I’ve discussed extensively about Block’s Corollary, regarding the absurd consequences of the concept of property. Block’s Corollary is basically the position that the right of property logically implies the right to a degree of control over the people who are on that property. This is generally admitted in many cases, but we’ve merely taken the argument to its logical conclusion, as Block does, and proposed that under the capitalist property scheme rape is not necessarily a crime as long as it’s done under contract (as Block says, it is in fact purely voluntary).
To this, there seems to have been pretty much one response from the capitalists: “well, that’s not what property actually entails, the woman still has her rights regardless of her being on the boss’ property.” But they cannot answer why the woman’s rights have precedence over her boss’ rights. They cannot answer because there is no answer; it’s an ad hoc rationalization constructed to defend property rights. But if true, it would imply that there are “different degrees” of property, which is a contradiction, as property is by definition absolute.
Noor has constructed a new argument which similarly destroys property rights, but from a different angle.
Imagine that there is this house where a voluntary contract links a tenant and a landlord. Then a child is born from that tenant, grows up, becomes an adult, his mother dies, and now the landlord start asking for rent from the child as well. But there is no contract linking the child and the landlord, therefore no consent. So the child is faced with a situation where he must either pay a rent he never consented to, or be forced to leave against his will. And even before that, when he didn’t pay rent, he was still subject to the other rules of the contract, which he obviously never consented to either.
The capitalist has no choice but to say that the contract is necessarily valid, since he believes that all voluntary agreements are necessarily valid. But the contract implies non-consensual attacks on another person’s rights, the child. Within the capitalist property system, it must be so.
I hope the analogy here is clear. The child cannot do otherwise but be born wherever he is born, and the same is true for all of us. And yet we are told that a contract, the US Constitution, binds us to our landlords, the US government, and obliges us to pay tribute.
The “anarcho-capitalist” may reply that the US Constitution can only bind people who actually signed it. But then the same would be true for the contract with the landlord, which should only bind people who actually signed it, but it obviously binds the child also, who never signed it. In the same way, the US government, acting as illegitimately as the landlord, claiming property over the land it arbitrary delimits and calls the United States, demands that the children born on its property be its subjects, even though no consent was ever given.
The other part of the process is the idea that the child, as well as the unwilling citizen, should simply leave. This is the “love it or leave it” part of statism, and is subject to the same objections. To list these would be besides the point; I would hope that my Anarchist readers don’t need such a list anyway. The only important thing regarding the argument is that this alternative is equally non-consensual.
So it seems that from this voluntary contract can only arise non-consensual consequences. This paradox only exists because of property rights. In a possession system, the child would be recognized as the sole remaining legitimate possessor of the house after his mother’s death. The so-called land-lord would have nothing to lord over, since he could never be recognized as the actual owner of that land.
Property rights leads to absurd consequences. Nowhere is this more obvious than in how frantically capitalists try to rationalize that fact without being able to prove anything. “I don’t support rape!” they’ll exclaim. I’m sure I will get a lot of comments to this entry saying “The two examples you gave are not the same because the landlord is well within his rights to coerce the child, but I don’t approve of the government’s claims!” And yet they will never, ever be able to show how the examples are dissimilar.
Some may argue, on the other hand, that they oppose coercing children and that therefore my argument is invalid, but they will be unable to explain how property rights are compatible with their view. If my experience with Block’s Corollary is any indication, I expect their argument will be something like “the child’s (property-)ownership of his own body trumps the landlord’s (property-)ownership of his land.” Why does one kind of property-ownership trump another kind? Blank. How can the concept of property, which is absolute, admit of higher and lower forms of itself? Blank. The belief in property remains absolute circular nonsense.
In fact, the line of argumentation that I’ve discussed in this entry can very easily be made parallel to Block’s Corollary. One can imagine any contract which, being in effect, would hurt the child without his consent. For example, the tenant and the landlord may have made a contract which stipulates that the child may be starved if he is unable to pay rent. One may argue that this is an obvious attack on the child, but the difference between normal contract rules which are applied to the child without his consent, and an abnormal rule such as this one, is merely a matter of degree. In all cases the rights of the child are attacked. To accept one but reject the other is hypocrite.