When it comes to communicating communist ideas I feel like it'd be more effective if instead of saying "private property" we said "remote ownership" or "ownership on paper" or "economic property" or "corporate property" or "for-profit property"
Cuz like what we mean is "you can't own a house you don't live in" "you can't own a business others work in" "You can't own land others live or work on"
And I think in the 21st century "private property" just doesn't evoke that meaning
@jordyd yes see this is the discrepancy between what we mean by "Abolish private property" and what that sounds like
i don't think most people think of their apartment as the "private property of their landlord" because "private" evokes like, diaries.
which is why I think a term besides "private" to describe what we wanna abolish would be useful
@pettter @jordyd yes I know but I'm trying to find a way to communicate the idea without redefining words for people in a way different from how they use it every day. We on the left have a problem with using antiquated 19th century meanings of words and then explaining our idea involves like "no community of food means like we all share food not that there's a bunch of sentient sandwiches who are friends" "no private means something different than how you understand it to mean"
@jordyd @pettter Like the private/personal/collective categories make sense as a theory level of sorting stuff but when I'm at a rally of strangers in a crowd I can't say that and expect "private" to make sense as distinct from "personal" when they're very much synonyms to most people outside of politics or business.
@shel @pettter Honestly I know Proudhon was the originator of the property/possession distinction but I've never read his works and I don't plan on it. We don't just use antiquated terms we use terms that are inaccessible to anyone that doesn't want to spend years studying these things. And it's silly because they already know enough to understand it all, they just have to wade through a mountain of terminology
@shel your point is sound, but i'm not huge on the replacements offered either. there's gotta be a better phrase out there that can roll owned vacant property and rental property into one term without sounding abstract
remote ownership sounds closest but it still sounds more like a good thing than anything. at least private property sounds as dreadful as it is
@ctrlaltdog "private property" to me, before I started using it how the left does, evokes "private" in a way that sounds like "my private life" or "I don't want to share private information with you" like the term tends to mean "held close to my chest" yeah?
so "private property" to a lot of people who aren't talking about politics all the time evokes like "my diary" "my car" "my blender" "my photo album"
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@shel well yeah That is the idea, the history of land rights or capital P Property rights being separate from things you own and use is an old one, the trick of the last 40-50 years has been to convince people they can all own some if they work for it and then erase the line between the two, a new word for it wouldn't work i think, it only draws a distinction between things people now have a bad reaction to treating as separate. You might as well explain yourself to people on familiar ground.
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@shel The problem didn't come from the term though, you could come up with a way to discuss it more clearly (and i would support that!) but you also end up with the term still being stigmatized and confused over time. The term isn't semantically confused because someone chose a bad term, it's confused because the issue has been deliberately obfuscated.
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@Ashrand I mean I also just think words naturally evolve over time and we need to update our language so we aren't still trying to communicate with 19th century dialects in the 21st century.
like how Marx talks about "the community of resources" but nobody would say that this century to mean "we share stuff" that's just antiquated outdated translations.
Also I find it more difficult to image the rich could convince that masses that we all own "remote property" or "houses other people live in"
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@shel except that is what happened over time, If you use the word property it's because you have some or think you can get some, that evolving definition took place due to efforts to talk about property as something everyone could own, no shadowy 'word cabal' just the change in the use of words because of a useful fiction and political backing for it. I said i would support another term in order to discuss ideas but anything that enters common parlance is going to be bent the same way.
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@shel what that erases i think is that language isn't fixed but meaning is often just as flexible, if we are talking about words flipped by world events and time we need to stop calling ourself socialists (y'know those state capitalists, the ones from china nowadays, or maybe you meant the huge welfare state in Scandinavia?) or commies (yknow, large state which owns everything and causes famines? USSR?) like we did 'libertarian' which nowadays just means 'ancap but won't own up'
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@shel at some point you need to observe that words are being used in ways that no longer allow you a way to express yourself clearly, but it's not as if there even 'are' simple ways to explain leftist thought to people anymore, it's been whittled away by an unwillingness to talk to people and the efforts of people ideologically opposed.
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@Ashrand I believe in our ability to communicate if we make the effort even if it takes some doing if we're as flexible as the infinite complexness of language allows we can find ways to communicate the ideas in ways which aren't stubbornly using ways of putting things that are difficult to explain
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@shel I'm 100% with you, I just feel it's a blind alley when the ideas themselves differ in context so wildly from peoples everyday experience. Reading a lot of socialist or An-com books you eventually run into the fact that a lot of this doesn't reflect how people live and work. It's still all *True* but it has very little to do with how the prospective audience live and as a result complex langue is needed. Until we have works that reflect that it's going to remain a problem.
I'm trying to figure out good ways to communicate the communist idea of "abolishing private property" that's more modern and doesn't require as much explaining
Someone suggested "rent collecting" but I'm saying like... even if I stopped collecting rent on your house (so you're not paying rent at all in this scenario) I could still "own" it under current law and like, evict you or something, so it's still my "private property"
@shel I think we need to bring back the distinction of personal and private property, and make it clear that the home in which you live is personal because you live in it, and then get on with the abolition of private property.
