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This is nonsense. Many non-human animals are territorial. Is that nest a community nest, or does it belong to a specific group of birds until they're done with it? Similarly, some non-human animals have organized systems that maintain cultural norms (like punishing individuals who steal).

I don't understand this libertarian appeal to nature. Surely we can do better than the drunken walk of evolution that has led to present day "nature".




> Many non-human animals are territorial. Is that nest a community nest, or does it belong to a specific group of birds until they're done with it?

Territory is very different from property. Territory is something you defend. Property is something society agrees to defend for you.


A specious definition, unworthy of you. Dogs demonstrate preferences for particular toys; squirrels will defend a cache of nuts; ant colonies manage herds of aphids. A property interest can be invested in an object or in a piece of territory and I dispute your claim that they are somehow fundamentally different, but contend instead that property consists of any resource over which one has and anticipates retaining control.


I'm not saying it's fundamentally different in the sense of animals not having having an instinct to control objects. Property takes that instinct and adds to it a layer of organized coercion to enforce possessory interests.

(I guess I kinda missed the context of the post a bit further up, which suggests there isn't a possessory instinct in nature, which is obviously incorrect.)


That certainly makes more sense. If it makes my argument clearer, I'm asserting that the possessory instinct is natural and that the organizational factors themselves have a biological basis, in that we replicate the basic organizational structure of our bodies in similarly specialized institutional form.

As I mentioned elsewhere, I'm increasingly drawn to the conclusion that those who argue most intensely for certain ideological positions are the least comfortable with the idea that our social structures may be biologically determined or could be subject to biological analysis.


Where would they come from if not a biological basis? Magic? Divine inspiration?


Being uncomfortable with something is not the same as denying it. Furthermore, it's also possible to acknowledge something as true and not accept the logical consequences, however inconsistent that may be.


it's also possible to acknowledge something as true and not accept the logical consequences

Who's talking about "possible"? Any ignorant position is "possible".


The point is that it's a difference in degree, not a qualitative difference. It's true that we are the only animal capable of passing written law. That doesn't mean other animals don't have property. A silverback's nest or mate is his property, by all definitions that matter in gorilla society. This is recognized by all members, and all members know there the penalties if the rules aren't respected.

Our property laws grew from these exact ways of thinking. Property is natural.




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