against my will will not encourage or create that love.

So what if I have ten coats? Let's say I got them legitimately. By the sweat and blood of my own brow. My own time and energy and effort. The appointed Stuff Counter comes and finds I have too many for his liking and.. takes some. And if I resist this he gets my stuff "by any means necessary." Right? Why? Why does he have the right to do this?

Here is what I'm saying it comes down to- Do you matter, ingrate? I think you do. Don't I? Don't we as people matter? Don't we have worth, in and of ourselves, and not just in how much the "greater good" or the "common good" can sacrifice us for? I don't think I'm worth more than you. But hell, I'm not worth less. I wouldn't treat you like that. Why should you treat me like that? If I'm living a peaceful life, even if it's one you don't agree with, whoever comes in and tries to govern my actions through the use or threat of force, THAT person I must as an Anarchist oppose even to my death.

And if the number of a man's apples or coats becomes enough for you to threaten his life, it's time to step back and remember the principles for which we became Anarchists in the first place- because no person or group of people have the right to dictate our actions. You're free to dislike my number of coats. You're even free to insist to me on a rational basis that I give them to you for a mutually agreed upon compensation. But it is.. always.. government or individual.. the person who refuses to Live and let live, who can not deal with disagreements by civil means.. who is the aggressor and the self appointed governer over others. It is such a person that Anarchy does and must oppose.
“Saying that I should or Ought give something of mine does not mean you have the right to Take it from me by force. Yes. People Ought to be charitable and compassionate. Theft "by any means necessary" does not encourage this. I am not aggressing against someone by Not being compassionate. You ARE aggressing against me by stealing.”

You’re right that altruism is not necessarily guaranteed, let alone even desirable, in every situation. Sometimes we are greedy. There is nothing wrong with this. Humans have a really powerful drive for self-preservation. However, as social beings, we also have a need to ensure the wellbeing of others. This includes sharing resources. Certainly, we could horde apples and use their dispensation to coerce others into helping meet those needs, but if we are doing that, then we are just back to being tyrants, which would mean that as an anarchist, I support those people doing what they have to do to get what they need from you. Is this aggression? Yes. If you think I am arguing for or hoping to create some magical fairyland where we all have anarchy and no one hurts anyone or is ever aggressive, you have sorely misunderstood my aims. To me anarchism is not about making total get along gang, it is about knocking down the silos of the rich so we can all have what they are keeping to themselves (and if you think that the rich don’t aquire their stores of food at the expense of others, just stop reading now.)

“If someone is hoarding or say, cutting down one person's apple tree just so they can charge someone else more for the fruit from their tree, that is exploitation and clearly aggression- destruction of one's means of survival. But if my tree grows more fruit than yours, no.”

Here again, you are missing the basic difference in how we are viewing things. No one owns the tree. If you pick apples from it, so be it, enjoy! But if I wander over and see an apple on that same tree, without property ownership of the type I am speaking of, what is to stop me from taking it and enjoying it? My distinction in property ownership is between the apple in your hand, and the tree that grew it. You can own the apple, not the tree (unless you can figure out a way to take it with you). If you pick all the apples from it and don’t share them with others, expect to face some social repercussions.

“Morally there can be No Such Thing as a right to encroach upon someone else's prosperity just because you find yourself less prosperous or less fortunate. Why? Because mandated charity never results in positive change. Because the Ought of Giving is not the same as the forceful requirement of handing over, or else.”

