It’s interesting that the only things we can say we truly own we have no legal title to.
The clothes I am wearing, for instance. They are fully, meaningfully mine in that I have absolute control over them; the government (i.e., organized other people, who’ve empowered themselves to do violence to whomever the please, “legally”) doesn’t decree the style I am allowed to wear. No “shorts are unsaaaaaaaaaafe, you might scrape a knee.”
Or the size or the price.
I can wear my clothes as long as I like – no matter what anyone else thinks of them – and even if they have holes in them.
But the really defining thing as regards my ownership of my clothes is that I am not compelled to pay those organized other people – the “government” – for the conditional privilege of being permitted to continue wearing them.
These organized other people who style themselves “the government” do not yet require me to send them a rental payment each year in order to be allowed to continue wearing the clothes on my back; if they did require such a payment – and had the legal ability to enforce it – then they would be the actual owners of my clothes, irrespective of any piece of paper I might produce – such as a bill of sale/receipt or a title indicating they are allegedly “my” clothes.
Interestingly, the law recognizes meaningful title to our clothes without our having actual title to them, or even (necessarily) a bill of sale. It is sufficient that we posses them – absent some claim that we stole them.
It is illegal – a crime – for the government (those organized other people or just individual people, not organized) to take your clothes or to extort money from you, to restrain them from taking them today… but not necessarily tomorrow.
And if they do take them, at any time, the law considers them thieves – which of course, they are.
We are even free to destroy our clothes, if we wish – without fear of prosecution by the law. Other people – organized or not – may not like this, but there is nothing (legally) they can do to stop us, nor can they punish us for doing so.
Contrast the above – the absolute title in allodium (in actuality, if not literally) we enjoy with regard to our clothes and our other minor possessions – with the functionally meaningless “ownership” we have of things like vehicles, our homes and land, even our own bodies.
Meaningless – titles of ownership notwithstanding – because we are not permitted to do as we wish with these things, including even our own bodies. Other people – “the government” – lay claim to them to one degree or another and express their claims via laws prescribing and proscribing what we may (and may not) do with these things we supposedly “own.”
These other people control the things which we delude ourselves into believing are our own things, because we have a piece of paper describing us as the owner.
But owners – if the word has any meaning – control their property. Exclusively.
Just as a customer has an absolute right to say no.
An owner – by definition – doesn’t need to obtain permission from others to use his property in whatever manner he sees fit; if he does need to obtain it, then he is at best a steward of the property in question – an employee (at will) of the true owners, who may chasten, punish and (so to speak) fire him at their whim.
What sort of ownership is it when (speaking of a home or land) the alleged “owner” cannot even put up a fence or add a bathroom without prior permission from other people (i.e., this agglutination which styles itself “government”) and if he does so without their permission, opens himself up to ultimately murderous violence by armed other people, who will literally drag him off “his” property and seize it for themselves if he continues to insist on doing as he likes with it?
What does it mean to say that “slavery is illegal” when it is legal to plunder men, to take by force the product of their labor? To decree what a person may do with (or put into) “his” own body?
The legal prohibition of “slavery” is as meaningless as the legal fiction of “ownership” of things we have title to but which others control and which those others can compel us to pay them rent for the conditional privilege of temporary possession – that possession contingent upon our continuing to pay for the privilege.
It is actually worse than meaningless – because the fiction of ownership dulls us to the reality of our indenture in perpetuity; to the hard fact that we literally own nothing except for the clothes on our backs and whatever small things we can carry that other people haven’t yet decided they own.
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