Quote of the Day: Consumables and Property

Propertarians always like to compare issues about ownership of land to issues about ownership of consumables. This is flawed.

Quoth Voltairine, my favourite redditor, in reply to a propertarian:

My eating an apple prevents someone else from eating that same apple, or entraps them in their “ghetto” as you call it.

A one time consumable good is not the same as an indefinitely productive property. Every major thinker in anarchist history that I can think of has always considered the consumable goods to be important, but ultimately small potatoes in comparison with what is truly critical. This is the reason behind the possession/property distinction that most anarchists find critical going all the way back to Proudhon, while so-called “anarcho”-capitalists seem to think it is a clever plot to make them look like jerks. Indefinite private dominion over all productive resources, enforced upon the unwilling, is hardly legitimated by your need to eat apples.

This is the kind of issue skirting in fact that subconsciously annoy me when arguing with AnCaps and the like. Usually I can’t put my finger on it but Voltairine immediately calls it out.