Self-ownership is a meaningless concept.

The concept of rights is a controversial one, even amongst Anarchists, and I think that is mainly because people have a false notion of what a right is. As I have discussed before, from an Anarchist perspective, all that a right means is that we (as individuals, and by extension as social groups) are justified in using force to defend ourselves in certain circumstances. This is something that very few people would dispute, and thus the concept of rights should not be controversial. The Anarchist framework also eliminates the absurd idea of “taking away a person’s rights” when they commit a criminal action.

One thing that makes people reject the concept of rights is the concept of self-ownership. Most people who believe in rights would say that self-ownership is the foundation of individual rights. Yet this position is absurd, since there is no such thing as self-ownership.

For one thing, there is no such thing as the self, at least in the common conception of what the “self” might be. There is no entity somewhere in me called “Francois Tremblay.” What I might associate with my self- my memories, my personality, my capacity to reason, my recognition of other people, and many other things- are all part of an ever-fluctuating mass of neurons. A more sane concept of the self may be to define the self as a process of experience, not as fixed states.

But even if we take this view, how is the self bounded? Is it the mind, which is the construct through which we receive our experiences? But the mind is an activity of the brain, and therefore we cannot isolate the mind from the brain. So is the self bounded by the brain? But without the rest of the body, especially our sensory organs and nervous system, the brain is useless as a source of selfhood. The self, therefore, if it is to make sense at all, must be a property of the body, not merely of one or the other organ.

This leads us to the rather disappointing conclusion that “self-ownership” means “the body owns the body.” But this is an utterly trivial and useless proposition. When I say “I own this chair,” I mean nothing more than the fact that I legitimately control the chair. But there can be no relationship of control between an entity and itself. If there is no distinction between owner and owned, then no relationship of ownership actually does not, and cannot, exist. The body itself is a moral agent (a “self”), and therefore it cannot possibly be owned by anything or anyone.

If this is true, then how do we define slavery? After all, slavery is commonly defined as the ownership of another human being. But we can see this is quite impossible. A slaveowner does not own the free will of his slave: all he can do is issue orders and back them with threats, and the might of the State (when it is available). If it was possible to actually own another human being, then one would not need any orders or threats, but simply to will the other human being to act in this or that way, just as we do with “our own bodies” (this common turn of phrase, having been disproven, must now be put between quotes).

What the slaveowner owns (illegitimately, may I add) is not the human being himself, but rather the rights of that human being. The slave is seen as being unjustified in any act of force, and the right to use force in defense of the slave is now owned by the slaveowner. The slaveowner is justified in using force to defend the slave, because he wishes to defend his property. But the slaveowner is also justified in using force against the slave, and the slave (according to the doctrine of slavery) has no rights against him. In short, the slave is treated as any inanimate object, a chair, a desk or a plank of wood, which by definition have no rights.

When the State stakes its claim on what we can or cannot do with our bodies, this should also not be seen as claiming ownership over us (unless a statist declares this, in which case it is a contradiction). Rather, we should see it as an attempt by the State to gain more positive rights against us. Indeed, what the State is basically doing by, for instance, banning drug use or abortions is to treat our bodies as something that is contained within the State, that belongs to the State, and that can therefore be protected by force by the State from our own actions. If we accept the democratic premise that we are the government, that we, our bodies, are part of the State, then it is no wonder that we accept such unjust laws, isn’t it?

If self-ownership does not exist, and thus cannot be the foundation that helps us determine the rights that exist, how do we define the nature of rights? Kinsella’s estoppel argument gives us the answer: rights exist because acts of aggression exist. If there were no aggressors in society, we would have no need to defend ourselves, or to examine whether such defense is just or not, and thus we would not talk about rights. But how do we define what is to be protected, which is to say, how do we define aggression? Once again let me give you my favourite quote on the subject of rights:

When I describe a man as an invader, I cast no reflection upon him; I simply state a fact, Nor do I assert for a moment the moral inferiority of the invader’s desire. I only declare the impossibility of simultaneously gratifying the invader’s desire to invade and my desire to be let alone. That these desires are morally equal I cheerfully admit, but they cannot be equally realized. Since one must be subordinated to the other, I naturally prefer the subordination of the invader’s, and am ready to co-operate with non-invasive persons to achieve that result.