While mandated charity is not a solution that is acceptable to anarchists, I am not interested in morality. Speak to me about ethics. In my ethical construct (and ethics are subjective, though far more systematic than morals) it is unethical to horde things for my own pleasure (what could it be to have ten good coats when I need one but that?), therefore, there would likely be consequences to said choices by the capitalist, er, I mean, coat-owner. Likely that would begin not with theft of the coats (and certainly not by a representative of me doing my bidding – what kind of strawmen are you trying to create here?) social shaming – jokes about how cold you must be, and how hungry you always are or how much you seem to enjoy apples. If this lighthearted shaming didn’t work, likely people would start to exclude you from the reciprocal relationships of the community, recognizing you as not sharing and contributing fairly. If then, the rest of us then found ourselves outside in a blizzard, starving, while we could see you in your house with all the coats and the apple pies and the pretty things, it makes sense that we might come and ask if we could have some, if you didn’t share those things, as I watched my child shivering and hungry while yours plays with his nice toys contented and warm, perhaps I and some others would choose to get what we need. And we are human, so we might feel rage, and we might resent the pretty things, and we might smash them that isn’t right or wrong, it is a potential outcome of the economic situation we are talking about. Most likely others would stand around wringing their hands while they shivered pontificating on hpow the act of taking the coats was worse than hording the coats. Most likely, those people would freeze to death.

My point about taking coats (or apples, or what-have-you) was certainly forcefully worded, but the reality is, if you are keeping things to that extent, you would likely either be excluded from the group (which, depending on the individual may or may not be a good thing), or the group would come to view you as a capitalist, at which point, if we are in the context of an anarchist society, would mean that you were living in a manner that is a threat to us. I mean, the point is moot if the goods you horde aren’t needed, if you are in Southern California and you have ten coats, well, have fun with all that. Where I live, having a coat is a necessity, and if I and those I love don’t and you have more than you need, well…
“Here is what I'm saying it comes down to- Do you matter, ingrate? I think you do. Don't I? Don't we as people matter? Don't we have worth, in and of ourselves, and not just in how much the "greater good" or the "common good" can sacrifice us for?”

Do I matter or do you matter? I don’t know. I am a collection of carbon, water and minerals, with some electricity making me go. There is nothing else. No soul. No spirit. I don’t matter any more than any other being (and definitions of who is and isn’t included get real murky really quick), except in how I relate to those around me. If I keep myself and my “property” separate from those with whom I’m close, with whom I am trying to live and build something other than the mediated capitalist bullshit we experience today, then I’m probably not worth very much, And to be frank, IRL I am not nearly so good at living up to my ethics (either the communal side or the confrontational side) as my writing might otherwise make it appear. We do still live in (and are products of) a completely fucked system. As individuals, we don’t need to sacrifice to the common good, it is fine to not do so. In fact, I would posit that the lowest common denominator in decision making for any anarchist should be themselves – their desires and well being; but to choose to not consider group dynamics has the potential of isolating the individual from the collective, and in most cases, people desire relations with that collective. If we are not trying to have relations based on lording stuff over others, then mutual aid seems like the logical, ethical, and, based on the anthropological record, normal (I know this is loaded) way of doing so.

“If I'm living a peaceful life, even if it's one you don't agree with, whoever comes in and tries to govern my actions through the use or threat of force, THAT person I must as an Anarchist oppose even to my death.”

What life is peaceful? None of us, from the grocery shopper to the omnivorous small scale farmer to myself as a vegan lives a peaceful life, or a life not predicated on violence towards others. Top argue otherwise is just, plain and simple, bullshit. Do you eat food? Where does it come from? Who was it? Whose home did you plow up to grow it? What is your coat made of? Leather?  How did the cow feel about that? Wool? Was that sheep allowed to live without fences? Cedar bark? Do you think the tree grew bark just for you to strip it? My point in all this is not to say you shouldn’t have any of those particular coats, but that to speak of living peacefully iws to not acknowledge the violence inherent to life. Sure you should oppose others trying to govern your life, and if you live in a little house on the prairie, and if you get your apples, and your coats, and your toys, and your pretty things by your own hands (and those of your  child and wife and whoever else lives with you) , fine. However, again, if your apple tree has some apples, and I wander past, see an apple, and feel hungry, what is to stop me from taking it from the tree? You? You don’t own it (if anything the tree owns it). What happens if I do take it? Will you come tell me to leave? Will you throw rocks at me? Build a fence? Shoot at me?

