To “property” via “mutual extrication”

I’ve been taking part in a C4SS-sponsored discussion of occupancy-and-use property norms, “Occupancy and Use: Potential Applications and Possible Shortcomings,” which is now appearing on the Center’s website. The exchange opened with a piece by Kevin Carson, “Are We All Mutualists?,” which suggests that perhaps the answer is “yes.” A series of responses will be posted every other day, with my “Neo-Proudhonian Remarks” already posted under the title “Limiting Conditions and Local Desires.”

For me, this first response was an opportunity to talk again about the development of Proudhon’s thoughts on property, but also to return to the question of how we might construct property norms that would not be, in Proudhon’s sense, “theft.” So you will find some new thoughts on the “gift economy of property” at the end of the piece, and some clarifications in my later contributions to the exchange. Part of what is new is an approach to establishing property through a sort of “mutual extrication,” a necessity perhaps for individuals “not contained between [their] hat and boots.”

About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.