Benjamin Tucker

Unlike Tucker, I would not say that all desires are morally equal, but I would agree that we should treat one people’s values and decisions are being equal to everyone else’s. I would say self-destructive behaviour is not morally equal to constructive behaviour, but an individual who is acting self-destructively has as much right to act in that way as someone who acts constructively.

That small distinction being made, Tucker’s argument provides us another way of seeing the fundamental point that rights come from the need to respond to aggression. Tucker defined aggression as a “violation of equal liberty,” meaning that, all desires being morally equal, no individual should try to impose his desires over another person’s. In moral terms, I would interpret this as the position that an aggressor is someone whose actions interfere with someone else’s value-expression.

If we take that as a premise, then we can easily see how to derive the standards rights that we know. We have rights to life (and to suicide, which I would say is almost as important a right), liberty, self-determination (both for the individual and for the communities which individuals form), freedom of expression, to be treated equally and fairly by the law (which in Anarchist terms would translate into the universality principle), freedom of movement, property, and so on. All of these can be more simply seen as forms of value-expression, or ways of systemically preserving value-expression (e.g. opposition to State intervention).

This foundation of rights, like self-ownership, refutes the existence of “social, cultural and economic rights” (as opposed to the rights I have just talked about, which are commonly called “human rights”) such as a right to work or a right to education, since these imply aggressing on other people. You could say that I have the right to freedom of education, I have the right to acquire an education in any way I can if that’s what I so desire, just like I have a right to freedom as a whole, but I do not have the right to an education. If I have a right to an education, then other people must be coerced into giving me an education, in accordance with whatever rules are set for this right by the ruling class (for obviously we must define and specify what an education is, in order to give people a right to it). if the educators in a given society refused to dispense such education, or disagreed with the rules proposed, then they would have to be aggressed upon to do so, since they would be breaking my right.

One could argue, using the equality principle, that economic equality is necessary for freedom, and is therefore also a right. I agree with this statement, but only insofar as we are talking about the Anarchist concept of equality, which is not distinct from freedom and therefore follows the same logic. Equality is certainly not an “economic right.” Neither, for that matter, is the idea of collective possession of natural resources. Neither of these imply aggression by their mere existence, like all “economic” rights, and they can both be completely translated in terms of “human rights.”

So, while self-ownership is meaningless, rights can be derived from the justified protection of value-expression. Is it possible for someone to deny that it is justified to protect value-expression? Kinsella’s estoppel argument refutes such attempts, just as it always does. If we claim that protecting one’s value-expression is unjustified, then we are necessarily saying that attacking another person’s value-expression is justified. But if that is the case, then rights still exist: we have merely changed their content to “you can use force to suppress value-expression in others,” in short the only right left in existence is the right to suppress directed actions. But since such a suppression is a directed action itself, it is a contradiction, and thus the scenario collapses.

For more on this topic, also read “Is self-ownership a misnomer?”, from Polycentric Order.

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37 thoughts on “Self-ownership is a meaningless concept.

  1. David Z September 16 2008 at 22:35

    Since man is a moral agent, he cannot be owned, and it is silly to talk about a man owning oneself (especially since, nobody else can “own” him)?

    This is good stuff, Franc.

  2. Francois Tremblay September 17 2008 at 3:09

    Thanks!

  3. On Self-Ownership September 17 2008 at 14:35

    [...] Interesting comments on Self-Ownership. When the State stakes its claim on what we can or cannot do with our bodies, this should also not be seen as claiming ownership over us (unless a statist declares this, in which case it is a contradiction). Rather, we should see it as an attempt by the State to gain more positive rights against us. Indeed, what the State is basically doing by, for instance, banning drug use or abortions is to treat our bodies as something that is contained within the State, that belongs to the State, and that can therefore be protected by force by the State from our own actions. If we accept the democratic premise that we are the government, that we, our bodies, are part of the State, then it is no wonder that we accept such unjust laws, isn’t it? [...]

  4. johnpetrie September 17 2008 at 22:59

    This is a really interesting topic. I’ve struggled with this since reading this post by Gene Callahan. Stephan Kinsella rebutted him by citing his own column on self-ownership. Maybe that’s the same writing of his you referred to above.

    Basically, I interpret “self-ownership” as meaning: we have individual sovereignty, we have rights in our bodies and our liberty, we are the only ones who (should) have control over our selves, we are moral agents on equal standing with every other moral agent. I honestly think it’s just a semantic difference that results from trying to express a complex metaphysical concept in one English word. I’m not convinced the term is imperfect, and if I grant that it is imperfect or even wrong, I’m not convinced the concept it’s supposed to convey is meaningless or non-existent.

