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Private Property Norms

by Pyotr Malatesta

Private property norms establish political control over resources and assets, influencing power dynamics within society. As individuals amass wealth and property, they gain greater influence over the political process, shaping policies and decisions to benefit their interests. This concentration of political entitlements often leads to inequitable outcomes, where the affluent few wield disproportionate power compared to the disenfranchised many.

The disenfranchised, lacking significant property ownership and political influence, are often marginalized and excluded from meaningful participation in the decision-making processes. This exclusion perpetuates socio-economic disparities, perpetuating a cycle of inequitable distribution of political entitlements that benefits the privileged.

States play a crucial role in enforcing and legitimizing private property norms, as they possess the authority to establish and protect property rights. However, in situations where the state's interests align with those of the privileged elite, the enforcement of inequitable property norms becomes entrenched, exacerbating political disparities.

In the absence of state enforcement, the disenfranchised would not necessarily voluntarily agree to uphold property norms which perpetuates their disenfranchised condition.

In the absence of state enforcement, disenfranchised individuals may seek alternative property norms as a means of countering the entrenched inequalities. Communal ownership, cooperative arrangements, and resource-sharing models are examples of property norms that promote a more equitable distribution of resources and political entitlements. By adopting such alternative norms, marginalized groups can empower themselves to challenge the prevailing power structures and gain a more significant voice in the political process.

Any property norm that results in significant inequity in the distribution of entitlements for the majority of persons is not plausibly voluntary for the majority of persons who are disenfranchised.

Therefore private property norms are not plausibly voluntary for the majority of persons, who may be disenfranchised by the enforcement of private property norms, and potentially much better off with a set of property norms that would result in a more equitable distribution of entitlements.