Common Rights vs Collective Rights

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Short essay by Dan Sullivan which also contrasts Common Property from Collective Property.



From the reading notes of Michel Bauwens 2006:

One of the characteristics of "peer to peer" 'ideology' is that it aims to reconstructs freedom and equality, i.e. it aims to reconcile the contradiction between the value of liberalism and its priority on freedom, and socialism, with its insistence on real equality. This attempts was preceded in the 19th cy tradition of 'individualist anarchism', or 'left libertarianism', which has many subtraditions. descends from the geo-libertarian tradition of Henry George.

- "One of the great tragedies of socialism has been the confounding of common rights (natural rights common to each individual) with collective rights (those that have been delegated to the community or its government)."

An example of a common right is free speech, which may not be abrogated by any collective. Common property, f.e an open park with access to all, is not collective property (for. a no-access government building).

Equal rights are common rights, anybody may exercise it without permission; joint rights are collective rights; you need permission from the other rights holders.

For geolibertarians, land rights are common rights. Equal rights however, are limited in that they may not interfere with the rights of others.

Land is thus a individual right, but since more individuals may want a particular piece of land, 'natural rent' arises to resolve a conflict, and governance 'arises' because of complexity. Illegitimate rent arises out of artificially maintained scarcity (landlors keeping good land out of use to maintain monopoly rents).

The author follows up with a few paragraphs on the evolution of liberal thought on this topic.

- "Marx's biggest error was to suppose that society could be improved by grand design, that the solution was to impose a new order, rather than to abolish the privileges embedded in the old order."

Sullivan rejects Marx's equation of capitalists and landowners, saying 'true capital comes from labor" and "both are natural allies against privilege".

For Sullivan, value is prior to labor, as that what inspires it (one labors to obtain the priorl desired value). But he also attacks anti-Marxists for confusing privilege with capital.

The whole article equates geolibertarianism with classical liberalism.