  5. Ethan Lee Vita September 27 2008 at 15:17

    An excellent thought-provoking piece. I agree with both Francis and John on this. However, I do disagree with the idea of a right to life. This implies that one would have to coerce others to provide medical attention, food, water etc. Perhaps you meant a right to not have your life forcibly taken?

    And do you have a post somewhere or could you create one that elaborates on the following?
    “One could argue, using the equality principle, that economic equality is necessary for freedom, and is therefore also a right. I agree with this statement, but only insofar as we are talking about the Anarchist concept of equality, which is not distinct from freedom and therefore follows the same logic. Equality is certainly not an “economic right.” Neither, for that matter, is the idea of collective possession of natural resources. Neither of these imply aggression by their mere existence, like all “economic” rights, and they can both be completely translated in terms of “human rights.””

  6. Francois Tremblay September 27 2008 at 15:19

    How exactly do you want me to elaborate on it? Do you disagree?

  7. Flipper October 2 2008 at 1:23

    How would you relate this to abortion – particularly if the baby is a person at conception. Not taking into account rape or the health of the mother.

    Thanks looking forward to your response.

  8. Francois Tremblay October 2 2008 at 1:28

    I don’t see any way in which my proposition that self-ownership is not a proper basis for natural rights has any influence on one’s position on abortion. AFAIK, the arguments for and against abortion do not rely on one specific conception of natural rights as opposed to another.

  9. Flipper October 2 2008 at 2:21

    The reason I ask is I was in a dialogue with a person who was explaining his position that because of the principle of self-ownership the woman has the right to abort or remove the fetus because it is trespassing and she is unable to contract with the child. It is like a tumor and she it going to remove it because she has sole ownership of her womb – thereby removing it is her right and the consequence of the death of the fetus is a side effect. Any thoughts?

  10. Francois Tremblay October 2 2008 at 2:28

    I would say the reasoning is basically correct, but that it would have to be grounded in one’s right to act freely, not in self-ownership. Or to take Tucker’s argument, that the actions of the foetus interfere with the woman’s desires, and that thus the foetus is a coercive agent.

  11. Ethan Lee Vita October 2 2008 at 23:27

    I don’t seem to recall my objections. Either I was not understanding it at the time or I’m just not thinking clearly tonight.

    P.S. An option to be notified of any new comments would be great. I often forget about posts that don’t have that option. I only came across this again because I needed to go through your arguments again.

  12. Francois Tremblay October 3 2008 at 3:25

    Yea, I agree that it would be great.

  13. Bob Tallon November 10 2008 at 2:11

    Ownership is a great concept to build crystallized ego and hubris around it is the foundation of individual egotistic freedom . It is also the harborer of it,s own doom. Simply because as ownership of lands,monetary resources,political ,and legal energy evolves into the hands of a few people, it enslaves or limits the ability of expression and movement of others. Since life is process and not a concept this mental construct called ownership disassociates people from actualizing effectively on their human potential. We have just observed another round of greed and hubris from corporate owners collapsing around their ownership mentality. Capitalism just like Communism caries the seeds of it,s own destruction in it,s functional hierarchy. The only way I can see to solve the problem is with honest folks interested in humanity as a functional equation that needs nurturing and adjustments. I like the Star Trek mythology
    ( The motivator is self improvement) not monetary gain guess perhaps I like a little more of a socialists flavor in our civilization.
    Please excuse my argument as being anything other than the thoughts of a unenlightened high school graduate. I speak only from feelings not logic.

  14. Aahz January 9 2009 at 18:03

    Wow! That whole section on slaves and slaveowners is just brilliant! It will definitely find use in my continuing arguments that all Americans are simply slaves with the “government” being our slaveowner.

  15. Self-Disowner January 11 2009 at 11:43

    You’ve done a good job outlining why self-ownership is a ridiculous concept, but you seem to believe free will is not equally ridiculous.

    Tell me, from whence came free will? The universe doesn’t appear to have it. The sun doesn’t. Earth doesn’t. The building blocks of life don’t. The primordial sludge didn’t. The first lifeforms didn’t. Bacteria don’t. Trees don’t. Starfish don’t. Spiders don’t. Alligators don’t. Cows don’t. Are we getting closer? Do macaques have free will? Do orangutans? Just the Homo genus? Did Neanderthals have free will? Just humans? Are we the only species of animal to be endowed with this amazing faculty? Splendid! I feel so, so… blessed!

