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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Complete Identification of Property with Person

Fairness: the condition of being just or impartial (Encarta Dictionary).

There is a powerful tendency to view the status quo as reflecting complete fairness.  Coming to terms with life—becoming content with one’s life situation—involves a marked bias to see the world as fair.  To accede that inequality has nothing to do with justice is an essential condition of contentment.  The distribution of wealth is flat out not subject to questions of fairness.  Baldly put—that some are millionaires and others are homeless comes to be seen as fair.  We come to feel that the millionaire has earned every penny and the homeless has earned the lack thereof.  The great force here is to view the possession of property (or the dearth of it) as self-justifying.  Property once it comes in someone’s possession is inviolate and fully wedded to them.  This is similar to marriage in which we extend our family with new relationships.  As we instantly have additional family after a marriage, we instantly have additional property once we take possession of it.  It becomes out of bounds to question the legitimacy of attachment or experience the anger of injustice.  The fact that property is personal begs any question of fairness and makes nugatory any consideration of how one came to be in possession of it.  The complete identification of property with person makes the status quo sacrosanct and relegates to oblivion any former improprieties.  This rule is generally confirmed by an apparent exception.  When property acquisition is strictly illegal it marks a violation of the serenity of the status quo and is hence not tolerated.

Earned Every Penny

Earned the Lack Thereof

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