And what if I am starving and knock on your door asking for food? You can certainly choose to turn me away, but I can just as soon choose to rob you of some apples (or a coat, or toy, or a pretty thing). There are no inherent rights to anything. Rights are some enlightenment era bullshit.

“And if the number of a man's apples or coats becomes enough for you to threaten his life, it's time to step back and remember the principles for which we became Anarchists in the first place- because no person or group of people have the right to dictate our actions.”

I think it is presumptuous to assume we became anarchists for the same reasons. Yes, no person has the right to dictate our actions, but there are certain people, people who have most of the coats, and the apples, and the toys, and the pretty things while many others have none of, or not enough of them. A part of why I became an anarchist was that I saw that this was fucked. Over time, I studied different ways of living, and I found that this disparity was not the case for 99% of human existence, and while I don’t identify as an anarcho-primitivist, I do think that there is a way to reclaim that, but that it means rejecting a whole lot tht we have been taught to take for granted. And while I am leary of advocating a return to hunter-gatherer societies (not that I oppose such a return, but I am unwilling to offer a particular roadmap), I do think there is much to be learned from the ways in which people relate in societies that ae based on face-to-face interactions, who rely on each other for survival, and who generally (and with some big caveats) live with very little social stratification. Why and how I became an anarchist is a story I’ve told elsewhere, and that I will likely tell again, but a comment on Anarchy101 hardly seems the place to hold forth on it yet again. In summation, don’t assume, because I’m already an ass, and what does that leave for you to be?

“You're free to dislike my number of coats. You're even free to insist to me on a rational basis that I give them to you for a mutually agreed upon compensation. But it is.. always.. government or individual.. the person who refuses to Live and let live, who can not deal with disagreements by civil means.. who is the aggressor and the self appointed governer over others. It is such a person that Anarchy does and must oppose.”

What you propose sounds incredibly similar to the current state of things. The rich and powerful have way more than they need to live, and by and large, these things were acquired not by personal initiative,or because they are more deserving, but by a really messy confluence of privileges (many of which manifest as what we are taught should be read as more deserving and likely by their own initiative. If you have coats you don’t need and my family, friends and loved ones are freezing, you can sure as hell bet that I will dislike or resent you. If we have asked for the coats to keep us from freezing to death and you refuse, then the time for civility is, from our perspective, done.  Live and let live is fine, but none of us exist in a vacuum (as Dot and others have pointed out elsewhere on this forum and in related threads). I am fine letting youlive, but if letting you live proghibits my life, you’d better bet that I will act out.

JaysThoughts, I expect that much of what I’ve written will fail to resonate with you. I gather, from your posts that you are a person who values private property in a way I don’t (or perhaps, more accurately that I don’t think is ultimately beneficial to anyone). I have no interest in engaging with libertarians (er, anarcho-capitalists), but  I am answering you at length because you are clearly doing more than trolling, and while I don’t agree with what you put forward, I feel like I can engage with you here in relative earnestness. If nothing else, it is good mental calisthenics. I do think we could live in the same world, and probably could even live in the same general area. Perhaps our differing perspectives would keep each other in check and honest, but just as possible, they would bring us in to direct conflict. What makes me an anarchist isn’[t avoiding that conflict, what makes me an anarchist is my unwillingness to call the cops or raise and army to enforce my will on others.
Smashing others things is not right or wrong? Of course it is. If you think that’s okay, I suspect you would find yourself subject to that shunning you mentioned. But if the group wants to shun me for wanting things, that is their choice. Producing things is my choice. I do Not steal from others or wrong anyone to make coats. This assumes resource scarcity, which is an artificial byproduct of the corporatism we have now. America alone throws away enough food daily to feed the rest of the world 3 times over. The same could be said for cotton or leather in clothing them. There is no issue of “enough”. There is no material scarcity, literally speaking. Only product scarcity. And this is not because the market is free, but precisely the opposite. Yes, people who are hindering others from being able to be productive in their own lives are inhibiting other people’s Ability to live and so they are the aggressors. If an Anarchist wanted to attack the CEO’s of Wal-Mart, I honestly would have no ideological difficulty with that. But having a house full of things I like does not require hoarding or keeping anyone else from having the same. 3 times over, daily. Taking care of me and mine is not evil. There are plenty of ways to accomplish that that hurt or take from no one. I do not have to be a corporatist to be a “capital-ist”. Caring for myself Does Not inherently mean not caring about anyone else. There is no reason that even abundance in my life needs to hinder or prohibit anyone else’s, especially once we dismantle those inherently harmful corporate infastructures.