    Ridiculous.

    These ridiculous concepts are all just flimsy (and transparent) attempts to justify the declaration of certain rights as inviolable.

    As to positive rights. You make the same mistake as right-libertarians, who have a bizarre need to boil rights down to a set of seemingly logical first principles. The trouble for them (and you, it seems), is that all rights are privileges. They make comical, tortured attempts to draw a distinction between rights and privileges, so that they may declare the former to be inherent and inalienable. (“What is not granted may not be revoked!”) Also ridiculous. Rights are privileges; we invented them, we grant them, we may revoke them.

    So if a group of people decide to extend a so-called “positive” right (there is no real distinction between positive and negative; in fact all rights are positive) to, say, pool their funds and educate one another’s children for “free,” that’s their prerogative. I agree that it is unjust for them to force you to put money into the kitty, and to send your kids to their school. So I agree that you ought to be allowed to opt out — but then you must not be allowed to benefit from that education. How that might break down, exactly, is admittedly a messy question. But it seems clear to me that you are not entitled to gain from the rest of your neighborhood pooling their funds for a school, not even tangentially. Once you do, you become a freerider.

    Anyway, good post overall. I value all efforts to shoot holes in mythology.

  16. Francois Tremblay January 11 2009 at 15:07

    Self-Disowner: Your problem is that you are trying to refute my positions on “rights” and “free will” by using the way you define the words. That’s not how it works.

    You haven’t refuted anything except two straw men.

  17. Self-Disowner January 11 2009 at 17:04

    Free will? No, I haven’t proffered a definition. I went with the common one, which you seemed to be using.

    Rights? OK, I’m using a definition different from yours, but I disagree that I’ve done the redefining. To the contrary, it is they who presume to cleave a new species of rights (which they call “negative”) from all other rights (which are in fact positive privileges) who are redefining terms.

    Anyway, you’re dodging.

  18. Francois Tremblay January 11 2009 at 18:45

    The only statement I made about free will was:
    “A slaveowner does not own the free will of his slave”
    How the hell does that justify your diatribe?

    “Rights? OK, I’m using a definition different from yours, but I disagree that I’ve done the redefining. To the contrary, it is they who presume to cleave a new species of rights (which they call “negative”) from all other rights (which are in fact positive privileges) who are redefining terms.”

    From my definition, which I wrote on this very entry by the way, positive and negative rights are both rights, and not “two species.” In fact, I never said that positive and negative rights were “species of rights.” You completely made that up.

    Once again, your comments are absolutely useless because you are refuting concepts that are not mine, and you are the only dodger here. Either address the points I made on my entry, or stop wasting our time.

  19. Self-Denier January 11 2009 at 23:34

    Typically for such discussions, this was immediately sidelined by semantics.

    Look, why don’t I concede to whatever accusations you have for me as to equivocation or whatnot, so we can get back to the part where you affirm free will and defend it.

    OK?

    That’s primarily what I’m here for. To get you to “check your premises.”

  20. Francois Tremblay January 11 2009 at 23:41

    This is not a semantics issue, but the issue of you refusing to refute the concepts that I’m talking about.

    Why should I defend free will? It’s not relevant to this entry.

  21. Bob Tallon February 20 2009 at 0:41

    Free will is another mental construct just like any other intellectual exercise. Does it exist ?
    The question is really irrelevant . It is the same as the old what comes first the chicken or the egg. Or did you stop beating your wife yet. You can glump on to some school of philosophy and create a whole university of mental magnitude on your position and become famous and world renown. But it really would not defend against a child’s simple question to the contrary. I do agree that free will is a happy illusion. We need it to weave our ego’s into a psychological energy of apparent independence just like ownership concept. Do we need all these delusional self assumptions for survival ? I think not but that is for me as an independent unit to feel. Another cool question that might be fun to answer
    is logic just a refined organized subtle form of emotional feeling.

  22. [...] we wish in the first place to logically deduce the property rights to use from an axiom which is meaningless and logically inconsistent to boot. This is asking us to take an ideological concept and from that [...]

  23. [...] believe in property at all) are invalid. Otherwise he could not make the claim that self-ownership (which is a meaningless and incoherent concept) is the only possible [...]

