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Economy as a cleptocracy: Left ideology defines property as theft. But the biggest Taker is the modern taxnation. We live in a massmedially animated, tax taking semi-socialism - and nobody is calling for a fiscal civil war
Published on June 12, 2009 By utemia In Politics

This a very good article that I found in my papers' Feuilleton on wednesday. It was written by Peter Sloterdijk in german(y), and I'll translate it part for part. It is a good linguistic exercise for me to translate newspaper articles, so if any formulations or phrasings seem off, please let me know.

Part 1

Arbitrariness and gullibility were at the beginning of economic relationships - if the classics are to be believed. Rousseau wrote about this issue in his famous introduction for his second discourse about the disparity (inequality) between mankind from 1755 and explained the basics: "The first person that fenced in a portion of land and who had the audacity to declare this land his property and said "This is mine!" and who found enough people that were short-witted (fatuitous) enough to believe him, is the true founder of the civic society (société civile)." Thus starts what we call "Economy": the ability to erect a convincing fence and to claim the fenced in terrain by means of an authoritative speakact - Ceci est à moi. The first Taker ist the first businessman - the first citizen and the first thief. He is inevitably accompanied by the first notary. A pre-economic Act of brutal takeover was necessary to start/to enable something like an active trade balance in agriculture. This act had to be legalized after the fact. Without the agreement of the of the short-witted, that believed in the lawfullness of the first act of "fencing", no right of ownership could be sustained in the long run. What started as an occupation is finalized by signing a title - first was arbitrariness followed by a blessing in the form of legal recognition/approval.
The secret of the civil society lies thus in this belated sanctification of a violent initiative. The only thing that matters is to be the first on the finish line, where the initial theft will be turned into a legal title of ownership. Those who are too late get the short end of the stick. Those who exist on the wrong side of the fence stay poor. For the poor, the world seems to be a place where the taking hand of others already took everything before they even had the chance.

This Rouessauistic myth about the birth of the civil society resulting from landoccupation did not fail to have a huge effect on readers during politically modern times. Karl Marx was so impressed by this formula that he tried to tie the whole early history of "Kapitalismus" to criminal acts of arbitrariness by british squires, who dared to fence in huge areas of land for their sheep - wool=cash=capital. Naturally, this act of fencing in land had the negative sideeffect of driving off the people who used to live off that land.

Due to suspicion raised by Roussau that all economy was based on preeconomic violent acts of arbitrariness, Marx subsequently (and consequently) developed  his theory about a capitaldriven economy in the form of a "Critique of political economy". The first initiatives of the beati possidentes are seen akin to primary crimes - and are nothing less but the reenactment of the original sin in the category of land tenure. It is procreated in each following economic act that is commited later on.

It is in such views/interpretations that marxism (and others) base their characteristic modern habitus of disrespect for existing law, especially for civic laws, the right to property and the right to sanctitity of private property. Disrespectful is/will be he, who supposedly sees through the "existing " as a result of intial injustice. Because property is the result of an initial theft from some diffuse common property in the first place, the contemporary owners should prepare themselves for the day when the correction of this status quo will be brought on the political agenda. This day will come when the short-witted stop being so gullible, when they remember the first injustice commited by the builders of the first  fences. Filled with revolutionary verve/energy they will tear town those fences. From that day on politics has to offer compensation for the drawbacks that most had to suffer on that first day on the finish line.  Now it time for reclaiming everything as general property that was stolen by private takers in the first place. Every revolutionary disrespect is based on the claim that "the being there early" of the contemporary rightful owners means nothing in the end. It is only a short step from this form of disrespect to expropriation. Every avantgarde proclaims that distribution of the world should start again from the beginning.


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