And by "live in," I mean "as a primary residence." No "I timeshare across my seven mansions" bulldada. You get one. When everybody has one, we can talk about two.
which is definitely a fantasy i've had hehe. but yeah like spreading the cost across a bunch of ppl equally owning the space and chipping in for labor, making it into a super cool space that can act as a space for community events, would be cool~
@Fuego @shel I've been running one in various forms for seventeen years. It doesn't always work out as it does in the dream, and the reality of having to tell people they're not contributing sufficiently -- by whatever measuring stick you use -- is a lot harder when enforcing boundaries means taking away living stability.
@Fuego @shel This isn't to say it can't work, but everyone in the house needs to commit to the common good, and to agree on what that means, for it to work long-term. That's a lot of emotional labor for everyone to manage, and not everyone is suited to those kinds of arrangements. Even those who are can still gave different needs and those have to be communicated and managed as a group.
@shel I suppose my challenge is that at some point we're going to have to draw the distinction between "personal" and "private" by whatever labels you want to call them. If you want to call it "private" and "remote" or "personal" and "collective" or whatever pair of terms, fine, but I think the real issue is that we need to get people used to the idea that some things as "not ownable by individuals," point out that individuals claim to own them, and then draw the necessary conclusions.
@shel The labels are placeholders for an idea. I'm not beholden to the labels themselves. I'm more worried that the idea needs to be conveyed and that people will eventually work out whatever labels for themselves they need to put on those ideas. I'm not going to try to be a linguistic prescriptivist and declare what the labels ought to be.
@literorrery I'm not trying to do that either and I'm just trying to figure out a better way to communicate the idea
because the words do matter insomuch not because of some sapir-whorf nonsense but just because if The Masses hear "private property" and think "diary" but I mean "factory" then I'm just not communicating the idea very well and thats how you get "the commies want my toothbrush"
I wanna be able to say "I want to abolish [the concept of individuals owning stuff used by other people]"
@shel I usually bring up the concept of "private, like a private beach" and point to all the ways in which people have carved up the commons in blatantly dangerous ways. That seems to stop the confusion pretty quickly.
I honestly don't know what other term you'd use for "the stuff that people claim to own that they really can't and shouldn't be allowed to claim." I just say "people have coopted the concept of 'private property'" and run from there.
@shel There was an Inside Appalacia recently --
"Appalachia's Deep Ties to Extractive Industries May be Keeping Region 'Poor, Sick & Stuck on Coal'"
-- that pointed out, among many other things, that 20% of all land in West Virginia is owned by 25 landowners, not only (obviously) remotely but most completely out of state.
@shel No, what it conjures is the idea that the home that I have spent my entire adult life trying to buy, so that when I am old and can no longer work, I do not immediately die of exposure after having been thrown out in the street, that home, I shouldn't be allowed to own.
Is there any way at all team communist can hire some people who are better at framing the conversation? Because Team Foreclosure has been winning for generations
@jannamark when it comes to housing the argument goes:
1. There are 6x more empty houses than homeless people
2. There's no reason to keep these houses empty except that they're "owned" by some bank, company, or rich person who keeps in empty so they can sell it or rent it out for a profit later; or to spend maybe a week in a year for their vacation
3. Whether you rent or own; a rich landlord or bank collects money from you in order for you to continue to live in your home
4. And what exactly do they do?
5. the bank sits and collects interest because they're "the reason" you could be in this home. It'll be 40 years of paying them until you're not at risk of foreclosure, enforced by police. But the bank doesn't fix your home, it doesn't live in your home, it does nothing for you. It's essentially a ransom
6. The landlord maybe pays certain bills like water or trash collection, and occasionally comes by to fix a broken light or replaces your fridge. Then might raise rent because of it
@jannamark 7. So why exactly does the landlord get to "own" your home? Why does the bank get to "reclaim" your home? they don't do anything but claim it's theirs and enforce that with police.
8. It's nonsense that this can be their property. It's nonsense that they deserve to collect money from you. We should abolish this concept and let you live in your home with no strings attached. Nobody should own two houses while anyone is homeless
7) Their argument is that they took the (negligible) risk of accepting my money, knowing that they could seize the house if we missed a payment. [Cue: hysterical laughter dissolving into tears]
But, and here I am not trying to convince you of anything other than the need to consider re-framing the argument, consider the other side's arguments:
They never once mention that their ideas of home ownership are so deeply rooted in white supremacy and patriarchy that a deed search
By carefully crafting their message, the other team has successfully dressed up creating homelessness among the infirmed, the elderly, and our nation's veterans as an unfortunate side effect of the virtuousness of the wealthy.
Absolutely nothing to see here, citizen, move along.
@shel And if the poor are poor, it's because God has turned his face away from their wretched sinning. After all, look at them, and all their sinful ways. And if the rich are rich, it's because God has rewarded them.
Not anything to do with education, taxation, clean drinking water without lead, availability of affordable nutritious foods.
The rich own the airwaves and make sure their message is repeated 24/7.
1 & 3) I know, I'm an advocate for housing first, I'm not the person you need to convince.
2) Ah, that's where you are grossly underestimating the cruelty of the system. In some areas, some housing stock is kept empty in order that the same owning entity can demand higher rents on other properties they own.
4) They kept slaves, stole the country with an army, and now their descendants are deafening the rest of us by heartily congratulating themselves on being self-made men