  24. [...] I have discussed why I reject the concept of “self-ownership” in a past entry. One related article that was linked on my comments is Kinsella’s Mises Institute article [...]

  25. [...] the issue of “self-ownership,” see my entries Self-ownership is a meaningless concept and The confusion of self-ownership This entry was posted in Links. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

  26. dave July 11 2011 at 2:59

    “I would say self-destructive behaviour is not morally equal to constructive behaviour” On what grounds do you base this statement?

    • Francois Tremblay July 11 2011 at 3:01

      Because if everyone decided to lop off their arms, society as a whole would be worse than it is now.

  27. Kyle September 29 2011 at 20:51

    “But there can be no relationship of control between an entity and itself. If there is no distinction between owner and owned, then no relationship of ownership actually does not, and cannot, exist. The body itself is a moral agent (a “self”), and therefore it cannot possibly be owned by anything or anyone.”

    Why would this be true?

    If your claim is as I understand it, that self-ownership doesn’t exist because you can’t own yourself, because you are yourself. Then the point has no meaning, you admit that you are yourself, then you must be admitting that you control yourself. You are yourself because you can control yourself, if that which you control is what you own. Then because you can control yourself, you own yourself.

    You seem to simply state that a relationship cannot exist between an entity and itself, but that isn’t quite true. You may just be a mass of nerves organs and muscles, but your conscious is just the same distinct from it.

    If you’ll allow me to explain, if your arm is severed from your body, and it falls on the ground before you, though it no longer is attached to the rest of your body, it most certainly remains a part of your body. It is at this point that your conscious and your body (although only a partial amount of it) have become separate, and the clarity of the ownership relationship between your body and your body becomes clear.

    The owner is the sum of the parts, and the owned is each part. In an almost corporate way, that individual stockholders together own each other’s business, as well as their own.

    • Francois Tremblay September 29 2011 at 20:58

      “If your claim is as I understand it, that self-ownership doesn’t exist because you can’t own yourself, because you are yourself.”

      Correct. Ownership is a relation between owner and owned.

      “Then the point has no meaning,”

      What it “means” is that self-ownership is nonsense and is not the justification for anything.

      “you admit that you are yourself, then you must be admitting that you control yourself.”

      What exactly is the meaning of that proposition? I don’t “control” 90% of the processes going on in this body I supposedly own.

      “You are yourself because you can control yourself, if that which you control is what you own. Then because you can control yourself, you own yourself.”

      Nope.

      “You seem to simply state that a relationship cannot exist between an entity and itself, but that isn’t quite true. You may just be a mass of nerves organs and muscles, but your conscious is just the same distinct from it.”

      No, my consciousness is not distinct from my nerves, organs and muscles.
      If you’ll allow me to explain, if your arm is severed from your body, and it falls on the ground before you, though it no longer is attached to the rest of your body, it most certainly remains a part of your body. It is at this point that your conscious and your body (although only a partial amount of it) have become separate, and the clarity of the ownership relationship between your body and your body becomes clear.

      The owner is the sum of the parts, and the owned is each part. In an almost corporate way, that individual stockholders together own each other’s business, as well as their own.

  28. [...] let me present you some reading material, and for once, it's not mises Self-ownership is a meaningless concept. | The Prime Directive __________________ [...]

  29. [...] be dropped. I do not own my self, I am myself.Or former libertarian Francois Tremblay’s post Self-ownership is a meaningless concept (follow-up post).Now I have explained the errors in this confused argument against self-ownership [...]

  30. [...] nonsense. I’ve already discussed in detail how the concept of self-ownership is meaningless (here and here). To explain this simply, the concept of owning a body (by which I imply a living body [...]

  31. anarcho_hydralisk April 12 2012 at 15:24

    ”’There is no entity somewhere in me called “Francois Tremblay.” What I might associate with my self- my memories, my personality, my capacity to reason, my recognition of other people, and many other things- are all part of an ever-fluctuating mass of neurons.”’

    There’s no such thing as neurons either. Neurons are just an ever fluctuating mass cell membranes and synaptic vesicles. There’s no such things as cells either. Cells are just an ever fluctuating mass of ions fluids and protein, etc. This is the Buddhist philosophy of “sunyata” or emptiness, which asserts all objects of type X contain no X.