I didn’t mean to make assumptions on your character. I read your words. I do think about them, even if in the end I don’t agree- I do try to consider and weight the ideas. If I am reasonable, I must always concede to the more realistic reasoning, even when I won’t immediately feel like it. Hell, I could be wrong. That wouldn’t be a first. I think all I’m really trying to say with all this talking is.. what I hope we both mean is.. can’t we find a way to be reasonable with one another? To deal by means of reason instead of force, whenever possible? At least to prefer that? Yes life intails and can even necessitate the use of force, but why should I prefer it? Isn’t rationality just as essential to living? I choose to live by an act of will. I must learn how to live by the use of my mind. That then seems to me the most essential tool of survival and dealing with others.

Yes I care about being able to possess things. No one on these boards, even the most staunch believer against it, would willingly and for free give up his car because I asked for it. (I’ve tried.) People want to have things. It gives us a sense of security. But no, I don’t care more about things than people. I just don’t want it to reach the other extreme- of people saying anyone with less than me is justified in violent rage or in taking “any means necessary” to claim what I have. Think how far that could extend left unchecked. You have two kidneys?? TWO of them?? You selfish BASTARD! Don’t you know there are people on dialysis right now!?  (You get my point.) At some point I have to draw the line. Yes. I do think I have a right to my life, even if I don’t have any entitlements in it. Thank you for taking the time to actually discuss. It’s the first time that’s happened here and I appreciate it.
+1 vote
i dunno. try it? fuck rites, do wat u want. society gives rites, if survival is your aim do wats necessary, you may find that the expansive pleasures of relationships with others enriches you (if not, fuck it), and from that point of view decide wat your values are about material things. i dont know why any communist morality system seems better to you than any capitalist one... so  "If I have no right to gather and keep possessions for myself necessary for my survival.. how will I survive?" is a fucking stupid question. the question is not how to survive its how do you want to LIVE.
anyway the probable answer to your question is the same as to how porcupines get jiggy
answered Oct 1, 2011 by scum (710 points)
0 votes
yes it is simple

looking "anthropologically" at other cultures is a good place to start

so is understanding that for the human species, no human survives on his or her own, by keeping all his or her own necessary possessions.  this is not how it works even under democratic capitalism.  you don't own everything you need, you rely on others.

once you realize that you rely on others rather than keeping all "possessions" for yourself, it should open up your imagination a bit.

an example in david graebers new book are the iroqouis, who kept all "possessions" as a group in a longhouse.  the distribution of goods was managed by a women's council

the example he provides is that say you need new shoes - your wife might mention it to the women's council, who would then make or somehow manage the creation of new shoes of the distribution of existing shoes.

these shoes aren't owned by you, they are not possessions, they were created by the community much like you were. the material, the knowledge of how to make them, the craftsmanship, the time and labor, and on and on.

of course many other examples exist in the anthropological records of stateless societies.  their imagination knows no bounds.

i tend to think our own lack of imagination in regards to transactions and possessions is a byproduct of being forced to live as economic creatures.

if you can see outside the bounds of living 'economically', that is a person who at all times is trying to gain self-advantage for his or herself, then the imagination might kick in a bit more.  the key might be to rethink the concept possession.  

at what point can you actually possess something? how is that different from using it? what are the benefits of using something versus possessing it?  

