I’m wondering if there are novel views on what property relations might overcome that of private property as it exists under communism.
I am dissatisfied with the common distinction between private and personal.
The dichotomy between 'collective' (not 'private') societal infrastructure, and individual 'personal' possessions is an empirical, *inescapable* dichotomy.
This is due mostly to the objective fact that consumption, including prior selection, *has* to be at the individual, personal scale, since only the individual him- or herself knows best (typically) what their own personal needs are at any given moment. (In line with the communistic principle of 'self-determination' is this realm of personal consumer consumption.)
Of course any claimed extents of 'personal possessions' has its limits, and this definition specifically would have to be definitively defined and implemented by those of a suitable post-capitalist social order -- I see this topic as being currently unresolved since we can't just *project* our own invented definitions onto a purely-imagined future society, though the topic is certainly always worth discussing for its theoretical value.
Here's a past addressing of this topic, at the (now-defunct) RevLeft discussion board:
ckaihatsu at RevLeft wrote:
This dynamic of extent of 'personal possessions' can be summed-up as 'the padlock question' -- would people commonly use *padlocks* in a future communist society, or wouldn't they -- ? If there's no mass agreement for a *guideline* for it, people might wind up just putting padlocks on whatever 'personal property' they claim as 'theirs', without regard to 'personal absenteeism' -- maybe they'd return to enjoy those items at some later time, or maybe they wouldn't.
One possible standard, from my model, is this one:
consumption [demand] -- Individuals may possess and consume as much material as they want, with the proviso that the material is being actively used in a personal capacity only -- after a certain period of disuse all personal possessions not in active use will revert to collectivized communist property
This obviously depends on a mass-agreed 'time duration' standard for each and every personal possession claimed by anyone / everyone, but I admittedly have no idea *how* it could conceivably be implemented as such on a consistent basis without any apparent social means of *enforcement*, since a communistic society has no standing *state* for such matters.
Another formulation I've devised in the past is one of simply having to *watch* your stuff -- if you're not actively around something that you can claim as yours in realtime, then it's *not* yours and anyone else has full leeway to simply take it for *themselves* since you're unable to guard it. Of course this is rather lacking, too, since someone *should* reasonably be able to leave their personal possessions for some limited length of time, as for nightlife or travel, and still be able to retrieve them as their own when they return.
https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads/20 ... ost2889317
One of the distinctions frequently made in relation to the question of the abolition of private property, and often accepted as ‘marxist orthodoxy’, is the distinction between social property, in particular the social means of production, on the one hand, and personal possessions or objects of consumption, on the other. Possibly this distinction makes some sense in the “political” phase of Communism Marx refers to above.
However, the conception is of limited value because, for a start, it is founded on the rupture of the human being into a producer on one hand and a consumer on the other, and life into work and leisure, dichotomies which lie at the very heart of the fragmented existence which needs to be abolished. The abolition of private property in the productive sphere whilst retaining it in the domestic sphere, would in fact reinforce the inhumanity of modern life: personal property being entirely for one’s own use, is without significance and therefore worthless, while social property still has significance only for the purpose of earning a living and is therefore alien and oppressive.
Sorry, but this is a decidedly *glib* treatment of the subject matter -- this dichotomy between organic-worker and organic-consumer within the same person *is* / would-be an empirical logistical fact, but it would *not* mimic the characteristics of '[social uselessness]' (personal sphere), and 'alienation' (social realm of liberated-work), that you're indicating.
This is because perhaps much of what one does in one's own personal sphere could still manage to have *non-isolated*, socially-positive knock-on effects, as in the case of any artwork / music / creativity that's then freely voluntarily shared with the larger world, as over the Internet.
And, the collective revolutionary overcoming of capitalist productive relations (class) would mean that work *could not* ever be alienating to *any* individual, ever again. People would individually and proportionately-collectively have total personal discretion as to where their liberated labor efforts would go, if at all, with the results necessarily borne collectively (less total liberated-work would result in a simpler, sparser material world, post-capitalism, while *more* total liberated-work efforts on-the-whole would yield more sophisticated materials / infrastructure and a more-sophisticated / -complex social world).
I happen to *differ* with your implied conception of a post-capitalist material economics -- people wouldn't have to 'earn a living', post-capitalism, because the *distribution* of humanely needed goods and infrastructure wouldn't be so forcefully individuating (as we're used to, under capitalism), because everyone would be liberated from having to use (necessarily-commodified) *exchange values*. Non-commodity collective production would be fully-automated mass-industrially-produced *free-access* and *direct-distribution*, entirely precluding any need for commodity-type exchanges, as through the numerous 'middlemen' expropriators of exchange-values today.
(In other words machinery would be non-privately-controlled, instead directed and tasked at the collective level to wherever organic human need remained unmet -- much could be produced just by 'pressing buttons' once the machinery was installed and automated, requiring no further human labor per batch of production.)
The only different view I’ve seen from the same article as above.
So, there is a concept of property which exists in our relations both at work and outside work, which is to do with this: once you have established, with your co-workers, the right to work in a certain way, to work in a certain job or draw on the services of others in a given way and to a certain extent, then we believe that we have a right to demand that that activity should only be terminated or transformed with our agreement. We don’t need to bring things into that.
This, unfortunately, is a hack's position on the issue since there's no escaping the *material world* while discussing politics and proletarian revolution -- to think that everyone would just give up mass industrial production in favor of holding hands in a circle on grassy hilltops is a *misconception* at best, and is definitely *idealistic*.
Money violates this right. Via money, people forcibly separate other people from their life and livelihood. Money grants to scoundrels the right to debauch themselves. But money is a carrier of the consent of the community, despite itself.
The social practice of money / currency should *not* be defended in the least because of what you've just argued, incidentally -- yes, exchange values *do* dispossess people from their / our life and livelihoods -- and personal political power in the world, and the elimination of money / currency should be priority #1 for any worldwide proletarian revolution.
We do have theoretical *alternatives*, one of which is the model framework that I developed, at the link earlier in this post, which shows how collective self-determination over the material world could be planned *entirely* without the use of commodification or exchange values whatsoever.https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads/20 ... ost2889317
What about use? For Hegel use is a way of taking possession of something (provided it is not already the property of someone else who wishes to use it), and has the effect of maintaining ownership. When one no longer uses something, then one has taken one’s will out of the thing and it becomes ownerless.
This concept seems to stand up. It appears to be a substantive and ethical conception of property: a thing is mine if I use it in the course of activity which is mine, that is to say, in the course of my socially determined activity. If I stop using it, it reverts to a ‘state of nature’.
In summary, it seems to me that there is a kind of concept of property which exists within the activity of working people and the ethical relations between them. Economic relations, i.e., bourgeois relations, violate this ethic and violate workers’ property. This concept of property seems actually to provide, in combination with consensus decision-making and collaboration, the basis for the organisation of social production on a global scale.
Does this sound promising? What is your take on the subject?