Paul Babie, ‘Reflections on Private Property as Ego and War’

This article offers three reflections on the nature of the metaphysical ‘wall’ erected between the ‘Included’ and the ‘Excluded/Other’ by the concept of private property and its implementation in a state’s legal apparatus. The first reflection explores the reality of the concept of private property, using Louis Althusser’s conception of ideology, in order to demonstrate that the liberal conception of private property masks power operating on two levels: the formal, repressive state apparatus, and the deeper, the personal, the real, the actual level, which allows the Included to act upon ego in ways that negatively affect the Excluded/Other found in the ideological state apparatus. The second argues that the masked power that is private property permits war to be waged by the Included as against the Excluded/Other at two levels: intra-state and inter-state. This reveals a paradox in the distinction between Included and Excluded/Other: while the distinction demonstrates the allocation of power over resources, the reality is that every individual on earth is both Included and Excluded/Other. The final reflection briefly considers what could replace private property as a means of allocating goods and resources within a society.

Paul Babie, Reflections on Private Property as Ego and War, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law. First Online: 11 February 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s11196-017-9505-1.

First posted 2017-02-13 06:50:53

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