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Natural Social Contract Annotations

Ownership, Property Entitlement, Ownability

The reader will only be able to understand the purpose and meaning of this annotation and its relationship to the Natural Social Contract (NSC), if s/he has first read the Introduction section of the NSC and its explanatory and elucidating annotation.

1) The assumption of most natural rights philosophers that in some manner ownership of oneself or other property is an inherent "right" is particularly strange for at least two reasons. First, there appears to be no biological or evolutionary origin for this proposed human Attribute. (And why should only humans have it? And if it is not an Attribute, just what is it?) And second, these same philosophers agree that there are situations under which a human mysteriously loses this innate and presumably essential characteristic. (And becomes "non-human"? - suggesting that "rights" are not human Attributes after all; but then again what are they?) This approach of creating a mythical Attribute (a "right"), resting on no biological, evolutionary or logical metaphysical foundation whatever, is fraught with problems of implementation, since its nature, as a mere opinion, allows anyone to be logically justified to rebuke it by saying, "I don't agree", and then proceed to take the owner's property from hir. This gratuitous and illogical notion of "right" does not in any manner protect hir from such actions that effectively remove all practical consequences of hir ownership even though s/he may still have some mythical right of ownership. Thus, it seems that the concept of ownership rights (and rights ideas in general, as I have argued in developing and describing the Theory of Social Meta-Needs) is totally self-contradictory and completely useless for any practical purposes. Instead in the NSC, Ownership includes an Entitlement to have a certain exclusive Connection to the item under consideration, granted by the NSC itself as a Valid Contract and therefore granted as an Entitlement by all Executors of the NSC, merely because the Owner is a Member of the Freeman Society and has acquired the item by Acceptable Methods. Moreover, a Property Entitlement to the Ownership of some particular Material Existent, set of Information or Parcel of Real Estate which is structured according to and acquired by the Acceptable Methods detailed in the NSC is Beneficial both for the Owner and all other Freemen by its role in the compossible (mutually attainable) implementation of the Social Meta-Needs of all Freemen. Such well structured Property Entitlements and methods of acquisition of Property accomplish this by aiding every Freeman to optimally increase hir Lifetime Happiness. For additional details of the structuring of the Property Entitlement of Ownership which help implement the Social Meta-Needs by effecting this result, see the section of the NSC entitled Ownership, Abandonment, and Property Entitlement of Ownership and Possession.

2) Since Existents can be used to Harm others, the Connection Attributes of Ownership and the related Property Entitlement cannot be completely unconditional any more than the Entitlement to take any Available Actions with one's body (eg. using Compulsion on others) can be unconditional. Instead, to be logically consistent with the essential nature of InterActing Freemen, both of these Entitlements must conform to the Social Meta-Needs. However it is important to note that this natural requirement of understanding and conforming to the Social Meta-Needs, while certainly constituting an Alteration of a Freeman's Choice Estimations, is not an actual Constraint and therefore does not actually reduce hir Freedom. Even more important, conforming to the Social Meta-Needs does not result in a reduction of a Freeman's Lifetime Happiness because all Rational Actions are still available to hir. Another way to understand this is to realize that hir Social InterActions contribute more increase to hir Lifetime Happiness than is removed by the Alterations of hir Choice Estimations (all of which Alterations are, in any case, only possible because and to the extent that s/he is Socially InterActing in the first place). In the final analysis, if a Freeman does not agree that such Alterations of hir Choice Estimations are worthwhile to gain the Benefits of Social InterAction, then s/he can stop InterActing with Freemen, since nothing Compels hir to do so, unless s/he has become the Property of a Freeman by Acceptable Methods. In summary, the Connection Attributes of Ownership are neither arbitrary nor unconditional, but instead are clearly defined by the NSC (in general terms), by the Contract (if any) under which the Ownership of the specific item was acquired, and by the limitations of the nature of both the specific item of Property and its Freeman Owner. Most importantly, the NSC is a Freeman Self-Owner's Deed of Entitlement to hirself which specifies the Connection Attributes of a Freeman to hir own Person as an item of Property.

3) As with other documents that it is Beneficial to make known to other Freemen, the Ownership of an Existent may be Registered as a Property Entitlement Searchably Linked to the Owner. In addition, it is also possible and may sometimes be useful to Register an UnOwned Possession, especially if that Possession is under a long-term rental or lease Contract. Freemen may want to Register any Owned items that are precious to them or which are simply a major part of their total assets. Publishing a Deed of Entitlement may be particularly important when something is Co-Owned and the terms of Co-Ownership need to be clearly understood by many. Although simply having these Co-Ownership arrangements written in a Valid Contract may well be sufficient. For example, Registration may be desired for a Co-Owned vehicle that is often far away from one of the Owners, so that others know that more than the one Freeman is Responsible for it. Most importantly, a Freeman will want to and is actually Required by the NSC to Register hir Deed of Entitlement to hirself by Publishing hir Identifying Information.

In effect, "Owned", "Property", "UnOwned", "Ownable", "UnOwnable", "UnWanted", "Abandoned" and "Stolen" are Statuses attached to Material Existents that are not Freemen. "Owner" is a Status attached to a Freeman relative to Existents to which s/he holds Property Entitlement, in accord with the definitions and Stipulations of the NSC, although such Status attachments are not Required to be formally Attached except for the status of "Freeman" (alternatively "Self-Owner") and when an Existent is Registered.

4) The process of transfer of Ownership of Property between Freemen is often effected by a "conveyance document"1, since in olden times a Deed of Entitlement was a physical parchment describing the item whose Ownership was being transferred (particularly Real Estate) and its Covenants which needed to be physically "conveyed" to the new Owner. Fewer disputes would arise if the transfer of Ownership of any valuable or complex Property between Freemen were accomplished by means of a Valid Contract. Although the NSC does not Require this, if such a transfer does not occur by means of a Valid Contract, then there is no means under the NSC to Claim Restitution with respect to Non-Performance of any aspect of the transfer.

1. For a legal definition of "conveyance" see Duhaime's Law Dictionary.