your question assumes that you need possessions for survival - this might also be a block to your imagination.  you actually don't need a single possession, you just need to be able use things.
answered Oct 5, 2011 by ego (230 points)
edited Oct 5, 2011 by ego
+3 votes
Right wingers scare children and those with little knowledge about the actual proposals of communists with stuff like "they are going to expropiate your videogame, your blue jeans, your computer and your girlfriend and then your house. I am going to quote anarcho communist Alexander Berkman on this:

"The revolution abolishes private ownership of the means of production and distribution, and with it goes capitalistic business. Personal possession remains only in the things you use. Thus, your watch is your own, but the watch factory belongs to the people. Land, machinery, and all other public utilities will be collective property, neither to be bought nor sold. Actual use will be considered the only title-not to ownership but to possession. The organization of the coal miners, for example, will be in charge of the coal mines, not as owners but as the operating agency. Similarly will the railroad brotherhoods run the railroads, and so on. Collective possession, cooperatively managed in the interests of the community, will take the place of personal ownership privately conducted for profit."

Berkman proceeds from a point of view already established by Proudhon and also adhered to by american mutualist Benjamin Tucker which is establishing a difference between right to use or also called possession and ownership or also called private property. In this way there is more or less an anarchist consensus on this subject.

In the Spanish Revolution of 1936 the CNT FAI allowed peasants who owned land but didn´t employ in salaried relationship anyone to keep their land and proceded to collectivize the lands of the capitalists or latifundio landowners (if someone wants an outside reliable academic  reference for this I could easily look for it and bring it).

In recently "developed" countries such as the so called "Asian Tigers" such as South Korea, Taiwan and in Japan as in revolutionary France after the 1789 revolution they expropiated feudal and semifeudal landowners and gave individual lands to the poor landless peasants. It is clear from this that in a lot of today´s capitalist countries this kind of "communist" measure in the minds of right wingers actually happened in a frame of mind focused on capitalist development. Nevertheless the idea of every single person having a private plot of land is not feasible due to evironmental reasons so a persons could very well guaranteed  private housing but could work in a collective office or a collective farm and in my stirnerist nietzschetian individualist view I think that is fine with me and possibly it will be much more fun since ther will be no bosses and we could very well sing and play music and chat while we do work.

I am an anarcho communist who like others think that contemporary middle class families should keep their family homes and even a sort of inheritance is fine if parents decide to leave this particular family house to their children if they decide to keep living in that particular city or town.

Communism is a system mostly focused on "means of production" and not on housing, wifes, husbands or videogames. Its main enemies are the rich and not too much the middle classes. I think anarchocommunism might feel a threat to the sectors of the middle classes who wish to defend the contemporary consumerist machinery since it depends on making the working classes doing 8 hours or more (in asian maquiladoras sometimes even 14 hours) of manual work while important sectors of the middle classes have gone to universities and have a little less of authoritarian working conditions than the working class sometimes even being their supervisors.

Kropotkin is clear that he wants to significantly reduce daily working hours, he says :"Communism guarantees economic freedom better than any other form of association, because it can guarantee wellbeing, even luxury, in return for a few hours of work instead of a day's work. Now, to give ten or eleven hours of leisure per day out of the sixteen during which we lead a conscious life (sleeping eight hours), means to enlarge individual liberty to a point which for thousands of years has been one of the ideals of humanity.

This can be done today in a Communist society man can dispose of at least ten hours of leisure. This means emancipation from one of the heaviest burdens of slavery on man. It is an increase of liberty. " Pëtr Kropotkin
Communism and Anarchy http://www.theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Petr_Kropotkin__Communism_and_Anarchy.html