    It’s a nonsequitur at best in rational debate, because in rational debate Identity, Conciousness, and Existence are _axiomatic_. That is, in order to hold a resolvable rational debate that operates upon logic, they are seen as necessary assumptions to make.

    Rothbard also holds that that Nonaggression and Self-Ownership are _axioms_ of rational debate. In order for our debate to be rational and rationally resolved, you must be able to speak for yourself and I cannot speak for you or control your words through coercion, and vice versa.

    > A slaveowner does not own the free will of his slave

    They do under the non-metaphysical definition of social freedom offered by philosophers of Liberalism and Libertarianism. Generally speaking, victims of murder do not commit suicide and “choose” to die, someone else made that decision for them by threatening violence. You must offer an alternate definition freedom, and state how this new definition is less contradictory than the existing definition, and whether your new definition allows one to differentiate between victim and belligerent, if you wish to assert this.

    All the best.

    • Francois Tremblay April 12 2012 at 21:38

      “There’s no such thing as neurons either. Neurons are just an ever fluctuating mass cell membranes and synaptic vesicles. There’s no such things as cells either. Cells are just an ever fluctuating mass of ions fluids and protein, etc.”

      I don’t know enough about neurology to comment on these statements. I have never heard such a thing, but I’d be interested in hearing more.

      “It’s a nonsequitur at best in rational debate, because in rational debate Identity, Conciousness, and Existence are _axiomatic_. That is, in order to hold a resolvable rational debate that operates upon logic, they are seen as necessary assumptions to make.”

      No, the assumption that there is an entity called Francois Tremblay is not necessary for “me” (i.e. the body and brain that take that name) to engage in rational debate.

      I get what you’re doing, I was an Objectivist once. But identity does not mean personal identity, it means A is A (that an existant has specific properties). You need to… wait for it… CHECK YOUR PREMISES.

      “Rothbard also holds that that Nonaggression and Self-Ownership are _axioms_ of rational debate. In order for our debate to be rational and rationally resolved, you must be able to speak for yourself and I cannot speak for you or control your words through coercion, and vice versa.”

      Again, this is false because it does not exclude the actual fact of the matter, which is that bodies are not a kind of thing that can be owned.

      “They do under the non-metaphysical definition of social freedom offered by philosophers of Liberalism and Libertarianism. Generally speaking, victims of murder do not commit suicide and “choose” to die, someone else made that decision for them by threatening violence.”

      I fail to see the relevance of your analogy between murder and slavery. I agree that victims of murder do not choose to die, that it is done to them by violence. So what? I don’t believe we choose anything, so this does not prove anything.

      “You must offer an alternate definition freedom, and state how this new definition is less contradictory than the existing definition, and whether your new definition allows one to differentiate between victim and belligerent, if you wish to assert this.”

      I don’t believe in free will, therefore I am not interested in the minutiae of definition. The standard libertarian definition is sufficient for me.

  32. Will July 13 2012 at 14:31

    It seems like semantic discussions always lead to impractical and unworkable solutions. ‘Self Ownership’ may be a flawed term, but works for most freedom seeking people. When I look in the mirror I see me, not you, or anyone else. My will/volition extend naturally throughout my body, and I naturally recognize that as me. Maybe at a higher spiritual level or higher consciousness we are one, but in this phenomenal world we are atomized egos existing in bodies. And if we don’t exercise our will for our own benifit, the chances are we will die.. I honor the ‘right to property'(another flawed concept), yet at the same time recognize that when I die, I loose all my property and even my body(I guess at that point I loose ‘ownership’ of the body), since ‘me’ as a persona stops existing in the phenomenal world. Do ‘Good fences make good neighbors’??

    • Francois Tremblay July 13 2012 at 14:34

      “It seems like semantic discussions always lead to impractical and unworkable solutions. ”
      Then it’s good that this is not a semantic discussion. It’s about ethics.

      “My will/volition extend naturally throughout my body,”
      No it doesn’t.

      “I honor the ‘right to property’(another flawed concept),”
      And this is part of the ethical discussion here. Your belief in self-ownership is linked to property. My lack of belief in self-ownership is linked to my lack of belief in property.

      “Do ‘Good fences make good neighbors’??”
      Nope.

  33. You don’t own me! | On the Mark July 21 2012 at 3:43

    [...] second link went to  an article entitled, “Self-ownership is a meaningless concept“, by a fellow named Francois Tremblay who wants to claim there are no “rights” [...]

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