So 11 out of 16 means 5 hours and so in the late 19th century he expected to achieve working only 5 hours daily and in the rest of time you can go and sleep all day, be socializing with friends, spending time (or fucking) with your one or more than one girldfriends/ boyfriends (depending if you are monogamous or polyamorous) or playing sports with friends and family , or creating art individually or collectively or reading or education yourself in the local library or in cooperative educational systems. With the current technological advancement I think we can expect even less working hours to be nessesary but it is clear we will have a problem if there was an expectation of keeping building roads, private automobiles, videogames, plasma tVs, casinos, brothels, i pods, office buildings, airports, planes, spaceships, cable TV programs, hollywood films, etc since there will be less collective interest and mobilization in rpducing that kind of innesesary crap that consumerist system and alienated societies have developed. So a sort of "post-materialist" culture could be expected to develop. Instead of being with an ipod in your travel to home or work in that kind of society you could go to local social centres to dance and listen to music with others every single day and for free and in travels to home and work have more chance fo chatting with the other people riding the bus.

If we have the roads that the capitalist system built we already have enough roads and actually some of these roads could actually be destroyed and we could plant a few more trees and lakes. There is already enough buildings and rooms for everyone, even individual persons to have an apartment and with less unnessesary crap being produced we can expect a lot of current office and store spaces to be replaced in use by social and community centres for use of affinity groups.

If i may, the Famous Lennon sentence could be modified for it to be in agreement with anarchist economic debate. This will be "life without private property", possessions everyone will have but of course less possesions than in todays society but more free time. So instead of porno cassetes more possible sexual partners in real life, instead of britney spears, Lady Gaga and Pop metal bands and CDs your own rock or folk band or more time for  karaoke sessions with your friends and the local people. Instead of authentic scottish imported whisky your local artisan licquour, and so on. And even for dandies and girls who like makeup and all that shit,  makeup and hairstyles all preceed capitalist cultures and even comptemporary "gutter punks" can be homeless sometimes and still have their hair green and all that. Even indians living in the amazonian jungle use something very close to makeup and nice jewerly so one can very well be pro-jewerly and pro makeup and an anticapitalist anarcho-communist (actually my case, i am an anticapitalist dandy like Oscar Wilde). Oh, i forgot, less or no private automobiles will be exchanged with bicicles, collective buses, trains and taxis and car sharing with friends and neighbors.

Nevertheless I think we should keep the internet and inter city and interoceanic travel in order to avoid the bad sides of sedentarism and provincialism and in order to have a stady flow of visitors.
answered Oct 5, 2011 by iconoclast (3,250 points)
edited Oct 6, 2011 by iconoclast
0 votes
Possession or not is just the concept of the mind.   You own a home, I rent a furnished house.  You sit on your couch and watch your TV.  I sit on someone else couch and watch their TV.  You bought what you own.  I pay to use what someone else owns.  You cut your grass with your lawnmower,  I cut someone elses grass with my lawnmower (well they don't furnich everything.  I get transfered.  I leave and pack the clothes I have and my lawnmower, and find a new furnished rental.  You get a tranfer and sell your house and move all your stuff with you.  Is there alot of difference?

Is anarchy is conflict with the view of self determined possessions?  What you want or I want to think that our own stuff what does it matter to another person.  What if I lie and say I don't own anything but in my heart  feel I own a pleasurable self-satisfaction that I do.  In ownership possessions are often better maintain, last longer, and need replacing less often.  The probelm is less about responsible ownership and more about hoarding and irresponsible behavior.

Isn't one of the main concepts about anarchy is not impose rules, ideaologies, and conditions that others must live by.  Does ownership mean a person is corrupted.  It is a word, a thought, that a person claims for the feeling that thought gives.  

Do we own the food that we eat that becomes part of our body?  Do we own our bodies?  If ownership means that we have control over the care and treatment of that body, then maybe yes, in some concept we own our bodies.  If we see objects that we have ontained in a legitment manner could not the same concept apply.

Is the conflict of ownership based more on some judgmental biase toward the rich?  Who cares how much anyone has as long as each can have or use that which adds comfort and well-being to their lives.  In their mind let them own it or not.  Maybe the "Dont ask; donit tell" rule should apply.
answered May 23, 2012 by afunctionalworld (2,070 points)
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